The greatest satisfaction you can obtain from life is your pleasure in producing, in your own individual way, something of value to your fellowmen. That is creative living!
When we consider that each of us has only one life to live, isn’t it rather tragic to find men and women, with brains capable of comprehending the stars and the planets, talking about the weather; men and women, with hands capable of creating works of art, using those hands only for routine tasks; men and women, capable of independent thought, using their minds as a bowling-alley for popular ideas; men and women, capable of greatness, wallowing in mediocrity; men and women, capable of self-expression, slowly dying a mental death while they babble the confused monotone of the mob?
Humour, chocolate, Nobel Prize for physics... connection?
"Eric Cornell, who won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2001, told Reuters: ‘I attribute essentially all my success to the very large amount of chocolate that I consume. Personally I feel that milk chocolate makes you stupid… dark chocolate is the way to go. It’s one thing if you want a medicine or chemistry Nobel Prize but if you want a physics Nobel Prize it pretty much has got to be dark chocolate.’
But when More or Less contacted him to elaborate on this comment, he changed his tune.
'I deeply regret the rash remarks I made to the media. We scientists should strive to maintain objective neutrality and refrain from declaring our affiliation either with milk chocolate or with dark chocolate,' he said.
'Now I ask that the media kindly respect my family's privacy in this difficult time.'”
- from an article about a study investigating the correlation between chocolate consumption and winning the Nobel Prize by Franz Messerli of Colombia University
About suffering they were never wrong, The old Masters: how well they understood Its human position; how it takes place While someone else is eating or opening a window or just walking dully along; How, when the aged are reverently, passionately waiting For the miraculous birth, there always must be Children who did not specially want it to happen, skating On a pond at the edge of the wood: They never forgot That even the dreadful martyrdom must run its course Anyhow in a corner, some untidy spot Where the dogs go on with their doggy life and the torturer’s horse Scratches its innocent behind on a tree.
In Breughel’s Icarus, for instance: how everything turns away Quite leisurely from the disaster; the ploughman may Have heard the splash, the forsaken cry, But for him it was not an important failure; the sun shone As it had to on the white legs disappearing into the green Water, and the expensive delicate ship that must have seen Something amazing, a boy falling out of the sky, Had somewhere to get to and sailed calmly on.
Organic Gardening Spray for Insect Pests, Rust, Powdery Mildew...
I use this mixture to get rid of all garden pests (aphids, white fly, etc.) — just spray it over them. It’s also good for powdery mildew, rust and some fungus problems.
1 litre water 2 teaspoons bicarbonate of soda (aka: baking soda) 1 drop horticultural or vegetable oil 1 drop biodegradable washing up liquid (“dish soap” for our American friends!)
Shake well to mix everything together & dissolve the bicarbonate of soda.
Spray in the morning to reduce the risk of foliage being burned in intense sunshine before it dries. You might want to test it on a leaf first (spray, wait for 24 hours, see if leaf is happy) — especially if it’s a delicate plant. Spray both sides of leaves and stems, reapply every couple weeks or after rain (as this just washes it off). Works best when applied in the early stages of the problem.
The baking soda makes the surfaces of the plant alkaline. Spores of powdery mildew, rust and black spot don’t germinate well in an alkaline environment. I forget what it does to insect pests, but it works on them quite well!
Also, I’ve read that this mixture doesn’t harm beneficial insects ( e.g.: tiny predatory wasps, ladybird beetles).
Schopenhauer's Porcupines, or, how to manage your spiky pigs
What is a “Stachelschweine” exactly? It seems to literally translate as a “spiky pig” which I think is great. If it were up to me, we’d stop right there. Most people, though, seem to have gone with porcupine, while a few seem to think it should be hedgehog. (But then it might get tangled up with Berlin’s fox and hedgehog… which would certainly end in chaos or, at the very least, hurt feelings all round.) Anyhow, whatever you want to call your spiky pigs, I think it’s excellent advice on how to get along with other humans.
Light flows our war of mocking words, and yet, Behold, with tears mine eyes are wet! I feel a nameless sadness o’er me roll. Yes, yes, we know that we can jest, We know, we know that we can smile; But there ‘s a something in this breast, To which thy light words bring no rest, And thy gay smiles no anodyne; Give me thy hand, and hush awhile, And turn those limpid eyes on mine, And let me read there, love! thy inmost soul.
Alas! is even love too weak To unlock the heart, and let it speak? Are even lovers powerless to reveal To one another what indeed they feel? I knew the mass of men conceal’d Their thoughts, for fear that if reveal’d They would by other men be met With blank indifference, or with blame reprov’d; I knew they liv’d and mov’d Trick’d in disguises, alien to the rest Of men, and alien to themselves—and yet The same heart beats in every human breast. But we, my love—does a like spell benumb Our hearts—our voices?—must we too be dumb?
Ah! well for us, if even we, Even for a moment, can get free Our heart, and have our lips unchain’d; For that which seals them hath been deep-ordain’d!
Fate, which foresaw How frivolous a baby man would be, By what distractions he would be possess’d, How he would pour himself in every strife, And well-nigh change his own identity; That it might keep from his capricious play His genuine self, and force him to obey, Even in his own despite his being’s law, Bade through the deep recesses of our breast The unregarded River of our Life Pursue with indiscernible flow its way; And that we should not see The buried stream, and seem to be Eddying at large in blind uncertainty, Though driving on with it eternally.
