Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Hiding Place - Sara Groves

This one is purely for the Sara Groves fans. I left my iPod at home today, so I have been making use of youtube, and I found this song by Sara Groves that I didn’t know existed – how is that possible? It is off a compilation album called Songs of Deliverance.

Shakespeare, 31st October

Thou dost conspire against thy friend
If thou but think'st him wrong'd and makest his ear
A stranger to thy thoughts.
          Othello, Act iii., Sc. 3.

   THAI. A knight of Sparta, my renowned father;
And the device he bears upon his shield
Is a black Ethiop, reaching at the sun:
The word, Lux tua vita mihi.
   SIM. He loves you well that holds his life of you.
          Pericles, Act ii., Sc, 2.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Shakespeare, 30th October

God's peace be with him!
      King Henry VIII., Act ii., Sc. 1.

What's gone and what's past help
Should be past grief.
      Winter's Tale, Act iii., Sc. 2.

Let each man do his best.
      First Part of King Henry IV., Act v. Sc. 2.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pictures of life

We had our Made Fair Markets on Saturday, as well as the opening of the I Heart Kirribilli Art Exhibition, plus the newly renovated church. It was a great day! Here are some pictures from my phone, such as they are.

My little stash of goods, only my sign has fallen down already and I haven't dressed my mannequin yet.

Sausage sizzle and live music. I believe we gave away about 1,000 cupcakes too.

Goods from Seven Women, in Nepal.

One of the kids tatooed me. A wee bit messy for this perfectionist, but you have to let kids do what they do don't you.

I was there early to set up, and after standing around in the sun all day, then ending it by having a coffee with someone who'd told they'd decided church was not for them right now (sniff!), I was so tired I went home and fell asleep on the couch.

Today I had to be in the city for a recertification course of my first aid certificate for work. So I spent the day having my head filled with first aid scenarios and procedures before doing the theory and practical exam. Then, because I was nearby, I had to go to Abbey's bookshop and Morris and Sons to drool over yarns didn't I? I never usually buy anything in Morris and Sons, because I happen to think it is outrageously expensive, but a lady was sorting things into a bargain basket and I picked up these nice cottons, for such things as crochet flowers.

The purple and cream on the far left is actually a cashmere blend wool, and the pinks on the right are an Italian cotton. The picture doesn't do justice to the top pink, which is a little too hot and loud for my liking, but I shall find something to do with it. And they silvery blue colour is a lovely silk blend that I shall set aside for something special.

Shakespeare, 29th October

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate.

Sonnet XVIII

My conscience hath a thousand several tongues,
And every tongue brings in a several tale.

King Richard III., Act v., Sc. 3.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

The tragedy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Hans von Dohnanyi

I was pleasantly surprised to read The Tragedy of Dietrich Bonhoeffer and Hans von Dohnanyi, by Elisabeth Sifton and Fritz Stern, in the latest New York Review of Books (though there is nothing so very pleasant about the story). Here is the final paragraph (though I think there were decent but naive folks who were blind or ill-informed of the extent of the horrors):
One truth we can affirm: Hitler had no greater, more courageous, and more admirable enemies than Hans von Dohnanyi and Dietrich Bonhoeffer. Both men and those closest to them deserve to be remembered and honored. Dohnanyi summed up their work and spirit with apt simplicity when he said that they were “on the path that a decent person inevitably takes.” So few traveled that path—anywhere.

Shakespeare, 28th October

                               Men, like butterflies,
Show not their mealy wings but to the summer,
And not a man, for being simply man,
Hath any honour, but honour for those honours
That are without him, as place, riches, favour.
Prizes of accident as oft as merit.

Troilus and Cressida, Act iii., Sc. 3.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Shakespeare, 27th October

Can counsel and speak comfort to that grief
Which they themselves not feel; but, tasting it,
Their counsel turns to passion, which before
Would give preceptial medicine to rage.

Much Ado about Nothing, Act v., Sc. I.

(Note: preceptial is an obsolete word that means
the same thing as preceptive, which is a word I
think I might use more often.)

Friday, October 26, 2012

A Friday song

Whenever life gets rather boggy and sad (as it is down in Eeyore’s Gloomy Place), Sara Groves helps me wash off some of the clingiest mud.

