Tuesday, February 2, 2016

How to Live

"How does one achieve peace of mind? On this latter point, Plutarch's advice was the same as Seneca's: focus on what is present in front of you, and pay full attention to it." - from How to Live: A Life of Montaigne in one question and twenty attempts at an answer, by Sarah Bakewell

So, "Be Here Now" is not just a New Age philosophy, is it!

I've been reading Bakewell's biography of Michel de Montaigne, who was a self-examiner if ever there was one, and whose most common written statement might well have been "but I'm not sure."

A few bits, among the many, that struck me:

"Montaigne himself did not brood in his tower like a Gormenghast earl: he liked to be out walking."

"Easy conversation in trivial situations was valuable; it opened the path to deeper relationships, and to the more pleasant evenings where one could joke and laugh at ease."

"The only hope of emerging from the fog of misinterpretation is to remain alert to its existence: that is, to become wise at one's own expense."


Meanwhile, I'm going outside for a walk under the big sky.

Dear Shelly

Your Christmas creation has managed to stay on the back step all winter so far. A Christmas miracle, apparently.

It's a pleasure to see it out there and remember your last visit. 

Your pail of pussywillow blew off the step and was set up in the snow on the table below, but I see it has blown onto the ground and needs a "quieter" spot.