Category Archives: Praxis

Quote This

Editorial: I’m not a big collector of pithy quotes, but from time to time one will jump at me.  Spring cleaning on my laptop turned up these.

Be curious, not judgmental.
― Walt Whitman

When you talk, you are only repeating what you already know. But if you listen, you may learn something new.
― Tenzin Gyatso, 14th Dalai Lama

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.
― Mark Twain

I first ran for Congress in 1999, and I got beat. I just got whooped. I had been in the state legislature for a long time, I was in the minority party, I wasn’t getting a lot done, and I was away from my family and putting a lot of strain on Michelle. Then for me to run and lose that bad, I was thinking maybe this isn’t what I was cut out to do. I was forty years old, and I’d invested a lot of time and effort into something that didn’t seem to be working. But the thing that got me through that moment, and any other time that I’ve felt stuck, is to remind myself that it’s about the work. Because if you’re worrying about yourself—if you’re thinking: ‘Am I succeeding? Am I in the right position? Am I being appreciated?’ – then you’re going to end up feeling frustrated and stuck. But if you can keep it about the work, you’ll always have a path. There’s always something to be done.
― Barack Obama

The fruit of silence is prayer; the fruit of prayer is faith; the fruit of faith is love; the fruit of love is service; and the fruit of service is peace.
― Mother Teresa

I thought I was pretty cool until I realized plants can eat the sun and poop out air.
― Jim Bugg (?)

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Filed under Bagatelle, Praxis

T.H. White

“The best thing for being sad,” replied Merlin, beginning to puff and blow, “is to learn something. That’s the only thing that never fails. You may grow old and trembling in your anatomies, you may lie awake at night listening to the disorder of your veins, you may miss your only love, you may see the world about you devastated by evil lunatics, or know your honour trampled in the sewers of baser minds. There is only one thing for it then — to learn. Learn why the world wags and what wags it. That is the only thing which the mind can never exhaust, never alienate, never be tortured by, never fear or distrust, and never dream of regretting. Learning is the only thing for you. Look what a lot of things there are to learn.”

The Once and Future King, by T.H. White

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Karl Ove Knausgaard

Time is slipping away from me, running through my fingers like sand while I do what? Clean floors, wash clothes, make dinner, wash up, go shopping, play with the children in the play areas, bring them home, undress them, bathe them, look after them until it is bedtime, tuck them in, hang some clothes to dry, fold others, and put them away, tidy up, wipe tables, chairs and cupboards.

My Struggle: Book Four, by Karl Ove Knausgaard,

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Filed under Bagatelle, Praxis, Quotes

Yekaterina Samutsevich

Editorial: Yekaterina Samutsevich is the defendant in a criminal case against the Russian feminist punk group Pussy Riot. Her closing statement is well worth reading especially if you study the formation and maintenance of state power apparati:
http://chtodelat.wordpress.com/2012/08/08/yekaterina-samutsevich-closing-statement/

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Filed under Praxis, Quotes, Sureness

Jules-Alexis Muenier

La leçon de catéchisme (1890)
Musée des Beaux-Arts et d’Archéologie de Besançon
oil on canvas

Editorial: We are giving catechism a go. I have reservations that are admittedly abstract. The word itself is unfortunate– to sound down to. And while I like the idea of studying doctrines intellectually (in this case Christian doctrines), the thought of indoctrinating our daughter is rather off-putting. I am accepting the skepticism and discomfort as part of the process itself, which is why for now we are leaning in.

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Filed under Editorial, Etymology, Images, Praxis

Bertolt Brecht

How Fortunate the Man with None
by Bertolt Brecht

You saw sagacious Solomon
You know what came of him,
To him complexities seemed plain.
He cursed the hour that gave birth to him
And saw that everything was vain.
How great and wise was Solomon.
The world however did not wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It’s wisdom that had brought him to this state.
How fortunate the man with none.

You saw courageous Caesar next
You know what he became.
They deified him in his life
Then had him murdered just the same.
And as they raised the fatal knife
How loud he cried: you too my son!
The world however did not wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It’s courage that had brought him to that state.
How fortunate the man with none.

You heard of honest Socrates
The man who never lied:
They weren’t so grateful as you’d think
Instead the rulers fixed to have him tried
And handed him the poisoned drink.
How honest was the people’s noble son.
The world however did not wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It’s honesty that brought him to that state.
How fortunate the man with none.

Here you can see respectable folk
Keeping to God’s own laws.
So far he hasn’t taken heed.
You who sit safe and warm indoors
Help to relieve our bitter need.
How virtuously we had begun.
The world however did not wait
But soon observed what followed on.
It’s fear of god that brought us to that state.
How fortunate the man with none.

from Mother Courage and Her Children (1939)

Editorial: Enjoy this as spoken verse.

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Filed under Poems, Praxis

Wislawa Szymborska

Vermeer
by Wislawa Szymborska

So long as that woman from the Rijksmuseum
in painted quiet and concentration
keeps pouring milk day after day
from the pitcher to the bowl
the World hasn’t earned
the world’s end.

Translated from the Polish by Clare Cavanagh and Stanisław Barańczak
http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2010/aug/19/vermeer/

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Filed under Poems, Praxis, Sureness