31 May 2005

How sad it is when there is no more wonder to the world. For it is not the world that has suddenly emptied itself of its marvels, but the soul who has somehow exhausted its capability to be so delighted. I imagine there are some (very few, I would like to hope) who never really regain that childlike ability to be fascinated, who die cynical. But in my believing, there are more things even in our own selves than are dreamt of in our imaginings (with apologies to Shakespeare). Sometimes we give up on the world, but find the world hasn’t given up on us, and maybe a magic perturbation of events lights in a tired soul new energy. For there is always wonder to the world, even in the tired things, even when we refuse to see how it could possibly apply to me, here, now.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

30 May 2005

It is for us, in whom the Christian Church is at this moment partially embodied, to declare that Christianity, that the Christian faith can do that for the world which the world needs. You say, “What can I do?” You can furnish one Christian life. You can furnish a life so faithful to every duty, so ready for every service, so determined not to commit every sin, that the great Christian Church shall be the stronger for your living in it, and the problem of the world be answered, and a certain great peace come into this poor, perplexed phase of our humanity as it sees that new revelation of what Christianity is.

– Phillips Brooks

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Alone, in the solemn still of midnight, some unnamed park,
It was not a ritual, but something merely from in my heart:
I undressed, and naked, I bent down and kissed the grassy Earth.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

28 May 2005

Well, the deputy walks on hard nails and the preacher rides a mount
But nothing really matters much, it’s doom alone that counts
And the one-eyed undertaker, he blows a futile horn.
“Come in,” she said,
“I’ll give you shelter from the storm.”

– Bob Dylan

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Saint Michael

Click on the pic for a larger version.
(Email me if you know who did this.)

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

27 May 2005

I have desired an end to pain, and then wonder what of the wisdom of the world I am missing.

I have desired wings most of all, but on second consideration understood that a halo is better.

I have desired death (or thought I did) more than once — or was it just to escape?

I have desired power over the forces of nature rather than over human beings: less danger in that.

I have desired love, like we all, then realize I had never really done nothing about it.

I have desired riches, and desired fame, but then wondered if it is only because we all do.

I have desired to be a Godly man, if it was not so inconvenient, thinking I could squeeze it in….

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

26 May 2005

Sometimes it is enough. Sometimes — rare times, I find — you have done all that is required to meet the challenge, and rise as if the victor of some contest of life. Often that is not sufficient to quiet us, however, to those who drink of such sweetness; often, one merely moves on, with barely an acknowledgement of what has transpired, to whatever is next in an endless supply of happenings to deal with. I think maybe it is that it is such a rare taste, it is a flavor we do not know how to react to, and we rather go on, back to the gristle of effort — a taste that we know how to swallow. Many of us simply do not know what to do when we win. Perhaps, myself, I will be more on the lookout for such times: when suddenly, that pang of desire one had clung to for so long no longer cries out. When your head is suddenly clear of a great weight looming overhead. And nobody is yelling at you anymore to hurry up. I think I shall go out past midnight on such a night, and sip wine underneath the stars: stars who will wink at me, as if they knew I could do it, all along.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

24 May 2005

The ordinary group of worshipping Christians, as the preacher sees them from the pulpit, does not look like a collection of very joyful people, in fact, they look on the whole rather sad, tired, depressed people. It is certain that such people will never win the world for Christ… It is no use trying to pretend: we may speak of joy and preach about it: but, unless we really have the joy of Christ in our hearts and manifest it, our words will carry no conviction to our hearers.

– Stephen Neill

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Slip

I slip from the gravity
of my emotional mass
just for a moment.
Though I am for the most part
a flightless ego,
lightness in me can filter
to the very heart of my moving,
and I lift as if
a sudden bloom lifting off
from its earthborn stalk, away
in timeless abandon.
I might reach down
with a long stretch of imagination
and plant fallen stars
back up in their skybound farms;
I might drift so far
sound forgets me,
and in silence
deep as a lover’s eyes
I swim through the ether.
And I think not
of my life within sunken walls,
not while I navigate these
fleeting, infallible aerials —
there is not
but the song of moonlight.
I imagine that if I kept going,
I would breach
the very floor of Heaven,
to rise at the feet of God.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

23 May 2005

I have thought I am nothing without my dreams. And I have had great ones, that would define generations to come, that would upturn the most famous of paradigms, that would ensure the immortality of my name. What would I be if I did not achieve all that was in my potential to become? Would I not have failed my very Creator? Yet as I go on through these days, these weeks, these months, I have begun to realize that I do not really want those things that achievement of such greatness implies. For instance, I don’t want to be rich. It was a nice thought, some time back, never having to work except what you desired to do — but that lure was to a trap, in my thinking. I realized that such easy accessibility to any and all material desires makes for a mushy, unfocused soul. At least, I believe it would in my case. Things such as great wealth, and fame: my being is too undisciplined for these to be healthy attainments.

