Today’s Reflection: Keeping it Simple

Making the simple complicated is commonplace; making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, that’s creativity. ~ Charles Mingus

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If ~ Rudyard Kipling

If


Rudyard Kipling


If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you; 
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too:
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or, being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise; 

If you can dream- -and not make dreams your master; 
If you can think- -and not make thoughts your aim,
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same:.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build'em up with worn-out tools; 

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings,
And never breathe a word about your loss:
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on! '

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
Or walk with Kings- -nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much:
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And- -which is more- -you'll be a Man, my son! 

A Question ~ Robert Frost

A Question


Robert Frost


A voice said, Look me in the stars
And tell me truly, men of earth,
If all the soul-and-body scars
Were not too much to pay for birth.

Courage ~ Anne Sexton

Courage


Anne Sexton


It is in the small things we see it.
The child's first step, 
as awesome as an earthquake.
The first time you rode a bike, 
wallowing up the sidewalk.
The first spanking when your heart
went on a journey all alone.
When they called you crybaby
or poor or fatty or crazy
and made you into an alien, 
you drank their acid
and concealed it.

Later, 
if you faced the death of bombs and bullets
you did not do it with a banner, 
you did it with only a hat to
comver your heart.
You did not fondle the weakness inside you
though it was there.
Your courage was a small coal
that you kept swallowing.
If your buddy saved you
and died himself in so doing, 
then his courage was not courage, 
it was love; love as simple as shaving soap.

Later, 
if you have endured a great despair, 
then you did it alone, 
getting a transfusion from the fire, 
picking the scabs off your heart, 
then wringing it out like a sock.
Next, my kinsman, you powdered your sorrow, 
you gave it a back rub
and then you covered it with a blanket
and after it had slept a while
it woke to the wings of the roses
and was transformed.

Later, 
when you face old age and its natural conclusion
your courage will still be shown in the little ways, 
each spring will be a sword you'll sharpen, 
those you love will live in a fever of love, 
and you'll bargain with the calendar
and at the last moment
when death opens the back door
you'll put on your carpet slippers
and stride out. 

Today’s Reflection ~ Path to Success

The idea that the harder you work, the better you’re going to be is just garbage. The greatest improvement is made by the man or woman who works most intelligently. ~ Bob Bowerman

The Three Hermits ~ Yeats

The Three Hermits

William Butler Yeats

Three old hermits took the air 
By a cold and desolate sea, 
First was muttering a prayer, 
Second rummaged for a flea; 
On a windy stone, the third, 
Giddy with his hundredth year, 
Sang unnoticed like a bird. 
'Though the Door of Death is near 
And what waits behind the door, 
Three times in a single day 
I, though upright on the shore, 
Fall asleep when I should pray.' 
So the first but now the second, 
'We're but given what we have earned 
When all thoughts and deeds are reckoned, 
So it's plain to be discerned 
That the shades of holy men, 
Who have failed being weak of will, 
Pass the Door of Birth again, 
And are plagued by crowds, until 
They've the passion to escape.' 
Moaned the other, 'They are thrown 
Into some most fearful shape.' 
But the second mocked his moan: 
'They are not changed to anything, 
Having loved God once, but maybe, 
To a poet or a king 
Or a witty lovely lady.' 
While he'd rummaged rags and hair, 
Caught and cracked his flea, the third, 
Giddy with his hundredth year 
Sang unnoticed like a bird.