Stoicwrestle's blog


By William Cullen Bryant

To him who in the love of Nature holds
Communion with her visible forms, she speaks
A various language; for his gayer hours
She has a voice of gladness, and a smile
And eloquence of beauty, and she glides
Into his darker musings, with a mild
And healing sympathy, that steals away
Their sharpness, ere he is aware. When thoughts
Of the last bitter hour come like a blight
Over thy spirit, and sad images
Of the stern agony, and shroud, and pall,
And breathless darkness, and the narrow house,
Make thee to shudder, and grow sick at heart;—
Go forth, under the open sky, and list
To Nature’s teachings, while from all around—
Earth and her waters, and the depths of air—
Comes a still voice—

Yet a few days, and thee
The all-beholding sun shall see no more
In all his course; nor yet in the cold ground,
Where thy pale form was laid, with many tears,
Nor in the embrace of ocean, shall exist
Thy image. Earth, that nourished thee, shall claim
Thy growth, to be resolved to earth again,
And, lost each human trace, surrendering up
Thine individual being, shalt thou go
To mix for ever with the elements,
To be a brother to the insensible rock
And to the sluggish clod, which the rude swain
Turns with his share, and treads upon. The oak
Shall send his roots abroad, and pierce thy mould.
Yet not to thine eternal resting-place
Shalt thou retire alone, nor couldst thou wish
Couch more magnificent. Thou shalt lie down
With patriarchs of the infant world—with kings,
The powerful of the earth—the wise, the good,
Fair forms, and hoary seers of ages past,
All in one mighty sepulchre. The hills
Rock-ribbed and ancient as the sun,—the vales
Stretching in pensive quietness between;
The venerable woods—rivers that move
In majesty, and the complaining brooks
That make the meadows green; and, poured round all,
Old Ocean’s gray and melancholy waste,—
Are but the solemn decorations all
Of the great tomb of man. The golden sun,
The planets, all the infinite host of heaven,
Are shining on the sad abodes of death,
Through the still lapse of ages. All that tread
The globe are but a handful to the tribes
That slumber in its bosom.—Take the wings
Of morning, pierce the Barcan wilderness,
Or lose thyself in the continuous woods
Where rolls the Oregon, and hears no sound,
Save his own dashings—yet the dead are there:
And millions in those solitudes, since first
The flight of years began, have laid them down
In their last sleep—the dead reign there alone.
So shalt thou rest, and what if thou withdraw
In silence from the living, and no friend
Take note of thy departure? All that breathe
Will share thy destiny. The gay will laugh
When thou art gone, the solemn brood of care
Plod on, and each one as before will chase
His favorite phantom; yet all these shall leave
Their mirth and their employments, and shall come
And make their bed with thee. As the long train
Of ages glide away, the sons of men,
The youth in life’s green spring, and he who goes
In the full strength of years, matron and maid,
The speechless babe, and the gray-headed man—
Shall one by one be gathered to thy side,
By those, who in their turn shall follow them.

So live, that when thy summons comes to join
The innumerable caravan, which moves
To that mysterious realm, where each shall take
His chamber in the silent halls of death,
Thou go not, like the quarry-slave at night,
Scourged to his dungeon, but, sustained and soothed
By an unfaltering trust, approach thy grave,
Like one who wraps the drapery of his couch
About him, and lies down to pleasant dreams.

Last edited on 3/21/2023 11:18 AM by Stoicwrestle; 3 comment(s)

In the privacy of your own mind, without distractions and with complete focus, I must remind myself:
“don’t give up in disgust or weariness if your ability to act consistently on the basis of right principles doesn’t consolidate into a permanent habit. After every repulse, go back, and be happy if the majority of your actions are worthy of a human being.” (Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 5. Chapter 9.)

I am flawed, and in utter disbelief of how flawed I am. My duty is to keep on improving, and to keep on coming back to my practice.

Last edited on 3/17/2023 12:24 PM by Stoicwrestle; 4 comment(s)

In Dhammapada, a book associated with Gautama Buddha, says this about the body,

“Look at the body adorned,
A mass of wounds, draped upon a heap of bones, A sickly thing, this subject of sensual thoughts! Neither permanent, nor enduring!
The body wears out,
A nest of disease,
Fragile, disintegrating,
Ending in death.”

I must do my best to take care of this one body given to me. There is a narrow window of time before my body will meet its complete demise, and that window is getting narrower. The time for effort towards self-improvement before it’s too late is right now.

Last edited on 3/16/2023 1:17 PM by Stoicwrestle; 10 comment(s)

Ides of March

15th of March was a holy day for the ancient Romans. A special day, where the Romans would settle their debts and would pay respect to the god Jupiter (translation = Our Father). This day is now notorious for Julius Caesar’s assassination, an event that changed the course of Western World’s history. Romans were known for their love and respect for wrestling. One of our modern wrestling styles is known as GrecoRoman.

Last edited on 3/15/2023 5:11 PM by Stoicwrestle; 0 comment(s)

“Living is more like wrestling than dancing: one should stand ready for every contingency and avoid being thrown even by unforeseen developments.” Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 7.61

Last edited on 3/14/2023 1:57 PM by Stoicwrestle; 0 comment(s)