I Wonder If You Always Tell The Truth

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The Echoing Gate

I never knew such beauty existed; nor did I believe it's existence to be possible in this defective realm. Every curve and every contour and every line and every limb I ache for my fingertips to map. The ever-so-slight opening of an inviting and irresistible pout I thirst for my lips to taste. There is an innocence in those eyes once again and the hair is as a graceful veil protecting and enhancing the glow of the cheek. The whole captivates me so completely in silent exhilaration, from which even distance is no assurance of escape. This is the beauty spoken of in the bird's spring-morn chorus or in the voice of the breeze across a red summer night. It is natural - neither forced nor faked, but fragile and fresh. A perfection forged solely by His hands.

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Silence is both the truth and deception of wisdom. It is a correct answer to any question, for it teaches child and adult alike to think for himself - it is not the answer/end but the action/means which he lacks. However, even the fool can be taken for a wise man if he can keep his silence long enough.

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Each of us has limits to our capabilities to which we will go then yield no further. The point of friendship is not to know another's limits and expect them to go beyond, but to respect them without testing them. Life itself will present us with enough obstacles, we need not complicate matters by inventing our own. If the other person's limits or expectations neither match nor exceed our own then theirs are the rules which the relationship must follow. We cannot all get everything out of a relationship that we desire. Unfortunately, there is not necessarily an easy way to learn such a lesson - sometimes we must make the mistake. True friendship, however, will always offer a second chance. And a true friend never needs a third.

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Mentally, man should never mistake cowardice for strength. Before we praise our strength of mind on keeping something inside, we must first satisfy ourselves completely and beyond doubt that it is not merely through our own fear of its being known. Secrets may be kept even from someone we love, provided the reasons are honourable or chivalrous and never selfish.

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The lesser of two evils is no less an evil.

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 If I know the truth and don't speak a lie -
That is honesty.
If I know the truth but don't say a word -
Is it still so?

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The birds are so black.
Even against the unreflected expanse of a bright blue sky they are as shadows
in their swooping and soaring and majestic floating.

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Were one of the legends of the classical or modern arts to proclaim to all that they were "not like everybody else", it would be accepted solely as an eccentricity or a privilege of his famed genius, though his talent be not the reason for the boast. However, should the most ordinary among us dare to claim possession of such an individuality, he would be shouted down and have his words declared nonsense. And why - simply because there is nothing obviously or publicly special about me?

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The fewer occasions on which a man chooses to speak, the more expectantly, intently and favourably will he be received when he does so. Generally.

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 Darkness falls as night sets, in
Imperceptible degrees until even
The limits of the horizon disappear -
Yet still, I am not free.

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Was there ever, during this, our planet's childhood, a time when jealousy did not exist; when everybody was above suspicion; when there was not a 'need' for cloaks and daggers and smoke and mirrors; and the only game which people played was truth?

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It is not what a person says that matters, but which person says it.

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Whilst riding on a train through Switzerland last August, I shared a table for a stretch of the journey with a diminutive gentleman of German extraction, whom I noticed was reading a bible. He happened to look up at me, as I was looking down at him, and met me with an inquisitive gaze, which felt as though he was attempting to stare clean through me - I trust he succeeded, for I am an empty man. Against my better, or rather only nature, the expression which greeted him must have worn a likewise quizzical aspect because he asked me if I too read the Word, as he called it, even seeming to capitalise the 'w' as he spoke. I answered in the negative and being a quiet man not given to conversation I followed up, rather haphazardly and carelessly with a query pertaining to a comparison with Dickens, whom I happened to b reading at the time. Upon receiving my question, I sensed that he was just about managing to withhold a desire to brand me a heathen and smite me with the piece of the true cross which hung around his neck. In a much more civilised tone than I was expecting, he answered to the effect that he had guessed that I was not as avid a subscriber as himself, but thought that if I gave it a chance I would be pleasantly surprised. Not being one for surprises, I got straight down to it and asked for a specific reason why I should interrupt my reading of 'Dombey And Son'. His answer was a simple one, as was my reply - "It will make you a better person," he said. "What is wrong with me?" said I.

