Monday, February 21, 2005

Every Street is a Theater

“There is a precise analogy in moral life. Men are seeking enjoyment in rude ways, or sulking in a complaining mood, because they have nothing to make them happy! But the art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things. If we pitch our expectations high, if we are arrogant in our pretensions, if we will not be happy except when our self-love is gratified, our pride stimulated, our vanity fed, or a fierce excitement kindled, then we shall have but little satisfaction out of this life. The whole globe is a museum to those who have eyes to see. Rare plays are unfolding before every man who can read the drama of life intelligently. Not go to theaters? Wicked to see plays?
Every street is a theater. One cannot open his eyes without seeing unconscious players. There are Othellos, and Hamlets, and Lears, and Juliets all about us.
Be cheerful yourself, and good natured, and respectful, and every man has a secret for you worth knowing. There is a school-master waiting for you behind every door. Every shopman has a look at life different from yours.
Nobody knows a city who only drives along its streets. There are vaults under streets, cellars under houses, attics above, shops behind. At every step men are found tucked away in some queer nook, doing unexpected things, themselves odd, and full of entertaining knowledge.”
H.W.Beecher – Star Papers, Unclaimed Happiness

Saturday, February 19, 2005

"Every man thinks that his own geese are swans."

" Whenever that becomes a personal possesion which is legitimately an object of love, and which involves one's character for good taste, sound judgement, and personal power or prowess, its value, in the eye and heart of its possessor, is raised above the estimate and appreciation of others minds."

Timothy Titcomb -- Gold Foil
"We live in the future. Even the happiness of the present is made up mostly of that delightful discontent which the hope of better things inspires." Timothy Titcomb

I run across this theme penned by many. It intrigues me and frustrates me. To live in the moment, an art I have not mastered. To get out of the future, with my prophecies of impending
" Cold broth hot again, that loved I never;
Old love renewed again, that loved I ever."
" I once heard a preacher remark that were it not for the interposition of sleep, by which all men are separated once in twenty-four hours from the consciousness of their own meanness, they would all die of self-contempt." Timothy Titcomb

When I first read that I found it a little harsh; but then a scripture came to mind-- " Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this."
"If you pursue good with labor, the labor passes away, but the good remains; if you pursue evil with pleasure, the pleasure passes away, but the evil remains."


I am inclined to think that if our minds were capable of apprehending the essential facts of the life we see, we should be convinced that happiness is one of the most evenly distributed of all human possessions. The laborer loves his wife and children as well as the lord, and takes into his soul all the tender and precious influences that flow to him through their love as well as he.
Food tastes as sweetly to the ploughman as the placeman. If the latter have the daintier dish, the former has the keener appetite. Into all ears the brook pours the same stream of music, and the birds never vary their programme with reference to their audiences. The spring scatters violets broadcast, and grass grows by the roadside as well as in the park. The breeze that tosses the curls of your little ones and mine is not softer in its caresses of those who bound over velvet to greet it. The sun shines, the thunder rolls, and the stars flash, for all alike. Health knows nothing of human distinctions, and abides with him who treats it best. Sleep, the gentle angel, does not come at the call of power, and never proffers its ministry for gold. The senses take no bribes of luxury; but deal as honestly and generously by the poor as by the rich; and the President of the United States would whistle himself blind before he could call our dog from us.
Timothy Titcomb -- Gold Foil

Tuesday, February 01, 2005


We must not fear lest the knowledge of His gifts make us proud, so long as we are attentive to this truth, that whatsoever there is of good in us comes not from ourselves. Alas! Do mules cease to be disgusting beasts simply because they are laden with the precious and perfumed goods of the prince? St. Francis De Sales

So, an ass is an ass still, though it carry a thief's booty or a King's bounty.