We and the critics

 

I am convinced that most of you also feel hurt when someone criticizes your work. Don’t take critics too seriously. They don’t have the power to make (or to avoid) someone buying a book, a CD, or to go to an exhibition. Don’t give them the importance they don’t have. They are trying to make a living, and that’s all.

Critics are like eunuchs in a harem; they know how it’s done, they’ve seen it done every day, but they’re unable to do it themselves.

If I did not manage to convince you, please read the comments below:

Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you’ll be criticized anyway. ~ Anna Eleanor Roosevelt

A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her. ~ David Brinkley

A painting in a museum probably hears more foolish remarks than anything else in the world. ~ Edmond and Jules De Goncourt

To escape criticism — do nothing, say nothing, be nothing. ~ Elbert Hubbard

It isn’t what they say about you, it’s what they whisper. ~ Errol Flynn

If criticism had any power to harm, the skunk would be extinct by now. ~ Fred Allen

Don’t be afraid of opposition. Remember, a kite rises against, not with, the wind. ~ Hamilton Mabie

Before you criticize people, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you’re a mile away. And you have their shoes. ~ JK Lambert

A negative judgment gives you more satisfaction than praise, provided it smacks of jealousy. ~ Jean Baudrillard

Sticks and stones are hard on bones, aimed with angry art,
Words can sting like anything but silence breaks the heart.
~ Phyllis McGinley

A fly, Sir, may sting a stately horse and make him wince; but one is but an insect, and the other is a horse still. ~ Samuel Johnson

 

 

12/10 Viva N. Sra. Aparecida!

Our Lady of Aparecida (Portuguese: Nossa Senhora Aparecida or Nossa Senhora da Conceií§í£o Aparecida) is a celebrated 18th-century clay statue of the Blessed Virgin Mary, in the traditional form of the Immaculate Conception. The image is widely venerated by Brazilian Roman Catholics, who consider her as the principal patroness of Brazil.[1] Pious accounts claim that the statue was originally found by fishermen, who miraculously caught many fishes after invoking the Blessed Virgin Mary.

The dark statue is currently housed in the Basilica of the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida, Aparecida, Sí£o Paulo. The Roman Catholic Church in Brazil celebrates her feast day every October 12. Since the basilica’s consecration 1980 by Pope John Paul II, it has also been a public holiday in Brazil. The Basilica is the fourth most popular Marian shrine in the world,[3] being able to hold up to 45,000 worshippers.[2]

The image has merited the Papal sanction of Pope Pius XI in 1929 by declaring her shrine as a minor Basilica, and by Blessed Pope John Paul II in 1980, who reiterated the patronage of Brazil under the title of the Immaculate Conception.

The statue has also merited worldwide controversy in May 1978, when a Protestant intruder stole the clay statue from its shrine and broke it into pieces, and another in 1995, when a Protestant minister slandered and vandalized a copy of the statue in national Brazilian television.

To read the full story, please CLICK HERE

Parents and children

When I was young, my parents sent me to a mental institution three times ( 1966, 1967, 1968). The reasons in my medical files are banal. It was said that I was isolated, hostile and miserable at school. I was not crazy but I was rather just a 17-year-old who really wanted to become a writer. Because no one understood this, I was locked up for months and fed with tranquilizers. The therapy merely consisted of giving me electroshocks. I promised to myself that one day I would write about this experience, so young people will understand that we have to fight for our own dreams from a very early stage of our lives.

When I released “Veronika decides to die”, a book that was a metaphor of my experience in a lunatic asylum, the press started asking me if I forgave my parents. In fact, I did not need to forgive them, because I never blamed them for what happened. From their own point-of-view, they were trying to help me to get the discipline necessary to accomplish my deeds as an adult, and to forget the “dreams of a teenager” .

Khalil Gibran has an excellent text about parents and children:

Your children are not your children.
They are the sons and daughters of Life’s longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.
You may strive to be like them,
but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.

