Category: Entertainment


Charles Bukowski and Wife Linda Lee

there is enough treachery, hatred violence absurdity in the average
human being to supply any given army on any given day

and the best at murder are those who preach against it
and the best at hate are those who preach love
and the best at war finally are those who preach peace

those who preach god, need god
those who preach peace do not have peace
those who preach peace do not have love

beware the preachers
beware the knowers
beware those who are always reading books
beware those who either detest poverty
or are proud of it

beware those quick to praise
for they need praise in return
beware those who are quick to censor
they are afraid of what they do not know

beware those who seek constant crowds for
they are nothing alone

beware the average man the average woman
beware their love, their love is average
seeks average

but there is genius in their hatred
there is enough genius in their hatred to kill you
to kill anybody
not wanting solitude
not understanding solitude

they will attempt to destroy anything
that differs from their own
not being able to create art
they will not understand art


they will consider their failure as creators
only as a failure of the world
not being able to love fully


they will believe your love incomplete
and then they will hate you
and their hatred will be perfect

like a shining diamond
like a knife
like a mountain
like a tiger
like hemlock

Their finest art

.

A nice Narration for those who wish to listen.

Love Story – Rumi

The minute I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you, not knowing
how blind that was.


Lovers don’t finally meet somewhere,
they’re in each other all along.

-Jalal ad-Din Muhammad Rumi

Where are you, my beloved? Are you in that little
Paradise, watering the flowers who look upon you
As infants look upon the breast of their mothers?

Or are you in your chamber where the shrine of
Virtue has been placed in your honor, and upon
Which you offer my heart and soul as sacrifice?

Or amongst the books, seeking human knowledge,
While you are replete with heavenly wisdom?

Oh companion of my soul, where are you? Are you
Praying in the temple? Or calling Nature in the
Field, haven of your dreams?

Are you in the huts of the poor, consoling the
Broken-hearted with the sweetness of your soul, and
Filling their hands with your bounty?

You are God’s spirit everywhere;
You are stronger than the ages.

Do you have memory of the day we met, when the halo of
You spirit surrounded us, and the Angels of Love
Floated about, singing the praise of the soul’s deed?

Do you recollect our sitting in the shade of the
Branches, sheltering ourselves from Humanity, as the ribs
Protect the divine secret of the heart from injury?

Remember you the trails and forest we walked, with hands
Joined, and our heads leaning against each other, as if
We were hiding ourselves within ourselves?

Recall you the hour I bade you farewell,
And the Maritime kiss you placed on my lips?
That kiss taught me that joining of lips in Love
Reveals heavenly secrets which the tongue cannot utter!

That kiss was introduction to a great sigh,
Like the Almighty’s breath that turned earth into man.

That sigh led my way into the spiritual world,
Announcing the glory of my soul; and there
It shall perpetuate until again we meet.

I remember when you kissed me and kissed me,
With tears coursing your cheeks, and you said,
“Earthly bodies must often separate for earthly purpose,
And must live apart impelled by worldly intent.

“But the spirit remains joined safely in the hands of
Love, until death arrives and takes joined souls to God.

“Go, my beloved; Love has chosen you her delegate;
Over her, for she is Beauty who offers to her follower
The cup of the sweetness of life.
As for my own empty arms, your love shall remain my
Comforting groom; you memory, my Eternal wedding.”

Where are you now, my other self? Are you awake in
The silence of the night? Let the clean breeze convey
To you my heart’s every beat and affection.

Are you fondling my face in your memory? That image
Is no longer my own, for Sorrow has dropped his
Shadow on my happy countenance of the past.

Sobs have withered my eyes which reflected your beauty
And dried my lips which you sweetened with kisses.

Where are you, my beloved? Do you hear my weeping
From beyond the ocean? Do you understand my need?
Do you know the greatness of my patience?

Is there any spirit in the air capable of conveying
To you the breath of this dying youth? Is there any
Secret communication between angels that will carry to
You my complaint?

Where are you, my beautiful star? The obscurity of life
Has cast me upon its bosom; sorrow has conquered me.

Sail your smile into the air; it will reach and enliven me!
Breathe your fragrance into the air; it will sustain me!

Where are you, me beloved?
Oh, how great is Love!
And how little am I!

