The Eyes of St. Peter on the Metro de Madrid

The Tears of St. Peter (El Greco 1587-1596)

I’ve lost count now, of the amount of times I’ve been captivated by a moment and the undying regret at not capturing and preserving it on camera.

And so it happened again – this time the location was the Metro de Madrid – and yet again I felt the full brunt of the anguish at not having the ‘right’ (whatever, that means) camera to record this unusual moment that I would never experience again.

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Why do we fear silence and solitude?

Eric Lacombe – The Weight of Silence

“We come from a generation of people who need their TV or stereo playing all the time. These people so scared of silence. These soundaholics, these quietophobics.”

(Chuck Paluhniak)

“My solitude does not depend on the presence or the absence of people, on the contrary, I hate who steals my solititude without in exchange offering me true company.”

(Friedrich Nietzsche)

I’ve often wondered why so many of us are afraid of silence and solitude?

Is it because we have been surrounded by artificial types of noise from such a young age, that we now crave its presence at every moment in our adult lives?

Or is it that people simply fear sitting on their own, with themselves. And, that any type of noise – even it is of little substance and value – gives them a temporary, superficial feeling of company.

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“Don’t Read Books!” A 12th-Century Zen Poem

Written by Maria Popova

http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/08/19/dont-read-books-zen-poems/

Zen

We live in a culture that often romanticizes books as the tender and exhilarating love-making to the “orgasm without release” of Alan Watts’s admonition against our media gluttony — an antidote to the frantic multitasking of modern media, refuge from the alleged evils of technology, an invitation for slow, reflective thinking in a fast-paced age obsessed with productivity. Books, Kafka memorably asserted, are “the axe for the frozen sea inside us.”

Given I spend the majority of my waking hours reading and writing about books, I have certainly bought into that romantic notion. But everything, it turns out, is a matter of context: Imagine my amusement in chancing upon a poem titled “Don’t Read Books!” in the altogether wonderful slim volume Zen Poems: Everyman’s Library Pocket Poets (public library).

Penned by Chinese poet Yang Wanli in the 12th century, the poem, translated by Jonathan Chaves, is a renunciation of books as a distraction from the core Buddhist virtue of mindful presence:
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