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November 19, 2015

Feed Thy Soul

When of thy earthly goods
Thou art bereft
And in thy hand
Two coins are left
Buy bread
And with the dole
Buy hyacinths
To feed thy soul.

Muslihuddin Sadi
13th Century Persian Poet
(slightly paraphrased)

My mother gave me this poem on my 16th birthday, along with a hyacinth bulb, a note of instructions on how to care for it, a pot with soil, and a change in house rules allowing me complete freedom of movement (just bring the car home by 7 am) and a raise in allowance on the condition that I buy all my own clothes. I was a grown-up. I could take poetry. Best gift of my life. I still grow hyacinths. Guess why.

Happy trials, Martin

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