Friday, September 23, 2016

"The Guest House"

Someone I know sent along this poem to a friend during a moment of self-questioning. It captures well one of the tricks i'm trying to master, which is to accept and deal with whatever reality is in front of you at the moment rather than wastefully wishing things were otherwise.

The Guest House

This being human is a guest house.
Every morning a new arrival.

A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
As an unexpected visitor.

Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they're a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.

The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.

Be grateful for whoever comes,
because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.

By Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi, as translated by Coleman Barks. Original version located here.

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Approaching Ceres

NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory just did something really cool: they plugged images from Dawn's approach to Ceres and generated a 3D video of the spacecraft's approach to the dwarf planet. It's a fascinating short movie with lots of amazing detail. You should watch it.

Thursday, April 30, 2015

The Church at SXSW

I'm so happy that a recording of The Church's electronic show from this year's SXSW show is online. I'm listening to it now and having very pleasant flashbacks to the show I attended in March. Damn these guys are good. And listening to them live gives you a sense for the dynamic kick-ass guitar interplay, Powles' modern-day Bonham-style drumming, and sheer joy of their music. My favorite is their update of You Took (skip ahead to ~21:00).

Related Posts:
You Took

Friday, April 17, 2015

Brock Holt: Too Valuable to Start

Baseball is a funny game. On one hand, it seems very simple. Throw ball, hit ball, catch ball.  But part of the allure of the game is how complex the game actually is under that surface.

This came to mind yet again as I read Over the Monster's article What needs to happen for Brock Holt to play full-time for the Red Sox? The main point of the article is that the same thing that makes Holt valuable to the Sox – his above average versatility – will prevent him from being a starter. As Matt Collins writes:
Last season was his coming out party to the league, and he played almost literally everywhere. He logged 327 innings at third, 264-2/3 in right, 101 at short, 74 at second, 57-2/3 in center, 70-1/3 at first and 60 in left. He joined Denny Hocking as the only players since 1914 to play at least eight games at each position besides pitcher and catcher. One would think that would be enough to earn an everyday role somewhere, but on this team, Holt might be too valuable on the bench to have a consistent spot in the lineup.
This seems counter intuitive until you dive into the logic. As Collins details, in every position on the field, the Sox have better options then Holt at each single position, both as a starter and as a backup, but nobody that's a better option for ALL of the positions. (Catcher and Pitcher excluded, of course, but honestly i'd like to see Holt give those a go as well.) Holt's value as a backup extraordinaire outweighs his value at any single position. Bizarre. But at the end of the day, we're lucky to have a player like him - I have no doubt he'll prove his worth many times over the course of the season.

Cross Posted on Reading, Running and Red Sox

Friday, April 3, 2015

You Took

I heard this song for the first time at The Church's amazing show at The Sinclair in Cambridge MA a few weeks ago. Simply amazing. Kilbey's voice is so much richer than it was back in the day. And as good as the studio version is - it rocked incredibly hard on stage. Take it away boys...

Friday, February 13, 2015

Diversity was Necessary

I was astounded by the sublimity of this vision [of social Darwinism in business], whose implications spread far beyond the business sphere. Thinking back to my first discussion with Riley, I wondered if this weren't the answer to the question he’d proposed: How was the Christian to reconcile the existence of evil with the unconditional benignancy of God? Or, alternatively, how did the Taoist reconcile the existence of what was not Tao – which represented an affront to its essential nature, even contradicted it – with the primordial unity of all things in Tao? Was it possible that this was the answer? If so, then on both counts the objections were based on a simple narrowness of view. Once the Great Whole was seen, objections flew away like chaff. Evil, then, was the crucible in which the good was tried and proved. The unnatural was the fever which the body suffered internally to purify itself and become well again. The sores and the corrupt places of the economic world, as of the larger, were where the Tao had sent the legions of its influence, its platelets and leukocytes, its antibodies and white corpuscles, to eradicate diversity’s failed experiments, devouring the excesses of the blood. Diversity was necessary to insure the greatest possible perfection, and if it created a few monstrosities as well, then it all provided  for their destruction by natural selection. That was the miracle! Everything was tending towards the good!

- David Payne, Confessions from a Taoist on Wall Street, p. 577

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Functionaries

“Monsters exist, but they are too few in number to be truly dangerous. More dangerous are the common men, the functionaries ready to believe and to act without asking questions.”
- Primo Levi