On first listening to this song I thought it was a little, well, “corney”, but now I really like it. To me it’s about those moments when you feel like you aren’t going to trust anyone (or someone) again, when you have pushed through your own defences and tried to do something you weren’t so comfortable doing (because you believed it to be good) and it just backfired on your soul, when you have made yourself vulnerable and been scorched, more than once, when you wonder where is the benefit in trying to talk to anyone about anything potentially difficult and think you might enlist in the ranks of the self-protective and defensive to keep yourself safe from all the trouble ...

Only that is not really how God asks us, or Jesus shows us how, to live (see Colossians 3:12-15, 1 Peter 4:8).

Shakespeare, 26th October

O, sweet love, I always write of you,
And you and love are still my argument;
So all my best is dressing old words new,
Spending again what is already spent:
    For as the sun is daily new and old,
    So is my love still telling what is told.

Sonnet LXXVI

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Shakespeare, 25th October

The means that heaven yields must be embraced,
And not neglected.

King Richard II., Act iii., Sc. 2.

                         Many days shall see her
And yet no day without a deed to crown it.

King Henry VIII., Act v., Sc. 5.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Integrity and fear

I liked this post on integrity from Don Miller. I don’t know about this link between integrity and being ‘integrated’, except that it is the same root word, or what that would look like precisely within yourself, but it is an interesting idea. And I like how he cuts people a little slack in this notion of integrity. It’s more about being aware of when you’ve done wrong, and facing the consequences, than never doing wrong (because such a person doesn’t actually exist).

I also like this idea that what people will resonate with and recognise of themselves in your writing is your fears. The internet might be a more fascinating place if people did write in this way. (I could see the problems, but I'm sure that a big reason why so many people loved Blue Like Jazz is because the honesty in it was gripping.)

(Apologies for all the links. I am swamped with work at the moment (I don’t very often mention my day job here, but maybe I shall write the most boring post ever about it) and absorbingly wretched over personal mess and there is another market and things going on at church for our I Heart Kirribilli week starting this weekend that I have been doing some preparation for (I'm also at home just now waiting for a house inspection - bleh).)

Shakespeare, 24th October

                         As the most forward bud
Is eaten by the canker ere it blow,
Even so by love the young and tender wit
Is turned to folly, blasting in the bud,
Losing his verdure even in the prime,
And all the fair effects of future hopes.

Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act i., Sc. I.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Faith & work as a single woman

It's becoming a link fest in the fog, but here is another article on faith, work and vocation as a single woman. (Thanks Jean for the link to this one.)

I notice that Tim Keller's new book is also on work, called Every Good Endeavor, and if you can get past the stupid way they spell endeavour, it is highly likely to be a book worth reading.

Shakespeare, 23rd October

They grey-eyed morn smiles on the frowning night,
Chequering the eastern clouds with streaks of light,
And flecked darkness like a drunkard reels
From forth day's path and Titan's fiery wheels.

Romeo and Juliet, Act ii., Sc. 3.

Monday, October 22, 2012

With a little hindsight and grace

Helen Garner writes to her childhood nemesis in yesterday's paper. (H/T Nicole for the link, though I would tip that honour more in the direction of writers like Marilynne Robinson myself.)

I also liked this little lesson from nature over at the The Plume. It's a long sort of bow to draw, but I like it. It's a different kind of writing you'll find over there, but she writes with grace and beauty, and for that I have time:
Owls. Owls go out into the night and bring back nourishment for themselves and others. I want to live that way. I want to always go out into the darkness and find something bright to grow the spirit of myself and others, no matter what. There must be light, soul food, bright truth in every single life lesson, if this isn’t true, there’s no point to hardship and heartbreak.

Passive-aggressive facebook people

One of these days I’d like to write this as my facebook status update:
I wish people wouldn't write passive-aggressive status updates. If you have something you'd like to say to someone, you should say it to their face. 
Except I think the ironic humour of it might be lost on those it’s intended for ...

Flowers for Nancy

There is a lady at my work, who is part of team that sits near mine and who is always friendly and cheerful. A couple of weeks ago she walked by, stopped to exchange greetings and, realising we hadn't seen her for a while, the lady who sits behind me says "we haven't seen you around lately, have you been on holidays?". She answered "no, my husband died". Oh. 

She was only dropping in that day, and hasn't actually come back to work yet, but I heard a rumour that she might be in this week, so I am going to leave these little crochet flowers in an envelope on her desk. I stamped a yellow umbrella on a card with a simple note. One doesn't always know quite what to do, but it's a thought really.

