Saturday, September 29, 2007

New Twist On An Old Proverb...

“Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away. Plus, you'll have their shoes.”
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Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Courage Is...

"The Death Of Socrates" by Jacque Louis David
"Courage is almost a contradiction in terms.
It means a strong desire to live, taking the form of a readiness to die."
-Gilbert Keith Chesterton

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Monday, September 17, 2007

Courage Is...

"Napoleon" By Jacques Louis David

Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you're scared to death.
-Harold Wilson

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Smoe Itnresetnig Inofmration

Aoccdrnig to rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer in waht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoetnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be at the rghit pclae. The rset can be a tatol mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe.

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Saturday, September 15, 2007

The King's Picture

I love this because it is a beautiful reminder of the fact that we are every one of us made in His image and, for that reason, if no other, we are all precious in His sight...

The king from the council chamber
Came weary and sore of heart;
He called to Cliff, the painter,
And spoke to him thus apart:
"I'm sickened of faces ignoble,
Hypocrites, cowards, and knaves;
I shall shrink to their shrunken measure,
Chief slave in a realm of slaves.
Paint me a true man's picture,
Gracious and wise and good,
Dowered with the strength of heroes
And the beauty of womanhood.
It shall hang in my inmost chamber,
That, thither when I retire,
It may fill my soul with its grandeur,
And warm it with sacred fires."
So the artist painted the picture,
And it hung in the palace hall;
Never a thing so lovely
Had garnished the stately wall.
The King, with head uncovered,
Gazed on it with rapt delight,
Till it suddenly wore strange meaning -
Baffled his questioning sight.
For the form was the supplest courtier's,
Perfect in every limb;
But the bearing was that of the henchman
Who filled the flagons for him;
The brow was a priest's who pondered
His parchment early and late;
The eye was the wandering minstrel's
Who sang at the palace gate.
The lips, half sad and half mirthful,
With a fitful trembling grace,
Were the very lips of a woman
He had kissed in the market place;
But the smiles which curves transfigured,
As a rose with its shimmer of dew,
Was the smile of the wife who loved him,
Queen Ethelyn, good and true.
"Then learn, O King," said the artist,
"this truth that the picture tells-
That in every form of the human
Some hint of the highest dwells;
That scanning each living temple
For the place that the veil is thin,
We may gather by beautiful glimpses
The form of the God within."
-Helen L.B. Bostwick
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Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Rules Of Economics

"You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot help small men by tearing down big men.
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than your income.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatreds.
You cannot establish security on borrowed money.
You cannot build character and courage by taking away a man's initiative and independence.
You cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they could and should do for themselves."
-Abraham Lincoln

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

"Ceaseless Rosemary"

Emily Dickinson has a clever trick of writing absolute nonsense. (Perhaps this is part of the reason why her poetry expresses so much of the inexpressible.) She also breaks the rules of writing by inventing new phrases. These are usually phrases we have never heard before -- phrases that don't make sense. How then, is it that we know exactly what she means?

"Essential oils -- are wrung --
The Attar from the Rose
Be not expressed by Suns -- alone --
It is the gift of Screws.

The General Rose -- decay--
But this -- in Lady’s Drawer,
Makes Summer -- When the lady lies
In Ceaseless Rosemary."
-Emily Dickinson

In reading the poem above, I found something particularly intriguing about the beautiful phrase at the end of the poem: "Ceaseless Rosemary." It's certainly a new phrase- I mean, who ever heard of Eternity referred to as "Ceaseless Rosemary"? I decided to do some research on the topic and came up with interesting results: It turns out that the word "Rosemary" is actually commonly used in old literature to symbolize remembrance. Shakespeare says: “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance; pray, love, remember;" "Ceaseless" is literally defined as "endless" or "constant." I guess that "Ceaseless Rosemary" not only sounds good , but it makes sense too!

If I researched every unusual phrase in Emily Dickinson's poetry, I'd probably end up with quite a tidy little collection of facts...

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