Tag: Inspiration

Echoes through time: the things that fortune favours

All the things that fortune favours become fruitful and pleasant only if those who possess them are also in possession of themselves and not in the power of heir property. It is a mistake to judge fortune responsible for anything that is good or bad for us. Fortune merely gives us the material for good and bad things—the preliminaries for what will turn out to be either good or bad within us.

Seneca (4 BC – AD 65),  Moral Letters to Lucilius (98.2)

Music, food, books, life – @HardenKurt

All life is at Cultural Offering, including…

Common sense and a sense of humour are the same thing, moving at different speeds. A sense of humour is just common sense, dancing. Those who lack humour are without judgement and should be trusted with nothing.

Clive James

and…

“Simplicity is the final achievement. After one has played a vast quantity of notes and more notes, it is simplicity that emerges as the crowning reward of art.”

Frédéric Chopin

Among the many gems I’ve gathered from Kurt is the Frank Sinatra album, In The Wee Small Hours.

I discovered only yesterday that the cover of Tom Waits’ The Heart of Saturday Night was based on the sleeve of the Sinatra album.

Image: Kurt Harden.

Reminders for life…

Dip into these insights and reminders from Nicholas Bate…

Life Reminder 23

Play more music, more often. It can only make you feel better.

Life Reminder 22

The deepest thinking coincides with the most brisk of walking. Rain or shine.

Life Reminder 18

Whatever you do, do it well. You feel good and you become indispensable.

Seek out the rest, and more, here.

Photo by Simon Noh on Unsplash

What’s your métier?

This from chef Rick Stein’s Secret France.

In passing Stein remarks that in France, rather than asking “What do you do?”, people ask “What’s your métier?”—literally, what are you master of?

We should all aspire to be masters of our chosen profession.

I’m pretty sure it was episode 2: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000b8sb .

The book’s here, but I suspect, it won’t help. Great recipes, though.

Image: BBC

Downtime: Happy by @DerrenBrown

Stoicism for the modern world, death to the self-help book industry, and a healthy scepticism towards social media.

Happy: Why more or less everything is absolutely fine by Derren Brown is superb. It’s beautifully written, wonderfully observed, both philosophical and practical (which once upon a time were one and the same thing). Very thought-provoking.

I think I first heard of Happy from a Donald Robertson interview and it treads similar ground to How to Think Like A Roman Emperor. However, it does so in a completely different way.

I particularly enjoyed Chapter 5, A (Very) Brief History of Happiness.

Thoroughly recommended.

On music – Derren Brown

Bach’s music needs to be unlocked; its emotional content, when discovered, is somehow in and of itself, and uniquely musical. Much of it is deeply confessional. By contrast, Romantic music now seemed to create a broader emotional landscape: that of falling in love, spending a night on a bare mountain, suffering in turmoil or throwing oneself off a parapet. Instead of experiencing those things for ourselves, we are given music that stirs and excites the corresponding emotions within us. Thus the refrains of the Romantics are often more accessible, yielding their power more or less immediately. Those of us who prefer the earlier mode might even say this emotional mode became a mere substitute for experience, and that the unique, private experience of music was diminished.

Derren Brown, Happy (p152)

On a separate note, I love the above portrait, borrowed from DerrenBrown.co.uk. It’s so rich. And, I’m not at all jealous of the laddered library, nor of the impressive amp in the background. No, I’m not.

More on Derren Brown, here.

Image: http://derrenbrown.co.uk/derren/