Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Aldo Leopold A Sand County Almanac

"There are some who can live without wild things, and some who cannot. Like winds and sunsets, wild things were taken for granted until progress began to do away with them. Now, we face the question whether a still higher "standard of living" is worth its cost in things natural, wild and free.

These wild things, I admit, had little human value until mechanization assured us of a good breakfast,  and until science disclosed the drama of where they come from and how they live. The whole question boils down to a question of degree. We of the minority see the law of diminishing returns in progress; our opponents do not.

Aldo Leopold

Monday, March 09, 2015

The Rose

In memory of a friend. Rest in peace, Rose.

"The Rose"

Some say love, it is a river
That drowns the tender reed.
Some say love, it is a razor
That leaves your soul to bleed.
Some say love, it is a hunger,
An endless aching need.
I say love, it is a flower,
And you its only seed.

It's the heart afraid of breaking
That never learns to dance.
It's the dream afraid of waking
That never takes the chance.
It's the one who won't be taken,
Who cannot seem to give,
And the soul afraid of dyin'
That never learns to live.

When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been too long,
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong,
Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun's love
In the spring becomes the rose.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Final Soliloquy of the Interior Paramour - Wallace Stevens

Light the first light of evening, as in a room
In which we rest and, for small reason, think
The world imagined is the ultimate good.

This is, therefore, the intensest rendezvous.
It is in that thought that we collect ourselves,
Out of all the indifferences, into one thing:

Within a single thing, a single shawl
Wrapped tightly round us, since we are poor, a warmth,
A light, a power, the miraculous influence.

Here, now, we forget each other and ourselves.
We feel the obscurity of an order, a whole,
A knowledge, that which arranged the rendezvous.

Within its vital boundary, in the mind.
We say God and the imagination are one...
How high that highest candle lights the dark.

Out of this same light, out of the central mind,
We make a dwelling in the evening air,
In which being there together is enough.

Friday, January 16, 2015

Tagore Letters from a young poet

14 May 1892

The universe has many paradoxes, one among which is that where there's an extensive landscape, endless sky, dense clouds, a deep feeling, in other words in a place where the eternal is manifest, there its appropriate companion can be only one person - too many people make it too petty and messy. Infinity and one person are both evenly balance in relation to one another - both deserve to sit on their individual thrones face-to-face. And if you have many people staying together, they tend to cut one another down to size - if a person wants to spread out his entire soul, he needs so much space that there's no room for five or six people near him. In my judgement, if you want a good fit, then in this wide world it is possible to fit only an intimate two - there's no space for more - the moment you gather a number in excess of that, you have to lessen yourself in order to accommodate one another's demands - you have to insert yourself into the available gaps. In the meantime, I am unable to receive - with hands cupped and arms extended in prayer - the blessings of nature's deep, limitless expanse that is given so generously.

R. Tagore

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Yehuda Amichai - God has pity on kindergarten children

God has pity on kindergarten children.
He has less pity on school children
And on grownups he has no pity at all,
he leaves them alone,
and sometimes they must crawl on all fours
in the burning sand
to reach the first–aid station
covered with blood.
But perhaps he will watch over true lovers
and have mercy on them and shelter them
like a tree over the old man
sleeping on a public bench.
Perhaps we too will give them
the last rare coins of charity
that Mother handed down to us
so that their happiness may protect us
now and on other days.
Yehuda Amichai