You are the bows from which your children
as living arrows are sent forth.
The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite,
and He bends you with His might
that His arrows may go swift and far.
Let our bending in the archer’s hand be for gladness;
For even as He loves the arrow that flies,
so He loves also the bow that is stable.

 

6 Mistakes That Smart People Never Make Twice

by Piyush Sharma

 

Everybody makes mistakes, as it is only human. But there are a very few among us who actually learn from our mistakes. The first step is to accept your mistake and make peace with it, and only then can you expect yourself to make a change.

This is what celebrated author Paulo Coelho has to say on repeating your mistakes,  “When you repeat a mistake, it is not a mistake anymore: it is a decision.”

Here are few mistakes that smart people never make twice, something that the rest of us can learn from:

1. Repeating The Same Mistake Again & Again And Expecting Different Results

Mistakes Smart People Never Make Twice That You Can Learn From© The Quote

As the founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos has said, “If you double the number of experiments you do per year, you are going to double your inventiveness.”

You cannot get a different result if you put the same constants in the same equation. If you know smoking or drinking is making your health worse, then you need to quit it and not keep dreaming about quitting someday. If you want to change the end result, you need to change the input as well.

2. Spending Over The Budget

Mistakes Smart People Never Make Twice That You Can Learn From© AZ Quote`

Your friends might be planning a trip, but if you join them even though it is out of your budget, then you are in trouble. You might be having a serious problem of always being in debt. In simple words, you need to learn how to live under your means. Smart people never make that mistake twice. If they know skipping a latte can help them save Rs. 6,000 a year, then they will save it and will take the advantage of an opportunity of investing when it knocks on their door.

3. Losing Sight Of The Ultimate Goal

It is easy to lose sight of the big picture when you get busy in the daily schedule of your work life. You may skip working hard once in a while, come late to office or take a leave without informing on time. These could be some of the factors that may be taken into account at the time of your appraisals. Now, maybe getting a 50 percent raise this year was your particular goal but you lost the motivation to chase down the dream somewhere in between.

4. Playing The Victim

Mistakes Smart People Never Make Twice That You Can Learn From© Thinkstock

Take this particular relationship for instance. A partner in a relationship always acts as a victim and another one acts as the one who is given the responsibility to solve his partners’ problem. Do you think this relationship can thrive? Can someone solve your problems for you? No. The person who is trying to solve the problem in such situations often fails, as he is doing it for the sake of being acceptable or liked in favor of solving that problem.

After learning a lesson the hard way, smart people do not indulge in such a relationship or consider using such metrics to measure their happiness.

5. Trying To Be Someone Else Or Being A People Pleaser

Everyone knows that it is practically impossible to make everyone happy, also that it is a toxic practice. However, smart people know the importance of authenticity and very rarely change their behavior for the sake of pleasing the ones before them. The more authentic your behavior is, you’ll find yourself in a better circle of people who respect you.

For example, in Russia, people often speak out what they have in mind and not what they are expected to say, as per the culture followed in western countries. They prefer keeping it straight and honest, even if it sounds rude at first. They believe in speaking their mind and not what others want to hear. Now, you might be thinking how does that help them? Shouldn’t one be always polite? Well, such a level of honesty helps them in developing trust. They don’t tend to fake it just to be liked.

6. Trying To Change Someone Else

Smart people are fully aware that no one can change them besides themselves, nor do they possess the ability to bring about a major change in someone else.

 

 

10 SEC READ: Offending you (Engl, Port, Espa, Fran)

I DON’T WANT TO OFFEND YOU

You only understand the power and importance of forgiveness if you had been forgiven. The short story below illlustrates this:

During a pilgrimage to a sacred place, a holy man began to feel the presence of God. In the midst of a trance he knelt down, hid his face and prayed:
“Lord, I ask for only one thing in life: that I be given the grace of never offending you.”

