the alchemist

108) “How Great”

108) How Great
By: Johnny Blaze

[Intro:]
I think the lesson to be learned from all of this, is to appreciate every little thing in our lives while we can
Cherish the moment
Reach! both your arms out towards the sky,
Praise this life you are living and breathe in the air that is, essentially freedom
… How great is that?

[Verse 1:]
Scribbling, scribbling, rip out another page,
Poetry of a madman; still I write insane
My domain, was profane,
For years, used God’s name in vain,
My ego was the-size-of-a-crane,
But I felt tiny-as-a-grain
I grew wholeheartedly, apologized for my sins,
Prayed for forgiveness, guidance, strength, and been grateful since
Made a promise that I would never be disloyal for thou is King and I am Prince,
Even though I do not attend church, I am faithful through holy hymns
Glory be, glory be,
To you know who who helped when I had dropped to one knee,
He-healed-heels, laughed in pain; ended my chuckle with “Hee,”
Now I flee, I am free,
Trying not to sound hyperbole
Only one, who gave me spirit of courage, was thee,
Inductee, to-tha-hall of, “I believe”
How, great!
At last, David came to his senses,
Long ago, the kid was suffering from depression,
Around the same time, when he was just a Freshman
Praise due to the most high, now I sound, preachy!
Written in a notebook made of hemp and, the colour was that, of a kiwi!

(Flow Change)
Saying life is sweet as the first-bite from a Fuji Apple,
Lick my lips, every single time I see a booty rattle,
I’ll admit, fit women, get me all, dazzled
Fun-sized, thick thighs, oops, I have, babbled

(Back To Normal Flow)
Quit playin’, playin’, games sweetie,
How great were we?
The greatest inde-ed,
We even hit on Ash-le-y
Ashley is my pipe,
Down, but speak words into the mic,
Loud, sound, do I mean sonically?
Not quite

(Break)

[Verse 2:]
Never thought I’d ever see the light of day, before May?
I was focusing on how much I weigh
Pushing petals over and over,
Spinnin’ in cycles, sweat, dripped, down my shoulder,
Skippin’ like vinyls, broken, flip to Side B, no dope, I-was-sober
Months without a job,
Bills pilled up like scrap in my garage,
Whenever I opened my eyes, all I saw was a mirage

(Flow Change Like Before)
Is it true when you’re off weed, for weeks upon weeks?
That you go into Cannabis Withdrawal,
Meaning your reality becomes mystique?

(Back To Normal Flow)
At first it was scary,
Craved cannabis, can I just,
Go back to normal already?
Took some time, changed the paradigm,
A break away from it all wasn’t so deadly,
I confined into my redesign,
Read books when I would feel edgy
A Shepherd sold his sheep to advance in his quest for hidden treasure,
Wasn’t enough, he shined glass cups ’til he could move onto future endeavours
To the Pyramids, to the Pyramids,
Travelled through the desert with peers and amid,
He finally made it, discovered his destiny; all seen through a dream
The dream became reality,
The scene was serene; ultralight beams, ruled supreme
Mastered alchemy, how can he,
Take what he learned throughout his journey and use it to his-advantage?
Like the Shepherd, I am in-search-of-an-expert-who-will-teach-me-to-be, candid,
Lettuce/let us go ham/h.a.m. for the bread; that’s-a-sandwich
There’s layers to my soul; peel ’em off one-at-a-time,
There’s levels to these lyrics; try and decipher all-of-my-rhymes,
He who Stays Zen, shall al-ways-thrive,
Those who repent, will cease their demise

[Outro:]
How great

“A Strange Place”

