“Memory collapses time, novelty unfolds it.
You can exercise daily and eat healthy, and live a long life, while experiencing a short one. If you spend your life sitting in a cubicle and passing papers, one day is bound to blend unmemorably into the next – and disappear. That’s why it’s important to change routines regularly, and take vacations to exotic locales, and have as many new experiences as possible that can serve to anchor our memories. Creating new memories stretches our psychological time, and lengthens our perceptions of our lives” (77).
from Moonwalking with Einstein: The Art & Science of Remembering Everything by Joshua Foer
In a summary of the book, Amazon notes, “On average, people squander forty days annually compensating for things they’ve forgotten. Joshua Foer used to be one of those people. But after a year of memory training, he found himself in the finals of the U.S. Memory Championship. Even more important, Foer found a vital truth we too often forget: In every way that matters, we are the sum of our memories.”
So do something beyond your routine: read a book – maybe this one, hike a new path, talk to someone outside your circle . . . Make today – and tomorrow – memorable.
P.S. Thanks for recommending this book, Esther.
One of the pleasures of the year-end holidays is catching up with friends who live near and far, some even continents away.
Here are great messages from a few of those friends:
Rebecca, Kundalini teacher in Bali, says, “Open your heart. Bow to beauty, bow to truth, bow to love. Whatever doesn’t serve you, shake it off.”
Harvey, 80+ year-old Servas and Quaker Friend from rural Minnesota, sent along these two quotations that seem particularly apt for 2017:
“Power concedes nothing without demand. It never has and never will.”
– Fredrick Douglass
“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”
– Benjamin Franklin
Kristine from Chicago reports, “So–things are good here . . . in fact, I have moments of unbelievable happiness . . . I bet you do too!”
May 2017 bring many blessings to you and your family and community – wherever you are. May you feel unbelievable happiness, work for justice, and open your heart in 2017 and beyond.
“Death is a strange thing. People live their whole lives as if it does not exist, and yet it’s often one of the great motivations for living. Some of us, in time, become so conscious of it that we live harder, more obstinately, with more fury. Some need its constant presence to even be aware of its antithesis. Other become so preoccupied with it that they go into the waiting room long before it has announced its arrival. We fear it, yet most of us fear more than anything that it may take someone other than ourselves. For the greatest fear of death is always that it will pass us by. And leave us there alone” (325)
From Fredrik Backman’s A Man Called Ove.
“The biggest room is —
the room for improvement.”
We all have work to do.
- quotation from The Bali Advertiser, 14-28, Sept. 2016, p. 35.
Since President Abraham Lincoln declared it a national holiday in 1863, those of us in the United States have been celebrating Thanksgiving Day on the final Thursday in November. We give thanks and count our many blessings – and usually eat too much with family and friends.
One important blessing is our many farmers who provide the food we eat.
A way to become more conscious and make more informed choices about the food we have offered is to get to know our local farmers and their concerns.
If you live in Hawaii, a great way to do that is to join the Hawaii Farmers Union United, a vital community group. Whether you are a family farmer, an avid backyard gardener, or just like to know where you can get good local produce, HFUU offers wonderful workshops, informative meetings, and works on important agricultural concerns.
For more information and to join, go to: https://hfuuhi.org/
Current President of Maui Farmers Union United and Vice President of Hawaii State Farmers Union United, Vincent Mina says about the challenges of farming (and everything else),
“If you do anything substantive, it will be hard. Just get on with it.”
Wherever you are in the world, check out what your farmers are doing. “Get on with it.”
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family — and all who provide for you.
“The more I handled things
and learned their names and uses
the more joyous and confident
grew my sense of kinship with the rest of the world”
– Helen Keller
I live my life in widening circles
that reach out across the world.
I may not complete this last one
but I give myself to it.
I circle around God, around the primordial tower.
I’ve been circling for thousands of years
and I still don’t know: am I a falcon,
a storm, or a great song?
Book of Hours, I 2
-Rilke translation from Krista Tippett’s interview with Joanna Macy
René Karl Wilhelm Johann Josef Maria Rilke —better known as Rainer Maria Rilke —was a Bohemian-Austrian poet and novelist, “widely recognized as one of the most lyrically intense German-language writing in both verse and highly lyrical prose. Several critics have described Rilke’s work as inherently “mystical”. His writings include one novel, several collections of poetry, and several volumes of correspondence in which he invokes haunting images that focus on the difficulty of communion with the ineffable in an age of disbelief, solitude, and profound anxiety. These deeply existential themes tend to position him as a transitional figure between the traditional and the modernist writers. <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rainer_Maria_Rilke>