"The infinity was his beginning and his end. The universe his sole and only friend. In deep humility and holy innocence, he saw himself mirrored in the eternal universe, and perceived how himself was its most perfect mirror."
where there is hatred let me sow your love,
where there is injury your pardon lord
where there is doubt true faith in you.
Oh master grant that I may never seek,
so much to be consoled as to console
to be understood as to understand
to be loved as to love with all my soul ...' - Francis of Assisi.
She said to him, "The day will come when men will be killed for laughing", and he answered, "That will be the day when men laugh at killing" ...
So down to earth and normal
Always true unto himself
And pleasantly informal.
Full of simple energy
Contented with his role
If all of me was mnore like him
I'd me a happy soul'
Chanting "Kisses, Bread.
Prove yourself. Push. Shove.
Learn. Earn. look for Love."
Drown a lesser voice
Silent now of choice
"Breathe in peace and be,
Still for once, like me."
I have a jest for all I meet
I have a garland for my head
And all its flowers are sweet
And so you call be gay, she said.
Grief taught me this smile she said
And wrong did teach this jesting bold
These flowers were plucked for garden bed
While a death chime was tolled
Now what will you say she said ..."
Rosie pushed her cart along,
While she pushed she hummed her song.
From one end of town to the other she went,
Walking and humming as if she’d been sent
To pick up the glass, the papers and wire.
She even had with her a big ol’ bald tire.
Some people said that she was sure crazy,
Some people said that she was just lazy,
But Rosie, herself, she could not explain
About the day it began to rain...
on her life.
She had some folks whom she called friends,
They said, “Good mornin’, nice to see you again.”
There was old Willie, tried and true,
He worked down on Bleeker Street polishing shoes.
He’d say: “Miz Rosie, take a load off your feet,
Rest here before you go back on the street.”
On many days she passed by Sally
Who sold hotdogs on McNally.
“Howdy, Rosie,” Sally would say.
“Have you had some lunch today?”
Then she’d take out from her cart
A hot dog...
Rosie touched her heart.
Some afternoons she’d look for Pete,
He swept up litter on the street.
Pete was kind, he’d tip his hat
And talk to her ‘bout this and that.
But Rosie knew, when he seemed blue,
That life was hard on ‘ol Pete too.
One afternoon, well before dark,
She slipped and fell near Fuller Park
A crowd of people stopped to stare,
A woman cried, “Oh my! Her hair!”
No one would lend a helping hand
So Rosie tried her best to stand,
Just then, a young boy came along.
He paused and asked her what was wrong.
Rosie groaned, she grabbed her knee,
“I don’t think I can walk, you see.
It was so kind of you to stop...”
“Hold on,” he said, “I’ll call a cop.”
They loaded Rosie on a stretcher
To take her to the hospital over on Fletcher.
“Don’t worry,” the boy said, “I’ll meet you there.
Your cart will be safe in my care.”
A doctor looked at Rosie’s knee,
(It wasn’t broken, luckily).
An icepack, so it wouldn’t swell,
A kind nurse bandaged her up well:
“Don’t go so soon. Here... rest and mend...”
But Rosie left to find her friend.
The boy recalled, while she was inside,
How the first time he saw her he wanted to hide.
He’d known about Rosie since he was a kid—
That “peculiar cart-lady” down on the skid.
One day his friends threw some rocks at her cart
But the boy felt too sad... No, he couldn’t take part.
He remembered her sitting alongside the curb,
Looking tired and lonely, a little disturbed.
He had stared at those rags that were socks on her feet
He had wondered about her strange life on the street...
How he wanted to help her. But what could he do?
Maybe save up some money to buy her some shoes?
Funny how things had happened today,
How he’d come upon Rosie right there in his way...
Now he was standing and guarding her cart
Somehow it helped that sad place in his heart.
Out on the curb as she spotted the boy
Rosie’s heart filled up with joy.
His word had been true—her cart was all there,
She blinked a tear, she smoothed her hair.
He asked: “Old lady, where’s your home?”
