Time Capsule #74
Jamaica, Dostoevsky, and the story of the impatient man.
Welcome to the Time Capsule — a weekly newsletter that discusses the practicalities of life and explores the wisdom, ideas, and events of the past to help you build a better future.
💭 Quote(s) of the Week
I think everything in life is art. What you do. How you dress. The way you love someone, and how you talk. Your smile and your personality. What you believe in, and all your dreams. The way you drink tea. How you decorate your home. Or party. Your grocery list. The food you make. How you’re writing looks. And the way you feel. Life is art.
Helena Bonham Carter
A writer must be as objective as a chemist; he must abandon the subjective line; he must know that dungheaps play a very respectable part in a landscape, & that evil passions are as inherent in life as good ones.
✏️ The Impatient Man
Patience must be a gift from God, so hard it is for a mortal to attain.
He spent much of his days locked up in his quarters, claiming supreme emotional control when really he was just running from the world. It’s easy to have faith when the water is still and the sun is shining. But true Godliness is found in the furnace of hell, where Murphy’s law prevails and everyone seems out to get you.
Waking up to the sound of artificial birds — he thought it made the rude awakening back to reality a little bit less gruesome — he lays in bed for a few minutes, thinking about how he has so much to do. So much that doesn’t matter. A quick prayer helps to rouse him from the sleepiness that hangs over one’s head when one hasn’t had as much sleep as one needs. He asks the Lord to help him be a better son, a better brother, a better employee — even though he keeps his job out of some compulsion to keep busy and not because of any real love for the work. It’s a short but powerful ritual in a world where everyone is free to build their own moral codebooks, even though no one is qualified to do so.
One of his favourite things to do is to observe the sky. The sky is the embodiment of wonder and awe: on no two days is the sky the same, but its beauty never diminishes. The way the cloud populates the vast, seemingly endless space feels just right. Sometimes the clouds seem low, almost within grasp, moving quickly as if tied to a jet engine. Other times the clouds are in perfect order, far away, almost in space; they seem deliberately planted there, not moving from the perfection in which they were placed. Even on rainy days, the sky never fails to lift his spirits.
But back to patience: if you look around too much, you’ll be convinced that everyone is getting what they dreamed of except you. To save himself from the pain of what could of and should have been, he packs his schedule with unimportant tasks and hobbies that make him feel like he is building toward something he desires — whatever that is. What he really needs is patience. Patience that everything is happening as it should. And faith. Faith that everything that he wishes for so deeply in his heart, everything that he dreams of when he lies on his bed, a bed one size too big for him, will come true.
It’s a shame that the modern man is so devoid of faith and patience — for in those two qualities lays the Kingdom of God.
📸 Photo of the Week
📖 Book of the Week — Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
What do you think, would not one tiny crime be wiped out by thousands of good deeds?
Widely considered as one of the best novels of all time (Russian authors really do make the best stuff), Crime and Punishment is a harrowing, introspective tale of a man who commits a murder…and gets away with it. The main character, Raskolnikov, initially justifies his actions but is soon left battling the mental torment of keeping his crime a secret in himself.
For me, the book is a reminder of the human tendency toward the ethical, and how important it is to strive for truth and righteousness even when no one is watching, as sin, even in the dark, can eat you alive from the inside.
💡 Food for Thought
Make a plan, God laughs.
🔭 Sunday Best
Dorothy Donegan: the greatest pianist you’ve never heard of — I certainly hadn’t. A trailblazer for women in the early days of jazz who blended classical and jazz styles in a way I have never seen before.
Regime Change, American Style — a look at the infamous Watergate scandal, written by Christopher Caldwell.
Oliver Stone: Vladimir Putin and War in Ukraine | Lex Fridman Podcast #286 — a fascinating interview with an Oscar-winning filmmaker. A must-watch for those interested in geopolitics and the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian conflict. He’s working on a documentary on nuclear energy which I am looking forward to.
Thank you for listening,