Wednesday, August 03, 2005

sweet simplicity

The simpler our hands and hearts, the more free

Of the world around, the happier we'll be.

Penniless pleasure, gone in a blink,

Is better than the pomp of a thousand kings.

#899: From Rumi's Kolliyaat-e Shams-e Tabrizi

Search words: free

This morning I felt free at last of the burden of bureaucratic oppression. I'm still faced with mountains of tax information booklets and forms and convoluted complexities to sort out. Ah! penniless pleasure! How I long for thee!

Most of the luxuries, and many of the so-called comforts of life, are not only not indispensable, but positive hindrances to the elevation of mankind. With respect to luxuries and comforts, the wisest have ever lived a more simple and meagre life than the poor. The ancient philosophers, Chinese, Hindoo, Persian, and Greek, were a class than which none has been poorer in outward riches, none so rich in inward. We know not much about them. It is remarkable that we know so much of them as we do. The same is true of the more modern reformers and benefactors of their race. None can be an impartial or wise observer of human life but from the vantage ground of what we should call voluntary poverty.

-- Henry David Thoreau, Walden

I shall venture forth into the world and enjoy nature, the bird song, the sun on my face, the darting skinks in the grass. These delight my cat all day and I will follow her in her splendid entertainment. I will try, in the meantime, to do one or two chores that this complex society expects of me. One or two things, no more. Just enough to keep the hounds off my back.

I will similarly not encumber my reader over much but keep it brief today.


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