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.

Gatsby

I have mixed feelings about this book. Or I think I do (?)

I’m afraid that my view of it – as I was reading it, and now that I’ve finished it – was tainted too much by other people’s opinions of it (good and bad), and by having watched the movie (in August last year, I believe).

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meditations – last days

I’ve still been reading Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations, still been carrying it around with me everywhere I go (I always take a book wherever I go – well, almost everywhere). A colleague (now, sadly, ex-colleague) commented the other week, when she saw me walking around at work with it, that she thought I was holding the Bible. I joked to her that it basically was like a bible to me.

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meditations – good luck

I was down in South Australia for the week-end just gone. It was my first time there, but instead of spending any significant time in Adelaide, I stayed in a small town about two hours north-west (?) of the capital. The fiancé of a good friend of mine was having a bucks’ party, except it wasn’t your typical bucks’ party because I was invited (I’m in the bridal party), so was the fiancee, and their respective families (including lots of little kids between 1 and 13 years of age).

We spent time at the beach, where some of them went boating, kayaking, etc; we had plenty of games and activities for all ages; there was a very insightful quiz about the groom-to-be; and his sister had even hired a caterer for a night. I had a great time, and met a lot of really lovely, down-to-earth people with good senses of humour. My kind of people.

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a bird in a tree

I was browsing Post Secret’s Facebook page some time ago, and happened to notice an interesting comment that someone wrote on one of the posts. It included a quote that went something like this:

A bird in a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking because her trust is not in the branch, but in her own wings.

I like this quote because it’s a good analogy, and I appreciate that it involves a bird, and that the bird was referred to as female (which I suppose makes it more relatable somehow because it bestows a feminine strength to the bird rather than a masculine strength…?)

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shadow

I finished reading The Shadow of the Wind last night, and I’ve been thinking all day (between doing normal things, of course) about how I need to write a post about it, and wondering what on earth I’m going to actually write… I’ve already mentioned in a previous post that it’s magnificently written, but, now that I’ve finished the novel in its entirety, I feel like it deserves something more elaborate.

I found my copy of Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s masterpiece at a Lifeline Bookfest at the start of this year. It’s in pretty good condition, and I was amazed that anyone could just give it away (even if it is for charity). Now that I’ve actually read it for myself, I’m even more amazed that the previous owner gave it away. I have every intention of keeping this one forever (although I am open to lending it out to friends).  Continue reading