Commonplace books (or commonplaces) are a way to compile knowledge, usually by writing information into books. They were journals but mostly scrapbooks of ideas, things observed, and things to remember. By the 1600s, commonplacing had become a recognized practice that was formally taught to college students in such institutions as Oxford. Beautiful blank books are still available for this purpose but the internet is so much more interesting as the content is shared.
even if it is not an invasive species - as Joni Mitchell said there is a hiss of summer lawns - verdant - the vines on my trellis grow 3" a day - when I come home there is a new length waving at me - laughting
reminds me of the Borg but it is all natural - all natural equals good, wholesome - yummy in the tummy - eat'em up gone
I moved out of the South more than 40 years ago and struggled with that part of my history for a long time. There are things I love about the South and things I am no longer willing to put up with. I can find those bad things where I live now also; but they are not the norm. Mainly, I have just learned to avoid them.
A transformative book about the lives we wish we had and what they can teach us about who we are.
of us lead two parallel lives: the one we are actively living, and the
one we feel we should have had or might yet have. As hard as we try to
exist in the moment, the unlived life is an inescapable presence, a
shadow at our heels. And this itself can become the story of our lives:
an elegy to unmet needs and sacrificed desires. We become haunted by the
myth of our own potential, of what it might be that we have in
ourselves to be or to do. And this can make of our lives a perpetual
But what happens if we remove the idea of failure
from this equation? With his flair for graceful paradox, the acclaimed
psychoanalyst Adam Phillips suggests that if we accept frustration as a
way of outlining what we really want, satisfaction suddenly becomes
possible. To crave a life without frustration is to crave a life without
the potential to identify and accomplish our desires.
elegant, compassionate, and absorbing book, Phillips draws deeply on his
own clinical experience as well as on the works of Shakespeare and
Freud, of Donald Winnicott and William James, to suggest that missing
out, getting away with it, and not getting it are all chapters in our
unlived lives--and may be essential to the one fully lived.
The above completely lifted from Goodreads. The reviews indicate this is a very heavy essay by a psychoanalyst and not a self-help book. Composed of a series of lectures which do not result in 'a book'. Very difficult to read. But, the concept of that other life is very real to me... I would like someone else to discuss it with. I don't think I could do this with a psychoanalyst.
"Daughters, mothers, queens, virgins, wives, et al. derive meaning from their relation to another person. Witches, on the other hand, have power on their own terms. They create. They praise. They commune with nature / Spirit / God/dess / Choose-your-own-semantics, freely, and free of any mediator. But most importantly: they make things happen. The best definition of magic I’ve been able to come up with is “symbolic action with intent” – “action” being the operative word. Witches are midwives to metamorphosis. They are magical women, and they, quite literally, change the world."
"We might understand these discoveries [about the galaxy/universe] in intellectual terms, but they are baffling abstractions, even disturbing, like the notion that each of us was the size of a dot, without mind or thought. Science has vastly expanded the scale of our cosmos, but our emotional reality is still limited by what we can touch with our bodies in the time spanof our lives."
Alan Lightman Our Place in the Universe: Face to Face with the Infinite Harper's Magazine, December, 2012
What do we ever understand? Are we just blind men feeling the elephant?
"The doctors said that he would gradualy lose his memory -- not his ability to form new memories, but his ability to retrieve old ones . . . in short, to understand who he was.
Tom's hand shot up. To my amazement, he suggested that [Karl] Pribram was overstating the connection between temporal - lobe memory and overall identity. Temporal lobe or not, you still like the same things, Tom argued -- your sensory systems aren't affected. If you're patient and kind or a jerk, he said, such personality traits aren't governed by the temporal lobes.
Pribram was unruffled. Many of us dono't realize the connection between memory and self, he explained. Who you are is the sum total of all that you've experiences. Where you went to school, who your friends were, all the things you've done or -- just as importantly -- all the things you've always hoped to do. Whether you prefer chocolate ice cream or vanilla, action movies or comedies, is part of the story, but the ability to know those preferences through accumulated memory is what defines you as a person. This seemed right to me. I'm not just someone who likes chocolate ice cream, I;m someone who knows, who remembers that I like chocolate ice cream. And I remember my favorite places to eat it, and the people I;ve eaten it with.
Pribram walked up to the lectern and gripped it with both hands. When they had spoken last, his colleague seemed more sad than frightened. He was worried about the loss of self more than the loss of memory. He;d still have his intelligence, the doctors said, but no memories."