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Legacy

On Being Halcyon In Kal… 6 September 2016

For my late Uncle Denis, who passed away 10 years ago, for his loved ones, and for yours. Now, while we still have the time - i.e. now - we just have to "Be, as a page that aches for a word, which speaks on a theme that is timeless".

On Creativity

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"I have no reader in mind - the reader is me as I re-read" - Philip Roth

Roth's words resonate, and feel comfortable, to those of us who are still, slowly working ourselves out on the page.  We don't necessarily need comments, feedback...not yet, anyway.

However, as Oliver Wendell Holmes once said, "many people die with their music still in them", so to avoid that sense of feeling, ultimately, unfulfilled, perhaps we should urgently try and find ways to create an authentic outward expression of the inner one, even whenthat vision is problematic, or even nightmarish, as in Hieronymus Bosch's Garden of Earthly Delights in the Prado in Madrid.

See also:

On Ancestry

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 "If the past is replayed too fast, life seems futile, and humanity resembles water flowing from a tap, straight down the drain.  A film of history for today needs to be in slow motion, showing every person who ever lived as a star, though dimly visible in a night sky, a history still unexplored" - Theodore Zeldin, An Intimate History of Humanity

A call to action. Time to explore these unexplored histories together. 

On Balance

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The idea that life should be one third learn, one third earn, one third return is attractive, even if not necessarily complete (where is the time for playing, for reflecting, for relaxing etc?), and provides a neat encapsulation of Charles Handy's advice that we should carefully "chunk" our time in order to lead a "portfolio life". 

Others are trying to scale this idea to the societal level, advocating living in intentional communities.

Inspired by a dying man's legacy to the young

In the last months of his life, a physically weakened Christopher Hitchens travelled to the Texas Freethought Convention and while there, an eight-year-old girl asked Hitchens what books she should consider reading. Intrigued, Hitchens spent 15 minutes chatting with the youngster and sketching out a reading list (below). His last words to her? "Lots of love...remember the love bit..."

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We can so easily slip back from what we have struggled to attain, abruptly, into a new life we never wanted- can find that we are trapped, as in a dream, and die there, without ever waking up - Rainer Maria Rilke http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rilke

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The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts- and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs - George Eliot, Middlemarch

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Your body is a ghost factory that takes one lifetime to produce a ghost - @aRealLiveGhost