Bird by Bird

I’ve been reading Anne Lamott’s Bird by Bird. I borrowed a copy from the library, on a whim, several weeks ago. I’d heard about it before – I’d heard really good things about it. I’ve seen one of her TED Talks, and she seems like a really genuine, down-to-earth person. She seems like someone I could learn a lot from.

(Arguably, you could learn a lot from just about anyone. It just depends on whether you actually want to learn those things or not.)

I probably hadn’t even finished the introduction before I started considering getting a copy of my own. I almost made it halfway before I decided to buy my own copy, and returned the one I was reading to the library.  Continue reading


meditations – saying no …or not?

There is a lot in Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations that I found revelatory, or at least that I agreed with whole-heartedly or otherwise found value in. You only have to read through the many “meditations” posts that I’ve done since last year to see proof of that. For the most part, what he wrote 2000 years ago still seems relevant today.

There are, however, a few things that I do not agree with, that I don’t think is applicable to modern times, or that I find somewhat perplexing. One of these things is the question of when to say no.  Continue reading

a few thoughts on water

Walking through the rain the other day, I was thinking about the sensory assault one can receive from rain: The sight of it can be daunting or magnificent. The smell and feel of it might be refreshing or dampening to the spirits. And there’s always the sound – rhythmic and relentless.

Now and then, when I ruminate about rain in this way, I’m reminded of a lesson I received in Grade 2.  Continue reading

pigeon / peregrine

In Birds Art Life Death, Kyo Maclear makes mention of peregrine falcons. For those not familiar with this particular bird, it is best known for being the fastest animal on Earth, reaching speeds of 320-390km/h (depending on what source you go by) when diving for prey. I knew that fun fact since I was a kid (the fact that it’s the fastest, not the actual figures, of course).

Yet, even with my fascination with birds, I never knew much about peregrine falcons apart from the fact that they are so fast. I never thought to read up on this impressive bird, content with knowing that one fact. I’d always preferred eagles, anyway – probably I thought falcons appeared too lithe in comparison. (Probably a terrible generalisation, but I was just a kid, ok?)  Continue reading

a quiet discovery

I’m not a very good gardener. I’m not even a mediocre gardener. Amateur-ish at best (?) It’s not a huge passion of mine, but I have an appreciation for gardening and the value of having plants and trees around. I wouldn’t want to live somewhere void of greenery, but I will admit to plants not surviving my neglect and general ignorance of how to care for them.

Still, some do alright. Some even thrive.  Continue reading

Birds Art Life Death

Last year I went to the Brisbane Writers Festival, and attended a panel discussion in which I practically fell in love with a book I’d never heard of before, let alone read: Birds Art Life Death by Kyo Maclear. All it took was for Maclear to talk about the book a bit, and I knew this was something I had to read. And it wasn’t that she was just really good at pitching it – she was just explaining what the book was about, and it seemed to be everything I wanted to read.  Continue reading