On Being Human
Begin your day with a quiet thanksgiving. There in its quietness it is — life. While the machines are humming, impatiently waiting for us to get trapped in their magnetic glow. Then say thanks once again. For the beauty and the gift of being human.
Today is Thanksgiving Day here in the United States. Today I let my human mind roam as it wishes. I allow it to retrieve names and memories of other humans who have written about what it means to be human. In their own spectacular way. I am thankful that you read these words today. I am thankful that I can learn from others who came before me and others who walk with me. I am grateful to be human.
“Renew your Brilliance. 'Tis the privilege of the Phoenix. Ability is wont to grow old, and with it fame. The staleness of custom weakens admiration, and a mediocrity that's new often eclipses the highest excellence grown old. Try therefore to be born again in valour, in genius, in fortune, in all. Display startling novelties, rise afresh like the sun every day. Change too the scene on which you shine, so that your loss may be felt in the old scenes of your triumph, while the novelty of your powers wins you applause in the new.”
[The Art of Worldly Wisdom by Baltasar Gracian]
Inne i den väldiga romanska kyrkan trängdes turisterna
Valv gapande bakom valv och ingen överblick.
Några ljuslågor fladdrade.
En ängel utan ansikte omfamnade mig
och viskade genom hela kroppen:
”Skäms inte för att du är människa, var stolt!
Inne i dig öppnar sig valv bakom valv oändligt.
Du blir aldrig färdig, och det är som det skall.”
Jag var blind av tårar
och föstes ut på den solsjudande piazzan
tillsammans med Mr och Mrs Jones, Herr Tanaka och
och inne i dem alla öppnade sig valv bakom valv oändligt.
“There is no culture without a tomb and no tomb without a culture; in the end the tomb is the first and only cultural symbol. The above-ground tomb does not have to be invented. It is the pile of stones in which the victim of the unanimous stoning is buried. It is the first pyramid.”
[René Girard, Things Hidden Since the Foundation of the World]
“Well, very long ago, on the spot where the Wild Wood waves now, before ever it had planted itself and grown up to what it now is, there was a city - a city of people, you know. Here, where we are standing, they lived, and walked, and talked, and slept, and carried on their business. Here they stabled their horses and feasted, from here they rode out to fight or drove out to trade. They were a powerful people, and rich, and great builders. They built to last, for they thought their city would last for ever.”
[Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows]
“Often we pass beside happiness without seeing it, without looking at it, or even if we have seen and looked at it, without recognizing it.”
[Alexandre Dumas, The Count of Monte Cristo]
A thought: Look away from your computer or phone and reflect on which of these passages resonates with you. Then think of a writer or story that has stuck with you through the years. What is it and why? Would you mind sharing it here below?