September 2 – Streams In The Desert Devotional By Mrs. Lettie Cowman

Unto you it is given… to suffer (Philippians 1:29).

God keeps a costly school. Many of its lessons are spelled out through tears. Richard Baxter said, “O God, I thank Thee for a bodily discipline of eight and fifty years”; and he is not the only man who has turned a trouble into triumph.

This school of our Heavenly Father will soon close for us; the term time is shortening every day. Let us not shrink from a hard lesson or wince under any rod of chastisement. The richer will be the crown, and the sweeter will be Heaven, if we endure cheerfully to the end and graduate in glory.
–Theodore L. Cuyler

The finest china in the world is burned at least three times, some of it more than three times. Dresden china is always burned three times. Why does it go through that intense fire? Once ought to be enough; twice ought to be enough. No, three times are necessary to burn that china so that the gold and the crimson are brought out more beautiful and then fastened there to stay.

We are fashioned after the same principle in human life. Our trials are burned into us once, twice, thrice; and by God’s grace these beautiful colors are there and they are there to stay forever.
–Cortland Myers

Earth’s fairest flowers grow not on sunny plain,
But where some vast upheaval rent in twain
The smiling land.
After the whirlwinds devastating blast,
After the molten fire and ashen pall,
God’s still small voice breathes healing over all.
From riven rocks and fern-clad chasms deep,
Flow living waters as from hearts that weep,
There in the afterglow soft dews distill
And angels tend God’s plants when night falls still,
And the Beloved passing by that way
Will gather lilies at the break of day.

“The Artist In The Ambulance”
by Thrice

Late night, brakes lock, hear the tires squeal
Red light, can’t stop so I spin the wheel
My world goes black before I feel an angel lift me up
And I open bloodshot eyes into fluorescent white
They flip the siren, hit the lights, close the doors and I am gone

Now I lay here owing my life to a stranger
And I realize that empty words are not enough
I’m left here with the question of just
What have I to show except the promises I never kept?
I lie here shaking on this bed, under the weight of my regrets

I hope that I will never let you down
I know that this can be more than just flashing lights and sound

Look around and you’ll see that at times it feels like no one really cares
It gets me down but I’m still gonna try to do what’s right, I know that there’s
A difference between sleight of hand, and giving everything you have
There’s a line drawn in the sand, I’m working up the will to cross it and


Rhetoric can’t raise the dead
I’m sick of always talking when there’s no change
Rhetoric can’t raise the dead
I’m sick of empty words, let’s lead and not follow

Late night, brakes lock, hear the tires squeal
Red light, can’t stop so I spin the wheel
My world goes black before I feel an angel steal me from the
Greedy jaws of death and chance, and pull me in with steady hands
They’ve given me a second chance, the artist in the ambulance


Can we pick you off the ground, more than flashing lights and sound

RECLO – Part 1 [Flash-Fiction]

Inspired by “The Land of Heart’s Desire” by William Butler Yeats

“Freneuse is an oddball, an idler, without any aim in life! If you ask me, he has smoked too much opium in the East, and that explains his somnolence, his morbid lethargies. It’s the hazardous legacy of bad habits! He has been comprehensively undone; the heavy influence of poisonous opiates never ceases to oppress him. Besides which, his steel-blue eyes are surely the eyes of a smoker of opium. He carries the drunken burden of hemp in his veins. Opium is like syphilis’ – le Mazel released the word carelessly – ‘it is a thing which stays for years and years in the blood, because the body is unable to purge itself. It must be absorbed, in the long run, by iodide.”
― Jean Lorrain, Monsieur De Phocas

Fighting somnolence, in love with impossible puzzles, RECLO wondered at the fragmented, seemingly incomplete thoughts flitting through this ethereal, disembodied sense of semi-consciousness.

It was a speechless wonder… wonder at what was playing on a loop—an unrecognizable voice that had started as a high-pitched, mind-splitting, continuous screech.

How long ago, RECLO’s, memory could not trace. The screech, over years, or maybe just hours, had gradually slowed, until subtly stimulating nuances, pleasing-sounding plosives, and distinctly mind-tingling syllables decompressed. With time, actual words became discernible:

My life wears no mask! Incognito? I don’t need to — My being is faceless! My soul is in stasis — I really can’t take this! Why can’t I just settle — Move on and escape it!

With wordless, cat-like curiosity, RECLO had started to wonder where the words were coming from, after the words started to slur, as the ear-candy continued to decompress and loose it’s flavor.

Perception was sharpening to a lucid point, and yet at the same time, RECLO’s senses paradoxically, seemed to be… fleeting. The voice had grown so long, so deeply diluted by the decompression, that the words could no longer be heard through their descent into silence.

Was it really silence though, RECLO was wondering… wondering, in the way a newborn wonders at new things, and wonders at the difference left in the absence of a new thing that had become familiar, when another new thing has since replaced it.

RECLO’s eyes opened to a literal fog, that was intrinsically understood (thanks to rapidly-constructing synaptical connections creating a base-line for a frame of reference in her burgeoning mind), as metaphorically mirroring her first sensations of her ethereal, disembodied sense of semi-consciousness.

Still fighting the sleepy somnolence, RECLO’s love of impossible puzzles was expanding beyond the borders of her thoughts and notions, into her awakening psyche’s realm of feeling and emotion.

She was looking through frosted glass, at a man looking at her as curiously, as she felt curious about him.


RECLO said the word again.


“Frost has a nostalgic ring to it,” RECLO both thought and felt, as her vocabulary decompressed.


“The Land of Heart’s Desire” by William Butler Yeats


by William Butler Yeats



The scene is laid in the Barony of Kilmacowen in
the county of Sligo, and the time is the
end of Eighteenth Century. The
characters are supposed to
speak in Gaelic


The kitchen of MAURTEEN BRAIN’S house. An open grate with a turf fire is at the left side of the room, with a table in front of it. There is a door leading to the open air at the back, and another door a little to its left, leading into an inner room. There is a window, a settle, and a large dresser on the right side of the room, and a great bowl of primroses on the sill of the window. MAURTEEN BRUIN, FATHER HART; and BRIDGET BRUIN are sitting at the table. SHAWN BRUIN is setting the table for supper. MAIRE BRUIN sits on the settle reading a yellow manuscript.


Because I bade her go and feed the calves,She took that old book down out of the thatchAnd has been doubled over it all day.We would be deafened by her groans and moansHad she to work as some do, Father Hart,Get up at dawn like me, and mend and scour;Or ride abroad in the boisterous night like you,The pyx and blessed bread under your arm.


You are too cross.


The young side with the young.


