Friday, August 31, 2007


"It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for something you are not"

Gide, André

Traveling companion

"To read a writer is for me not merely to get an idea of what he says, but to go off with him and travel in his company"

Gide, André

Outside time

We live inside time; yet real life is outside time.

Paul Brunton

Humor - The tale of the 5 monkeys

How Things Work In Real Life

Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the other monkeys with cold water.

After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it.

Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted.

Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked.

Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey.

After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana. Why not? Because as far as they know that's the way it's always been done around here.

And that, my friends, is how a company policy begins.



"Beauty is everywhere a welcome guest"

Goethe, Johann


"To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders"


Through love

Through love all that is bitter will be sweet.
Through Love all that is copper will be gold.
Through Love all dregs will turn to purest wine.
Through Love all pain will turn to medicine.
Through Love the dead will all become alive.
Through Love the king will turn into a slave!


The universe is transformation: life is opinion

See how soon everything is forgotten, and look at the chaos of infinite time on each side of [the present], and the emptiness of applause, and the changeableness and want of judgment in those who pretend to give praise, and the narrowness of the space within which it is circumscribed [and be quiet at last]. For the whole earth is a point, and how small a nook in it is this thy dwelling, and how few are there in it, and what kind of people are they who will praise thee.This then remains: Remember to retire into this little territory of thy own, and above all do not distract or strain thyself, but be free, and look at things as a man, as a human being, as a citizen, as a mortal. But among the things readiest to thy hand to which thou shalt turn, let there be these, which are two. One is that things do not touch the soul, for they are external and remain immovable; but our perturbations come only from the opinion which is within. The other is that all these things, which thou seest, change immediately and will no longer be; and constantly bear in mind how many of these changes thou hast already witnessed. The universe is transformation: life is opinion.

Marcus Aurelius, in 'Meditations'

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Garden

'The Garden'

Andrew Marvell

How vainly men themselves amaze
To win the palm, the oak, or bays,
And their uncessant labors see
Crowned from some single herb or tree,
Whose short and narrow-vergèd shade
Does prudently their toils upbraid;
While all the flowers and trees do close
To weave the garlands of repose.

Fair Quiet, have I found thee here,
And Innocence, thy sister dear!
Mistaken long, I sought you then
In busy companies of men:
Your sacred plants, if here below,
Only among the plants will grow;
Society is all but rude,
To this delicious solitude.

No white nor red was ever seen
So amorous as this lovely green;
Fond lovers, cruel as their flame,
Cut in these trees their mistress' name.
Little, alas, they know or heed,
How far these beauties hers exceed!
Fair trees! wheresoe'er your barks I wound
No name shall but your own be found.

When we have run our passion's heat,
Love hither makes his best retreat:
The gods who mortal beauty chase,
Still in a tree did end their race.
Apollo hunted Daphne so,
Only that she might laurel grow,
And Pan did after Syrinx speed,
Not as a nymph, but for a reed.

What wondrous life is this I lead!
Ripe apples drop about my head;
The luscious clusters of the vine
Upon my mouth do crush their wine;
The nectarine and curious peach
Into my hands themselves do reach;
Stumbling on melons as I pass,
Insnared with flowers, I fall on grass.

Meanwhile the mind, from pleasure less,
Withdraws into its happiness:
The mind, that ocean where each kind
Does straight its own resemblance find;
Yet it creates, transcending these,
Far other worlds, and other seas;
Annihilating all that's made
To a green thought in a green shade.

Here at the fountain's sliding foot,
Or at some fruit-tree's mossy root,
Casting the body's vest aside,
My soul into the boughs does glide:
There like a bird it sits and sings,
Then whets and combs its silver wings;
And, till prepared for longer flight,
Waves in its plumes the various light.

Such was that happy garden-state,
While man there walked without a mate:
After a place so pure and sweet,
What other help could yet be meet!
But 'twas beyond a mortal's share
To wander solitary there:
Two paradises 'twere in one
To live in Paradise alone.

How well the skillful gardener drew
Of flowers and herbs this dial new;
Where from above the milder sun
Does through a fragrant zodiac run;
And, as it works, the industrious bee
Computes its time as well as we.
How could such sweet and wholesome hours
Be reckoned but with herbs and flowers!

We may even become friends

Perhaps travel cannot prevent bigotry, but by demonstrating that all peoples cry, laugh, eat, worry, and die, it can introduce the idea that if we try and understand each other, we may even become friends.