(When I started making crochet flowers I thought perhaps I had crossed a line into Nanna-ness, but they have since proved good for all sorts of flowery gestures. I have stuffed them into envelopes and turned them into brooches and decorated presents. What is not to like really, about a little flower in your life here and there.)

Shakespeare, 22nd October

Not fearing death, nor shrinking for distress;
But always resolute in most extremes.

First Part of King Henry VI., Act iv., Sc. 1.

                       The grief that does not speak,
Whispers the o'erfraught heart, and bids it break.

Macbeth, Act iv., Sc. 3.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Shakespeare, 21st October

Thoughts tending to content flatter themselves
That they are not the first of fortune's slaves,
Nor shall be the last; like silly beggars
Who, sitting in the stocks refuge their shame,
That many have and others must sit there:
And in this thought they find a kind of ease.

King Richard II., Act v., Sc. 5.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Shakespeare, 20th October

A heart unspotted is not easily daunted.

Second Part of King Henry VI., Act iii., Sc. 1.

Charity itself fulfils the law.
And who can sever love from charity?

Love's Labour's Lost, Act iv., Sc. 3.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Broken families & Jesus, my brother

Strange how there is often something out there in cyberspace that hits the spot and burrows into it. I guess cyberspace is big enough for that.

After feeling lately both that there is not a hole in the ground deep enough to bury myself in and that people can be very "unsafe", I read this post from Cathy.
For the Christian, the one relationship that means life or death is secure. It is the only relationship in the world which cannot be undone by our poor performance, or anyone else's. Jesus has done everything necessary so that he will be unashamed of his blood purchased brothers forever. The only family which is ultimately safe to be in.

Shakespeare, 19th October

Fair be all thy hopes
And prosperous be thy life, in peace and war.
          First Part of King Henry VI., Act ii., Sc. 5

He shall have a noble memory.
          Coriolanus, Act v., Sc. 5.

This is my birthday.
          Julius Caesar, Act v., Sc. 1.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Jesus will meet you there

I don't listen to or post a lot of this sort of music, but someone posted this on facebook last night, so I listened, and went through the tissues.

Shakespeare, 18th October

The benediction of these covering heavens
Fall on their heads like dew.

Cymbeline, Act v., Sc. 5.

Men shall deal unadvisedly sometimes,
Which after hours give leisure to repent.

King Richard III, Act iv., Sc. 4.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Shakespeare, 17th October

O, what authority and show of truth
Can cunning sin cover itself withal!

Much Ado About Nothing, Act iv., Sc. 1.

One fire drives out one fire; one nail, one nail;
Rights by rights falter, strengths by strengths do fail.

Coriolanus, Act iv., Sc. 7.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Wisps of fog

Jesus understands loneliness. This was an encouraging post from Desiring God.

Move through fear rather than around it. A good reminder post from Don Miller at the Storyline blog - "at the root of most of my disasters was a deep fear, masquerading as something else".

Wuthering Heights - the movie

On Sunday I went and saw the new Wuthering Heights, directed by Andrea Arnold with Simone. As we walked to the local cinema I said 'I'm prepared to be mildly disturbed' and I think Simone may have actually been a little bit dismissive of that comment ;) ... But folks, mildly is ranked among the greatest understatements I've made. “Psycho” is about the only adjective that we could call to mind for some time to describe this film. It’s impressively disturbing.

We all know the truth that Emily Bronte's Wuthering Heights is a dysfunctional story, populated by the mentally unwell, but this movie lent its own dimensions to the psychological illnesses on display.

The cinematography was peculiar. Lots of (at times turbulent) hand-held camera work, lots of depth-shifting focus, lots of slow takes of insects, lots of light flickering in the darkness on indistinct objects. At times it was hard to watch. Then there was very little music. Much of the movie was quite silent but for Cathy’s occasional singing. There is an angle from which the film is beautifully executed, but it’s not a broad definition of beautiful.

One of the most uncomfortable aspects of the film for me was that, from the opening scenes, it is very sensual and suggestive around the antics of the young Heathcliff and Cathy. I know there are hints of this possibility in the book, but the movie makes good use of the idea. Then to escalate the disturbance there are several cruel animal scenes - not your usual farming animal requirements, but deliberate cruelty (which comes with the psychological disturbances does it not). And for those of us who didn’t so much as dip a toe in the receding vampire surge, there is a rather repulsive vampire-esque scene that made me squirm.