She quarrels with my wife a bit at times,And is too deep just now in the old book;But do not blame her greatly; she will growAs quiet as a puff-ball in a treeWhen but the moons of marriage dawn and dieFor half a score of times.


Their hearts are wildAs be the hearts of birds, till children come.


She would not mind the griddle, milk the cow,Or even lay the knives and spread the cloth.


I never saw her read a book before:What may it be?


I do not rightly know:It has been in the thatch for fifty years.My father told me my grandfather wrote it,Killed a red heifer and bound it with the hide.But draw your chair this way—supper is spread;And little good he got out of the book,Because it filled his house with roaming bards,And roaming ballad-makers and the like,And wasted all his goods.—Here is the wine;The griddle bread’s beside you, Father Hart.Colleen, what have you got there in the bookThat you must leave the bread to cool? Had I,Or had my father, read or written booksThere were no stockings full of silver and goldTo come, when I am dead, to Shawn and you.


You should not fill your head with foolish dreams.What are you reading?


How a Princess Edene,A daughter of a King of Ireland, heardA voice singing on a May eve like this,And followed, half awake and half asleep,Until she came into the land of faery,Where nobody gets old and godly and grave,Where nobody gets old and crafty and wise,Where nobody gets old and bitter of tongue;And she is still there, busied with a dance.Deep in the dewy shadow of a wood,Or where stars walk upon a mountain top.


Persuade the colleen to put by the book:My grandfather would mutter just such things,And he was no judge of a dog or horse,And any idle boy could blarney him.Just speak your mind.


Put it away, my colleen.God spreads the heavens above us like great wings,And gives a little round of deeds and days,And then come the wrecked angels and set snares,And bait them with light hopes and heavy dreams,Until the heart is puffed with pride and goes,Half shuddering and half joyous, from God’s peace;And it was some wrecked angel, blind tears,Who flattered Edene’s heart with merry words.My colleen, I have seen some other girlsRestless and ill at ease, but years went byAnd they grew like their neighbours and were gladIn minding children, working at the churn,And gossiping of weddings and of wakes;For life moves out of a red flare of dreamsInto a common light of common hours,Until old age bring the red flare again.


Yet do not blame her greatly, Father Hart,For she is dull while I am in the fields,And mother’s tongue were harder still to bear,But for her fancies: this is May Eve too,When the good people post about the world,And surely one may think of them to-night.Maire, have you the primroses to flingBefore the door to make a golden pathFor them to bring good luck into the house.Remember, they may steal new-married bridesUpon May Eve.

MAIRE BRUIN (going over to the window and taking the flowers from the bowl.)

Here are the primroses.

[She goes to the door and strews the primroses outside.


You do well, daughter, because God permitsGreat power to the good people on May Eve.


They can work all their will with primroses—Change them to golden money, or little flamesTo burn up those who do them any wrong.


I had no sooner flung them by the doorThan the wind cried and hurried them away.


May God have mercy on us!


The good peopleWill not be lucky to the house this year,But I am glad that I was courteous to them,For are not they, likewise, children of God?


No, child; they are the children of the fiend,And they have power until the end of Time,When God shall fight with them a great pitched battleAnd hack them into pieces.


He will smile,Father, perhaps, and open his great door,


Did but the lawless angels see that doorThey would fall, slain by everlasting peace;And when such angels knock upon our doorsWho goes with them must drive through the same storm.

[A knock at the door. MAIRE BRUIN opens it and then goes to the dresser and fills a porringer with milk and hands it through the door and takes it back empty and closes the door.


A little queer old woman cloaked in greenWho came to beg a porringer of milk.


The good people go asking milk and fireUpon May Eve—Woe on the house that givesFor they have power upon it for a year.I knew you would bring evil on the house


Who was she?


Both the tongue and face were strange.


Some strangers came last week to Clover Hill;She must be one of them.


I am afraid.


The priest will keep all harm out of the house.


The Cross will keep all harm out of the houseWhile it hangs there.


Come, sit beside me, colleen,And cut away your dreams of discontent,For I would have you light up my last daysLike a bright torch of pine, and when I dieI will make you the wealthiest hereabout;For hid away where nobody can findI have a stocking full of silver and gold.


You are the fool of every pretty face,And I must pinch and pare that my son’s wifeMay have all kinds of ribbons for her head.


Do not be cross; she is a right good girl!The butter’s by your elbow, Father Hart.My colleen, have not Fate and Time and ChangeDone well for me and for old Bridget there?We have a hundred acres of good land,And sit beside each other at the fire,The wise priest of our parish to our right,And you and our dear son to left of us.To sit beside the board and drink good wineAnd watch the turf smoke coiling from the fireAnd feel content and wisdom in your heart,This is the best of life; when we are youngWe long to tread a way none trod before,But find the excellent old way through loveAnd through the care of children to the hourFor bidding Fate and Time and Change good-bye.

[A knock at the door. MAIRE BRUIN opens it and then takes a sod of turf out of the hearth in the tongs and passes it through the door and closes the door and remains standing by it.


A little queer old man in a green coat,Who asked a burning sod to light his pipe.


You have now given milk and fire and broughtFor all you know, evil upon the house.Before you married you were idle and fine,And went about with ribbons on your head;And now you are a good-for-nothing wife.


Be quiet, mother!


You are much too cross!


What do I care if I have given this house,Where I must hear all day a bitter tongue,Into the power of faeries!


You know, wellHow calling the good people by that nameOr talking of them over much at allMay bring all kinds of evil on the house.


Come, faeries, take me out of this dull house!Let me have all the freedom I have lost—Work when I will and idle when I will!Faeries, came take me out of this dull world,For I would ride with you upon the wind,Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,And dance upon the mountains like a flame!


You cannot know the meaning of your words!


Father, I am right weary of four tongues:A tongue that is too crafty and too wise,A tongue that is too godly and too grave,A tongue that is more bitter than the tide,And a kind tongue too full of drowsy love,Of drowsy love and my captivity.

[SHAWN BRUIN comes over to her and leads her to the settle.


Do not blame me: I often lie awakeThinking that all things trouble your bright head—How beautiful it is—such broad pale browsUnder a cloudy blossoming of hair!Sit down beside me here—these are too old,And have forgotten they were ever young.


O, you are the great door-post of this house,And I the red nasturtium climbing up.

[She takes SHAWN’S hand but looks shyly at the priest and lets it go.


Good daughter, take his hand—by love aloneGod binds us to Himself and to the hearthAnd shuts us from the waste beyond His peace,From maddening freedom and bewildering light.


Would that the world were mine to give it youWith every quiet hearth and barren waste,The maddening freedom of its woods and tides,And the bewildering lights upon its hills.


Then I would take and break it in my handsTo see you smile watching it crumble away.