“I cannot grant you that grace,” answered the Almighty. ‘If you don’t offend me I shall have no reason to pardon you. If I have no need to pardon you, soon you will also forget the importance of mercy towards others.

“So go on your way with Love and let me grant pardon now and again so that you don’t forget that virtue as well.”

————————-

EU NÃO DESEJO OFENDE-LO

Durante uma peregrinação a um lugar sagrado, o homem santo comçou a sentir a presença de Deus ao seu lado. Ajoelhou-se, escondeu a face e rezou
“Senhor, peço apenas uma coisa nesta vida; que me seja concedida a graça de jamais ofende-Lo.

“Nãoo posso lhe conceder esta graça” – respondeu o Altí­ssimo. ” Se vo nao me ofender, eu não terei necessidade de perdoa-lo. Se eu não precisar perdoa-lo, voce em breve esquecerá a importância da compaixão pelos outros”.

“Portanto, continue seu caminho com amor, e permita-me perdoa-lo de vez em quando, para manter lembra-lo sempre desta virtude”

——————————

NO QUIERO OFENDERTE (trad. José Ureña)

Solo entiendes el poder y la importancia del perdón si has sido perdonado. La corta historia a continuación lo ilustra:
Durante un peregrinaje a un lugar sagrado, un hombre santo comenzó a sentir la presencia de Dios. En medio del trance, se arrodilló, escondió su cara y rezó:
“Señor, te pido solo una cosa en mi vida, que se me dé la gracia de nunca ofenderte.”
“No puedo concederte esa gracia”, responde el Todopoderoso. “Si no me ofendes no tendré motivos para perdonarte. Si no necesito perdonarte, pronto se te olvidará la importancia de la misericordia hacia los demás”
“Así­ que sigue tu camino con amor y déjame concederte perdón una y otra vez para que no olvides la importancia de esta virtud.”

————————————

“JE NE VEUX PAS T’OFFENSER” (trad. Marie-Christine)

Tu comprends seulement le pouvoir et l’importance du pardon si tu as ete pardonne. La courte histoire ci-dessous illustre ceci:

Pendant un pelerinage dans un endroit religieux, un saint homme commenca a sentir la presence de Dieu. Au milieu d’une transe il se mit a genoux, cacha son visage et se mit a prier.
“Seigneur, je te demande seulement une chose dans la vie que me soit donne la grace de ne jamais t’offenser”.
“Je ne peux pas t’accorder cette grace” repondit le tout-puissant. Si tu ne m’offusques pas je n’aurais aucune raison de te pardonner. Si je n’ai aucun besoin de te pardonner, bientot tu oublieras agalement l’importance de la pitie envers les autres.”

“Alors, vas vers ton chemin avec Amour et laisses-moi accorder le pardon de temps en temps pour que tu n’oublies pas cette vertu aussi.”

The Dirty Laundry

A young couple moved into a new neighbourhood.

The next morning while they were eating breakfast, the young woman saw her neighbor hanging the washing outside.

“That laundry is not very clean; she doesn’t know how to wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.”

Her husband looked on, remaining silent.

Every time her neighbour hung her washing out to dry, the young woman made the same comments.

A month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean wash on the line and said to her husband, “Look, she’s finally learned how to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this?”

The husband replied, “I got up early this morning and cleaned our windows.”

And so it is with life… What we see when watching others depends on the clarity of the window through which we look.

So don’t be too quick to judge others, especially if your perspective of life is clouded by anger, jealousy, negativity or unfulfilled desires.

“Judging a person does not define who they are. It defines who you are.” Good morning!

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On solitude

CaptureFor those who are not frightened by the solitude that reveals all mysteries, everything will have a different taste.

In solitude, they will discover the love that might otherwise arrive unnoticed. In solitude, they will understand and respect the love that left them.

In solitude, they will be able to decide whether it is worth asking that lost love to come back or if they should simply let it go and set off along a new path.

In solitude, they will learn that saying ‘No’ does not always show a lack of generosity and that saying ‘Yes’ is not always a virtue.

