Saturday, March 31, 2012

Quote of the Day

"We must always work, and a self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood. If we wait for the mood, without endeavoring to meet it halfway, we easily become indolent and apathetic. We must be patient, and believe that inspiration will come to those who can master their disinclination. A few days ago I told you I was working every day without any real inspirations. Had I given way to my disinclination, undoubtedly I should have drifted into a long period of idleness. But my patience and faith did not fail me, and today I felt the inexplicable glow of inspiration of which I told you; thanks to which I know beforehand that whatever I write today will have power to make an impression, and to touch the hearts of those who hear it."

- Tchaikovsky

(He is obvioulsy talking about writing music here, but the idea can be extended to the work one does overcoming depression.)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Quote of the Day

"...suddenly the sadness of that place in that time seems something that happened long ago, far away, like a fairy tale I once knew but can no longer recall."

- Neely Tucker (from Love in the Driest Season)

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Quote of the Day

"There's a chance the world might not accommodate your plans; you need to determine whether that's a problem with you or with the world. Just don't expect perfection from either party or life becomes unbearable. And it's not. It's really not."

- from Love that Boy

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Quote of the Day

"To my had not been despair that I had revealed, but rather an affirmation, that the vast ocean of life demanded more than just the dipping of a trepidatious toe. Its infinite depths were to be plunged into, its inestimable fathoms sounded, its boundless waters drunk."

- David Charles Manners (from In the Shadow of Crows)

Sunday, March 18, 2012

A Lamp in the Darkness - Review

A Lamp in the Darkness: Illuminating the Path Through Difficult Times (Jack Kornfield)

I thought this book was very helpful. It was full of inspiring aphorisms that evoked a sense of comfort. Each chapter contains a guided mindfulness exercise all of which possessed an originality in content rather than just reiterating more well known exercises. It also comes with a CD which has audio orations of some of the meditations.

Even though the title mentions difficult times, I don't think one necessarily needs to be suffering to find this book useful; it can also be used as a guide to help understand past experiences more deeply. Some of the work in this book is very difficult emotionally (you may want to work through the exercises with a therapist). I have heard similar statements from many, if not all, self-help books, but never was one able take me on such an emotional journey simply from reading the words. That's not to say other books and exercises aren't useful, just that, personally, I find they take more creativity and work to be as beneficial.

Despite all the positive things I've said here, I wouldn't rely on this book soley as a means of overcoming difficulties, but then I wouldn't recommend any one thing for such purposes.

Final Rating: Of all the self-help type books I've read, if I could only have read one, I think this would be it.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Quote of the Day

I shall become a delicate draught of air
and caress you; and I shall be ripples
in the water when you bathe;
and kiss you and kiss you again.

- Rabindranath Tagore (from The Crescent Moon)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Quote of the Day

Love came,
and became like blood in my body.
It rushed through my veins and
encircled my heart.
Everywhere I looked,
I saw one thing.
Love’s name written
on my limbs,
on my left palm,
on my forehead,
on the back of my neck,
on my right big toe…
Oh, my friend,
all that you see of me
is just a shell,
and the rest belongs to love.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

Quote of the Day

Ecclesiastes 11:1

We must cast our bread
Upon the waters, as the
Ancient preacher said,

Trusting that it may
Amply be restored to us
After many a day.

That old metaphor,
Drawn from rice farming on the
River’s flooded shore,

Helps us to believe
That it’s no great sin to give,
Hoping to receive.

Therefore I shall throw
Broken bread, this sullen day,
Out across the snow,

Betting crust and crumb
That birds will gather, and that
One more spring will come.

- Richard Wilbur