Then I would mould a world of fire and dewWith no one bitter, grave, or over wise,And nothing marred or old to do you wrong.And crowd the enraptured quiet of the skyWith candles burning to your lonely face.


Your looks are all the candles that I need.


Once a fly dancing in a beam o’ the sun,Or the light wind blowing out of the dawn,Could fill your heart with dreams none other knew,But now the indissoluble sacramentHas mixed your heart that was most proud and coldWith my warm heart for ever; and sun and moor,Must fade and heaven be rolled up like a scroll;But your white spirit still walk by my spirit.For not a power in earth and heaven and hellCan break this bond binding heart unto heart.

[A VOICE sings in the distance.


Did you hear something call? O, guard me close,Because I have said wicked things to-night.

A VOICE (close to the door).

The wind blows out of the gates of the day,The wind blows over the lonely of heartAnd the lonely of heart is withered away,While the faeries dance in a place apart,Shaking their milk-white feet in a ring,Tossing their milk-white arms in the air;For they hear the wind laugh, and murmur, and singOf a land where even the old are fair,And even the wise are merry of tongue;But I heard a reed of Coolaney say,’When the wind has laughed and murmured and sung,The lonely of heart must wither away!’


I am right happy, and would make all elseBe happy too. I hear a child outside,And will go bring her in out of the cold.

[He opens the door. A CHILD dressed in a green jacket with a red cap comes into the house.


I tire of winds and waters and pale lights!


You are most welcome. It is cold out there,Who’d think to face such cold on a May Eve.


And when I tire of this warm little house,There is one here who must away, away,To where the woods, the stars, and the white streamsAre holding a continual festival.


O listen to her dreamy and strange talk,Come to the fire.


I’ll sit upon your knee,For I have run from where the winds are born,And long-to rest my feet a little while.

[She sits upon his knee.


How pretty you are!


Your hair is wet with dew!


I’ll chafe your poor chilled feet.


You must have comeA long long way, for I have never seenYour pretty face, and must be tired and hungry;Here is some bread and wine.


They are both nasty.Old mother, have you nothing nice for me?


I have some honey!

[She goes into the next room.


You are a dear child;The mother was quite cross before you came.

[BRIDGET returns with the honey, and goes to the dresser and fills a porringer with milk.


She is the child of gentle people; lookAt her white hands and at her pretty dress.I’ve brought you some new milk, but wait awhileAnd I will put it by the fire to warm,For things well fitted for poor folk like usWould never please a high-born child like you.


Old mother, my old mother, the green dawnBrightens above while you blow up the fire;And evening finds you spreading the white cloth.The young may lie in bed and dream and hope,But you work on because your heart is old.


The young are idle.


Old father, you are wise,And all the years have gathered in your heartTo whisper of the wonders that are gone.The young must sigh through many a dream and hope,But you are wise because your heart is old.


O, who would think to find so young a childLoving old age and wisdom.

[BRIDGET gives her more bread and honey.


No more, mother.


What a small bite; The milk is ready now;What a small sip!


Put on my shoes, old mother,For I would like to dance now I have dined.The reeds are dancing by Coolaney lake,And I would like to dance until the reedsAnd the loud wind, the white wave on the shore,And all the stars have danced themselves to sleep.

[BRIDGET having put on her shoes, she gets off the old man’s knees and is about to dance, but suddenly sees the crucifix and shrieks and covers her eyes.

What is that ugly thing on the black cross?


You cannot know how naughty your words are!That is Our Blessed Lord!


Hide it away!


I have begun to be afraid again!


Hide it away!


That would be wickedness!


That would be sacrilege!


The tortured thing!Hide it away.


Her parents are to blame.


That is the image of the Son of God.

[The CHILD puts her arm round his neck lovingly and kisses him.


Hide it away! Hide it away!


No! no!


Because you are so young and little a childI will go take it down.


Hide it away,And cover it out of sight and out of mind.

FATHER HART (takes it down and carries it towards the inner room).

Since you have come into this baronyI will instruct you in our blessed faith:Being a clever child you will soon learn.

(To the others.)

We must be tender with all budding things,Our Maker let no thought of CalvaryTrouble the morning stars in their first song.

[Puts the crucifix in the inner room.


O, what a nice, smooth floor to dance upon!The wind is blowing on the waving reeds,The wind is blowing on the heart of man.

[She dances, swaying about like the reeds.


Just now when she came near I thought I heardOther small steps beating upon the floor,And a faint music blowing in the wind—Invisible pipes giving her feet the time.


I heard no step but hers.


Look to the bolt!Because the unholy powers are abroad.


Come over here, and if you promise meNot to talk wickedly of holy thingsI’ll give you something.


Bring it me, old father!

[MAURTEEN BRUIN goes into the next room.


I will have queen cakes when you come to me!

[MAURTEEN BRUIN returns and lays a piece of money on the table. The CHILD makes a gesture of refusal.


It will buy lots of toys; see how it glitters!


Come, tell me, do you love me?


I love you!


Ah! but you love this fireside!


I love you.


But you love Him above.


She is blaspheming.


And do you likewise love me?


I don’t know.


You love that great tall fellow over there:Yet I could make you ride upon the winds,Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,And dance upon the mountains like a flame!


Queen of the Angels and kind Saints defend us!Some dreadful fate has fallen: before she cameThe wind cried out and took the primroses.And I gave milk and fire, and when she cameShe made you hide the blessed crucifix;She wears, too, the green jacket and red capOf the unholy creatures of the Raths.


You fear because of her wild, pretty prates;She knows no better.(To the CHILD) Child, how old are you?


My own dear people live a long, long time,So I am young; but measure by your yearsAnd I am older than the eagle cockWho blinks and blinks on Ballydawley Hill,And he’s the oldest thing under the moon.At times I merely care to dance and dance—At times grow wiser than the eagle cock.


What are you?


I am of the faery people.I sent my messengers for milk and fire,And then I heard one call to me and came.

[They all except MAIRE BRUIN gather about the priest for protection. MAIRE BRUIN stays on the settle as if in a trance of terror. The CHILD takes primroses from the great bowl and begins to strew them between herself and the priest and about MAIRE BRUIN. During the following dialogue SHAWN BRUIN goes more than once to the brink of the primroses, but shrinks back to the others timidly.


I will confront this mighty spirit alone.

[They cling to him and hold him back.

THE CHILD (while she strews the primroses.)

No one whose heart is heavy with human tearsCan cross these little cressets of the wood.


Be not afraid, the Father is with us,And all the nine angelic hierarchies,The Holy Martyrs and the Innocents,The adoring Magi in their coats of mail,And He who died and rose on the third day,And Mary with her seven times wounded heart.