On the streets,” she said, “But I’m fine, alone.”
Old Rosie, she could still remember
Years ago, one cold September
When her life was torn apart.
And when she first packed up her cart.
Somehow it helped to push along
And rock and sing the same old song,
Somehow it helped her not to feel
The pain she could not seem to heal.
Then Rosie said, “I gotta go.
Tonight, I think, it’s gonna snow.
I’d best move on to Bleeker Street,
I know a place to warm my feet.”
Rosie smiled and waved goodbye
And brushed that teardrop from her eye.
“Thank you boy,” he heard her shout,
“Today you really helped me out.”
As the boy went on his way
He thought about this special day—
“Rosie, it’s true that I helped you...
I hope you know you helped me too.”
and put his clothes on in the blue black cold,
and then with cracked hands that ached
from labour in the weekday weather made
banked fires blaze. No one ever thanked him.
When the rooms were warm, he'd call.
and slowly I would rise and dress,
fearing the chronic angers of the house.
who had driven out the cold,
and polished my good shoes as well.
What did I know, what did I know
of love's austere and lonely offices ?"
‘You look like a wrestler yourself I said.
‘So do you,’ he replied, which put me out of my stride for a moment because at the time I was rather thin and bony and not very impressive physically.
‘Yes,’ I said. ‘I wrestle sometimes.’
‘What’s your name?’
‘Deepak,’ I lied.
Deepak was about my fifth name. I had earlier called myself Ranbir, Sudhir, Trilok and Surinder. After this preliminary exchange Arun confined himself to comments on the match, and I didn’t have much to say. After a while he walked away from the crowd of spectators. I followed him.
‘Hallo’ he said. ‘Enjoying yourself?’
I gave him my most appealing smile. ‘I want to work for you” I said.
He didn’t stop walking. ‘And what makes you think I want someone to work for me?’
‘Well” I said, ‘I’ve been wandering about all day looking for the best person to work for. When I saw you I knew that no one else had a chance.’
‘You flatter me” he said.
‘That’s all right.’
‘But you can’t work for me.’
‘Because I can’t pay you.’
I thought that over for a minute. Perhaps I had misjudged my man.
‘Can you feed me?’ I asked.
‘Can you cook?’ he countered.
“I can cook” I lied.
‘If you can cook” he said, Til feed you.’
He took me to his room and told me I could sleep in the verandah. But I was nearly back on the street that night. The meal I cooked must have been pretty awful because Arun gave it to the neighbour’s cat and told me to be off. But I just hung around smiling in my most appealing way and then he couldn’t help laughing. He sat down on the bed and laughed for a full five minutes and later patted me on the head and said, never mind, he’d teach me to cook in the morning. Not only did he teach me to cook but he taught me to write my name and his and said he would soon teach me to write whole sentences and add money on paper when you didn’t have any in your pocket!
It was quite pleasant working for Arun. I made the tea in the morning and later went out shopping. I would take my time buying the day’s supplies and make a profit of about twenty-five paise a day. I would tell Arun that rice was fifty-six paise a pound (it generally was), but I would get it at fifty paise a pound. I think he knew I made a little this way but he didn’t mind. He wasn’t giving me a regular wage.
I was really grateful to Arun for teaching me to write. I knew that once I could write like an educated man there would be no limit to what I could achieve. It might even be an incentive to be honest.
Arun made money by fits and starts. He would be borrowing one week, lending the next. He would keep worrying about his next cheque but as soon as it arrived he would go out and celebrate lavishly.
One evening he came home with a wad of notes and at night I saw him tuck the bundles under his mattress at the head of the bed.I had been working for Arun for nearly a fortnight and, apart from the shopping hadn’t done much to exploit him. I had every opportunity for doing so. I had a key to the front door which meant I had access to the room whenever Arun was out. He was the most trusting person I had ever met. And that was why I couldn’t make up my mind to rob him. It’s easy to rob a greedy man because he deserves to be robbed. It’s easy to rob a rich man because he can afford to be robbed. But it’s difficult to rob a poor man, even one who really doesn’t care if he’s robbed. A rich man or a greedy man or a careful man wouldn’t keep his money under a pillow or mattress. He’d lock it up in a safe place. Arun had put his money where it would be child’s play for me to remove it without his knowledge.
It’s time I did some real work, I told myself. I’m getting out of practice …. If I don’t take the money, he’ll only waste it on his friends …. He doesn’t even pay me ….
Arun was asleep. Moonlight came in from the veranda and fell across the bed. I sat up on the floor, my blanket wrapped round me, considering the situation. There was quite a lot of money in that wad and if I took it I would have to leave town—I might make the 10.30 express to Amritsar ….
Slipping out of the blanket, I crept on all four through the door and up to the bed and peeped at Arun. He was sleeping peacefully with a soft and easy breathing. His face was clear and unlined. Even I had more markings on my face, though mine were mostly scars.
My hand took on an identity of its own as it slid around under the mattress,the fingers searching for the notes. They found them and I drew them out without a crackle.
Arun sighed in his sleep and turned on his side, towards me. My free hand was resting on the bed and his hair touched my fingers. I was frightened when his hair touched my fingers, and crawled quickly and quietly out of the room. When I was in the street I began to run. I ran down the bazaar road to the station. The shops were all closed but a few lights were on in the upper windows. I had the notes at my waist, held there by the string of my pyjamas. I felt I had to stop and count the notes though I knew it might make me late for the train. It was already 10.20 by the clock tower. I slowed down to a walk and my fingers flicked through the notes. There were about a hundred rupees in fives. A good haul. I could live like a prince for a month or two.
When I reached the station I did not stop at the ticket office (I had neverbought a ticket in my life) but dashed straight onto the platform. The Amritsar Express was just moving out. It was moving slowly enough for me to be able to jump on the footboard of one of the carriages but I hesitated for some urgent, unexplainable reason.
I hesitated long enough for the train to leave without me.
When it had gone and the noise and busy confusion of the platform had subsided, I found myself standing alone on the deserted platform. The knowledge that I had a hundred stolen rupees in my pyjamas only increased my feeling of isolation and loneliness. I had no idea where to spend the night. I had never kept any friends because sometimes friends can be one’s undoing. I didn’t want to make myself conspicuous by staying at a hotel. And the only person I knew really well in town was the person I had robbed!
Leaving the station, I walked slowly through the bazaar keeping to dark, deserted alleys. I kept thinking of Arun. He would still be asleep, blissfully unaware of his loss.
I have made a study of men’s faces when they have lost something of material value. The greedy man shows panic, the rich man shows anger, the poor man shows fear. But I knew that neither panic nor anger nor fear would show on Arun’s face when he discovered the theft; only a terrible sadness not for the loss of he money but for my having betrayed his trust. I found myself on the maidan and sat down on a bench with my feet tucked up under my haunches. The night was a little cold and I regretted not having brought Arun’s blanket along. A light drizzle added to my discomfort. Soon it was raining heavily. My shirt and pyjamas stuck to my skin and a cold wind brought the rain whipping across my face. I told myself that sleeping on a bench was something I should have been used to by now but the veranda had softened me.
I walked back to the bazaar and sat down on the steps of a closed shop. A few vagrants lay beside me, rolled up tight in thin blankets. The clock showed midnight. I felt for the notes. They were still with me but had lost their crispness and were damp with rainwater. Arun’s money. In the morning he would probably have given me a rupee to go to the pictures but now I had it all. No more cooking his meals, running to the bazaar, or learning to write whole sentences. Whole sentences ….
They were something I had forgotten in the excitement of a hundred rupees. Whole sentences, I knew, could one day bring me more than a hundred rupees. It was a simple matter to steal (and sometimes just as simple to be caught) but to be a really big man, a wise and successful man, that was something. I should go back to Arun, I told myself, if only to learn how to write.
