Turnstone

Shards, Sweepings, Stealings, Sayings, Secrets

Month: December, 2011

St Francis

The saint I love the most is St Francis of Assisi. He’s strongly connected with several of the Spanish caminos. The prayer attributed to him is well known, and is beautiful. He described the wind and the rain as his brothers. He said that “all the darkness in the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.” And he also said, modestly and humbly, “I have been all things unholy. If God can work through me, He can work through anyone.” After a serious illness and spiritual crisis in 1204, he embraced a life of poverty and non-materialism. He’s forever associated with a love for nature, for animals and flowers, and with a deep and humane compassion for the poor and the sick.

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Things Are What We Make Them

“Time and space, succession and extension, are merely accidental conditions of Thought. The Imagination can transcend them and move in a free sphere of ideal existence. Things, also, are in their essence what we choose to make them. A thing is, according to the mode in which one looks at it. ‘Where others,’ says Blake, ‘see but the Dawn coming over the hill, I see the sons of God shouting for joy.'”

Oscar Wilde De Profundis 

The Unknowable Soul Of Man

“In one sense of the word it is, of course, necessary, as the Greek oracle said, to know oneself. That is the first achievement of knowledge. But to recognise that the soul of a man is unknowable is the ultimate achievement of Wisdom. When one has weighed the sun in a balance, and measured the steps of the moon, and mapped out the seven heavens star by star, there still remains oneself. Who can calculate the orbit of his own soul?”

Oscar Wilde De Profundis

A Transparent Summer Morning

“I believe in you, my soul …

Loaf with me on the grass, loose the stop from your throat …

Only the lull I like, the hum of your valvèd voice.

I mind how once we lay such a transparent summer morning …

Swiftly arose and spread around me the peace and knowledge that pass all the argument of the earth,

And I know that the hand of God is the promise of my own,

And I know that the spirit of God is the brother of my own,

And that all the men ever born are also my brothers, and the women my sisters and lovers,

And that a kelson* of the creation is love …”

Walt Whitman Song Of Myself (Quoted by William James in The Varieties Of Religious Experience)

* “kelson’ or ‘keelson”: a longitudinal beam fastened to the keel of a vessel for strength and stiffness