The Monday Morning Quote #690

“The attain knowledge, add things every day.”

“To attain wisdom, remove things every day.”

Lao Tse – Tao Te Ching – Chapter 48


The Monday Morning Quote #688

There are a few times in life when you leap up and the past that you’d been standing on falls away behind you, and the future you mean to land on is not yet in place, and for a moment you’re suspended knowing nothing and no one, not even yourself.

Ann Patchett Via wordsmith.org

The Monday Morning Quote #676

The great thing about getting older is that you don’t lose all the other ages you’ve been.

Madeleine L’Engle, writer (1918-2007) 

This will come to great relief to my wife – I hope….


The Monday Morning Quote #672

Until one is committed…” not by Goethe but W.H. Murray

“Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back.

Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too.

All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred.

A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way.

Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now.

The source of this quote is often attributed to Goethe, but I gather it is from W.H.Murray’s book “The Scottish Himalayan Expedition”.

I also like the briefer form where Murray stated “Nothing happens until you decide.” 


The Monday Morning Quote #618

“The Purpose of getting power is to give it away.”

Aneurin “Nye” Bevan

Tuesday 5th July 2022 “Swim against the tide…”

Quote of the day: We swim against the tide,” says Brook, “and achieve whatever we can in our chosen field. Fate dictated that mine was that of theatre and, within that, I have a responsibility to be as positive and creative as I can. To give way to despair is the ultimate cop-out.” 

Director Peter Brook, who has died at the age of 97. Obituary HERE.

Is It a Physician’s Job to Make Their Patients ‘Happy?’
Interesting question and answer (it depends) from Medscape – worth a read for any clinician forced by circumstances to insert barriers between themselves and their patients. I have met people who prefer, or choose, to have conversations when masked and goggled (“that way they can’t recognise you outside” said one) I don’t understand. It reminds me of a story my mother told me about working in what used to be known as the “special” clinic during the 1940s. Perhaps another time.
My patient is older and hard of hearing, and masks aren’t helping the situation. I raise my voice so he can hear me, which means I lose a lot of nuance and expression in my tone. Within a few minutes, he allows his mask to droop below his nose, as if trying to show me I should do the same — a common occurrence and why I wear a fit-tested N95 for all patient encounters.
I ignore the sagging mask and do my best to answer his questions, but he doesn’t allow me to complete a sentence. He’s angry, and he has every right to be. Anger about a cancer diagnosis is common and a normal human reaction.
But it soon goes beyond that.
“Move that button so I can see your name,” he demands, interrupting me again
…. Continues HERE

Blessed, by John MacKenna (listen to it HERE)
How blessed we are to be alive
How blessed to have the comradeship of real friends
To sit with them and break this leavened or unleavened bread
To know that we are treasured
And to have the gift of giving love
How blessed to walk with dogs
To see the early Autumn leaves come blazing into fire
To drive across a moonlit mountain
To be forgiven and forgive
How blessed we are to be alive.

Music. It’s Robbie Robertson’s birthday (born 1944), famous for being in Bob Dylan’s backing band during The Basement Tapes era then called “The Band”, this is a track from his first solo album which became part of the soundtrack of my life in the year during which I opened my first practice. Showdown at Big Sky. Turn it up.

PS It is my intention to post a blog every day. I hope that it may be of interest to some, it will reflect my life, my work, my beliefs, my interests and my many contradictions. Between now and the next edition I hope to change the format as the current WordPress outline is just not simple enough.

The Monday Morning Quote #706

On July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress adopted the Declaration of Independence…

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.”

Heather Cox Richardson writes well and often (usually six days a week) on matters American. She has taught me a good deal about the USA and I appreciate the clarity she brings. Seen from my little corner of the world she makes a great deal of sense although I do appreciate that other views are available. The principle that she quotes, “America was founded on the radical idea that all men are created equal“, is clearly under pressure.

Her full column from ‘Letters from an American’ is HERE.

