If you remember me, then I don’t care if everyone else forgets. Time weighs down on you like an old, ambiguous dream. You keep on moving, trying to slip through it. But even if you go to the ends of the earth, you won’t be able to escape it. Still, you have to go there – to the edge of the world. There’s something you can’t do unless you get there. ~ Haruki Murakami (Photo by Tim Walker)

'The Abyss' Sculpture by Pietro Canonica

Not seeing her decision was already at hand, already foretold in the stars’ slow-circling parables, his thoughts had drifted off somewhere; and the rain-washed pebbles beneath his feet, the teary shine they each blinked back, seemed the sad reminder of a dream he’d once had as a boy. About a girl he’d imagined was moving toward him through all the uncertainties of time and space, over secret pathways, crossing hidden streams, and destined like Plato’s paradigm to complete them both in the rounded shell-shape of a single soul…
~
Sherod Santos

He is painting my back. Dips his brush in blue, lavishing waves along my spine. The sea reaches the sky at the horizon of my shoulders. He paints a feather on the nape of my neck. The bluebird has already flown away. ~ Leah Kaminsky (Photo by Baldovino Baranni)

Run my dear, from anything that may not strengthen your precious budding wings. Run like hell, my dear, from anyone likely to put a sharp knife into the sacred, tender vision of your beautiful heart. ~ Hafiz

One morning, the Mongol warrior, Genghis Khan, and his court went out hunting. His companions carried bows and arrows, but Genghis Khan carried on his arm his favorite falcon, which was better and surer than any arrow, because it could fly up into the skies and see everything that human beings could not.

However, despite the group’s enthusiastic efforts, they found nothing. Disappointed, Genghis Khan returned to his encampment and in order not to take out his frustration on his companions, he left the rest of the party and rode on alone. They had stayed in the forest for longer than expected, and Khan was desperately tired and thirsty. In the summer heat, all the streams had dried up, and he could find nothing to drink. Then, to his amazement, he saw a thread of water flowing from a rock just in front of him.

He removed the falcon from his arm, and took out the silver cup which he always carried with him. It was very slow to fill, and just as he was about to raise it to his lips, the falcon flew up, plucked the cup from his hands, and dashed it to the ground.

Genghis Khan was furious, but then the falcon was his favorite, and perhaps it, too, was thirsty. He picked up the cup, cleaned off the dirt, and filled it again. The cup was only half full this time. The falcon again attacked it, spilling the water.

Genghis Khan adored this bird, but he knew that he could not, under any circumstances, allow such disrespect; someone might be watching this scene from afar and, later on, would tell his warriors that the great conqueror was incapable taming a mere bird.

This time, he drew his sword, picked up the cup and refilled it, keeping one eye on the stream and the other on the falcon. As soon as he had enough water in the cup and was ready to drink, the falcon again took flight and flew toward him. Khan, with one thrust, pierced the bird’s breast.

The thread of water, however, had dried up; but Khan, determined now to find something to drink, climbed the rock on search of the spring. To his surprise, there really was a pool of water and, in the middle of it, dead, lay one of the most poisonous snakes in the region. If he had drunk the water, he too, would have died.

Khan returned to camp with the dead falcon in his arms. He ordered a gold figurine of the bird to be made and on one of the wings, he had engraved:
Even when a friend does something you do not like,
he continues to be your friend.
And on the other wing, he had these words engraved:
Any action committed in anger is an action
doomed to failure.

~
Paulo Coelho
Like The River Flowing

What is honor compared to a woman’s love? What is duty against the feel of a newborn son in your arms… Wind and words. Wind and words. We are only human, and the gods have fashioned us for love. That is our great glory, and our great tragedy. ~ George R.R. Martin (Photo by Annie Leibovitz)

Look what we do to one another, as if nothing but having will sustain us. Not the having, but the taking. I want, I want. You, then me. The struggle to give everything away. ~ Tracy K. Smith

I keep looking for one more teacher, only to find that fish learn from water and birds learn from sky. If you want to learn about the sea, it helps to be at sea. If you want to learn about compassion, it helps to be in love. If you want to learn about healing, it helps to know of suffering. The strong live in the storm without worshipping the storm. ~ Mark Nepo (Photo by Ruven Afanador)

Photo on the right by Helen Sobiralski

All this windless day snow fell into the King’s Garden where I walked, perfecting and growing old, abandoning one by one everybody: randomly in love with the paradise furnace of my mind. Now I sit in the dark, dreaming of a marble sun and its strictness. This is to tell you I am not coming back. To tell you instead of my private life among people who must wrestle their hearts in order to feel anything, as though it were unnatural. What I master by day still lapses in the night. But I go on with the cargo cult, blindly feeling the snow come down, learning to flower by tightening.
~
Jack Gilbert

On different shores, we will become the other’s myth: the pearl that forms around the grain that we remember, a word that named the meeting place – or syllable that sounded like a bird that carries fire. ~ Carol Quinn (Photo by Annie Leibovitz)