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When I Am Among the Trees

This post was first sent to my newsletter on December 14th, 2020.
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flower


When I am among the trees,
especially the willows and the honey locust,
equally the beech, the oaks and the pines,
they give off such hints of gladness.
I would almost say that they save me, and daily.
I am so distant from the hope of myself,
in which I have goodness, and discernment,
and never hurry through the world
but walk slowly, and bow often.

Around me the trees stir in their leaves
and call out, “Stay awhile.”
The light flows from their branches.
And they call again, “It’s simple,” they say,
“and you too have come
into the world to do this, to go easy, to be filled
with light, and to shine.”

Mary Oliver


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Rules for Life

Ryan Holiday writes about 11 expressions that you will help you with life.

I have always used Memento Mori and Amor Fati.
This list has several more!

  1. Festina Lente
  2. Carpe Diem
  3. Fac, si facis
  4. Quidvis recte factum quamvis humile praeclarum
  5. Semper Fidelis (Always Faithful)
  6. Per Angusta Ad Augusta
  7. Amor fati
  8. Fatum Ingenium Est
  9. Semper Anticus
  10. Vivere Militare Est
  11. Memento Mori

Go on, read about what they mean and how they can change you.


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Life is Short

via Vishal Khandelwal

Vishal has a lovely article, on the shortness of life, over at Safal Niveshak.
That is where I stole the beautiful picture above from. (you can click the pic for a larger version.)

“So you must match time’s swiftness with your speed in using it, and you must drink quickly as though from a rapid stream that will not always flow.”
—Seneca


“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
—Mark Twain


“You live as if you were destined to live forever, no thought of your frailty ever enters your head, of how much time has already gone by you take no heed. You squander time as if you drew from a full and abundant supply, though all the while that day which you bestow on some person or thing is perhaps your last.”
—Seneca

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Want to Write? Here’s a Simple 3 Step Process

In the vein of the old zen koan about enlightenment or Seth’s drip by drip approach to affecting change in the world, James Clear offers a simple 3 step process to becoming a writer (or painter, or programmer, or guitarist, weight loss person, or gymnast.)

  1. Publish on a schedule. Consistency develops ability.
  2. Share your writing publicly. Writing is a magnet. It attracts like-minded people.
  3. Write about what fascinates you. You don't need to be an expert. Curiosity leads to expertise.

It’s simple.
It’s not easy :)
Walking the path as I have, I can attest to both, its difficulty as well as its efficacy :)

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Reread Books

In the run up to exams in a few months, my life has turned super busy again.
So once again, I turn to wiser people and the things that inspire me, to keep my writing habit going :)

Let’s start with Ryan Holiday.
In his post, Ryan Holiday Picks 20 Books to Help You Live Better in 2020, he concludes with a sage paragraph on the benefits of re reading books that matter.

When I wrapped up my list of books last year, I made one final recommendation that I will repeat this year. Whether you read any of the books above or not — this year or next year — I do think you would be vastly improved by the experience of picking three or four titles that have had a big impact on you in the past and commit to reading them again. Seneca talked about the need to “linger among a limited number of master thinkers, and digest their works, if you would derive ideas which shall win firm hold in your mind.”

And no matter how many times you read a certain book, you never read the exact same book twice because you change from one reading to the next. So this year, go reread To Kill A Mockingbird. Give The Odyssey another chance. Sit with a few chapters from the 48 Laws of Power. See how these books have stood the test of time, and see how your perspective differs from when you read them last.

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Books I Read in 2019.

Want to know what I was up to, with my reading last year?
The whole big list is here.
I read in November and December too, but some books you just … cannot :)



via the ever creative, Tom Gauld


If you want to see the books I read over and over again, every single year, here is my Lindy list.

I hope to learn more, enjoy more, read more this year.
I got so much more out of my books this year, by being more mindful as I read.
I enjoyed my pulp and my crass fiction too :)

I owe some of you kind folk, loads of gratitude.
I started the feed my reading, list on a lark and some of you have actually gone and bought me books :)
This probably is the kindest thing, people have done for me and I internally squeal with glee, every time a book comes home.
From Rumi, to Computer Science Problems, to Market Cycles, to communicating well using drawing … you have indulged my every whim.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I start, as I usually do with the Lindy list and then lets see what the New Year holds.
I hope something from that list catches your fancy and you do read this year.

Because like Gaiman says,

Books are the way that we communicate with the dead. The way that we learn lessons from those who are no longer with us, that humanity has built on itself, progressed, made knowledge incremental rather than something that has to be relearned, over and over. There are tales that are older than most countries, tales that have long outlasted the cultures and the buildings in which they were first told.

Einstein does one better,

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

I wish you, Happy Reading! :)

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P.P.S. Feed my insatiable reading habit.