Ode To The Onion by Pablo Neruda
your beauty formed
petal by petal,
crystal scales expanded you
and in the secrecy of the dark earth
your belly grew round with dew.
Under the earth
and when your clumsy
green stem appeared,
and your leaves were born
in the garden,
the earth heaped up her power
showing your naked transparency,
and as the remote sea
in lifting the breasts of Aphrodite
duplicating the magnolia,
so did the earth
clear as a planet
round rose of water,
of the poor.
You make us cry without hurting us.
I have praised everything that exists,
but to me, onion, you are
more beautiful than a bird
of dazzling feathers,
heavenly globe, platinum goblet,
of the snowy anemone
and the fragrance of the earth lives
in your crystalline nature.
"So to us in wartime, cut off from mental distractions by restrictions and blackouts, and cowering in a cellar with a gas mask under threat of imminent death, comes in the stronger fear and sits down beside us.
'What,' he demands, rather disagreeably, 'do you make of all this? Is there anything you value more than life, or are you making a virtue of necessity? What do you believe?" Is your faith a comfort to you under the present circumstances?'
At this point, before he has time to sidetrack the argument and entangle us in irrelevancies, we shall do well to reply boldly that a faith is not primarily a comfort, but a truth about ourselves. What we in fact believe is not necessarily the theory we most desire or admire. It is the thing that, consciously or unconsciously, we take for granted and act on. Thus, it is useless to say that we believe in the friendly treatment of minorities if, in practice, we habitually bully the office clerk; our actions clearly show that we believe nothing of the sort. Only when we know what we truly believe can we decide whether it is comforting. If we are comforted by something we do not really believe, then we had better think again. " Dorothy Sayers
The Green Wishes
"From now on, every sunny day is more than a break in the clouds that come swooping across the continent on winter schedule. Every day, of course, is another day toward spring: but when the sun shines it prompts greener thoughts than were possible a month ago. For one thing, it is a higher and warmer sun, but mostly it is the response of the human heart.
February zero is just as cold as zero in January, and February snow often is deeper than January snow. But the sight of the sun all through a steadily lengthening February day gives that day a dimension beyond mathematical calculation. You don't pay so much attention to the calendar or even the clock. You know the inner feeling of change, the sense of the seasons passing. - Hal Borland
- 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!
"It's enjoyable to sit with a big sheet of paper and map out what the best arrangement for a typical day or week would be for you. It's not a fantasy - you're not daydreaming about a roster of lovers or the ideal time for the butler to bring the cocktail tray. The ideal routine is closely aligned with your actual life: it tries to set out a good way of organizing the things you are already involved with." Small Pleasures
A wee explanation: this website was created as a way to amplify the daily surprise of seeing glory in one small life. The notebook entries represented here are all selected from things actually lived and noted on paper in an effort to live the full life British educator Charlotte Mason so ably championed.
Book Of Centuries
Book Of Firsts