Precepts

Russell Lupins in Lake Tekapo.NZNo mud, no lotus.

Thich Nhat Hanh

Loneliness

Tide lines at Sunset.The term ‘loneliness’ first crops up in English around 1800. Before then, the closest word was ‘oneliness’, simply the state of being alone. As with solitude – from the Latin ‘solus’ which meant ‘alone’ – ‘oneliness’ was not coloured by any suggestion of emotional lack. Solitude or oneliness was not unhealthy or undesirable, but rather a necessary space for reflection with God, or with one’s deepest thoughts. Since God was always nearby, a person was never truly alone. Skip forward a century or two, however, and the use of ‘loneliness’ – burdened with associations of emptiness and the absence of social connection – has well and truly surpassed oneliness. What happened?

Fay Bound Alberti

Time

Tulip time.Our life is shorter than flowers.
Then shall we mourn?

No, we shall dance
Plant gardens
Dress in colours
And teach our children
To make the world more beautiful.

Because our life
Is shorter than flowers.

Toltec fragment

Travel

Arcs of LightThere is meaning in every journey that is unknown to the traveller.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Gardens

Doughboy Trail, Copper Falls State Park, Wisconsin, June 8, 2018Gopnik is a professor of psychology and an affiliate professor of philosophy at the University of California, Berkeley. She’s got a mean way with metaphors, and her main idea is that we should raise our children like gardeners, creating the right conditions for our children to grow and bloom, rather than sculpting them—acting like carpenters who attempt to shape and create their children with a desired outcome in mind. Carpenters often try to build replicas of themselves. Gardening involves a bit more humility: it acknowledges that you can’t make a shy child become outgoing, anymore than you make a loud one shut up. But you still can play huge role in supporting the shy one to become more comfortable in groups, or teaching the loud one how to create space for others.

Jenny Anderson