And those who are alone at this moment, need never be frightened by the words of the devil: ‘You’re wasting your time.’
Or by the chief demon’s even more potent words: ‘No one cares about you.’

The Divine Energy is listening to us when we speak to other people, but also when we are still and silent and able to accept solitude as a blessing.

And in that moment, Its light illumines everything around us and helps us to see that we are necessary, and that our presence on Earth makes a huge difference to Its work.

taken from “MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA (now in paperback)

20 SEC READ Becoming aware

“In every religious tradition there is a practice of devotion and a practice of transformation.

“Devotion means trusting more in ourselves and in the path we follow. Transformation means to practice the things this path imposes on us.”

“When you say: ‘I am determined to study medicine,’ this sentence exercises an impact on your life even before you register at a school.

“You see this step as something positive and want to advance in its direction. The same happens with any religious tradition.”

“The key is to be fully aware of your actions. When you swallow a cup of water deeply, with all your ardor, illumination is present in its initial form. Being illuminated always means having clear vision concerning something.”

 

Adapted from the book of Thich Nhat Hanh (Living Buddha, Living Christ):

Wisdom

According to the dictionary: deep knowledge of things, natural or acquired; erudition; rectitude.

According to the New Testament: But it was what the world calls foolish that God chose to put the wise to shame with, and it was what the world calls weak that God chose to shame its strength with (Corinthians 1: 25-27).

According to Islam:
A wise man became a object of irony for the inhabitants of the city. One day he was walking down the main street with some of his disciples when a group of men and women began to insult him. The wise man went up to them and blessed them.

When they left, one of the disciples remarked: “They say terrible things, and you answer them with nice words.”
And the wise man replied: “Each one of us can only offer what he has.”

According to the Hassidic (Jewish) tradition: When Moses ascended to Heaven to write a certain part of the Bible, the Almighty asked him to place small crowns on some letters of the Torah. Moses said: “Master of the Universe, why draw these crowns?” God answered: “Because one hundred generations from now a man called Akiva will interpret them.”
“Show me this man’s interpretation,” asked Moses.

The Lord took him to the future and put him in one of Rabbi Akiva’s classes. One pupil asked: “Rabbi, why are these crowns drawn on top of some letters?”
“I don’t know.” Replied Akiva. “And I am sure that not even Moses knew. He did this only to teach us that even without understanding everything the Lord does, we can trust in his wisdom.”

A scene that I witnessed in 1997: Hoping to impress his master, a student of the occult whom I know read some manuals on magic and decided to buy the materials mentioned in the texts. With considerable difficulty he managed to find a certain type of incense, some talismans, a wooden structure with sacred characters written in an established order.
When we were having breakfast together with his master, the latter commented:
“Do you believe that by rolling computer wires around your neck you will acquire the efficiency of the machine? Do you believe that by buying hats and sophisticate clothes you will also acquire the good taste and sophistication of those who made them?

“Objects can be your allies, but they do not contain any type of wisdom. First practice devotion and discipline, and everything else will come to you later.”

The mouse and the books

When I was interned (as a lunatic…) in Dr. Eiras Hospital, I began to have panic crises. One day, I decided to consult the psychiatrist in charge of my case:

“Doctor, I am overcome by fear; it takes from me the joy of living.”

“Here in my office there is a mouse that eats my books”, said the doctor. “If I get desperate about this mouse, he will hide from me and I will do nothing else in life but hunt him. Therefore, I put the most important books in a safe place and let him gnaw some others. In this way, he is still a mouse and does not become a monster.

“Be afraid of some things and concentrate all your fear on them – so that you have courage in the rest.”

30 Paulo Coelho Quotes on Life’s Greatest Wonders

If you’re having a hard time with your sense of direction, metaphorically, these Paulo Coelho Quotes can help you understand that perseverance, diligence, and faith in yourself are keys to getting what you want.

