Stop Breaking Your Own Damn Heart – Kris Gage – Medium


via Stop Breaking Your Own Damn Heart – Kris Gage – Medium

Believe it or not day


Did you know…

… that today is Believe It or Not Day? In 1918, Robert Ripley began his “Believe It or Not” column in “The New York Globe.” Subjects covered in Ripley’s cartoons and text ranged from sports feats to little known facts about unusual and exotic sites.

~~~

Today’s Inspirational Quote:

“Just a word of advice. Whenever you’re furious with your parents or you think they’re terrible, just remember, you vomited on them and they kept you.”

— John Green

Indian, Chinese soldiers break into ‘Bhangra’ —Twitter has a field day | Business Insider India


Indian and Chinese troops danced to the tunes of ‘bhangra’ after a joint military exercise, for the 7th Sino-India joint exercise in China.
The video was shared from the Indian Army’s social handles.
The exercise will focus on a balance of indoor classes and outdoor training activities for soldiers of both countries.

via Indian, Chinese soldiers break into ‘Bhangra’ —Twitter has a field day | Business Insider India

An early retiree who interviewed 100 millionaires discovered nearly all of them got rich using the same 3-step strategy | Business Insider India


John, who runs the personal-finance blog ESI Money, has spent the past few years interviewing millionaires.
He found that many employ a simple three-step strategy to build wealth: Earn good money, save it, and invest it.
Contrary to popular belief, it doesn’t take a lucky big risk or an inheritance to become a millionaire.

via An early retiree who interviewed 100 millionaires discovered nearly all of them got rich using the same 3-step strategy | Business Insider India

You can learn the secret to creating the joy of expectation while eliminating the pain of disappointment. — The Speech Wiz


“Hope is not a substitute for expectation.”
Don E. Smith

Expectations are the lifeblood of your existence. A single expectation can influence a decision, create an industry, drive innovation, initiate a relationship and, ultimately, change the world.

Simultaneously, an expectation, if unfulfilled, can be demoralizing.

via You can learn the secret to creating the joy of expectation while eliminating the pain of disappointment. — The Speech Wiz

The top 5% who can change your company – The Startup – Medium


“These people are thought to be the organization’s most capable, most motivated, and most likely to ascend to positions of responsibility and power.”

via The top 5% who can change your company – The Startup – Medium

While Everyone Is Distracted By Social Media, Successful People Double Down On An Underrated Skill


“The information we consume matters just as much as the food we put in our body. It affects our thinking, our behavior, how we understand our place in the world. And how we understand others.” — Evan Williams, Co-Founder of Twitter and Medium

via While Everyone Is Distracted By Social Media, Successful People Double Down On An Underrated Skill

While Everyone Is Distracted By Social Media, Successful People Double Down On An Underrated Skill


“The information we consume matters just as much as the food we put in our body. It affects our thinking, our behavior, how we understand our place in the world. And how we understand others.” — Evan Williams, Co-Founder of Twitter and Medium

via While Everyone Is Distracted By Social Media, Successful People Double Down On An Underrated Skill

The best newsletter I love is : Brainpickings.org


 This is a special annual edition of the Brain Pickings newsletter by Maria Popova. The regular Sunday edition will be with you predictably and reliably this weekend. If you find any value and joy in my labor of love, please consider supporting it with a donation – over these twelve years, I have spent tens of thousands of hours and tremendous resources on Brain Pickings, and every little bit of support helps keep it going. And if you already donate: THANK YOU.

The Loveliest Children’s Books of 2018

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Once a year, every year, I reread The Little Prince and manage to find in it new layers of loveliness and wisdom each time, always seemingly written to allay whatever my greatest struggle at that moment is. It is a special book, yes, but it is not singular in being a testament to something I have long believed: that great children’s books transcend both age and time. They are exquisite distillations of philosophies for living, addressing in the language of children — which is the language of absolute sincerity, so countercultural in our age of cynicism — the deepest, most eternal truths about what it means to live a meaningful, beautiful, inspired, noble life. Although written with children in mind, they speak to the eternal child that each of us lives with and answers to, but often neglects — something Antoine de Saint-Exupéry knew and articulated beautifully in dedicating The Little Prince to the little boy inside his grown-up best friend.

Here are the loveliest such timeless, ageless illustrated philosophies for living that I read in 2018. (And in this spirit of timelessness, treat yourself to their counterparts from 2017201620152014201320122011, and 2010.)

BEAR AND WOLF

bearandwolf.jpgOtherness has always been how we define ourselves — by contrast and distinction from what is unlike us, we find out what we are like: As I have previously written, we are what remains after everything we are not. But otherness can also be the most beautiful ground for connection — in slicing through the surface unlikenesses, we can discover a deep wellspring of kinship, which in turn enlarges our understanding of ourselves and the other. “The world’s otherness is antidote to confusion,” Mary Oliver wrote in her moving account of what saved her life“Standing within this otherness… can re-dignify the worst-stung heart.”

