Silence speaks

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There are all kinds of silences and each of them means a different thing.

There is the silence that comes with morning in a forest,
and this is different from the silence of a sleeping city.

There is silence after a rainstorm,
and before a rainstorm,
and these are not the same.

There is the silence of emptiness,
the silence of fear,
the silence of doubt.

There is a certain silence that can emanate from a lifeless object as from a chair lately used,
or from a piano with old dust upon its keys,
or from anything that has answered to the need of a man,
for pleasure or for work.

This kind of silence can speak.

Its voice may be melancholy,
but it is not always so;
for the chair may have been left by a laughing child or the last notes of the piano may have been raucous and gay.

There is a silence appears like fine flakes at first,
but becoming gradually heavier;
a blue and white dazzling light on everything one sees,
the ice-covered branches of the hemlocks sparkle,
bending low and tinkling in the sharp thin breeze,
and iridescent crystals fall and crackle on the snow-crust
with the winter sun drawing cold blue shadows from the trees

Whatever the mood or the circumstance,
the essence of its quality may linger in the silence that follows.

It is a soundless echo.

March 2019 – 湯沢高原スキー場, Tokyo, Japan.

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Eat, Pray, Love

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The only thing more unthinkable than leaving was staying;

the only thing more impossible than staying was leaving.

I didn’t want to destroy anything or anybody.

I just wanted to slip quietly out the back door,

without causing any fuss or consequences,

and then not stop running until I reached Greenland.

November 2016 – Zaanse Schans, the Netherlands.

One day

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Every quote,

every book,

every film seemed to suggest that

one day’ someone would

come into her life

and love her with an intensity

and a passion she had never experienced before.

And to their credit they were right;

It all came;

and went so fast;

it really did feel

as if it were just

one day

February 2019 – Sabah, Malaysia

Love strikes away the chains of fear

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We, unaccustomed to courage
exiles from delight
live coiled in shells of loneliness
until love leaves its high holy temple
and comes into our sight
to liberate us into life.

Love arrives
and in its train come ecstasies
old memories of pleasure
ancient histories of pain.
Yet if we are bold,
love strikes away the chains of fear
from our souls.

We are weaned from our timidity
In the flush of love’s light
we dare be brave
And suddenly we see
that love costs all we are
and will ever be.
Yet it is only love
which sets us free…

March 2018 – Bali, Indonesia

Hymn to a Good Wife


Finish my book of Proverbs on the last day of the new month.
This last passage has become my goal.
Wisdom gets you everywhere !

Hymn to a Good Wife

A good woman is hard to find,
and worth far more than diamonds.
Her husband trusts her without reserve,
and never has reason to regret it.
Never spiteful, she treats him generously all her life long.

She shops around for the
best yarns and cottons,
and enjoys knitting and sewing.
She’s like a trading ship
that sails to faraway places
and brings back exotic surprises.

She’s up before dawn,
preparing breakfast for her family and organizing her day.
She looks over a field and buys it,
then, with money she’s put aside, plants a garden.

First thing in the morning,
she dresses for work,
rolls up her sleeves, eager to get started.
She senses the worth of her work,
is in no hurry to call it quits for the day.
She’s skilled in the crafts of home and hearth, diligent in homemaking.

She’s quick to assist anyone in need,
reaches out to help the poor.
She doesn’t worry about her family when it snows;
their winter clothes are all mended and ready to wear.
She makes her own clothing,
and dresses in colorful linens and silks.

Her husband is greatly respected when he deliberates with the city fathers.
She designs gowns and sells them, brings the sweaters she knits to the dress shops.
Her clothes are well-made and elegant,
and she always faces tomorrow with a smile.

When she speaks she has something worthwhile to say,
and she always says it kindly.
She keeps an eye on everyone in her household,and keeps them all busy and productive.

Her children respect and bless her;
her husband joins in with words of praise: “Many women have done wonderful things,but you’ve outclassed them all!”

