On roses

by Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance (1841)

Man is timid and apologetic; he is no longer upright

He dares not say ‘I think,’ ‘I am,’ but quotes some saint or sage.
He is ashamed before the blade of grass or the blowing rose.

These roses under my window make no reference to former roses or to better ones; they are for what they are; they exist with God to-day.
There is no time to them.
There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence.
Before a leaf-bud has burst, its whole life acts; in the full-blown flower there is no more; in the leafless root there is no less.

Its nature is satisfied, and it satisfies nature, in all moments alike.

But man postpones or remembers; he does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments the past, or, heedless of the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future.
He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with nature in the present, above time.

Comments

  1. jackienoriega says:

    HERMOSO BLOG NADA MAS VERDADERO QUE CONTEMPLAR LA INMENSIDAD DEL MAR LA BELLEZA DE LAS FLORES SEAN ROSAS O NO Y SI DAMOS UN INSTANTE DE NUESTRO DIA PARA AGRADECER A DIOS POR ESTE PARAISO EN QRE VIVIMOS ENTONCES ESTAREMOS FELICES DE HABER NACIDO Y ESTAR VIVOS DE PODER COMTEMPLAR LA BELLEZA DE TODAS LAS ESPECIES DE RESPIRAR DE PODER TENER FE EN DIOS SIN VERLO Y SABER QUE EL ESTA EN NUESTRO CAMINO JUNTO A NOSOTROS Y CUANDO NO PODEMOS VER SUS HUELLAS ES POR QUE EL NOS ESTA CARGANDO EN LA ADVERSIDAD AGRADEZCAMOS DIA TRAS DIA EL PLACER DE VIVIR

  2. Empié says:

    La verdad es que no me he ente3rado muy bien.

    Un saludo a todos, siempre deseo que el tiempo pase porque se que lo que me espera adelante es mejor, se que un día me dará lo mismo, ese día abré llegado, entretanto, lo llevo lo mejor que puedo.

    Hasta pronto, al menos este año ha empezado bien, nada de lo exterior ha cambiado demasiado pero yo si he cambiado y mi mundo conmigo.

    Hasta pronto, y mañana tai chi, que bien¡¡¡

  3. arpita says:

    Sir u always give better insight to lives, be it ur words,ur stories or ur inspirations…!!!!U r a warrior in true sense!!!:)

  4. Rohit says:

    Said in the way only Paulo Coelho can. You never cease to amaze me. And today I must thank you from the bottom of my heart.

  5. R says:

    Como meu comentário não foi exposto, notei de forma sincera que é hora de me afastar.
    Tenha luz e paz. Estou desconectando de tudo com relação.
    Alegria Sempre.
    Desculpe por entender tudo errado.

  6. kamakshe says:

    Oh! My My ! My God! I dont know what to say! I find the book Alchemist amazing ! I have ( I think I have ) discovered my destiny as late as in my 40th year (age) … not at 15 .. The dream is ‘To be a writer’ to write better than paulo but still as simple as him.. Make paulo read my book too..! ( ?) Just started writing now at 45 breaking all my barriers…everyday is a struggle,,,, I ve not read much nor written till date… But I am writing today and my work brings tears to those who read… Love kamakshe

    1. Brani says:

      Just go for it!

    2. That is the spirit Kamakshe. Passion is a very important cuality for an author. Please rely on the strength of your words and do not write so many exclamation marks, the strength of the word should be enough.

    3. Heimo Kruschinski says:

      Yes Vincent. You are certainly a good editor, if I ever need one then I ask you, could that be I want to know how to spell a name. I ask then filled with passion.

      I wish you a wonderful evening

  7. Asfara Ahmed says:

    This reminds me of my favorite quote by Walt Whitman:
    “There was never any more inception than there is now,
    Nor any more youth or age than there is now,
    And will never be any more perfection than there is now,
    Nor any more heaven or hell than there is now.”
    from “Song of Myself”

  8. THELMA says:

    I said to the almond tree, “Friend, speak to me of God,” and the almond tree blossomed.
    Nikos Kazantzakis
    So every living creature, plant, soul, stone, water, cloud …, we are all going our Way.. Nature ‘knows’ the Secret : everything in everything/ Τά πάντα εν πάσει. ‘As above so below’.
    Our Nature is LOVE and our Natural Home is Paradise
    Let’s be LOVE and …. ‘blossom’
    LOVE,
    Thelma xxx

    1. Beautiful, thankyou dear Thelma xo

  9. East says:

    Hello,
    I’m East in Republic of Korea(South)!
    I read your books which are Brida and Aleph.
    Thank you!
    East in Korea.