Perhaps it was also concern for Arun that drew me back. A sense of sympathy is one of my weaknesses, and through hesitation over a theft I had often been 0caught. A successful thief must be pitiless. I was fond of Arun. My affection for him, my sense of sympathy, but most of all my desire to write whole sentences, drew me back to the room.
I hurried back to the room extremely nervous, for it is easier to steal something than to return it undetected. If I was caught beside the bed now, with the money in my hand, or with my hand under the mattress, there could be only one explanation: that I was actually stealing. If Arun woke up I would be lost.
I opened the door clumsily and stood in the doorway in clouded moonlight. Gradually my eyes became accustomed to the darkness of the room. Arun was still asleep. I went on all fours again and crept noiselessly to the head of the bed. My hand came up with the notes. I felt his breath on my fingers. I was fascinated by his tranquil features and easy breathing and remained motionless for a minute. Then my hand explored the mattress, found the edge, slipped under it with the notes.
I awoke late next morning to find that Arun had already made the tea. I found it difficult to face him in the harsh light of day. His hand was stretched out towards me. There was a five-rupee note between his fingers. My heart sank. T made some money yesterday” he said. ‘Now you’ll get paid regularly.’ My spirit rose as rapidly as it had fallen. I congratulated myself on having returned the money.
But when I took the note, I realized that he knew everything. The note was still wet from last night’s rain.
‘Today I’ll teach you to write a little more than your name” he said.
He knew but neither his lips nor his eyes said anything about their knowing.
I smiled at Arun in my most appealing way. And the smile came by itself, without my knowing it.
Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he did not play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. In addition, Teddy could be unpleasant.
It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big "F" at the top of his papers.
At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she put Teddy's off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise.
Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners... he is a joy to be around.."
His second grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle."
His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother's death has been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn't show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken."
Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class."
By now, Mrs. Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper That he got from a grocery bag Mrs. Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one-quarter full of perfume.. But she stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, "Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to." After the children left, she cried for at least an hour.
On that very day, she quit teaching reading, writing and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her "teacher's pets.."
A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling* her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life.
Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in life.
Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs. Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he had ever had in his whole life.
Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer.... The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD.
The story does not end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he had met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit at the wedding in the place that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom.
Of course, Mrs. Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. Moreover, she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together.
They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear, "Thank you Mrs. Thompson for* believing in me. Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference."
Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, "Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach until I met you."
(For you that don't know, Teddy Stoddard is the Dr. at Iowa Methodist Hospital in Des Moines that has the Stoddard Cancer Wing.)
Warm someone's heart today. . . pass this along. I love this story so very much, I cry every time I read it. Just try to make a difference in someone's life today? tomorrow? Just "do it".
Random acts of kindness, I think they call it?
"Believe in Angels, then return the favor."
Irena smuggled Jewish infants out in the bottom of the tool box she carried. She also carried a burlap sack in the back of her truck, for larger kids.
Irena kept a dog in the back that she trained to bark when the Nazi soldiers let her in and out of the ghetto. The soldiers, of course, wanted nothing to do with the dog and the barking covered the kids/infants noises.
During her time of doing this, she managed to smuggle out and save 2500 kids/infants. Ultimately, she was caught, however, and the Nazi's broke both of her legs and arms and beat her severely.
Irena kept a record of the names of all the kids she had smuggled out, In a glass jar that she buried under a tree in her back yard. After the war, she tried to locate any parents that may have survived and tried to reunite the family. Most had been gassed. Those kids she helped got placed into foster family homes or adopted.
In 2007 Irena was up for the Nobel Peace Prize. She was not selected. Al Gore won, for a slide show on Global Warming.
By Lisa A. McCrohan
- Thomas Love Peacock
when, with elation
you will greet yourself arriving
at your own door, in your own mirror
and each will smile at the other's welcome,
You will love again the stranger who was your self.
Give wine. Give bread. Give back your heart
to itself, to the stranger who has loved you
all your life, whom you ignored
for another, who knows you by heart.
Take down the love letters from the bookshelf,
peel your own image from the mirror.
Sit. Feast on your life."
