Tragic Young Girls

I remember the first time I heard Teen Angel as a kid, on the radio.  It was so ridiculously over-the-top that I burst out laughing, certain that everyone was in on the joke– then turned to see my little sister, tears streaming down her face, glaring at me as if I were some kind of monster.

Which brings me to Girlfriend in a Coma by The Smiths.  Is it a parody of a sad song, a legitimately sad song, or a hybrid of the two?

I have my own opinion, which experience has taught me to keep to myself.

Full lyrics HERE.

 

Just for a while…

Artist Debbie Tung is on the web HERE.

The Breakup Song

This one took me a while to find because all I could remember was “Uh-uh-uh, uh-uh-uh-uh-uh,” and you can’t Google that.

The Greg Kihn Band is still together and still touring, although not as much as they did when they were young.  Their website is HERE.

Full lyrics HERE.

 

He had no idea.

“What a drag it is, getting old.”  ~Mick Jagger, age 23, in Mother’s Little Helper

Aimlessness

“The Heart Sutra says that there is ‘nothing to attain.’ We meditate not to attain enlightenment, because enlightenment is already in us. We don’t have to search anywhere. We don’t need a purpose or a goal. We don’t practice in order to obtain some high position. In aimlessness, we see that we do not lack anything, that we already are what we want to become, and our striving just comes to a halt. We are at peace in the present moment, just seeing the sunlight streaming through our window or hearing the sound of the rain. We don’t have to run after anything. We can enjoy every moment. People talk about entering nirvana, but we are already there. Aimlessness and nirvana are one.”  ~Thich Nhat Hanh

“Not all who wander are lost.”  ~John Ronald Reuel Tolkien

Speaks

yagate shinu
keshiki wa miezu
semi no koe

Of its approaching death
The cicada speaks
Not a word

~Matsuo Bashō, translated by Hart Larrabee, from Haiku: Classic Japanese Short Poems © 2016

Does Bashō think the cicadas are frivolous, or does he admire their ability to live solely in the moment?

We don’t know.  Because of the brevity of the form, the poet simply shows us a scene.  It’s up to us to attach meaning.

Keep On Rollin’ With the Flow

“Get out of the construction business! Stop building bridges across the raging waters of samsaric existence, attempting to reach the ‘far shore,’ nirvana. Better to simply relax, at ease and carefree, in total naturalness, and just go with the primordial flow, however it occurs and happens. And remember this: whether or not you go with the flow, it always goes with you.”  ~Nyoshul Khen Rinpoche

We Will Surely Meet the Monkey

Excerpted from Turning Confusion into Clarity: A Guide to the Foundation Practices of Tibetan Buddhism by Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche, ©2014:

In private interviews, I hear about problems with family members, partners, and employers. When you listen, the problems sound so small. But if you think about that problem again and again, it gets bigger and bigger. Making a mountain out of a molehill is the monkey’s specialty. This is the nature of the restless monkey-mind. Generally we do not observe the mind itself, so this encounter with the monkey can be confusing. But actually we are beginning to recognize awareness and all the thoughts, feelings, and impulses that are constantly moving through it. If people come to meditation in order to get rid of thoughts, this encounter with the monkey-mind might be disheartening. But we do not have to get rid of the monkey-mind. Ignoring this thought-factory never works, and suppressing it is impossible. But we can befriend it. How do we do this? By hanging around. We’re not aggressive. We do not try to conquer or control our new friend, but if we want to get to know its qualities, we have to stay present for the encounter. When we begin to meditate, no matter what style or tradition we follow, we will surely meet the monkey. But with awareness meditation, we give the monkey a constructive job to do.

And I recommend to all of my friends that they:

Stop watching the news
Because the news contrives to frighten you
To make you feel small and alone
To make you feel that your mind isn’t your own…

Full lyrics HERE.

(via Mark Johnson)

A Mechanical and Communal Art

“I saw that the novel, which at my maturity was the strongest and supplest medium for conveying thought and emotion from one human being to another, was becoming subordinated to a mechanical and communal art that, whether in the hands of Hollywood merchants or Russian idealists, was capable of reflecting only the tritest of thought, the most obvious emotion. It was an art in which words were subordinate to images, where personality was worn down to the inevitable low gear of collaboration. As long ago as 1930, I had a hunch that the talkies would make even the best-selling novelist as archaic as silent pictures.”  ~F. Scott Fitzegerald, in Pasting It Together, 1936

 

 

Radiate

Strahlen (Radiate), 1929, by Wassily Kandinsky

Happy to Know Now

The anecdote below is from the article The Joys of Being Wrong About Yourself by Stephanie Georgopulos:

In February I was introduced to a man, a successful man by any standard, a man called Rupert (and naturally by “introduced,” I mean I heard him talk about himself on Radiolab for three minutes). Rupert is your average 71-year-old podcast guest, probably, except for one thing: He has gone almost his entire life knowing nothing about science. I mean it. I mean it as someone who failed earth science once and biology twice. (I never got around to failing chemistry but I’m confident I could, if given the opportunity.) Rupert could not fail science, because he never took a science class — and in my unscientific opinion, it may have been the best thing to ever happen to him.

Rupert is accomplished in his field: He spent time as a journalist and editor for the Economist, then as the Bank of England’s Deputy Governor; he’s published several books on economics. But until last year, Rupert had never heard of the periodic table. He didn’t know he was a mammal until his wife — a scientist, I shit you not — told him so. (“I thought she was [calling me ‘mammal’] as a term of abuse,” he recalls, jovially.) Rupert narrates his scientific discoveries like a kid with a card trick. Here’s something you’ve never seen before!, except most of us have — but have we, though? Have I?

What struck me about Rupert’s story was not that his Zimbabwean boarding school rewarded the “clever” kids with classes in Greek instead of science, and it’s not the irony that his wife probably knows more about the subject than two handfuls of average adults. It’s that, after studying science for the first time at 71 and realizing his affinity for it, Rupert doesn’t sit there crafting narratives about all the things he could’ve done with his life had he known sooner; he doesn’t bemoan the time wasted. He’s just happy to know now.