  A Strange Place
  Originally by: Paulo Coelho
  Recited by: David Lazo-Pineda

“I’d like you to take me there if you can. I can pay you to serve as my guide.”
“Do you have any idea how to get there?” the newcomer asked.
  The boy noticed that the owner of the bar stood nearby listening attentively to their conversation. He felt uneasy at the man’s presence. But he had found a guide, and didn’t want to miss out on an opportunity.
“You have to cross the entire Sahara desert,” said the young man. “And to do that, you need money. I need to know whether you have enough.”
The boy thought it a strange question. But he trusted in the old man, who had said that, when you really want something, the universe conspires in your favor.
He took his money from his pouch and showed it to the young man. The owner of the bar came over and looked, as well. The two men exchanged some words in Arabic, and the bar owner seemed irritated.
“Let’s get out of here,” said the new arrival. “He wants us to leave.”
The boy was relieved. He got up to pay the bill, but the owner grabbed him and began to speak to him in an angry stream of words. The boy was strong, and wanted to retaliate, but he was in a foreign country. His new friend pushed the owner aside, and pulled the boy outside with him. “He wanted your money.” he said. “Tangier is not like the rest of Africa. This is a port, and every port has its thieves.”
The boy trusted his new friend. He took out his money and counted it.
“We could get to the Pyramids by tomorrow,” said the other, taking the money. “But I have to buy two camels.”
They walked together through the narrow streets of Tangier. Everywhere there were stalls with items for sale. They reached the center of a large plaza where the market was held. There were thousands of people there, arguing, selling, and buying; vegetables for sale amongst daggers, and carpets displayed alongside tobacco. But the boy never took his eye off his new friend. After all, he had all his money. He thought about asking him to give it back, but decided that would be unfriendly. He knew nothing about the customs of the strange land he was in.
“I’ll just watch him,” he said to himself. He knew he was stronger than his friend.
Suddenly, there in the midst of all that confusion, he saw the most beautiful sword he had ever seen. The scabbard was embossed in silver, and the handle was black and encrusted with precious stones. The boy promised himself that, when he returned from Egypt, he would buy that sword.
“Ask the owner of that stall how much the sword costs,” he said to his friend. Then he realized that he had been distracted for a few moments, looking at the sword. His heart squeezed, as if his chest had suddenly compressed it. He was afraid to look around, because he knew what he would find.
He continued to look at the beautiful sword for a bit longer, until he summoned the courage to turn around.
All around him was the market, with people coming and going, shouting and buying, and the aroma of strange foods… but nowhere could he find his new companion.
The boy wanted to believe that his friend had simply become separated from him by accident. He decided to stay right there and await his return. As he waited, a priest climbed to the top of a nearby tower and began his chant; everyone in the market fell to their knees, touched their foreheads to the ground, and took up the chant. Then, like a colony of worker ants, they dismantled their stalls and left.
The sun began its departure, as well. The boy watched it through its trajectory for some time, until it was hidden behind the white houses surrounding the plaza. He recalled that when the sun had risen that morning, he was on another continent, still a shepherd with sixty sheep, and looking forward to meeting with a girl. That morning he had known everything that was going to happen to him as he walked through the familiar fields. But now, as the sun began to set, he was in a different country, a stranger in a strange land, where he couldn’t even speak the language. He was no longer a shepherd, and he had nothing, not even the money to return and start everything over.
All this happened between sunrise and sunset, the boy thought. He was feeling sorry for himself, and lamenting the fact that his life could have changed so suddenly and so drastically.
He was so ashamed that he wanted to cry. He had never even wept in front of his own sheep. But the marketplace was empty, and he was far from home, so he wept. He wept because God was unfair, and because this was the way God repaid those who believed in their dreams.
When I had my sheep, I was happy, and I made those around me happy. People saw me coming and welcomed me, he thought. But now I’m sad and alone. I’m going to become bitter and distrustful of people because one person betrayed me. I’m going to hate those who have found their treasure because I never found mine. And I’m going to hold on to what little I have, because I’m too insignificant to conquer the world.
He opened his pouch to see what was left of his possessions; maybe there was a bit left of the sandwich he had eaten on the ship. But all he found was the heavy book, his jacket, and the two stones the old man had given him.
As he looked at the stones, he felt relieved for some reason. He had exchanged six sheep for two precious stones that he had taken from a gold breastplate. He could sell the stones and buy a return ticket. But this time I’ll be smarter, the boy thought, removing them from the pouch so he could put them in his pocket. This was a port town, and the only truthful thing his friend had told him was that port towns are full of thieves.
Now he understood why the owner of the bar had been so upset: he was trying to tell him not to trust that man. “I’m like everyone else—I see the world in terms of what I would like to see happen, not what actually does.”
He ran his fingers slowly over the stones, sensing their temperature and feeling their surfaces. They were his treasure. Just handling them made him feel better. They reminded him of the old man.
“When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it,” he had said.
The boy was trying to understand the truth of what the old man had said. There he was in the empty marketplace, without a cent to his name, and with not a sheep to guard through the night. But the stones were proof that he had met with a king—a king who knew of the boy’s past.
“They’re called Urim and Thummim, and they can help you to read the omens.” The boy put the stones back in the pouch and decided to do an experiment. The old man had said to ask very clear questions, and to do that, the boy had to know what he wanted. So, he asked if the old man’s blessing was still with him.
He took out one of the stones. It was “yes.”
“Am I going to find my treasure?” he asked.
He stuck his hand into the pouch, and felt around for one of the stones. As he did so, both of them pushed through a hole in the pouch and fell to the ground. The boy had never even noticed there was a hole in his pouch. He knelt down to find Urim and Thummim and put then back in the pouch. But as he saw them lying there on the ground, another phrase came to mind.
  “Learn to recognize omens, and follow them,” the old king had said.
An omen. The boy smiled to himself. He picked up the two stones and put them back in his pouch. He didn’t consider mending the hole—the stones could fall through any time they wanted. He had learned that there were certain things one shouldn’t ask about, so as not to flee from one’s own Personal Legend. “I promised that I would make my own decisions,” he said to himself.
But the stones had told him that the old man was still with him, and that made him feel more confident. He looked around at the empty plaza again, feeling less desperate than before. This wasn’t a strange place; it was a new one.

