Tuesday, January 31, 2012

But Still Within...Ray Lovegrove

Free Man In Powys: But Still Within...: One thing can be known by many different names ~ it’s true! If the Sami peoples have three-hundred words for snow (claims about Inuit words...

Monday, January 30, 2012

Different Gifts ~ Desmond Tutu

"It always comes back to our insecurities, as we say, "Oh, I'm not as good as you." So instead of accepting that perhaps I am not as good as someone else in some ways and being comfortable with who I am as I am, I spend all my time denigrating you, trying to cut you down to my self-perceived size. The sad problem is that we see ourselves as being quite terribly small. Instead of spending my time being envious, I need to celebrate your and my different gifts, even if mine are perhaps less spectacular than yours." 

— Desmond Tutu

This Life ~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

“Beautiful as a dandelion-blossom, golden in the green grass, 
This life can be. 
Common as a dandelion-blossom, beautiful in the clean grass, not beautiful 
Because common, beautiful because beautiful, 
Noble because common, because free.” 

― Edna St. Vincent Millay

Sunday, January 29, 2012

We Have Oars ~ Garrison Keillor

“A person cannot coast along in old destructive habits year after year and accept whatever comes along. A person must stand up on her own two legs and walk. Get off the bus and go get on another. Climb out of the ditch and cross the road. Find the road that's where you want to go. ... The only sermon that counts is the one that is formed by our actions..... A person can grab hold of her life and change things for the better. This happens all the time. We are not chips of wood drifting down the stream of time. We have oars.”

~ Garrison Keillor

More at  http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2004/mar/06/featuresreviews.guardianreview14

Artwork from Thomas Danthony

Genuine, Warm, Simple ~ Joshua Loth Liebman

“The primary joy of life is acceptance, approval, the sense of appreciation and companionship of our human comrades. Many men do not understand that the need for fellowship is really as deep as the need for food, and so they go through life accepting many substitutes for genuine, warm, simple.”

- Joshua Loth Liebman

More at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua_L._Liebman

Non-violent Action ~ Helen Fox

"Over the past hundred years, non-violent action by ordinary people has accomplished massive social change, toppling dictators, overthrowing colonial governments, ending participation in unjust wars, rewriting oppressive laws, reconciling victims and perpetrators, and healing families and communities. Non-violent action requires leadership, intelligence, creativity, moral and physical courage, self discipline, and brilliant strategy. Why then, do so many people believe that a non-violent response to injustice or attack is unworkable, or “too idealistic”?  Every major religion: Buddhism, Islam, Christianity, Hinduism, and Judaism, councils its followers to sanctify human life and treat all human beings as family. Why, then, do we continue to train young people to kill, maim, and terrorize others? Why do we support a military budget that is three times that of our major adversaries combined? Why do we call our country’s aggression “just” and “noble,” and our enemies’ aggression “unjust,” “mindless,” and “evil”?  Why do we caricature and dehumanize people of other races as a prelude to our aggression against them?  Why are we so reluctant to investigate the root causes of violence: poverty,oppression, ignorance, and fear."  ~Helen Fox

More at;   http://www.h-net.org/~peace/hpsyll-fox.pdf
and;  http://www-personal.umich.edu/~hfox/index.html

Friday, January 27, 2012

A Few Mistakes ~ Benjamin Spock

"The more people have studied different methods of bringing up children the more they have come to the conclusion that what good mothers and fathers instinctively feel like doing for their babies is the best after all. All parents do their best job when they have a natural, easy confidence in themselves. Better to make a few mistakes from being natural than to try to do everything letter-perfect out of a feeling of worry."

"I would say that the surest measure of a man's or a woman's maturity is the harmony, style, joy, and dignity he creates in his marriage, and the pleasure and inspiration he provides for his spouse."

~ Benjamin Spock

More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Benjamin_Spock

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Wi Bickering Brattle! ~ Ray Lovegrove

Free Man In Powys: Wi Bickering Brattle!: ( Whisper ) It is dark, so dark that I need my torch to see what I’m doing. I am twelve years old and my parents are downstairs watching tel...

