Take a lucky dip in this refreshing pool of posts, randomly selected like literary Russian roulette (but more fun and much safer). Or filter by category to take a deeper dive into specific themes.  Enjoy!

The soul as musical range

One of the finest phrases in Chinese is zhi yin, which means 'knower of your music', used to describe someone who understands you deeply, and by implication, a soul-mate.  In...

A dream hotel

What more could a host do for travelling guests?   If any hotel chain is clever enough to adopt this as their charter, please let me know; I will go...

Flowering and marking

Dorothy Wordsworth refers to 'flowering and marking', meaning to embroider identification signs on linen.  I recently bought some wonderful, secondhand and fine quality bedlinen, with flowers and monograms beautifully embroidered along...

Wave-worn boulders

An alliterative view of things water-worn over time.  I have a burgeoning collection of sea-smoothed pebbles and fragments of glass rounded and opaqued by beach-abrasion.

'Curled warm on the wave-worn...

A cut above the rest

The clear-cut class divide wasn’t as neat and sharp as the speaker’s comments imply.  In fact, there was some fluidity across class bounds in the case of women being attracted...

Hollowed-out pineapples

Having had refreshing cool drinks out of hollowed-out coconuts, I like hearing of the equivalent in pineapples, and of course, the glorious idea of swimming in water so clear you...

Gallows’ humour

One of the most impressive and humbling aspects of some people living under oppression is their capacity to crack jokes about it.  I am known for having a sense of...

Raven-like croaks

Williamson's lovingly accurate study of otters includes many examples of the playfulness of these animals, be it with each other, with other species, with water, or with inanimate objects.  I...

Appreciation is a better mode for the understanding of achievement than are all the analytical kinds of accounting for the emergence of exceptional individuals.  Appreciation may judge, but always with gratitude, and frequently with awe and wonder.  

By ‘appreciation’ I mean something more than ‘adequate esteem’.  Need also enters into it, in the particular sense of turning to the genius of others in order to redress a lack in oneself, or finding in genius a stimulus to one’s own powers, whatever these may emerge as being.

Source: Harold Bloom, Genius (London: Fourth Estate, 2002), p. 5

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