Comforting Thought

Comforting Thought

Bite-sized comfort and spirituality in a turmultuous world


Maya Angelou: Leader of the Brave and Defiant

Comforting Thought: Live now, as we think human beings should live @jhalifax

“To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history based not only on cruelty but also on compassion, sacrifice, courage and kindness. “What we choose to emphasise in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst,Continue reading “Comforting Thought: Live now, as we think human beings should live @jhalifax”

Throw open the windows of your soul

Comforting Thought: Disappointment is a measure of our courage

What we call disappointment may just be the first stage of our emancipation into the next great pattern of our existence. The measure of our courage is the measure of our willingness to embrace disappointment. To turn towards it rather than away from it. Disappointment is the understanding that every real conversation of life involvesContinue reading “Comforting Thought: Disappointment is a measure of our courage”

People make things to express their need (or fear) of connection | Olivia Laing, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

People make things to express their need (or fear) of connection

“It seems funny to think that healing or coming to terms with loneliness and loss, or with the damage accrued in scenes of closeness, the inevitable wounds that occur whenever people become entangled with one another, might take place by means of objects. It seems funny, and yet the more I thought about it theContinue reading “People make things to express their need (or fear) of connection”

Comforting Thought: Kintsukuroi

Kintsukuroi or why we are perfect in our imperfection

“There is a Japanese practice called Kintusukoroi or kintsugi which means ‘golden repair’. Kintsukuroi is the art of repairing broken pottery with powdered gold or platinum mixed with lacquer, so that the repair reflects the history of the breakage. “The repaired object mirrors the fragility and imperfection of life – and also its beauty andContinue reading “Kintsukuroi or why we are perfect in our imperfection”

Comforting Thought: Difficult decisions are like crossing a river - Googie McCabe

Comforting Thought: Difficult decisions are like crossing a river

Difficult decisions are like crossing a river. You may jump into the torrent and hope for the best or walk along the stream and look for an easier crossing. Either way, do what you feel is right for you at the time. You will most likely get wet anyway. googie mccabe

Olivia Laing, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

Comforting Thought: Empathy Between Gift and Invasion

“I’m interested in everything that might be flawed and messy about empathy, how imagining other lives can constitute a kind of tyranny, or artificially absolve ourselves from guilt or responsibility. How feeling empathy can make use feel we’ve done something good when we actually haven’t. “We start to like the feeling of feeling bad forContinue reading “Comforting Thought: Empathy Between Gift and Invasion”

Baby, You Were Born To Run: Horses From Cave Art to Melbourne Cup

The high-spirited thoroughbred

The great affair, the love affair with life, is to live as variously as possible, to groom one’s curiosity like a high-spirited thoroughbred, climb aboard, and gallop over the thick, sunstruck hills every day. Diane Ackerman

Book Review: Their Lips Talk of Mischief by Alan Warner

Comforting Thought: Doubt is a virtue, certainty is blinkered tunnel vision

If I know, then I don’t need to listen “In our risky society, you have to be sure about things to be heard. You need to issue out confident proclamations: ‘Research shows that serotonin deficiency in the brain is the cause of depression’; ‘We now finally have a diagnostic system that deals with mental illness.Continue reading “Comforting Thought: Doubt is a virtue, certainty is blinkered tunnel vision”

François Schuiten’s steampunk cityscapes 'Les Cités obscures'

The wisdom of children

Children often use rich metaphor to describe their inner states. Far from being meaningless ramblings, often their insights into how the mind works are profound, philosophical and meaningful. In this TED talk Alise Shafer Ivey shows how children’s open minds reveal a Jungian and symbolic way of understanding consciousness, creative ideas, ancestral knowledge and howContinue reading “The wisdom of children”

Olivia Laing, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

Comforting Thought: The pursuit of our ‘true feelings’ infantilises us

Or to put it more bluntly and less delicately – Fuck your feelings! At least that’s the general idea that I extracted from this quote by Danish philosopher and psychologist Svend Brinkmann. “There is nothing about feelings in themselves that means we must trust them – let alone express them. In an ever-changing cultural situation,Continue reading “Comforting Thought: The pursuit of our ‘true feelings’ infantilises us”

People make things to express their need (or fear) of connection | Olivia Laing, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

Comforting Thought: ‘Being yourself’ has no intrinsic value whatsoever

It is without a doubt better to be an inauthentic Mother Theresa than to be an authentic Anders Breivik. Indeed, being yourself has no intrinsic value whatsoever. “On the other hand, what does have intrinsic value is fulfilling your obligations to the people around you, with whom you are connected (i.e. doing your duty). WhetherContinue reading “Comforting Thought: ‘Being yourself’ has no intrinsic value whatsoever”

Sloths get rewarded for being exceedingly lazy

Comforting Thought: Having a friend from another species enlarges your soul

“Just being with any animal is edifying, for each has a knowing that surpasses human understanding. A spider can taste the world with her feet. Birds can see colours we can’t begin to describe. A cricket can sing with its legs and listen with its knees. “A dog can hear sounds above the level ofContinue reading “Comforting Thought: Having a friend from another species enlarges your soul”

Olivia Laing, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone

Comforting Thought: Disruptive Creators Versus Custodians & Curators

“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 inContinue reading “Comforting Thought: Disruptive Creators Versus Custodians & Curators”

Every Picture Tells a Story: Lake Menteith in the fading light of a winters night

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

“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.Continue reading “Comforting thought: The World of Terrifying Beauty By Karl Ove Knausgård”

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