Abundance ~ Isabel Allende

“At the most difficult moments of my life, when it seemed that every door was closed to me, the taste of those apricots comes back to comfort me with the notion that abundance is always within reach, if only one knows how to find it.” 

~ Isabel Allende

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Wait Patiently ~ John Nicholson

"Finally, we need to divest ourselves of the distractions and cumber that cloud the working of the spirit, and wait patiently for the answers that come in God’s time, not ours. Patient resignation in love can lead us to understanding that the answer is God’s, not ours. Unfortunately we are not in a world accustomed to patience. Days are tightly scheduled; many are the demands. Yet some find time to wait, to prepare, to escape self, living in that center which gives meaning to our being."

~ John Nicholson

More at http://www.universalistfriends.org/quf94.html

Interaction ~ John Seymour

"The true homesteader will seek to husband his land, not exploit it. He will wish to improve and maintain the "heart" of his land, its fertility. He will learn by observing nature that growing one crop only, or keeping one species of animal only, on the same piece of land is not in the natural order of things. He will  therefore wish to nurture the animals and plants on his land to ensure the survival of the widest possible variety of natural forms. He will understand and encourage the interaction between them. He will even leave some areas of wilderness on his land, where wild forms of life can flourish. Where he cultivates he will always keep in mind the needs of his soil, considering each animal and each plant for what beneficial effect it might have on the land. Above all, he will realize that if he interferes with the chain of life (of which he is a part) he does so at his peril, for he cannot avoid disturbing a natural balance."  ~  John Seymour

Monday, January 23, 2012

An Adult Life ~ Garrison Keillor

"Girls had it good. They got to stay indoors. Boys had to run around in the yard with toy guns going kksshh-kksshh, fighting wars for made up reasons, while girls played with dolls, creating complex family groups and learning how to solve problems through negotiation and role playing. Which gender is better equipped, on the whole, to live an adult life, would you guess?"

 ~  Garrison Keillor
More at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garrison_Keillor

N.B. ~ While searching for a picture to go with this story I found the link below (painful reading). Playing with toy guns has never seemed 'harmless fun' to me. If you have time please take a look (HQ)-

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Everyday Epiphanies ~ John Milton

“Gratitude bestows reverence, allowing us to encounter everyday epiphanies, those transcendent moments of awe that change forever how we experience life and the world.”

John Milton

Free eBooks and Kindle editions by John Milton ~

More at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Milton

Friday, January 20, 2012

Always Busy ~ Kenneth Grahame

“Nothing seems really to matter, that's the charm of it. Whether you get away, or whether you don't; whether you arrive at your destination or whether you reach somewhere else, or whether you never get anywhere at all, you're always busy, and you never do anything in particular; and when you've done it there's always something else to do, and you can do it if you like, but you'd much better not.” 

~ Kenneth Grahame

Free eBooks and kindle editions by Kenneth Grahame (including 'The Wind in the Willows' at:
(If you can find anything better than that for free on the internet I'll be astonished!)

Not Made For Humans ~ Alice Walker

“The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any more than black people were made for white, or women created for men.”

― Alice Walker

More at:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alice_Walker

Women are Made of Cast-Iron ~ L. Frank Baum

“As they passed the rows of houses they saw through the open doors that men were sweeping and dusting and washing dishes, while the women sat around in groups, gossiping and laughing.

What has happened?' the Scarecrow asked a sad-looking man with a bushy beard, who wore an apron and was wheeling a baby carriage along the sidewalk.

Why, we've had a revolution, your Majesty -- as you ought to know very well,' replied the man; 'and since you went away the women have been running things to suit themselves. I'm glad you have decided to come back and restore order, for doing housework and minding the children is wearing out the strength of every man in the Emerald City.'

Hm!' said the Scarecrow, thoughtfully. 'If it is such hard work as you say, how did the women manage it so easily?'

