Wretched Life.

wretched life

Ancient Proverbs – 28: Being Without.

A loveless life is a living death.

~ Old English Proverb

What good is honor when you’re starving?

~ Yiddish Proverb

The heaviest weight in the world is an empty pocket.

~ Jewish Proverb

Pleasures are transient, honors are immortal.

~ Greek Proverb

Ancient Proverbs: 27 – Aesop.

“A crust in comfort is better than a feast in fear.”  …

“All of us, the great and the little have need of each other.” …

“One who steals has no right to complain if he is robbed.”   …

“Fine feathers don’t make fine birds.” …          

~Aesop

aesop2Aesop (or the legend of such a man) has survived for centuries without a shred of real evidence regarding his actual life. Nobody knows anything about Aesop to be fact; mainly what we continue to carry of this legacy is nothing more than word of mouth, handed down for generations. (In itself, this is amazing!)
I feel strange quoting someone who may not have even existed, but the words are there despite any argument surrounding Aesop, himself.
He was supposedly a hideously ugly slave who could not even speak upon the beginning of his becoming a fabulist. He was given the gift of storytelling from a priestess of Isis, after doing a nice deed for her out of kindness. Apparently, there was no stopping him after that, and the rest is history. Either way, the wisdom attributed to him are profound and worth passing on, in my opinion.

The Self.

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“In this poor body, composed of one hundred bones and nine openings, is something called spirit; a flimsy curtain swept this way and that by the slightest breeze. It is spirit, such as it is, which led me to poetry, at first little more than a pastime, then the full business of my life. There have been times when my spirit, so dejected, almost gave up the quest, other times when it was proud, triumphant. So it has been from the very start, never finding peace with itself, always doubting the worth of what it makes.”

~ Basho

This is a post with a certain someone in mind and at heart; but Basho pretty much sums up the lifelong inner-boxing match endured by all poets and writers…as a matter of fact, it describes anybody’s struggle with SELF.

Ancient Proverbs: 25 – Abuse.

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“These are the four abuses: desire to succeed in order to make oneself famous; taking credit for the labors of others; refusal to correct one’s errors despite advice; refusal to change one’s ideas despite warnings.”    

~ Confucius

“Abuse a man unjustly, and you will make friends for him.”   

~ Edgar Howe

“Every abuse ought to be reformed, unless the reform is more dangerous than the abuse itself.”    

~ Voltaire

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Ancient Proverbs: 24 – Judaism.

“What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t invent with your tongue.”

~ Yiddish Proverb

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I have written in the past about my strange affinity to Jews…I am still somewhat unclear where it came from or how it got inside of my heart and soul so deeply when I was still so young: this painful understanding and relativity I feel for them all throughout time. The Jews have been the “kicking post” for our entire species since there was such a concept; they have endured struggles and strife that few other cultures can appreciate, and in ways – still do, sadly. Several of the best friends that the Gods have blessed my existence with are Jewish, and as a result, I have had the ongoing opportunity to learn the essence of Judaism fairly up close and personally. The world would be lost without this particular ancient string of goodness.

Ancient Proverbs: 23 – The Irish.

“You’ve got to do your own growing no matter how tall your grandfather was.”

~ Irish Proverb

(Of course, I must give a shout out to my one and only “Irish Super Woman”, Tric!!!)

You wanna talk about “ancient wisdom”?…this proverb is enough to stop a clock with its truth. 😉

The Celts have been faring the elements of nature and humankind since the dawn of time, it seems. The Irish, especially, are a very wise and old bloodline in our species of human beings. The history of pre-Celtic Europe remains very controversial to date; but according to some scholars, the common root of the Celtic languages, a language known as Proto-Celtic, appeared sometime amidst the Bronze Age around 1200 BC. They mastered engineering feats that were leaps and bounds ahead of their’ times. The folklore belonging to the Irish is unmatched, in my opinion – I even gave my only child a Celtic name (that has deep meaning and symbolism).

Ancient Proverbs: 23 – Friendship.

Friendship is something that each and every one of us takes for granted; it is a fickle element in Life that we each find ourselves loathing and loving at some point and another…

Friendship is, in actuality, one of the most precious commodities in the world, when it’s real and true.

Today, I awoke feeling full of gratitude for my real and true friend in the world, so today’s proverbs are with Sam in mind.

“Friendship doubles our joy and divides our grief.”

~ Swedish Proverb

“You may forget with whom you laughed, but you will never forget with whom you wept.”

~ Saudi Proverb

“We are friends; we must assist each other to bear our burdens.”

~ Osage Proverb (Native American)

“A friend’s eye is a good mirror.”

~ English Proverb

“With true friends . . . even water drunk together is sweet enough.”

~ Chinese Proverb

Waltz of the polar lights

(Not-So) Ancient Proverbs: 22 – America.

“The true rule, in determining to embrace, or reject any thing, is not whether it have any evil in it; but whether it have more of evil, than of good.”

~ Abraham Lincoln (16th US President)

abe lincoln“Honest Abe” was a very insightful and intelligent human being, and I believe him to be one of the few “good ones” in a long line of US Presidents. I am cheating in the spirit of the 4th of July and using a more modern-era proverb for this one

This one is technically NOT an “ancient” proverb, but a very wise quote from a very wise soul (who happened to be one of our country’s most enigmatic and beloved men, if you’re American, that is);

this particular statement of Lincoln’s has always struck a deep chord within me to read because of the profound implications attached to it,  given the context and culture it was born of: a civil war that killed Americans on an unprecedented and unforeseen level…it resonates with me.

Ancient Proverbs: 21 – The Turks.

“A knife wound heals; a wound caused by words never can.”

~ Turkish Proverb

ancient turksThe Turks are another ancient culture that have managed to persevere throughout a long, long timeline of various disasters – both natural and otherwise. They have sprinkled ancient wisdom throughout the the cultures across the globe as well. And, they are one of the most eloquently spoken and written civilizations throughout history…something to be said about that much, for sure.

CLICK HERE for a timeline of Turkish/Ottoman history!

Ancient Proverbs: 20 – The Scots.

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“Danger and delight grow on one stalk.”
~ Scottish Proverb

I won’t go there with William Wallace (FREEDOM!!!!!), as we all know his (brilliantly suppressed for centuries) story. The Scots are an ancient culture infused with the elements of several different Celtic tribes; and, a small but very solid force to be reckoned with. As a tiny place on the fringes of a long-battered area, the Scottish have managed to not only survive history’s many pages of war and unrest – but to thrive as well.

Cicero Knew What Time It Was.

“Six mistakes mankind keeps making century after century:
• Believing that personal gain is made by crushing others;
• Worrying about things that cannot be changed or corrected;
• Insisting that a thing is impossible because we cannot accomplish it;
• Refusing to set aside trivial preferences;
• Neglecting development and refinement of the mind;
• Attempting to compel others to believe and live as we do.”

~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

Ancient Proverbs: 19 – The Arapaho.

“With all things and in all things, we are relatives.”

~ Arapaho Proverb (Native American)

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I chose today’s proverb simply because it chose to grab me when I came across it in a book about Colonial times in the US. I know I am not the only one who has noted the trends amongst native leaders during those times to urge unity and humanity in the face of life-altering impositions and strife; and the above quote is just another example of the tribal tendency to relate with a stranger who is fundamentally different.