Theology is never any help; it is searching in a dark cellar at midnight for a black cat that isn’t there. Theologians can persuade themselves of anything.” ~ Robert A. Heinlein
The Old Violin
The Touch of the Masters Hand
And the auctioneer thought it
hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.
“What am I bid, good people”, he cried,
“Who starts the bidding for me?”
“One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?”
“Two dollars, who makes it three?”
“Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,”
From the room far back a grey bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said “What now am I bid for this old violin?”
As he held it aloft with its’ bow.
“One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?”
“Two thousand, Who makes it three?”
“Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone”, said he.
The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
“We just don’t understand.”
“What changed its’ worth?”
Swift came the reply.
“The Touch of the Masters Hand.”
“And many a man with life out of tune
All battered and bruised with hardship
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters’ Hand.
– by Myra Brooks Welch
The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW : 1842 – 1954), Saturday 20 August 1932,
When the Children Come Home by Henry Lawson
On a lonely selection far out in the West
An old woman works all the day without rest,
And she croons, as she toils ‘neath the sky’s glassy dome,
`Sure I’ll keep the ould place till the childer come home.’
She mends all the fences, she grubs, and she ploughs,
She drives the old horse and she milks all the cows,
And she sings to herself as she thatches the stack,
`Sure I’ll keep the ould place till the childer come back.’
It is five weary years since her old husband died;
And oft as he lay on his deathbed he sighed
`Sure one man can bring up ten children, he can,
An’ it’s strange that ten sons cannot keep one old man.’
Whenever the scowling old sundowners come,
And cunningly ask if the master’s at home,
`Be off,’ she replies, `with your blarney and cant,
Or I’ll call my son Andy; he’s workin’ beyant.’
‘Git out,’ she replies, though she trembles with fear,
For she lives all alone and no neighbours are near;
But she says to herself, when she’s like to despond,
That the boys are at work in the paddock beyond.
Ah, none of her children need follow the plough,
And some have grown rich in the city ere now;
Yet she says: `They might come when the shearing is done,
And I’ll keep the ould place if it’s only for one.’
Standard (Frankston, Vic. : 1939 – 1949), Thursday 15 April 1948
We should put the emphasis on the rediscovery of our own individual clown, the one that has grown-up within us and which society does not allow us to express.
Open-mouthed, with painted smile, the clowns stand in formation,
Constantly they shake their heads in cynical negation,
Notwithstanding players skill the clowns will always win,
They walk free from the courtroom and the cycle starts again.
THE LAUGHING CLOWNS
The Australian Women’s Weekly (1933 – 1982), Saturday 7 August 1937
A clown needn’t be the same out of the ring as he has to be when he’s in it. If you look at photographs of clowns when they’re just being ordinary men, they’ve got quite sad faces.
― Enid Blyton, Five Go Off in a Caravan
Every time we walk along a beach some ancient urge disturbs us so that we find ourselves shedding shoes and garments or scavenging among seaweed and whitened timbers like the homesick refugees of a long war.”
foto – feeding seagulls at bellwood park in nambucca nsw australia
It was there that I found them:
the seagulls – the secret
of where they go at night.
“This explosive psychological ‘sneaking’ occurs when a woman suppresses large parts of self into the shadows of the psyche. In the view of analytical psychology, the repression of both negative and positive instincts, urges, and feelings into the unconscious causes them to inhabit a shadow realm. While the ego and superego attempt to continue to censor the shadow impulses, the very pressure that repression causes is rather like a bubble in the sidewall of a tire. Eventually, as the tire revolves and heats up, the pressure behind the bubble intensifies, causing it to explode outward, releasing all the inner content.
The shadow acts similarly. We find that by opening the door to the shadow realm a little, and letting out various elements a few at a time, relating to them, finding use for them, negotiating, we can reduce being surprised by shadow sneak attacks and unexpected explosions.”
― Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Women Who Run With the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype
If you want to drive the devil out of the world, hit him with a cradle instead of a crutch.
“We wanderers, ever seeking the lonelier way, begin no day where we have ended another, and no sunrise finds us where left by sunset. Even while the earth sleeps we travel. We are the seeds of that tenacious plant, and it is in our ripeness and our fullness of heart that we are given to the wind to be scattered.”
― Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
― Robert Jordan, The Eye of the World
“Heroes take journeys, confront dragons, and discover the treasure of their true selves.”
Carol Lynn Pearson
― Matsuo Bashō, Japanese Haiku
You cannot stay on the summit forever; you have to come down again. So why bother in the first place? Just this: What is above knows what is below, but what is below does not know what is above. One climbs, one sees. One descends, one sees no longer, but one has seen. There is an art of conducting oneself in the lower regions by the memory of what one saw higher up. When one can no longer see, one can at least still know.
― Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time
“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of – throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself.”
― C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity
― Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
“No utopia can ever give satisfaction to everyone, all the time. As their material conditions improve, men raise their sights and become discontented with power and possessions that once would have seemed beyond their wildest dreams. And even when the external world has granted all it can, there still remain the searchings of the mind and the longings of the heart.”
Arthur C. Clarke, Childhood’s End
C.S. Lewis, The Silver Chair
“I hope no one who reads this book has been quite as miserable as Susan and Lucy were that night; but if you have been – if you’ve been up all night and cried till you have no more tears left in you – you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness. You feel as if nothing is ever going to happen again.”
C.S. Lewis, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
Nicholas Sparks, Safe Haven
“There is no need to search; achievement leads to nowhere. It makes no difference at all, so just be happy now! Love is the only reality of the world, because it is all One, you see. And the only laws are paradox, humour and change. There is no problem, never was, and never will be. Release your struggle, let go of your mind, throw away your concerns, and relax into the world. No need to resist life, just do your best. Open your eyes and see that you are far more than you imagine. You are the world, you are the universe; you are yourself and everyone else, too! It’s all the marvelous Play of God. Wake up, regain your humor. Don’t worry, just be happy. You are already free!”
Dan Millman, Way of the Peaceful Warrior