Always on the run
Chasing our dreams
We met each time -...
At baggage claims
Check- in counters
Stood a while together
Among gaping crowds
Spoke, unspoken words
Yearning to share
Yet afraid, afraid
All around us
People cheering, leering
And we, like spectacles
Amidst all the madness
Trying to live a moment
A glance, a touch
A feeling to hold on to
And move on…
The last time we sat together
Waiting for a flight
I remember I’d said,
‘There must be another way
Of living this life!’
For a long time
You remained silent
You are gone, and
I’m still running…
To prove you wrong . . .
THE WELL OF GRIEF
the still surface on the well of grief,
to the place we cannot breathe,
the secret water, cold and clear,
the small round coins,
thrown by those who wished for something else."
Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias.
Say that your main crop is the forest
that you did not plant,
that you will not live to harvest....
Say that the leaves are harvested
when they have rotted into the mold.
Call that profit. Prophesy such returns.
that will build under the trees
every thousand years.
Listen to carrion – put your ear
close, and hear the faint chattering
of the songs that are to come.
Expect the end of the world. Laugh.
Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful
though you have considered all the facts.
for power, please women more than men.
Ask yourself: Will this satisfy
a woman satisfied to bear a child?
Will this disturb the sleep
of a woman near to giving birth?
Lie down in the shade. Rest your head
in her lap. Swear allegiance
to what is nighest your thoughts.
from "Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front” (excerpt)
What -- what can I give you in return?...
If you wanted the moon,
I would try to make a start... But I
Would rather you let me give my heart
To Sir, With Love" !!!
"Those schoolgirl days
Of telling tales, and biting nails, are gone
But in my mind,
I know they will still live on and on
But how do you thank someone
Who has taken you from crayons to perfume?
It isn't easy, but I'll try
If you wanted the sky,
I would write across the sky in letters,
That would soar a thousand feet high:
"To Sir, With Love"
Have hurried by. Why did they fly away?
Why is it, Sir,
Children grow up to be people one day?
What takes the place of climbing trees,
And dirty knees in the world outside?
What is there for you I can buy?
If you wanted the world,
I'd surround it with walls. I'd scrawl
In letters ten feet tall:
"To Sir, With Love"
For closing books; and long last looks must end
And as I leave,
I know that I am leaving my best friend
A friend who taught me right from wrong,
And weak from strong -- that's a lot to learn
What -- what can I give you in return?
If you wanted the moon,
I would try to make a start... But I
Would rather you let me give my heart
To Sir, With Love")
What can I pluck it out of
Or plunge it into
When you are all the world.
Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.
Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.
It is our Light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented and fabulous?
Actually, who are you not to Be?
You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn’t serve the world.
There’s nothing Enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.
We were born to make and manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Krishna, turned two mountains into gold.
Then said "Arjuna, distribute these two Gold mountains among villagers, but you must donate every bit of it ".
Arjuna went into the village, and proclaimed he was going to donate gold to every villager, and asked them to gather near the mountain. The villagers sang his praises and Arjuna walked towards the mountain with a huffed up chest.
For two days and two nights Arjuna shovelled gold from the mountain and donated to each villager. The mountains did not diminish in their slightest.
Most villagers came back and stood in queue within minutes. Now Arjuna was exhausted, but not ready to let go of Ego, told Krishna he couldn't go on any longer without rest.
Here Krishna called कर्ण and told him to donate every bit of two Gold mountains.
कर्ण called two villagers, and said "Those two Gold mountains are yours " and walked away.
Arjuna sat dumbfounded. Why hadn't this thought occurred to him?
Krishna smiled mischievously and told him "Arjuna, subconsciously, you were attracted to the gold, you regretfully gave it away to each villager, giving them what you thought was a generous amount. Thus the size of your donation to each villager depended only on your imagination.
कर्ण holds no such reservations. Look at him walking away after giving away a fortune, he doesn't expect people to sing his praises, he doesn't even care if people talk good or bad about him behind his back. That is the sign of a man already on the path of enlightenment".