Friday, September 28, 2007

Letters from Heaven

I found this quote yesterday, its gentle voice feels to me like a personal message from heaven, I would like to share it with you.

"Go Placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence. As far as possible without surrender be on good terms with all persons. Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even the dull and ignorant; they too have their story. Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit. If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter, for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself. Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans. Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time. Exercise caution in your business affairs; for the world is full of trickery, but let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals; and everywhere life is full of heroism. Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affectation. Neither be cynical about love; for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass. Take kindly the council of the years, gracefully surrender the things of youth. Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness. Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and stars; you have a right to be here. And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should. Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive him to be, and, whatever your labours and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life keep peace with your soul. With all its sham drudgery and broken dreams it is still a beautiful world. Be careful. Strive to be happy."

The quote comes from an inscription in Old Saint Paul's Church, Baltimore, USA; dated 1692.

The picture above is a painting of mine called "The Hermit", oil pastel on board, 75cm x 104cm, 2004.


Uschi said...

It's wonderful, isn't it. Like a daily prayer!
I did only know it in German and it's nice to read it in English!

Jean-Luc Picard said...

That is a beautiful quote.

The painting (The Hermit) is really good, Florence. Very artistic.

shula said...

The Desiderata.

Every house I knew of had it on the back of their toilet door, for, erm, contemplation.

Avoid the company of loud and aggressive persons, they are a vexation to the spirit, has always stayed with me.

Florence said...

Thank you all for the further information.

I found it written in a tiny font on the bottom of an internal page of album notes from a CD I've had for years. I'm glad that it has come to me now.


jude said...

like a river, those words, like listening to a river.

Florence said...

Ah....! like your your quilt, Jude :)


Gillian said...

Yes, Desiderata was present in almost every home of the Flower Power generation of the 1960s. It's not from the old Baltimore churchyard though, it was written in the 1920s, or a little earlier.

"The common myth is that the Desiderata poem was found in a Baltimore church in 1692 and is centuries old, of unknown origin. Desiderata was in fact written around 1920 (although some say as early as 1906), and certainly copyrighted in 1927, by lawyer Max Ehrmann (1872-1945) based in Terre Haute, Indiana. The Desiderata myth began after Reverend Frederick Kates reproduced the Desiderata poem in a collection of inspirational works for his congregation in 1959 on church notepaper, headed: 'The Old St Paul's Church, Baltimore, AD 1692' (the year the church was founded). Copies of the Desiderata page were circulated among friends, and the myth grew, accelerated particularly when a copy of the erroneously attributed Desiderata was found at the bedside of deceased Democratic politician Aidlai Stevenson in 1965."

Florence said...

fascinating! I really like hearing about urban myths, this is a good one. Thanks for the additional information Gillian :)


Linda and Laura Lilly Cottage said...

Hi, just found your blog through Anne Wood and the great comment you left and then realised we live in the same city! Go figure...I go half way around the world to end up back home in one click, before I go and read anything else, i love this piece and it is oh so true. Looking forward to visiting again, Linda Lilly Cottage

Florence said...

Thank you for visiting my blog Linda, Please fell welcome here :) It's always great to hear from fellow home town bloggers, especially the creative ones.


drewzel said...

Yep, the Desiderata lives on the back of our toilet door, because I love it, and it's basically my life philosophy. I was going to write what Gillian said, but she's done it already. Good work Max.

Florence said...

Thanks for your comment Drewzel :0) Please feel welcome here.