Never let the future disturb you. You will meet it, if you have to, with the same weapons of reason which today arm you against the present.
-- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations
All Is Well in the Great Mess
"That which I have said is only like the few leaves in my hand. And that which I have not said is like the dry leaves in this forest."
September 5, 2021•156 words
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.
September 3, 2021•116 words
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
“Do you want to improve the world?
I don't think it can be done.
The world is sacred.
It can't be improved.
If you tamper with it, you'll ruin it.
If you treat it like an object, you'll lose it.
There is a time for being ahead,
a time for being behind;
a time for being in motion,
a time for being at rest;
a time for being vigorous,
a time for being exhausted;
a time for being safe,
a time for being in danger.
The Master sees things as they are,
without trying to control them.
She lets them go their own way,
and resides at the center of the circle.”
-- Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching
July 3, 2021•452 words
Source: A Choice of Kipling's Verse (1943)
"Don’t waste the rest of your time here worrying about
other people—unless it affects the common good. It will
keep you from doing anything useful. You’ll be too
preoccupied with what so-and-so is doing, and why, and
what they’re saying, and what they’re thinking, and what
they’re up to, and all the other things that throw you off and
keep you from focusing on your own mind.
You need to avoid certain things in your train of thought:
everything random, everything irrelevant. And certainly
everything self-important or malicious. You need to get used
to winnowing your thoughts, so that if someone says, “What
are you thinking about?” you can respond at once (and
truthfully) that you are thinking this or thinking that. And it
would be obvious at once from your answer that your
thoughts were straightforward and considerate ones—the
thoughts of an unselfish person, one unconcerned with
pleasure and with sensual indulgence generally, with
squabbling, with slander and envy, or anything else you’d be
ashamed to be caught thinking."
-- Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 3, Verse 4 (Gregory Hays)