More optimistic days:

100 years ago…and an electric watch…

Time for Batteries

“For many years the bugbear of clock-makers has been the main-spring. Spring tension and driving power are greater when the spring is tight than when it is partly run down; regulation to insure running at a uniform rate is the most difficult part of clock-making. A new clock, now on the market after some six years of development, has done away with the main-spring. The driving force is electric, and comes from a battery guaranteed to run for a year. The reason is mainly that current is used intermittently. At each tick of the clock the circuit is closed, and the current flows for an extremely short interval of time; during by far the larger part of each second no ‘juice’ is used.” July 1922 edition of Scientific American

My father was born in 1922, he was not a particularly practical man and, as far as I can tell, never came to terms with the concept of a battery powered watch. I have concluded that he tried to manually wind his “long service” watch because it never worked, a disappointment for him because I know how much he valued the award.

After his death in October 1995 I kept the watch as a keepsake, recently I asked our local jeweler in Skibbereen if he might be able to help. He arranged for the watch to be cleaned, serviced and generally checked out. They replaced the existing battery and the watch has run without problems since then. He would be so pleased to see it on my wrist.

Out of the mouth #1

The Monday Morning Quote #705

“Being friendly/civil with those you disagree with is ultimately the best signal of being a mature and self-aware human being. Holding grudges, fighting forever wars, trying to cancel others is childish & petulant. We move forward faster when more people join the former category.”

Adam Singer

The Monday Morning Quote #704

“Our lives improve only when we take chances… and the first and most difficult risk we can take is to be honest with ourselves…”

Walter Anderson

The Monday Morning Quote #703

To acquire the habit of reading is to construct for yourself a refuge from almost all of the miseries of life.

William Somerset Maugham a writer I have started to read recently…

Hardly a day goes by that I do not reflect on how grateful I am that I was brought up in a house with plenty of books. Also a mention for Rachel Lane who I remember teaching me to read when I was barely 4 and a half.

Choose your analogy with care Mr Secretary

“….Yesterday, the Health Secretary, Sajid Javid, compared the NHS to obsolete Blockbuster video-rental stores “in the age of Netflix”, presumably demonstrating the need for modernisation in the health service. When pressed on what that really meant, a government spokesperson couldn’t give much detail – the plan is just to “dramatically improve productivity”. Considering Netflix lost 200,000 subscribers and $50bn from its market value back in April, and is heading for increased government regulation, it’s a slightly strange analogy – even if you ignore the obvious differences between a video-streaming service and life-saving national healthcare provision….”

From The New Statesman’s Morning Call

The Monday Morning Quote #702

“People sometimes exaggerate this business of humility. It’s a question simply of knowing who you are, where you are, and that the world will continue exactly as it is without you.” 

Rafa Nadal (Rafael Nadal Parera)

The Monday Morning Quote #701

A rule of thumb: if you don’t care about something, don’t *wang on about not caring about it. Wang on about all the things you do care about instead. Here’s another: if you see people getting enthusiastic and happy about something, then, as long as it’s not positively harmful, don’t tell them it’s s**t. The only reason to do so is to make yourself look good in the eyes of people who already agree with you, which is a pretty shabby reason to p**s on someone’s parade.

Ian Leslie in his Ruffian letter. “What’s the point of patriotism?” Link HERE

*PS I am presuming the use of the word “wang” refers to its old and middle English meaning, related to jaw or cheek….you, of course, can choose your own definition.

The Monday Morning Quote #700

700 of these MMQs, something of a milestone, I shall be changing a few things around over the next month or so, hopefully writing and sharing more here, possibly even doing some renaming, time will tell and, of course, so will truth.

I’m repeating some words by Ira Glass that my son shared with me during the summer of 2019 and were first presented here in August of that year. They are worth a second glance and some thought, this time they are augmented by a video.

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. 
All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. 
But there is this gap. 
For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. 
It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. 
But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. 
And your taste is why your work disappoints you. 
A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. 
Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. 
We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. 
We all go through this. 
And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. 
Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. 
It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. 
And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. 
It’s gonna take awhile. 
It’s normal to take awhile. 
You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

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