Lost amid the aimless
inside a place that’s timeless
vast and hollow emptiness
hostage to the heartless
washed up against the nameless
hung to dry with the airless
swinging on the line of the hapless
in a repeated pattern that’s effortless.
“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.”
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.
“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.”
“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.”
“What you don’t see with your eyes, don’t invent with your tongue.”
~ Yiddish Proverb
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.
“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).
“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)
“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.
“A knife wound heals; a wound caused by words never can.”
~ Turkish Proverb
The 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.
“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.
“With all things and in all things, we are relatives.”
~ Arapaho Proverb (Native American)
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.
“Where the cattle stand together, the lion lies down hungry.” ~ African Proverb
King Solomon meets the Lady of Sheba
Again, when it comes to the rich and extremely diverse history attached to Africa, it’s almost impossible to narrow this down to any particular focal point. Nelson Mandela was a true inspiration, but we all know about him already. I am going to go with the rich and extremely intriguing story of the Queen of Sheba, instead.
I choose this woman not just because she was the Queen who had a weekender with King Solomon in Ancient Jerusalem before going home; although her status in ancient times suggests that she was a force to be reckoned with. However, the most amazing part about the legacy left behind so long ago is the Kebra Nagast, or The Glory of the Kings: a fourteenth century saga detailing the origins of theSolomonic line of the Emperors of Ethiopia.
This saga illustrates the legendary relocation of the Ark of the Covenant to Ethiopia, where it is said to remain to date in a tiny building under sacred guard, and is very, very historically accurate and quite possibly: a very TRUE account.