[The CHILD ceases strewing the primroses, and kneels upon the settle beside MAIRE and puts her arms about her neck.

Cry daughter to the Angels and the Saints.


You shall go with me, newly-married bride,And gaze upon a merrier multitude:White-armed Nuala and Ardroe the Wise,Feacra of the hurtling foam, and himWho is the ruler of the western host,Finvarra, and their Land of Heart’s Desire,Where beauty has no ebb, decay no flood,But joy is wisdom, Time an endless song.I kiss you and the world begins to fade.


Daughter, I call you unto home and love!


Stay, and come with me, newly-married bride,For, if you hear him, you grow like the rest:Bear children, cook, be mindful of the churn,And wrangle over butter, fowl, and eggs,And sit at last there, old and bitter of tongue,Watching the white stars war upon your hopes.


Daughter, I point you out the way to heaven!


But I can lead you, newly-married bride,Where nobody gets old and crafty and wise,Where nobody gets old and godly and grave,Where nobody gets old and bitter of tongue,And where kind tongues bring no captivity,For we are only true to the far lightsWe follow singing, over valley and hill.


By the dear name of the one crucified,I bid you, Maire Bruin, come to me.


I keep you in the name of your own heart!

[She leaves the settle, and stooping takes up a mass of primroses and kisses them.

We have great power to-night, dear golden folkFor he took down and hid the crucifix.And my invisible brethren fill the house;I hear their footsteps going up and down.O, they shall soon rule all the hearts of menAnd own all lands; last night they merrily dancedAbout his chapel belfrey! (To MAIRE.) Come away,I hear my brethren bidding us away!


I will go fetch the crucifix again.

[They hang about him in terror and prevent him from moving.


The enchanted flowers will kill us if you go.


They turn the flowers to little twisted flames.


The little twisted flames burn up the heart.


I hear them call us, newly-married bride.


I will go with you.


She is lost, alas,

THE CHILD (standing by the door).

Then, follow but the heavy body of clay,And clinging mortal hope must fall from you;For we who ride the winds, run on the waves,And dance upon the mountains, are more lightThan dewdrops on the banners of the dawn.


Then take my soul.

[SHAWN BRUIN goes over to her.


Beloved, do not leave me!What will my life be if you go with her?Remember when I met you by the wellAnd took your hand in mine and spoke of love.


Dear face! Dear voice!


Come, newly-married bride!


I always loved her world—and yet—and yetI think that I would stay if I could stay.

[Sinks into his arms.

THE CHILD (from the door).

White bird, white bird, come with me, little bird!


She calls my soul!


Come with me, little bird!


I can hear songs and dancing!


Stay with me!


Dear, I would stay—and yet and yet—


White bird!Come, little bird with crest of gold!

MAIRE BRUIN (very softly).

And yet—


Come, little bird with silver feet!


Dead, dead!


Thus do the evil spirits snatch their preyAlmost out of the very hand of God;And day by day their power is more and more,And men and women leave old paths, for prideComes knocking with thin knuckles on the heart.

A VOICE sings outside

The wind blows out of the gates of the day,The wind blows over the lonely of heart,And the lonely of heart is withered away,While the faeries dance in a place apart,Shaking their milk-white feet in a ring,Tossing their milk-white arms in the air;For they hear the wind laugh and murmur and singOf a land where even the old are fair,And even the wise are merry of tongue;But I heard a reed of Coolaney say,’When the wind has laughed and murmured and sung,The lonely of heart must wither away.’

[The song is taken up by many voices, who sing loudly, as if in triumph. Some of the voices seem to come from within the house.

(SPOILER ALERT) The Deja Vu Ending of Haruki Murakami’s “Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage” (Released August 12, 2014)


“I’ll probably never be back here again, Tsukuru thought. And never see Eri again. We each have our paths to follow, in our places. Like Ao said, There’s no going back. Sorrow surged then, silently, like water inside him. A formless, transparent sorrow. A sorrow he could touch, yet something that was also far away, out of reach. Pain struck him, as if gouging out his chest, and he could barely breathe.

When he reached the paved road, he steered the car to the side, switched off the engine, leaned against the steering wheel, and closed his eyes. His heart was racing and he took slow, deep breaths. And as he inhaled, he suddenly noticed a cold, hard object near the center of his body—like a hard core of earth that remains frozen all year long. This was the source of the pain in his chest, and the difficulty breathing. He had never known, until this moment, that such a thing existed inside him.

Yet it was this pain, and this sense of being choked, that he needed. It was exactly what he had to acknowledge, what he had to confront. From now on, he had to make that cold core melt, bit by bit. It might take time, but it was what he had to do. But his own body heat wasn’t enough to melt that frozen soil. He needed someone else’s warmth.

Our lives are like a complex musical score, Tsukuru thought. Filled with all sorts of cryptic writing, sixteenth and thirty-second notes and other strange signs. It’s next to impossible to correctly interpret these, and even if you could, and then could transpose them into the correct sounds, there’s no guarantee that people would correctly understand, or appreciate, the meaning therein. No guarantee it would make people happy. Why must the workings of people’s lives be so convoluted?

Make sure you hang on to Sara, Eri had told him. You really need her. You don’t lack anything. Be confident and be bold. That’s all you need.

He had no one he could call a close friend. A few girlfriends entered his life along the way, but they hadn’t stayed together. Peaceful relationships followed by amicable breakups. Not a single person had really climbed inside his heart. He had not been seeking that sort of relationship, and most likely the women he went out with hadn’t desired him that much either. So they were even.

It’s like my life came to a halt at age twenty, Tsukuru Tazaki thought, as he sat on the bench in Shinjuku Station. The days that came afterward had no real weight or substance. The years passed by, quietly, like a gentle breeze. Leaving no scars behind, no sorrow, rousing no strong emotions, leaving no happiness or memories worth mentioning. And now he was entering middle age. No—he still had a few years to go before that. But it was true that he was no longer young.

If Sara doesn’t choose me tomorrow, he thought, I may really die. Die in reality, or die figuratively—there isn’t much difference between the two. But this time I definitely will take my last breath. Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki will lose any last hint of color and quietly exit the world. All will become a void, the only thing that remains a hard, frozen clump of dirt.

It doesn’t matter. The same thing has nearly happened a few times already, and it wouldn’t be strange if it actually did this time. It’s just a physical phenomenon, no more. The spring on a wound watch gets steadily looser, the torque grows closer and closer to zero, until the gears stop altogether and the hands come to rest at a set position. Silence descends. Isn’t that all it is?