I really do not know,' replied the man, with a deep sigh. 'Perhaps the women are made of cast-iron.”

~ L. Frank Baum

Men and Housework; http://freemaninpowys.blogspot.com/2012/01/housewives-choice.html
More at;  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/L._Frank_Baum

Thursday, January 19, 2012

On Holy Ground ~ John Wood

"All kind of marvelous things go on.
I don't see how anyone who has looked, and seen,
can do ought but say, ‘where I stand, wherever I stand,
I am on holy ground."

~ John Wood

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

I Second That Emotion ~ Ray Lovegrove

Free Man In Powys: I Second That Emotion: ‘He’s very emotional, isn’t he?’ I try to look surprised ~ and fail. I say ‘Oh, is he?’, but my mouth is locked into a polite smile and my...

Heart of Hearts ~ John W Rountree

"This human experience, ~ is that all so clear that he who runs may read? Is there no difficulty, ~ nothing to conflict with our thought of the universal love? ....No; if we are honest, and take life as it really is, we are bound to see its difficulties and its problems upon every hand; we are bound to cry with Plato for that divine, that surer word, which shall carry us across this sea of difficulty. And more than that; in our heart of hearts we know it; deep down there is a craving which cannot be quenched, which we cannot extinguish,--a craving for a personal: knowledge of God, a groping in the darkness with hands of prayer feeling for Him we love, that through all this tangle of difficulty that surrounds us he reach down to us the divine hand, that we may grasp like children,--we may be lifted up out of that which threatens to overwhelm us, to feel and know the love of it. It is not a question of creeds; it is not a question of theology, of orthodoxy or heterodoxy; it is a question of reality of healing; in a word, of knowing that God is love,--to be so conscious of our relationship with him that it can sustain us, no matter what we think, or believe. Such a relationship presses right down below words into the very centre of our being, and tides us over and bears us on and lifts us above all the trials and drag and friction of our every-day life. There is not a man, there is not a woman, that in his or her heart of hearts has not known that longing to know God."

More at ~  http://www.qhpress.org/quakerpages/qhoa/rowntree.htm
and  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_Wilhelm_Rowntree

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

All Wars are Follies ~ Benjamin Franklin

"All Wars are Follies, very expensive, and very mischievous ones. When will Mankind be convinced of this, and agree to settle their differences by arbitration? Were they to do it, even by the cast of a dye, it would be better than by Fighting and destroying each other."

"I believe there is one Supreme most perfect being. ... I believe He is pleased and delights in the happiness of those He has created; and since without virtue man can have no happiness in this world, I firmly believe He delights to see me virtuous. "

Benjamin Franklin

Monday, January 16, 2012

Love of the Job ~ Dorothy L. Sayers

“When a job is undertaken form necessity...the worker is self-consciously aware of the toils and pains he undergoes...But when the job is a labor of love, the sacrifices will present themselves to the worker--strange as it may seem--in the guise of enjoyment. Moralists, looking on at this, will always judge that the former kind of sacrifice is more admirable than the later, because the moralist, whatever he may pretend, has far more respect for pride than for love...I do not mean that there is no nobility in doing unpleasant things from a sense of duty, but only that there is more nobility in doing them gladly out of sheer love of the job.”

― Dorothy L. Sayers

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Never at Rest ~ May Sarton

“I can tell you that solitude
Is not all exaltation, inner space
Where the soul breathes and work can be done.
Solitude exposes the nerve,
Raises up ghosts.
The past, never at rest, flows through it.”

~ May Sarton

More at  

Hands in the Dark ~ Emily Greene Balch

"Let us be patient with one another,
And even patient with ourselves.
We have a long, long way to go.
So let us hasten along the road,
The road of human tenderness and generosity.
Groping, we may find one another's hands in the dark."

More at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emily_Greene_Balch

Friday, January 13, 2012

George Fox Stands for Something ~ Walt Whitman

"George Fox stands for something too—a thought—the thought that wakes in silent hours—perhaps the deepest, most eternal thought latent in the human soul. This is the thought of God, merged in the thoughts of moral right and the immortality of identity. Great, great is this thought—aye, greater than all else."