Brazilian novelist Paulo Coelho was born on August 24, 1947. He first expressed his interest in writing during his teens. Due to his introversion and his resolution to reject the traditional path, his parents committed him to a mental institution. He escaped three times before being released at age 20.

He briefly attended law school before dropping out and lived as a hippie during the 1960s where he mostly traveled. When he returned to Brazil, he worked as a songwriter; most notably collaborating with Brazilian icon Raul Seixas. This led to his arrest over allegations that his lyrics were rebellious.

His first book, Hell Archives, was published in 1982 though it failed to gain significant success. In the late ’80s, The Pilgrimage and The Alchemist were published. However, it was in 1994 that the latter became an international bestseller after being re-published. Since The Alchemist, he has been a hugely prolific writer. His works are a combination of autobiographies, fictions, and essay collections.

Often cited as one of the most influential contemporary authors, Coelho’s books combined have sold in hundreds of millions. His journey, as arduous and diverse as it was, is an excellent example of persistence in the name of passion. Here are 30 Paulo Coelho quotes to live by.

Everything tells me that I am about to make a wrong decision, but making mistakes is just part of life. What does the world want of me? Does it want me to take no risks, to go back to where I came from because I didn’t have the courage to say “yes” to life? – Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

When you find your path, you must not be afraid. You need to have sufficient courage to make mistakes. Disappointment, defeat, and despair are the tools God uses to show us the way. – Paulo Coelho, Brida

And, when you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

paulo coelho achievement quotes

But no one can lose sight of what he desires. Even if there are moments when he believes the world and the others are stronger. The secret is this: do not surrender. – Paulo Coelho, The Fifth Mountain

Waiting is painful. Forgetting is painful. But not knowing which to do is the worst kind of suffering. – Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

paulo coelho suffering quotes

Scars speak more loudly than the sword that caused them. – Paulo Coelho, Manuscript Found in Accra

The best way to destroy the bridge between the visible and invisible is by trying to explain your emotions. – Paulo Coelho, Brida

Beware when making a woman cry. God is counting her tears. – Paulo Coelho, Adultery

paulo coelho woman quotes

Don’t listen to the malicious comments of those friends who, never taking any risks themselves, can only see other people’s failures. – Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

The worst killing is that which kills the joy we get from life. – Paulo Coelho, Hippie

Now that she had nothing to lose, she was free. – Paulo Coelho, Eleven Minutes

paulo coelho freedom quotes

We are the ones who create the messes in our heads. It does not come from outside. – Paulo Coelho, Adultery

When someone leaves, it’s because someone else is about to arrive. – Paulo Coelho, The Zahir

People never learn anything by being told, they have to find out for themselves. – Paulo Coelho, Veronika Decides to Die

paulo coelho learning quotes

We must never stop dreaming. Dreams provide nourishment for the soul, just as a meal does for the body. – Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage

Don’t be intimidated by other people’s opinions. Only mediocrity is sure of itself, so take risks and do what you really want to do. – Paulo Coelho, Aleph

One is loved because one is loved. No reason is needed for loving. – Paulo Coelho, The Alchemist

paulo coelho loving quotes

I understand once again that the greatness of God always reveals itself in the simple things. – Paulo Coelho, Like the Flowing River

Talent is a universal gift, but it takes a lot of courage to use it. Don’t be afraid to be the best. – Paulo Coelho, The Winner Stands Alone

Anyone who loves in the expectation of being loved in return is wasting their time. – Paulo Coelho, The Devil and Miss Prym

paulo coelho expectation quotes

We can never judge the lives of others, because each person knows only their own pain and renunciation. – Paulo Coelho, By the River Piedra I Sat Down and Wept

Men. They thought they ruled the world but couldn’t so much as take a step without, that very same night, seeking the opinions of their partners, lovers, girlfriends, mothers. – Paulo Coelho, Hippie

