A basket of orchids and a poem,
not mine someone else's words
who can honor you the way I wish I could.
Too afraid to say how I feel.
A long basket from home,
to carry three stems of cymbidium
the most fragrant I could afford.
Whispers as you stroll through the large halls
with your basket now covered
no one carries baskets anymore.
To laugh is to risk appearing the fool.
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental.
To reach out to another is to risk involvement.
To expose feelings is to risk exposing your true self.
To place your dreams, ideas before a crowd is to risk their loss.
To love is risk not being loved in return.
To live is to risk dying.
To hope is to risk despair.
To try is to risk failure.
But risks must be taken, because the greatest hazard in life is to risk nothing.
The person who risks nothing, does nothing, has nothing, and is nothing.
They may avoid suffering and sorrow, but they cannot learn, feel, change, grow, love, live.
Chained by their certitudes, they are a slave: they have forfeited their freedom.
Only a person who risks is truly free.
— Anonymous (?)
I got this poem the summer of '93 I believe, a turning point Summer for me when I also went to the Philippines for the first time since immigrating to the US in 1981. Paper is neat, I still have my original print out from way back then.