So smile and feel free to be a little bit awkward.
Bite-sized Wisdom: Seneca
Do you go to a theatrical experience for the length of the piece or the quality? A simple question that may sneak up and inform the way you live:
“As it is with a play, so it is with life—what matters is not how long the acting lasts, but how good it is.”
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Happy Birthday Kafka
While some posit that you could never be truly happy about anything, we know you’ve got a bit of an optimist hiding deep down inside.
Just look! You once said:
“By believing passionately in something that still does not exist, we create it. The nonexistent is whatever we have not sufficiently desired.”
“You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait, be quiet still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet.”
and of course:
“Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.“
Those that have dubbed you the eternal pessimist have refused to acknowledge this believer within you. Like so many others, what little was published during your lifetime garnered little public attention. Now people throw around the word Kafkaesque to sound cultured and in-the-know.
If you had known what would follow, would you still have left most of your full-length novels unfinished? Would you still have burned 90 percent of your work?
Time’s funny that way. Happy birthday Kafka. We’re celebrating you now.
Rediscovering the Child
Maybe it’s been more than a little while since you allowed yourself to try something new, dig in with abandon, and fearlessly approach what you have no idea how to do.
Remember that we have all been beginners. There is no shame is starting and no time to late to start becoming the person you wish you be.
Approach it with childlike enthusiasm. No one tells an 8-month old that they’ll never learn how to walk. Because smack-talking a baby is bad form. Why allow the rules to change as you grow older?
Bolster new efforts of others, and you may find the courage to support your own.
Get kickin’ little one. There’s still more room to grow.
The Fab Four Take on the Bard
Just in case you weren’t sure if the Beatles were iconic enough…Turns out in 1964, they also tried their hand at Shakespeare. Because, why not.
Here they perform the mummer’s play from the second half of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, the famous lovers and the wall story.
5 Simple Ways to Start Leading the Good Life
1. Celebrate the ordinary and less than extraordinary. Because you can’t win the Nobel Peace Prize every day of the year. Cheer on the small moments in between the large ones, and you’ll start to notice how those peaks will advance towards you in rapid succession.
2. Get outside when it’s still light out. Summer’s official start date is tomorrow. How are you going to revel in it?
3. Make time for yourself. A whole good amount of it. Come to know yourself better than the tabloids know Justin Bieber’s whereabouts. Treat yourself to that manicure, bask leisurely for an hour doing absolutely nothing, and recharge. No point in running on empty.
4. Sing and dance like no one is watching/like the entire world is watching. These two should be one in the same. It’s often assumed that the scrutiny of many is a negative thing. If you truly approach whatever the task at hand is with gusto, people will notice, take note and maybe get a little bit inspired. Don’t apologize for loving the things that you do.
5. Unplug. From your cell phone, Facebook, from the endless internet to-do list. Go have an adventure. It’ll be there when you come back.
Bite-sized Wisdom: Holmes
This playwright/composer/singer-songwriter speaks on life’s daily adventures. Hope you have a few this weekend!
“For me, the most memorable adventures are still the perils that we face daily in life and love, from the mundane to the meaningful. Where the comedy is often at our own expense, but where the drama, even if painful, reminds us that we are living and feeling here in the real time, with the ever-recurring possibility that this latest chapter will end with new understanding, hope and perhaps even happiness.”
– Rupert Holmes
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The Challenge of Halfway
The world does not need people more people who are halfway – halfway happy, halfway inspired, halfway thankful. Society is not in dire need of almost-smiles, of “oh we should sometime”s, and “maybe someday soon”s. We are in all too desperate need of people who come alive when sharing their joy, who can let light find a way through them, and who can weave hope from the fragile threads of pain.
If the world asked you a single favor, to quench your thirst for happiness by allowing yourself to bring happiness to others, would you comply?
Or would you again reply “maybe,” “someday,” “soon?”
If Sharks Were Men
Would they be nicer to the little fishes?
Enjoy an animated representation of one of Brecht’s most notable satirical fables.
With gems such as:
“If sharks were men, they would, of course, also wage wars against one another, in order to conquer other fish boxes and other little fish.”
“If sharks were men, there would, of course, also be art. There would be beautiful pictures, in which the sharks’ teeth would be portrayed in magnificent colors and their jaws as pure pleasure gardens, in which one could romp about splendidly. The theaters at the bottom of the sea would show heroic little fish swimming enthusiastically into the jaws of sharks, and the music would be so beautiful that to the accompaniment of its sounds, the orchestra leading the way, the little fish would stream dreamily into the sharks’ jaws, lulled by the most agreeable thoughts.”
You Have to Move On/ Il Faut Avancer
Theatre du Chatelet, renowned Paris institution headed by Jean-Luc Choplin, recently presented Stephen Sondheim & James Lapine’s award-winning and heartbreaking SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE. Lucky for those of us that weren’t able to hop on a plane to Paris during its run, the production was filmed and broadcast by Mezzo TV. And now, this new version is available to download for free, albeit for a very limited time.
The original Broadway production of SUNDAY IN THE PARK WITH GEORGE, directed by James Lapine, starring Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters, was similarly filmed and quickly became a staple in the collector’s canon. For those of you who haven’t seen any of the original cast, or for those that could always use a refresher, enjoy the two duetting on “Move On.”
In this number, Dot appears to her great grandson (that of her lover George Seurat), also named George, who is struggling with his art
Look at what you want,
Not at where you are,
Not at what you’ll be-
Look at all the things you’ve done for me
Some Years Ago — Never Mind How Long Precisely, Tilda Swinton Read a Tome
How many of us can say that they’ve actually got around to reading Melville’s novel, easily considered a treasure of world literature?
Peninsula Arts with Plymouth University have made the daunting task a little easier with their 21st century-friendly project, the Big Read. Readers such as Tilda Swinton and Stephen Fry embellish a chapter of Moby Dick each with their voice and skill. The project also curated 136 artists to create an accompanying illustration for each of the chapters of the book.
No better way to revisit a classic than by bringing it to the arts-hungry culture in such a digestible format.
Should you need me these next few days, I’ll be diving into these deeper waters.
Get Used to Listening
An important tidbit from Silverstein this Monday:Image Source
The Only Risk of Knowledge is That You’ll Learn Something
Stuck mulling over the same ol’ field of thinking? Getting restless is a good sign.
It means your brain is craving for something more.
Get that Ivy League education you always wanted. For free. Online. (Welcome to the future y’all)
Devour books old and new like they were going out of style. Kindle, you ain’t got nothing on nostalgia.
Remind yourself of Jefferson’s Democracy in less than 15 minutes with amazingly accessible YouTube crash courses.
The world is only getting larger and more easy to tap into every day.
What seeds of ideas have you planted lately?
Article Worth Reading: “Find What You Love and Let it Kill You”
James Rhodes gave up the piano for 10 years, trading it in for the promise of the City and searching for some sort of security. Then decided his dream of becoming a concert pianist trumped all.
From the Guardian’s recent article:
“What if rather than a book club you joined a writer’s club? Where every week you had to (really had to) bring three pages of your novel, novella, screenplay and read them aloud?
What if, rather than paying £70 a month for a gym membership that delights in making you feel fat, guilty and a world away from the man your wife married you bought a few blank canvases and some paints and spent time each day painting your version of “I love you” until you realised that any woman worth keeping would jump you then and there just for that, despite your lack of a six-pack?”
Image before editing: Alan Cleaver
Does It Matter Who Wins the Race?
“Yes, there are times when the gold medal only goes to the winner. But not in the race of life, where the winners are those who are superior not to others but to their former selves.”
– Robert Cooper
How have you bested your former self lately? How have you strived to learn more and crave less?
Have you checked in with yourself when you heard yourself complaining? Have you pouted at the thought of working harder? Had a First World Problem whinesesh (not the good kind with a cheese plate in tow)? At every moment you have the option to remain static, give up, or move forward. And your path will only be your own.
Empower yourself by winning at your own game everyday. You are your own best competitor.