In summary, the film is dark, wet, and crazy. I haven’t been to see a movie at midday in a long time, but I was rather glad we came out of the cinema to sunshine and happiness to dispel the movie’s almost stifling gloom, and that I didn't have to go home to sleep.

Here is a review in Time Entertainment if you are interested.

Shakespeare, 16th October

'Tis much he dares .   .   .  He hath a wisdom that doth guide his valour.

Macbeth, Act iii., Sc. 2.

Nothing can we call our own but death.

KIng Richard II., Act iii., Sc. 2.

Monday, October 15, 2012

The sunk cost fallacy

Picture from KB35 on Flickr.

Maybe everyone knows about this already (I suspect it’s Psychology 101, or Business 101), but I am going to share, and hope that it might prevent some poor soul out there from wasting years of their life, as I have. It’s actually Frankie Magazine time again, and I was reading another article by Eleanor Robertson in Issue 50, in which she is questioning why she hangs onto relics of past relationships (at this point you might be forgiven for thinking it sounds like your regular women’s rag, but it isn't). Then she mentions the Sunk Cost Fallacy and describes it thus: “basically it’s when you keep doing something that’s not making you happy, because you’re acutely aware of the huge investment you’ve already made.”

It seems I am a victim (or is it a perpetrator) of this incessantly. Here is another definition (from here):
Once an individual has invested a substantial amount of time or other resources in a given course of action, he seeks reasons to justify this investment.
The greater the investment, the harder it is to write it off.
Robert Sternberg, The Triarchic Mind: A New Theory of Human Intelligence

It’s entrenched in my ridiculous personality to be loyal to the death of certain kinds of human interactions, or persist in trying to salvage a thing, when it really ought to be obvious that the other party a) neither wants or cares about such loyalty or persistance b) has done nothing to earn it or made any sort of return on it, and that it’s time to cease input, which often takes a big metaphorical slap in the face (that would appear to be God saying, very loudly, ‘this is not for you Ali’). And I do think it’s partly explained by the sunk cost fallacy. I hang on when it’s plain there is never going to be a way or an opportunity for redemption of the situation, in the hope that somehow all the previous investment will work towards something good. Then, slap, and it's that time, finally, when you just need to draw a line under a thing, write ‘excessive waste of time and energy – loss irrecoverable!’ and cease “investing”. (I’m sounding all very economic about relationships with people, but I am sure you understand.)

At times I wish I could just bounce off the walls like some, as while I am sure such die-hard loyalty has a time and place, there are other times and places where the investment is neither appreciated or appreciating (to borrow the economic term), shouldn’t have been made in the first place, definitely shouldn’t have continued, and all I have done is run up my losses.

The trick, according to the article linked above, and one Kahneman, ‘is to avoid “the escalation of commitment to failing endeavors” and to “ignore the sunk costs of past investments when evaluating current opportunities.”’ Hmmm.

Shakespeare, 15th October

O me, what eyes hath Love put in my head,
Which have no correspondence with true sight!
Or, if they have, where is my judgment fled,
That censures falsely what they see aright?


This world to me is like a lasting storm.

Pericles, Act iv., Sc. 1.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Shakespeare, 14th October

He hath a stern look, but a gentle heart.

King John, Act iv., Sc. 1.

Keep thy pen from lender's books.

King Lear, Act iii, Sc. 4.

God is our fortress.

First Part of King Henry VI., Act ii., Sc. 1.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Shakespeare, 13th October

Let me not to the marriage of true minds
Admit impediments. Love is not love
Which alters when it alteration finds,
.     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
O, no! It is an ever-fixed mark
That looks on tempests and is never shaken;
It is the star to every wandering bark,
Whose worth's unknown, although his height be taken.

Sonnet CXVI

Friday, October 12, 2012

Bleeps: Biblical Womanhood and the way to fairyland

Here is a review of A Year of Biblical Womanhood, an upcoming book by one Rachel Held Evans, at Desiring God that is worth reading. I have no intention of reading this book any time soon, unless a particular need arises, as the whole premise sounds like a strange attempt to take down a straw (wo)man that rather misses the point and purpose of a thing. Here is another review at The Blazing Centre.

