He went and said goodbye to the trees in the yard, one by one, embracing them and crying

jose-saramago

It was only many years after, when my grandfather had departed from this world and I was a grown man, I finally came to realise that my grandmother, after all, also believed in dreams. There could have been no other reason why, sitting one evening at the door of her cottage where she now lived alone, staring at the biggest and smallest stars overhead, she said these words: “The world is so beautiful and it is such a pity that I have to die”. She didn’t say she was afraid of dying, but that it was a pity to die, as if her hard life of unrelenting work was, in that almost final moment, receiving the grace of a supreme and last farewell, the consolation of beauty revealed. She was sitting at the door of a house like none other I can imagine in all the world, because in it lived people who could sleep with piglets as if they were their own children, people who were sorry to leave life just because the world was beautiful; and this Jerónimo, my grandfather, swineherd and story-teller, feeling death about to arrive and take him, went and said goodbye to the trees in the yard, one by one, embracing them and crying because he knew he wouldn’t see them again.

~ Jose Saramago, (1922-2010), excerpt from his Nobel Lecture, December 7, 1998


Notes:

Mihály Csíkszentmihályi would say…go with the Flow.

black-white-breeze-wind-flow

“We say to the confused,

Know thyself,

as if knowing yourself was not the fifth and most difficult of human arithmetical operations,

we say to the apathetic,

Where there’s a will, there’s a way,

as if the brute realities of the world did not amuse themselves each day by turning that phrase on its head,

we say to the indecisive,

Begin at the beginning,

as if beginning were the clearly visible point of a loosely wound thread and all we had to do was to keep pulling until we reached the other end, and as if, between the former and the latter, we had held in our hands a smooth, continuous thread with no knots to untie, no snarls to untangle, a complete impossibility in the life of a skein, or indeed, if we may be permitted one more stock phrase, in the skein of life.”

José Saramago, The Cave


Notes:

In the skein of life

skein,string,yarn

“We say to the confused, Know thyself, as if knowing yourself was not the fifth and most difficult of human arithmetical operations, we say to the apathetic, Where there’s a will, there’s a way, as if the brute realities of the world did not amuse themselves each day by turning that phrase on its head, we say to the indecisive, Begin at the beginning, as if beginning were the clearly visible point of a loosely wound thread and all we had to do was to keep pulling until we reached the other end, and as if, between the former and the latter, we had held in our hands a smooth, continuous thread with no knots to untie, no snarls to untangle, a complete impossibility in the life of a skein, or indeed, if we may be permitted one more stock phrase, in the skein of life.”


Skein
/skān/

Noun
  1. A length of thread or yarn, loosely coiled and knotted.
  2. A tangled or complicated arrangement, state, or situation

Source: Thank you Whiskey River.  Image: yeraydorta

Reading. On Metro North.

reading

It’s Tuesday.
I’m on the 6:22 am train to Grand Central.
One of few trips a month taking me back to Manhattan.
I drift away for a moment.
It has been six years.
Six years since I’ve changed Company. Changed routine. Changed my life.

Two hours a day of uninterrupted reading time.
To, near zero.
Churning through three books a week. 150 books a year.
To, near zero.
Lost. In a character. In a story. In another place. In another time. [Read more…]

Flying…with Baggage.

not good enough, psychology, confidence, assertive, assertiveness, self-help, life, mental health, story

I get assigned the middle seat on flight to the Midwest.

The Window and Aisle seats are occupied.  (< 2 hour flight.  No reason to work oneself up. Last post on similar topic was titled Think Small and it came rushing to mind.)

WSM (Window Seat Mate) asks how “the big guy was so lucky to get stuck in the jump seat.” I reply that I’ve had back-to-back storms to thank for the rescheduling.  No reaction from WSM.

Our Flight is grounded for a “quick repair.”

I pull out my PC to grind through some emails.

WSM steals one glance at my screen.  And then another.  And another.  And another. And then just stares. (I need to invest in a screen protector to keep out prying eyes.  Yet, we can all be forgiven to steal a one quick glance to knock out the curiosity…)  However, there has to be an Emily Post rule where 4-5 side glances followed by a protracted stare is over the line.)

[Read more…]

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