Goodenough Gismo

  • Gismo39
    This is the classic children's book, Goodenough Gismo, by Richmond I. Kelsey, published in 1948. Nearly unavailable in libraries and the collector's market, it is posted here with love as an "orphan work" so that it may be seen and appreciated -- and perhaps even republished, as it deserves to be. After you read this book, it won't surprise you to learn that Richmond Irwin Kelsey (1905-1987) was an accomplished artist, or that as Dick Kelsey, he was one of the great Disney art directors, breaking your heart with "Pinocchio," "Dumbo," and "Bambi."

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"Today, like every other day, we wake up empty
and frightened. Don't open the door to the study
and begin reading. Take down a musical instrument.
Let the beauty we love be what we do.
There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground."

Can you tell me what this means, in your opinion? It's exactly relevant to something that just happened and I wondered if this could be just coincidence. But then I don't think anything is random in this world.


Well, I suspect it means something slightly different to everyone who reads it; to me it means don't hide from the heart in the intellect.


I agree with Annie's take on it, but I would add that I think it also says that reason and intellect are not sufficient to fill us up, to ease our deepest fears and solitude. That requires beauty and love and faith. The last line is a reference to prayer, saying that there are many ways to heaven, many ways to display faith and worship.

Realpc, I know exactly the feeling you're describing, I think. In my old job, we had a bible study with the boss at his house every Wednesday morning, led by a prominent pastor. It was a small group, usually about a dozen, gathering over breakfast. The unusual days were the days when the lesson turned out not be incredibly relevant to some work-related decision we had to make that day. Most often, at the end of the day, you'd sit and say "man, it's a good thing we studied X this morning, because that really helped me solving that problem that arose just after lunch."


"don't hide from the heart in the intellect.'

Wow, utterly amazing. Just what I needed to hear right now. That's just what I have been doing!

And I finally put strings on my classical guitar the other day and went back to playing it. (I had been playing a different instrument, which I also love, but it doesn't have the exquisite sad beauty of classical guitar).



Yes I know, I used to have that kind of experience when I did things like that. I have to get back to spiritual meetings. I get obsessed with debating evolution at Panda's Thumb, and things like that. It does nothing for my personal spirituality. It's intellectual and tiring and unrewarding. I think I'm doing it for God, and maybe it is one of the things I am supposed to do. But it's also an escape from feelings that are urgently trying to tell me things.

In the past week feelings caught up with me like a tidal wave. I suddenly got caught in some of what I had been running from. Just like drowning, but not over as quickly!


There's nothing wrong with taking a time out to recharge your own batteries.


Oh I just realized I should not have implied classical guitar is beautiful when I play it! But I try.


And striving for beauty, and love, and wisdom, is the best we can do even if it usually fails.


Being able to accept our own failures and limitations is the secret to happiness?


That's sure part of it. The most liberating feelings I ever have are when I accept, in my heart, mind, and soul, that I have no one else to blame for any of my (many) shortcomings. Energy spent on rationalizing to ourselves and forcing blame for our own decisions on others is utterly wasted.

Come, even if you have broken your vow a thousand times

No one is so evil as to be beyond redemption. No one should despair of improving themselves simply because their previous efforts have failed. If you fall off the horse, get right back on, as soon as you are able. We all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Fortunately, He does not give up on us, and loves us always no matter what.


"He does not give up on us, and loves us always no matter what."

I know. I have discovered that so many times.


Lovely post and comments, but Rumi's birthday is September 30th. He was born on that date in 1207 AD.

Peace and Many Blessings!


Well then, that gives us two more days to celebrate!!

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