I. INNER RESOLVE
« I can be changed by what happens to me. But I refuse to be reduced by it. » ― Maya Angelou
« If you wanna fly you got to give up the shit that weighs you down. » ― Toni Morrison
« And that is just the point… how the world, moist and beautiful, calls to each of us to make a new and serious response. That’s the big question, the one the world throws at you every morning. “Here you are, alive. Would you like to make a comment?” » ― Mary Oliver
“Winter is the time for comfort, for good food and warmth, for the touch of a friendly hand and for a talk beside the fire: it is the time for home.”
― Edith Sitwell
FIRST SNOW by Arthur Sze
A rabbit has stopped on the gravel driveway;
imbibing the silence,you stare at spruce needles:
there’s no sound of a leaf blower
no sign of a black bear;
a few weeks ago, a buck scraped his rack
against an aspen trunk;
a carpenter scribed a plank along a curved stone wall.
You only spot the rabbit’s ears and tail:
When it moves, you locate it against the speckled gravel;
but when it stops it blends in again;
the world of being is like this gravel;
you think you own a car, a house,
this blue zigzagged shirt, but you just borrow
Yesterday, you constructed an aqueduct of dreams
and stood at Gibraltar,
but you possess nothing.
Snow melts into a pool of clear water;
and, in this stillness,
starlight behind daylight wherever you gaze.
“The more one is able to leave one’s cultural home, the more easily is one able to judge it, and the whole world as well, with the spiritual detachment and generosity necessary for true vision. The more easily, too, does one assess oneself and alien cultures with the same combination of intimacy and distance.”
― Edward Said, Orientalism
« It’s not like your personality changes when you speak a different language.
It’s more like you’re just putting on a different pair of glasses through which to see the world each time. » —Alex Rawlings, polyglot
THE MEANING OF HOME
Home is a place, like no other place can compare.
It gives a wonderful feeling that everybody should share.
It is the place where you find lots of new things to discover
It’s the place where all your injuries recover.
When you look at it you smile so bright.
So you think to yourself, what a beautiful sight.
You learn even more things there that you never knew.
You learn what is false, and what is true.
You learn to walk, crawl and run at home.
You will find lots of new places to roam.
Think about the times you share with family.
All the moments you spend, smiling with glee.
The memories you make there will never fade.
There is almost never a time there when you are afraid.
When I see someone without the warm feeling that I feel,
I think to myself that, this can’t be real.
But there’s a sad truth that’s looming around.
It’s been here for days, waiting to be found.
That sad truth is one that I hate to say.
There are people around who have no place to stay.
They don’t feel the same warmth and love as we do.
They don’t have the life we’re used to.
But we can bring them the help they need.
I know we can, and we will succeed.
We have let it rest for much too long.
Let’s give them a place where they feel they belong.
We can all make a difference today.
And we can fix the world the right way.
IV. FROM SHAKESPEARE’S MACBETH
Nothing in his life
Became him like the leaving it.
—Malcolm’s comment on the execution of the Thane of Cawdor, whose title was then given to Macbeth.
“To-morrow, and to-morrow, and to-morrow,
Creeps in this petty pace from day to day,
To the last syllable of recorded time;
And all our yesterdays have lighted fools
The way to dusty death. Out, out, brief candle!
Life’s but a walking shadow, a poor player,
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage,
And then is heard no more. It is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
“Give sorrow words; the grief that does not speak knits up the o-er wrought heart and bids it break.”– Malcolm, from Macbeth