A question of landscapes

A question of landscapes

I haven’t managed to answer these questions for myself, but still keep returning to them, and wonder how other people are shaped by their landscapes, and how they perceive them.  How do people imagine the landscapes they find themselves in?  How does the land...
A wild desire for wings

A wild desire for wings

Upsoaring spirit inspired by sky-bright blue.  Sometimes the impossible and measureless azure of it can dizzy you.  Behind the hedge the sky was a bright blue. It dazzled the eyes and got inside the head and exploded there as a wild desire for wings, so that one could...
Life aims

Life aims

I liked this life mix mooted by Adam Nicolson: wide horizons, which might include embracing places and ideas unfamiliar, woven together with a strong sense of belonging, which might point to putting down new roots, or simply cherishing old ones.   … life that...
The dignity we seek

The dignity we seek

It’s years since I noted this quote and it has recently made its way to the front of the nuannaarpoq pipeline. But only reading it again now do I see how much it resonates with the urgencies of rebalancing our relationship with the natural world around us, and...
Prize life and enjoy it

Prize life and enjoy it

Caroline goes through a period of malaise and fear for her future, with illness en route. I believe in my heart we were intended to prize life and enjoy it, so long as we retain it.  Existence never was originally meant to be that useless, blank, pale, slow-trailing...
The grammar and syntax of inspiration

The grammar and syntax of inspiration

Picasso is said to have said that inspiration exists but needs to find you working.  Similar in sentiment is Saint-Exupéry’s thoughts on illumination. Yes, it can strike you suddenly and apparently miraculously, but only if you’ve made the effort to learn...
Mind hoard

Mind hoard

I love the word ‘hoard’, in the sense of a bardic ‘word-hoard’, or here, a hoard of observations you stash in the cupboard of the imagination, a mind-hoard.  And I like the absolution from having to understand those bright-shining things you...
The thread of love (ii)

The thread of love (ii)

An unusual presentation of love as being woven from threads of fulfillment.  This is how I always thought of it, without having found the words, and how I have found it to be.  Saint-Exupery’s love-fabric also echoes a simile by Mary Webb.  This is the veritable...
Go and look at flowers

Go and look at flowers

A wonderful story of a woman who decides her grandchildren need to spend more time looking at nature and talking to people.  I loved her humorous and decisive course of action and the fact that she was so loved by her family that they forgave her technological...
In praise of dubious eggs

In praise of dubious eggs

A wonderful voice of hope, wryly recognising, however, that potential can be fragile, as eggs can break.  But then again, they can hatch…In fact, the world is full of hopeful analogies and handsome dubious eggs called possibilities. May your dubious eggs of...
Within and without

Within and without

A thoughtful assertion, that cheerfulness is as much internally derived as externally influenced.   Wish you the conditions needed to have it come to you both from within and without.Cheerfulness, it would appear, is a matter which depends fully as much on the state...
This blue and golden world

This blue and golden world

A lyrical commitment to his own odyssey, self-promised the first time the author sailed past Ithaca.  He made it, a mere three or four decades and a war later.  How could he not, a ‘blue and golden world’ would exercise a strong hold on the soul (mine,...
And life is…

And life is…

This poem, ‘Into Battle’, was written in 1915 by an officer serving in the First World War, Julian Grenfell.  It was published in The Times the day after his death from war wounds. The poems draws on different threads of life as providing strength to the...
Finding peace

Finding peace

An interesting piece of aunt-like advice from Martha Gellhorn to Leonard Bernstein.   She emphasises the importance of not only finding a nugget of peace within yourself, and the conditions to nurture it, but the fact that maintaining it is a constant endeavour, if...
Intelligence in the service of love

Intelligence in the service of love

Saint-Exupéry is one of the most lapidary writers I’ve come across, particularly when commenting on vast human complexities such as love, peace, or war.   I liked this pithy and purposeful view of the validity and value of intelligence. Intelligence is valid...
The timelessness of Troy

The timelessness of Troy

Golding took thirty years to complete his own odyssey from Troy to Ithaka, with war and other events intervening between his first attempt, in which he passed a few miles shy of Ithaka, and the second successful venture in the early 1950s.  Here he captures the...

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