But I am drooling over the first issue of The Molehill, a literary journal containing an "an eclectic collection of fiction, essays, poetry". Doesn't that sound enchanting? (Thanks to Meredith for the link to Lanier's Books, through which I came across this. Don't you just want to go on a Hutchmoot with folks who "have not forgotten the way to fairyland"? The journal is now on my Christmas list.)

Shakespeare, 12th October

And as goods lost are seld or never found,
As vaded gloss no rubbing will refresh,
As flowers dead lie wither'd on the ground,
As broken glass no cement can redress,
      So beauty blemish'd once 's forever lost,
      In spite of physic, painting, pain and cost.

The Passionate Pilgrim, XIII.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Shakespeare, 11th October

Every man will be thy friend
Whilst thou hast wherewith to spend;
But if store of crowns be scant,
No man will supply thy want.

Sonnets to Sundry Notes of Music, VI.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

I ♥ crochet

It's our I ♥ Kirribilli Art Exhibition and Made Fair markets coming up again soon, so why wouldn't you sit down and make little crochet hearts. (I'm not sure what for yet, I just did.)

The life of The Crochet Dude

Want to see a guy doing crochet? Sure you do. This 30 second video, of a day in the office of The Crochet Dude (a male crochet designer), is quite funny. It also puts me to shame. He is so smooth and quick. He also has an unusual way of working the yarn and is using his left hand. H/T Knotsewcute.

Shakespeare, 10th October

The canker-blooms have full as deep a dye
As the perfumed tincture of the roses,
.    .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .     .
But, for their virtue only is their show,
They live unwoo'd and unrespected fade,
Die to themselves. Sweet roses do not so;
Of their sweet deaths are sweetest odours made.

Sonnet LIV

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

Shakespeare, 9th October

A woman's face with Nature's own hand painted.

Sonnet XX

The crow doth sing as sweetly as the lark
When neither is attended, and, I think
The nightingale, if she should sing by day,
When every goose is cackling, would be thought
No better a musician than the wren.

Merchant of Venice, Act v., Sc. 1.

Monday, October 08, 2012

Poetry Day - This last goodbye

This poem doesn't have anything to do with anything in particular, except that I came across it again recently, and then had the thought, in light of recent readings, that it's probably a poem for introverts, and that perhaps for that reason I like it. The thing is, it's quoted in Passion and Purity, by Elisabeth Elliot, and attributed to Alice Meynell, but after flicking through a comprehensive book of Alice Meynell's poetry I can't find it, and nothing on the internet sheds any more light. I don't like quoting things without a source or a title. The internet is full of too many quotation errors already. So, if anybody out there knows where this comes from, let me know.

Picture from Wallpapers.

Let this goodbye of ours, this last goodbye,
Be still and splendid like a forest tree ...
Let there be one grand look within our eyes
Built of the wonderment of the past years,
Too vast a thing of beauty to be lost
In quivering lips and burning floods of tears.

—Alice Meynell

In searching around the interwebs, for some reason I was directed to Letitia Elizabeth Landon's poetry, and read this one.


LIFE has dark secrets; and the hearts are few
That treasure not some sorrow from the world--
A sorrow silent, gloomy, and unknown,
Yet colouring the future from the past.
We see the eye subdued, the practised smile,
The word well weighed before it pass the lip,
And know not of the misery within:
Yet there it works incessantly, and fears
The time to come; for time is terrible,
Avenging, and betraying.

Letitia Elizabeth Landon

Shakespeare, 8th October

How many things by season season'd are
To their right praise and true perfection.

Merchant of Venice, Act v., Sc. 1.

                              Happy thou art not;
For what thou hast not, still thou strivest to get,
And what thou hast, forget'st.

Measure for Measure, Act iii., Sc. 1.

Sunday, October 07, 2012

Does God Love Introverts?

I should have kept reading in Chapter 2 of Quiet, by Susan Cain, before that last post, because I then came across a section called Does God Love Introverts?. The author meets up with Adam McHugh, who wrote, Introverts in the Church, and together they pay a visit to Saddleback complex (and I mean complex – it sounds like a university campus, with a worship centre, book shop, plaza room, cafes, etc), Rick Warren’s ministry, and talk about extraversion within evangelicalism.