That is what Brooklyn-based author and illustrator Daniel Salmieri explores with great thoughtfulness and tenderness in Bear and Wolf (public library).

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On a calm winter’s night, Bear ventures into the forest in consonance with Thoreau’s love of winter walks and his insistence that “we must go out and re-ally ourselves to Nature every day.” As she savors the touch of the sparkling snowflakes falling on her fur, she spots “something poking from the glistening white.”

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2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngAt the same time, Wolf was out walking, then he spotted something poking out form the glistening white.

As the two solitary walkers approach, they see each other up close — a young bear, a young wolf.

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2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngShe could see the wolf’s pointy snout, smooth gray fur, golden eyes, and wet black nose… He could see the bear’s big round head, soft black fur, deep brown eyes, and wet black nose.

In a testament to Anaïs Nin’s observation that “it is a sign of great inner insecurity to be hostile to the unfamiliar,” Bear and Wolf meet each other not with frightened hostility but with openhearted, compassionate curiosity. Their encounter is a shared question mark regarded with mutual goodwill and concern for rather than fear of the other:

2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.png“Are you lost?” asked Bear.

“No, I’m not lost. Are you?” asked Wolf.

“No, I’m not lost. I’m out for a walk to feel the cold on my face, and to enjoy the quiet of the woods when it snows. What are you doing?”

“I’m out for a walk to feel the cold under my paws, and to listen to the crunching of the snow as I walk.”

“Do you want to walk with me?” asked Bear.

“Sure,” said Wolf.

And so they head into the woods furry side by furry side, wet nose near wet nose, aware that they are “both creatures made to be comfortable in the very cold.” They savor the splendor of this forest world they share, smelling “the wet bark on the trees,” listening to “the small sounds” of the snowflakes falling on their fur, looking closely at the multitude of shapes.

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Meanwhile, above them, Bird spots two tiny figures “poking out from the glistening white.”

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As Bear and Wolf walk forth, they come upon a great white clearing in the woods — a place faintly familiar, for they have both been there before, but in the summertime. What is now a vast oval of white was then a vast blue lake.

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They venture onto the frozen lake, clean a window of ice, and peer down to see fish floating, asleep.

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And then the time comes for them to part ways and return to their separate lives, lived in parallel in this shared world.

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See more here.

JEROME BY HEART

jeromebyheart.jpgTo love every fiber of another’s being with every fiber of your own is a rare, beautiful, and thoroughly disorienting experience — one which the term in love feels too small to hold. Its fact becomes a gravitational center of your emotional universe so powerful that the curvature of language and reality bends beyond recognition, radiating Nietzsche’s lamentation that language is not the adequate expression of all realities. The consummate reality of such a love is the native poetry of existence, known not in language but by heart.

The uncontainable, unclassifiable beauty of such love is what French writer Thomas Scotto explores with great tenderness in Jerome by Heart (public library), translated by Claudia Bedrick and Karin Snelson, and illustrated by the ever-wonderful Olivier Tallec — the story of a little boy named Raphael and his boundless adoration for another little boy, Jerome, which unfolds in Scotto’s lovely words like a poem, like a song.

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2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngHe always holds my hand.
It’s true.
Really tight.

Jerome always sees Raphael from far away, shares his snacks with him, and pairs up with him on school trips to the art museum. Under Tallec’s sensitive brush, we see them standing side by side, peering into a painting together — a sweet embodiment of Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s assertion that “love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction.”

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2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngThat’s why I love Jerome.

It doesn’t bother me at all.
Raphael loves Jerome.
I can say it.
It’s easy.

Jerome and Raphael share a love pure and infinite. It flows between them at its most buoyant and expansive, which means its most unselfconscious. But the grownups around them, caught in the tyranny of labels and classifications too small, are made uneasy by its largeness — a tragic testament to Bob Dylan’s observation that “people have a hard time accepting anything that overwhelms them.”

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Eventually, Raphael begins to feel the weight of their unease at so boundless a bond. He sorrows in his dad’s lament that Jerome isn’t strong because he doesn’t play soccer and in his mom’s impression of Jerome as merely “polite,” in her blindness to “how warm his smile is” and to the “secret hideout” Raphael has in it.

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Against the smallness of his parents’ perception, Raphael takes solace in the largeness that fills his own heart.

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See more here.

A VELOCITY OF BEING

avelocityofbeing_cover.jpgHaving devoted eight years of my life to it, and having a heart swelling with gratitude to the legion of writers and artists who contributed original letters and illustrations for this monumental labor of love, I must proudly include A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader(public library) — a collection of original letters to the children of today and tomorrow about why we read and what books do for the human spirit, composed by 121 of the most interesting and inspiring humans in our world: Jane Goodall, Yo-Yo Ma, Jacqueline Woodson, Ursula K. Le Guin, Mary Oliver, Neil Gaiman, Amanda Palmer, Rebecca Solnit, Elizabeth Gilbert, Shonda Rhimes, Alain de Botton, James Gleick, Anne Lamott, Diane Ackerman, Judy Blume, Eve Ensler, David Byrne, Sylvia Earle, Richard Branson, Daniel Handler, Marina Abramović, Regina Spektor, Elizabeth Alexander, Adam Gopnik, Debbie Millman, Dani Shapiro, Tim Ferriss, Ann Patchett, a 98-year-old Holocaust survivor, Italy’s first woman in space, and many more immensely accomplished and largehearted artists, writers, scientists, philosophers, entrepreneurs, musicians, and adventurers whose character has been shaped by a life of reading.

