The Wisdom of Crowds

emotion-happy-content


Notes:

  • Source: NY Times Magazine (July 17, 2016)
  • Post Title taken from James Surowiecki’s Book: The Wisdom of Crowds
  • Post inspiration: Vera Meum – “Why does the sound of rain gently tapping on the roof and windows instantly relieve stress? It is a reminder of survival, an appreciation for being safe, dry, and warm, the most basic of needs. Therein lies a secret to contentment; to remind ourselves regularly of the satisfaction of our basic needs, to appreciate another moment of survival, and forget the extraneous factors that cause us undue stress.”

Riding Metro North. With Curious Dog.


5:40 am train.
Metro North south to Grand Central.
Need to buy a ticket.
I look down the long platform. Four minutes to scheduled arrival. Gotta go.

He’s 25 yards up.
His right foot is lame. His gait is slow. Handicapped.
I close in on him.
He’s in his late teens.
Baseball cap.
Backpack slung over his right shoulder.

He stops and turns to stare at the billboard.
His chest is rising up and down – giggling.
It’s an ad for a Broadway play based on the 2003 best selling novel “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time.
I remember the book. And smile.
I take one last look as I pass him. His head leans on his right shoulder as he takes in the poster, playing back chapter by chapter.

I buy my ticket. The train approaches and I look for him. He’s the last to get on, the conductor urges him in. [Read more…]

Riding Metro North. In the Groove.

Portrait of artist Goran Kosanovic holding his painting on foil by Dragan Todorović

5:57 am train.
Metro North south to Grand Central.
New day. Another Monday.
A slow pan over the prior week, and weekend.
Work. Read. Eat. Toilet. Sleep. (Some). Do over.
And, now, same track, same rails, same destination.
And I sit basking in It.

It’s a Mid Term self evaluation.
The Grade: Content.
Work. Read. Eat. Toilet. Sleep (Some). Do Over.
And content with that.
I shift in my seat, close my eyes and contemplate that.

And then,
Here it comes: [Read more…]

And then at some point late, late, late at night, say just a bit before dawn…

the most important°

And then one student said that happiness is what happens when you go to bed on the hottest night of the summer, a night so hot you can’t even wear a tee-shirt and you sleep on top of the sheets instead of under them, although try to sleep is probably more accurate. And then at some point late, late, late at night, say just a bit before dawn, the heat finally breaks and the night turns into cool and when you briefly wake up, you notice that you’re almost chilly, and in your groggy, half-consciousness, you reach over and pull the sheet around you and just that flimsy sheet makes it warm enough and you drift back off into a deep sleep. And it’s that reaching, that gesture, that reflex we have to pull what’s warm – whether it’s something or someone – toward us, that feeling we get when we do that, that feeling of being safe in the world and ready for sleep, that’s happiness.

– Paul Schmidtberger, Design Flaws of the Human Condition


Source: Quote – Petrichour. Artwork: the most important° by Kerstin Kuntze

Flying West. Up, and Back.

Adriane Ayme

Like Kafka in his Letters to Milena, I’m trying to communicate something incommunicable, to explain something inexplicable, to tell about something I only feel in my bones and which can only be experienced in those bones.

Yet, I will try, and yes, here it is again. Deep in the marrow of those same bones.  It builds.

A sabbatical. From hands balled in fists, squeezing the reins, to ceding it all to a clean-cut pilot, his Aviator Hat tilted ever so slightly to the right: “Thank you Sir for flying with American.”

My head leans on the cool aluminum skin of the 450 ton albatross.  500 mph, and standing still. The only sign of Man, the long white breath of an earlier bird, and us, seven miles up.

Down, way down are the Badlands. The salt flats. The arid plains.  The snow capped peaks.

Earth.

The immensity of It.  The insignificance of Me.

It’s inexplicable. That soft pull.  The freeing of the twisted, braided cords.  Release. [Read more…]

Lightly child, lightly.

light-eyes-closed-Sergei-Sukhovey

And did you feel it, in your heart,
how it pertained to everything?
And have you too finally figured out what beauty is for?
And have you changed your life?

