Tuesday, December 30

While the "old one" is limping...

While the old year is limping toward its end, the new one is lurking around the corner awaiting its own term, and the future, in spite of being absolutely predictable, does not seem bright at all! But, I am not going to whine about the grayish tone of the near future, rather, I would like to focus on the beaming surprises that will lighten up the subdued tone of the colour of that gloomy sky of the future. At last, I am coming along with it; the optimism, of course. And have plans to stick with it, for I have a peculiar feeling that it will work wonders!

Anyway, on behalf of the Twoshorties, I wish you a wonderful year filled with joy and rewards, but above all, I wish you a healthy 2009. Dare to dream and enjoy living life. And of course, happy 2009.

Thursday, December 25

The Last Poem of 2008

"The Lady of Shalott"
Dante Gabriel Rossetti


Lord Alfred Tennyson (1809-1892)

Part I

On either side the rive lie
Long fields of barley and rye,
That clothe the wold and meet the sky,
And through the field the road runs by
To many-towered Camelot;
And up and down the people go,
Gazing where the lilies blow
Round an island there below,
The island of Shalott.

Willows whiten, aspens quiver,
Little breeze dusk and shiver
Through the wave that runs forever
By the island in the river
Flowing down to Camelot.
Four gray walls, and four gray towers,
Overlook a space of flowers,
And the silent isle imbowers
The Lady of Shalott.

By the margin, willow-veiled,
Slide the heavy barges trailed
By slow horses; and unhailed
The shallop flitteth silken-sailed
Skimming down to Camelot:
But who hath seen her waver her hand?
Or at the casement seen her stand?
Or is she known in all the land,
The Lady of Shalott?


Monday, December 22

The season and its...

It is that time of the year, when the spirit of the season gets under your skin and makes you post the kind of post you are about to read. To be honest with you, there is a voice in my head that tells me to do one thing, “don’t write any thing gloomy,” and as I must listen to that voice, I warm up myself for a suitable short piece, something that goes well with this season. How about this: how to enjoy hunting gifts for family, friends and your potential future foes!!!

Gift-hunting can be an enjoyable sport, if you are prepared in advance. It is usually affordable, if you are patient, and curious enough to detect unusual places for hunting a usable gift. Just remember one thing: a good hunter is never unprepared, and never aims at a cheap hunt! A cheap-hunt, however, is a gift that is purchased in a hurry, usually something that is of no use to its receiver, and accordingly, it is prone to enter the vicious circle of recycling-gifts. Just one last thing: a cheap-hunt can be pricy too! So, be wise, and spend wisely. Don’t buy gifts because you have to. A gift should be a simple gesture of appreciation, a token of thoughtfulness. So select gifts with care and consideration, and never do it for the sake of minding the social etiquettes, because no self-respecting human being would like to receive an “obligatory gift”. And remember that you may be a giver but you are also a receiver too. And don’t forget about books as gifts; every one enjoys a good read. Be a happy hunter, and enjoy the season.

Sunday, December 14

Desert Places

Desert Places

Snow falling and night falling fast, oh, fast
In a field I looked into going past,
And the ground almost covered smooth in snow,
But a few weeds and stubble showing last

The woods around it have it—it is theirs.
All animals are smothered in their lairs.
I am too absent-spirited to count;
The loneliness includes me unawares

And lonely as it is, that loneliness
Will be more lonely ere it will be less—
A blanker whiteness of benighted snow
With no expression, nothing to express

They cannot scare me with their empty spaces
Between stars—on stars where no human race is.
I have it in me so much nearer home
To scare myself with my own desert places

Robert Frost (1874-1963)

Friday, December 5

My gifts from Iran

Every time a traveler comes back from Iran, horrid stories of that hell-hole of religiosity and godliness are always beside the sweets I receive as my gifts.
If you expect me to tell you one of those stories, you will be highly disappointed, because I shall not. Those stories are not good for your spirit. They are sickening, and depressing. Horrible, disturbing stories, each so shocking, that you need a century to recover from their shock. The tale of the society governed by “a piety” beyond any human’s perception, and ruled by the “righteous crowd,” who will slain their mothers for raising any question against their authority, is not a tale you would want to hear, over and over and over again!
“Are you sad upon receiving the gifts,” you may wonder. To tell you the truth, I am not too sure if I am sad, or overwhelmed! I cannot say whether I am either, or both! As an appropriate word, sadness does not suffice, when expressing the agony of hearing the miserable tale of a nation’s decay, its progressive moral deterioration, and the ongoing horror of facing the Evil’s workings. I only know that my spirit is broken, and a maddening urge to destroy the Evil is on its rise.


Monday, December 1

The True Believers!

When I came across the following, I thought, why not! If it made sense to me, it shall, I hope, make sense to you too! Just to let you know, David Hume, a major figure of the Scottish Enlightenment, “died calmly and quietly without any belief in the comfort of religion”.

An excerpt from “Of the Standard of Taste” by David Hume (1711-1776)

The admirers and followers of the Alcoran (The Koran, Qoran) insist on the excellent moral precepts interspersed throughout that wild and absurd performance. But it is to be supposed, that the Arabic words, which correspond to the English, equity, justice, temperance, meekness, charity, were such as, from the constant use of that tongue, must always be taken in a good sense; and it would have argued that greatest ignorance, not of morals, but of language, to have mentioned them with any epithets, besides those of applause and approbation. But would we know, whether the pretended prophet had really attained a just sentiment of morals? Let us attend to his narration; and we shall soon find, that he bestows praise on such instances of treachery, inhumanity, cruelty, revenge bigotry, as are utterly incompatible with civilized society. No steady rule of right seems there to be attained to; and even action is blamed or praised, so far only as it is beneficial or hurtful to the true believers.

The merit of delivering true general precepts in ethics is indeed very small. Whoever recommends any moral virtues, really does no more than is implied in the terms themselves. That people, who invented the word charity, and used it in a good sense, inculcated more clearly and much more efficaciously, the precept, “be charitable,” than any pretended legislator or prophet, who should insert such a maxim in his writings. Of all expression, those, which, together with their other meaning, imply a degree either of blame or approbation, are the least liable to be perverted or mistaken”.