Here again, I think America is further down this road than Australia, and I don’t feel like church doesn’t “suit” me, though I am probably never going to go to one with thousands of people in the congregation and excessively overt ebullience. And I do think introverts can just plain learn things, like talking to people during “meet and greet” at church. I’ve willing signed myself up to welcoming teams at church, and all you have to do is practice that one (when I used to have to pick up complete strangers as volunteers and take them wildlife trapping I felt that it was my social responsibility to engage with them for the week, and I just learnt how to sustain conversation with people very different from me, whom I knew I would never see again). But I did resonate with some of what the author wrote. I have on occasion wondered if I was somehow deficient because I wasn’t transported as apparently as some at large events, but here is what Cain writes:
Events like this don’t give me the sense of oneness others seem to enjoy; it’s always been private occasions that make me feel connected to the joys and sorrows of the world, often in the form of communion with writers and musicians I’ll never meet in person ...
Then later she quotes McHugh:
“Sometimes I feel like I am going through the motions. The outward enthusiasm and passion that seems to be part and parcel of Saddlebacks’s culture doesn’t feel natural. Not that introverts can’t be eager and enthusiastic, but we’re not as overtly expressive as extraverts. At a place like Saddleback, you can start questioning your own experience of God. Is it really as strong as that of other people who look the part of the devout believer?”
I don’t really want to get too hung up on all of this business, but that is encouraging to us introverts, and could be helpful to remember next time I find myself feeling like I might be lacking in my “experience of God” or in enthusiasm in public gatherings. One thing Adam McHugh comments on is that “there is no emphasis on quiet, liturgy, ritual, things that give you space for contemplation”. In my current church we are sometimes given a moment to reflect before something coming up or on something that has been shared, and I do value that. Perhaps churches should make sure they don’t throw that away altogether, given that a significant percentage of the population are actually introverts.

(But if they don't we can always go home and reflect, and it isn't going to kill any introverts to go to church once a week. It would seem that introverts are actually particularly suited to learning from the sermon or lecture style of presenting information, preferring that to seminars and group work, so we win one there.)

Shakespeare, 7th October

Of very reverend reputation.

Comedy of Errors, Act v., Sc. 1.

O, the fierce wretchedness that glory brings us!

Timon of Athens, Act iv., Sc. 2.

Methinks there is much reason in his sayings.

Julius Caesar, Act iii., Sc. 2.

Saturday, October 06, 2012

Shakespeare, 6th October

There's nothing ill can dwell in such a temple.

Tempest, Act i., Sc. 2.

Blind fear, that seeing reason leads, finds safer footing than blind reason stumbling without fear: to fear the worst oft cures the worse.

Troilus and Cressida, Act iii., Sc. 2.

Friday, October 05, 2012

Shakespeare's contribution to English

Hopefully some readers are enjoying their Shakespeare education. If you think some of the quotes sound cliché, the thing to remember is that it was actually Shakespeare who coined them. You can scroll down at this link to see just some of the many phrases and words that Shakespeare invented . Here is a sample (I went to a wedding last Friday afternoon and was seated next to a fellow who, as it turned out, is acting in a Shakespeare play, and he showed me this on his phone).

The koels are back

The koels have arrived back in Australia for the summer. This now starts up outside my window at about 5.30 am.

Or here's another, which includes how they sometimes raise the pitch.

Shakespeare, 5th October

Words pay no debts, give deeds.
            Troilus and Cressida, Act iii., Sc. 2.

Fair fruit in an unwholesome dish,
Are like to rot untasted.
            Troilus and Cressida, Act ii., Sc. 3.

Sweetest nut hath sourest rind.
           As You Like It, Act iii., Sc. 2.

Thursday, October 04, 2012

Shakespeare, 4th October

We cannot all be masters, nor all masters
Cannot be truly followed. You shall mark
Many a duteous and knee-crooking knave,
That, doting on his own obsequious bondage,
Wears out his time, much like his master's ass,
For naught but provender, and when he's old, cashier'd:
Whip me such honest knaves.

Othello, Act i., Sc. I.

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Shakespeare, 3rd October

                               I have ventured,
Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders,
This many summers, in a sea of glory,
But far beyond my depth; my high-blown pride
At length broke under me and now has left me,
Weary and old with service, to the mercy
Of a rude stream, that must for ever hide me.

