Category Archives: TOTD

Turning and Turning

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
Troubles my sight: a waste of desert sand;
A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
Wind shadows of the indignant desert birds.
The darkness drops again; but now I know
That twenty centuries of stony sleep
Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

— William Butler Yeats, 1919

Useful History

“A great deal of false history was written, by people who never strayed north of London, about working-class hardship in those parts. Yes, there was plenty, but what we get from the entrepreneurs of socialism is twisted to their agitprop needs. Rewriting the history, to make it more true, makes another nice hobby; and in the course of it we discover that the ugliest of the capitalists often did less damage than the philanthropists.” — David Warren

Critics

A “critic” is a person who creates nothing and thereby feels qualified to judge the work of creative people. There is logic in this; he is unbiased — he hates all creative people equally. — Robert A. Heinlein

Incompatibility

“IF Americans can be divorced for ‘incompatibility of temper,’ I cannot conceive why they are not all divorced. I have known many happy marriages, but never a compatible one. The whole aim of marriage is to fight through and survive the instant when incompatibility becomes unquestionable. For a man and a woman, as such, are incompatible.” — G.K. Chesterton: What’s Wrong with the World.

Little Things

Quod minimum, minimum est,
Sed in minimo fidelem esse,
magnum est.

What is a little thing, is (just) a little thing,
But to be faithful in a little thing,
is a great thing. — St. Thomas Aquinas De Doctrina Christiana, IV,35

Falling Out

“The hard part isn’t coming up with a new idea.
“The hard part is falling out of love with the old idea.
“That’s why editing work is so difficult. In order to make the new thing, to make the old thing better, you need to destroy it first.
“Situation switching, acting as if, loving the idea enough to sketch it out and then caring enough to stop loving it… that’s where the tension often lies.” — Seth Godin

Instructions For Wayfarers

They will declare: Every journey has been taken.
You shall respond: I have not been to see myself.
They will insist: Everything has been spoken.
You shall reply: I have not had my say.
They will tell you: Everything has been done.
You shall reply: My way is not complete.
You are warned: Any way is long, any way is hard.
Fear not. You are the gate – you, the gatekeeper.
And you shall go through and on . . .
— Alexandros Evangelou Xenopouloudakis

Courtesy of Gerard VanDerleun

A Short Story

“A man, walking through the forest saw a fox that had lost its legs, and wondered how it lived. Then he saw a tiger come up with game in its mouth. The tiger ate its fill and left the rest of the meat for the fox. The next day God fed the fox by means of the same tiger.

“The man began to wonder at God’s greatness and said to himself, ‘I too shall just rest in a corner with full trust in the Lord and He will provide me with all I need.’

“He did this for many days, but nothing happened, and he was almost at death’s door when he heard a voice say, ‘O you who are in the path of error, open your eyes to the truth! Stop imitating the disabled fox and follow the example of the tiger’” — Ernie Kurtz

The Cost of Discipleship

“What did Jesus want to say to us? What does he want from us today? How does he help us to be faithful Christians today? It is not ultimately important to us what this or that church leader wants. Rather, we want to know what Jesus wants. When we go to hear a sermon, his own word is what we want to hear. This matters to us not only for our own sakes, but also for all those who have become estranged from the church and its message. It is also our opinion that if Jesus himself and Jesus alone with his word were among us in our preaching, then quite a different set of people would hear the word and quite a different set of people would again turn away from it.” — Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship