Illusions - The adventures of a Reluctant Messiah

by Richard Bach

Once there lived a village of creatures along the bottom of a great crystal river. The current of the river swept silently over them all young and old, rich and poor, good and evil, the current going its own way, knowing only its own crystal self. Each creature in its own manner clung tightly to the twigs and rocks of the river bottom, for clinging was their way of life, and resisting the current what each had learned from birth.

The creature said at last, "I am tired of clinging. Though I cannot see it with my eyes, I trust that the current knows where it is going. I shall let go and let it take me where it will. Clinging, I shall die of boredom."

The other creatures laughed and said, "Fool! Let go, and that current you worship will throw you tumbled and smashed across the rocks, and you will die quicker than boredom!"

But the one heeded them not, and taking a breath did let go, and at once was tumbled and smashed by the current across the rocks. Yet in time, as the creature refused to cling again, the current lifted him free from the bottom, and he was bruised and hurt no more.

And the creatures downstream, to whom he was a stranger, cried, "See a miracle! A creature like ourselves, yet he flies! See the Messiah, come to save us all!"

And the one carried in the current said, "I am no more Messiah than you. The river delights to lift us free, if only we dare let go. Our true work is this voyage, this adventure."

But they cried the more, "Saviour!" all the while clinging to the rocks, and when they looked again he was gone, and they were left alone making legends of a Saviour.


- Robert Frost, Nothing Gold Can Stay

Natures first green is gold
Her hardest hue to hold
Her early leaf's a flower
But only so an hour
So leaf subsides to leaf
So Eden sank to grief
As dawn goes down today
Nothing gold can stay

"But do not despise the lore that has come down from distant years; for oft it may chance that old wives keep in memory word of things that once were needful for the wise to know."

- JRR Tolkien from The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring


"Falling is easy it's getting back up that becomes the problem
And if you believe you can find a way out
Then you've solved the problem."

- Staind, Falling from Chapter V (2005)


"Even if you're on the right track, wou'll get run over if you just sit there."

- Will Rogers


"A man, though wise, should never be ashamed of learning more, and must unbend his mind."

- Sophocles (441BC)


"The charm of television entertainment is its ability to bridge the chasm between dinner and bedtime without mental distraction."

- Russell Baker (1961)


"Well I used to live in a room full of mirrors,

all I could see was me.

Well I take my spirit and I smash my mirrors,

now the whole world is here for me to see."


- Jimi Hendrix, Room Full of Mirrors from First Rays of the New Rising Sun (recorded 1969-1970, released 1997)


"A lazy man is no better than a dead man, but he takes up more room."

- Alabama saying


"Growing old is no more than a bad habit which a busy person has no time to form."

- Andre Maurois


"Well we know where we're going, but we don't know where we've been. And we know what we're knowing, but we can't say what we've seen. And we're not little children and we know what we want. And the future is certain. Give us time to work it out."

- Talking Heads, Road to Nowhere from Little Creatures (1985)


"Happiness does not depend on outward things, but on how we view them."

- Leo Tolstoy


"Wond'ring aloud

will the years treat us well.

As she floats in the kitchen,

I'm tasting the smell

of toast as the butter runs.

Then she comes, spilling crumbs on the bed

and I shake my head.

And it's only the giving

that makes you what you are"


- Jethro Tull, Wond'ring aloud from Aqualung (1971)


"I hate television. I hate it as much as peanuts. But I can't stop eating peanuts."

- Orson Welles


"Not communicating saves energy; it keeps people from worrying about things they cannot do anything about; and it eliminates an enormous amount of useless talk."

- Edwin Newman, Strictly Speaking (1974)