Meditations: within reach

Recently I’ve had a certain passage from Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations circulating around in my mind. As with other thoughts that float around in my head, I thought I’d record it here on my blog. I think it’s worth sharing too.

Do not imagine that, if something is hard for you to achieve, it is therefore impossible for any man: but rather consider anything that is humanly possible and appropriate to lie within your own reach too.
(Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, Book 6, Chapter 19)

Perhaps a good reminder in these uncertain and ever-changing times.

Perhaps, also, a good reminder for me as I continue to try to learn how to play the piano!

I wonder what prompted Marcus Aurelius to record this particular meditation. I wonder what could have possibly put self-doubt in the mind of a Roman emperor; or maybe it was just pre-emptive, anticipating the mind’s natural tendency to recoil from difficult and laborious endeavours.

Anyway, I don’t think the passage needs much more explanation, elaboration or deconstruction. Just something to remember in hard times.

what now?

I’ve been avoiding this, but I think it is inevitable that I would write a post about the current pandemic situation. Almost every blogger I follow who is actively posting on a regular basis seems to have written about it or at least mentioned it in passing. And even some who have been inactive for a while have re-emerged to write about it. (Perhaps for something to do during lockdown? Perhaps to help process it all?)

Anyway, I’d been avoiding writing anything about it because there’s so much material circulating. People keep sharing articles and videos and whatnot on social media, and it’s rare to enter into a conversation with someone without the pandemic also entering the conversation.

But I suppose that’s just how it is. I don’t resent that people are talking about it so much. I only lament that it is, indeed, happening.

I think it’s incredible that things can change so quickly. At least, they seem to have changed very quickly. At the end of February, I went interstate to meet my then barely four-week old niece, and to spend time with family. At that time, the virus (and news of it) was spreading, but life was more or less “normal”. I was away from home for three weeks, and the situation evolved so much over that time that I felt like I was returning to a completely new world.

I don’t want to add much more to this because I feel like there’s not much more to say on the matter that hasn’t already been said. I suppose I really only wanted to write about this in order to mark this point in history on my blog, separating pre- and post-pandemic times.

green and blue

Take a moment if you can, and imagine that your world was just green and blue. Push your mind further still, and imagine that every person was either green or blue – not shades of green and shades of blue, but just a singular green or a singular blue.

Now imagine that you could see a colour outside of this green or this blue – maybe something in between, or something new altogether. What if you saw yourself as a different colour, or you saw the people around you in different colours?

But “most people” only see the singular green and the singular blue. There is no word to express or describe the colour you see. The people around you are confused because they don’t see what you see. No one has ever been told that other colours are possible, but you’re sure that you’ve found a third colour.

What then? Continue reading

bodyguard of emotions

This week I just want to share a TED article I read last week.

I don’t think I’m very good at dealing with angry people, but I’ve long thought that there are underlying reasons for anger that are not explicitly expressed and/or consciously known by the angry person. This article confirms this:

Anger is like the bodyguard of emotions … We use anger to push away our hurt and our sadness and our vulnerability

– Susan Adler, pyschotherapist

Read the original article by Daniella Balarezo here:

https://ideas.ted.com/3-ways-to-help-you-be-your-best-self-in-your-relationship/#

(It has some other interesting points too.)

And yes, I get angry sometimes too, but I think it’s something that people can work at controlling and managing in a way that is not hurtful.

simple beatitude

It’s been almost a week since I came to stay with my sister and her family, to meet my new niece and help with child-minding duties while my sister and brother-in-law do other (non-child-related) things. Not everyone’s idea of a restful holiday, but if you’ve worked where I do, you might understand (not to say I don’t like work; it’s just frickin’ tiring sometimes).

As a guest, I’ve been following the routines of the household. Well, most of them. My nephew (who is two years old) has breakfast at 7am, but I don’t sleep anywhere near as early as he does, so I get up a bit later. Still, everyone has lunch at 11am, and then dinner is served at 5pm. Continue reading

now

Since I will not have my usual computer access for the next few weeks, I’m going to do a series of shorter posts. I thought this haiku would be a good one to start with:

Try to stay present.

Not before and not after.

All we have is now.