Image by Patrick Tomasso

Musings

Time waits for no one. Treasure every moment.​

Friendship

Oh the comfort, the inexpressible comfort of feeling safe with a person, having neither to weigh thoughts nor measure words, but pour them all out just as they are, chaff and grain together, and a faithful hand will take and sift them, keep what is worth keeping, and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away. George Eliot

Ten Principles of Craft Robert Fripp

  1. Act from principle

  2. Begin where you are

  3. Define your aim simply, clearly and briefly

  4. Establish the possible and move gradually toward the impossible.

  5. Honour necessity

  6. Honour sufficiency

  7. Offer no violence

  8. Suffer cheerfully

  9. Take out work seriously, but not solemnly.

  10. Without commitment, all rules change

 

Success

To laugh often and much,

To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children,

To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends,

To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others,

To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition,

To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived,

This is to have succeeded.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

True measure

. . . the gross national product includes air pollution and advertising for cigarettes, and ambulances to clear our highway carnage. It counts special locks for our doors, and jails for the people who break them. The gross national product includes the destruction of the redwoods, and the death of Lake Superior. It grows with the production of napalm and missiles and nuclear warheads . . . and includes the broadcasting of television programs that glorify violence to sell goods to our country. And if the gross national product includes all this, there is much that it does not comprehend. It does not allow for the health of our families, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It is indifferent to the decency of our factories and the safety of our streets alike. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of public officials . . . the gross national product measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country. It measures everything, in short, except that which makes life worthwhile. Robert Kennedy

Ten lessons from Noah's Ark

  1. Plan ahead. It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark

  2. Stay Fit. When you’re 600 years old someone may ask you to do something really big.

  3. Don't listen to critics. Just do what has to be done.

  4. For safety's sake, travel in pairs.

  5. Speed isn't always an advantage; cheetahs were on board, but so were the snails.

  6. Don't forget that we're all in the same boat.

  7. Remember that the ark was built by amateurs and the Titanic was built by professionals.

  8. When you're stressed, float awhile.

  9. Don't miss the boat.

  10. No matter how bleak it looks, keep your eye out for a rainbow.

Alan B Warner

A disciple of life

We are born soft and supple,

dead we are stiff and hard.

Therefore, whomever is stiff and inflexible 

is a disciple of death.

Whomever soft and yielding, a disciple of life.

No. 76, Tao Te Ching, Lao Tzu

Time

  • To realise the value of ten years: Ask a newly divorced couple.

  • To realise the value of four years: Ask a graduate.

  • To realise the value of one year: Ask a student who has failed a final exam.

  • To realise the value of nine months: Ask a mother who gave birth to a stillborn.

  • To realise the value of one month: Ask a mother who has given birth to a premature baby.

  • To realise the value of one week: Ask an editor of a weekly newspaper.

  • To realise the value of one hour: Ask the lovers who are waiting to meet.

  • To realise the value of one minute: Ask a person who has missed the train, bus or plane.

  • To realise the value of one second: Ask a person who has survived an accident.

  • To realise the value of one millisecond: Ask the person who has won a silver medal in the Olympics.

Time waits for no one. Treasure every moment.​

Self-help

How to stop time: kiss

How to travel in time: read

How to escape time: music

How to feel time: write

How to release time: breathe

Instructions for life in the new millennium The Dalai Lama

  1. Take into account that great love and great achievements involve great risk.

  2. When you lose, don't lose the lesson.

  3. Follow the three Rs: Respect for self, respect for others, responsibility for all your actions.

  4. Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

  5. Learn the rules so you know how to break them properly.

  6. Don't let a little dispute injure a great friendship.

  7. When you realise you've made a mistake, take immediate steps to correct it.

  8. Spend some time alone everyday.

  9. Open your arms to change, but don't let go of your values.

  10. Remember that silence is sometimes the best answer.

  11. Live a good, honourable life. Then, when you get older and think back, you'll be able to enjoy it a second time.

  12. A loving atmosphere in your home is the foundation for your life.

  13. In disagreements with loved ones, deal only with the current situation.

  14. Don't bring up the past.

  15. Share your knowledge. It's a way to achieve immortality.

  16. Be gentle with the earth.

  17. Once a year, go somewhere you've never been before.

  18. Remember that the best relationship is one in which your love for each other exceeds your need for each other.

  19. Judge your success by what you had to give up in order to get it.

  20. Approach love and cooking with reckless abandon.

Three Things

Three things you can't recover:

The moment after it's missed

The word after it's said

The time after it's wasted or lost

Unknown

Message to the newborn

Be free, be strong, be yourself, be lucky, be proud to be a boy or a girl, be loved and loving. Live among flowers, surrounded by free-flowing waters, live in the sun's warmth, breathing clean air, nourished by moonlight and starlight, know that you are welcome, that you are a precious gift to us, be blessed. Starhawk

What to do?

We live here and now. Everything before and in other places is past. Mostly forgotten. What could, what should be done with all the time that lies ahead of us, open and unshaped, feather-light in its freedom and lead-heavy in its uncertainty? Is it a wish? Dream-like and nostalgic, to stand once again at that point in life and be able to take a completely different direction than the one that has made us who we are? Pascal Mercier, 'Night Train to Lisbon'

Project management for work that matters by Seth

  1. Resist the ad hoc. Announce that this is a project, and that it matters enough to be treated as one.

  2. The project needs a leader, a person who takes responsibility as opposed to waiting for it to be given.

  3. Write it down. All of it. Everything that people expect, everything that people promise.

  4. Send a note confirming that you wrote it down, specifically what you heard, what it will cost and when they will have it or when they promised it.

  5. Show your work. Show us your estimates and your procedures and most of all, the work you're going to share with the public before you ship it.

  6. Keep a log, a notebook, a history of what you've done and how. You'll need it for the next project.

  7. Source control matters. Don't change things while people are reviewing them, because then we both have to do it twice.

  8. Slack is your friend. Slack is cheaper, faster and more satisfying than wishful thinking. Your project will never go as well as you expect, and might take longer than you fear.

  9. Identify and obsess about the critical path. If the longest part of the project takes less time than you planned, the entire project will take less time than you planned.

  10. Wrap it up. When you're done, take the time to identify what worked and what didn't, and help the entire team get stronger for next time.

The Eight Blunders:  The cause of all violence in the world

  1. Wealth without work

  2. Pleasure without conscience

  3. Knowledge without character

  4. Commerce without morality

  5. Science without humanity

  6. Worship without sacrifice

  7. Politics without principles

  8. Rights without responsibilities

Mahatma Gandhi

The change makers 

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things.

John Chapman aka Johnny Appleseed (1774–1845)

A riot is the language of the unheard. Martin Luther King Jnr

 

CONTEXT

If you can . . .

If you can start the day without coffee

If you can be cheerful, ignoring aches and pains,

If you can resist complaining and boring people with your troubles,

If you can eat the same food every day and be grateful for it,

If you can understand when loved ones are too busy to give you time,

If you can overlook when people take things out on you when through no fault of your own, something goes wrong,

If you can take criticism and blame without resentment,

If you can face the world without lies and deceit,

If you can ease tension without medical help,

If you can relax without alcohol,

If you can sleep without the aid of drugs,

Then, you are probably the family dog.

 

A few paraprosdokians

Paraprosdokians are figures of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected and is frequently humorous. (Winston Churchill loved them, apparently.)

 

  1. Where there's a will, I want to be in it.

  2. The last thing I want to do is hurt you . . . but it's still on my list.

  3. If I agreed with you, we'd both be wrong.

  4. War does not determine who is right, only who is left.

  5. I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you.

  6. In filling out an application, where it says, "In case of emergency, notify . . ." I always write "a doctor”.

  7. I used to be indecisive, but now I’m not so sure.

  8. You're never too old to learn something stupid.

  9. I'm supposed to respect my elders, but it's getting harder and harder for me to find one now.

  10. When I want your opinion, I’ll give it to you.

  11. The pleasure was all yours.

  12. These are my principles, and if you don't like them, I have others.

  13. I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn't work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.

  14. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

  15. Some cause happiness wherever they go. Others whenever they go.

  16. If at first you don't succeed, so much for skydiving.

  17. If you lend someone one $20 and never see them again, it was probably worth it.

  18. Sometimes you meet someone and you know from the first moment that you want to spend the rest of your whole life without them.

  19. Hold on to that thought . . . and take it somewhere else.

  20. Take my advice, I don't heed it.

Steven Wright classics

  1. I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize

  2. Borrow money from pessimists, they don't expect it back.

  3. Half the people you know are below average.

  4. 99% of lawyers give the rest a bad name.

  5. 82.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.

