ber-at maður brautu að
en sé manvit mikð;
vegur-a hann velli að
en sé ofdrykkja öls."
Than good sense
A traveler cannot carry.
A worse burden
Than too much drink,
A traveler cannot carry."
-- from "Hávamál"
"I wondered if that was how forgiveness budded; not with the fanfare of epiphany, but with pain gathering its things, packing up, and slipping away unannounced in the middle of the night." -- Khaled Hosseini, The Kite Runner
[Eid Mubarak, to everyone celebrating Eid ul-Fitr today or tonight!]
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2014-07-16:
"I am fascinated by how political the lives of chimps are, and how much they are defined by tyranny and revolt. When a leader or a bully exerts relentless force over a group, the group lives in fear. There is submission but also constant deceit and subterfuge among those trying to find some small satisfaction behind the back of the alpha." -- Colin McAdam, whose 2013 novel A Beautiful Truth featured chimp characters.
(submitted to the mailing list by Mike Krawchuk)
"For the great enemy of the truth is very often not the lie -- deliberate, contrived, and dishonest -- but the myth -- persistent, persuasive, and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the cliches of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.
"Mythology distracts us everywhere -- in government as in business, in politics as in economics, in foreign affairs as in domestic affairs. But today I want to particularly consider the myth and reality in our national economy. In recent months many have come to feel, as I do, that the dialog between the parties -- between business and government, between the government and the public -- is clogged by illusion and platitude and fails to reflect the true realities of contemporary American society."
[Sometimes I run across a quotation that sounds interesting but a little suspicious, and when I track it down to make sure it's attributed correctly I discover that it's actually a wee fragment of something much better, and I can serve y'all better by quoting a larger-than-bumper-sticker-sized chunk. This was one of those.]
From Damiano's Lute by R.A. MacAvoy (1984, Bantam Books, New York)
Gaspare leaped over a freshet and helped his friend after. His spare face was transfigured, and his prominent eyes stood out. "Is this magic?" he hissed back. "Real magic? The goosegirl cannot see us?"
Damiano nodded. "But that is not to say she cannot hear us talk." But even he could not resist adding, "Well, what do you think of magic -- real magic?"
The boy made an owl face. "It is silly! And in terrible taste. But if it works, it's wonderful, of course."
"Of course. All wonderful things are silly, and most are in abysmal taste."
"I think there must be something akin to the Kübler-Ross model of grieving for politics. The first stage is idealistic enthusiasm, followed by uncomfortable compromises, followed by disillusionment, then hatred, then despair, then more hatred, and finally maniacal, endless laughter." -- sabotabby, 2014-07-01
"Armstrong described the lunar surface as 'beautiful.' I thought to myself, 'It's not really beautiful. It's magnificent that we're here, but what a desolate place we are visiting.'" -- Buzz Aldrin (b. 1930-01-20, set foot on the Moon in the wee hours of 1969-07-21 UTC (or very late on 1969-07-20 Eastern Time) along with Neil Armstrong)
[It's funny how little I remember all that clearly from when I was six years old, but I do remember watching television coverage of the Apollo missions, and noting when the astronauts would be out of contact with Earth, and trying to figure out if there was a way I could listen in to any of the conversations between the astronauts and Ground Control on a transistor radio or a walkie-talkie.]
From the Quotation of the day mailing list, 2014-07-13:
"Guitar is the easiest instrument in the world to learn to play badly." -- Andres Segovia
(submitted to the mailing list by Terry Labach)
"Something I say is that theology is wonderful when it's people saying, 'Look what I think I glimpsed about God!' And silly when it's people providing God with job descriptions and limitations. Like 'God does not forgive [list].'" -- Mary Ann Dimand (@maryanndimand), 2014-07-13 (originally a series of four tweets)
[Though she doesn't read this, I'll wish Mom a happy birthday here anyhow in case any of our relatives could use a wee reminder that this'd be a good day to phone her. ;-) ]
"From the start, when it was the instrument of the wood-god Pan, the flute has been associated with pure (some might say impure) energy. Its sound releases something naturally untamed, as if a squirrel were let loose in a church." -- Seamus Heaney (b. 1939-04-13, d. 2013-08-30)
Happy birthday to xpioti!
"Believe it or not, for seniors loneliness is a bigger killer than smoking or obesity. There's lots of research now, which correlates social isolation with higher death rates and greater incidence of dementia. The reality is that we need to stay socially connected, if we want to stay healthy." -- Andrew Dowling, creator of the Tapestry app and Stitch web service, interviewed by Monica Heisey, "Finally! A Tinder for Seniors Is in the Works", Vice, 2014-05-29
To my friends observing Shiv'a Asar B'Tammuz, as well those who are in the middle of observing Ramadan, may you have an easy fast.
Gregorian: 2014 July 15
Julian: 2014 July 02
Hebrew: 5774 Tammuz 17
Islamic: 1435 Ramadan 17
Persian: 1393 Tir 24
Indian: 1936 Asadha 24
"There are a lot of similarities between punk and old-time music. Both are home-brewed music as opposed to schooled, and both have an earthy energy. And anybody can pick up an instrument and start playing." -- Tommy Ramone (b. 1949-01-29, d. 2014-07-11), of the bluegrass duo Uncle Monk and the influential punk-rock band The Ramones
"Dreaming remains something of an enigma. The vast majority of dreams are never remembered, yet humans spend about 10 percent of their lives dreaming. Is a dream that is not interpreted like a letter that has not been read, as the Talmud suggests? Or are most dreams junk mail?" -- Richard M. Coleman, Wide Awake at 3:00 A.M.: By Choice or by Chance (1986, W.H. Freeman and Company, New York; LC: QP84.6.C65 1986; ISBN: 0-7167-1796-4)