Of great men and kindness

Of great men and kindness

An interesting take on greatness as an obstacle to kindness, since kindness requires swerving from your path.  Something to think about with our sometimes obsessive focus on focus and purpose and being ‘results-oriented’.  And if it prevents taking time...
As softly as …

As softly as …

What a place, what a time, the two idyllic years Durrell spent in Rhodes after the war.  His account is full of lyrical descriptions of scenes and sounds, and what could be more enchanting than having your days drop in as he describes. In Rhodes the days drop as...
Time-shrinking phrase

Time-shrinking phrase

A striking triologism for a phrase which arrests and compresses time, as indeed, Heaney’s does.  ‘… monsters that stalk the night, in Seamus Heaney’s time-shrinking phrase, ‘as a kind of dog-breath in the dark’. Source: Adam...
Of time and trees

Of time and trees

Saint-Exupéry shows starkly how war changes the calculus on a sixpence. Trees which have been nurtured and enjoyed for hundreds of years, slowly expanding their beneficient presence through seasons of growing, suddenly become a momentary obstacle to a minute piece of...
It will do what it is supposed to do

It will do what it is supposed to do

Listening time: 7 minutes.  This marvelous prose-poem comes from a travel book by the Polish journalist Ryszard Kapuscinski, who toured a number of Soviet Union states in the 1960s. In Georgia he meets a maker of cognac, and proceeds with a beautiful account of the...
In this mottie, misty clime

In this mottie, misty clime

Today is just as Burns describes in his poem ‘The Vision’, all ‘mottie’, misty and conducive to looking back and pondering time wasted.  This verse has a tripping rhyme and light footfall, giving it a playful touch, though the despondency it...
Mule meets Hamlet

Mule meets Hamlet

Grossman has a wonderful capacity to imagine the minds and feelings of animals, and while chronicling the horrors of man’s inhumanity to man, doesn’t forget to notice cruelty to animals, nor their staunch resilience and cleverness. In this short story, he...
Slow-drifting years

Slow-drifting years

Something memorable fresh and sharp in the mind even after many ‘slow-drifting years’. An unusual concept as for me, and many people I know, the years are anything but slow or drifting, more like ‘arrow-darting’, or ‘fast-flying’. ...
Slaves to the sun?

Slaves to the sun?

While for the most part these twin sisters are nothing short of bonkers, I liked when one of them questioned the tyranny of time, speaking with splendid disregard for the sun of day and moon of night.For other examples of their more eccentric exchanges, see how they...
Summary impatience

Summary impatience

I liked this sharp injunction to Dante to hurry up and spit it out. You can imagine an impatient parent or schoolmaster snapping at a nervous, faltering child, a chronological equivalent to the commonly heard exasperation: ‘I’m not made of money, you...
The art of story-telling

The art of story-telling

Henry Miller is himself a wonderful writer, and this comment about a critical element of successful story-telling took me by surprise. While I am not sure what to make of it, I’ve also turned it over in my mind to see if it would serve as a license to take...
From mud to spirit

From mud to spirit

Yes, there is much you can do to transmute mud into brightness if you have enough time. I love the variety of interpretations I find regarding time and our relationship to it, and here it is cast at its most helpful, as the element that can ‘ripen all’. Of...
Man in a hurry

Man in a hurry

Jesus lays out a few ground rules to Judas whom, it seems, could have done with a dose of quinuituq. I loved this lesson in patience, and the idea that men and trees are bound by the same laws of God. “If you love me, be patient.  Look at the trees.  Are they in...
Writing time and speeding clocks

Writing time and speeding clocks

Any absorbing activity has this magical effect of taking you almost outside of time, until you look at the clock and feel as if it’s speeded ahead. It seemed appropriate to share this after we have put the clocks forward for summer. ‘Time never passes so...

Pin It on Pinterest