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Today's Stichomancy for Colin Powell

The first excerpt represents the past or something you must release, and is drawn from Dream Life and Real Life by Olive Schreiner:

above the snow two tiny, quivering green leaves. Spring cannot fail us.

There were other flowers in the box once; a bunch of white acacia flowers, gathered by the strong hand of a man, as we passed down a village street on a sultry afternoon, when it had rained, and the drops fell on us from the leaves of the acacia trees. The flowers were damp; they made mildew marks on the paper I folded them in. After many years I threw them away. There is nothing of them left in the box now, but a faint, strong smell of dried acacia, that recalls that sultry summer afternoon; but the rose is in the box still.

It is many years ago now; I was a girl of fifteen, and I went to visit in a small up-country town. It was young in those days, and two days' journey

The second excerpt represents the present or the deciding factor of the moment, and is drawn from The Blue Flower by Henry van Dyke:

opportunity of a lifetime, yes, of an age, perhaps of many ages, came to me. I simply could not throw it away. I must use it, make the best of it, at any danger, at any cost. You shall judge for yourself whether I was right or wrong. But you must judge fairly, without haste, without prejudice. I ask you to make me one promise. You will suspend judgment, you will say nothing, you will keep my secret, until you have been with me three times at the place where I am now taking you."

By this time it was clear to me that I had to do with a case lying far outside of the common routine of life; something subtle, abnormal, hard to measure, in which a clear

The third excerpt represents the future or something you must embrace, and is drawn from Barlaam and Ioasaph by St. John of Damascus:

sense to see that my whole body doth not attain to the bulk of ostrich eggs. How then could I contain such a pearl?"'

"Thus senseless, then, are also they that trust in idols: for these be their handiwork, and they worship that which their fingers made, saying, `These be our creators.' How then deem they their creators those which have been formed and fashioned by themselves? Nay more, they safeguard their gods, lest they be stolen by thieves, and yet they call them guardians of their safety. And yet what folly not to know that they, which be unable to guard and aid themselves, can in no wise guard and save others! `For' saith he, `why, on behalf of the living, should