He longed for her more than he could say. It was a wonderful thing to be able to truly want someone like this—the feeling was so real, so overpowering. He hadn’t felt this way in ages. Maybe he never had before. Not that everything about it was wonderful: his chest ached, he found it hard to breathe, and a fear, a dark oscillation, had hold of him. But now even that kind of ache had become an important part of the affection he felt. He didn’t want to let that feeling slip from his grasp. Once lost, he might never happen across that warmth again. If he had to lose it, he would rather lose himself.

Tsukuru, you need to hang on to her. No matter what. If you let her go now, you might not ever have anyone else in your life.

Eri was right. No matter what, he had to make Sara his. But this wasn’t something he could decide on his own. It was a question decided by two people, between one heart and another. Something had to be given, and something had to be accepted. Everything depends on tomorrow. If Sara chooses me, accepts me, he thought, I’m going to propose to her right away. And give her everything I’m capable of giving—every single thing. Before I get lost in a dark forest. Before the bad elves grab me.

Not everything was lost in the flow of time. That’s what Tsukuru should have said to Eri when he said goodbye at the lakeside in Finland. But at that point, he couldn’t put it into words.

We truly believed in something back then, and we knew we were the kind of people capable of believing in something—with all our hearts. And that kind of hope will never simply vanish.

He calmed himself, shut his eyes, and fell asleep. The rear light of consciousness, like the last express train of the night, began to fade into the distance, gradually speeding up, growing smaller until it was, finally, sucked into the depths of the night, where it disappeared. All that remained was the sound of the wind slipping through a stand of white birch trees.”
– Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage


Part 5 written May 24, 2014. Part 6 written May 26, 2014.

“Manifesto of Residue Ch. 3 Parts 5 & 6″
by Ry Hakari

V: Ransomed Existence

There’s no redeeming my dreams — they’re demons beyond reasoning, esteem or credence. I have never held my own kind close or felt this is home — Everything’s coated in snow; every face, ashes gone cold.

So it seems beneath reality’s fraying, dreams sew its seams secure where they wear like wildflowers, without a care, together wringing out patterned layers like Saturn’s ring-clouds wound tandem ’round us, like Stratus midday thoughts sought like midnight’s, imagining wakefulness hasn’t kidnapped inner child’s likeness, ransomed existence…

VI: Sub Rosa Isis (Under the Rose Throne)

Sub rosa isis silenced briars under the rose thrones. Ellenbank Nightshades’ lifebloods, angelically restrains yokes. Frightened by the black iris, remembrance crescendos as residues coalesce truths forgotten as I coped in the sleeper cell of winter willow, where stirs awake — centrifuge icicles no longer build under iris-willow wilt suppressing my memories of the skipper of the seas’ page sixty-three, long buried meditating today, freed.

Seems I’ve put off long enough lifting this shibboleth’s lisp from New York snow Lust in Rust covering senses I’ve missed…

“This Compost”
by Walt Whitman

Something startles me where I thought I was safest;
I withdraw from the still woods I loved;
I will not go now on the pastures to walk;
I will not strip the clothes from my body to meet my lover the sea;
I will not touch my flesh to the earth, as to other flesh, to renew me.

O how can it be that the ground does not sicken?
How can you be alive, you growths of spring?
How can you furnish health, you blood of herbs, roots, orchards, grain?
Are they not continually putting distemper’d corpses within you?
Is not every continent work’d over and over with sour dead?

Where have you disposed of their carcasses?
Those drunkards and gluttons of so many generations;
Where have you drawn off all the foul liquid and meat?
I do not see any of it upon you to-day–or perhaps I am deceiv’d;
I will run a furrow with my plough–I will press my spade through the sod, and turn it up underneath;
I am sure I shall expose some of the foul meat.

Behold this compost! behold it well!
Perhaps every mite has once form’d part of a sick person–Yet behold!
The grass of spring covers the prairies,
The bean bursts noislessly through the mould in the garden,
The delicate spear of the onion pierces upward,
The apple-buds cluster together on the apple-branches,
The resurrection of the wheat appears with pale visage out of its graves,
The tinge awakes over the willow-tree and the mulberry-tree,
The he-birds carol mornings and evenings, while the she-birds sit on their nests,
The young of poultry break through the hatch’d eggs,
The new-born of animals appear–the calf is dropt from the cow, the colt from the mare,
Out of its little hill faithfully rise the potato’s dark green leaves,
Out of its hill rises the yellow maize-stalk–the lilacs bloom in the door-yards;
The summer growth is innocent and disdainful above all those strata of sour dead.

What chemistry!
That the winds are really not infectious,
That this is no cheat, this transparent green-wash of the sea, which is so amorous after me,
That it is safe to allow it to lick my naked body all over with its tongues,
That it will not endanger me with the fevers that have deposited themselves in it,
That all is clean forever and forever.
That the cool drink from the well tastes so good,
That blackberries are so flavorous and juicy,
That the fruits of the apple-orchard, and of the orange-orchard–that melons, grapes, peaches, plums, will none of them poison me,
That when I recline on the grass I do not catch any disease,
Though probably every spear of grass rises out of what was once a catching disease.

Now I am terrified at the Earth! it is that calm and patient,
It grows such sweet things out of such corruptions,
It turns harmless and stainless on its axis, with such endless successions of diseas’d corpses,
It distils such exquisite winds out of such infused fetor,
It renews with such unwitting looks, its prodigal, annual, sumptuous crops,
It gives such divine materials to men, and accepts such leavings from them at last.

September 1 – Springs In The Valley / Streams In The Desert Devotionals By Mrs. Lettie Cowman

The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD. (Ps. 37:23)

We often make a great mistake thinking that God is not guiding us at all, because we cannot see far ahead. But He only undertakes that the steps of a good man should be ordered by the Lord; not next year, but tomorrow; not for the next mile, but the next yard: as you will acknowledge when you review it from the hilltops of Glory.

“The stops of a good man, as well as his steps, are ordered by the Lord,” says George Müller. Naturally an opened door seems more like guidance to us than a closed one. Yet God may guide by the latter as definitely as by the former. His guidance of the children of Israel by the pillar of cloud and of fire is a clear case in point. When the cloud was lifted the Israelites took up their march: it was the guidance of God to move onward. But when the cloud tarried and abode upon the tabernacle, then the people rested in their tents. Both the tarrying and the journeying were guidance from the Lord—the one as much as the other.

I shall never be able to go too fast, if the Lord is in front of me; and I can never go too slowly, if I follow Him always, everywhere.

It is just as dark in advance of God’s glorious leading as it is away behind Him.

You may be trying to go faster than He is moving. Wait till He comes up and then the way will no longer lie in darkness. He has left footprints for us to follow. Make no footprints of thine own!

Not so in haste, my heart!
Have faith in God and wait:
Although He linger long
He never comes too late.