Walt Whitman

More at  http://www.bartleby.com/229/5022.html

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Focus Your Longing ~ John O'Donohue

"For too long, we have believed that the divine is outside us.  This belief has strained our longing disastrously.  This is so lonely since it is human longing that makes us holy.  The most beautiful thing about us is our longing;  this longing is spiritual and has great depth and wisdom.  If you focus your longing on a faraway divinity, you put an unfair strain on your longing.  Thus it often happens that the longing reaches out towards the distant divine, but, because it over-strains itself, it bends back to become cynicism, emptiness or negativity.  This can destroy your sensibility.  Yet we do not need to put any strain on our longing.  If we believe that the body is in the soul and the soul is divine ground, then the presence of the divine is completely here, close with us."

John O'Donohue

More at ; http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_O'Donohue                                                         

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Housewives Choice ~ Ray Lovegrove

Free Man In Powys: Housewives Choice: Whatever else I try to be, most of my time is taken up with looking after my home and family. My wife has a demanding and successful career...

Ordinary Equality ~ Alice Stokes Paul

 "I never doubted that equal rights was the right direction. Most reforms, most problems are complicated. But to me there is nothing complicated about ordinary equality."

"This world crisis came about without women having anything to do with it. If the women of the world had not been excluded from world affairs, things today might have been different."

"There will never be a new world order until women are a part of it."

Alice Stokes Paul

More at  http://www.lkwdpl.org/wihohio/paul-ali.htm

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Sit up Nights ~ Giovanni Boccaccio

“You must read, you must persevere, you must sit up nights, you must inquire, and exert the utmost power of your mind. If one way does not lead to the desired meaning, take another; if obstacles arise, then still another; until, if your strength holds out, you will find that clear which at first looked dark.”

― Giovanni Boccaccio

Free eBooks and Kindle editions by Boccaccio at;

Monday, January 9, 2012

Inner Value ~ Joseph Campbell

“We're so engaged in doing things to achieve purposes of outer value that we forget the inner value, the rapture that is associated with being alive, is what it is all about.” 

― Joseph Campbell

More at  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Campbell

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Man is Mystery ~ Fyodor Dostoyevsky

“Man is a mystery. It needs to be unravelled, and if you spend your whole life unravelling it, don't say that you've wasted time. I am studying that mystery because I want to be a human being.” 

― Fyodor Dostoyevsky

A Place of Loving Friendship ~ Advices and Queries Quakers in Britain

"Do you recognise the needs and gifts of each member of your family and household, not forgetting your own? Try to make your home a place of loving friendship and enjoyment, where all who live or visit may find the peace and refreshment of God's presence."

More at  http://www.quaker.org.uk/advices/26

Friday, January 6, 2012

Narrow Self-love ~ Franz Winkler

“Not too long ago thousands spent their lives as recluses to find spiritual vision in the solitude of nature. Modern man need not become a hermit to achieve this goal, for it is neither ecstasy nor world-estranged mysticism his era demands, but a balance between quantitative and qualitative reality. Modern man, with his reduced capacity for intuitive perception, is unlikely to benefit from the contemplative life of a hermit in the wilderness. But what he can do is to give undivided attention, at times, to a natural phenomenon, observing it in detail, and recalling all the scientific facts about it he may remember. Gradually, however, he must silence his thoughts and, for moments at least, forget all his personal cares and desires, until nothing remains in his soul but awe for the miracle before him. Such efforts are like journeys beyond the boundaries of narrow self-love and, although the process of intuitive awakening is laborious and slow, its rewards are noticeable from the very first. If pursued through the course of years, something will begin to stir in the human soul, a sense of kinship with the forces of life consciousness which rule the world of plants and animals, and with the powers which determine the laws of matter. While analytical intellect may well be called the most precious fruit of the Modern Age, it must not be allowed to rule supreme in matters of cognition. If science is to bring happiness and real progress to the world, it needs the warmth of man's heart just as much as the cold inquisitiveness of his brain.”