  6. A conscience is what hurts when all your other parts feel so good.

  7. A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory.

  8. If you want the rainbow, you've got to put up with the rain.

  9. All those who believe in psychokinesis, raise my hand.

  10. The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

  11. I almost had a psychic girlfriend . . . But she left me before we met.

  12. OK, so what's the speed of dark?

  13. How do you tell when you're out of invisible ink?

  14. If everything seems to be going well, you have obviously overlooked something.

  15. Depression is merely anger without enthusiasm.

  16. When everything is coming your way, you're in the wrong lane.

  17. Ambition is a poor excuse for not having enough sense to be lazy.

  18. Hard work pays off in the future; laziness pays off now.

  19. I intend to live forever . . . So far, so good.

  20. If Barbie is so popular, why do you have to buy her friends?

  21. Eagles may soar, but weasels don't get sucked into jet engines.

  22. What happens if you get scared half to death twice?

  23. A mechanic told me, "I couldn't repair your brakes, so I made your horn louder."

  24. Why do psychics have to ask you for your name?

  25. If at first you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.

  26. A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.

  27. Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

  28. The hardness of the butter is inversely proportional to the softness of the bread.

  29. To steal ideas from one person is plagiarism; to steal from many is research.

  30. The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard.

  31. The sooner you fall behind, the more time you'll have to catch up.

  32. The colder the x-ray table, the more of your body is required to be on it.

  33. Everyone has a photographic memory; some just don't have any film.

  34. I went to a restaurant that serves ’Breakfast At Any Time’. So I ordered French toast during the Renaissance.

The brutal humour of W.C. Fields

  1. I am free of all prejudice. I hate everyone equally.

  2. If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.

  3. It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.

  4. If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.

  5. A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money.

  6. Horse sense is the thing a horse has that keeps it from betting on people.

  7. It is funnier to bend things than to break them.

  8. Remember, a dead fish can float downstream, but it takes a live one to swim upstream.

  9. You can fool some of the people some of the time — and that’s enough to make a decent living.

 

On writing comedy

You have to imagine yourself as not somebody very special, but somebody very ordinary. If you imagine yourself as somebody really normal and if it makes you laugh, it's going to make everybody laugh. If you think of yourself as something very special, you'll end up a pedant and a bore. If you start thinking about what's funny, you won't be funny, actually. It's like walking. How do you walk? If you start thinking about it, you'll trip. Carl Reiner, actor/director

On work

Inspiration is for amateurs — the rest of us just show up and get to work. Chuck Close

 

Show up, show up, show up, and after a while the muse shows up, too. Isabel Allende 

 

A writer who waits for ideal conditions under which to work will die without putting a word on paper. E. B. White

 

A self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood. Tchaikovsky

I want to beg you, as much as I can, dear sir, to be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves like locked rooms and like books that are written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.

Rainer Maria Rilke in a 1903 letter to his protégé, the 19-year-old cadet and budding poet Franz Xaver Kappus

Your preparation for the real world is not in the answers you’ve learned, but in the questions you’ve learned how to ask yourself. Calvin and Hobbes (comic strip) creator Bill Watterson

Everywhere is the centre

The lesson that life constantly enforces is 'Look underfoot.' You are always nearer to the true sources of your power than you think. The lure of the distant and the difficult is deceptive. The great opportunity is where you are. Don't despise your own place and hour. Every place is the centre of the world. John Burroughs

Everything is miraculous

The great lessons from the true mystics, from the Zen monks, is that the sacred is in the ordinary, that it is to be found in one's daily life, in one's neighbours, friends, and family, in one's backyard, and that travel may be a flight from confronting the sacred. To be looking everywhere for miracles is a sure sign of ignorance that everything is miraculous. 

Abraham H. Maslow

Managing stress

  1. Accept the fact that some days you're the pigeon, and some days you're the statue.

  2. Always keep your words soft and sweet, just in case you have to eat them.

  3. It may be that your purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others.

  4. Never put both feet in your mouth at the same time, because then you won't have a leg to stand on.

  5. Since the early bird gets eaten by the bird, sleep late.

  6. Birthdays are good for you. The more you have, the longer you live.

  7. Some mistakes are too much fun to make only once.

  8. We could learn a lot from crayons. Some are pointy, some are worn down, some have odd names, they are all different colours, but they all have to live in the same box.

  9. A truly happy person is one who can enjoy the scenery on a detour.

Unknown

Signs spotted

In a toilet of a London office

TOILET OUT OF ORDER. PLEASE USE FLOOR BELOW.

In a laundromat

AUTOMATIC WASHING MACHINES: PLEASE REMOVE ALL YOUR CLOTHES WHEN THE LIGHT GOES OUT.

In a the basement of a London store

BARGAIN BASEMENT UPSTAIRS

In an office

WOULD THE PERSON WHO TOOK THE STEP LADDER YESTERDAY, PLEASE BRING IT BACK OR FURTHER STEPS WILL BE TAKEN.