Maya Angelou


When all think alike, no one is thinking very much.

Walter Lippmann

Without lies

Without lies humanity would perish of despair and boredom

France, Anatole

Trees and shadows

"The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing."

Abraham Lincoln


When you look at yourself from a universal standpoint, something inside always reminds or informs you that there are bigger and better things to worry about.

Albert Einstein, The World as I See It.


See how soon everything is forgotten, and look at the chaos of infinite time on each side of [the present], and the emptiness of applause, and the changeableness and want of judgment in those who pretend to give praise, and the narrowness of the space within which it is circumscribed [and be quiet at last]. For the whole earth is a point, and how small a nook in it is this thy dwelling, and how few are there in it, and what kind of people are they who will praise thee.This then remains: Remember to retire into this little territory of thy own, and above all do not distract or strain thyself, but be free, and look at things as a man, as a human being, as a citizen, as a mortal. But among the things readiest to thy hand to which thou shalt turn, let there be these, which are two. One is that things do not touch the soul, for they are external and remain immovable; but our perturbations come only from the opinion which is within. The other is that all these things, which thou seest, change immediately and will no longer be; and constantly bear in mind how many of these changes thou hast already witnessed. The universe is transformation: life is opinion.

Marcus Aurelius, in 'Meditations'

Wednesday, August 29, 2007


For with the gods may
No mortal himself
At any time measure.
Should he be lifted
Up, till he touches
The stars with his forehead,
Nowhere to rest find
The insecure feet
And he is plaything
Of clouds and of winds.

[J. W. Goethe, 1749-1832, Grenzen der Menschheit / Limits of Humanity]

Nothing matters

Nothing matters so much that we should throw ourselves into a state of panic about it. No happening is so important that we should let ourselves be exiled from inner peace and mental calm for its sake.

Paul Brunton

Longest and shortest

Though thou shouldest be going to live three thousand years and as many times ten thousand years, still remember that no man loses any other life than this which he now lives, nor lives any other than this which he now loses. The longest and shortest are thus brought to the same. For the present is the same to all, though that which perish is not the same; and so that which is lost appears to be a mere moment. For a man cannot lose either the past or the future: for what a man has not, how can any one take this from him? These two things then thou must bear in mind; the one, that all things from eternity are of like forms and come round in a circle, and that it makes no difference whether a man shall see the same things during a hundred years, or two hundred, or an infinite time; and the second, that the longest liver and he who will die soonest lose just the same. For the present is the only thing of which a man can be deprived, if it is true that this is the only thing which he has, and that a man cannot lose a thing if he has it not.

Marcus Aurelius, in 'Meditations'

Why on earth?

“Tell me one last thing,” said Harry. “Is this real? Or has this happening inside my head?”

Dumbledore beamed at him, and his voice sounded loud and strong in Harry’s ears even though the bright mist was descending again, obscuring his figure.

“Of course it is happening inside your head, Harry, but why on earth should that mean that is not real?”

J.K. Rowking, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Colour from the colourless

The wonder is that colour came from the colourless:
how is it that colour came to fight the colourless?

Since the rose is born from the thorn, and the thorn
from the rose, why are they quarellling?
Or is it not really war but divine purpose and artifice,
like the quarrels of merchants?
Or is it neither this nor that? Is it the perplexity?

The treasure must be sought;
this perplexity is the ruin where it is hidden.



Your vision will become clear only when you can look into yourown heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakens.

Carl Gustav Jung


Two thirds of help is to give courage.

Irish proverb


Our souls sit close and silently within,
And their own webs from their own entrails spin;
And when eyes meet far off, our sense is such,
That, spider-like, we feel the tenderest touch.

John Dryden (1631-1700)
_Marriage a la Mode [1673], Act II, Scene

Humor - AADD

Recently, I was diagnosed with A.A.A.D.D. - Age Activated Attention Deficit Disorder. This is how it manifests:

I decide to water my garden.

As I turn on the hose in the driveway, I look over at my car and decide it needs washing.

As I start toward the garage, I notice mail on the porch table that I brought up from the mail box earlier.

I decide to go through the mail before I wash the car.

I lay my car keys on the table, put the junk mail in the garbage can under the table, and notice that the can is full.

So, I decide to put the bills back on the table and take out the garbage first.