― Franz Winkler

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Wonderful Place ~ Melancholy Jane

"In meeting this morning, we had a fire at the hearth. I love very few things on this earth more than a fire when the weather is chilly or cold. The hypnotizing sounds, smells, visions, and warmth all transport me to a calm and wonderful place. My thoughts today have wandered to the many ways that we attempt to integrate the natural world into our homes and interior spaces. Fireplaces allow us to bring into our controlled and structured homes a little raw wildness. Sun rooms allow us to bask in natural warmth, even in the cold winter months. An open window gives us light and fresh air, not to mention a view of the outdoors. Wood or stone flooring allows us to surround ourselves with natural materials. These features in a home are often the most valuable, the most treasured spaces. I strongly believe that a connection with the natural world nurtures and revives our spirits and that these connections should be fostered as much as possible."

More at the wonderful blog http://melancholyjane.com/ Please take a look

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

First Month ~ Two Faces - Ray Lovegrove

Free Man In Powys: First Month ~ Two Faces: For some years I worked at a Quaker school, At the entrance (being a Quaker school it had no gates) was a sign with the name of the school...

Remaining Oneself ~ Josef Pieper

“Material things have closed boundaries; they are not accessible, cannot be penetrated, by things outside themselves. But one's existence as a spiritual being involves being and remaining oneself and at the same time admitting and transforming into oneself the reality of the world. No other material thing can be present in the space occupied by a house, a tree, or a fountain pen. But where there is mind, the totality of things has room; it is "possible that in a single being the comprehensiveness of the whole universe may dwell.”

― Josef Pieper

Great Ocean of Truth ~ Isaac Newton

“I do not know what I may appear to the world, but to myself I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the sea-shore, and diverting myself in now and then finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.” 

― Isaac Newton

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Burning Layers ~ Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

“By means of all created things, without exception, the divine assails us, penetrates us, and molds us. We imagined it as distant and inaccessible, when in fact we live steeped in its burning layers”

― Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Best for Another ~ Henry T. Hodgkin

"By processes too numerous and diverse even to summarize, I have reached a position which may be stated in a general way somewhat like this: "I believe that God's best for another may be so different from my experience and way of living as to be actually impossible for me. I recognize a change to have taken place in myself, from a certain assumption that mine was really the better way, to a very complete recognition that there is no one better way and that God needs all kinds of people and ways of living through which to manifest Himself in the World."

Henry T. Hodgkin

Monday, January 2, 2012

Clearness of Sincerity ~ Joseph Conrad

"A work that aspires, however humbly, to the condition of art should carry its justification in every line...To snatch in a moment of courage, from the remorseless rush of time, a passing phase of life is only the beginning of the task. The task approached in tenderness and faith is to hold up unquestioningly, without choice and without fear, the rescued fragment before all eyes and in the light of a sincere mood. It is to show its vibration, its colour, its form; and through its movement, its form, and its colour, reveal the substance of its truth -- disclose its inspiring secret: the stress and passion within the core of each convincing moment. In a single-minded attempt of that kind, if one be deserving and fortunate, one may perchance attain to such clearness of sincerity that at last the presented vision of regret or pity, of terror or mirth, shall awaken in the hearts of the beholders that feeling of unavoidable solidarity; of the solidarity in mysterious origin, in toil, in joy, in hope, in uncertain fate, which binds men to each other and all mankind to the visible world." 

Free e-books and kindle editions of Joseph Conrad works at;

— Joseph Conrad

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Only a Green Thing ~ William Blake

"The tree which moves some to tears of joy is in the eyes of others only a green thing that stands in the way. Some see nature all ridicule and deformity... and some scarce see nature at all. But to the eyes of the man of imagination, nature is imagination itself."

— William Blake

The World's finest William Blake Site http://ramhornd.blogspot.com/

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