In an office

AFTER TEA BREAK STAFF SHOULD EMPTY THE TEAPOT AND STAND UPSIDE DOWN ON THE DRAINING BOARD.

Outside a secondhand shop

WE EXCHANGE ANYTHING: BICYCLES, WASHING MACHINES, ETC. WHY NOT BRING YOUR WIFE ALONG AND GET A WONDERFUL BARGAIN.

In a health food store front window

CLOSED DUE TO ILLNESS

In a wildlife safari park

ELEPHANTS PLEASE STAY IN YOUR CAR

During a conference

FOR ANYONE WHO HAS CHILDREN AND DOESN'T KNOW IT, THERE IS A DAYCARE ON THE FIRST FLOOR.

In a farmer's field

THE FARMER ALLOWS WALKERS TO CROSS THE FIELD FOR FREE, BUT THE BULL CHARGES.

On a leaflet

IF YOU CANNOT READ, THIS LEAFLET WILL TELL YOU HOW TO GET LESSONS.

On a repair shop door

WE CAN REPAIR ANYTHING. (PLEASE KNOCK HARD ON THE DOOR: THE BELL DOESN'T WORK.)

Small changes add up

People who really want to make a difference in the world usually do it, in one way or another. And I've noticed something about people who make a difference in the world. They hold the unshakeable conviction that individuals are extremely important, that every life matters. They get excited over one smile. They are willing to feed one stomach, educate one mind, and treat one wound. They aren't determined to revolutionise the world all at once,; they're satisfied with small changes. Over time, though, the small changes add up. Sometimes they even transform cities and nations and, yes, the world. 

Beth Clark

Let out all the lengths of the reins

Every year I live I am more convinced that the waste of life lies in the life we have not given, the powers we have not used, the selfish prudence that will risk nothing and which, shirking pain, misses happiness as well. No one every yet was the poorer in the long run for having once in a lifetime 'let out all the length of all the reins'. Unknown

Things to learn in life

  1. We get bored being children, are in a rush to grow up and then long to be children again.

  2. We lose our health to make money and then lose our money to restore our health.

  3. By thinking anxiously about the future, we forget the present, such that we live neither in the present nor in the future.

  4. We live as if we will never die, and then die as if we have never lived.

  5. We can't make anyone love us. What we can do is let ourselves be loved.

  6. What is most valuable is not what we have in our lives, but who we have in our lives.

  7. A rich person is not the one who has the most, but the one who needs the least.

  8. It only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in people we love and takes many years to heal them.

  9. There are people in our lives who love us dearly, but simply don't know how to express or show their feelings.

  10. Money can buy everything but happiness.

  11. Two people can look at the same thing and see it totally differently.

  12. A true friend is someone who knows everything about you, but likes you anyway.

  13. It's not always enough to be forgiven by others, we have to forgive ourselves.

  14. People will forget what you've said and what you've done, but they'll never forget how you made them feel.

Paraphrased from An Interview with God

An ocean of truth

I don't know what I may seem to the world. But as to myself, I seem to have been only like a boy playing on the seashore and diverting myself now and then in finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than the ordinary, whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me. Isaac Newton

 

We are all one

Though free to think and act, we are held together, like the stars in the firmament, with ties inseparable. These ties cannot be seen, but we can feel them. For ages this idea has been proclaimed in the consummately wise teachings of religion, probably not alone as a means of ensuring peace and harmony among men, but as a deeply founded truth. The Buddhist expresses it in one way, the Christian in another, but both say the same: We are all one. Nikola Tesla

The hallmark of an open mind is not letting your ideas become your identity.

If you define yourself by your opinions, questioning them is a threat to your identity. If you see yourself as a curious person or a lifelong learner, changing your mind is a moment of growth. Adam Grant

Finding yourself

'Finding yourself' is not really how it works. You aren't a ten-dollar note in last winter's coat pocket. You are also not lost. Your true self is right there, buried under cultural conditioning, other people's opinions, and inaccurate conclusions you draw as a child that became your beliefs about who you are. 'Finding yourself' is actually returning to yourself. An unlearning, an excavation, a remembering who you were before the world got its hands on you. Emily McDowell

Defining your circle

Your friends brag about you, say your name in rooms of opportunity, hold you accountable with softness and love, celebrate your wins as their wins, have more compliments for you than shade, encourage new experiences and growth. This is the basic criteria. Assess your circle. Dana White

All is part of you

When you adopt the viewpoint that there is nothing that exists that is not part of you, that there is no one who exists who isn't part of you, that any judgement you make is self-judgement, that any criticism is self-criticism, you will wisely extend to yourself an unconditional love that will be the light of your world. Harry Palmer

A Medicine Woman's Prayer

I will not rescue you. For you are not powerless.

