Hope ~ Czeslaw Milosz


Czeslaw Milosz

Hope is with you when you believe
The earth is not a dream but living flesh,
that sight, touch, and hearing do not lie,
That all thing you have ever seen here
Are like a garden looked at from a gate.
You cannot enter. But you’re sure it’s there.
Could we but look more clearly and wisely
We might discover somewhere in the garden
A strange new flower and an unnamed star.
Some people say that we should not trust our eyes,
That there is nothing, just a seeming,
There are the ones who have no hope.
They think the moment we turn away,
The world, behind our backs, ceases to exist,
As if snatched up by the hand of thieves.

Today’s Reflection: You’re Needed

No one has a right to sit down and feel hopeless. There’s too much work to do. ~ Dorothy Day

Does Grieving Ever End?

A reader of my book, Dancing Alone: Learning to Live Again, asked me if grieving ever ends. I posted a YouTube video with my response.

I Have Learned So Much ~ Hafiz

I Have Learned So Much


So much from God
That I can no longer
A Christian, a Hindu, a Muslim,
A Buddhist, a Jew.
The Truth has shared so much of Itself
With me
That I can no longer call myself
A man, a woman, an angel,
Or even pure
Love has
Befriended Hafiz so completely
It has turned to ash
And freed
Of every concept and image
My mind has ever known.

Sunshine & Shadow ~ Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Sunshine and Shadow

Ella Wheeler Wilcox

Life has its shadows, as well as its sun; 
Its lights and its shades, all twined together.
I tried to single them out, one by one, 
Single and count them, determining whether
There was less blue than there was grey, 
And more of the deep night than of the day.
But dear me, dear me, my task’s but begun, 
And I am not half way into the sun.

For the longer I look on the bright side of earth, 
The more of the beautiful do I discover; 
And really, I never knew what life was worth
Till I searched the wide storehouse of happiness over.
It is filled from the cellar well up to the skies, 
With things meant to gladden the heart and the eyes.
The doors are unlocked, you can enter each room, 
That lies like a beautiful garden in bloom.

Yet life has its shadow, as well as its sun; 
Earth has its storehouse of joy and sorrow.
But the first is so wide – and my task’s but begun –
That the last must be left for a far-distant morrow.
I will count up the blessings God gave in a row, 
But dear me! When I get through them, I know
I shall have little tine left for the rest, 
For life is a swift-flowing river at best. 

Courage He Said ~ Jessie Redmon Fauset

Courage He Said

Jessie Redmon Fauset

ULYSSES, debarking in the Lotos Land, 
Struck the one note that the hapless Ithacans 
Travel-sick, mazed, bemused, could understand, 
And understanding, follow.

'Courage,' he said, 'remember, is not Hope!' 
He left the worn, safe ship, spume-stained and hollow. 
'To be courageous is to face despair.' 
And through the groves and 'thwart the ambient air 
Resounded reedy echoes: 
'Face despair!'

But this they understood. 
And plunging on prepared for best, and most prepared 
For worst, found only in their stride 
A deep umbrageous wood, 
And grassy plains where they disported; eased 
And bathed lame feet within a purling stream 
And murmured: 'Here, Odysseus, would we fain abide!'

But neither the stream's sweet ease 
Nor the shade of the vast beech-trees, 
Nor the blessed sense 
Of the sweet, sweet soil 
Beneath feet salt-cracked and worn 
Brought to them even then, 
(Still fainting and frayed and forlorn), 
Such complete recompense 
As the knowledge that once again 
Facing the new and untried, 
They had kept the courage of men!