Bea, your web site is spectacular. I love the colors, the approach, the design, the words.

Nancy

Shining like a new creation

The miracle of morning is that when it shines as if it has finished its ablutions, it seems new-made. Early morning is my favourite time of day, particularly in summer when it can make you feel as if life has begun again and all is possible. 'One day I rose and...

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But I was content

A delightful, easy moment captured in a few simple lines which remind me of the French expression to feel 'good in your skin' ('bien dans sa peau'). May you laugh only because you really want to and because you feel so well, and the air is so good. Hall's account of...

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Resilience as defiance

John Keats died young of tuberculosis, but while he lived he was resilient and determined to squeeze every drop of life and happiness despite nursing first his mother and then his younger brother as they themselves were assailed by TB. He knew all about fragility of...

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Sleep and sanity

We know that insomnia can drive you insane and a good sleep can make you feel sane (or saner), but here is something to wish for, that you may go to bed sane and arise sane, with nothing but uninterrupted sleep to connect the two ends of your mental health. What has...

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Life-giving elixir

As often happens in 19th century literature and no doubt in reality, freedom could come to women with access to some kind of economic independence, however modest. In a world where jobs were limited (and often galling or exhausting in their nature), this could be in...

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Resilience on the wing

Of course, we don't know what swallows speak of as they prepare for long, gruelling flights to weather havens, but I liked this poetic description of these darting birds on the eve of migration, a hymn to joyous resilience. 'They talked of white-and-grey...

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Life regained

This comment on life regained is all the more poignant for the context - the protagonist survives a Nazi concentration camp only to then find himself living in another species of totalitarian state. But there is that astonishing moment when he realizes he has survived...

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A factory of dreams, laughter and sighs

One of the most charming and imaginative descriptions of human beings. Well worth keeping in mind in case you find yourself standing before a panel of Martians demanding that you explain homo sapiens to them. Think about it: all the bread, wine, fish and radishes you...

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The blue bow

One evening I had supper in an Italian restaurant in Beijing. A family came in, Spanish: a pretty wife, a smiley husband and a girl of about eight. She sat with her back to me which allowed me to see the beautiful big blue bow in her hair. Then she looked...

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The joys of this world

Many indeed and I like the short list, but even more the loving depiction of cleaving to the sea and the islands in a gentle autumnal light. May your masts spring branches and fruits, but not before you are safely in harbour. “Many are the joys of this world – women,...

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As obstinate as a robin

A beautiful way to insist upon freedom and independence of expression.  Robins are so chirpy and robust, hopping about in midwinter, apparently cockahoop about being alive. On the things that matter, and without harming the things that matter to others, let's try...

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An unaffordable bird

This thrush pops up twice in Keats' letters, singing so heartily as to run him up 'a pretty bill for music'.  Having stood, numerous times, at the open window or beneath the roof edge just so I could hear the loud, ringing, endlessly varied song of the blackbirds who...

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Keen and buoyant

A short, fine description of a complex, quirky, interested and interesting character.  How many people do you know whom you could describe thus? Wishing you plenty of time with keen, buoyant natures, with varying passions for flowers, metaphysics, or whatever else...

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Go towards the good

What a fine, ringing send-off.  Think about it next time you wave goodbye to a friend - why not send them towards the good and wish them 'the Good Hour'.   We hoisted our bundles and set off downhill. "Go towards the Good," one of them said, and the other, "May...

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Beautiful and full of sunshine

Spending a few days in Ljubljana, we enjoyed a visit to the National Gallery of Slovenia and in particular, an exhibition dedicated to Ivana Kobilca (1861-1926), a Slovenian artist who flourished around the turn of the 20th century.  She spent much of her life in...

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Blue and gold

This is an opening line in Christa Wolf's novel Till Eulenspiegel.  Something about it haunted me, two colours flying as emblems of the Middle Ages, and since I took the photo on a brilliant day in October, they are equally pennants of autumn.  Hence posting this at...

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Life burning with a free flame

A marvelous description by Mervyn Peake of a life lived authentically. I see this kind of genuine free flame burning in the lives of people who are working in a field or in a manner attuned to their values and inclinations, rather than being just a means...

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An ideal summer evening

All that wine-tasters' lingo about bouquet and tasting of tires or leather, not a patch on Keats' description of the effects of good wine sipped in an arbour on a summer evening.  Keats is at least as good a letter-writer as he is a poet, and his...

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All in one nuannaarpoq description

In this wish-list John Keats, English poet and nuannaarpoq award winner No. 3 (according to this website), covers quite a few building blocks of happiness. Noteworthy is his mention of 'health' early on, given that it was illness that cut short his...

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Clamber through the clouds

What a life-affirming ambition from my third candidate for a nuannaarpoq award, John Keats. He didn't live long but he did live, squeezing every drop of enjoyment he could out of a life that was beset and ultimately curtailed by illness - his own and others'. 'I will...

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Vault into the blue

Henry Miller's Colossus of Maroussi is in some ways a record of a nuannaarpoq-fostering landscape and people, and I see the book as emitting the blindingly clean light of the Greek hyacinth blue sky. And I loved that 'running leap and vault into the blue'. And the...

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A lexicon of happiness – quviannikumut

A glorious Eskimo word for feeling deeply happy.  Wishing you many moments of quviannikumut. 'Sitting high on a sea cliff in sunny, blustery weather in late June – the familiar sense of expansiveness, of deep exhilaration such weather brings over one, combined with...

