Powerful proverbs from Mesopotamia about fate, luck and fortune

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If you were born lucky, even your rooster will lay eggs. ~ Assyrian Proverb Don't pick things ahead of time; some bear fruit later. ~ Sumerian Proverb Owoce i warzywa Fruit and veg Copyright Content Catnip 2015 If you chase two rabbits, you will not catch either one. ~ Assyrian Proverb Illustrator John Tenniel 's…

Comforting Thought: Whistling in the dark

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"Art would not be important if life were not important. And life is important. Most of us, no matter what we say, are walking in the dark, whistling in the dark. Nobody knows what is going to happen to them from one moment to the next, or how one will bear it. This is irreducible.…

Artists & Writers in Their Own Words: Jarod K Anderson AKA The Cryptonaturalist

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The Cryptonaturalist podcast is the creation of Jarod K Anderson. It's a completely unique, poetic and quirky fictional podcast in the genre of a classic nature documentary. Yet that's where its similarity with the known world ends. This is David Attenborough meets The X Files, or Jane Goodall meets Big Foot. In the lingering shadows…

Comforting Thought: James Baldwin on why art is important

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James Baldwin, France, 1970 If you can examine and face your life, you can discover the terms with which you are connected to other lives, and they can discover them too - the terms with which they are connected to other people. This has happened to every one of us, I'm sure. You read something…

Book Review: Flights by Olga Tokarczuk

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Genre: Fiction, essay, creative non-fiction, travel. Publisher: Text Publishing Rating: Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk won the Man Booker International Prize for this novel in 2018 along with a Nike Award, Poland’s highest literary honour. Tokarczuk is a thrilling and exhilarating writer who effortlessly criss-crosses genres and conventions, Flight is part…

Words of a Kaumātua: When you want a smile, give yours away

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When you want a smile, give yours away When you want affection, you give affection When you help people, they help you When you want love, give your love Ka nui taku aroha ki a koe - My love for you knows no bounds. ~ Māori proverb #TeWikioteReoMāori #MāoriLanguageWeek #MahuruMaori Kua rongo ake au... Tuku…

Comforting Thought: Rangimārie

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Kua rongo ake au...Mā te karakia me te inoiMe te noho pukuKa tau te rangimārieki a tātau katoaI have learned that...everyone can do a karakia The Star Compass Atea a Rangi in Napier, New Zealand (Photo by A.Dennis) Kua rongo ake au...Mā te āta katakata āta harikoa anōMā te hiki ake i te wairuaE tau…

Book Review: Standing At the Edge: Finding Freedom Where Fear and Courage Meet by Joan Halifax @jhalifax

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Genre: Non-fiction, spirituality, Zen buddhism, psychology, philosophy. Publisher: Flatiron Books Rating: Halifax with the Dalai Lama Standing At the Edge is a once in a lifetime kind of book. I don’t say that lightly either. It’s a life-changing and life-affirming book that combines philosophy, Zen Buddhism, psychology, and much more…

Book Review: Consolations: The Solace, Nourishment & Underlying Meaning of Everyday Words by David Whyte

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Genre: Non-fiction, Spirituality, Philosophy Rating: 1/2 stars *Contains no spoilers In this slim and elegant volume of philosophy and inspiration, writer David Whyte tackles the big topics and words that rarely get any airtime in our society, the kinds of things that haunt people but that are difficult to resolve and so…

Barry Schwartz and the Paradox of Choice

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"We laud our almost boundless freedom of choice as if it were a good thing per se, irrespective of what the choice is between. This is of course absurd because any rational person would prefer to choose between two good things rather than between a thousand bad ones. But, under these circumstances, how do we…

Comforting Thought: From ‘harder, better, faster, stronger’, back to circadian rhythms and rituals

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"The cycles of nature and the cycles of time predate the modern world. The world we currently live in is linear and about more, more, more or ‘harder, better, faster, stronger’. This way of thinking dictates that we should not miss out on anything. We are encouraged to grow throughout our lives, as a part…

Comforting Thought: Ep’humin et ouk ep’humin

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Ep’humin et ouk ep’humin (from Greek) Things that are under our control and things that are not under our control. Of things that exist, some are in our power and some are not in our power. Those that are in our power are conception, choice, desire, aversion, and in a word, those things that are…

10 Cool Things I Found On the Internet#27

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Welcome to a cosy corner of the internet where you can find a lot of wholesome and quirky picks to delight your five senses. Toshiya Sukegawa (助川敏弥) - Bioçic Music: Aqua https://youtu.be/58mhgplUCCk Maple Colour by Erin Hanson (2019) Via Erin Hanson's website Dogs to the rescue in the Wellcome Collection "Monks living in the Great…

Book Review: Standing Firm: Resisting The Self Improvement Craze by Svend Brinkmann