  10. shruti says:

    sir i like each thing about you you r my guru

  11. Samuel says:

    Life is what it is, it’s the pain, the joy, the darkness the light. The ebb and flow, it’s everything and nothing at all.

  12. Mathew says:

    The difference between man* and other living things is that he has a mind of his own to make decisions that may make him or break him. The difficult part is knowing the difference; having the wisdom to make those decisions.

    * woman included

    1. Well said Mathew, men and women are much more than flowers. The poem is nice but the is no correlation between the two.

  13. Marie-Christine says:

    I liked the name of the aunt : Mary Moody :) natural way
    an interesting grave also … in Sleepy Hollow.

    ‘He cannot be happy and strong until he too lives with nature in the present above time.’

    Some more quotes I found from Wikepidia and the French one:
    “The Universe is composed of Nature and the Soul,’

    “Nature is a language and every new fact one learns is a new word, but it is not a language taken to pieces and dead in the dictionary but the language put together into a most significant and universal sense. I wish to learn this language, not that I may know a new grammar, but that I may read the great book that is written in that tongue.’

    ‘Nature is divided into four: commodity, beauty, language and discipline.’

    ‘Human use nature for their basic needs : desire for delight, communication with one another and their understanding of the world. ‘

    ‘The eye is the first circle, the horizon which its forms is the second and throughout nature this primary figure is repeated without end.’

    ‘Nature, self-reliance, compensation, the over-soul, circles, the poet, experience, politics’ is for me everything that makes a human being ALIVE.

    ‘Il avait une passion pour le genie de Montaigne, il dit qu’il voulait ecrire comme lui ‘ un livre drole, rempli de poesie, theologie, de choses journalieres, philosophie, d’anecdotes, de scories.’
    He had a passion for the genius of Montaigne and said that he wanted to write like him ‘ a funny book, filled with poetry, theology, daily happenings, philosophy, trivia, scories.

    ‘Une part de ses intuitions lui viennent de son etude des religions orientales, hindouisme, confucianisme et soufisme.’
    Part of his intuitions comes from his studies of Eastern ,religions, Hinduism, Confucianism and Sufism.

    ‘La base de la musique ce sont les proprietes de l’air et les vibrations des corps sonores.’
    The basis of music are the properties of the air and the vibrations of sounds

    ‘Les peuples les plus avances sont toujours ceux qui naviguent le plus.’
    The most advanced people are always the ones that get about the most.

    with love
    Marie-Christine

    1. Well said Marie-Christine, Nature is the answer to our questions, and yes, the most knowlegable are the ones with more advantage. Let there be purpose in your life and friendship with your Soul, your love surrounding it will expand, allowing communication with the infinite intelligence for your greatness to come to surface.

  14. patricia says:

    hOLA pAULO, VI TU VIDEO, QUISIERA SABER SI HICISTE ESE VIAJE EN EL TRASIVERIANO. GRACIAS

  15. Zombiemom says:

    Great perspective of how we condition ourselves to think vs. how we should think. I’m not sure if you read these, Mr. Coelho, but if you do, you will find many wonderful things (similar to what you wrote) in a book entitled God Calling (edited by A.J. Russell) written by two listeners who wanted the focus to remain on their book so withheld their names. A friend shared it with me long ago and it has opened my world.

  16. ruta says:

    this day is outcome of yesterday and when we are not very happy with our ”today” we make decisions about tomorrow…. and it continuos all the time, never stopping… I think all three are so much connected…

  17. shampa says:

    Dear Mr. Coelho, you are an inspiration to millions……being a rose yourself and living in the moment ! I too am learning to live in the moment and loving it !
    Thank you for teaching the rest of us how to……….
    bless you with more insight into our little lives on this planet….so fleeting and yet so much to live for.
    love and hugs
    shampa
    India

  18. shreyashi says:

    very truly said…………..!!!!!!

    for in this competetive world of today, all the people first waste al their time in making their future easy and comfortable and when they finally get the comfort they start remembering their past and cherishing all those moments with friends and family.

    am very happy and proud to state that after reading alchemist i am actually living in present….

    thnxxxx

  19. gemi says:

    I really needed to read this right now.

    Namaste.

  20. Arthur Fuchs Reis says:

    Hello Paulo, how are u? Well I just began to write a book on last week. My first one to be true. I have been thinking about to be a writter. But I really dunno how to do one. I have an idea that people I want to get to. This first one is religious, some people already began to ready it. And they liked it a lot. The truth is that it is my true history from my life, it is all about me, because I want to evangilise some people with my history. And I want to be a good writter as you are. Can u help me? please. I just wanna know how to begin… Could u be my teacher on this? please…

    1. Paulo Coelho says:

      I am recording podcasts on the subject. Check the sidebar

    2. Arthur Fuchs Reis says:

      I already checked it out… it is very amazigly video… Thanks

  21. Andrew Page says:

    So true. Nature and silence are perfect for slowing me down into acceptance of the moment. There is nothing like a quiet walk in a natural environment to get me remembering the important things in life.

  22. Sapere aude says:

    El primer libro que leí fue el de Once Minutos, y tenia 12 años al leerlo y entendí su significado y me parecio una bonita historia, ahora tengo 15 y como a sido el mejor libro que me he leído en toda mi vida (y son muchisimo) me lo e vuelto a leer, ahora entiendo mucho mejor el libro, será una estupidez,pero me he imaginado a mí misma en la situacion de María en cada circunstancia que narras, simplemente tiene una valentía impesionante.
    Te admiro muchísimo porque tus libros me llevan a otra dimensión y me hacen pensar en cosas que jamás pensé que dudaría, soy demasiado jóven y a lo mejor si dentro de 10 años vuelvo a leer tu libro pensaré de otra forma.
    me encantaria comprar mas libros tuyos en vez de cogerlos de la biblioteca porque así me los pueod releer como el de Once minutos y El vencedor esta solo, magnífico trabajo. Simplemento no comparto su idea de que dios esta presente en todos sus libro por el simpel hecho de que no creo en nada. Gracias y siga escribiendo estos libros tan maravillosos. Ojalá pudiese yo contar mi historia en un libro.

  23. sabiha says:

    Man is ungrateful by nature…he cannot live in nature as this rose…it is not in hig genes nor has he been programmed …if he does he will stop being a man and be a saint instead……..???

  24. Cat says:

    We all need a little Emerson….and Coelho in our minds & hearts.
    Thank you for always sharing the wisdom we need to reach us–
    on a consistent and timely basis. Your posts are like guardian
    angels, in a way.

    Continued success of your writing in 2012 & beyond!

    Love to you, Paulo!

    Cat

  25. Sapere aude says:

    El primer libro que leí fue el de Once Minutos, y tenia 12 años al leerlo y entendí su significado y me parecio una bonita historia, ahora tengo 15 y como a sido el mejor libro que me he leído en toda mi vida (y son muchisimo) me lo e vuelto a leer, ahora entiendo mucho mejor el libro, será una estupidez,pero me he imaginado a mí misma en la situacion de María en cada circunstancia que narras, simplemente tiene una valentía impesionante.
    Te admiro muchísimo porque tus libros me llevan a otra dimensión y me hacen pensar en cosas que jamás pensé que dudaría, soy demasiado jóven y a lo mejor si dentro de 10 años vuelvo a leer tu libro pensaré de otra forma.
    me encantaria comprar mas libros tuyos en vez de cogerlos de la biblioteca porque así me los pueod releer como el de Once minutos y El vencedor esta solo, magnífico trabajo. Simplemento no comparto su idea de que dios esta presente en todos sus libro por el simpel hecho de que no creo en nada. Gracias y siga escribiendo estos libros tan maravillosos.

  26. teodora says:

    Amigo bello poema…tiene usted una capacidad de escribir genial, sus escrituras para mi son melodías…

  27. fatima faria says:

    NOSSA QUE LINDO ISSO SEMPRE ME FAZ BEM ,LER VC .BJOSSSSSSSSSSS

  28. Prabu das says:

    You too quote Ralph Waldo Emerson’s Self-Reliance. This comment is not to reprove your work but just to accept we are just a part of nature in the form of Man.

  29. Olta Canka says:

    Beautiful poem. Gorgeous rose.

    We live to enjoy the present. The question is, what is making us want to escape from it? An appreciated present can be just like a moment spent with a rose just like this one.

  30. Tania Vintimilla says:

    hermoso no puedo decir mas hermoso …

  31. Monika Rana says:

    Dear Sir
    Recently I started reading your books and fortunately unknowingly got your ‘Alchemist’, the wonderful work which filled me with all strength of life that I needed really needed at this point of time when my 14 years marriage was on the doors of wreck. Though I was and I’m fully convinced with my decisions yet there was a kind of fear leading life alone. Alchemist determined me to live my Dreams. I’ve the little capacities of writing and used to write poems since childhood but after reading you Sir I daily pray to GOD to bless me with all majestic imaginations and the wonderful word power so that one day I’l become a good writer like you . Dear sir if you read these columns of your fans then please after reading mine bless me.
    I just read about the Rose and really surprised that this week I also wrote on the same, Rose. I know the writers are really blessed with the Third Eye which can perceive the things beyond the imagination of common Man.
    Really Love You SIr

    1. ivet says:

      guao sin palabras, que bien escribe usted. y algun libro suyo que pueda recomendarme?

  32. Heimo Kruschinski says:

    Thank you for this wonderful poem, and that you have made me aware of this writer and man. I previously knew only his name. I think I should change that.

    I wish you all a wonderful day

  33. toñi says:

    Precioso mensaje. Hoy vemos a los pequeños jugando y compartiendo los pocos juguetes que les han traido los Reyes Magos, y los vemos felices sin esperar nada más que el calor de los que les quieren y disfrutando antes de volver de nuevo al colegio. Y en un día como hoy reflexionamos (yo por lo menos lo hago) en el verdadero espiritu navideño y el verdadero mensaje de amor y paz y…me doy cuenta de que estas navidades han sido las más hermosas en muchos años. Unas navidades sencillas, sin consumismo y dando lo mejor de nosotros mismos a nuestros seres queridos, dándoles sinceridad, cariño, sencillez y humildad. Y la forma o imagen más exacta de definir algo así sería la imagen de una rosa o una flor.
    Muy bonito mensaje. Saludos y abrazos.

  34. Abigail says:

    Seemingly so simple — to live in the present — and yet, so very, very difficult … if not impossible? Is this not the bane of human existence, what separates us from the rest of the natural world? However, it is also the blessing.

    1. It is a very important truth but, critizacing the human race is not the way to fix it. For we are what we are because of the curiosity integrated in our brain. As we critizase without giving the solutions to the problem we will fall on the trap of guilt and that will kill our dream.
      vincentsylvan.com

    2. Heimo Kruschinski says:

      Yes Vincent. You’re absolutely right. The solution of all problems is love. Then now are all problems solved and we need no more to criticize. Perhaps it could formulate a little better. There is criticism and criticism.

      I wish you a wonderful evening

  35. pam says:

    Nice timing with this. I started out this year with the thought, happy first D
    Sunday of 2012, then Monday until on one of the happy firsts I thought, This is also the one and only of it’s kind!!!! What specialness will happen throughout this day!!!

    Trying to be alert and aware. Trying to stop and listen to what chatter is going on in my mind and often gently pulling it back so my eyes, ears, nose can take in what is in the here and now. Difficult to remember but am getting better.

    I am enjoying your stories here so much and thank you for sharing all you do. Have a blessed day dear Paulo.

  36. Annie says:

    “There is no time to them. There is simply the rose; it is perfect in every moment of its existence……in the full-blown flower there is no more; in the leafless root there is no less.”

    it;s like Love.. when you tap into Love, there is no more, there is no less…
    and without time, one can never miss the other..time makes us miss the other.. but without time, every moment we are with those we Love …

    I love roses
    whether red or white, orange or blue
    but the little Prince
    misses his rose
    and sometimes he is blue..
    plz someone tell him no reason to be sad,
    no reason to be blue
    Every moment he loves,
    the rose is within him too…

    Love and gratitude
    Annie

  37. eleonora says:

    Nel rispetto delle religioni ,penso che lo scopo di ogni essere umano è quello di scoprirsi nell’arco della vita, come parte integrante di tutto cio ‘che lo circonda.Non avrebbe senso vivere senza sperimentare il vivere.Alla base del credere c’è il rispetto per sè e gli altri,ma ciò è alla base anche del concetto etico di ogni individuo.Non possiamo pretendere che l’essere di per sè accetti quanto viene tramandato senza porsi delle domande.Ognuno di noi, ha bisogno di percorrere il proprio cammino per individuare quanto di bello o brutto in esso vi sia contenuto. Le limitazioni ,le imposizioni non appartengono al concetto di libertà e rispetto .. la libertà ha modo di esistere solo nel rispetto di sè e degli altri. Se mi guardo attorno, aldilà del brutto che noi abbiamo prodotto quasi del tutto consapevolmente ,amo distinguerne ancora le meraviglie.

  38. cats says:

    wonderful. beautiful. thank you.

    ‘A rose by any other name would smell so sweet’……!

    http://www.phrases.org.uk/meanings/305250.html

    1. cats says:

      watching in England .. The Slipper and The Rose…

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Slipper_and_the_Rose

      …. ah, the English Rose! ;o)

  39. Mike Hopkins says:

    Hello Paulo:

    Thanks for this one. One of my favorite authors as a teenager.

    Kind regards,
    Mike

  40. Shanks says:

    When you live every second of your life like it is the last,
    Then you will appreciate life,
    So be proud,
    Let your soul scream your heart content,
    and live your life to its fullest

    Wish you all a happy life

  41. Irina Black says:

    В тот миг,как рефлектировать я начинаю,
    Из мира минералов и..
    Колосков,и мира обезьян-
    Тропу в сознанья мир я пролагаю.(Ступени)

  42. shashank says:

    Nice. Awesome.

    Thanks Sir, For The Alchemist, Its Really Inspired Me To Live my life as My heart says.
    After reading The Alchemist, I have decided To Live My life Towards my Destiny, which i was thinking to give up.

    Thanks a Lot

  43. Alexandra says:

    Breath taking words…I find myself many times thinking on past, or worrying for future…is better if we use our gift, present. Might build a good future, another present. I just love the ideas of that thinker, always agreed with him, he saw God in nature, talking through natural elements. I think is true. I read in Aleph you agree as well. Another common thing among us…Still, look, you are quoting too…lol. I know you say your own too…but isnt funny you quote about people quoting a sage or saint. We do, indeed, but at least, we think on the words. If we agree, we adopt the idea. We cannot re-invent the wheel. Ha ha. But, in fact, many do not say their opinion, do not bother to think, to ponder. Is like they do not exist! Thats why I love when in your books I read lines that just speak my thoughts…is great. Thoughts that were not spoken by me out loud. I feel many will agree. Thank you for the wonderful post
    Big Hug

    1. Alexandra, Here is a my idea of a rose.

      The Rose in my road

      I was walking in my road without fixed direction when suddenly I saw a flower near me. I came closer to inspect her and to smell her perfume, she being true to her nature gave me of her fragrance; I didn’t know very well to give her deserved importance or how to treat her and I tried to caress her.

      My caresses had good intention but I forgot to keep in mind the delicacy of that flower. She was a rose displaying her magic and grace to the Universe.

      The results were poor as it happens often to us men in this subject.
      We try to do well without knowing that women are not men; the result is usually insensitive and without the melody that the flowers need; they are delicate because their nature needs to expose the beauty of their existence to give its aroma to the wind, the wind is the best friend and partner of flowers, caressing them smoothly without showing its presence.

      Beautiful flower I want to be the wind that caresses your beauty, breathe your perfumes and adores you in my silence.
      vincentsylvan.com

  44. Stella Zhou says:

    Very impressive and shared with my friends. Thank you!
    And – Happy New Year – the greeting is never too late, right? :-)

  45. Momiza says:

    Words are like rivers flowing. Thank you for following your dreams and reaching your destiny, in some way this helps me and others who read your k work to follow their path. You have the sacred power in the form of writing. It makes me believe that everything is written by one hands. Thank you

  46. Quotes and songs help me every day, with expression and sometimes reminders too.

    I watched grandchildren playing during a recent visit. The older stopped suddenly and ran over to kiss her little sister.
    Today saw a hummingbird (they are still here!) Every day there is something new, lovely surprises. Beautiful friends, eyes, faces! Now, sitting here enjoying this moment and story.

    Happy Today, thankyou!
    Love,
    Jane

    1. breda says:

      Hi Jane,
      I love what you wrote and I agree .I am so grateful we are aware to see the beauty that surrounds us and our everyday experiences.
      x
      Breda

  47. Businessman Walks says:

    We blind ourselves with either the darkness of regrets of bad deeds done and good ones not, or the scorching light of anxious future attainments. All the while today’s sunlight warms our feet on the ground we stand upon, if only we’d look.

    Thanks for sharing that Emerson passage, Paulo.

    B W

    1. Shang says:

      What you just said- so wonderful:-)

    2. Businessman Walks says:

      Thank you, Shang.

  48. Mukut Gomes says:

    I can’t tell how, what you have written has helped me today…..i was exactly behaving like the man- not realizing how beautiful the present IS. Thank you.

  49. Yilmaz says:

    This is one of my toughest battles that I am having. Living in the moment.

    Instead of postponing the present and remembering the past, postpone the future, forget the past and remember the present. It once again comes down to acting instead of thinking forever.

    With love.

  50. nina ramirez says:

    El hombre generalmente teme reconocer la presencia de Dios,la naturaleza y las cosas hermosas de la vida, por temor a aparentar debilidad, sólo que esas son las cosas que en verdad le dan fuerzas!