What makes a nation's pillars high
And its foundations strong?
What makes it mighty to defy
The foes that round it throng?
t is not gold. Its kingdoms grand
Go down in battle shock;
Its shafts are laid on sinking sand,
Not on abiding rock.
Is it the sword? Ask the red dust
Of empires passed away;
The blood has turned their stones to rust,
Their glory to decay.
And is it pride? Ah, that bright crown
Has seemed to nations sweet;
But God has struck its luster down
In ashes at his feet.
Not gold but only men can make
A people great and strong;
Men who for truth and honor's sake
Stand fast and suffer long.
Brave men who work while others sleep,
Who dare while others fly...
They build a nation's pillars deep
And lift them to the sky. - Willam Ralph Emerson
(A gift on my birthday)
“What is REAL?" asked the Velveteen Rabbit one day... "Does it mean having things that buzz inside you and a stick-out handle?"
"Real isn't how you are made," said the Skin Horse. "It's a thing that happens to you. When [someone] loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real."
"Does it hurt?" asked the Rabbit.
"Sometimes," said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. "When you are Real you don't mind being hurt."
"Does it happen all at once, like being wound up," he asked, "or bit by bit?"
"It doesn't happen all at once," said the Skin Horse. "You become. It takes a long time. That's why it doesn't often happen to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept.
"Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don't matter at all, because once you are Real you can't be ugly, except to people who don't understand... once you are Real you can't become unreal again. It lasts for always.”
“Perhaps we all give the best of our hearts uncritically--to those who hardly think about us in return.” - E.B. White
She travels so far.
With no star to follow, she threads the space between us.
But oh to hear the Sound! It welcomes us both again as old friends.
Looking out, it is quiet now, dark and deep and cold, with a grey memory.
But then every color bursts out of the morning, unexpectedly, like a parade down the corridors of an old library.
The miles behind us evaporate like illusions of water on the road.
We move as purposefully as blood rushing through the veins of their twin hearts.
And I am compelled to look ahead, for she tells me that the future belongs to us.
We are still. Proceeding.
An ever-green imagination in the middle of nowhere.
Until we wind up a precarious way.
Intruding upon three wise men.
Huddled together, they bear us gifts. And in the sand we light fire to our dreams.
Taken by the wind, two stars of royal beauty.
Now the miles call us back. So we mount our faithful stallion. Eastward leaning.
Please guide us to thy perfect light.
He hears the seagulls calling from the balcony
The violet hues have replaced the darkness before the dawn
The softest creek from the door and the metal latch finds its home
Footsteps down the stairs; or it is something else now that moves beyond his sight?
Did the waves wash over you completely? Are you alone on the eroding shore?
That he would come to it at last...but the tide has turned, the morning moon
crescent in his eyes, where her light lingers as if a far off star
A long blink. A memory. A ghost.
She lets go of hundreds of thoughts simultaneously as he whispers. He seduces her as the wind, without words. Combing through every strand of her body, the fibers of her being yearn to slip off her like a silk nightgown to the floor. Without conscious thought, just the rhythmic universality of this dance with the passing stranger. Until she is bare. Her body still on the cold, hard ground. Dreaming of the fall.