… that today is Cow Appreciation Day? Our appreciation for cows can be expressed in many ways. Some suggest you go out and give a cow a big hug and/or a kiss. While it might sound like fun, you don’t have to go to extremes to enjoy this special day. It can be as simple as pausing for a moment to think about cows, and all that they do for us. Now that we’ve had our moment of silence, it’s time to celebrate. Have an ice-cold glass of milk! 😉
Today’s Inspirational Quote:
“You must welcome change as the rule but not as your ruler.”
I cannot help but stop and look at vivid, frightening fantasies.
Frightening fantasies are pure. frightening fantasies are realistic,
frightening fantasies are graphic, however.
How happy is the extravagant, wry whimsy!
Down, down, down into the darkness of the wry whimsy,
Gently it goes – the overweening, the wasteful, the profligate.
Amazing artistry are, in their way, poetic life of power.
Amazing artistry are dishonourable. amazing artistry are white-livered,
amazing artistry are irrational, however.
The quality that’s really zany,
Above all others is the boundlessness.
Never forget the wacky and cockamamie boundlessness.
I saw the the daring ingenuity of my generation destroyed,
How I mourned the ready resourcefulness.
Down, down, down into the darkness of the ready resourcefulness,
Gently it goes – the adventuresome, the audacious, the venturous.
All that is nonintellectual is not spiritual spontaneity,
spiritual spontaneity, by all account is intellectual.
A spiritual spontaneity is rational. a spiritual spontaneity is mental,
a spiritual spontaneity is highbrowed, however.
Keep Your Shirt On Meaning: Keeping calm. Usually said by someone who is trying to avoid making others upset. Yes. This is coming true.
Wouldn’t Harm a Fly Meaning: Nonviolent; someone who is mild or gentle. I started with a Narcissist’s shameless self promo WhatsApp messages bombarded every day. I know the guy is desperate to make money but this has to stop.
Don’t Look a Gift Horse In The Mouth Meaning: When you receive a gift from someone, do not be ungrateful. I experience the converse all the time by giving gifts. I made a rule, never to expect even a thank you, leave along a word of gratitude in any other phrase.
Tug of War Meaning: It can refer to the popular rope pulling game or it can mean a struggle for authority. This is one constant struggle, like everyone I go thru.
Break The Ice Meaning: Breaking down a social stiffness. Social stiffness can go away but how do deal with the inner =Gut stiffness – IDK know. Not -yet atleast.
WHAT IS TRUE FREEDOM?: By freedom I mean freedom from afflictions, from anger, and from despair. If you have anger in you, you have to transform anger in order to get your freedom back. If there is despair in you, you need to recognize that energy and not allow it to overwhelm you. You have to practice in such a way that you transform the energy of despair and attain the freedom you deserve – the freedom from despair.
You can practice freedom every moment of your daily life. Every step you take can help you reclaim your freedom. Every breath you take can help you develop and cultivate your freedom. When you eat, eat as a free person. When you walk, walk as a free person. When you breathe, breathe as a free person. This is possible anywhere.
This is the brainpickings.org weekly digest by Maria Popova. If you missed last week’s edition — Bertrand Russell on what makes a fulfilling life, an illustrated celebration of the many meanings and manifestations of love, an immigrant’s tale — you can catch up right here. And if you’d like to try something new/old, I’ve launched another newsletter that comes out every Wednesday, offering a midweek pick-me-up — something inspiring and uplifting culled from the twelve-year Brain Pickingsarchive. You can sign up for that here. If you’re enjoying my labor of love, please consider supporting it with a donation – each month, I spend hundreds of hours and tremendous resources on it, and every little bit of support helps enormously. If you already donate: THANK YOU.
“Love is the quality of attention we pay to things,” poet J.D. McClatchy wrote in his beautiful meditation on the contrast and complementarity of love and desire. And what we choose to attend to — our fear or our faith, our woundedness or our devotion to healing — determines the quality of our love. How we navigate our oscillation between these inescapable polarities is governed by the degree of courage, openness, and vulnerability with which we are willing to show up for and to our own hearts. “The alternations between love and its denial,” philosopher Martha Nussbaum observed in contemplating the difficulty of knowing ourselves, “constitute the most essential and ubiquitous structural feature of the human heart.”
Speaking to the paradoxical human impulse to cower before the largeness of love — to run from its vulnerable-making uncertainties and necessary frustrations at the cost of its deepest rewards — Gibran offers an incantation of courage:
When love beckons to you, follow him,
Though his ways are hard and steep.
And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
And when he speaks to you believe in him,
Though his voice may shatter your dreams as the north wind lays waste the garden.
For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.
Even as he is for your growth so is he for your pruning.
Even as he ascends to your height and caresses your tenderest branches that quiver in the sun,
So shall he descend to your roots and shake them in their clinging to the earth.
Like sheaves of corn he gathers you unto himself.
He threshes you to make you naked.
He sifts you to free you from your husks.
He grinds you to whiteness.
He kneads you until you are pliant;
And then he assigns you to his sacred fire, that you may become sacred bread for God’s sacred feast.
All these things shall love do unto you that you may know the secrets of your heart, and in that knowledge become a fragment of Life’s heart.
But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure,
Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor,
Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.
Love gives naught but itself and takes naught but from itself.
Love possesses not nor would it be possessed;
For love is sufficient unto love.
Illustration from An ABZ of Love, Kurt Vonnegut’s favorite vintage Danish guide to sexuality
In a sentiment John Steinbeck would come to echo a generation later in his beautiful letter of advice on love to his teenage son, Gibran adds:
Think not you can direct the course of love, for love, if it finds you worthy, directs your course.
Love has no other desire but to fulfill itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and meditate love’s ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips.