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


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

and so it ends

This was just going to be a short post to say that I have, on this day, finished reading Anna Karenina (by Leo Tolstoy, not that I really need to state that), but, as it turns out, I’m not very good at writing short posts (surprise, surprise). Still, I’ll try to keep this kind of short, or at least not terribly long. (It’s less than 700 words – does that count?)

No spoilers here – just some general comments, and quotes from other sources.

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I’m nearing the end of Anna Karenina – I’ve got less than 100 pages to go – and it saddens me so much to know that I must come to the end of this novel that has not only kept me company but comforted me and taught me various things over the last few months. I know I can always just re-read it, and I probably will one day, but there are so many other books I want to read that I’m sure it will be a very, very long time before I do.

The other day when I was reading (probably on the bus on the way to work), I paused for a moment, and looked at the book in my hands – I had the book open, but I was looking at the actual book, not the words on its pages. It brought a sad smile to my face to see how few pages remained in my right hand, while my left hand held all the chapters I’d already read. It was a bittersweet feeling.

I think I mentioned somewhere in a previous post that I wanted to write separate posts for each of the main characters (or, I suppose, for the ones I consider to be main characters) but I wasn’t sure if I would follow through with that idea. I’m still not sure if I will, but, at the very least, I wanted to write one for Levin – Konstantin Dmitrich Levin. [If you choose to read on, please note that there will be spoilers in this post.]  Continue reading

meditations – the merits of others / be the bee

It’s been a while since I did a Meditations post. You could be forgiven for thinking that I’d forgotten or finished with them (you could also be forgiven for forgetting about them altogether). But, no, the book still sits prominently on my desk, and I still flip through it from time to time. Various passages also flit around my mind every so often, and I try to remind myself of the things that I learnt from these writings of Marcus Aurelius.

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two quotes

When I read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night last year, I hadn’t expected that it would have such a long-lasting impact on me.

Since early last year some time (?) I’ve been keeping a book of quotes. It’s just a random notebook in which I record quotes from books and other places – quotes that made me pause, or that lingered in my mind long after I’d turned the page. Perhaps they are particularly well-worded or poetic, but the main reason I record them is because I can relate and can see the truth in them.

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