But then I think, since I'm going to be near the mailbox when I take out the garbage anyway, I may as well pay the bills first.

I take my check book off the table, and see that there is only one check left.

My extra checks are in my desk in the study, so I go inside the house to my desk where I find the can of Coke I'd been drinking.

I'm going to look for my checks, but first I need to push the Coke aside so that I don't accidentally knock it over.

The Coke is getting warm, and I decide to put it in the refrigerator to keep it cold.

As I head toward the kitchen with the Coke, a vase of flowers on the counter catches my eye--they need water.

I put the Coke on the counter and discover my reading glasses that I've been searching for all morning.

I decide I better put them back on my desk, but first I'm going to water the flowers.

I set the glasses back down on the counter, fill a container with water and suddenly spot the TV remote. Someone left it on the kitchen table.

I realize that tonight when we go to watch TV, I'll be looking for the remote, but I won't remember that it's on the kitchen table, so I decide to put it back in the den where it belongs, but first I'll water the flowers.

I pour some water in the flowers, but quite a bit of it spills on the floor.

So, I set the remote back on the table, get some towels and wipe up the spill.

Then, I head down the hall trying to remember what I was planning to do.

At the end of the day:

The car isn't washed

The bills aren't paid

There is a warm can of Coke sitting on the counter

The flowers don't have enough water,

There is still only 1 check in my check book,

I can't find the remote,

I can't find my glasses,

And I don't remember what I did with the car keys.

Then, when I try to figure out why nothing got done today, I'm really baffled because I know I was busy all damn day, and I'm really tired

I realize this is a serious problem, and I'll try to get some help for it, but first I'll check my e-mail....

Do me a favor. Forward this message to everyone you know, because I don't remember who the hell I've sent it to.

Don't laugh -- if this isn't you yet, your day is coming!!

(From the Joanna´s Jokes Yahoo mailing list)

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Do not resist the rose

The treasure at the heart of the rose
is your own heart’s treasure.
Scatter it as the rose does:
your pain becomes hers to measure.
Scatter it in a song,
or in one great love’s desire.
Do not resist the rose
lest you burn in its fire.

Gabriela Mistral

Inner vision

Nothing is so easy to fake as the inner vision.

Robertson Davies

Among the pink and blue

Spring Morning
D H Lawrence

Among the pink and blue
Of the sky and the almond flowers
A sparrow flutters —
We have come through
With nothing to fight any more–
In each other, at least.
See, how gorgeous the world is
Outside the door !

What women want

Woman wants monogamy;
Man delights in novelty.
Love is woman's moon and sun;
Man has other forms of fun. . .
With this the gist and sum of it,
What earthly good can come of it?

Dorothy Parker

The Lover

The Lover is ever drunk with love;
He is free, he is mad,
He dances with ecstasy and delight.

Caught by our own thoughts,
we worry about every little thing,
But once we get drunk on that love,
Whatever will be, will be.

- Poetic version by Jonathan Star and Shahram Shiva
"A Garden Beyond Paradise - The Mystical Poetry of Rumi"
Bantam Books, 1992

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Humor - The Third Biggest Lie

The Third Biggest Lie

Ann Landers challenged her readers to come up with the world's third-
biggest lie -- right after "The check is in the mail" and "I'm from
the government and I'm here to help you." Here is a sampling from the
thousands she received:

- "It's a good thing you came in today. We only have two more in stock."

- "Five pounds is nothing on a person of your height."

- "You made it yourself? I never would have guessed."

- "Of course I'll respect you in the morning."

- "You don't look a day over 40."

- "Dad, I need to move out of the dorm into an apartment of my own so
I can have some peace and quiet when I study."

- "It's delicious, but I can't eat another bite."

- "The new ownership won't affect you. The company will remain the

- "The puppy won't be any trouble, Mom. I promise I'll take care of
it myself."

- "Your hair looks just fine."

- "Put away the map. I know exactly how to get there."

- "You don't need it in writing. You have my personal guarantee."

