the wisdom of the sands - antoine de saint-exupéry

Thus was it that I made a step towards the understanding of happiness, and came to grips with the problem happiness propounds. I saw it as a fruit of the choice of a ceremonial that creates a happy soul; and not as a sterile gift of bright futilities. For it is impossible to confer happiness on men, as something they can store up and possess. Thus my father had nothing he could have given those Berber refugees which would have made them happy; whereas in the bleakest desert and under conditions of the cruellest privation I have seen men whose faces shone with joy.
But think not that for a moment I believe your happiness will be born of privations, loneliness, or the desert. For these can equally well drive you to despair. But I would have you mark the example I have given, which, drawing a clear distinction between the happiness of men and the comforts furnished them, shows that their happiness depends wholly on the nature of the ceremonial in which they participate.
And though experience has shown me that a greater proportion of happy men is to be found in deserts, monasteries, and conditions of self-sacrifice, than amongst the sedentaries of the rich oases or in isles that men call "happy," I have not drawn therefrom the conclusion - which would be inept - that the quality of men's food is antithetic to the quality of their happiness. My conclusion is simply that wherever the good things of the world are most abundant men have more chances of deceiving themselves as to the nature of their joys, for these seem to emanate from those good things, though in reality they derive solely from the meaning those things acquire in a certain empire or domain or dwelling-place. Thus in prosperous conditions they may be apter to deceive themselves and hanker after riches that are but idle toys.
Whereas, being without possessions, those of the desert and the monastery can make no mistake as to whence their joys derive; and thus it is easier for them to keep unscathed the source of their fervor.
But here, once again, the issue is like that of the enemy who makes or breaks you. For if, perceiving the true source of whence it springs, you can preserve your fervor in the happy isle or the rich oasis, the man born within you of this fervor will be still greater; even as you may hope to obtain richer sounds from an instrument with many strings than from one with but a single string. And even as the excellence of the wood and the stonework, the meat and drink, could but ennoble yet more my father's palace, where every footstep had a meaning.
And likewise is it with the new-made ornaments which serve no purpose when stored in a shop, and acquire a meaning only when unpacked from their boxes and given their places in a dwelling, beautifying it.


more military?

really? you are really going to push for the American military to be EXPANDED in Iraq? wow...

goodbye, hello

I don't believe you died
before they buried you
If anything killed you
it was my refusal to accept
That you were gone
from this land of the living
Which prevented you
being a part of my life
So I would like to say
goodbye, and hello
In one sentence, to allow
you to leave and re-enter
A life which once
responded to your touch
Hello, dear friend
I missed you...

lithuanian artist - gitenis umbrasas

I subscribe to email updates from the lithuanian center for homecoming lithuanians, and today they sent out a christmas email with this image, and I just thought it was really beautiful so I looked up the artist.

His website is here, either in English or Lithuanian:



Introduction to Poetry - Billy Collins

I ask them to take a poem
and hold it up to the light
like a color slide

or press an ear against its hive.

I say drop a mouse into a poem
and watch him probe his way out,

or walk inside the poem's room
and feel the walls for a light switch.

I want them to water-ski
across the surface of a poem
waving at the author's name on the shore.

But all they want to do
is tie the poem to a chair with rope
and torture a confession out of it.

They begin beating it with a hose
to find out what it really means.


enter one - sol seppy

after a storm
i want to be brave
and keep you warm
and not fade away
as we float from the shore
into the Light
into the Unknown
like thousands of lanterns
glowing with Grace
in glorious Silence
descending through space

to a friend
a sister in need ( earth )
who is not alone
and they are surrounding her
and they will enfold her outstretched hand
in our Love

into the Light
it's hard to believe
it's always been ours to give
and to receive

and i want to be shameless like the sun
moving into you
entering Light

Ensh'allah Ensh'allah
Enter One
Amazing Grace is pouring down
fear not this Light
we are of this Light Divine
so come
we move as ONE
amazing Grace is pouring down
fear not this Light
we are of this Light Divine
Welcome Enter One

after a storm
i wanna let go
of the things that i've done
without any worry i wanna come home
into the Light
into the Unknown

i want to be shameless like the sun
moving into you
entering Light

Wel-come Ensh'allah Ensh'allah
Enter One
Amazing Grace is pouring down

*ensh'allah means something like 'god willing' or 'by the grace of god'


happy - jenny lewis

They warn you about killers and thieves in night
I worry about cancer and living right
But my mama never warned me about my own
Destructive appetite

