Sunday, June 28, 2020

Face to Face with What You Are

"You find a flower half-buried in leaves,
And in your eye its very fate resides.
Loving beauty, you caress the bloom;
Soon enough, you'll sweep petals from the floor.
Terrible to love the lovely so,
To count your own years, to say "I'm old,"
To see a flower half-buried in leaves
And come face to face with what you are."
-  Han Shan, circa 630 CE 
Translated by Peter Stambler, Cold Mountain Buddhas

"The pathos of death is this, that when the days of one's life are ended, those days that were so crowded with business and felt so heavy in their passing, what remains of one in memory should usually be so slight a thing.  The phantom of an attitude, the echo of a certain mode of thought, a few pages of print, some invention, or some victory we gained in a brief critical hours, are all that can survive the best of us.  It is as if the whole of a man's significance had now shrunk into a mere musical note or phrase, suggestive of his singularity─happy are those whose singularity gives a note so clear as to be victorious over the inevitable pity of such a diminution and abridgment."
-  William James, A Memorial Address for Ralph Waldo Emerson

Death: Quotes, Sayings, Lore

How to Live a Good Life: Advice from Wise Persons

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