Archive for December 15th, 2008

Uncertainty principle ought to teach every life the importance of making a stand even where there is nothing to hope for. Moses was a timid man by nature and it was on him God had entrusted the children of Israel. Consider him stuck between the Red Sea and the chariots of the Pharaoh and his army. Each of us is like Moses in one sense. We are hemmed in by circumstances. The vital point to remember is that circumstances are always on uncertain mode while how we make a stand is on certain mode.
Just because of recession and economic meltdown do we  throw down the towel? Do we give up our lives as of no consequence? Do we leave our wives and children in the lurch because some crooks have  made off with our life savings?
Circumstances are of uncertain mode while our actions have certainty: energy spent in one sense is part of our energy profile. In addition our options are progressively narrowed according to what choices we make. Our actions after we have finished whether good or bad have a life of their own.
Look at history: At the close of WWII the Allies dropped bombs  in Hiroshima and Nagasaki. It ushered in the atomic age. What was its effect? The Allies won the war but created a condition for a nuclear war between the USA and USSR. Now the world’s biggest worry is that rogue nations may decide to use one in order to score a point. It may be to prove the devil’s ideology or it may be sheer out of malice. The effect is a no man’s land and makes a mockery of cause for which a nation would make a stand. The WWI was a war to make an end of all wars. We are living still from the hangover of that war.
Tailspin: Circumstance that Moses faced was uncertain but his certainty of God’s promise was rooted in something else. What is our certainty in our everyday lives, (leaving aside connotations of God,) but our character?


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A New Beginning

Those good people in Lefkareon saw Agostino at unusual times wandering about in their midst. They could only guess and they turned to other things than ask unnecessary questions.

The woodcutter had his axe that he could not any longer carry around. He hated to look silly. So he left it behind as he went daily to be among people. He was hoping to be called for by some one who needed a helping hand.  He had enough to live on but he didn’t like the idea of doing nothing. Time hung heavily and he thought he was being swallowed up in a crowd who pretended not to notice.
It was then he thought he could rearrange his cottage. He  lived in a cottage in Spartan simplicity. In one room he had set a long table. All his clothes and bed linen were piled up in so many heaps. When he used to work he had a woman to wash and tidy up his place, who was no longer needed. He thought all the household chores he could do by himself. It would at least take some of his time. Having set about arranging a new order into his life he realized there were many matters that had hitherto escaped his attention.
He repaired window shutters, which did not close properly. He whitewashed his house so it looked good as new. He took up mending his clothes or tears in his bed-linen which were not so important before and he set about making his home as spruced up and comfortable.
Earlier he could manage with one room where he slept at nights and the hall that served him as a parlour. On one end he had set up his fireplace about which he had a few pieces of furniture for needful things. Along the thick stonewall there was a niche that he now converted into an alcove. A wooden plank served him for a guest bed and in the same hall between small openings for windows he set up a row of planks. His intention was to place some interesting finds there. Only that he had not found anything worthwhile that he could display to advantage.
Gradually the cottage by the Cloud Peak showed a character that exactly fitted with the man who occupied it. Simple and neat it had become because the man who lived in was precisely that. Simple and neat.
On either side of the house ran a veranda. Morning and evening as the sun went up or down he found there plenty of sunshine. It suited him well to attend to his chores while seated there. He laid a plank over a half wall along the passage. It served him fine as a worktable. When his eyes wearied of knitting he could leave spools of thread aside and take up changing soles or laying out new straps for his well-worn wooden sandals.
Silent he was by nature but he slowly opened up: familiarity often than not opens up natural reserves, and he got around to warm up to some who showed interest in his handiwork. His home was a living proof to it.
One day one of the neighbours dropped in and asked if he could look into his house and repair wherever it was necessary. He had nothing to lose so he took up the offer. He did it to his satisfaction. Since he had never done odd jobs for hire he accepted a week’s supply of firewood in return. Then it was his grandmother who wanted to know if he could sew as well. Her eyesight didn’t allow her anymore-such delicate tasks as sewing. He took over and made her shawl as good as new. In return she gave him a handful of buttons inlaid with mother-of-pearl. (These had pride of place in her youth and it remained useless ever since). Another one gave him spools of coloured threads and strip of lace by yard. Within a matter of one year he became known as the odd-jobs man of the village. There was nothing that his hands could not do or set right what needed to be done.
One day he went out to the nearest town where a Supplies Store had every knick-knack that he was in need of. That evening he returned with an assortment items he urgently needed: spools of thread, twine, awl, adze and other implements that were necessary to his purpose. After six months he once again went to the same store, – for his list had grown considerably, and the storeowner in a show of familiarity offered credit but he would not hear of it. He had enough cash so he didn’t wish to be under obligation to any.
Because of his prudence and diligence the work of his hands was always well spoken of.
With time his natural reticence was somewhat loosened. He lent his help wherever it warranted without thinking of any reward. As an odd jobs man it was to him children turned whenever in need. He fixed little tin toys for them or put in parts that were missing or beyond repair. Some mechanical toys would need to be wound up and he got the hang of the mechanisms that he had never before handled. It made him happy. It made him learn new skills. He attended to the needs of the young with the same single-mindedness that marked his manner with their elders.
Children saw their toys moving once again as good as before and exclaimed,” How smart the odd jobs man is!”
Such expressions of delight somewhat softened the dour face and he thought they spoke truly from their heart and turned his attention to other matters.
(to be cont’d)


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