Sunday, February 25, 2007

Joy and Sorrow

Car accident woman
Originally uploaded by D. Nile.
Then a woman said, Speak to us of Joy and Sorrow.
And he answered:
Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.
Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the reassure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.

Sunday, February 11, 2007


Now its been twenty-five years or more
I've roamed this land from shore to shore
From Tyne to Tamar, Severn to Thames
From Moor to Vale, from Peak to Fen.
Played in cafes and pubs and bars
Ive stood in the street with my old guitar
But I'd be richer than all the rest
If I had a pound for each request
For Duelling Banjos, American Pie,
Its enough to make you cry
Rule Britannia, or Swing low,
Are they the only songs the English know?

Seed, bud, flower, fruit
They're never gonna grow without their roots
Branch, stem, shoots - they need roots.

After the speeches when the cakes been cut
The discos over and the bar is shut
At christening, birthday, wedding or wake
What can we sing until the morning breaks?
When the Indian, Asians, Afro, Celts,
Its in their blood, and below the belt.
They're playing and dancing all night long
So what have they got right, that weve got wrong?

Seed, bud, flower, fruit
Never gonna grow without their roots
Branch, stem, shoots -we need roots

Haul away boys let them go
Out in the wind and the rain and snow
Weve lost more than well ever know
Round the rocky shores of England

And a minister said his vision of hell
Is three folk singers in a pub near Wells.
Well Ive got a vision of urban sprawl
Its pubs where no one ever sings at all.
And everyone stares at a great big screen
Over-paid soccer stars, prancing teens,
Australian soap, American rap,
Estuary English, baseball caps,
And we learn to be ashamed before we walk
Of the way we look, and the way we talk.
Without our stories, or our songs,
How will we know where weve come from?
I've lost St George in the Union Jack
Its my flag too, and I want it back

Seed, bud, flower, fruit
Never gonna grow without their roots
Branch, stem, shoots - we need roots

Haul away boys let them go
Out in the wind and the rain and snow
Weve lost more than well ever know
Round the rocky shores of England

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Johtaja Tiura

Johtaja Tiura
Originally uploaded by Sid Aurther.
Picked up "Johtaja Tiura" from a pub and drove him to another pub. We stopped off at a bank automatic to get some money. He is a painter. He gave me a tip and offered me coffee in the pub. I declined.

He then emptied his rucksack and gave me 0.5 kg of prime mince meat., 0.5 kg of stewing steak, four chicken breasts in honey marinade, 2 slabs of pork spare ribs, 1 HK sauseage ring, and pack of rye bread, a loaf of barley bread, and a huge iced danish pastry.

He shook my hand and crunched it until the bones cracked. I laughed and laughed. He gave me the thumbs up sign and went into the pub which was called the Scottish Arms.

Unexpected generosity always bowls me over, since it is so contrary to what we expect. So what if everything was past its sell-by date... surely it is the thought that counts.

Now here is a thing I read about how to put your shoes on properly according to Jewish custom. So often we here it is the letter of the law that killeth, it is the spirit that gives live. According to the Code of Jewish law (the Shulchan Aruch), You are supposed to put your right shoe on before the left shoe, and then you have to tie the left shoelace before the right shoelace. And when taking them off it's the opposite: untie the right then the left, take off the left then the right.

Why all the fuss you may ask?

In Kabbalah, the stronger side (the right for right-handed people, left for lefties) represents giving, and the weaker side symbolizes holding back and discipline. This is to teach us that our power of giving should be more dominant than our power of holding back. The ideal is to have a higher measure of kindness than discipline.

Right foot first: Generosity... Be generous today. Lace left foot next: Be disiplined

Imagine having to stop and think before putting on your shoes every day. Suddenly the most mundane routine becomes a meditation. Remember kindness and generosity is more powerful than strictness and discipline.

I never got a chance to look at "johtaja Tiura's" shoes. I suspect he might have been wearing slip-ons