Until He cometh, rest,
Nor grudge the hours that roll,
The feet that wait for God
Are soonest at the goal

Are soonest at the goal
That is not gained by speed.
Then hold thee still, my heart,
For I shall wait His lead.

Let the great Master’s steps be thine!

by A Perfect Circle

Don’t disturb
The beast
The temperamental goat
The snail while he’s feeding on
the Rose
Stay frozen, compromise
What I will
I am

Bend around
The wind silently
thrown about
Again I’m treading so
Soft and lightly
Compromising my will
I am

I am
I will
So no longer
Will I
Lay down
Play dead
Play your doe
in the headlights locked down
and terrified
Your deer in the headlights
shot down and horrified when
push comes to pull comes to shove
comes to step around this
self-destructing dance that never
would’ve ended till I
I roared aloud here
I will
I am.

I am
I will
So no longer
Will I
Lay down
Lay dead
Play this
Kneel down
Gun-shy Martyr
I rose, I roared
I will
I am

Compass Rose by M. C. Escher

“Garland for Queens, may be— / Laurels—for rare degree / Of soul or sword. / Ah—but remembering me— / Ah—but remembering thee— / Nature in chivalry— / Nature in charity— / Nature in equity— / This Rose ordained!”
— Emily Dickinson

“Life’s Reciprocal Disappointments In Death’s Retrospect:
Not Putting The Roses In People’s Cheeks”
by Ry Hakari

Wombs viewed through skewed tombs:
Heart’s art rued, drawn empty rooms
lest LOVE, summoned, blooms
Dawn’s breath draws upon dusk’s death,
painting rose, tainting lily

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.

So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.
– 1 Corinthians 13 (ESV)


I will lay thy stones with fair colors (Isa. 54:11).

The stones from the wall said, “We come from the mountains far away, from the sides of the craggy hills. Fire and water have worked on us for ages, but made us only crags. Human hands have made us into a dwelling where the children of your immortal race are born, and suffer, and rejoice, and find rest and shelter, and learn the lessons set them by our Maker and yours. But we have passed through much to fit us for this. Gunpowder has rent our very heart; pickaxes have cleaved and broken us, it seemed to us often with out design or meaning, as we lay misshapen stones in the quarry; but gradually we were cut into blocks, and some of us were chiseled with finer instruments to a sharper edge. But we are complete now, and are in our places, and are of service.

“You are in the quarry still, and not complete, and therefore to you, as once to us, much is inexplicable. But you are destined for a higher building, and one day you will be placed in it by hands not human, a living stone in a heavenly temple.”

In the still air the music lies unheard;
In the rough marble beauty hides unseen;
To make the music and the beauty needs
The master’s touch, the sculptor’s chisel keen.
Great Master, touch us with Thy skillful hands;
Let not the music that is in us die!
Great Sculptor, hew and polish us; nor let,
Hidden and lost, thy form within us lie!

by A Perfect Circle

I didn’t want to know
I just didn’t want to know
Best to keep things in the shallow end
Cause I never quite learned how to swim

I just didn’t want to know
Didn’t want, didn’t want,
Didn’t want, didn’t want

Close my eyes just to look at you
Taken by the seamless vision
I close my eyes,
Ignore the smoke,
Ignore the smoke,
Ignore the smoke

Call an optimist, she’s turning blue
Such a lovely color for you
Call an optimist, she’s turning blue
While I just sit and stare at you

Because I don’t want to know
I didn’t want to know
I just didn’t want to know
I just didn’t want

Mistook the nods for an approval
Just ignore the smoke and smile

Call an optimist, she’s turning blue
Such a lovely color for you
Call an optimist, she’s turning blue
Such a perfect color for your eyes
Call an optimist, she’s turning blue
Such a lovely color for you
Call it aftermath, she’s turning blue
While I just sit and stare at you

I don’t want to know

Taking The Last Step After She Breaks Through The Secret Door

Originally posted at It’s about something that happened about this time, on this very day a year ago, on August 31, 2013.


The picture of the door above, is the broken door in the poem, propped up in the doorway by something behind it to seal the cellar exit, before the staircase was covered again by my stepfather, shortly before we left. I don’t think I’ll ever have a reason to re-enter my grandmother’s cellar from inside the house or opportunity to exit through this same cellar door again, and that’s fine by me!

“Taking The Last Step After She Breaks Through The Secret Door”
by Ry Hakari

That sacred basement I was warned was dangerous
when I was six or seven, below my grandmother’s house,
that ages ago used to be a church, I was afraid of
and thought I could get lost in, like it was a labyrinth
that had sprawled the length of the whole house–
my first impression was the stairs descended to hell
with no way out but to backtrack in the darkness!

It wasn’t until twenty years later, when twenty-six
on August 31, I found myself crossing the threshold
into the month I’ll turn twenty-seven with courage
to descend the steps into what a child once thought
was hell, to find out that imagined labyrinth was just
a small cellar my stepfather was sweeping clean…
and much to my surprise there was another way out!

I saw a door broken off it’s hinges against the far wall
made of three recycled things someone once dreamed
and built of woods painted blue, white and brown
before their purposes were served and they were
re-purposed into a sleeper’s cellar door I’d never seen
held together by borders like a portrait, as well as with
two backwards “z’s”–like a staircase to second chances,

or sleep rising from a child’s twenty-year-long slumbering,
long-hidden from the surface by old boards and bushes.
It’s hinges had rusted it stubbornly shut, so said my stepfather tiredly
so faced with no other choice he broke it off, so he could carry out
all the clutter that had collected the past twenty years or so…
and there I stood frozen and mystified, because it was almost as if my
hell had suddenly become frozen over, and a hidden door had opened!

Summer sunlight was cascading down the steps into the room–an advent,
happening like a waterfall: deliverance–tears of the Sun making their descent,
meant to call me out of my cell to descant–to wash me in light and new life!
At once, I ascended those cryptic white-washed tomb stone steps like a dream
and began my wondering what all this was for, and why for once in a long while
I didn’t immediately explain it away with the tired excuse I love to over-use:
“just more mere coincidence–like The Woman confused, likened to providence”?

Counting up confused, starting timidly with the first step through the threshold,
the last the 8th I’d taken up, up and away to freedom I never thought I’d see!
a crazy number–shaped like an hourglass; on it’s side its the symbol of infinity!
So, I wondered if this step would make me an eagle, ever free for forever and
now I wonder if the sky is really the limit… or if I could ride whirlwinds instead
forever with my future wife? With my pen, in space, could I create some wind,
oxygen to breathe, soar on phoenix wings–drawing inspiration from Sun’s?

