Monday, October 30, 2006

On Giving

You give but little when you give of your possessions.

It is when you give of yourself that you truly give.

For what are your possessions but things you keep and guard for fear you may need them tomorrow?

And tomorrow, what shall tomorrow bring to the overprudent dog burying bones in the trackless sand as he follows the pilgrims to the holy city?

And what is fear of need but need itself?

Is not dread of thirst when your well is full, thirst that is unquenchable?

There are those who give little of the much which they have - and they give it for recognition and their hidden desire makes their gifts unwholesome.

And there are those who have little and give it all.

These are the believers in life and the bounty of life, and their coffer is never empty.

There are those who give with joy, and that joy is their reward.

And there are those who give with pain, and that pain is their baptism.

And there are those who give and know not pain in giving, nor do they seek joy, nor give with mindfulness of virtue;

They give as in yonder valley the myrtle breathes its fragrance into space.

Through the hands of such as these God speaks, and from behind their eyes He smiles upon the earth.

It is well to give when asked, but it is better to give unasked, through understanding;

And to the open-handed the search for one who shall receive is joy greater than giving

And is there aught you would withhold?

All you have shall some day be given;

Therefore give now, that the season of giving may be yours and not your inheritors'.

You often say, "I would give, but only to the deserving."

The trees in your orchard say not so, nor the flocks in your pasture.

They give that they may live, for to withhold is to perish.

Surely he who is worthy to receive his days and his nights is worthy of all else from you.

And he who has deserved to drink from the ocean of life deserves to fill his cup from your little stream.

And what desert greater shall there be than that which lies in the courage and the confidence, nay the charity, of receiving?

And who are you that men should rend their bosom and unveil their pride, that you may see their worth naked and their pride unabashed?

See first that you yourself deserve to be a giver, and an instrument of giving.

For in truth it is life that gives unto life - while you, who deem yourself a giver, are but a witness.

And you receivers - and you are all receivers - assume no weight of gratitude, lest you lay a yoke upon yourself and upon him who gives.

Rather rise together with the giver on his gifts as on wings;

For to be overmindful of your debt, is to doubt his generosity who has the free-hearted earth for mother, and God for father.
- Kahlil Gibran

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The Thorn-birds

There is a legend about a bird which sings just once in its life, more sweetly than any other creature on the face of the earth. From the moment it leaves the nest it searches for a thorn tree, and does not rest until it has found one. Then, singing among the savage branches, it impales itself upon the longest, sharpest spine. And, dying, it rises above its own agony to out-carol the lark and the nightingale. One superlative song, existence the price. But the whole world stills to listen, and God in His heaven smiles. For the best is only bought at the price of great pain... or so says the legend...
- From The Thornbirds (Colleen McCollough)

Time is a Lie

"I think of all that is happening elsewhere, as I lie here. Nearby, I can hear the sounds of a road crew. Somewhere else, monkeys chatter in trees. A male seahorse becomes pregnant. A diamond forms, a bee dances out directions, a windshield shatters. Somewhere a mother spreads peanut butter for her son's lunch, a lover sighs, a knitter binds off the edge of a sleeve. Clouds gather to make rain, corn ripens on the stalk, a cancer cell divides, a little league team scores. Somewhere blossoms open, a man pushes a knife in deeper, a painter darkens her blue. A cashier pours new dimes into an outstretched hand, rainbows form and fade, plates in the earth shift and settle. A woman opens a velvet box, male spiders pluck gently on the females' webs, falcons fall from the sky. Abstracts are real and time is a lie, it cannot be measured when one moment can expand to hold everything. You can want to live and end up choosing death; and you can want to die and end up living. What keeps us here, really? A thread that breaks in a breeze. And yet a thread that cannot be broken." ~Elizabeth Berg ( Never Change)

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Golden Road

Once upon a time we all walked on the golden road. It was a fair highway, through the Land of Lost Delight; shadow and sunshine were blessedly mingled, and every turn and dip revealed a fresh charm and a new loveliness to eager hearts and unspoiled eyes.
On that road we heard the song of morning stars; we drank in fragrances aerial and sweet as a May mist; we were rich in gossamer fancies and iris hopes; our hearts sought and found the boon of dreams; the years waited beyond and they were very fair; life was a rose-lipped comrade with purple flowers dripping from her fingers.
We may long have left the golden road behind, but its memories are the dearest of our eternal possessions; and those who cherish them as such may haply find a pleasure in the pages of this book, whose people are pilgrims on the golden road of youth.

- L.M.Montgomery

A Time to Every Purpose

To every thing there is a
season, and a time to every purpose under the
heaven: a time to be born, and
a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to
pluck up that which is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time
to break down, and a time to build
up; a time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to
dance; a time to cast away stones, and a time
to gather stones together; a
time to embrace, and a time to refrain from
embracing; a time to get, and a
time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to
cast away; a time to rend, and a
time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a
time to speak; a time to love, and
a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of

Ecclesiastes 3, 1-8

Tuesday, October 17, 2006


One cannot walk down an avenue, converse with a friend, enter a building, browse beneath the arches of an old arcade without meeting an instrument of time. Time is visible in all places. Clock towers, wristwatches, church bells divide years into months, months into days, days into hours, hours into seconds, each increment of time marching after the other in perfect succession. And beyond any particular clock, a vast scaffold of time, stretching across the universe, lays down the law of time equally for all. In this world, a second is a second. Time paces forward with exquisite regularity, at precisely the same velocity in every corner of space. Time is an infinite ruler. Time is absolute.

-- Einstein

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Through the Eyes of a Kid

When I look at a patch of dandelions, I see a bunch of weeds that are going to take over my garden.

Kids see flowers for Mom and blowing white fluff you can wish on.

When I look at an old, desolate man and he smiles at me, I see a smelly, dirty person who wants money and I look away.

Kids see someone smiling at them and they smile back.

When I hear music I love, I know I can't carry a tune and don't have much rhythm, so I sit self consciously and listen.

Kids feel the beat and move to it. They sing out the words. If they don't know them, they make up their own.

When I feel wind on my face, I brace myself against it. I feel it messing up my hair and pulling me back when I walk.

Kids close their eyes, spread their arms and fly with it, until they fall to the ground laughing.

When I pray, I say "thee" and "thou" and "grant me this, "please give me that".

Kids say "Hi God. Thanks for my toys and my friends. Please keep the bad dreams away tonight. Sorry, I don't want to go to heaven yet. I would miss my Mum and Dad."

When I see a mud puddle, I step around it. I see muddy shoes and dirty carpets.

Kids step in it. They see dams to build, rivers to cross and water to play with.

I wonder, are we given children to teach or to learn from?

Enjoy the little things in life, for one day you may look back and see they were the big things.


Tuesday, October 03, 2006

When I Asked God

When I Asked God for Strength
He Gave Me Difficult Situations to Face
When I Asked God for Brain & Brawn
He Gave Me Puzzles in Life to Solve
When I Asked God for Happiness
He Showed Me Some Unhappy People
When I Asked God for Wealth
He Showed Me How to Work Hard
When I Asked God for Favors
He Showed Me Opportunities to Work Hard
When I Asked God for Peace
He Showed Me How to Help Others
God Gave Me Nothing I Wanted
He Gave Me Everything I Needed

- Swami Vivekananda