How much I missed, simply because I was afraid of missing it. – Paulo Coelho, Brida

paulo coelho missing quotes

Anxiety was born in the very same moment as mankind. And since we will never be able to master it, we will have to learn to live with it—just as we have learned to live with storms. – Paulo Coelho, Manuscript Found in Accra

The boat is safer anchored at the port; but that’s not the aim of boats. – Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage

Certain things in life simply have to be experienced -and never explained. Love is such a thing. – Paulo Coelho, Maktub

paulo coelho love quotes

The mirror reflects perfectly; it makes no mistakes because it doesn’t think. To think is to make mistakes. – Paulo Coelho, The Winner Stands Alone

Behind the mask of ice that people wear, there beats a heart of fire. – Paulo Coelho, Warrior of the Light

paulo coelho heart quotes

It is possible to avoid pain? Yes, but you’ll never learn anything. Is it possible to know something without ever having experiencing it? Yes, but it will never truly be part of you. – Paulo Coelho, Aleph

What people regard as vanity—leaving great works, having children, acting in such a way as to prevent one’s name from being forgotten—I regard as the highest expression of human dignity. – Paulo Coelho, The Pilgrimage

Inspire your loved ones with these 30 Paulo Coelho quotes. These might be the very words they need to hear to find love, happiness, and fulfillment in their journey.i

Selected by Sayingimages

 

Vacations!

Although I enjoy my work a lot (once I tweeted: “if you do what you love, every day is a holiday”) I need to stop being in front of the computer – and this is the main reason for taking vacations.

I will be back by the end of August.

Meanwhile, you can download to your phone (iOS or Android my FREE DAILY MESSAGES

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Paulo

I thank all those

I thank all those who laughed at my dreams;
You have inspired my imagination.
I thank all who wanted to squeeze me into their scheme;
They have taught me the value of freedom.

I thank all who have lied to me;
You have shown me the power of truth.
I thank all those who have not believed in me;
You have expected me to move mountains.
I thank all those who have written me off;
You have aroused my courage.

I thank all those who have left me;
They gave me room to create.
I thank all those who have betrayed me and abused;
You have let me be vigilant.
I thank all those who have hurt me;
They have taught me to grow in pain.

More importantly, I thank all
Who love me as I am;
They give me the strength to live.

My top 9 travel tips

I realised very early on that, for me, travelling was the best way of learning. I still have a pilgrim soul, and I thought that I would use this blog to pass on some of the lessons I have learned, in the hope that they might prove useful to other pilgrims like me.

1. Avoid museums. This might seem to be absurd advice, but let’s just think about it a little: if you are in a foreign city, isn’t it far more interesting to go in search of the present than of the past? It’s just that people feel obliged to go to museums because they learned as children that travelling was about seeking out that kind of culture. Obviously museums are important, but they require time and objectivity – you need to know what you want to see there, otherwise you will leave with a sense of having seen a few really fundamental things, except that you can’t remember what they were.

2. Hang out in bars. Bars are the places where life in the city reveals itself, not in museums. By bars I don’t mean nightclubs, but the places where ordinary people go, have a drink, ponder the weather, and are always ready for a chat. Buy a newspaper and enjoy the ebb and flow of people. If someone strikes up a conversation, however silly, join in: you cannot judge the beauty of a particular path just by looking at the gate.

3. Be open. The best tour guide is someone who lives in the place, knows everything about it, is proud of his or her city, but does not work for any agency. Go out into the street, choose the person you want to talk to, and ask them something (Where is the cathedral? Where is the post office?). If nothing comes of it, try someone else – I guarantee that at the end of the day you will have found yourself an excellent companion.

4. Try to travel alone or – if you are married – with your spouse. It will be harder work, no one will be there taking care of you, but only in this way can you truly leave your own country behind. Traveling with a group is a way of being in a foreign country while speaking your mother tongue, doing whatever the leader of the flock tells you to do, and taking more interest in group gossip than in the place you are visiting.