(From the Yahoo mailing list "Joanna´s Jokes")

Humor - Computer Terminology

ISDN - It Still Does Nothing
APPLE - Arrogance Produces Profit-Losing Entity
IBM - I Blame Microsoft
WWW - World Wide Wait
PENTIUM - Produces Erroneous Numbers Through Incorrect Understanding of Math
NT - Network Tragedy
DNS - Does Nothing Special
WINDOWS - Will Install Needless Data On Whole System

(From the Yahoo mailing list "Joanna´s Jokes")


Nothing is more wretched than a man who traverses everything in a round, and pries into the things beneath the earth, as the poet (Pindar) says, and seeks by conjecture what is in the minds of his neighbors, without perceiving that it is sufficient to attend to the daemon within him, and to reverence it sincerely. And reverence of the daemon consists in keeping it pure from passion and thoughtlessness, and dissatisfaction with what comes from gods and men. For the things from the gods merit veneration for their excellence; and the things from men should be dear to us by reason of kinship; and sometimes even, in a manner, they move our pity by reason of men's ignorance of good and bad; this defect being not less than that which deprives us of the power of distinguishing things that are white and black.

Marcus Aurelius, in 'Meditations'

Nothing happens

Nothing happens to any man which he is not formed by nature to bear. The same things happen to another, and either because he does not see that they have happened, or because he would show a great spirit, he is firm and remains unharmed. It is a shame then that ignorance and conceit should be stronger than wisdom. Things themselves touch not the soul, not in the least degree; nor have they admission to the soul, nor can they turn or move the soul: but the soul turns and moves itself alone, and whatever judgments it may think proper to make, such it makes for itself the things which present themselves to it.

Marcus Aurelius, in 'Meditations'

No man is an island

No man is an Island, intire of itselfe; every man is a peece of the Continent, a part of the maine...

John Donne, Devotions XVII


Never call yourself a philosopher nor talk much among the unlearned about principles, but do that which follows from them. Thus at a banquet, do not discuss how people ought to eat; but eat as you ought. Remember that Socrates thus entirely avoided ostentation. Men would come to him desiring to be recommended to philosophers, and he would conduct them thither himself - so well did he bear being overlooked. Accordingly if any talk concerning principles should arise among the unlearned, be you for the most part silent. For you run great risk of spewing up what you have ill digested. And when a man tells you that you know nothing and you are not nettled at it, then you may be sure that you have begun the work.

Epictetus, in 'The Golden Sayings of Epictetus'

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

In your light

By S.C.Z.

In your light I learn how to love.
In your beauty, how to make poems.
You dance inside my chest,
where no one sees you,
but sometimes I do,
and that sight becomes this art.


Books and readers

By S.C.Z - SP, Brazil, 2007

It is not all books that are as dull as their readers. There are probably words addressed to our condition exactly, which, if we could really hear and understand, would be more salutary than the morning or the spring to our lives, and possibly put a new aspect on the face of things for us. How many a man has dated a new era in his life from the reading of a book! The book exists for us, perchance, which will explain our miracles and reveal new ones. The at present unutterable things we may find somewhere uttered. These same questions that disturb and puzzle and confound us have in their turn occurred to all the wise men; not one has been omitted; and each has answered them, according to his ability, by his words and his life. Moreover, with wisdom we shall learn liberality.
The solitary hired man on a farm in the outskirts of Concord, who has had his second birth and peculiar religious experience, and is driven as he believes into the silent gravity and exclusiveness by his faith, may think it is not true; but Zoroaster, thousands of years ago, traveled the same road and had the same experience; but he, being wise, knew it to be universal, and treated his neighbors accordingly, and is even said to have invented and established worship among men. Let him humbly commune with Zoroaster then, and through the liberalizing influence of all the worthies, with Jesus Christ himself, and let "our church" go by the board.

Henry David Thoreau, in 'Walden'

Seeking retreats

By S.C.Z. - SP, Brazil, 2007

Men seek retreats for themselves, houses in the country, sea-shores, and mountains; and thou too art wont to desire such things very much. But this is altogether a mark of the most common sort of men, for it is in thy power whenever thou shalt choose to retire into thyself. For nowhere either with more quiet or more freedom from trouble does a man retire than into his own soul, particularly when he has within him such thoughts that by looking into them he is immediately in perfect tranquility; and I affirm that tranquility is nothing else than the good ordering of the mind. Constantly then give to thyself this retreat, and renew thyself; and let thy principles be brief and fundamental, which, as soon as thou shalt recur to them, will be sufficient to cleanse the soul completely, and to send thee back free from all discontent with the things to which thou returnest.

Marcus Aurelius, in 'Meditations'

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

No photos today!

