Archive | March, 2014

Help?

31 Mar

One way to succeed is to help others, but be careful about giving help to takers. (Weir, K. The science of karma. Monitor on Psychology, 2013, 44(9), pp. 28-30.)

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Wisdom

27 Mar

Anais Nin: We don’t see things as they are; we see things as we are.

Novel Comments

23 Mar

Ron Rash’s newest novel, The Cove (2012, New York: Harper Collins) is, in the opinion of many his best so far. It is, in his own words, “a very dark fairy tale” situated in my favorite state, North Carolina. The fairy story has a woman locals think to be a witch, a cursed place  (the cove), a well, a brother and sister alone in the woods, and the town’s version of the evil outsiders (Germans), and a magic flute. 

Rash masterfully uses as his landscape the Appalachia around Mars Hill in the late days of World War I, hence the vilified Germans. He depicts this setting with such detail and lyricism that it has the status of yet another character, perhaps the most complex of any in the story. 

This story, to me, is a powerful portrayal of the effects of prejudice, superstition, and a simplistic understanding of good and evil. All of these seem to me to be traps waiting for us all. Although all of these traps were fallen into in the story and resulted in tragedy, something important did remain, the German player of the flute and his enhanced ability to play it magically because he, indeed, had been to the well and understood more fully the human condition.

Courage

21 Mar

Don Henley: Sometimes you get the best light from a burning bridge.

We have the best heath care?

17 Mar

Just about all Americans, no matter age, income, education, and the presence or absence of health insurance, have worse health than people in other wealthy countries. Weir, K. The health-wealth gap,.Monitor on Psychology, 2013, 44(9), pp. 36-41.

Wisdom

12 Mar

Lena Horne: It’s not the load that breaks you down; it’s the way you carry it.

Novel Comments

9 Mar

Beguiled by rave reviews, I read the Uninvited Guests (2012, New York: Harper) by Sadie Jones. It had many strengths, as it offered up a mixture of Edwardian manners and the Gothic. It was witty, scary, and often both at once. And, after all, who doesn’t like a happy ending for characters who have changed for the better and found true love and/or more personal freedom? However, there was way too much about mud and excrement. At first it was funny but it became repetitive and tiresome. I began to read more quickly just to get through. But perhaps I’m just a stick in the mud (Sorry, couldn’t resist.).