Sunday, February 17, 2019

Jordan Peterson, via Norman Doidge 

All the ancients, from Buddha to the biblical authors, knew what every slightly worn-out adult knows, that life is suffering.  If you are suffering, or someone close to you is, that's sad.  But alas, it's not particularly special.  We don't suffer only because "politicians are dimwitted," or "the system is corrupt," or because you and I, like almost everyone else, can legitimately describe ourselves, in some way, as a victim of something or someone.  It is because we are born human that we are guaranteed a good dose of suffering … Rearing kids is hard, work is hard, aging, sickness and death are hard, and [Peterson emphasizes] that doing all that totally on your own, without the benefit of a loving relationship, or wisdom, or the psychological insights of the greatest psychologists, only makes it harder.  [In saying this] He wasn't scaring [his] students; in fact, they found this frank talk reassuring, because in the depths of their psyches, most of them knew what he said was true, even if there was never a forum to discuss it -- perhaps because the adults in their lives had become so naively overprotective that they deluded themselves into thinking that not talking about suffering would in some way magically protect their children from it.

Monday, February 4, 2019

Love's Labour

Pushing spindles of steel wire up an incline on my hands and knees,
And barrels of ten pennies hoisted to a lorry bed,
The back egad in spasms of an older man.

The healing hands of Sheila.  Always healing.
Then a steaming checkered rag pressed hard against the small of it.
The tickling raven hair upon my neck as if on purpose.

Ministrations.   Eye contact thereafter in a grungy twilit room.
By what law can it not lead to kisses
In such happy seldom circumstances?

Saturday, February 2, 2019


Barbarism is not the prehistory of humanity but the faithful shadow that accompanies its every step.

                                                                                                                                                                                       -- Alain Finkielkraut