T   P   O
The Patient Ox (aka Hénock Gugsa)

G r e e t i n g s !

** TPO **
an irreligious blog
with egalitarian and individualist tendencies!

On the menu ... politics, music, poetry, and other good stuff.
There is humor, but there is blunt seriousness here as well!

Parfois, on parle français ici aussi. Soyez bienvenus!

Intelligent comments are always welcome!

Saturday, January 31, 2015

The Summer Day - by Mary Oliver

The Summer Day
Mary Oliver
///// === /////

Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don't know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn't everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

TPO's comment:
I like the serenity in this poem. I am happy that "idleness" is cast in a very favorable light. Living in the moment and then from moment to moment makes very good sense to me now in my old age.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

On Life and Living - by Seneca and Kierkegaard

Illustration by Maurice Sendak
On Life and Living 
- by -
 Seneca and Kierkegaard *

Seneca (4 BC. - 65 AD)

-[On "the shortness of life"]
The greatest obstacle to living is expectancy, which hangs upon tomorrow and loses today… The whole future lies in uncertainty: live immediately.

- [On busyness, "the dual demon of distraction and preoccupation"]
Everyone hustles his life along, and is troubled by a longing for the future and weariness of the present. But the man who … organizes every day as though it were his last, neither longs for nor fears the next day….


Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855)

- [On busyness, "the distraction from living and from boredom"]
Generally, those who do not bore themselves are busy in the world in one way or another, but for that very reason they are, of all people, the most boring of all, the most unbearable... The other class of human beings, the superior ones, are those who bore themselves....

- [On "idleness" and "boredom"]
Idleness as such is by no means a root of evil; on the contrary, it is a truly divine life, if one is not bored.... Idleness, then, is so far from being the root of evil that it is rather the true good. Boredom is the root of evil; it is that which must be held off. Idleness is not the evil; indeed, it may be said that everyone who lacks a sense for it thereby shows that he has not raised himself to the human level.

* Source: www.brainpickings.org

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Trust and Reliability - by Raymond Beyda

Trust and Reliability
 Raymond Beyda *
==== \\\\\\\ ==== 

The interested buyer sat opposite the eager salesman in the car showroom. The model had been chosen and the color and options selected. Now it was time to establish the final price and the terms of payment. Both parties were eager to close the deal. The salesman then asked the crucial question, "How's your credit picture?" The common business term, "credit picture", is an accurate, complete representation of a person's reliability in meeting one's obligations. A person is the artist who paints his or her own credit picture. The portrait may be beautiful or ugly depending on how one dealt with previous commitments.

In personal relationships credit is also an important factor ­except one might call it credibility or trust rather than credit. When you want some one else to trust you -- you are in effect asking them to believe in something that no one can see ­your reliability. You can communicate trust and emotionally bond with another person. You are really asking the other person to act on a feeling that can't be proven logically or scientifically.

The same way that your credit with a lending institution builds with each transaction in which you the lender perform as promised so too a person commands the trust of another increasingly as action demonstrates reliability. Today when it becomes difficult to do what you said you were going to do: ­stop! Put in that extra effort to deliver as promised. Tell the truth, deliver on a regular basis and be consistent in your relationships with others. It only takes a minute to give that extra push but it will make an invisible bond appear as a beautiful portrait of none other than your self.


* Rabbi Raymond Beyda : "Invisible Trust" ...

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Everybody Plays the Fool - by TMI

Everybody Plays the Fool (EPTF)
The Main Ingredient (TMI)


Saturday, January 10, 2015

A Happy Plumber - by Christy of Menomonie, Wisconsin

A Happy Plumber
by Christy of Menomonie, Wis.
Bulletin Board, St. Paul Pioneer Press
~~~~~~~~~~ ******* ~~~~~~~~~~

In the middle (please?) of a long, long winter, it doesn't take much to make a plumber happy!

The plumber who arrived to fix our toilet leak was very pleasant and conversational -- quite the contrast to the last, grumpy, monosyllabic plumber. I thought: 'Now here is a man who enjoys his work.' This repair was quite simple, so he was done quickly. He lingered by the front door before leaving and said he was sorry our job didn't take him very long to complete.

Turns out he had to return to his previous work-in-progress: crawling through the snow under a house trailer to thaw out frozen pipes. On a day when the temperatures were below-zero and with obscene wind-chills, I could see why a leaky-indoor-toilet job would make him very happy.

[to be filed under "14,001 things to gripe about"]

Friday, January 9, 2015

The Vilja Song - by Renée Fleming

Renée Fleming
 The Vilja Song 
(from "The Merry Widow")
 Renée Fleming
/////// ==== ///////

"The Merry Widow " by Franz Lehar

At her own party, Hanna (the merry widow) tells the story of a mountain sprite or a "Vilja" that roams the highlands of her homeland of Pontevedria and innocently tempts hunters with her beauty. 

Lyrics ... [English translation by Lea Frey (blfrey@earthlink.net)] .... The Vilja song.
There lived a Vilja, a woods-maiden,
A hunter spied her in a rocky cliff!
The fellow, became
So strangely affected,
He looked and looked
At the little woods-maiden.
And a never known shudder
Seized the young hunter,
Longingly he began quietly to sigh!
Vilja, O Vilja, you little woods-maiden,
Take me and let me   
Be your dearest true love!
Vilja, O Vilja, what are you doing to me?
Fearfully begs  a lovesick man!

Vilja, O Vilja, what are you doing to me?
Fearfully begs  a lovesick man!

The woods-maiden stretched
Out her hand to him
And pulled him into her cliff-dwelling.
The lad almost lost his senses, ( for)
Thus loved and kissed no earthly child.
As soon as she was sated with kissing
She disappeared at that moment!
Just once did the poor lad wave to her:
Vilja, O Vilja, you little woods-maiden,
Take me and let me   
Be our dearest true love!
Vilja, O Vilja, what are you doing to me?
Fearfully begs  a lovesick man!

Vilja, O Vilja, what are you doing to me?
Fearfully begs  a lovesick man!


Thursday, January 1, 2015