Charm can mislead
and beauty soon fades.
The woman to be admired and praised
is the woman who lives in the Fear-of-God.

Give her everything she deserves!
Festoon her life with praises!

Proverbs 31:10-31

Mouthful of Forevers


There will always be those
who say you are too young and delicate
to make anything happen for yourself.

They don’t see the part of you
that smolders.
Don’t let their doubting drown out
the sound of your own heartbeat.

You are the first drop of rain in a hurricane.

Your bravery builds beyond you.
You are needed by all the little girls
still living in secret,
writing oceans made of monsters,
and throwing like lightning.

You don’t need to grow up
to find greatness.
You are so much stronger
than the world
has ever believed you could be.

The world is waiting for you
to set it on fire.

Trust in yourself;

and burn.

So Will I

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God of Your promise
You don’t speak in vain
No syllable empty or void
For once You have spoken
All nature and science
Follow the sound of Your voice

And as You speak
A hundred billion creatures catch Your breath
Evolving in pursuit of what You said
If it all reveals Your nature so will I

I can see Your heart in everything You say
Every painted sky
A canvas of Your grace
If creation still obeys You so will I
So will I …

2018 – Borneo, Malaysia.

Return from Rainbow Bridge

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Have you ever walked along a beach?
You walk towards something in the distance.
For the longest while it never seems to get any closer even though you are walking and walking.

Then all of a sudden, you are there.
You’ve arrived at last.
That’s what grief is like.

Meanwhile we are running with you in the spray of the surf at the edge of the shore where the sand meets the sea.
We are cheering you on.

March 2014 – Bali, Indonesia.

Oksana Rus

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Tipani flower skies blazing rapture of color laced tree crowns silhouettes along the ocean diamond necklaced beach…
of my heart in fragrance of love spilled by caressing kisses of the sun opening the gates to dive deep through away to horizons with no return…”

Silhouette
/sɪlʊˈɛt/

noun: silhouette; plural noun: silhouettes

1. the dark shape and outline of someone or something visible in restricted light against a brighter background.

March 2014 – Bali, Indonesia.

PS. You have to be brave

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You don’t fall in love like you fall in a hole.
You fall like falling through space.

It’s like you jump off your own private planet to visit someone else’s planet. And when you get there it all looks different: the flowers, the animals, the colours people wear.

It is a big surprise falling in love because you thought you had everything just right on your own planet, and that was true, in a way, but then somebody signaled to you across space and the only way you could visit was to take a giant jump…

And you can bring your friends to visit.
And read your favorite stories to each other.
And the falling was really the big jump that you had to make to be with someone you don’t want to be without.

That’s it.

March 2014 – Bali, Indonesia.

Remembrance Year – the long way

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Remember how we forgot?

Once upon a time, we were young
Our dreams hung like apples
Waiting to be picked and peeled

And hope was something needing
to be reeled-in
So we can fill the always empty big fish bin with the one that got away
And proudly say that “this time, impossible is not an option”

Because success is so akin to effort and opportunity they could be related
So we took ‘Chances’
We figure skated on thin ice
Believed that each slice of life was served with something sweet
on the side

And failure was never nearly as important as the fact that we tried
That in the war against frailty
and limitation
We supplied the determination it takes to make ideas and goals the parents of ‘Possibility’

And we believe ourselves to be members of this family
Not just one branch on one tree
But a forest whose roots make up a dynasty …

December 2015 – Death Valley, Eastern California, USA.

Nightingale


You are such a potent wine, my friend.
To escape your withdrawal effects,
tomorrow I will drink in excess.

I was a harp you immaculately
plucked at will.
Your score, the nightingale song within
notes composed to imprison
and bear me wings.
Oh, if only they could hear how it sings!

I am now beyond parched.
My strings left untouched.
You are no longer an oasis, my friend,
but a mirage soon coming to an end.