I wonder if many of us who are driven to succeed — I wonder if many, if any, step back and ask ourselves why we desire the things we do. I am beginning to do that now, and I understand a little about myself. I have spent a little time away from my dreams, and though I know I shall return to them, I think perhaps I have found some worth outside of the grandeur of such potentia. It is perhaps finding the worth of life without the artifices of what is known to modern man as “success”. Ashes to ashes, dust to dust — from dust you were made, and to dust you shall return, but in between, truly, is life. Meaning can be had from the barest of existences, and your dreams need not come true for you to be worthy of the world, and the world worthy of you. There’s just one question to ask of us, before we are laid to final rest: “Was it love?” And however you want to interpret it, if the answer is yes — there’s nothing more to ask.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

21 May 2005

Who can find himself? The one who has courage enough to lose himself.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Louis I. Kahn
Salk Institute for Biological Studies


Click on the pic for a larger version.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

20 May 2005

I am a sinner. Let me always remember that. Let me never think, instead, that you are a sinner, for it may be true, but that is not up to me to realize — I have enough to deal with when I think on myself. To think the second is to pray to God and say, thank You for making me not like that fallen one, thank You for setting me above such criminals. He thinks the first who is that fallen one, who cannot even raise his eyes, but prays merely, forgive me. Do you remember who is justified? That he who is tall and proud shall be hewn down, and the humble exalted? It is that he who sees all the faults of another makes no room in his eyes for his own, and faults does everyone have. We all fall short of the glory. The man who says his thanks for making him not so base as the sinner — he is even worse than that sinner. Because in not letting himself see his sins, he remains in them; while the sinner who asks forgiveness is cleansed.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

19 May 2005

Men love to trust God (as they profess) for what they have in their hands, in possession, or what lies in an easy view; place their desires afar off, carry their accomplishment behind the clouds out of their sight, interpose difficulties and perplexities—their hearts are instantly sick. They cannot wait for God; they do not trust Him, nor ever did. Would you have the presence of God with you? Learn to wait quietly for the salvation you expect from Him.

– John Owen

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

I wonder what would have happened if I’d said what I thought.
I cannot help but imagine that life, now strange, and untested.
Inside my head so loud, what if she had heard it? “I love you….”

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

17 May 2005

Wisdom has the unfortunate quality that it usually has to be put in to words. A slap in the face may get your attention, but generally, it needs to be explained or else you think the person who did the slapping has something wrong with him — and that there is nothing wrong with you.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:02 am

Sometimes my heart weighs as much as the world. Sometimes a thought dwells in me as if lost in the sea, in depths that crush a man. I try not to dwell in these gravities, but how they drag the whole of my being so that I may not move to brighter fields. Too, I have been in times where I feel as if I were going to float off into the clouds, when I feel that light, but they seem to inspire less the poet in me. (Rare, I think, the poet whom those kind of times do inspire.) But do not sit here and listen to someone who is so down but not oppressed. Complaining put into flowery words makes it not so that the dirt that is dug up is any more nutritious to digest. Go outside and play, for somewhere in the world it is a sunny day, and a blue sky welcomes all who would have adventure.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

16 May 2005

There are those who despair that they know not what time will make of them. Yet time does not pass outside our seeing; even when we sleep, we dream. They merely forget that these decisions we make as stopgap measures — often these are the things that define us. They act as if they are asleep while their eyes are open, and let themselves dream blindly; they look toward a day that never comes, and waste the days that they are given. To listen to the one who said to seize the day: this, now, what we have at the present is all we have to make a life; tomorrow may never come; and to understand this is acceptance of reality. Know that what time will make of us is only what we make of ourselves. And do not stop to despair — live, instead.

posted by John H. Doe @ 12:01 am

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