Sorry folks, no photos today. For some reason I could not link to my web albuns... I´ll try to solve the problem as soon as possible.


I stand in awe of my body.

Henry David Thoreau


Imagination - It is that deceitful part in man, that mistress of error and falsity, the more deceptive that she is not always so; for she would be an infallible rule of truth, if she were an infallible rule of falsehood. But being most generally false, she gives no sign of her nature, impressing the same character on the true and the false. I do not speak of fools, I speak of the wisest men; and it is among them that the imagination has the great gift of persuasion. Reason protests in vain; it cannot set a true value on things. This arrogant power, the enemy of reason, who likes to rule and dominate it, has established in man a second nature to show how all-powerful she is. She makes men happy and sad, healthy and sick, rich and poor; she compels reason to believe, doubt, and deny; she blunts the senses, or quickens them; she has her fools and sages; and nothing vexes us more than to see that she fills her devotees with a satisfaction far more full and entire than does reason. Those who have a lively imagination are a great deal more pleased with themselves than the wise can reasonably be.
They look down upon men with haughtiness; they argue with boldness and confidence, others with fear and diffidence; and this gaiety of countenance often gives them the advantage in the opinion of the hearers, such favor have the imaginary wise in the eyes of judges of like nature. Imagination cannot make fools wise; but she can make them happy, to the envy of reason which can only make its friends miserable; the one covers them with glory, the other with shame. What but this faculty of imagination dispenses reputation, awards respect and veneration to persons, works, laws, and the great? How insufficient are all the riches of the earth without her consent!
Blaise Pascal, in 'Pensees'

I told you...

“I told you – I cannot think of anything without imagining it, without giving it shape in my mind´s eye and ear.”

A.S. Byatt, Possession.

Purely fictional

I have just met a wonderful new man. Sure he's fictional, but you can't have everything.

Woody Allen, screenplay, The Purple Rose of Cairo (1985)

Monday, August 20, 2007


S.C.Z. - Mykonos, Greece, 2006

Men of any worth or value soon come to see that they are in the hands of fate, and gratefully submit to be moulded by its teachings. They recognize that the fruit of life is experience, and not happiness; they become accustomed and content to exchange hope for insight; and, in the end, they can say, with Petrarch, that all they care for is to learn: Altro diletto che 'mparar, non provo. It may even be that they to some extent still follow their old wishes and aims, trifling with them, as it were, for the sake of appearances; all the while really and seriously looking for nothing but instruction; a process which lends them an air of genius, a trait of something contemplative and sublime. In their search for gold, the alchemists discovered other things - gunpowder, china, medicines, the laws of nature. There is a sense in which we are all alchemists.

Arthur Schopenhauer, in 'Aphorisms for the Wisdom of Life'

Love's Philosophy

S.C.Z. - Delos, Greece, 2006

Love's Philosophy
Percy Bysshe Shelley

The fountains mingle with the river,
And the rivers with the Ocean,
The winds of Heaven mix forever
With a sweet emotion;
Nothing in the world is single;
All things by law divine
In one spirit meet and mingle.
Why not I with thine? —

See the mountains kiss high Heaven
And the waves clasp one another,
No sister-flower would be forgiven
If it disdained its brother,
And the sunlight clasps the earth
And the moonbeams kiss the sea:
What is all this sweet work worth
If thou kiss not me?


S.C.Z. - Crete, Greece, 2006

He whom love touches not walks in darkness.



S.C. Zerbetto - Crete, Greece, 2006

"Any fool can make a rule, and every fool will mind it"
Thoreau, Henry

To the Gods

Foto: S.C. Zerbetto - Santorini, Grécia, 2006

"Let us first make an announcement to the gods, saying that we are not going to investigate about them, for we do not claim to be able to do that."

[Socrates, 469-399 BC. Plato, Cratylus 401a]

Sunday, August 19, 2007

A Dream Within a Dream

Foto: S.C.Z. Ruins of Troy, Turkey, 2006

Take this kiss upon the brow!
And, in parting from you now,
Thus much let me avow --
You are not wrong, who deem
That my days have been a dream;
Yet if hope has flown away
In a night, or in a day,
In a vision, or in none,
Is it therefore the less gone?
All that we see or seem
Is but a dream within a dream.