5. Don’t compare. Don’t compare anything – prices, standards of hygiene, quality of life, means of transport, nothing! You are not traveling in order to prove that you have a better life than other people – your aim is to find out how other people live, what they can teach you, how they deal with reality and with the extraordinary.

6. Understand that everyone understands you. Even if you don’t speak the language, don’t be afraid: I’ve been in lots of places where I could not communicate with words at all, and I always found support, guidance, useful advice, and even girlfriends. Some people think that if they travel alone, they will set off down the street and be lost for ever. Just make sure you have the hotel card in your pocket and – if the worst comes to the worst – flag down a taxi and show the card to the driver.

7. Don’t buy too much. Spend your money on things you won’t need to carry: tickets to a good play, restaurants, trips. Nowadays, with the global economy and the Internet, you can buy anything you want without having to pay excess baggage.

8. Don’t try to see the world in a month. It is far better to stay in a city for four or five days than to visit five cities in a week. A city is like a capricious woman: she takes time to be seduced and to reveal herself completely.

9. A journey is an adventure. Henry Miller used to say that it is far more important to discover a church that no one else has ever heard of than to go to Rome and feel obliged to visit the Sistine Chapel with two hundred thousand other tourists bellowing in your ear. By all means go to the Sistine Chapel, but wander the streets too, explore alleyways, experience the freedom of looking for something – quite what you don’t know – but which, if you find it, will – you can be sure – change your life.

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1 MIN READ: Do you feel useless?

The younger people realise that the world is full of huge problems, which they dream of solving, but no one is interested in their views.
‘You don’t know what the world is really like,’ they are told. ‘Listen to your elders and then you’ll have a better idea of what to do.’

The older people have gained in experience and maturity, they have learned about life’s difficulties the hard way, but when the moment comes for them to teach these things, no one is interested.
‘The world has changed,’ they are told. ‘You have to keep up to date and listen to the young.’

That feeling of uselessness is no respecter of age and never asks permission, but corrodes people’s souls, repeating over and over:
‘No one is interested in you, you’re nothing, the world doesn’t need your presence.’

Walk neither faster nor slower than your own soul.
Because it is your soul that will teach you the usefulness of each step you take.
Sometimes taking part in a great battle will be the thing that will help to change the course of history. But sometimes you can do that simply by smiling, for no reason, at someone you happen to pass in the street.
Without intending to, you might have saved the life of a complete stranger, who also thought he was useless and might have been ready to kill himself, until a smile gave him new hope and confidence.

taken from MANUSCRIPT FOUND IN ACCRA

2 min read: meeting Henry Miller’s widow

14w8eeto

The Japanese journalist asks the usual question: “And what are your favorite writers?” I give my usual answer: “Jorge Amado, Jorge Luis Borges, William Blake and Henry Miller.”

The translator looks at me astonished: “Henry Miller?” But she soon realizes her role isn’t to digress and gets back to her work. At the end of the interview, I want to know why she was so surprised about my answer.

“I am not criticizing Henry Miller; I’m his fan too,” she answers. “Did you know he was married to a Japanese woman?”
Yes: I’m not ashamed to be fanatic about someone I admire and try to know everything about their life.

I went to a book fair just to get to know Jorge Amado, I travelled 48 hours in a bus to meet with Borges ( this ended up not happening due to my own fault: when I saw him I froze and said nothing), I rang the bell of John Lennon’s door in New York (the porter asked me to leave a letter explaining the reason of my visit and said Lennon would probably call, this never happened). I had plans of going to see Henry Miller in Big Sur, but he died before I was able to gather the money for the trip.

“The Japanese woman’s name is Hoki,” I answer proudly. “I know too that in Tokyo there is a museum devoted to Miller’s watercolors.”
“Would you like to meet her tonight?”
But what a question! Of course, I would like to be near someone that lived with one of my idols.
I imagine she must receive visitors from all over the world and several interview requests; after all, they stayed together for almost 10 years.