A Map of the Known World

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They say no land remains to be discovered,
no continent is left unexplored.
But the whole world is out there, waiting, just waiting for me.

I want to do things
— I want to walk the rain-soaked streets of London, and drink mint tea in Casablanca.
I want to wander the wastelands of the Gobi desert and see a yak.
I think my life’s ambition is to see a yak.

I want to bargain for trinkets in an Arab market in some distant, dusty land. There’s so much.
But, most of all,
I want to do things that will mean something.

March 2014 – Bali, Indonesia.

West with the Night

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We swung over the hills and over the town and back again,
and I saw how a man can be master of a craft, and how a craft can be master of an element.

I saw the alchemy of perspective reduce my world, and all my other life,
to grains in a cup.

I learned to watch, to put my trust in other hands than mine.
And I learned to wander.
I learned what every dreaming child needs to know — that no horizon is so far that you cannot get above it or beyond it.

September 2018 – Up above the 36,000 ft.

Sara Teasdale

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I thought of you and how you love this beauty, and walking up the long beach all alone.

I heard the waves breaking in measured thunder, as you and I once heard their monotone.

Around me were the echoing dunes, beyond me the cold and sparkling silver of the sea —

We two will pass through death and ages lengthen, before you hear that sound again with me.

August 2018 – Brighton, Victoria, Australia.

You Speak

You liberate me from my own noise and my own chaos
From the chains of a lesser law You set me free

In the silence of the heart You speak
And it is there that I will know You
And You will know me

In the silence of the heart
You speak, You speak

You satisfy me till I am quiet and confident
In the work of the Spirit I cannot see

In the silence of the heart You speak

Nicole Bailey-Williams

I was a dandelion puff…

Some saw the beauty in me and stooped quietly to admire my innocence.

Others saw the potential of what I could do for them,
so they uprooted me, seeking to shape me around their needs.
They blew at my head, scattering my hair from the roots,
changing me to suit them.

Yet still others saw me as something that was unworthy and needed to be erased.

Flower Dance

Lucy:“They serve the purpose of changing hydrogen into breathable oxygen,and they’re as necessary here as the air is, on Earth.”

Ray:“But I still say……they’re flowers.”

Lucy:“If you like.”

Ray:“Do you sell them?”

Lucy:“I’m afraid not.”

Ray:“But, maybe we can make a deal.”

Lucy:“What do you mean?”

Ray:“Oh, you see, you won’t have to send them anywhere. I’ll pay for them, and then, I’ll leave them here, for you.”

Ursula K. Le Guin

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There was a wall.
It did not look important.
It was built of uncut rocks roughly mortared.
An adult could look right over it,
and even a child could climb it.

Where it crossed the roadway,
instead of having a gate it degenerated
into mere geometry,
a line, an idea of boundary.

But the idea was real.
It was important.
For seven generations there had been nothing in the world more important than that wall.

Like all walls it was ambiguous, two-faced.
What was inside it and what was outside it depended upon which side of it you were on.

November 2016 – Zaanse Schans, the Netherlands.

The Perpetual Calendar of Inspiration

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The sand in the hourglass runs from one compartment to the other, marking the passage of moments with something constant and tangible.

If you watch the flowing sand, you might see time itself riding the granules.

Contrary to popular opinion, time is not an old white-haired man, but a laughing child.

And time sings.

May 2018 – Sabah, Malaysia.

Peace, I leave with you …

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Another round of self battle left me with the swollen eyes and pounding head.
Indeed, the words came beforehand so that my heart could sustained ….

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
John 14:27

Who can accept us wholeheartedly?! – only Jesus does.

The Spice Box of Earth

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A kite is a victim you are sure of.
You love it because it pulls
gentle enough to call you master,
strong enough to call you fool;

because it lives
like a desperate trained falcon
in the high sweet air,
and you can always haul it down
to tame it in your drawer.