Then there are the enemies of Thomas Shelby, which are numerous in numbers

  • Inspector Chester Campbell
  • Darby Sabini
  • Billy Kimber
  • Alfie Solomons
  • Luca Changretta
  • Oswald Mosley
  • Father John Hughes
  • Grand Duke Leon Petrovna
  • Jimmy McCavern

Out of all the nemesis Thomas Shelby had, I liked Inspector Campbell, Luca Changretta and Jimmy McCavern, for their ruthlessness and bending of rules. Jimmy McCavern’s smirk is something I really like; with the devil may care attitude. Whereas Oswald Mosley , another notable character certainly has been portrayed well, as the devil with the black shade.

Inspector Campbell and Luca Changretta are both driven by the principles, one to serve the nation to utmost devotion and other having loyalty towards his family, Italian- Sicilian thing. They are without doubt two characters who push Thomas to the wall, he seems to be loosing to them, till the last moment, when he pulls out the trump card. Inspector Campbell has been assigned the task to identify and collect the lost ammunition, whereas Luca Changretta is out to avenge the death of his father and kin.

Inspector Campbell can be accused of soliciting the prostitutes and coercing Aunt Polly into having sex with him (to get Michael released from prison). However, it must be noted that situations do create most ‘deviant of souls’ to honorable personalities. He pushes Thomas to do killings on behalf of the crown, uses and manipulates IRA to get his work done. Cleans the police force in Birmingham of the corrupt police officers. Here, we have an audience romanticising a character Thomas Shelby who is serial killer, drug peddler, master manipulator, smuggler, killer of lover’s husband, financial exploiter, regular among prostitutes and pathological lawbreaker. Whereas an honest cop is being shown as an exploiter and negatively for doing his job.

Luca Changretta is no different from Thomas Shelby, both value family, have illegal business, ruthless men who kill, seek revenge, violent yet calculated and money oriented. The difference is Luca is more organised till, his most of blood loyal kin are killed and then money outweighs his life. Thomas Shelby gets him killed by buying all the men with him, smart move. Out of all the gangsters which I saw in this series, Luca Changretta takes the cake. The way he just walked into Thomas Shelby’s office and showed the ease of getting job done was nicely portrayed in the scene. In order to show “hero” in good light, you need have a strong villain character. But, If we look in the series, there are no hero or villains just ‘Anti-Heroes‘ which is the reality of the world. Someone maybe a good son like Luca Changretta but then can be a lousy husband, bad student, or killer of other people’s sons. Same could be said about all the Shelby brothers, it is just animal kingdom rule to fullest, strongest of all, taking everything.

Till now, by season 1-5 which I have binged watched, Thomas Shelby has become MP from Birmingham and has for OBE (Order of British Empire), will see more seasons 6 and 7, since Netflix has renewed it contract till then. A possible movie is also in pipeline for this series.

I can’t help notice a similarity of the character in latest Bollywood action packed drama movie- KGF. Character’s rise from bottom, ruthlessness in killings, great ambition, need for public recognition, womanizer, poverty a catalyst in getting into Organized crime, asked to kill powerful personalities, and becoming leader of masses. The Bollywood flicks just make a shock and awe spectacle, but most of the logic among stories seem to be same. I recommend people to watch it.

References

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2442560/?ref_=ttfc_fc_tt

https://screenrant.com/peaky-blinders-show-term-explained/

https://screenrant.com/peaky-blinders-true-story-real-gang-explained/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peaky_Blinders_(TV_series)

https://peaky-blinders.fandom.com/wiki/Peaky_Blinders_Wiki

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b045fz8r

https://www.bbc.com/news/stories-49405924

https://manofmany.com/entertainment/movies-tv/real-thomas-shelby-of-peaky-blinders-thomas-gilbert

https://www.express.co.uk/showbiz/tv-radio/1283694/Peaky-Blinders-cast-who-is-Billy-Kimber-real-person-Birmingham-Boys-gangster

Let’s address the women in Thomas Shelby’s life which is the focal point of discussion