-The Alchemist

“The Secret of Happiness”

“The Secret of Happiness”
Originally by: Paulo Coelho
Recited by: David Lazo-Pineda

“But before I go, I want to tell you a little story. “A certain shopkeeper sent his son to learn about the secrets of happiness from the wisest man in the world. The lad wandered through the desert for forty days, and finally came upon a beautiful castle, high atop a mountain. It was there that the wise man lived.
“Rather than finding a saintly man, though, our hero, on entering the main room of the castle, saw a hive of activity: tradesmen came and went, people were conversing in the corners, a small orchestra was playing soft music, and there was a table covered with platters of the most delicious food in that part of the world. The wise man conversed with everyone, and the boy had to wait for two hours before it was his turn to be given the man’s attention.
The wise man listened attentively to the boy’s explanation of why he had come, but told him that he didn’t have time just then to explain the secret of happiness. He suggested that the boy look around the palace and return in two hours.
“‘Meanwhile, I want to ask you to do something,’ said the wise man, handing the boy a teaspoon that held two drops of oil. ‘As you wander around, carry this spoon with you without allowing the oil to spill.’
The boy began climbing and descending the many stairways of the palace, keeping his eyes fixed on the spoon. After two hours, he returned to the room where the wise man was.
“‘Well,’ asked the wise man, ‘did you see the Persian tapestries that are hanging in my dining hall? Did you see the garden that it took the master gardener ten years to create? Did you notice the beautiful parchnents in my library?’
The boy was embarrassed, and confessed that he had observed nothing. His only concern had been not to spill the oil that the wise man had entrusted to him.
“‘Then go back and observe the marvels of my world,’ said the wise man. ‘You cannot trust a man if you don’t know his house.’
“Relieved, the boy picked up the spoon and returned to his exploration of the palace, this time observing all of the works of art on the ceilings and walls. He saw the gardens, the mountains all around him, the beauty of the flowers, and the taste with which everything had been selected. Upon returning to the wise man, he related in detail everything he had seen.
“‘But where are the drops of oil I entrusted to you?’ asked the wise man.
“Looking down at the spoon he held, the boy saw that the oil was gone.
“‘Well, there is only one piece of advice I can give you,’ said the wisest of wise men. ‘The secret of happiness is to see all the marvels of the world, and never to forget the drops of oil on the spoon.'”

-The Alchemist