I stand amid the roar
Of a surf-tormented shore,
And I hold within my hand
Grains of the golden sand --
How few! yet how they creep
Through my fingers to the deep,
While I weep -- while I weep!
O God! can I not grasp
Them with a tighter clasp?
O God! can I not save
One from the pitiless wave?
Is all that we see or seem
But a dream within a dream?.

Edgar Allan Poe


Foto: S.C.Z. - Efesos, Turkey, 2006

Star of my life, to the stars your face is turned;
Would I were the heavens, looking back at you with ten thousand eyes.


The Gardener

Foto: S.C. Zerbetto - Istanbul, Turkey, 2006

Who are you, reader, reading my poems an hundred years hence?
I cannot send you one single flower from this wealth of the spring,
one single streak of gold from yonder clouds.
Open your doors and look abroad.
From your blossoming garden gather fragrant memories of the vanished
flowers of an hundred years before.
In the joy of your heart may you feel the living joy that sang one
spring morning, sending its glad voice across a hundred years.

Rabindranath Tagore

I've dreamed of you so much

Foto: S.C. Zerbetto - Athens, Greece, 2006

I've dreamed of you so much that you're losing your reality.
Is it already too late for me to embrace your literal, living and breathing
physical body
and to kiss that mouth which is the birthplace of that voice which is so dear
to me?
I've dreamed of you so much that my arms--which have become accustomed to
lying crossed upon my own chest after attempting to encircle your
shadow--might not be able to unfold again to embrace the contours of your
literal form, perhaps
So that coming face-to-face with the actual incarnation of what has haunted me
and ruled me and dominated my life for so many days and years
Might very well turn me into a shadow.
Oh equilibriums of the emotional scales!
I've dreamed of you so much that it might be too late for me to ever wake up
I sleep on my feet, body confronting all the usual phenomena of life and love
and yet
when it comes to you--you, the only being on the planet who matters to me
I can no more touch your face and lips than I can those of the next random
I've dreamed of you so much, have walked and talked and slept so much with
phantom presence that perhaps the only thing left for me to do now
Is to become a phantom among phantoms, a shadow a hundred times more shadowy
than that shifting shape which moves and which will go on moving,
stepping lightly and happily across the sundial of your life.

Robert Desnos

Saturday, August 18, 2007


Foto: S.C. Zerbetto - Delphi, Greece, 2006

Man is never helped in his suffering by what he thinks forhimself, but only by revelation of a wisdom greater than hisown. It is this which lifts him out of his distress.

Carl G. Jung


Foto: S.C. Zerbetto - Rhodes, Greece, 2006

Expect nothing. Live frugally on surprise.

Alice Walker

Friday, August 17, 2007

Love and Imagination

Foto: S.C. Zerbetto - Mykonos, Greece, 2006

Love and imagination are magicians
Who create an image of the Beloved in your mind
With which you share your secret intimate moments.

This apparition is made of nothing at all,
But from its mouth comes a question


A Lawyer Story - from

The United Way realized that it had never received a donation from the city's most successful lawyer. So a United Way volunteer paid the lawyer a visit in his lavish office. The volunteer opened the meeting by saying, "Our research shows that even though your annual income is over two million dollars, you don't give a penny to charity. Wouldn't you like to give something back to your community through the United Way?"

The lawyer thinks for a minute and says, "First, did your research also show you that my mother is dying after a long, painful illness and she has huge medical bills that are far beyond her ability to pay?"

Embarrassed, the United Way rep mumbles, "Uh... no, I didn't know that."

"Secondly," says the lawyer, "my brother, a disabled veteran, is blind and confined to a wheelchair and is unable to support his wife and six children." The stricken United Way rep begins to stammer an apology, but is cut off again.

"Thirdly, did your research also show you that my sister's husband died in a dreadful car accident, leaving her penniless with a mortgage and three children, one of whom is disabled and another that has learning disabilities requiring a huge array of private tutors?" The humiliated United Way rep, completely beaten, says, "I'm so sorry, I had no idea."

And the lawyer says, "So...if I didn't give any money to them, what makes you think I'd give any to you?"


Other lives of mine

Foto: S.C. Zerbetto - Delos, Greece, 2006

“It seems important that these other lives of mine should spam many centuries and as many places as my limited imagination can touch.”