Or the pitfalls of control
How it locks you in your grave
Looking for someone to be saved under my restraint
So I could be happy, happy


Insomniac - Sylvia Plath

The night sky is only a sort of carbon paper,
Blueblack, with the much-poked periods of stars
Letting in the light, peephole after peephole -
A bonewhite light, like death, behind all things.
Under the eyes of the stars and the moon's rictus
He suffers his desert pillow, sleeplessness
Stretching its fine, irritating sand in all directions.

Over and over the odd, granular movie
Exposes embarrassments - the mizzling days
Of childhood and adolescence, sticky with dreams
Parental faces on tall stalks, alternately stern and tearful,
A garden of buggy roses that made him cry.
His forehead is bumpy as a sack of rocks.
Memories jostle each other for face-room like obsolete film stars.

He is immune to pills: red, purple, blue -
How they lit the tedium of the protracted evening!
Those sugary planets whose influence won for him
A life baptized in no-life for a while,
And the sweet, drugged waking of a forgetful baby.
Now the pills are worn-out and silly, like classical gods.
Their poppy-sleepy colors do him now good.

His head is a little interior of gray mirrors.
Each gesture flees immediately down an alley
Of diminishing perspectives, and its significance
Drains like water out the hole at the far end.
He lives without privacy in a lidless room,
The bald slots of his eyes stiffened wide-open
On the incessant heat-lightning flicker of situations.

Nightlong, in the granite yard, invisible cats
Have been howling like women, or damaged instruments.
Already he can feel daylight, his white disease,
Creeping up with her hatful of trivial repetitions.
The city is a map of cheerful twitters now,
And everywhere people, eyes mica-silver and blank,
Are riding to work in rows, as if recently brainwashed.


Handful Of Beach Sand - Kahlil Gibran

"When you tell your trouble to your neighbor you present him with a part of your heart. If he possesses a great soul, he thanks you; if he possesses a small one, he belittles you."

"I abstain from the people who consider insolence, bravery and tenderness cowardice. And I abstain from those who consider chatter wisdom and silence ignorance."

"I use hate as a weapon to defend myself; had I been strong, I would never have needed that kind of weapon."

"There are among the people murderers who have never committed murder, thieves who have never stolen and liars who have spoken nothing but the truth."

"Keep me away from the wisdom which does not cry, the philosophy which does not laugh and the greatness which does not bow before children."


tiny vessels - death cab for cutie

This is the moment that you know
That you told her that you loved her but you don't.
You touch her skin and then you think
That she is beautiful but she don't mean a thing to me.
Yeah, she is beautiful but she don't mean a thing to me.

I spent two weeks in Silverlake
The California sun cascading down my face
There was a girl with light brown streaks,
And she was beautiful but she didn't mean a thing to me.
Yeah, she was beautiful but she didn't mean a thing to me.

I wanted to believe in all the words that I was speaking,
As we moved together in the dark
And all the friends that I was telling
All the playful misspellings
and every bite I gave you left a mark

Tiny vessels oozed into your neck
And formed the bruises
That you said you didn't want to fade
But they did, and so did I that day

All I see are dark grey clouds
In the distance moving closer with every hour
So when you ask "Is something wrong?"
I think "You're damn right there is but we can't talk about it now.
No, we can't talk about it now."

So one last touch and then you'll go
And we'll pretend that it meant something so much more
But it was vile, and it was cheap
and you are beautiful but you don't mean a thing to me
yeah you are beautiful but you don't mean a thing to me

I was listening to this song this morning, and it kind of occurred to me, I bet there are a lot of couples who have this experience, couples who have been together for years - that one day they wake up, look over at the other person, and think something like "you are beautiful, but you don't mean a thing to me...", and that kills me... so many people are so broken in terms of how to relate to each other, how to give and receive and have no idea what it even means for someone to really MEAN something to them... for a person to be unique in all the world, so that all the stars sparkle because somewhere in the world that one person exists...