Connections – Week Two


Praise the spells and bless the charms
I found April in my arms
April golden, April cloudy,
Gracious, cruel, tender, rowdy
April soft in flowered languor
April cold with sudden anger
Ever changing, ever true –
I love April, I love you.


Birds are singing in this
strange new world.
We were here
all along, you need
not fear, they say.
Beneath the fog
of the old world, freed
they call – look
we have reclaimed the sky.
Deer tread in the streets –
we were here, they say.
Now is the time –
let us stay.


Your joy is your sorrow unmasked.
And the selfsame well from which your laughter rises was oftentimes filled with your tears.
And how else can it be?
The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain.
Is not the cup that holds your wine the very cup that was burned in the potter’s oven?
And is not the lute that soothes your spirit, the very wood that was hollowed with knives?
When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy.
When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.

Some of you say, “Joy is greater than sorrow,” and others say, “Nay, sorrow is the greater.”
But I say unto you, they are inseparable.
Together they come, and when one sits, alone with you at your board, remember that the other is asleep upon your bed.

Verily you are suspended like scales between your sorrow and your joy.
Only when you are empty are you at standstill and balanced.
When the treasure-keeper lifts you to weigh his gold and his silver, needs must your joy or your sorrow rise or fall.


“When we get out of the glass bottles of our ego,
and when we escape like squirrels turning in the
cages of our personality
and get into the forests again,
we shall shiver with cold and fright
but things will happen to us
so that we don’t know ourselves.
Cool, unlying life will rush in,
and passion will make our bodies taut with power,
we shall stamp our feet with new power
and old things will fall down,
we shall laugh, and institutions will curl up like
burnt paper.”


On his final journey, as he was ascending Himavant, Yudhishtra came across a mangy mongrel dog, who for some unknown reason started to pad along beside him. And so this unlikely pair – a king and a mongrel dog – continued their weary trek up the mountain, arriving at last at the gateway to heaven, where Dharma stood guard.

“Immortality is yours, O king, and prosperity extending in all directions and all the felicities of heaven you have won today. Just leave the dog, and enter.”

“It is well known in all the worlds”, Yudhishtra replied, “that there is neither friendship nor enmity with those that are dead. When my wife died, I was unable to revive her. When my brothers died, I was unable to revive them. When Krishna died, I was unable to revive him. And so I abandoned them. But I did not abandon them while they were alive. This dog, for reasons I cannot understand, accompanied me up this tall mountain. I will not abandon him.”

“Even at the cost of all the prosperity of Heaven?”

“I do not desire a prosperity for which I shall have to cast off one living soul”, replied Yudhishtra.


Oh Lamentable death, how many dost thou cast into the pit!
Anon the infants fade away, and of the aged, death makes an end.
Now these, now those, thou ravagest, O death on every side;
Those that wear horns or veils, fate spareth not
Therefore, while in the world the brute beast plague rages
hour by hour.


When to the sessions of sweet silent thought,
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time’s waste:
Then can I drown an eye, unused to flow,
For precious friends hid in death’s dateless night,
And weep afresh love’s long since cancelled woe,
And moan th’ expense of many a vanished sight.
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o’er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.

But if the while I think on thee (dear friend)
All losses are restored, and sorrows end.