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Good thoughts about the universe

  Perhaps this could be a Key Performance Indicator for nuannaarpoq.com - that it might become a compendium of good thoughts about the universe from different cultures. Or at least good thoughts about living life fully and sharing its joys. 'Each...

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Finding, not seeking

This confident assertion made me think about a working assumption that you have to seek things rather than simply finding them.  In reflecting on Picasso's comment, found on a postcard at the Picasso museum in Barcelona, I realized that in reality I often find things...

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Meeting a nuannaarpoquina

Many small children are nuannaarpoq-on-legs.  I was walking home through the village when I saw a man pushing a pram and next to him his daughter, a tiny tot of about two, pushing a small dog-faced wooden cart or trolley in front of her.  When she saw me coming, she...

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A timeless afternoon

Timelessness seems to me a frequent result of living a nuannaarpoq moment.  Losing sense of time, stepping outside its passing and urgencies.  Here the author who brought me the word 'nuannaarpoq' describes a timeless afternoon he spent in the Arctic. I believe that...

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Life!

This quotation from Thoreau's journal struck me, particularly as soon after I came across what seemed a perfect riposte to the question it raises, featured here, by a poet writing a few decades earlier, John Keats. 'Life!  who knows what it is, what it does?' (6 July...

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A mansion of many apartments

I found this expansive metaphor for life moving, particularly coming from a man who grabbed as much of it as he could before it was snatched from him by illness and premature death.  It also struck me as a suitable response - or riposte - to a question raised by...

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Lolling on a lawn

The English poet John Keats is my next candidate for a nuannaarpoq award. I am building a dossier of his nuannaarpoqian behaviour and inclinations to parade before you, before creating a nuannaarpoq award-winners page where I can bring these life-loving exemplars...

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How to slow down

Great tip for stepping out of the - or your - rat race, and slowing down. Sometimes when I'm anxious, I suddenly discover my attention has wandered to the birds in the garden, or the ambling hedgehog on his evening walkabout, and by the time I remember the thing that...

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Swimming with swallows

Near our house there's an open-air swimming pool I go to on summer evenings, to cool off and do some easy exercise. Quite often I'm the only person, and if I swim as sleekly and efficiently as possible, no chopping and churning, I can be rewarded by fast-darting...

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Here and now

This enigmatic assertion seems to pour the sum total of our past into the present moment. It reminds me of Henry Miller's description of the past not as being dead and buried 'history' but as something alive and ever fructifying the present. For me the past feels like...

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Listening to landscape

We tend to think of our engagement with landscapes in visual terms - you 'look' at a view or a landscape. I like this shift from looking to listening. Ideally both at the same time. Some time in the next week or month, feel free to spend a few minutes listening to...

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Humble and graceful

The resilience of flowers is something that humbles me, along with their gracefulness. Here they are blooming among the rocks of a dry Biblical land.My own version is a self-seeded viola I found blooming at the edge of a flower pot in mid-winter.  Such delicate leaves...

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Time as heart-beat

We spend so much of our time measuring time, by rods or miles, minutes or seconds. But its passing is the passing of our heart-beats, our life. Less time measuring, more time living! 'Time is not a field, to be measured in rods, nor a sea, to be measured in miles; it...

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Of dates and roses

What an unusual depiction of a city, here praised by the disciple Andrew in the desert-bright novel about the last days of Jesus, by the author of Zorba the Greek, Kazantzakis.  I wonder if anyone now would think of Jericho in such terms these days? And those...

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The advent of May

There was a time when I could half read poetry in various ancient forms of French, provençal or Occitan, at least enough to have the sense of their meaning and loveliness.  This is one I noted decades ago, which is no time at all if you consider that it dates from the...

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Is the spring coming?

This enchanting and energising story is about self-discovery and renewal, bringing together two stupendously spoilt and brattish but intelligent children who transform themselves, or allow themselves to be transformed, by the beneficient forces of nature...

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The most potent force

What if love were the prime driver of our creativity?  I liked the power and simplicity of Stravinsky's statement. And I remembered this photo taken with and of a friend who held up a book he found in a magical library we found in the Jura. ‘In order to...

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Rise and shine

A fine injunction and a good reason for the sun to shine, if it needed more good reasons: to help us also shine.  I am writing this sitting on the terrace of our garden, in the first week that the sun has shone brightly and warmly enough to work outside. "Shine, sun,...

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Stones, water and souls

Sleep is a theme I've chosen to include in nuannaarpoq.com as it's such a wonderful source of rest and ease, and so many people don't have enough either in quality or quantity.  Sleeping as much as you need to be in full form is therefore a privilege.  In this...

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Buds bursting forth

A lovely description of burgeoning vines, building momentum to burst into leaf. I particularly like the presence of a guardian angel standing by each leaf to help it grow. And note what is tucked away in the heart of each bud. 'In each of these rose-green buds the...

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On irrigating the world

The idea and experience of time, as an enabler or a constraint in living life to the optimum, is a recurring theme in my mind.  Lack of time is one of the curses of our time, despite all the bits of kit we've created or loaded up on ostensibly to free up more of it....

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Meeting nuannaarpoq-ians

We recently spent a month in the Dominican Republic, a luxury to celebrate Luiz's retirement.  One highlight was a fortnight spent on a beautiful beach, talc-fine sand, warm turquoise water, and blue skies.  Reading, walking, resting ... But more than this...

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Or if you'd like to get in touch ...

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Copyright: www.nuannaarpoq.com – Beatrice Otto 2019 – design and content, unless otherwise stated.  Colours and fonts were chosen both for aesthetic strength and because their names reflect the mission of nuannaarpoq.com.

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