Of radical innocence

Of radical innocence

Innocence is one of the key themes we chose for this website (here’s why), and I believe Dante backs me up.  I mean innocence and not naivety, and see it as needing a form of resilience to be maintained in a human life despite being aware of and involved in the...
Relationships matter

Relationships matter

Saint-Exupery highlights the essentials of life revealed at the moment of death.  A reminder to be conscious of the mesh of relationships binding us to life, while we live.  And I would expand the notion to include our relationships to places and other species. When...
Long way to go

Long way to go

Barry Lopez sums up the challenge of adulthood: how to face and acknowledge the ‘dark threads of life’ while somehow living in an exemplary way (I would add ‘joyously’, though that may be a stretch goal). We watched a film about the Via...
Life as a reprieve

Life as a reprieve

In the day to day whoosh of things to do and deal with, we may be conscious of our time being limited on a daily or hourly basis, but often forget the bigger time limit, life itself.   The grandmother of the French artist Françoise Gilot reminds us that life is a...
This is my life

This is my life

A succinct testimony to a life aligned with its owner. Rebanks has also spent decades trying to align farming in an industrialised, globalised context with his values and the demands of sustainability.  Despite the pressures, he easily concludes he wouldn’t...
Man has a long time to go

Man has a long time to go

Some wise words from Aaron Copland to a young Leonard Bernstein.  They maintained a close friendship and correspondence for decades, and I like the advice.  It reminds me of a word from a father to a daughter in an American novel: ‘Slow down, Ivy, slow...
The tricky business of simple living

The tricky business of simple living

An interesting character in Goncharov’s 1859 novel Oblomov is Andrey, close friend of the eponymous hero.  He starts out as an exuberant, feisty boy and grows into a disarmingly and ebulliently self-assured, balanced and capable man who tries to rouse his...
Bursting the boundaries

Bursting the boundaries

A wonderful comment on life – you can come up with as many fine formulae as you like, it will sooner or later defy our clever definitions. Life always bursts the boundaries of formulas. Part of me says, ‘Thank goodness’. For other comments on this...
Live wisely, live well

Live wisely, live well

Isn’t this all we’re trying to do when we talk about ‘sustainability’, ‘circular economy’, or climate change?  When it’s put so simply, it sounds easy, but we have a long way to go before we can see our stifling ignorance fall...
Leaning into the light

Leaning into the light

The candour of this statement struck me, and also reassured me that my own paltry attempts at living a ‘moral and compassionate existence’ are no worse than can be expected of an average human in a human world.  I accepted very young that questioning is...
Begin with breakfast

Begin with breakfast

Wondering how best to get this bright new year off to a good start?  Follow this sound advice from the Swallows & Amazons family.   I got up early to make what I thought were muffins until, having liberally adapted the recipe, I realized it was meant to be for...
Calm and contentment

Calm and contentment

Christian Ludwig seems to have been a wise man, able to look on things with calm and contentment.  He lived at a time no less tumultuous, and perhaps in some ways more so, than our own.  A reminder to cleave to the good and keep one’s equanimity.Your calm, the...
A perfect process

A perfect process

My kind of decision-making process, superbly succinct and balanced. Not sure how much I live up to it, but certainly one to aspire to.Reflect coldly!  And then act with fire!  Source: Friedrich Hölderlin, letter to Karl Gok, 21 August 1794, Essays and Letters, trans....
Seven steps to heaven

Seven steps to heaven

Now I know why it’s called ‘seventh’ heaven – it takes only seven steps to get there. I stumbled upon this revelation while doing the Spring Circular, the 10km round robin walk with which I’ve been savouring the season’s renewal. A...
To be what we are

To be what we are

Another interesting take on authenticity. I like Thoreau’s hopeful assumption that being what we are leans towards worthy and nobler qualities.And curious about that invitation – what or who does he believe is inviting us to be ourselves?’We are...
The chief element of happiness

The chief element of happiness

  How contemporary this sounds, and yet it is a five-hundred year old classic. Erasmus reaching down the centuries by speaking lightly in the voice of a woman and, what is more, a woman self-styled as the goddess of folly. He manages to imbue her with such witty...
Nuannaarpoq Interviews – Question 003

Nuannaarpoq Interviews – Question 003

‘If you had an opportunity to put a question to Socrates what would it be?’ This is a quotation from Lawrence Durrell’s enchanting exploration of the island of Corfu, Prospero’s Cell. I have been pondering it for months and decided it was a good question...
Unload your heart of grief

Unload your heart of grief

What a kind, loving, compassionate injunction to Dante. Keep it in mind if you find yourself berating yourself. And if you are experiencing grief, I hope you find the means to unload it soon.  “Much greater faults than yours are washed awayBy much less...
Introducing the Isumataq School of Leadership

Introducing the Isumataq School of Leadership

Barry Lopez’ masterful Arctic Dreams gave me an inkling of a richly philosophical seam in Eskimo language. If you watch, read or listen to the news, you may despair at the apparent absence of anything resembling an isumataq in the upper echelons of government,...
First step … let life wash over you

First step … let life wash over you

Nuannaarpoq.com is a small step by an individual. It has taken me so long to get started because this single word strikes me as vast, and so I’ve shied away from venturing into this project. This is partly due to a fault line in my psychological make up, niftily...
Don’t wait too late

Don’t wait too late

This quirky but reasonable injunction correlating wine with life and life with wine comes from a letter Ingrid Bergman received from Erich Maria Remarque, author of the searing All Quiet on the Western Front, about German soldiers in the First World War.  A gentle...

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