Today is September’s first: yesterday I passed a blue-shade not bored-like…
a piece of my shattered past-birthstone ring, re-purposed for a door?
a piece of my soul? a little puzzled–a page of my life I chased the wind to find
for twenty years, for what? A way out I hadn’t imagined as a child at heart
confined to crawl in darkness, dragging my crippled scarlet wings: Out with
the heart I offered in love, that I got back broken in bloodly halves still alive
that I threw behind just to be followed by, like flowing chains unable to die?

I wonder if I am still sleepwalking through this life, imagining this magic feeling?
I’m still waiting for that sound–the crack of dawn of that “someday” healing,
when sunlight breaks the silence and comes shining through my door, beaming
with happiness to see me through these steps I was fated to take while we
dance in destiny on our way out of a hell of a long winter that a final snowflake
at last froze over, so my currency of cold closed lips saved up could finally
be spent bravely in a new world alight with words I’d waited too long to free:

“A dream I’ve been waiting all my life for–will you spend the rest of it with me?”

My deja vu must be true, I’ve seen these scenes in dreams before… (Memory Scrapbook Post)

NOTE: This is a memory-scrapbook post. Please excuse the messy nature that is intrinsic to both memories and scrapbooks

The picture above (minus the haiku) was something I made and posted with the poem the 4 haiku are from (that I have now put over the image), on November 19, 2013 in this post almost 9 months before the book was released, that the quote below the short line is from.

I’m noticing this kind of thing is happening more and more frequently in my life. I have such an unusual tendency to find things by other creatives that think similarly to me… it’s pretty neat. Guess I am blessed, to not feel as unique and lonesome in the world as I used to think I was. I’m not the only one like me after all, who thinks like me, which is such a relief. Gives me hope of being able to find a place to someday feel I really, sincerely, fit in someday, without doubts, besides online, and in person…

The quote describes something virtually identical to the dream I had the night of November 18, 2013 in which I actually wrote the majority of the 25 haiku in the poem the 4 over the photo are from…


“He took a seat next to the large plate glass window, which faced Omotesando, ordered coffee and a tuna-salad sandwich, and sat back to watch the scene outside on the twilight-bathed street. Most of the people passing by were couples. They looked extremely happy, as if they were on their way to someplace special, where something delightful awaited them. As he watched, Tsukuru’s mind grew still and tranquil. A quiet feeling, like a frozen tree on a windless winter night. But there was little pain mixed in. Over the years Tsukuru had grown used to this mental image, so much so that it no longer brought him any particular pain.

Still, he couldn’t help thinking how nice it would be if Sara were with him. There was nothing he could do about that, though, as he was the one who’d turned her down. That was what he had wanted. He had frozen his own bare branches, on this invigorating summer evening.

Was that the right thing to have done?

Tsukuru wasn’t at all sure. Could he really trust his intuition? Maybe this wasn’t intuition, or anything like it, but just a baseless passing thought? May the force be with you, Sara had said.

For a while Tsukuru thought about salmon and their long journey through dark seas, following instinct or intuition.

Just then, Sara passed by, in front of him. She was wearing the same mint-green short-sleeved dress she’d had on the other day, and the light brown pumps, and was walking down the gentle slope from Aoyama Boulevard toward Jingumae. Tsukuru caught his breath, and grimaced in spite of himself. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing was real. For a few seconds it felt as if she were an elaborate illusion generated by his solitary mind. But there was no doubt about it, this was the real, live Sara. Reflexively, he rose to his feet and nearly knocked over the table. Coffee spilled into the saucer. He soon sat back down.

Beside Sara stood a middle-aged man, a powerfully built man of medium height, wearing a dark jacket, a blue shirt, and a navy-blue tie with small dots. Neatly groomed hair, with a touch of gray. He looked to be in his early fifties. Nice features, despite the somewhat severe chin. His expression showed the sort of quiet, unassuming confidence that a certain kind of man that age exhibited. He and Sara were walking happily down the street, hand in hand. Tsukuru, openmouthed, like someone who’d lost the words he was just forming, watched them through the large window. They slowly passed in front of him, but Sara didn’t glance in his direction. She was completely absorbed in talking with the man, and paid no attention to her surroundings. The man said something, and she opened her mouth and laughed. Her white teeth showed clearly.

Sara and the man were swallowed up into the evening crowd. Tsukuru kept looking in the direction they had disappeared in, clinging to a faint hope that Sara would return. That she might notice he was there and come back to explain. But she never came. Other people, with different faces and different looks, passed by, one after another.

He shifted in his chair and gulped down some ice water. All that remained now was a quiet sorrow. He felt a sudden, stabbing pain in the left side of his chest, as if he’d been pierced by a knife. It felt like hot blood was gushing out. Most likely it was blood. He hadn’t felt such pain in a long time, not since the summer of his sophomore year in college, when his four friends had abandoned him. He closed his eyes and, as if floating in water, drifted in that world of pain. Still, being able to feel pain was good, he thought. It’s when you can’t even feel any pain anymore that you’re in real trouble.

All sorts of sounds mixed together into a sharp, terrible static deep within his ears, the kind of noise that could only be perceived in the deepest possible silence. Not something you can hear from without, but a silence generated from your own internal organs. Everyone has their own special sound they live with, though they seldom have the chance to actually hear it.

When he opened his eyes again, it was as if the world had been transformed. The plastic table, the plain white coffee cup, the half-eaten sandwich, the old self-winding Heuer watch on his left wrist (the memento from his father), the evening paper he’d been reading, the trees lining the street outside, the show window of the store across the way, growing brighter as evening came on—everything around him looked distorted. The outlines were uncertain, the sense of depth lacking, the scale entirely wrong. He breathed in deeply, again and again, and finally began to calm down.

The pain he’d felt in his heart didn’t stem from jealousy. Tsukuru knew what jealousy was like. He’d experienced it very vividly once, back in that dream, and the feeling remained with him even now. He knew how suffocating, how hopeless that sensation could be. But the pain he was feeling now was different. All he felt was sorrow, as if he’d been abandoned at the bottom of a deep, dark pit. That’s all it was—sorrow. That, and simple physical pain. He actually found this comforting.

What hurt him most wasn’t the fact that Sara was walking down the street holding hands with another man. Or the possibility that she might be going to sleep with the man. Of course it pained him to imagine her undressing and getting into bed with someone else. It took great effort to wipe that mental picture from his mind. But Sara was a thirty-eight-year-old, independent woman, single and free. She had her own life, just as Tsukuru had his. She had the right to be with whomever she liked, wherever she wanted, to do whatever she wanted.

What really shocked him, though, was how happy she looked. When she talked with that man, her whole face lit up. She had never showed such an unguarded expression when she was with Tsukuru, not once. With him, she always main maintained a cool, controlled look. More than anything else, that’s what tore, unbearably, at his heart.”
– Haruki Murakami, Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage


Written June 16, 2014.