We stop at a street where the sun probably never shines, as a viaduct passes over it. The translator points to a second-rate bar on the second floor of an old building.

We go up the stairs, we enter the completely empty bar and there is Hoki Miller. In order to conceal my surprise, I try to exaggerate my enthusiasm about her ex-husband.
She takes me to a room in the back where she set up a small museum – a few pictures, two or three signed watercolors, a signed book and nothing else.

She tells me that she met him when she took a masters degree in Los Angeles and played piano in a restaurant to support herself, singing French songs (in Japanese). Miller went there for dinner, loved the songs (he had spent a great part of his life in Paris), they went out a couple of times and he asked her to marry him.

She tells me delightful things about their life in common, about the problems originated by the age difference between them (Miller was over 50, Hoki wasn’t 20), of the time they spent together. She explains that the heirs from the other marriages got everything, inclusively the copyrights of the books – but that didn’t matter to her, what she lived with him lies beyond financial compensation.

I ask her to play that music that caught Miller’s attention many years back. She does it with tears in her eyes and sings ‘Autumn Leaves’ (Feuilles Mortes).

The bar, the piano, the voice of the Japanese woman echoing in the empty walls, not caring about the ex-wives’ victories, about the rivers of money Miller’s books shall make, about the world fame she could enjoy today.

“It wasn’t worth it to fight for inheritance: his love was enough to me,” she says at the end, understanding what we felt.
Yes, for the complete absence of bitterness or rancor in her voice, I understand that love was enough.

You, who they call Lord

EM PORTUGUES AQUI: Você, que eles chamam Senhor
EN ESPANOL AQUI : Tú, a quien ellos llaman Señor

by Abbot Burkhard

You, who I can feel deep inside my soul.
You, who has created this world.

When I look into the microcosmos, in the macrocosmos, everywhere I find you.
I sense your greatness.

You, who they call Lord,
who they call Father,
who they call Allah,
who they call Jahwe,
You, who is there.

Who is with us. Who walks with us.
The older I become, the more I can call you friend.
You are the friend of my life, who loves me and who called me to carry your message to the people.
Thank you.

I want to ask for everyone who is here today, to feel some of God’s Greatness and His love, who wants us, who loves us.
Jesus Christ showed us a way which we can walk together.
In spite of everything and everyone, we can find ways together,
seek and find ways which will gift us with a better and more beautiful life.

Paulo has written that he is searching for the sense in his life.
And while searching he went across new paths, wrong tracks and detours, like the all of us.

Let’s keep on looking for you in the humans beings that are present in our path.

Amen

_____________________________
Istanbul, Turkey, on March 19, 2011. You can see the video of Abbot Burkhard praying in German in 6:09 min of our collective prayer

(translated by Nayla )

The Alchemist, by Paree

Andy Warhol

 

“Don’t pay any attention to what they write about you. Just measure it in inches. During the 1960s, I think, people forgot what emotions were supposed to be. And I don’t think they’ve ever remembered.

Isn’t life a series of images that change as they repeat themselves? I’m afraid that if you look at a thing long enough, it loses all of its meaning.

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself. Since people are going to be living longer and getting older, they’ll just have to learn how to be babies longer.

I suppose I have a really loose interpretation of “work,” because I think that just being alive is so much work at something you don’t always want to do. The machinery is always going. Even when you sleep.

Fantasy love is much better than reality love. Never doing it is very exciting.

The most exciting attractions are between two opposites that never meet.

I have Social Disease. I have to go out every night. If I stay home one night I start spreading rumors to my dogs.

Sex is more exciting on the screen and between the pages than between the sheets.

In the future, everyone will be famous for 15 minutes.”

BY ANDY WARHOL

Andrew Warhola (August 6, 1928 – February 22, 1987), known as Andy Warhol, was an American painter, printmaker, and filmmaker who was a leading figure in the visual art movement known as pop art. The author of this blog considers him to be the MOST important visual artist of his generation