A kite is a fish you have already caught
in a pool where no fish come,
so you play him carefully and long,
and hope he won’t give up,
or the wind die down.

A kite is the last poem you’ve written
so you give it to the wind,
but you don’t let it go
until someone finds you
something else to do.

Leonard Cohen.

July 2017 – Sabah, Malaysia.

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Nescio – Amsterdam Stories

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“It was in December.
I stood in the back of the tram, all the way in the back.
It drove through the country and stopped and started again, it took hours, the countryside was endless.

And the sky got bluer and bluer and the sun shone until it seemed like flowers would have to start sprouting out of the country bumpkins.
And the red roofs in the villages and the black trees and the fields, most of them covered with straw, had it nice and warm, and the dunes sat bareheaded in the sun.

And the road lay there, white and smarting, it couldn’t bear the sunlight, and the glass panes of the village streetlamp flashed, they had trouble withstanding the glare too.

But I got colder and colder.
And the tram ran as long as the sun shone.
It’s a long ride from Hillegom to Leiden and the days are short in December.
By the end, a block of ice was standing there on the tram staring into the big stupid cold sun that was flaming red as though the revolution was finally starting, as though offices were being blown up all over Amsterdam, but still it couldn’t bring a spark of life back to my cold feet and stiff legs.

And it kept getting bigger and colder, the sun, and I got colder and stayed the same size, and the blue sky looked down very disapprovingly:
“What are you doing on that tram?”

November 2016 – Amsterdam, the Netherlands.

Sol Luckman, Beginner’s Luke

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Such is life, imaginary or otherwise:
a continuous parting of ways,
a constant flux of approximation and distanciation,
lines of fate intersecting at a point which is no-time,
a theoretical crossroads fictitiously ‘present,’

an unstable ice floe forever drifting between was and will be.

December 2015 – Napa Valley, California.

Hardwell & Dyro & Bright Lights

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“You’ll never fly,
if you’re too scared of the height,

You’ll never live
if you’re just too scared to die,

Everybody wants heaven, I know
But darling freedom ain’t free,
it’s a long road

You’ll never find your place up there in the sky
If you never say goodbye.”

October 2013 – Kingdom of Lesotho, Maseru, South Africa.

Ethan Day

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I snatched up the cardboard cup,
plastered my lips to the plastic sippy-lid and sucked down a scalding hot mouthful.

It burned,
but I didn’t give a damn.

I held the cup to my chest as if it were my most special friend while feeling the instant affect the coffee had on my mood and I smiled.

“Hello lover.”

– My little coffee corner @September 2015.

Rilke’s Book of Hours

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I am too alone in the world, and yet not alone enough
to make every moment holy.

I am too tiny in this world,
and not tiny enough just to lie before you like a thing,
shrewd and secretive.

I want my own will,
and I want simply to be with my will,
as it goes toward action;
and in those quiet, sometimes hardly moving times,
when something is coming near,
I want to be with those who know secret things
or else alone.

I want to be a mirror for your whole body,
and I never want to be blind, or to be too old
to hold up your heavy and swaying picture.

I want to unfold.
I don’t want to stay folded anywhere,
because where I am folded, there I am a lie.
and I want my grasp of things to be
true before you.

I want to describe myself
like a painting that I looked at
closely for a long time,
like a saying that I finally understood,
like the pitcher I use every day,
like the face of my mother,
like a ship that carried me
through the wildest storm of all.

November 2014 – Florence, Italy.

Water for Elephants

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“… a gaggle of old ladies is glued to the window at the end of the hall like children or jailbirds.
They’re spidery and frail, their hair as fine as mist.
Most of them are a good decade younger than me, and this astounds me.

Even as your body betrays you, your mind denies it.
There are five of them now, white headed old things huddled together and pointing crooked fingers at the glass.”

As for me, growing old together is the best feeling.
And there’s beauty in the crown of glory.

May 2015 – Seoul, South Korea.