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Art by Lara Hawthorne for a letter by Jacqueline Woodson from A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader.

Accompanying each letter is an original illustration by a prominent artist in response to the text — including beloved children’s book illustrators like Sophie Blackall, Oliver Jeffers, Isabelle Arsenault, Jon Klassen, Shaun Tan, Olivier Tallec, Christian Robinson, Marianne Dubuc, Lisa Brown, Carson Ellis, Mo Willems, Peter Brown, and Maira Kalman.

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Art by Isabelle Arsenault for a letter by Jacqueline Novogratz from A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader.

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Art by Beatrice Alemagna for a letter by Adam Gopnik from A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader.

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Art by Vladimir Radunsky for a letter by Ann Patchett from A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader.

Because this project was born of a deep concern for the future of books and a love of literature as a pillar of democratic society, we are donating 100% of proceeds from the book to the New York public library system in gratitude for their noble work in stewarding literature and democratizing access to the written record of human experience. The gesture is inspired in large part by James Baldwin’s moving recollection of how he used the library to read his way from Harlem to the literary pantheon and Ursula K. Le Guin’s insistence that “a great library is freedom.” (Le Guin is one of four contributors we lost between the outset of the project and its completion, for all of whom their letter is their last published work.)

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Art by Marianne Dubuc for a letter by Elizabeth Gilbert from A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader.

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Art by Christoph Niemann for a letter by William Powers from A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader.

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Art by Felicita Sala for a letter by David Whyte from A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader.

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Art by Brian Rea for a letter by Chris Anderson from A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader.

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Art by Oliver Jeffers for a letter by Holland Taylor from A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader.

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Art by Julie Paschkis for a letter by Sarah Lewis from A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader.

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Art by Maira Kalman for a letter by Paul Holdengräber from A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader.

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Art by Kenard Pak for a letter by Terry Teachout from A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader.

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Art by Violeta Lópiz for a letter by Lucianne Walkowicz from A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader.

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Art by Sophie Blackall for a letter by Neil Gaiman from A Velocity of Being: Letters to a Young Reader.

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Read more here.

THE FOREST

theforest_bozzi.jpg“When we have learned how to listen to trees,” Hermann Hesse wrote in his lyrical love letter to our arboreal companions“then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy.” When Walt Whitman beheld the singular wisdom of trees, he saw in them qualities “almost emotional, palpably artistic, heroic.” Philosopher Martin Buber insisted that trees can teach us to see others as they truly are.

Indeed, whatever the splendor, wisdom, and heroism of trees may be, it stems from the individual’s orientation to the whole — not only as an existential metaphor, but as a biological reality as science is uncovering the remarkable communication systemvia which trees feel and communicate with one another. Biologist David George Haskell recognized this in his poetic expedition to a dozen of the world’s most unusual trees“The forest is not a collection of entities [but] a place entirely made from strands of relationship.”

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That relational, existential mesmerism is what Italian author Riccardo Bozziexplores in The Forest (public library), illustrated by Violeta Lopíz and Valerio Vidali, and translated from the Italian by Debbie Bibo. Less a book than a tactile expedition into the existential wilderness, the journey unfolds across time and space, in “an enormous, ancient forest that has not yet been fully explored.”

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The illustrations, minimalist yet luscious, peek through die-cuts and stretch across gatefolds, emulating the way one lovely thing becomes another when you look closely at nature with generous attentiveness to life at all scales.

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Constructed in the tradition of Japanese binding, the book is wrapped in translucent velum that gives the lush cover illustration the aura of a mist-enveloped forest early in the morning.

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The story begins when the forest is young — little more than a grove of small trees. With each page, it grows thicker and thicker, more impenetrable and more fascinating at the same time. We see the silhouettes of the explorers — white shadows cast of negative space against the vibrant forest — trek and kneel “to investigate its beauties and its dangers.”

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2e292385-dc1c-4cfe-b95e-845f6f98c2ec.pngIt is said that the forest has a certain limit if you look straight ahead, but the sides are boundless. Here is where the explorers can venture with enjoyment and curiosity.

As the forest grows, so does the explorer: Rising out of the crisp-white page are the subtly embossed faces of different genders and races, also progressing along the way of life — an infant, an adolescent boy, a young woman, an old man.

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See more here.

LOVE

love_mattdelapena.jpg“What is love?” Kafka asked in contemplating love and the power of patience“After all, it is quite simple,” he answered his own question. “Love is everything which enhances, widens, and enriches our life. In its heights and in its depths. Love has as few problems as a motor-car. The only problems are the driver, the passengers, and the road.”