~ Mary Oliver, from “Swan,” Swan: Poems and Prose Poems.


Notes:

  • Poem: Thank you The Vale of Soul Making. Be sure to check out his excellent WordPress blog.
  • Photo:  “Close your eyes” by Sergei Sukhovey via The Sensual Starfish
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Lightly child, lightly.

motorcyle-abstract-light

She held tightly to his waist again on the way back. It was too loud for either of them to say anything, for which she was grateful, no decisions to be made, nothing to worry over, only the palm trees and tin roofs spinning out behind her, the wind whipping her hair across the face and the warm body close to hers; this moment then the next. Happiness began to burble in the base of her spine and rise, giddily, up her body. So this was what it was like: the present moment. She felt it like a revelation.

And wasn’t this what she’d been after – the lightness that came galloping through, grabbing you by the waist and hauling you along with it? How could you not surrender yourself to it, even if you knew you’d end up sitting bruised in the dirt? She supposed there must be another way to experience that breathless rush of being alive – something inward, perhaps? – but she didn’t know what it was or how to get there on her own.


Notes:

  • Photo: Etsy by Glennis Siverson
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Sun on skin, smell, particular light, that sort of stuff

marion-coutts

The template of self-image I adhere to is that of a happy person. Is this different from being happy? I have no idea. Before the crisis, the bad sank down somewhere I couldn’t reach or was too lazy to get to, and the good floated up as flotsam near the surface. I was usually near the surface too, sometimes impressively active and sometimes just bobbing and lolling, lolling and rolling, the one a front for the other. Bad and Good are weakened words now, blanched of force. Language is failing me too.

Optimism is an under-researched attribute. Where’s the science? Where’s the research? What do our brother creatures – the owls, crabs, bonobos – think about the bright side? What do optimists do under pressure? Do they continue to seek out slivers of silver the size of fingernails in the crushed, smashed and folded lining of the earth? Optimism doesn’t seem to be something you can just adopt. Equally, I can’t be rid of it, even in mid-fall. […]

I am a blessings counter. I am and always was. My family gifted me balance and ballast. By upbringing and temperament it was just one of those things that came with me. I link it to the most rudimentary physical sense of being-in-the-world: sun on skin, smell, particular light, that sort of stuff, and that in turn connects to the articulation of the stretch between being an individual – myself – and non-individuated matter. I have always been able to think of myself as matter: one and many, all-solipsist and nothing at all. Not anything.

~ Marion Coutts, The Iceberg: A Memoir


Notes:

 

 

I want moonlight

Blue-melancholy

Everywhere you look these days you see something on how to be happy — how to manifest abundance, desires and success, find your bliss. […]

Whatever happened to experiencing the grace of melancholy, which requires reflection: a sort of mental steeping, like tea? What if all this cheerful advice only makes you feel inadequate? What if you were born morose?

Melancholy, distinguished from grief, is not caused by events, like losing your job, the passing of beloved pets, your miscarriages or health problems. Nor does it vanish when you receive excellent news, like a big film star optioning your novel, or being invited to an all-expenses-paid trip to Venice for the Biennale.

Melancholy is more … ephemeral.

It visits you like a mist, a vapor, a fog. It is generally uninvited. And as some people are born into royalty, wealth and prestige, others inherit a disposition for sadness. […]

Should melancholy descend, you may as well welcome it, wear your finest lounging outfit; give it your finest fainting couch or chaise to lounge in, or that hammock stretched between two elm trees. Let it settle in.

[…]

I want moonlight.

~ Laren Stover, A Case For Melancholy


Credits: Photo via Sweet Senderipity

Lift it. Lift it way up.

jellyfish-blue

My mood suddenly lifted.
The day was crisp and bright,
the atmosphere quivering with life,
like the translucent strands of a rare aquatic species
with long, flowing tentacles,
lappets flowing vertically from a jellyfish’s bell.
Would that human energy could materialize in such a way.
I imagine such strands waving horizontally
from the edges of my black coat.

~ Patti Smith, M Train


Notes:

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