  • Grace Burgess/Shelby – His 1st wife from an aristocratic family
  • Lizzie Starke/Shelby – 2nd Wife (ex-prostitute, but later employed in Shelby Corporation)
  • May Carleton (Rich Horse trainer)
  • Princess Tatiana Petrovna (Mad Russian royalty)
  • Jessie Eden (Communist Leader of the Unions)
  • Grace Burgess/Shelby comes as an undercover cop to get information on Shelby brothers and instead falls for Thomas Shelby. Inspector Campbell who was trying to woo her, losses her to Thomas Shelby. At the end of season 1, She goes away and then comes back into Thomas Shelby’s life in season 2. Shelby’s get her husband killed (make it look like an accident so that Grace and Thomas can marry) and make a widow ready to be taken. She eventually marries him, but her illustrious family of Cavalrymen wears uniform on the wedding day, to show case their achievement, much to the dismay of Gypsy Shelby’s who loathed the World War I, where they were the infantrymen. She tries to legitimize the Shelby business via Foundations and all, but gets killed. Thomas Shelby has a son through her.
  • Lizzie Starke/Shelby – She is prostitute when Thomas meets her. At one point his brother John wanted to marry her, Thomas doesnot give permission, since she is a public woman and been sleeping with him. He later employs her in his office as a secretory, asks her to stop being with other men for money but uses her to honey trap and kill senior army man. She eventually becomes pregnant with his girl child, then he marries her.  Not entirely a fairy-tale love story, Lizzie is a matter of convenience for Thomas Shelby.
  • May Carleton is pure fascination, a high society woman with whom Thomas Shelby enjoys a fling or two, while she is training his horse for the race. She has got class and statue, I believe above Grace Burgess, but seems to be looking for some companionship. She is the most level-headed of the lot, not letting feeling mixed much, keeping it to the point. Very mature in handling unwanted situations.
  • Princess Tatiana Petrovna is a work and pleasure situation. Aristocratic Russians need to get a job done and they are willing to give princess also, to ensure its success. She has a wild side which is brought out and pushes Thomas to the edge, post their fling she updates him that there is man waiting for her in Europe. Thomas rightly puts, “poor man“, since having such a woman around permanently is an undesirable situation.
  • Jesse Eden – It is surprising that Thomas Shelby did not marry her, as she seems to be a genuine soul, I liked her the most. Thomas Shelby uses her completely to get more information on communist and at the same time bed her to make a more intimidate connection. She has knowledge of his past and tries to leverage into using it against him. However, Thomas uses information about her past to get her in his side, she had a boyfriend who had PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder) from world war I and shot himself dead. Jesse seemed to have compassion and empathy for a long-lasting relationship, along with feistiness to fight for her rights.

Now if you wish to marry such a guy, then either you will die or you will be used your entire life, like Lizzie is being done to. Not sure what is the female fascination or attraction, I have tried to list down few based on my understanding

  • The ultimate bad boy fantasy
  • One who cannot be tamed
  • One who will not share anything or thoughts with you ladies, hides emotions well.
  • He may manipulate you to get what he wants from you, and women love that thrill.
  • Self made man, Money via self-effort (but then men who follow rules and earn well should considered)
  • Women Wish to sin with the sinner
  • Desire to reform the sinner
  • Social climber
  • Cold and calculated
  • Grabs the opportunity when it comes
  • Loyalty towards family
  • Some women have Fascination towards violent men
  • Automatic protection from unwanted attention, by being in relationship with such men.
  • Liking for Alpha men.

References

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2442560/?ref_=ttfc_fc_tt

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peaky_Blinders_(TV_series)

https://peaky-blinders.fandom.com/wiki/Peaky_Blinders_Wiki

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b045fz8r

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/profiles/2l9cwTRRfqrFkXKs8C18lyr/jessie-eden

https://manofmany.com/entertainment/movies-tv/real-thomas-shelby-of-peaky-blinders-thomas-gilbert

For the longest time, I had seen advertisements and memes of this show on many social networking sites, but it was the recommendation of a close friend which made me intrigued and convinced to watch the British show which started in 2013.

Peaky blinders, a BBC and Netflix production is a part real and part fiction, post world war I based show. Before 2nd World War, there were many gangs working in the United Kingdom and some in the late 1890s. This story is inspired by them. It is written by Steven Knight, a veteran writer but Peaky blinders being the most famous show for him. It is highly rated in the IMDB around 8.8, so that does suffices the need to watch it.

My main curiosity was female attraction to the character and things this TV show and timelines symbolizes.  Main protagonist is Thomas Shelby, a decorated world war I war veteran with PTSD syndrome, although I doubt it was diagnosed such in those days (1919). He is a gypsy and has 3 brothers, 1 sister, 1 Aunt, 1 cousin (who gets later added) and 1 Uncle help him run the Shelby corporation.

