How much stays unseen… A Poem By Ludmilla Shchipakhina

Image

Image by NilookaD; Pickingflowers

 

How much stays unseen when some eye on us gazes–

A sub-text may run under clear-sounding phrases

And sighs of delight or expressions of sorrow

May differ in meaning from poses they borrow.

We lie on the grass, watch the sunlight which spreads,

But what are the thoughts that go round in our heads?

We meet. Stroll along in the garden’s deep shade,

But what is our purpose? What plans have we made?

Our time throbs and shakes with the problems of ages,

But man and his soul are a book of sealed pages!

At sight we are simple. No need for much guessing,

But what are our feelings? Extatic? Depressing?

We lunch in cheap restaurants without star rating

But maybe a triumph we are celebrating!

And perhaps it’s not transport that gives us a ride,

But invisible wings, which don’t show from outside.

 

Translated by Eva Strauss

From: Soviet Literature, 1979; ISSN-0202-1870

 

 

 

More lines from Light of the Hearth

ADDeSilva

ADDeSilva

A few more lines from the poetry collection, Light of the Hearth

By Ivan Savelyev | Translated by Walter May.

From your first song until your farewell song

There stretches in between a long stern road.

Here trickling like a ringing springtime stream,

And there like some broad-bosomed river it flows.

 

And in its waters, deep and pure and clear,

Like sand-bank islands, failures will sink and cease,

And out will blaze above the shining space

The lighthouse beams of mighty victories.

 

For all your previous disappointed hopes,

For all your losses, and for all distress,

They will light up for you your entire road–

Remember, and observe, and go ahead!

 

And may be here’s the wonder of constancy,

The marvel of loyalty which does not die out,–

That to your dream you’ll go, and not lose heart,

And not for even a moment will you doubt.

 

And maybe in such action lies our goal,

And even the primary purpose

Of life, let’s say:

To discover in your self an exalted song,

And not to betray it then in any way.

English Translation © Raduga Publications 1987

To see the world in a grain of sand…

Today I’m sharing with you a few selected lines from
Auguries of Innocence by  William Blake

Here’s the beginning :

To see a World in a Grain of Sand
And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
And Eternity in an hour.

Its a long poem. You have to pause and wonder about each line and it would be worth it.

Here’s some more lines:

Every Night & every Morn
Some to Misery are Born.
Every Morn & every Night
Some are Born to sweet Delight.
Some ar Born to sweet Delight,
Some are born to Endless Night.

You can read the entire poem, Auguries of Innocence at PoemHunter.com. Don’t forget to check out other Blake poems as well.

Taking The Long View

From “Food for Thought” By Ajaan Lee Dhammadharo (Phra Suddhidhammaransi Gambhiramedhacariya) translated from the Thai byThanissaro Bhikkhu

August 4, 1957

Most of us tend to concern ourselves only with short, small, and narrow things. For instance, we think that there isn’t much to human life — we’re born and then we die — so we pay attention only to our stomachs and appetites. There’s hardly anyone who thinks further than that, who thinks out past death. This is why we’re short-sighted and don’t think of developing any goodness or virtues within ourselves, because we don’t see the truth and the extremely important benefits we’ll gain from these things in the future.

 

Actually, the affairs of each person are really long and drawn out, and not at all short. If they were short, we’d all know where we came from and how we got where we are. The same would hold true for the future: If our affairs were really a short story, we’d know where we’re going and what we’ll be after death.

You can read the rest of Taking the Long View at accesstoinsight.org.

How Do You Fare on the HappyPlanetIndex?

HappyPlanetIndex.org

HappyPlanetIndex.org

Today, I visited the HappyPlanetIndex.org to check it out because my father, creator of www.happicraft.com, asked me to. My country, Sri Lanka has achieved a happy place on the index. That makes us both happy!

According to the website, “the HPI is an innovative measure that shows the ecological efficiency with which human well-being is delivered around the world. It is the first ever index to combine environmental impact with well-being to measure the environmental efficiency with which country by country, people live long and happy lives.”

Now the second compilation of the global HPI (covering countries representing 99% of the global population) was published in July 2009. It shows that that we earth-citizens are still far from achieving sustainable well-being. It also puts forward a vision of what we need to do to get there.

As the report says, the nations that top the Index aren’t the happiest places in the world. But, those that score well on the HPI are proof that it is possible to achieve long, happy lives without over-stretching the planet’s resources.

I am committed to sustainable living. So I wanted to sign The Happy Planet Charter. This is what I found at the top of the page, and how true:

The future is not the result of choices among alternative paths offered by the present, but a place that is created – created first in the mind and will, created next in activity. The future is not some place we are going to, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made, and the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.
John Scharr

In order to create a happy planet, it is important to have some clear goals to work towards. The Happy Planet Charter provides clear targets for all nations, to help achieve sustainable well-being.

You should sign The Happy Planet Charter if you believe that:

  • A new narrative of progress is required for the twenty-first century.
  • It is possible to have a good life without costing the Earth.
  • Over-consumption in rich countries represents one of the key barriers to sustainable well-being worldwide and that governments should strive to identify economic models that do not rely on constantly growing consumption to achieve stability and prosperity.

And those of us who believe so, should call for:

  • Governments to measure people’s well-being and environmental impact in a consistent and regular way, and to develop a framework of national accounts that considers the interaction between the two so as to guide us towards sustainable well-being.
  • Developed nations to set an HPI target of 89 by 2050 – this means reducing per capita footprint to 1.7 gha (global hectares), increasing mean life satisfaction to eight (on a scale of 0 to 10) and continuing to increase mean life expectancy to reach 87 years.
  • Developed nations and the international community to support developing nations in achieving the same target by 2070.

Please sign up for the Charter here if you believe in achieving sustainable well-being for all of us around the globe.

Life is like a burning oil lamp…

 

 

 

Oil lamp with flowers

Oil lamp with flowers

 I visited a friend’s home over the weekend for the three months religious ceremonies after the death of her husband. He was 40 years old.

During the ‘bana’ ceremony, the priest compared the life of a person to that of a burning oil lamp.

The lamp can go out because the wick burns out; or else because it runs out of oil. Or it will go out because of a natural cause like rain or the wind.

In the same way, a peson’s life can end due to three key reasons.

Firstly because, like the oil in the lamp, his time on earth simply runs out. So his life ends.

Secondly, he could die because of the effects of karma he commited in past lives and also gathered in this lifetime. While good deeds may cancel out bad karma, you cannot entirely avoid the effects of bad things you do.

Thirdly, a person can die of an accident or an illness; just as a lamp may go off because of the wind or the rain.

If our life can be flushed out so easily, shouldn’t we live our lives while trying our best to improve our minds? This after all is the way to shorten the cycle of birth and death. What other way to ensure avoiding death, than through avoiding future births?

Think about it.