Monday 8 September 2014

Decluttering Discoveries

I am a regular declutterer but it goes in phases- I am mid phase right now so quite a few clothes have left the building [many to my friend S who has first refusal- she does likewise], heaps of books courtesy of Mr GBT and various goodies from the kitchen cupboards which have come to light as I've been cleaning through. I am always amazed at what turns up even though I am no slattern when it comes to housekeeping. The small person has inherited my sorting gene and has been right through his room moving stuff on before he begins at college.

Over several months last year I helped Mummikins to sort out her attic. Gradually we freecycled, recycled and charity shopped masses. Last week I joined her for an hour or so to make a start on the house and we cleared a cupboard and a bureau. One of things we came across was an old folder full of calligraphy. This was amongst the papers and although familiar to many, I still love the peace that descends upon me as I reread the words.


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 many 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 fortune 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 person strive for high ideals;
And everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love;
For in the face of all aridity and disenchantment
It is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with imaginings.
Many fears are borne of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome activity, be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars;
You have a right to be there.

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 the sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.
Be careful. Strive to be happy.

Max Ehrmann 1927


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