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Excerpts of Connecticut Travel Diary
State 6 - CONNECTICUT 17 NOV 97 - 21 NOV 97

 

Monday

At the New England Carousel Museum today our guide told us a sad story about an artisan in the late 1800s who laboriously crafted handmade carousel horses. Everyday he stooped over these wooden steeds working to create magnificent creatures of delight. He sold his equestrian masterpieces to carousel operators who paid him $25 a horse while they earned $600 a DAY!

So the artisan, named I.C. Milion, decided to go for the big bucks himself by operating his own carousel. He worked hard to make the stallions that would create a fabulous carousel, surpassing all others. It was to be the best in the land. He was thrilled to learn his carousel would debut at Coney Island on opening day in May 1884. But on that fateful date Coney Island experienced one of its worst fires. This was a time before insurance and Milion lost everything.

Wednesday

Been reading a book called "Letters to a Young Poet." The book is a series of letters written in 1908 by accomplished poet Rainer Maria Rilke to a young poet struggling with his art. One never sees what the young poet writes to Rilke, only the answers, which makes the book even more engaging. My friend Mahala (again) gave me this book about 10 years ago. I tried reading it and set it aside, my life at that time too busy for reflections so deep. Now I feel his words so pertinent to my life. Again, the message of patience.

"Be patient to all that is unsolved in your heart.
Do not seek now answers which cannot yet be given you . . .
The point is to live everything.
Live the questions now.
Take whatever comes to you with great trust.
Hate nothing."

That last sentence "hate nothing" is powerful. For example, I had an odious task to do today. Quite tedious and dull. Prior to reading this "hate nothing" I would have hated doing this task the entire two hours it took me to complete it, which would have made the time seem longer and heavier. But whenever hate crept in, I said to myself, "hate nothing." The bad feeling went away instantly and the task seemed over in no time. Can't explain the magic of it, but a quiet peace came over me each time I said, "hate nothing."

This ties in somewhat with something I always told my niece, "Hate only hurts the hater." (Although I don't think she actually listened to me. Don't even know if I listened myself.)

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