52 Photos Project

There is movement seen through a tank at an aquarium in the city.   This veil is meant to protect millions of goosefish eggs.    Seeing it through the glass in a tank, it floats and drifts, appearing empty, its real purpose not obvious.

One fish in a tank glides left and right with a speed that seems impossible to capture.   It moves quickly.   Changes direction suddenly.   Passes other fish easily.   It is one among many in a tank, but swims alone.

There is a poem shown to me by a retired newspaper reporter over 20 years ago.    This poem, along with a red, hard-bound copy of Webster’s New World Dictionary, are – she had said – critical when writing and searching for meaning.


Go placidly amid the noise and haste, and remember what peace there may be in silence.  As far as possible, without surrender, be on good terms with all persons.  Speak your truth quietly and clearly; and listen to others, even to the dull and the ignorant, they too have their story.

Avoid loud and aggressive persons, they are vexations to the spirit.  If you compare yourself with others, you may become vain and bitter; for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.

Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.  Keep interested in your own career, however humble; it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs, for the world is full of trickery. But let this not blind you to what virtue there is; many persons strive for high ideals, and everywhere life is full of heroism.

Be yourself. Especially, do not feign affection. Neither be cynical about love, for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment it is perennial as the grass.

Take kindly to the counsel of the years, gracefully surrendering the things of youth.  Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune. But do not distress yourself with imaginings. Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline, be gentle with yourself. You are a child of the universe, no less than the trees and the stars; you have a right to be here.

And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.  Therefore be at peace with God, whatever you conceive Him to be, and whatever your labors and aspirations, in the noisy confusion of life, keep peace in your soul.  With all its sham, drudgery and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world.  Be cheerful.

Strive to be happy.

– Max Ehrmann c.1920


4 responses to “Movement

  1. Thank you for posting this poem; every time I read it, it is new. I hear your voice in it, as well –

    • Thanks Peggy! I just read that the egg veil in the photo is a once per year event at the aquarium! Once they remove it from the tank, it won’t happen again for a year. The things learned at an aquarium can be unexpected!

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