It is a bookmaking, gambling, pub owning corporation which has hidden influences and interest in rioting and public control, acts as a cut throat Birmingham street gang, working for the powerful elite in United Kingdom in return for huge sums of money.  Thomas Shelby is good at manipulating people, making deals and has entrepreneur streak. His ambition for himself and his family makes them earn more money and get himself public recognition.

The series represents a character which is seen as an underdog and comes from humble beginnings, such characters are a favorite of masses as they represent class struggle and individuals who wish to rise up the ladder of socials class (either way, by out-maneuvering others and taking risks, getting involved in illegal activities) and at the same time exposing obnoxious behavior of ruling elites.

The Shelby family Characters list are as follows

  • Arthur Shelby – Hot headed Eldest Bother
  • Thomas Shelby
  • John Shelby – 3rd Brother
  • Ada Shelby/Thorne – Head strong sister
  • Finn Shelby – Youngest Brother
  • Elizabeth ‘Polly’ Grace – Aunt, confidant.
  • Michael Gray – Son of Aunt Polly
  • Charlie Strong – Uncle Figure to Thomas Shelby
  • Linda Shelby – Arthur’s wife (I really find her fascinating, how she tries to steer her husband into right direction)
  • Esme Shelby – Wife of John Shelby

Thomas Shelby appears to play a man, who can do everything on his own. He thinks out of a bad situation, his luck plays a part, he is shrewd and intelligent, pits his enemy against each other etc. However, if you look closely, he is nothing without the support of his family.

His brothers Arthur and John work as enforcers for him, doing most of the thug work and killings. Arthur being the more emotional and ruthless one takes control of the things, which Thomas Orders, Arthur is a good executioner. John works alongside to support Arthur. It is Arthur’s temperamental behavior which prevents him from carrying on as the head of Shelby family corporation and Thomas Shelby takes over. Linda and Esme Shelby play minor role in influencing their husbands, but I really liked Linda’s approach to get more for her husband and guiding him towards “proper path”.  She negotiated more money for Arthur and herself from Thomas, that scene is truly pleasing, her intelligence was well shown, she outfoxed Thomas Shelby.

His Aunt Polly Grace is his emotional support, in the times when he needs a confidant, Thomas reaches out to her. Aunt Polly is also the treasurer of the company so deals with everything financial, a reason she is aware of the money. Aunt Polly’s son Michael runs the finance of the company, but during the 1932 Crash losses everything of the family (for not listening to Thomas).

Ada Shelby an equally head strong woman like her aunt, pushes Thomas in seeing things differently but gets work done for him. She is not as influential as Aunt Polly but is next in line of succession. Ada is marries Freddie Thorne a known communist leader, against the wishes of Thomas Shelby and has his baby.

Charlie Strong who gives him advice as uncle on the risks associated with the business and giving him an outside perspective. He cautions Tommy but seems to be a silent spectator for most lot since, he is getting paid money for doing is job.

Any General is as strong as his army, Thomas Shelby’s family is his army. Imagine you have every idea but no one listen, nothing can be achieved.

References

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2442560/?ref_=ttfc_fc_tt

https://screenrant.com/peaky-blinders-show-term-explained/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peaky_Blinders_(TV_series)

https://peaky-blinders.fandom.com/wiki/Peaky_Blinders_Wiki

your life is your life
don’t let it be clubbed into dank submission.

be on the watch.


there are ways out.
There is a light somewhere.


it may not be much light but
it beats the darkness.


be on the watch.
the gods will offer you chances.


know them.
take them.


you can’t beat death but
you can beat death in life, sometimes.


and the more often you learn to do it,
the more light there will be.

.

your life is your life.


know it while you have it.


You are marvelous
the gods wait to delight
in you.

My friend, I am not what I seem. Seeming is but a garment I wear–a
care-woven garment that protects me from thy questionings and thee
from my negligence.

The ‘I’ in me, my friend, dwells in the house of silence, and
therein it shall remain for ever more, unperceived, unapproachable.

I would not have thee believe in what I say nor trust in what I
do–for my words are naught but thy own thoughts in sound and my
deeds thy own hopes in action.

When thou sayest, ‘The wind bloweth eastward,’ I say, ‘Aye it doth
blow eastward’; for I would not have thee know that my mind doth
not dwell upon the wind but upon the sea.

Thou canst not understand my seafaring thoughts, nor would I have
thee understand. I would be at sea alone.

When it is day with thee, my friend, it is night with me; yet even
then I speak of the noontide that dances upon the hills and of
the purple shadow that steals its way across the valley; for thou
canst not hear the songs of my darkness nor see my wings beating
against the stars–and I fain would not have thee hear or see. I
would be with night alone.

When thou ascendest to thy Heaven I descend to my Hell–even then
thou callest to me across the unbridgeable gulf, ‘My companion, my
comrade,’ and I call back to thee, ‘My comrade, my companion’–for
I would not have thee see my Hell. The flame would burn thy eyesight
and the smoke would crowd thy nostrils. And I love my Hell too
well to have thee visit it. I would be in Hell alone.

Thou lovest Truth and Beauty and Righteousness; and I for thy sake
say it is well and seemly to love these things. But in my heart
I laught at thy love. Yet I would not have thee see my laughter.
I would laugh alone.

My friend, thou art good and cautious and wise; nay, thou art
perfect–and I, too, speak with thee wisely and cautiously. And
yet I am mad. But I mask my madness. I would be mad alone.

My friend, thou art not my friend, but how shall I make thee
understand? My path is not thy path, yet together we walk, hand
in hand.

Love – Rumi

When you seek Love with all your Heart;

You shall find its echoes in the universe. —– Rumi.

.

And one of the elders of the city said, “Speak to us of Good and Evil.”

And he answered:

Of the good in you I can speak, but not of the evil.

For what is evil but good tortured by its own hunger and thirst?

Verily when good is hungry it seeks food even in dark caves, and when it thirsts, it drinks even of dead waters.

You are good when you are one with yourself.

Yet when you are not one with yourself you are not evil.

For a divided house is not a den of thieves; it is only a divided house.

And a ship without rudder may wander aimlessly among perilous isles yet sink not to the bottom.

You are good when you strive to give of yourself.

Yet you are not evil when you seek gain for yourself.

For when you strive for gain you are but a root that clings to the earth and sucks at her breast.

Surely the fruit cannot say to the root, “Be like me, ripe and full and ever giving of your abundance.”

For to the fruit giving is a need, as receiving is a need to the root.

You are good when you are fully awake in your speech,

You are good when you walk to your goal firmly and with bold steps.

Yet you are not evil when you go thither limping.

Even those who limp go not backward.

But you who are strong and swift, see that you do not limp before the lame, deeming it kindness.

You are good in countless ways, and you are not evil when you are not good,

You are only loitering and sluggard.

Pity that the stags cannot teach swiftness to the turtles.

In your longing for your giant self lies your goodness: and that longing is in all of you.

But in some of you that longing is a torrent rushing with might to the sea, carrying the secrets of the hillsides and the songs of the forest.

And in others it is a flat stream that loses itself in angles and bends and lingers before it reaches the shore.

But let not him who longs much say to him who longs little, “Wherefore are you slow and halting?”

For the truly good ask not the naked, “Where is your garment?” nor the houseless, “What has befallen your house?”

Blue Bird – Charles Bukowski

Today marks a personal milestone for me, which I dreamed of 9 Years back, wanted to commemorate it with one of my favorite poems in recent times. 

It has been 4 years since, I last wrote/blogged, it is not as if I had stopped thinking, reading or writing but felt my priorities changed. We do live in this notion that this particular act or that event will seal it for us. I am safe now or set for life, or now it is going to be easy from here on. This lifelong journey however, holds many ups and downs, and unless you become complacent or callous in your outlook (which I seem to be,before I get kicked in the butt), you will be able to learn,grow and enjoy from it (Just keep on documenting it along, so that your older version can look back and reflect/Smile on the things you did, analyze the reasons or external forces which enabled it 🙂 ).

Charles Bukowski’s Blue Bird made me think, and as I read it and then went through my timeline again, I realized that one should not have stopped writing or recording my thoughts for so long on the blog. Although, we have many new things in life to do and share but few things, no matter how old, do hold on to you.

I hope the reader enjoys the poem as much as I did, I have added the narration by Charles Bukowski also.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say, stay in there, I’m not going
to let anybody see
you.

.
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I pour whiskey on him and inhale
cigarette smoke
and the whores and the bartenders
and the grocery clerks
never know that
he’s
in there.

.

there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too tough for him,
I say,
stay down, do you want to mess
me up?
you want to screw up the
works?
you want to blow my book sales in
Europe?

.
there’s a bluebird in my heart that
wants to get out
but I’m too clever, I only let him out
at night sometimes
when everybody’s asleep.

.
I say, I know that you’re there,
so don’t be
sad.
then I put him back,
but he’s singing a little
in there, I haven’t quite let him
die
and we sleep together like
that
with our
secret pact
and it’s nice enough to
make a man
weep, but I don’t
weep, do
you?

Flood- Kabir

 

My body is flooded
With the flame of Love.
My soul lives in
A furnace of bliss.


Love’s fragrance
Fills my mouth,
And fans through all things
With each outbreath .
               — Kabir

 

.

The One — Sarmad Kashani

Sarmand Shaheed

“Although hundreds of friends
Have become my foes,
The friendship of One
Has given security to my soul.
Rejecting many I have embraced the One-
At last
I am He and He is me.”     
― Sarmad Shaheed, The Rubaiyat of Sarmad

.

I — Khalil Gibran

I

 

I am dotted silver threads dropped from heaven
By the gods. Nature then takes me, to adorn
Her fields and valleys.

 

I am beautiful pearls, plucked from the
Crown of Ishtar by the daughter of Dawn
To embellish the gardens.

 

When I cry the hills laugh;
When I humble myself the flowers rejoice;
When I bow, all things are elated.

 

The field and the cloud are lovers
And between them I am a messenger of mercy.
I quench the thirst of one;
I cure the ailment of the other.

 

The voice of thunder declares my arrival;
The rainbow announces my departure.
I am like earthly life, which begins at
The feet of the mad elements and ends
Under the upraised wings of death.

 

I emerge from the heard of the sea
Soar with the breeze. When I see a field in
Need, I descend and embrace the flowers and
The trees in a million little ways.

 

I touch gently at the windows with my
Soft fingers, and my announcement is a
Welcome song. All can hear, but only
The sensitive can understand.

 

The heat in the air gives birth to me,
But in turn I kill it,
As woman overcomes man with
The strength she takes from him.

 

I am the sigh of the sea;
The laughter of the field;
The tears of heaven.

 

So with love –
Sighs from the deep sea of affection;
Laughter from the colorful field of the spirit;
Tears from the endless heaven of memories.             —- Khalil Gibran

 

.

Seeker — Rumi

Seeker

I have been a seeker and I still am,
but I stopped asking the books and the stars.
I started listening to the teaching of my soul — Rumi

.

Work — Khalil Gibran

JEAN-FRANÇOIS_MILLET_-_El_Ángelus_(Museo_de_Orsay,_1857-1859._Óleo_sobre_lienzo,_55.5_x_66_cm)

Then a ploughman said, “Speak to us of Work.”

And he answered, saying:

You work that you may keep pace with the earth and the soul of the earth.

For to be idle is to become a stranger unto the seasons, and to step out of life’s procession, that marches in majesty and proud submission towards the infinite.

 

When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music.

Which of you would be a reed, dumb and silent, when all else sings together in unison?

Always you have been told that work is a curse and labour a misfortune.

But I say to you that when you work you fulfil a part of earth’s furthest dream, assigned to you when that dream was born,

And in keeping yourself with labour you are in truth loving life,

 

And to love life through labour is to be intimate with life’s inmost secret.

But if you in your pain call birth an affliction and the support of the flesh a curse written upon your brow, then I answer that naught but the sweat of your brow shall wash away that which is written.

 

You have been told also life is darkness, and in your weariness you echo what was said by the weary.

And I say that life is indeed darkness save when there is urge,

And all urge is blind save when there is knowledge,

And all knowledge is vain save when there is work,

And all work is empty save when there is love;

And when you work with love you bind yourself to yourself, and to one another, and to God.

And what is it to work with love?

 

It is to weave the cloth with threads drawn from your heart, even as if your beloved were to wear that cloth.

It is to build a house with affection, even as if your beloved were to dwell in that house.

It is to sow seeds with tenderness and reap the harvest with joy, even as if your beloved were to eat the fruit.

It is to charge all things you fashion with a breath of your own spirit,

And to know that all the blessed dead are standing about you and watching.

 

Often have I heard you say, as if speaking in sleep, “he who works in marble, and finds the shape of his own soul in the stone, is a nobler than he who ploughs the soil.

And he who seizes the rainbow to lay it on a cloth in the likeness of man, is more than he who makes the sandals for our feet.”

But I say, not in sleep but in the over-wakefulness of noontide, that the wind speaks not more sweetly to the giant oaks than to the least of all the blades of grass;

And he alone is great who turns the voice of the wind into a song made sweeter by his own loving.