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Once when I was sitting in the departure lounge for domestic flights at Madrid airport, (bound for where, I forget), I was frustrated to find that he rubber tip on the top of my pencil had worn down and the tiny remaining piece had fallen of; for I had trimmed the metal surround that holds it in place when it had first started to dissipate. After muttering a light expletive in the mother tongue, a not wholly unattractive young lady, who turned out to be French, asked me in exquisite English, (far better accentuated than any Englishman is capable of), if I was alright. Avoiding my natural impulse to tell her what a complicated question that actually was to answer, I restricted my reply to the present situation and explained my trifling predicament, adding - Why is it that the eraser always wears out before the lead?" To which she responded, most beautifully, "Perhaps you should not make so many mistakes." How funny it is, that strangers often see us clearer than we see ourselves.

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It never ceases to amaze me, the different directions and paths which our thoughts take when we change our surroundings. It is interesting to see how the mental is affected by the physical; and also the reverse.

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Standing at the window, staring, the dew-covered grass called to me - a siren only I could hear. Without hesitation I answered with acquiescence and lay down in its verdure. Turning my head so that my cheek was dampened by the morning dew, like a baptismal holy water, I could see the separate blades of grass dancing like green flames and I contemplated how long such a fire could burn if left unaffected.

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Dreams, by definition, are not meant to come true:
They are simply swallowed by the mouth of morning. 

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I can never be disappointed for I have no expectations.

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Tonight from my perch atop the cemetery hill, I witnessed the motion of a setting sun in its entirety. From the illuminating of the valley; through its draping veil of darkness as it disappeared beyond the Appalachian trail; to the finale of rose-tinted clouds accompanied by the shadowy symphony of a cool night breeze. Natures finest hour and a wonder to behold.

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As a rule, when we venture abroad from our daily surroundings, wherever we end up, we are a guest - a guest, that is, with privileges - it being a free world after all. We are a tourist - outside of our own space though still comfortable and usually welcome. However, I have found that in every place to which I chance to travel, I fell not so much a tourist but a trespasser. Not through lack of hospitality, I should stress. Rare are the occasions on which I have felt unwelcome. No, it is more a sense of displacement. A faceless voice that insists I do not belong, even when alone in my own house. Not a week ago, I was told, in complete honesty and conviction, that we are all here for a reason and we are even all in the place in time where we need to be. My initial impulse to call "Liar!" might have speedily subsided into silence, but my current discomfiture shows a lasting disagreement. Another person in attendance said that, for her, "the jury was still out". How lucky for you, I thought, that they even convened!

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You can always see a face in the fire.

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Many people have told me that they like to sit up during a storm. Personally, I prefer to sit out. Last night - my last night - the rain was torrential, falling in sheets and smashing in a concerto as it collided with the concrete; a beautiful sound. The thunder, too, as it rumbled through the valley, serenaded me with a symphony of echoes which shook the very foundations of the house. My seat on the porch suddenly feeling a little precarious at the top of the steps. As the darkness drew closer in and night threw it's long black veil over the little town, the luminous strikes of lightning which sporadically interceded, lit the graveyard with an eerie shade of which nothing else is capable. Then it ended, as unannounced as it had begun and left the valley victim, once again, to the constant shadow of night.

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To be in love is a natural expression of humanity, though it should feel like a privilege - a privilege possessed solely, or perhaps soul-ly, by one for another and afforded so uniquely to none more. It is the pinnacle of human being. That one alone should sit upon the summit of our affections casting light throughout the dreariest existence is no less logical than the sun bringing morning to the darkest of nights. We see that one person as no-one else does or could, even they themselves; we understand completely that which makes them so special in our own eyes; we know that neither time nor mere circumstance will dictate our course; we feel the certainty of love. Just the thought of that one face instills us with a confidence or courage that we may otherwise never find. We are invigorated by a sense of strength and resolve, of vigour and purpose; a sense of duty, desire, charity and responsibility. Above all else, it provides that rare knowledge of true pleasure, when simply a smile will suffice; a place beyond the horizon of our reality. Our dreams take on a pale, almost colourless hue in comparison to the vivid clarity of this place where we see and speak and listen and learn with the awareness of a whole, full, pure heart. Love releases us from our confined quarters, opening our eyes to the wonder of an innocence that is not belittled or ridiculed out of us; nor stolen or eroded by others or hidden by ourselves out of a sense of self-preservation.