Our vision is trapped within narrow bands
Itís spectral range constrained by a single doubling:
Absorb all that your senses can provide,
Then integrate -
Letting your varied impressions seek common harmonics -
Before responding to izzes with oughts.
Inspiration must be diaphanously drawn
From the ocean of experience
Before it can rain its nurturing return.
Logic is a path, but desire is both source and destination.
Think. Feel. Neither alone will do.
Resonate. Then create.
Monitor yourself as you monitor your world.
Love and hate and sadness and joy
May entrap as surely
As may chains or prisons or popular myths.
Assemble alternatives before choosing pursuits
And never permit your choices to be dictated by others:
Your first and final responsibility is to yourself
For you yourself are the one to whom
You primarily owe your responses.
Suck the juice from every day
As though it were your fruitís final bite
For, eventually, and more often than not unbeknownst
One will be.
Neither blindly follow the blood red rectangle
Nor the whited sepulchre
Nor the gilded minaret.
Gather their wheat, discard their chaff
And bow to nothing and to no one.
Only you can make your way.
Nor should you constrain others
For only they can create their paths
When conflicts between competing freedoms
Inevitably arise, resolve them
Via equal and proportional compromise,
But never compromise yourself.
Instead, make of yourself your own project Ė
A project to nurture, build and grow.
If you leave your self
A better self than the one you found,
A better world for all will surely follow.
Without reciprocal exchange
Love cannot breathe
Any more than can animals and plants
Unless they trade breath between them.
And sans the sun of constant caring
Loveís leaves will cease to produce their nourishing sweetness
And will brown, wither, die and fall.
Finally, do not waste this certain life
By reducing it to an appendage
Or an afterthought
Of a believed-in next.
The presence or absence of the invisible
Is impossible to detect
And the shadow of a ghost
Is a most insubstantial thing.