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‘Standing Firm’ in the sense of this book means to counter the incessant drive towards more, more, more of everything. It’s a call to action to resist and stand firm against ‘improvement culture’, not just self-improvement and personal development, but also the constant acceleration and growth in our economic systems, and the overuse and destruction…

Comforting Thought: Disruptive Creators Versus Custodians & Curators

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"If we were all disruptive artists all the time – nothing in society would be coherent. No one would be obliged to do anything other than follow whatever short term whims took their fancy. Fortunately- many people are instead curators. Those who set up permanent exhibitions based on unifying themes and help to rein in…

Comforting Thought: If We Want to Do Something Well – We Cannot Do It All

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"Opt out of the relentless pursuit of personal optimisation of our lives. Opt-out of picking and choosing a new partner when we get bored of the person we have been with for many years simply because we are bored. Opt out of trying to become a social media influencer with a million friends on Instagram…

Comforting Thought: The appetites of the soul by Aldous Huxley

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Two great appetites of the soul – the urge to independence and self-determination and the urge to self-transcendence – were fused with, and interpreted in the light of, a third – the urge to worship.~ Aldous Huxley, The Doors of Perception and Heaven & Hell Entrance to the Night by Michiel Schrijver We live together,…

Comforting thought: The World of Terrifying Beauty By Karl Ove Knausgård

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I remained where I was, standing with one hand in my pocket and the other around the handle of the pram. The triviality of the ketchup and mustard bottles, the blackened hotdogs. The camping table where the soft drinks were lined up, was almost inconceivable there beneath the stars, the dancing light of the bonfire.…

10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet #20

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If the internet is leaving you with a funny taste in your mouth, prepare for a little palate cleaner... Freddy Mercury really loved his cats He worshipped them, which goes some way to explaining his feline prowling presence on stage. He wrote the song Delilah for his cat 🙂 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yEYRoXWmWYU Robert Greene and Ryan Holiday…

Comforting thought: You shouldn’t want it all

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You shouldn't want it all by Piet Hein You shouldn't want it all You are only one part You own a world in the world You need to make it whole Choose just one path, and be as one with it. Other paths must wait. We always come back. Don't hide from troubles. Confront them…

10 Cool Things I Found on the Internet This Week #19

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If you have been living on a diet of fast food for your five senses, then here is a little palate cleanser for you... Snuggly, cosy Peregrine falcon parents look after fastly growing chicklets on a Melbourne CBD live stream Expect sleepy eyed roosting for many hours, pierced by sudden absences for dive-bombing murders. Later…

Book Review: The Tidal Zone by Sarah Moss

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*No spoilers "We all live in patterns we do not see. We are all following magic ravens, even when we are lost. Otherwise there would be no story." ~ Sarah Moss, The Tidal Zone. Sarah Moss is now my favourite writer. She seems to be a occupied with the lives of women. However in this…

How to Counter the Anthropocene: Frugality and the ‘Joy of Missing Out’

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"The main threats to humankind were once posed by the forces of nature. Now they are self-inflicted. We are the cause of our own problems and they can only be solved at the level of the society that created them. One help would be to collectively rediscover the ancient virtues of frugality, moderation and the…

Book Review: The Joy of Missing Out by Svend Brinkmann

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Book Review: The Joy of Missing Out by Svend Brinkmann This book could have become a shallow antidote to the internet term for FOMO or Fear of Missing Out. Yet the Joy of Missing Out is brimming with exciting, novel and interesting ideas. It’s a slender book of around 90 pages that’s jam-packed full of…

Comforting Thought: We see into the life of things

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“Wisdom is oft-times nearer when we stoop than when we soar.” ― William Wordsworth, The Excursion 1814 “Come forth into the light of things, Let Nature be your teacher.”― William Wordsworth “With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things.”― William…

Comforting thought: The silence of the bird and the lily by Søren Kierkegaard

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Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard (1813-1855) implored people to learn from the silence of the lily and the bird. In other words to learn to refrain from speaking. He believed that we should learn this because we humans possess the power of speech and so we should learn the art of silence. According to Kierkegaard our…

Seven Unique and Moving Fictional Books Set in Japan

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Japan is a country close to my heart and since I first went there a few years ago, I have become a big fan of Japanese fiction and Asian fiction translated to English. Japanese fiction tends to emphasise the liminal and fantasy aspects hidden at the edges of everyday reality and also exploring the inner…

10 Interesting Things I Found on the Internet this Week #14

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1. Nick Cave performing Stagger Lee in Copenhagen is electrifying I have seen Nick live three times so far and his live performances of this song Stagger Lee are always a big highlight. The song escalates and gets harder, darker and more intense as it goes on. This is definitely my favourite Nick Cave song…