domenica 12 marzo 2017

Passione



Un appassionato di musica non puo' che detestare il mondo digitale con tutto il cuore.

La disponibilita' di tutto subito e' del tutto antitetica a quello che i greci chiamavano kairos: l'evento lungamente atteso, l'epifania, l'illuminazione.

Avere tutto subito genera un senso di confusione e di inevitabile inappetenza che e' l'antitesi della passione. Passione che invece nasce dalla scarsita' e dalla scelta ben ponderata di come allocare risorse per loro natura finite.

Chi e' davvero appassionato di musica, ama acquistare uno o al massimo due dischi per volta, ascoltarli con concentrazione dall'inizio alla fine con un bell'impianto hi-fi e poi riascolarli dall'inizio per coglierne i dettagli che erano sfuggiti, leggendo le liriche, le note, i collaboratori, guardando le fotografie che accompagnano l'opera.

Chi ama la musica ne ascolta poca, selezionando ogni nuovo acquisto con cura e senza fretta dopo aver letto interviste e recensioni. Non si lascia trascinare nella bulimia dell'acquisto compulsivo e d'impulso e dell'ascolto in condizioni meno che ottimali.

Chi ama la musica possiede una raccolta di dischi piuttosto contenuta che lo rispecchia e racconta la sua storia, la sua evoluzione cone essere umano, il suo percorso.

Della musica riconosce la sacralita', la capacita' di donarci emozioni, profondita', ispirazione, di far riemergere memorie. Di conseguenza non la svilisce, non ne abusa, la rispetta profondamente, instaura con la musica - quella che ha davvero senso ascoltare e solo quella - un dialogo profondo.

giovedì 9 marzo 2017

The book of life, How to love ugly people



We know well enough how we can be struck by someone’s beauty. A more interesting challenge is to set oneself the task of finding someone’s beauty, by which we mean, looking with sympathy and openness on a face that may initially appear uninteresting but which gradually and inevitably yields elements of appeal if we stay with it long enough and look with sufficient energy and curiosity.

Perhaps there is intelligence round the eyes. Maybe we can discount the cheeks but note how there is something distinctly enchanting and dignified going on around the temples. We can learn to fly past the nose but hover over the mouth, at whose edges we note a touch of playfulness and intelligent irony. 

We can leave obviously beautiful people to those who have no imagination.

giovedì 2 marzo 2017

The book of life, Why pessimism is the key to good government



Because they acknowledge that we’re all fragile, easily irked creatures, pessimistic societies place great emphasis on creating quietly uplifting and beautiful communal environments. Cities are marked by elegance, simplicity, rationality and harmony.

A stridently ugly tower block, a depressingly chaotic airport, a squalid railway station – they darkly admit – could be enough to drive someone to despair. The rich have always recognised this for themselves; a pessimistic society merely differs in regarding this as a universal truth.

venerdì 30 dicembre 2016

The book of life, Should we work on ourselves or on the world?



We should at points be ready to make a frank admission that life is collectively rather than just personally difficult, for reasons that extend into the political, ideological and existential spheres.

Our solutions must therefore stretch beyond pills to encompass an acknowledgement of a range of species-wide challenges. We shouldn’t just work on ourselves for not being well; in certain areas, we need also to work on the world for making us so.

David Bohm, On creativity



If one is serious about being original and creative, it is necessary for him first to be original and creative about reactions that are making him mediocre and mechanical.

Then eventually the natural creative action of the mind may fully awaken, so that it will start to operate in a basically new order that is no longer determined mainly by the mechanical aspects of thought… 

Just as the health of the body demands that we breathe properly, so, whether we like it or not, the health of the mind requires that we be creative.

[…]

But, of course, to awaken the creative state of mind is not at all easy. On the contrary, it is one of the most difficult things that could possibly be attempted. Nevertheless, for the reasons that I have given, I feel that it is for each of us individually and for society as a whole the most important thing to be done in the circumstances in which humanity now finds itself.

giovedì 29 dicembre 2016

Alain De Botton, The course of love



How logical, then, that we should as adults find ourselves rejecting certain candidates not because they are wrong but because they are a little too right — in the sense of seeming somehow excessively balanced, mature, understanding, and reliable — given that, in our hearts, such rightness feels foreign and unearnt.

