'i'll make you one, ' he said, 'and balance it
perfectly on you.' so i could almost feel
the plumb line of the creased tweed hit my heel,
my shoulders like a spar or arms of a scale
under the jacket, my whole shape realigned
in ways that suited me down to the ground.
so although a suit was the last thing that i needed
i weighed his words and wore them and decided
there and then it was going for a song.
heaney, s. (1939-2013)
after all, nature is a symbol of freedom. sometimes nature actually gives rise to and maintains the idea of freedom. if we base our technical plans primarily on nature we have a chance to ensure that the course of development is once again in a direction in which our everyday work and all its forms will increase freedom rather than decrease it.
aalto, a. (1985) tr. essay on 'National planning and the goals of culture'
You cannot keep birds from flying over your head but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair.
Do anything, but let it produce joy.
Whitman, W. (1855) Leaves of Grass
Recipe For Happiness Khaborovsk Or Anyplace
One grand boulevard with trees
with one grand cafe in sun
with strong black coffee in very small cups.
One not necessarily very beautiful
man or woman who loves you.
One fine day.
Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not;
and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Love is not affectionate feeling, but a steady wish for the loved person's ultimate good as far as it can be obtained.
The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.
the strength i'm looking for isn't the type where you win or lose. i'm not after a wall that'll repel power coming from outside. what i want is the kind of strength to be able to absorb that kind of power, to stand up to it. the strength to quietly endure things - unfairness, misfortunes, sadness, mistakes, misunderstandings.
murakami, h. (2002) kafka on the shore
'but before i go, i want to tell you a little story. “a certain shopkeeper sent his son to learn about the secret of happiness from the wisest man in the world. the lad wandered through the desert for forty days, and finally came upon a beautiful castle, high atop a mountain. It was there that the wise man lived.
rather than finding a saintly man, though, our hero, on entering the main room of the castle, saw a hive of activity: tradesmen came and went, people were conversing in the corners, a small orchestra was playing soft music, and there was a table covered with platters of the most delicious food in that part of the world. the wise man conversed with everyone, and the boy had to wait for two hours before it was his turn to be given the man’s attention. the wise man listened attentively to the boy’s explanation of why he had come, but told him that he didn’t have time just then to explain the secret of happiness. he suggested that the boy look around the palace and return in two hours.
“‘meanwhile, I want to ask you to do something,’ said the wise man, handing the boy a teaspoon that held two drops of oil. as you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill.’ “the boy began climbing and descending the many stairways of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon.
after two hours, he returned to the room where the wise man was. “‘well,’ asked the wise man, ‘did you see the persian tapestries that are hanging in my dining hall? did you see the garden that it took the master gardener ten years to create? did you notice the beautiful parchments in my library?’ “the boy was embarrassed, and confessed that he had observed nothing. his only concern had been not to spill the oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.
“‘then go back and observe the marvels of my world,’ said the wise man. ‘you cannot trust a man if you don’t know his house.’ “relieved, the boy picked up the spoon and returned to his exploration of the palace, this time observing all of the works of art on the ceilings and the walls. he saw the gardens, the mountains all around him, the beauty of the flowers, and the taste with which everything had been selected. upon returning to the wise man, he related in detail everything he had seen.
“‘but where are the drops of oil I entrusted to you?’ asked the wise man. “looking down at the spoon he held, the boy saw that the oil was gone. “‘well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you,’ said the wisest of wise men. ‘the secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.”
coelho, p. (1993) the alchemist