Be Secret and Exult

It is National Poetry Month here in the US, so I thought I would offer one from my favorites:

To a Friend Whose Work Has Come to Nothing

By William Butler Yeats

Now all the truth is out,
Be secret and take defeat
From any brazen throat,
For how can you compete,
Being honor bred, with one
Who were it proved he lies
Were neither shamed in his own
Nor in his neighbors' eyes;
Bred to a harder thing
Than Triumph, turn away
And like a laughing string
Whereon mad fingers play
Amid a place of stone,
Be secret and exult,
Because of all things known
That is most difficult.

 

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Of Truth

"What is truth? said jesting Pilate, and would not stay for an answer. Certainly there be, that delight in giddiness, and count it a bondage to fix a belief; affecting free-will in thinking, as well as in acting. And though the sects of philosophers of that kind be gone, yet there remain certain discoursing wits, which are of the same veins, though there be not so much blood in them, as was in those of the ancients. But it is not only the difficulty and labor, which men take in finding out of truth, nor again, that when it is found, it imposeth upon men's thoughts, that doth bring lies in favor; but a natural though corrupt love, of the lie itself. One of the later school of the Grecians, examineth the matter, and is at a stand, to think what should be in it, that men should love lies; where neither they make for pleasure, as with poets, nor for advantage, as with the merchant; but for the lie's sake. But I cannot tell; this same truth, is a naked, and open day-light, that doth not show the masks, and mummeries, and triumphs, of the world, half so stately and daintily as candle-lights. Truth may perhaps come to the price of a pearl, that showeth best by day; but it will not rise to the price of a diamond, or carbuncle, that showeth best in varied lights. A mixture of a lie doth ever add pleasure. Doth any man doubt, that if there were taken out of men's minds, vain opinions, flattering hopes, false valuations, imaginations as one would, and the like, but it would leave the minds, of a number of men, poor shrunken things, full of melancholy and indisposition, and unpleasing to themselves?"

Francis Bacon

Essayes or Counsels, Civill and Morall, 1625 

 

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Everything will be Alright... Hopefully.

I bumped into an old friend I had not seen in years.

It’s always nice to compare notes and see how far we’ve come from where we left off.

Years ago it seems that both he and I were in the same place.

 

That is, living a life alone after the end of our marriages.

That’s probably why we became friends then.

Without words, we somehow connected along the same path in our journeys.

 

Today, he is happily in a relationship of three years.

“I’m working on my marriage annulment” he said.

He complained about the long process.

 

I assured him, he would eventually get his annulment.

I did, after three years waiting.

“What about you?  Are you in a relationship?”

 

I looked him in the eye and with a straight face I said “No.”

I lied. 

Unlike his happy relationship, there are kinks in mine.

 

Much as I would have loved to share in his joy of being in a good relationship

I had no choice but to bite my tongue.

He praised me for my grace in being happy alone.

 

Like he did in the past, once again he put me on a pedestal.

With his full admiration telling me how wonderful I look living a life on my own.

I felt a thug in my heart.

 

I bade him farewell and left.

I could not bare to hear more of his praising me.

It was all based on a lie I had to utter.

 

Here I am hiding behind a good thing happening in my life.

A very good thing that painfully does not allow me to jump for joy.

Graceful as I always have been, I have to keep my composure and my smile.

 

So as I walk off the rest of the afternoon, I get to thinking

Maybe one day, when I see him again my story will be different.

Whatever it is, I have to latch on to the silence that comes with complication.

 

For now, at least.

I hope.

I pray.

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The Road to Truth

"We are now so far from the road to truth, that religious teachers dispute and hate each other, and speculative men are esteemed unsound and frivolous."

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Nature

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