We chase after more exciting others, not in the belief that life with them will be more harmonious, but out of an unconscious sense that it will be reassuringly familiar in its patterns of frustration.

mercoledì 29 giugno 2016

Una piccola storia che scalda il cuore in questi giorni difficili



We knew from an early age that my brother Ron was different. 

When he was nine years old, Ron decided to take a mile walk from our home down to the library — which was, of course, a public library, but not so public for black folks, when you’re talking about 1959 in segregated South Carolina.

So as he was walking through the library, all these folks were staring at him, because it was white folk only, and they were looking at him and saying, you know, “Who is this Negro?” [Laughter.]

He found some books, and he politely positioned himself in line to check out. 

Well, this old librarian says, “This library is not for coloreds.” 

He said, “I would like to check out these books.” 

She says, “Young man, if you don’t leave this library right now, I’m going to call the police!” 

He just propped himself up on the counter and sat there and said, “I’ll wait.”

So she called the police and subsequently called my mother. 

The police came down, two burly guys, and say, “Well, where’s the disturbance?” 

She pointed to the nine-year-old boy sitting up on the counter. 

One of the policemen says, “Ma’am, what’s the problem?”

So my mother, in the meanwhile, she comes down there, and she’s praying the whole way: “Lordy, Jesus, please don’t let them put my child in jail!”. 

My mother asked the librarian, “What’s the problem?” 

The librarian said, “He wanted to check out the books. 

You know that your son shouldn’t be down here.”

The police officer said, “Why don’t you just give the kid the books?” 

And my mother said, “He’ll take good care of them.” 

Reluctantly, the librarian gave Ron the books, and my mother said, “What do you say?” 

He said, “Thank you, ma’am.”.

Callings: the purpose and passion of work.

domenica 26 giugno 2016

Una vita ben vissuta non e' quella immune dalla sofferenza emotiva, ma quella nella quale permettiamo alla sofferenza emotiva di contribuire alla nostra crescita



Across history, the articulation of melancholy attitudes in works of art has provided us with relief from a sense of loneliness and persecution.

Among others, Pascal, Keats, Shelley, Schopenhauer and Leonard Cohen have been able to reassure us of the normalcy of our states of sadness. 

In particular, they have made a case for a species of low-level, muted sadness that arises when we are open to the fact that life is inherently difficult and that suffering and disappointment are core parts of universal experience. 

It’s not a disorder that needs to be cured. 

The good life is not one immune to grief, but one in which we allow suffering to contribute to our development.

On being cheered along.

giovedì 23 giugno 2016

E' la tensione tra familiarita' e sorpresa a generare relazioni forti: il supporto reciproco insieme alla continua scoperta



What sustains our relationship is I’m extremely happy with her, and part of it has to do with the fact that she is at once completely familiar to me, so that I can be myself and she knows me very well and I trust her completely, but at the same time she is also a complete mystery to me in some ways. 

And there are times when we are lying in bed and I look over and sort of have a start. Because I realize here is this other person who is separate and different and has different memories and backgrounds and thoughts and feelings. 

It’s that tension between familiarity and mystery that makes for something strong, because, even as you build a life of trust and comfort and mutual support, you retain some sense of surprise or wonder about the other person.

Dreams of my father.

Forse non piu' l'unico, ma certamente il libro di carta resta uno dei modi attraverso i quali l'umanita' puo' preservare la coscienza di se'



We need not fear a future elimination of the book. On the contrary, the more that certain needs for entertainment and education are satisfied through other inventions, the more the book will win back in dignity and authority.

For even the most childish intoxication with progress will soon be forced to recognize that writing and books have a function that is eternal. It will become evident that formulation in words and the handing on of these formulations through writing are not only important aids but actually the only means by which humanity can have a history and a continuing consciousness of itself.

My belief: essays on life and art.