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01 March 2017

Commonplace Book: February

Excerpts from my commonplace book for Feb 2017.

"Home" by Kenyan-born Somali poet Warsan Shire

no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breath bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.
no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.
you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles traveled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough
for the
go home blacks
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off
or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
i want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
be hunger
forget pride
your survival is more important
no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
run away from me now
i dont know what i’ve become
but i know that anywhere
is safer than here

He was usually very happy and gay, and the reason was that Solomon kept his promise and taught him many of the bird ways. To be easily pleased, for instance, and always to be really doing something, and to think that whatever he was doing was a thing of vast importance. ...  But the best thing Solomon had done was to teach him to have a glad heart. All the birds have glad hearts unless you rob their nests, and so that was the only kind of heart Solomon knew about, it was easy to him to teach Peter how to have one.
-Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens, 174

We are weary because w forget about grace. ... If you are being asked to feed a multitude with a tiny basket of loaves and fish, then bring your basket. He starts with that. ... Remember your true task. Surrender everything. Bring your loaves and your fish, even if you think them completely insufficient. They are insufficient. You are insufficient. But His grace is not. God is not limited by objective reality. His yoke is easy and His burden light.
-Sarah Mackenzie, Teaching From Rest, 15

If God expected you to get thirty-six hours' worth of work done in a day, He would have given you thirty-six hours to do it. If you have more to do than time to do it, the simple fact is this: Some of what you are doing isn't on His agenda for you.
-Sarah Mackenzie, Teaching from Rest, 38

For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord,
thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.
Then shall you call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me,
and I will hearken unto you.
And ye shall seek me, and find me,
when ye shall search for me with all your heart.
And I will be found of you, saith the Lord:
and I will turn away your captivity,
and I will gather you from all the nations,
and from all the places whither I have driven you, saith the Lord;
and I will bring you again into the place
whence I caused you to be carried away captive.
-Jeremiah 29:11-14

"None of us knows enough. The learning process is an endless process. We must read, we must observe, we must assimilate, and we must ponder that to which we expose our minds."
-Gordon B. Hinckley, TofPotC 30

The ancients believed that these seven arts [grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, geometry, astronomy, and music] were not merely subjects to be mastered, but sure and certain ways of forming in the soul the intellectual virtue necessary for acquiring true wisdom.
-The Liberal Arts Tradition, Clark & Jain, 1


Kym Thorpe said...

I love the quotes from Teaching From Rest - very wise!

Sheila said...

Interesting conjunction between the Kenyan and Jeremiah. Sad and hopeless to hope.

a49erfangirl said...

I really like the two quotes from Teaching From the Rest. My favorite was 38.


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