I will not fix you. For you are not broken.

I will not heal you. For I see you in your wholeness.

I will walk with you through the darkness. As you remember your light.

Partnership

An individual remains an individual, not only from birth to death. We never lose our individuality, we never lose our uniqueness. Each of us is individual and each of us has individual qualities, with individual talents and gifts, and these are not to be surrendered in partnership. Therefore in a spiritual partnership, there is not bondage but freedom. This is not true in a human partnership. In spiritual partnership, where both recognise that in partnering they are setting each other free. This is the only thing I have discovered in thirty years of this work that will make possible such things as happy partnerships, peaceful partnerships, successful partnerships: the ability to set the other free and each live with his/her own individual life and yet share with each other without demanding. Neither partner has any rights over the other, they only have the privilege of giving, but they have no rights to demand anything of the other.

Adapted from Joel Goldsmith Nov. 18, 1959

 

The Laws of . . .

1. Law of Mechanical Repair

After your hands become coated with grease, your nose will begin to itch and you'll have to go to the toilet.

 

2. Law of Small Objects

Any tool, nut, bolt, screw, when dropped, will roll to the least accessible corner of the room.

 

3. Law of Probability

The probability of being watched is directly proportional to the stupidity of the act

 

4. Law of Random Numbers

If you dial a wrong number, you never get a busy signal and someone always answers.

 

5. Law of the Alibi

If you tell your employer you were late for work because you had a flat tyre or the train was cancelled and neither were true, the very next morning you will have a flat tyre or your usual train will be cancelled.

 

6. Variation Law

If you change lines in a queue (or traffic lanes), the one you were in will always move faster than the one you are in now.

 

7. Bath’s Law

When the body is fully immersed in water, the doorbell rings.

 

8. Law of Close Encounters

The probability of meeting someone you know increases dramatically when you are with someone you don't want to be seen with.

 

9. Law of the Result

When you try to prove to someone that a machine won't work, it will.

 

10. Law of Biomechanics

The severity of the itch is inversely proportional to the reach.

 

11. Law of the Performance

At any event, the people whose seats are furthest from the aisle, always arrive last and will leave their seats several times to go for food, drinks, or the toilet. They will also leave early before the end of the performance or sporting event. The people in the aisle seats come early, never move once, have long gangly legs or big bellies, and stay to the bitter end of the performance. They are also very surly.

 

12. The Coffee/Tea Law

As soon as you sit down to a cup of hot coffee or tea, your employer will ask you to do something that will last until the coffee or tea is cold.

 

13. Murphy's Law of Lockers and Lanes

If there are only two people in a locker room, they will have adjacent lockers. If you are lane 1 in a ten-lane swimming pool and there is only one other person swimming in the pool and they are in lane 10, the next person to enter the pool will start swimming in lane 2.

 

14. The Law of Physical Surfaces

The chances of an open-faced jam or peanut butter sandwich landing face down on a floor is directly correlated to the newness and cost of the carpet or rug.

 

15. Law of Logical Argument

Anything is possible if you don't know what you are talking about.

 

16. Brown's Law of Physical Appearance

If the clothes fit, they’ll be ugly. If they are gorgeous, they won't fit.

 

17. Law of Public Speaking

A closed mouth gathers no feet.

 

18. Law of Commercial Marketing Strategy

As soon as you find a product that you really like, they will stop making it.

 

19. Doctors' Law

If you don't feel well and make an appointment to see the doctor, by the time you get there you'll feel better. But if you don't make an appointment, you'll stay sick for days.

No ordinary gratitude

To all green, growing, flowering ones of this beautiful planet, who embody the universal creative healing energy and with each moment, humbly assume the grand task of transforming light into life, and who patiently bear the crude assaults and insults of our misguided ignorance, all in the dream of awakening, we are immeasurably indebted. Without your conscious living presence, nothing, no breath, not food, no life, no delight, none of our earthly endeavours would be possible. Unknown

A place for unlearning

A German scholar met with Sri Ramana Maharshi and announced: “I have come to learn from you.” To which the Indian Hindu sage replied, "Then go elsewhere, because here we teach unlearning. Learning is not our way. If you are ready to unlearn, be here. If you have come to learn more, then this is not the right place. When you come to me, come to unlearn. This is a university for unlearning, a university to create no-mind, a university where whatsoever you know will be taken away. All your knowledge has to be dropped so you become knowing; so your eyes are not filled with theses, or theories, with prejudices, concepts; so your eyes have a clarity, an absolute clarity and transparency; so that you can see. The truth is already there. It has always been there.”