Friday, August 26, 2005

Friday Rorshach ink blot test

Tickle's Original Inkblot Test:
Schroeder, your subconscious mind is driven most by Peace

You have a deeply-rooted desire to make peace in the world. Whether through subtle interactions with loved ones, or through getting involved in social causes, it is important to you to be able to influence the world in a positive way.

You have a deep respect for humankind. You care about the future of the world, even beyond your own involvement in it, and you inspire others to feel the same way. Your innate drive toward peace guides you in daily life towards decisions that are respectful toward yourself and others.

Your psyche is very rich; the more you learn about it, the more you will understand who you really are.

Sadists who wish to inflict pain on their enemies might try the Liquid Generation version. Don't subject your aging grandmother to this. Turn your computer's sound way up if you're at work ;-)

There's a Google Answers message with links to essays about the meaning and merit of Rorshach ink blot tests.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Plan for unplanned thought

Thought that is planned is tradition.
Thought that is unplanned is imagination.
Thought that is both is spirit.

Ancient Sufi expression

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Live, learn

Nothing that is worth learning can be taught.

Oscar Wilde
Quoted in the Whittier, Calif., Daily News, printed in The Week, 8/19/2005

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


Character is a diamond that scratches every other stone.

Minister Cyrus A. Bartol
Quoted in, printed in The Week, 8/19/2005

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

To every thing there is a season

Composting Time
By Verlyn Klinkenborg
One of the reasons I moved to the country was to try to have a more deliberate awareness of time. I imagined a sugar maple coming into bud in spring, then leafing out and darkening into the overshadowing presence a maple becomes in midsummer. I imagined watching it lose its leaves in fall and somehow banking what I'd seen, as if those images would help me experience time more fully.

But I had no idea how much time the country contains. I thought the seasons would come and go and that that is what I would pay most attention to. Instead, I find myself watching what the seasons leave behind.

When we moved here, nearly eight years ago, an old honeylocust loomed over the vegetable garden. Its ashes have long since been spread. A pair of white spruces are beginning to tower over me, though I planted them as whips. There are finally apples - 11 of them - on young trees not far away. The posts in the rail fence beside them have just about reached the end of their useful life.

I think of myself, naturally enough, as the still point amid all this change. My leaves never fall. If I lie fallow for a while, I'm not suddenly overcome with nettles and vagabond hollyhocks, as is the vegetable garden. The ducks and geese molt, the horses hair up and shed, but my coat is constant.

I have banked nothing, or everything. Every day the chores need doing again. Early in the morning I clean the horse pen with a manure fork. Every morning it feels as though it could be the day before or a year ago or a year before that. With every pass, I give the fork one final upward flick to keep the manure from falling out, and every day I remember where I learned to do that and from whom. Time all but stops. But then I dump the manure on the compost pile. I bring out the tractor and turn the pile, once every three or four days. The bucket bites and lifts, and steam comes billowing out of the heap as though I had set it on fire. It is my assurance that time is really moving forward - and decomposing us all in the process.

NY Times, 8/15/2005

For more on this theme, read Ecclesiastes, Chapter 3, or one of my favorites by Robert Frost on the impermanence of things, and of human labors, The Woodpile.

Monday, August 15, 2005

Begin your book today

Live your life with arms wide open
Today is where your book begins
The rest is still unwritten

Serendipitously found at Akh: 3'60

Allow mystery into your life

One can live in the shadow of an idea without grasping it.

Elizabeth Bowen
Quoted in the Associated Press, printed in The Week, 8/19/2005

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Memories of melodies

The beautiful things we shall write if we have the talent are inside us, indistinct, like the memory of a melody which delights us though we are unable to recapture its outline. Those who are obsessed by the blurred memory of truths they have never known are the men who are gifted.... Talent is like a sort of memory which will enable them to finally bring this indistinct music closer to them, to hear it clearly, to note it down.

Marcel Proust
Quoted in Lynn Freed, "Doing Time: My years in the creative-writing gulag," Harper's Magazine, July 2005