Some other advice

“Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.”

The flower doesn’t go from bud to blossom in one spritely burst and yet, as a culture, we’re disinterested in the tedium of the blossoming. But that’s where all the real magic unfolds in the making of one’s character and destiny.

Seek out what magnifies your spirit.

Who are the people, ideas, and books that magnify your spirit? Find them, hold on to them, and visit them often. Use them not only as a remedy once spiritual malaise has already infected your vitality but as a vaccine administered while you are healthy to protect your radiance.

Don’t be afraid to be an idealist.

There is much to be said for our responsibility as creators and consumers of that constant dynamic interaction we call culture — which side of the fault line between catering and creating are we to stand on? The commercial enterprise is conditioning us to believe that the road to success is paved with catering to existing demands — give the people cat GIFs, the narrative goes, because cat GIFs are what the people want. 

Don’t just resist cynicism — fight it actively. Fight it in yourself, for this ungainly beast lays dormant in each of us, and counter it in those you love and engage with, by modelling its opposite. Cynicism often masquerades as nobler faculties and dispositions, but is categorically inferior. Unlike that great Rilkean life-expanding doubt, it is a contracting force. Unlike critical thinking, that pillar of reason and necessary counterpart to hope, it is inherently uncreative, unconstructive, and spiritually corrosive. Life, like the universe itself, tolerates no stasis — in the absence of growth, decay usurps the order. Like all forms of destruction, cynicism is infinitely easier and lazier than construction. There is nothing more difficult yet more gratifying in our society than living with sincerity and acting from a place of largehearted, constructive, rational faith in the human spirit, continually bending toward growth and betterment. This remains the most potent antidote to cynicism. Today, especially, it is an act of courage and resistance.

Since such a time machine of reflection would get nowhere without the substance that fueled it, here are ten of the things I most loved reading and writing about in this first decade of Brain Pickings, writes Maria Popova.


Some advice

After ten years of „Brain Pickings”, Maria Popova wrote this. I promise I will translate

Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind.Cultivate that capacity for “negative capability.” We live in a culture where one of the greatest social disgraces is not having an opinion, so we often form our “opinions” based on superficial impressions or the borrowed ideas of others, without investing the time and thought that cultivating true conviction necessitates. We then go around asserting these donned opinions and clinging to them as anchors to our own reality. It’s enormously disorienting to simply say, “I don’t know.” But it’s infinitely more rewarding to understand than to be right — even if that means changing your mind about a topic, an ideology, or, above all, yourself.

Do nothing for prestige or status or money or approval alone.As Paul Graham observed, “prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you’d like to like.” Those extrinsic motivators are fine and can feel life-affirming in the moment, but they ultimately don’t make it thrilling to get up in the morning and gratifying to go to sleep at night — and, in fact, they can often distract and detract from the things that do offer those deeper rewards.

Be generous.Be generous with your time and your resources and with giving credit and, especially, with your words. It’s so much easier to be a critic than a celebrator. Always remember there is a human being on the other end of every exchange and behind every cultural artifact being critiqued. To understand and be understood, those are among life’s greatest gifts, and every interaction is an opportunity to exchange them.

Build pockets of stillness into your life.Meditate. Go for walks. Ride your bike going nowhere in particular. There is a creative purpose to daydreaming, even to boredom. The best ideas come to us when we stop actively trying to coax the muse into manifesting and let the fragments of experience float around our unconscious mind in order to click into new combinations. Without this essential stage of unconscious processing, the entire flow of the creative processis broken.

Most important, sleep. Besides being the greatest creative aphrodisiac, sleep also affects our every waking momentdictates our social rhythm, and even mediates our negative moods. Be as religious and disciplined about your sleep as you are about your work. We tend to wear our ability to get by on little sleep as some sort of badge of honor that validates our work ethic. But what it really is is a profound failure of self-respect and of priorities. What could possibly be more important than your health and your sanity, from which all else springs?

When people tell you who they are, Maya Angelou famously advised, believe them. Just as important, however, when people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them. You are the only custodian of your own integrity, and the assumptions made by those that misunderstand who you are and what you stand for reveal a great deal about them and absolutely nothing about you.

Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity.Ours is a culture that measures our worth as human beings by our efficiency, our earnings, our ability to perform this or that. The cult of productivity has its place, but worshipping at its altar daily robs us of the very capacity for joy and wonder that makes life worth living — for, as Annie Dillard memorably put it, “how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”


to follow…

Our Father, Our Lord…

Hear our prayer. We have sinned before Thee. Have mercy upon us and our children. Bring end to disease, war and famine. Bring an end to the suffering and oppression. 

Tatal Nostru, Regele nostru, asculta-ne rugaciunea. Am pacatuit înaintea Ta. Dar Tu, care ne iubesti, vei pune capat suferintelor, vei da un viitor copiilor nostri…

O singura „punte” e posibila între Voia cea sfânta a lui Dumnezeu si libertatea omeneasca, cea care ne-a dus acolo unde suntem: a-I spune „da”. Adica, sa ne recunoastem, orice vom fi facut ca pacate, copii iubiti ai lui Dumnezeu, asadar, „fii ai Luminii”. Nu numai în momentele de emotie când sacrul apare ca o evidenta, ci zi de zi, pas cu pas.  

BBC: 104-year-old woman keeps fit with yoga

26 October 2016 Last updated at 15:19 BST

A woman said to be the oldest living Test cricketer says healthy eating and two glasses of red wine a day are her secret to a long life.

Eileen Ash, who lives in Norwich, celebrates her 105th birthday on Sunday and enjoys regular yoga sessions and getting behind the wheel of her yellow Mini car.

She played Test cricket for England women, making her debut at the crease in 1937.

She said: „I’d like to know when I’m going to be old. Do you think it will be when I’m 105?”

25 octombrie — POVEŞTI DE AERODROM

schiță de Mircea CRISTEA “Se duc existențele ca zborurile. Dispărute printre anii care trec, printre zilele care s-au scurs, printre orele pe cer, printre vocile care ne-au marcat în ultimii ani, prin căldura altor oameni, printre sentimente, lacrimi, spaimă, durere, deznădejde, iubire, moarte. Gândeam… până la urmă, ce rămâne în urma unui om? Ne consumăm […]

via 25 octombrie — POVEŞTI DE AERODROM

Interested in Leonard Cohen?


Leonard Cohen Casts a Dim But Holy Glow on ‘You Want It Darker’


Sunday evening marked the beginning of Shemini Atzeret, a Jewish holiday celebrating the end of the harvest festival, Sukkot. While Sukkot signifies the end of the harvesting year, Shemini Atzeret and its celebration of Simchat Torah mark the completion of the year’s Torah readings, the original five books of Moses that make up the Old Testament.

How fitting that Leonard Cohen would bless us with his 14th album of music, You Want It Darker, just before the harvest was over and the scrolls were rewound. That it arrived on a Friday, ushering in Shabbat with a dim but holy glow, is fitting too.

Cohen’s latest collection of songs proves a summation of the poet’s most enduring images, his most illuminated words, shaped into investigations of the soul and the body, the sacred and the profane. He goes back to sitting at someone’s table, a common image in his songs, only to leave the table a few songs later. He slow-dances through another waltz from the era when rock ‘n roll was young, subverting the message of young devotion with his grim, late-in-life reflections.

And by the album’s close he’s thrown away any infatuation with artifacts, from the ruins and altars that have populated his most classic explorations of biblical righteousness, to the unholy shopping mall that has come to define such righteousness today.


Leonard Cohen Casts a Dim But Holy Glow on ‘You Want It Darker’