“The true man, the suffering man, is both rebellion and obedience, the ecstasy of apostasy and the hell of inevitable compliance…We are all of us Milton, rebelling and complying and rebelling and complying until we die exhausted.”

-from Mortals by Norman Rush p 225


Disappearing Acts

“The magician seemed to promise that something torn to bits might be mended without a seam, that what had vanished might reappear, that a scattered handful of doves or dust might be reunited by a word, that a paper rose consumed by fire could be made to bloom from a pile of ash. But everyone knew this was only an illusion. The true magic of this broken world lay in the ability of the things it contained to vanish, to become so thoroughly lost, that they might never have existed in the first place.”

-Michael Chabon in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay

A Recurring Theme

Rumi sums it up best:

“The way the ripe must feel the raw can’t tell,

my speech must be concise, and so farewell!”

The Masnavi Book 1, translated by Jawid Mojaddedi


Our Ramadan Treat

This year for Ramadan we decided to treat ourselves with….a subscription to HBO. Some people go for all night prayers (tarawih), while we watch episodes of “Veep”.

“I have set my qiblah straight in the way of the crooked-hatted!” -Amir Khusraw




Life of the Party

“It is not hard to be popular with any group, whether composed of the most conventional Canadians or of Central European freaks, if one is prepared to talk to people about themselves.”

-from Fifth Business by Robertson Davies


My Favorite Fortune Cookie Fortune

“You have an unusual magnetic personality. Just be aware of your polarity.”

-found in my cookie last night


The Tribe Gifts Us with Meaning

“(This book)…is about why-for many people-war feels better than peace and hardship can turn out to be a great blessing and disasters are sometimes remembered more fondly than weddings or tropical vacations. Humans don’t mind hardship, in fact they thrive on it, what they mind is not feeling necessary. Modern society has perfected the art of making people not feel necessary.”

-Sebastian Junger in Tribe: On Homecoming and Belonging


A Quote for Solstice

“How far that little candle throws his beams.

So shines a good deed in a naughty world.”

-Shakespeare in The Merchant of Venice


Made to Measure

“(What fabrications they are, mothers. Scarecrows, wax dolls for us to stick pins into, crude diagrams. We deny them an existence of their own, we make them up to suit ourselves- our own hungers, our own wishes, our own deficiencies. Now that I’ve been one myself, I know.)”

-from The Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood


Self-Fulfilling Rat Race

“But these were days of self-fulfillment, where settling for something that was not quite your first choice of a life seemed weak-willed and ignoble. Somewhere, surrendering to what seemed to be your fate had changed from being dignified to being a sign of your own cowardice. There were times when the pressure to achieve happiness felt almost oppressive, as if happiness were something that everyone should and could attain, and that any sort of compromise in its pursuit was somehow your fault.”

-Hanya Yanagihara in A Little Life, p 41