A.S. Byatt, Possession

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Links for the poems posted today

1. Constantine P. Kavafy:


Foto: S.C. Zerbetto - Palace of Knossos - Crete, Greece, 2006

Some men are born to gather women's tears,
To give a harbour to their timorous fears,
To take them as the dry earth takes the rain,
As the dark wood the warm wind from the plain;
Yet their own tears remain unshed,
Their own tumultuous fears unsaid,
And, seeming steadfast as the forest and the earth,
Shaken are they with pain.
They cry for voice as earth might cry for the sea
Or the wood for consuming fire;
Unanswered they remain
Subject to the sorrows of women utterly --
Heart and mind,
Subject as the dry earth to the rain
Or the dark wood to the wind.

Duncan Campbell Scott

I Sought on Earth a Garden of Delight

Foto: S.C. Zerbetto - Crete, Greece, 2006

I sought on earth a garden of delight,
Or island altar to the Sea and Air,
Where gentle music were accounted prayer,
And reason, veiled, performed the happy rite.
My sad youth worshipped at the piteous height
Where God vouchsafed the death of man to share;
His love made mortal sorrow light to bear,
But his deep wounds put joy to shamed flight.
And though his arms, outstretched upon the tree,
Were beautiful, and pleaded my embrace,
My sins were loath to look upon his face.
So came I down from Golgotha to thee,
Eternal Mother; let the sun and sea
Heal me, and keep me in thy dwelling-place.

George Santayana

As much as you can

Foto: S.C. Zerbetto - Santorini, Greece, 2006

Even if you cannot shape your life as you want it,
at least try this
as much as you can; do not debase it
in excessive contact with the world,
in the excessive movements and talk.

Do not debase it by taking it,
dragging it often and exposing it
to the daily folly
of relationships and associations,
until it becomes burdensome as an alien life.

Constantine P. Cavafy (1913)


Foto: S.C. Zerbetto - Ruins of Troy, Turkey, 2006

Maybe he believes me, maybe not.
Maybe I can marry him, maybe not.

Maybe the wind on the prairie,
The wind on the sea, maybe,
Somebody, somewhere, maybe can tell.

I will lay my head on his shoulder
And when he asks me I will say yes,

Carl Sandburg

Ionian Song

Foto: S.C. Zerbetto - Mykonos, Greece, 2006

Just because we have broken their statues,
just because we have driven them out of their temples,
the gods did not die because of this at all.
O Ionian land, it is you they still love,
it is you their souls still remember.
When an August morning dawns upon you
a vigor from their life moves through your air;
and at times an ethereal youthful figure,
indistinct, in rapid stride,
crosses over your hills.

Constantine P. Cavafy (1911)

The Rose of the World

Foto: S.C. Zerbetto - Delphi, Greece, 2006

Who dreamed that beauty passes like a dream?
For these red lips, with all their mournful pride,
Mournful that no new wonder may betide,
Troy passed away in one high funeral gleam,
And Usna's children died.

We and the labouring world are passing by:
Amid men's souls, that waver and give place
Like the pale waters in their wintry race,
Under the passing stars, foam of the sky,
Lives on this lonely face.

Bow down, archangels, in your dim abode:
Before you were, or any hearts to beat,
Weary and kind one lingered by His seat;
He made the world to be a grassy road
Before her wandering feet.

William Butler Yeats.


Foto: S.C. Zerbetto - Efesos, Turkey, 2006.

Without consideration, without pity, without shame
they have built great and high walls around me.

And now I sit here and despair.
I think of nothing else: this fate gnaws at my mind;

for I had many things to do outside.
Ah why did I not pay attention when they were building the walls.

But I never heard any noise or sound of builders.
Imperceptibly they shut me from the outside world.

Constantine P. Cavafy (1896)


Foto: S.C. Zerbetto - Athens, 2006

Dogmas—religious, political, scientific—arise arise out of the erroneousbelief that thought can encapsulate reality or the truth. Dogmas arecollective conceptual prisons. And the strange thing is that people lovetheir prison cells because they give them a sense of security and a falsesense of "I know."

From: 'Stillness Speaks', by Eckhart Tolle

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

And do you know what a dreamer is, gentlemen?

Foto: S.C. Zerbetto - Istanbul, Turkey - 2006

And do you know what a dreamer is, gentlemen? It is a personified sin, it is a mute, mysterious, gloomy and wild tragedy, with all its frantic horrors, catastrophes, peripeteias and unhappy endings... A dreamer is always a difficult sort of person because he is unpredictable to a degree: sometimes too cheerful, sometimes too gloomy, at times rude, at others very considerable and tender, one moment an egoist and another capable of the most honourable feelings... Is not such a life a tragedy? Is it not a sin, a horror? Is it not a caricature? And are we not all more or less dreamers?

