Sunday, June 26, 2016

"There is no time for anything inessential," by Oliver Sacks

"I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential. I must focus on myself, my work and my friends. I shall no longer look at "NewsHour" every night. I shall no longer pay any attention to politics or arguments about global warming.

"This is not indifference but detachment — I still care deeply about the Middle East, about global warming, about growing inequality, but these are no longer my business; they belong to the future. I rejoice when I meet gifted young people — even the one who biopsied and diagnosed my metastases. I feel the future is in good hands.

"I have been increasingly conscious, for the last 10 years or so, of deaths among my contemporaries. My generation is on the way out, and each death I have felt as an abruption, a tearing away of part of myself. There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death."

Oliver Sacks

Friday, June 24, 2016

"The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion..." by Henri Nouwen

"Planet Neptune"
"When we honestly ask ourselves which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving much advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a gentle and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is the friend who cares."

Henri Nouwen

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Intransigence, by Rich Morey

Its weight becomes a heavy snow,
Dense drifts pushing against our homes,
Invading our streets and hearts:

You could throw your back out shovelling,
Laboring for a narrow path that soon yields
To the next fateful storm; your hopes
Erased among the desolate winds.

And it is in this moment -- despondent,
Thwarted -- that you understand hubris;
The appeal of a black-and-white world;
The comfort of something to cling to.

You can sympathize with surrender;
It's the emptiness you've seen
A hundred times behind terrified eyes.
Darkness looms.

By daybreak, you're back at it.
Heart beating out of your chest,
Straining with all you've got
To refute the enduring lie:

There's simply too much snow,
And not enough shovels.

Rich Morey

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Get away from these two types of people:

"Get away from these two types of people: the ones who think you can only go as far as the situation you were born into; and the ones who think you can only go as far as the current situation you are in."

― Dee Dee M. Scott

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Dreams and disappointment, by Martha Beck

"My favorite story about handling disappointments comes from the India guru Amrit Desai. He had a collection of very rare crystals that he'd accumulated over many years.

One day his cleaning lady knocked over a display case and smashed most of the irreplaceable crystals.

When she tearfully pointed out her mistake, expecting a violent reaction, the guru shrugged and told her "Those things were for my joy, not for my misery."

Your dreams are for your joy; even if they lie crushed on the ground, you need not make them responsible for misery. If you raise your eyes from the shards you'll find more dreams all around, and many of them can come true.

As Marcel Proust wrote, "If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less but to dream more, to dream all the time."

~Martha Beck

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