But often, in the world’s most crowded streets, But often, in the din of strife, There rises an unspeakable desire After the knowledge of our buried life, A thirst to spend our fire and restless force In tracking out our true, original course; A longing to inquire Into the mystery of this heart which beats So wild, so deep in us, to know Whence our lives come and where they go. And many a man in his own breast then delves, But deep enough, alas, none ever mines! And we have been on many thousand lines, And we have shown, on each, spirit and power, But hardly have we, for one little hour, Been on our own line, have we been ourselves; Hardly had skill to utter one of all The nameless feelings that course through our breast, But they course on for ever unexpress’d. And long we try in vain to speak and act Our hidden self, and what we say and do Is eloquent, is well—but ‘tis not true! And then we will no more be rack’d With inward striving, and demand Of all the thousand nothings of the hour Their stupefying power; Ah yes, and they benumb us at our call! Yet still, from time to time, vague and forlorn, From the soul’s subterranean depth upborne As from an infinitely distant land, Come airs, and floating echoes, and convey A melancholy into all our day. Only—but this is rare— When a belovèd hand is laid in ours, When, jaded with the rush and glare Of the interminable hours, Our eyes can in another’s eyes read clear, When our world-deafen’d ear Is by the tones of a lov’d voice caress’d— A bolt is shot back somewhere in our breast And a lost pulse of feeling stirs again! The eye sinks inward, and the heart lies plain, And what we mean, we say, and what we would, we know, A man becomes aware of his life’s flow, And hears its winding murmur, and he sees The meadows where it glides, the sun, the breeze.
And there arrives a lull in the hot race Wherein he doth for ever chase The flying and elusive shadow, Rest. An air of coolness plays upon his face, And an unwonted calm pervades his breast. And then he thinks he knows The hills where his life rose, And the Sea where it goes.
I am often filled with wonder when I see some men demanding the time of others and those from whom they ask it most indulgent. Both of them fix their eyes on the object of the request for time, neither of them on the time itself; just as if what is asked were nothing, what is given, nothing.
Men trifle with the most precious thing in the world; but they are blind to it because it is an incorporeal thing, because it does not come beneath the sight of the eyes, and for this reason it is counted a very cheap thing—nay, of almost no value at all.
Men set very great store by pensions and doles, and for these they hire out their labour or service or effort. But no one sets a value on time; all use it lavishly as if it cost nothing. But see how these same people clasp the knees of physicians if they fall ill and the danger of death draws nearer, see how ready they are, if threatened with capital punishment, to spend all their possessions in order to live!
So great is the inconsistency of their feelings. But if each one could have the number of his future years set before him as is possible in the case of the years that have passed, how alarmed those would be who saw only a few remaining, how sparing of them would they be! And yet it is easy to dispense an amount that is assured, no matter how small it may be; but that must be guarded more carefully which will fail you know not when.
The following is a transcript of the hand-written text on this postcard found by @kishimi in a book he bought. It’s dated May 10, 1939. It isn’t easy to read, but I think I have most of it right.
Dear Nedo (?) —
Missed you Easter week — glad to see [?] are through. M.L. came down and asked about you. Can’t say that I will see you this weekend at S.B. either — still not one of the select few. Why not come up for a quiet weekend and ball game sometime? Expect to be down in June for about a week. Best to get out some good whiskey and a band. Will probably go up to Wam[?]ton Sat. just for the day. Remember me to Orlie (?) Don’t blame me for the card, you got me started. Try to get up Sat. if not going to S.B.
passionate delight in rhythms, sounds and patterns
"Poetry is at once a very primitive and a very subtle thing – an expression of our fundamentally human and passionate delight in rhythms, sounds and patterns, and also of our sophisticated need for ingenuity. It is the written form that puts us most deeply in touch with ourselves, because it is a hotwire to our strongest feelings. … The appetite for poetry is fundamental to us as human beings.
"What on earth have we done, producing an education system in this country which allows the majority of people, by the time they hit puberty, to think otherwise?"
Sewell sees language as caught between two competing desires:
1) The desire to say more, to include more in our utterance, to speak profound, universal, and overwhelming truths. To do that, we have to broaden our language so that it can accommodate everything we try to put into it. However, the problem is that the more we try to include, the more disordered — even chaotic — our language becomes.
2) The desire to be clearer, more precise, more specific, and more rational — to say something that cannot be misunderstood, that has the purity of mathematical or logical formulae. However, the problem is that the more ordered we want our language to be, the more we must leave out and the closer we come to falling silent entirely.
With no consideration, no pity, no shame, they have built walls around me, thick and high. And now I sit here feeling hopeless. I can’t think of anything else: this fate gnaws my mind- because I had so much to do outside. When they were building the walls, how could I not have noticed! But I never heard the builders, not a sound. Imperceptibly they have closed me off from the outside world.
C. P. Cavafy: Collected Poems - George Savidis (Editor), Edmund Keeley (Translator), Philip Sherrard (Translator) ISBN-10: 0691015376 | ISBN-13: 978-0691015378