Sunday, January 04, 2015

Dalai Lama's 18 rules for daily living

1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk. Risk is involved in every great opportunity in life. It it isn’t risky, then everyone would be doing, thus making it ordinary and not “great.” Separate yourself from the crowd as one who not only can take risks, but enjoys doing so. Certainty in life can only be so comforting until it gets boring.
2. When you lose, don’t lose the lesson. 
If you lose what you have learned not to do, you will be doomed to repeat it. More importantly, however, do fear failure. Failure is the precursor to success. Hardly any great thing that you wish to accomplish will come without failure. This ties back to the rule of risk mentioned above.
3. Follow the three Rs: 
  1. Respect for self – Confidence is key in success and one who does you respect himself does not believe in himself. Thus, if you do not respect yourself, you cannot possibly succeed in anything great, nor can you respect others.
  2. Respect for others – And you will be respected in return. Anyone who does not return that respect is immediately letting you know that they are not worth your time, and that they do not respect themselves. Avoid weak/insecure/self-loathing people.
  3. Responsibility for all your actions – You alone are responsible for your feelings, actions, success, etc. You are in complete control of your life, so do not try and blame other people for your mistakes or misfortunes.
4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck. Not everything that you desire will be necessarily good for you in the long run. If something just seems to not work out continually, in such a way that it seems almost like fate intervened, consider letting it go or coming back to it at another time. The Universe works in mysterious ways and should be trusted. Just be sure you are not mistaking your own failure as the Universe telling you something.
5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly. Rules are meant to be broken. Most of them are put in place by archaic, corrupt institutions that seek only to enslave and maintain their own power. When it comes to breaking them, be sure to do it properly to avoid punishment. But above all things, make sure you DO in fact break rules. If authority was never questioned, we could be a stagnant civilization.

6. Don’t let a little dispute injure a great friendship. Obviously friendship is more important that one small fight, but very few people actually put this rule into practice. They also need to be able to follow rule #7 in order to truly follow #6.

7. When you realize you’ve made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it. And do not let your pride get in the way of taking those steps. Apologize, taking full responsibility. That will speak for your character more strongly than the action of making the mistake in the first place. 

8. Spend some time alone every day. No matter what you do, take at least 30 minutes out of your day to spend alone in a quiet place. This will give you at least a half-hour to examine what is going on in your life, to examine yourself and to figure out what you want. Whether it be through prayer, meditation, yoga or golf, this ritual is a must. The Law of Attraction is the best way to spend this time. 

9. Open your arms to change, but don’t let go of your values. This world is constantly changing. If you are not open to change, then you are going to live a very miserable life. You, yourself, are going to change as well, but that does not mean that your values have to change as well. Welcome new places, new faces and new loves, but never change those core parts of you unless you have strong reasons to believe you were wrong to believe them in the first place.

10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer. Silence leads to relaxed contemplation during which emotions have less influence and logic can take over. For example, in an argument with a friend, remaining silent instead of retaliating with something anger-driven is more efficient in ending the argument faster and with less hurt for both parties. Or consider Gandhi, who took down the British Empire through silent, pacifistic behavior. Silence is a powerful tool that few choose to use over irrational action. Consider it next time you find yourself in a difficult situation. 

11. Live a good, honourable life. Then when you get older and think back, you’ll be able to enjoy it a second time. You are going to have to live with your actions for the rest of your life, so save yourself the regret and anguish and live with honor now. Good things also come to good people. You will never be punished for acting with integrity, only rewarded.

12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.
 This is the rule that you have the least amount of control over. Your family dynamic will ultimately determine your home atmosphere, but you can definitely help it along by showing your family that you love them. As in rule #3, if you respect (love) your family, they will provide you with respect and love in return. This rule comes to play again when starting a family. Inject love into your home. Make the walls glisten with endearment. That will set a solid foundation for the lives of your children.
13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation. Don’t bring up the past. The past is constant, unchanging. Bringing it up can only bring more pain to the current situation. This is a problem especially with loved ones because relationships with them go so far back into the past and are so fueled by emotion. Forgive any past actions and focus on the present. 

14. Share your knowledge. It’s a way to achieve immortality. 
One learns so much just from living a lifetime. Share that knowledge with the people you come across, it can only help them in their journeys. Even more important, share your failures so that others will not repeat them. 

15. Be gentle with the earth.The earth is where we live. So this should be obvious. Hurting the earth is hurting yourself and the futures of your children and loved ones.

16. Once a year As often as possible, go someplace you’ve never been before. Experience new places and new things. You might find yourself with someone or somewhere that makes you much happier than your previous circumstance. The Earth is so vast with unique and beautiful places, why wouldn’t you want to go explore them?

17. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other. The opposite is a sign that the relationship should end. If you need someone more than you love them, it is a sign of dependency, not affection. Find someone where love is the dominant force and you will find yourself in a much more fulfilling relationship. 

18. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it. Success is not truly success if you had to compromise yourself or your loved ones in order to achieve it. Decide what you want. Design your ideal life and go for it. Do not let any part of that dream slip away in order to get the rest of you will live in regret.