Thursday, January 22, 2015

Thursday miscellany

IMG_20141228_094224‘time on the road means time to read, to think, to reflect.  Especially in winter, I’m not out wandering the streets in search of art and culture, but am more likely indoors stroking my Nexus through newspapers, books, magazines, and blogs. 

So, a selection of what’s recently caught my eye.

DSC00955 - CopyCan you fall in love in 36 questions? I’ve always believed in love, but also know that I can’t choose who loves me nor can I create romantic feelings in another.  But Dr. Arthur Aron found in experiments dating to the 70s that progressive discovery through guided conversation turns the trick.  A NYT reporter re-discovered the research and applied it.  But, on trying it out, I found the questions more disquieting than revealing.  I needed some time to reflect on most of them, and even the simple ones (Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die?) felt layered.  I much prefer the 10-day challenge.

Skeptically.

IMG_20150120_133940I know that I’m thinking deep thoughts when the predictive text can’t anticipate what I’m going to type next.  A sentence like

I trust entirely in the evident demonstration of realities not yet beheld, close to defining psychosis,  for behind both faith and delusion lies unshakable belief.  (McClean)

is beyond the reach of  SwiftKey’s statistics. 

Satisfyingly.

DSC00984My, you’re looking robust, my landlady greeted me.  Brit-speak for “We’ve gained a few over Christmas, haven’t we?”.  I’m well short of 2012’s weight, well over 2013’s dramatic lows, but would like to get back to a moderate twelve stone even. Not a big stretch, but it means getting back on the horse with regular exercise and healthy eating.  I’m getting back to the Leisure Centre daily and experimenting with lighter dinners: some fresh vegetarian soups and steamed Pak Choi/salmon dishes have come out quite nicely. 

Satiated.

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There was a lovely essay about the varieties of grieving in the NYTimes this month.  Increasingly, people I know are suffering losses as the years advance, and its important to remember that everyone has their own story and need to work through things on their own terms.

Sympathetic.

DSC00473 (1300x974)The Eagles Airie 3324 is a comfortable bar and club on the Eastside from Seattle: member only, guests welcome.  The whole concept of an FOE social club is a bit of an anachronism: common in my grandfather’s generation when service clubs like Kiwanis and Rotary united businessmen like Toastmasters or the Chamber of Commerce do today.  I dropped in for beer and burger: it was like an alternate future waiting for me if my businesses failed.  Older folks, football jackets, local gossip, and familiar faces, bonded in a clubhouse.  I don’t think that I could ever put everything aside and simply become that. 

Sobering.

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