King Henry VIII., Act iii., Sc. 2.

Tuesday, October 02, 2012

Shakespeare, 2nd October

How can it? O, how can Love's eye be true,
That is so vex'd with watching and with tears?
No marvel then, though I mistake my view;
The sun itself sees not till heaven clears.
O cunning Love! with tears thou keep'st me blind,
Lest eyes well-seeing thy foul faults should find.


Monday, October 01, 2012

Another book I'm reading

Another book I have finally started reading is Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain. I’m curious about this power. I was thinking to myself that I am not such a big introvert, but then wondered if that is partly because my life is quite nicely set up at present to cater for an introvert – if I wanted to I could sit at work all day with headphones in working quietly and independently, and when I get home, while I do have a flatmate in a two-bedroom flat, we more or less do our own thing and if I want to go to my room and potter around by myself I do. So it is perhaps little wonder I don’t feel challenged as an introvert.

Then I went through the test at the beginning of the book and I actually answered “true” for every single statement. I guess that makes me well and truly an introvert. But I genuinely like people, I don’t think I am “anti-social” and I don’t think I can be accused of not holding up my end of a conversation (so long as it’s not a large group conversation, in which case I won’t be one of the top contributors).

The book is not quite what I was expecting, and it’s heavily set in America, which despite all the media we get here from the States is still a little different to Australia. I, for one, feel far more affinity for the British than the Americans, and I don’t know that the “Culture of Personality” (which has apparently replaced the “Culture of Character” in the US) is as alive and thriving here. But this paragraph did give me pause. It’s meant as a positive, to show the spheres in which introverts make good leaders, but there’s a yikes factor!
Studies have shown that, indeed, introverts are more likely than extraverts to express intimate facts about themselves online that their family and friends would be surprised to read, to say that they can express the “real me” online, and to spend more time in certain kinds of online discussions. They welcome the chance to communicate digitally. The same person who would never raise his hand in a lecture hall of two hundred people might blog to two thousand, or two million, without thinking twice. The same person who finds it difficult to introduce himself to strangers might establish a presence online and then extend those relationships into the real world.
Interesting. I have certainly made some good friends through blogging, who might know more about me than people I chat to after church (where I do regularly introduce myself to strangers though), but I don’t know if that is ideal. Statement 2 in the introvert test was “I often prefer to express myself in writing”. This is certainly true for me, and I do get frustrated with those people, usually in ministry contexts, who say that you can’t write things, you have to use the phone or say it face to face. (I hate the phone, and would go face to face if there was a choice.) Granted, you shouldn’t fire off nasty emails, in the same way you shouldn’t fire off verbal assaults, but that is not to say there is no place for written communication. I like letters. And one of the difficulties with attempting to say things face to face is that statement 1. in the introvert list is “I prefer one-on-one conversations to group activities”. If I could arrange one-one-one conversations with people to say what I want to say I might not feel the urge to write as strongly, but often that is not so easily done and you can’t escape the “group” scenario.

I'm only in chapter two, The Myth of Charismatic Leadership, so far, so I shall press on.

Sunprinting experiment

I tried sunprinting today, on the balcony. It was something of a disaster really, so here's to keeping the "creative" pursuits real here at the fog. First I tried some micro-casettes. These were a bad idea for starters as they are three-dimensional and so created their own shadow, because the sun is still going around the northern half of the sky and wasn't directly overhead. When I realised they were creating a shadow I rotated them mid-exposure. Bad move. I just blurred the outlines. Also, when they say 'leave to dry flat' they mean that. Don't move them mid-drying either. I think that is why I have this crumpled, curled-up mess of a piece of paper. And you probably don't need to swill the paper around so much in the water to "rinse" either but can just let it sit there.

Anyway, without further ado, here are the ghosts of some micro-casette tapes.

Then I tried a feather and didn't expose it as long. You really do need to let them completely dry before you can see the final result, because it took a long time for them to turn this blue.

But now, after this experiment, I can see better things to come. It's quite fun and really very simple. I just need to work out what is suitable to sunprint next!

Shakespeare, 1st October

When great leaves fall,
Then winter is at hand.

King Richard III., Act ii., Sc. 3.

A gracious innocent soul.

Winter's Tale, Act ii., Sc. 3.

No profit grows where is no pleasure ta'en.

Taming of the Shrew, Act i., Sc. 1.