 

Work is love made visible.

And if you cannot work with love but only with distaste, it is better that you should leave your work and sit at the gate of the temple and take alms of those who work with joy.

For if you bake bread with indifference, you bake a bitter bread that feeds but half man’s hunger.

And if you grudge the crushing of the grapes, your grudge distills a poison in the wine.

And if you sing though as angels, and love not the singing, you muffle man’s ears to the voices of the day and the voices of the night.

Heart — Rumi

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I looked in temples, churches and mosques.
But I found the Divine within my Heart.   — Rumi

.

Two Infants — Khalil Gibran

Two Infants

 

A prince stood on the balcony of his palace addressing a great multitude summoned for the occasion and said, “Let me offer you and this whole fortunate country my congratulations upon the birth of a new prince who will carry the name of my noble family, and of whom you will be justly proud. He is the new bearer of a great and illustrious ancestry, and upon him depends the brilliant future of this realm.

Sing and be merry!” The voices of the throngs, full of joy and thankfulness, flooded the sky with exhilarating song, welcoming the new tyrant who would affix the yoke of oppression to their necks by ruling the weak with bitter authority, and exploiting their bodies and killing their souls.

For that destiny, the people were singing and drinking ecstatically to the heady of the new Emir.

 

Another child entered life and that kingdom at the same time. While the crowds were glorifying the strong and belittling themselves by singing praise to a potential despot, and while the angels of heaven were weeping over the people’s weakness and servitude, a sick woman was thinking.

She lived in an old, deserted hovel and, lying in her hard bed beside her newly born infant wrapped with ragged swaddles, was starving to death.

She was a penurious and miserable young wife neglected by humanity; her husband had fallen into the trap of death set by the prince’s oppression, leaving a solitary woman to whom God had sent, that night, a tiny companion to prevent her from working and sustaining life.

 

As the mass dispersed and silence was restored to the vicinity, the wretched woman placed the infant on her lap and looked into his face and wept as if she were to baptize him with tears.

And with a hunger weakened voice she spoke to the child saying, “Why have you left the spiritual world and come to share with me the bitterness of earthly life ?

Why have you deserted the angels and the spacious firmament and come to this miserable land of humans, filled with agony, oppression, and heartlessness ?

I have nothing to give you except tears; will you be nourished on tears instead of milk ?

I have no silk clothes to put on you; will my naked, shivering arms give you warmth ?

The little animals graze in the pasture and return safely to their shed; and the small birds pick the seeds and sleep placidly between the branches. But you, my beloved, have naught save a loving but destitute mother.”

 

Then she took the infant to her withered breast and clasped her arms around him as if wanting to join the two bodies in one, as before. She lifted her burning eyes slowly toward heaven and cried,

God! Have mercy on my unfortunate countrymen!”

 

At that moment the clouds floated from the face of the moon, whose beams penetrated the transom of that poor home and fell upon two corpses.

 —Khalil Gibran

Dirt — Shams Tabrizi

Dirt

The real dirt is not outside, but inside, in our hearts.

We can wash all stains with water.

The only ones we can’t remove is the grudge and the bad intentions sticking to our hearts.

—Shams Tabrizi

rains

 

I am dotted silver threads dropped from heaven
By the gods. Nature then takes me, to adorn
Her fields and valleys.

I am beautiful pearls, plucked from the
Crown of Ishtar by the daughter of Dawn
To embellish the gardens.

When I cry the hills laugh;
When I humble myself the flowers rejoice;
When I bow, all things are elated.

The field and the cloud are lovers
And between them I am a messenger of mercy.
I quench the thirst of one;
I cure the ailment of the other.

The voice of thunder declares my arrival;
The rainbow announces my departure.
I am like earthly life, which begins at
The feet of the mad elements and ends
Under the upraised wings of death.

I emerge from the heard of the sea
Soar with the breeze. When I see a field in
Need, I descend and embrace the flowers and
The trees in a million little ways.

I touch gently at the windows with my
Soft fingers, and my announcement is a
Welcome song. All can hear, but only
The sensitive can understand.

The heat in the air gives birth to me,
But in turn I kill it,
As woman overcomes man with
The strength she takes from him.

I am the sigh of the sea;
The laughter of the field;
The tears of heaven.

So with love –
Sighs from the deep sea of affection;
Laughter from the colorful field of the spirit;
Tears from the endless heaven of memories.

Khalil Gibran
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