Saturday, July 12, 2008


Slow day. I did both the Saturday and Sunday NYTimes crossword with the spouse. We seem to complement each others' trivial knowledge. My favorite clue - 59. Lord's land... demensne. (Really enjoyed the movie Wordplay - might be nice to watch it again sometime.)

Dr. Michael E. Debakey died yesterday at 99. I read in the NYTimes article:
"Even in his 90s, Dr. DeBakey arose at 5 a.m. every day, wrote in his study for two hours and then drove, often in a sports car, to the hospital, where he stayed until 6 p.m. After dinner, he usually returned to his library for more reading or writing before retiring after midnight."

I often "whine" about not being as disciplined with my time as a I would like to be and wonder what's missing - focus, passion, commitment? I'm not trying to be a heart surgeon just a bit more productive with my time.

I know, I know... less talk more action.

Living consciously...

Okay, this is a new one for me. Today's practice: Before you share your feelings, insights, or advice... Ask willingness questions.

Is this suppose to be some sort of communication "condom" to protects both parties? An example would be "Would you like to hear an opinion I have on that?" This is not something that would roll easily out of my mouth. I think when we talk to each other these 'willingness questions' are build into the nonverbal dynamics.


Quilt Pixie said...

If you're looking for inspiration to become more focused and get on with your vision you might find an audio book at interesting. It was called "how to live on 24 hours a day" by arnold bennett (1867-1931)

Sarah E. said...

I was saddened to read of the death of Dr. DeBakey...I've been familiar with his work for quite a while, and I've been astonished for YEARS at his almost clock-work like schedule. Although I yearn to be more disciplined with the time I've got, I also have to be cognizant that I am just NOT one of those 5-hr-a-night folks. I really need at least 8 to 10. But he certainly is an inspiration! P.S. loved your favorite clue, #59...oh yeah, and thanks to quilt pixie for her previous comment -- I'm going to pop over and check out that book. Regards!

Kim said...

Donna - Thanks! I actually sat and read it online this morning. Short and concise, some good insight and I'm off now to get a copy of Aurora Leigh by E.B. Browning.

Sarah - I enjoyed reading through the book and I think DeBakey lived it! The chapter on Remembering Human Nature, gave me quite a chuckle... "Be careful of regular recurring idleness." and "Habits are a dickens to change!" Since he excludes novels from serious reading, I wonder what Bennett would think of the hours people spend watching television. I guess some of it might be okay, as long as it contributes to a "systematic vitalizing knowledge of the Arts."

I use to be a 5-hr type but it has crept to six. It may be time to re-capture that additional hour!

Kay said...

I think I'll look up the Bennett book; but maybe not--anyone who thinks novels aren't serious sounds like a real philistine to me.

Love the "would you like to hear my opinion on that?". Maybe my family needs to work on that practice. My activity today (it's Feb. 16 for me) is "Make many mistakes." Now that I love!

Kim said...

Kay - Bennett contends that an important factor in cultivating the mind is the feeling of strain - "The best novels involve the least strain. A good novel rushes you forward like a skiff down a stream." He suggests poetry and cites Hazlitt's "On Poetry in General." Reading novels is fine, he just suggest doing it outside of the ninety minutes three times a week.
Just thinking about the literature and poetry I want to read is enough to strain my mind!

(Hazlitt's essay: