Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.

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“Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.”
― Fernando Pessoa, The Book of Disquiet

 

Antoni Arissa Untitled 1930-1936“Antoni Arissa Untitled 1930-1936 ”

 

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No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted – Aesop

androcles-lion

If we help someone without expecting anything in return, the simple act of kindness is not wasted. And there may come a time when that act of kindness can be repaid in unexpected ways. We can make a very loyal friend by being kind and selfless.

Aesop was fond of this notion, and used it in the fable of Androcles and the Lion, and also the Mouse and the Lion.

Androcles

A slave named Androcles once escaped from his master and fled
to the forest.  As he was wandering about there he came upon a
Lion lying down moaning and groaning.  At first he turned to flee,
but finding that the Lion did not pursue him, he turned back and
went up to him.  As he came near, the Lion put out his paw, which
was all swollen and bleeding, and Androcles found that a huge
thorn had got into it, and was causing all the pain.  He pulled
out the thorn and bound up the paw of the Lion, who was soon able
to rise and lick the hand of Androcles like a dog.  Then the Lion
took Androcles to his cave, and every day used to bring him meat
from which to live.  But shortly afterwards both Androcles and the
Lion were captured, and the slave was sentenced to be thrown to
the Lion, after the latter had been kept without food for several
days.  The Emperor and all his Court came to see the spectacle,
and Androcles was led out into the middle of the arena.  Soon the
Lion was let loose from his den, and rushed bounding and roaring
towards his victim.  But as soon as he came near to Androcles he
recognised his friend, and fawned upon him, and licked his hands
like a friendly dog.  The Emperor, surprised at this, summoned
Androcles to him, who told him the whole story.  Whereupon the
slave was pardoned and freed, and the Lion let loose to his native
forest.

Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.

lionmouse

  The Lion and the Mouse

A LION was awakened from sleep by a Mouse running over his
face. Rising up angrily, he caught him and was about to kill
him, when the Mouse piteously entreated, saying:  “If you
would only spare my life, I would be sure to repay your
kindness.”  The Lion laughed and let him go.  It happened
shortly after this that the Lion was caught by some hunters,
who bound him by strong ropes to the ground.  The Mouse,
recognizing his roar, came and gnawed the rope with his teeth
and set him free, exclaiming:

“You ridiculed the idea of my ever being able to help you,
expecting to receive from me any repayment of your favor; now
you know that it is possible for even a Mouse to con benefits
on a Lion.”

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted – Aesop.

Gentle Influence

Frederick Childe Hassam, ‘Moonlight, Isle of Shoals_, 1892,

“The moon does not fight. It attacks no one. It does not worry. It does not try to crush others. It keeps to its course, but by its very nature, it gently influences. What other body could pull an entire ocean from shore to shore? The moon is faithful to its nature and its power is never diminished.” 
 Ming-Dao Deng

Image: Frederick Childe Hassam, ‘Moonlight, Isle of Shoals’, 1892

To fill the Silence

“To deliver oneself up, hand oneself over, entrust oneself completely to the silence of a wide landscape of woods and hill, or sea, or desert: to sit still while the sun comes up over the land and fills its silences with light. To pray and work in the morning and to labour in meditation in the evening when night falls upon that land and when the silence fills itself with darkness and with stars.

This is a true and special vocation. There are few who are willing to belong completely to such silence, to let it soak into their bones, to breathe nothing but silence, to feed on silence, and to turn the very substance of their life into a living and vigilant silence.”

—Thomas Merton

 

image František Kobliha

“I always liked side-paths”

But I always liked side-paths, little dark back-alleys behind the main road – there one finds adventures and surprises, and precious metal in the dirt — Fyodor Dostoyevsky, The Brothers Karamazov

Over a long period of time, I have collected little pieces of precious metal in the dirt…images and selected sayings, adventures and surprises that I would like to combine here on a regular basis, on this little side path from my Supersede blog. I hope people who find it will come to enjoy it as a still point of the the turning world.

Adolphe Terris

Rue des Grands Carmes

Marseilles, 1862

Salted paper print from glass negative