Fiodor Dostoievski, in 'Occasional Writings'

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Glorious masterpiece

Foto: S.C. Zerbetto - Istanbul, Turkey - 2006

We are great fools: He has spent his life in idleness. We say, 'I have done nothing today.' Really, have you not lived? This is not only the most fundamental but the most illustrious of your occupations… Have you been able to think about and manage your life? You have managed the greatest burden of all… To compose our nature is our responsibility, not to write books. To gain order and tranquility, not to win battles and provinces, is our goal. Our grand and glorious masterpiece is to live suitably.

Michel de Montaigne

Humor - from

Actual Car Accident Statements

Man Driver: I had been driving my car for forty years when I fell asleep at the wheel and had the accident.

Woman Driver: The accident occurred when I was attempting to bring my car out of skid by steering it into the other vehicle.

Woman Driver: I saw the slow moving, sad face, old gentleman as he bounced off the hood of my car.

Man Driver: The other car attempted to cut in front of me, so I, with my right front bumper, removed his left rear tail light.

Woman Driver: I had been learning to drive with power steering I turned the wheel to what I thought was enough and found myself in a different direction going the opposite way.

Man Driver: I was backing my car out of the driveway in the usual manner, when it was struck by the other car in the same place it had been struck several times before.

Man Driver: I was on my way to the doctor's with rear end trouble when my universal joint gave way causing me to have an accident.

Woman Driver: I was taking my canary to the hospital. It got loose in the car and flew out the window. The next thing I saw was his rear end and there was a crash.

Man Driver: As I approached the intersection, a stop sign suddenly appeared in a place where a stop sign had never appeared before. I was unable to stop in time to avoid the accident.

Woman Driver: My car was legally parked as it backed into the other vehicle.

Woman Driver: An invisible car came out of nowhere, struck my vehicle and vanished.

Man Driver: I told the police that I was not injured, but on removing my hat, I found that I had a fractured skull.

Woman Driver: I was sure the old fellow would never make it to the other side of the roadway when I struck him.

Woman Driver: When I saw I could not avoid a collision I stepped on the gas and crashed into the other car.

Man Driver: The indirect cause of this accident was a little guy in a small car with a big mouth.

Man Driver: My girlfriend kissed me. I lost control and woke up in the hospital.

New Parking Rules (Not to be taken seriously!)

Rule #1 - When waiting for a parking spot, stop in the middle of the road, don't signal, and orient your car diagonally to prevent others from passing.

Rule #2 - Always park on the lines, taking up as many spots as possible. Diagonal parking is preferred.

Rule #3 - In a crowded parking lot, if you find a spot and have the opportunity to pull through to an adjacent one, drive up half way and stop on the line, taking both.

Rule #4 - As you pull into a spot, if you see that the space ahead of you is empty and you see another driver signaling to take it, pull though and take it from him.

Rule #5 - Always park close enough to the adjacent car so that the other driver must grease up with Vaseline to squeeze into his/her car.

Rule #6 - When getting out of your car, hit the adjacent vehicle with your door really hard.

Rule #7 - When driving through the parking lot, ignore the painted lanes and drive diagonally from one end to another at a high rate of speed.

Rule #8 - Empty your ashtrays on the ground in shopping center parking lots. While your at it, dump out all the garbage, too, including that Wendy's or McDonald's bag sitting in the back seat from breakfast.

Rule #9 - When a vehicle from the opposite direction is signaling and waiting for a parking space, position your car so that you are in his way and let the car behind you take it.

Rule #10 - If you don't see a speed limit sign posted in the malls parking lot, there isn't any!


A thing of beauty...

Foto: S.C. Zerbetto - Istanbul, Turkey - 2006.

A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
Its loveliness increases, it will never
Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.
Therefore, on every morrow, are we wreathing
A flowery band to bind us to the earth,
Spite of despondence, of the inhuman dearth
Of noble natures, of the gloomy days,
Of all the unhealthy and o'er—darkened ways
Made of our searching; yes, in spite of all
Some shape of beauty moves away the pall
From our dark spirits.

"Endymion (extract)" by John Keats.


Please, return later.