Manifesto of Residue Ch. 3 Part 13: Silence, Twilight’s Grey Intermission
by Ry Hakari

Elizabeth, or was it Eleanor of Aquitaine? Is there any difference if all you are is a dream stitched in memory — a wish, my favorite cup of tea I never got to drink with open eyes, imagining a relic of summertime recollected when a child was the taste of love, sunshine swallowed swimming that July…

Such a sentimental smuck, I approached Adrienne, ’cause she changed her pseudonym from what it was, to Sunspot, but convinced myself, was more than I could hope to understand — I just needed a muse, and she seemed elusive too, sad… such beautiful things seen and sought for harvesting outside EverEve… Appearances can deceive and sweetness be worth nothing.

Elizabeth, or was it Adrienne, carbon-copied? Is there any difference if all you are is a dream stitched in memory — a wish, my favorite cup of tea I never got to drink with open eyes, imagining like the Adriatic Sea, her name sounding like “A dream”, I could settle, stop searching, give make-believe love meaning, romanticizing the past, pretending that presents last, moments can be frozen and I did it knowing, perhaps believing if I didn’t, my closed eyes would keep the lids on the secrets that I’ve lived fearing love does not exist…


What is below, serves to explain some things, that can be understood about the woman from the top-left of the photo above, taken friday, with her on the left side of the stump of the “newly dead willow tree” me on the right side of it. She seemed to recognize me, and know why I was there, as when I didn’t approach the stump to sprinkle my dog’s ashes on the stump after 10 minutes or so of her watching me in silence, she stood up and turned her back for several minutes for no apparent or clearly discernible reason, which allowed me the privacy to sprinkle the ashes without her staring at me. When she stood, she looked very tall, like Adrienne, an old love interest of mine, carbon-copied, like I wrote about in the poem above. The picture, knowing what I just explained, sounds similar to this passage from my cryptic poem “A Pirate’s Prayer” from 2006: “Entering inspiration’s coffin eyes open I am interred inside alive in tundra soil I then die/ Where seismic abstract distractions drag me down to subterranean sub-consciousness/ I am staring through the transparent dirt surrounding me intensely systematically/ Past my mock random once pain stained pine casket now clear of plain pane glass/ Gazing up at the frozen marker catching rays from the sun that are melting it/ Coming in through the wilted leaves left on a newly dead willow tree/ A statue of who I used to see in the rear view mirror of my clouded mind/ A goliath sized monolith holding out two scales in it’s outstretched hand/ Lion-hearted audacious inspirations and good intentions on the right catching sunlight/ Pigeon-hearted anxious poisons of falsehood pretensions on the left stays in shade/ Temptation rebellion infection confusion uncertain depression on the wrong side/ Discipline submission salvation precision decision passion on the right side

All it is below, is an unaltered copy/paste of my May 10, 2013 post


Clarified Perspective On Veiled Words (Secret Meanings Behind Cryptic Poetry)

“And you know, this thought crossed my mind at the time: maybe chance is a pretty common thing after all. Those kinds of coincidences are happening all around us, all the time, but most of them don’t attract our attention and we just let them go by. It’s like fireworks in the daytime. You might hear a faint sound, but even if you look up at the sky you can’t see a thing. But if we’re really hoping something may come true it may become visible, like a message rising to the surface. Then we’re able to make it out clearly, decipher what it means. And seeing it before us we’re surprised and wonder at how strange things like this can happen. Even though there’s nothing strange about it.”
― Haruki Murakami, Blind Willow, Sleeping Woman

Take note of the similarities in the photo of the eye, with my website’s cover photo of the t-shirt art (I own the t-shirt, by the way), and the first and third lines of the song lyrics I’ve included in this post, which are “It was on the rotating eyes” and “It was all on the same damn shirt”. The brown in the eye, looks like dead leaves of a willow’s bough, like in the quote. Look closely at the eye and the quotes, and you’ll see for yourself that though I have said before, that a sapphire ring I had custom designed, inspired the poems I quoted from, I had a lot more going on in what I was writing than meets the eye.

Also, don’t overlook that the music video I’ve included for the song, is the song played backwards, which changes the lyrics… of particular note in the changed lyrics of the song played backwards, is “Oh no, he’s my girlfriend. Girl knows that you’re a phenom. You know the plan was awesome.” which for my purposes, points to the statue mentioned in the second quote in the eye picture, of my having thought the statue was of me when my mind was cloudy, back when it was myself that I thought I was living for… The poem the quote is from, was written after finally talking to a woman I kept coming back to online, by the way, which is what the reference to retracing my steps refers to.

With time and clarity, I saw the obscured statue was not of me, but of a woman, and the reference to “two scales” is playing on my last name being Scales, and the woman being able to be my future wife… the hand held out, being the hand of the potential future Mrs. Scales holding out two options, her becoming Mrs. Scales if I, Mr. Scales take her hand in marriage, or option two, me being the only Scales, if I don’t take her hand in marriage.


“When you have once seen the glow of happiness on the face of a beloved person, you know that a man can have no vocation but to awaken that light on the faces surrounding him. In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”
― Albert Camus

“It is the obvious which is so difficult to see most of the time. People say ‘It’s as plain as the nose on your face.’ But how much of the nose on your face can you see, unless someone holds a mirror up to you?”
― Isaac Asimov, I, Robot

“If you look the right way, you can see that the whole world is a garden.”
― Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

“What we do see depends mainly on what we look for. … In the same field the farmer will notice the crop, the geologists the fossils, botanists the flowers, artists the colouring, sportmen the cover for the game. Though we may all look at the same things, it does not all follow that we should see them.”
― John Lubbock, The Beauties of Nature and the Wonders of the World We Live in

“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.”
― Alphonse Karr, A Tour Round My Garden

“Sunspots In The House Of The Late Scapegoat”
by Modest Mouse

It was on the rotating eyes
It was all on the same postcard
It was all on the same damn shirt
Said to sleep in the same Sear’s camp house
It was all in the great state parks
It was all on the same Greyhound
It was all so many miles
Beneath the dirty brown dirt
Twenty miles down the islands
The biggest mall on Earth
It was all in the same rest stop
It was wall on the same damn shirt
It was all on the same Greyhound
In the house of the late scapegoat
Be aware the paint’s still peeling
All muscle cars made of lead
I got myself a fine, fine, fine, fine friend
It was all in the next gray ghost
It was all in the same damn place
The parts to pound attractive
Your feeling you owe on your size is bleeding

NOTE: The prose quotes on the picture in this post are from their respective poems in this post –