Time Capsule #81
Gratitude, service, and another short story.
Welcome to the Time Capsule — a weekly newsletter that serves as both my public journal and personal scrapbook. I write about the things on my mind and close to my heart in hopes that those who read it find value and enjoyment in it, and perhaps some solace too.
💭 Quote(s) of the Week
For some people this evasion of one’s own growth, setting low levels of aspiration, the fear of doing what one is capable of doing, voluntary self-crippling…are in fact defences against grandiosity, arrogance, sinful pride, hubris. There are people who cannot manage that graceful integration between the humility and the pride which is absolutely necessary for creative work. To invent or create you must have the “arrogance of creativeness” which so many investigators have noticed. But, of course, if you have only the arrogance without the humility, then you are in fact [delusional]. You must be aware not only of the godlike possibilities within, but also of the existential human limitations….If you can be amused by the worm trying to be god, then in fact you may be able to go on trying and being arrogant without fearing [delusions of grandeur]…This is a good technique.
It was a cool, midsummer day. The sun stayed longer than usual, generously sharing its love with the soil. Albert sat, crossed-legged, with a tattered paperback in his hand. He loves to read — reading brings him back to the days when he didn’t have to worry so much about tomorrow. Books are one of the only objects that get more beautiful with time, as they wither and accumulate scars. Books, and women who are loved.
Summers in the city were notoriously chaotic. With the foreigners coming in their droves, circling the city’s attractions like a seagull does a carcass, the locals are left with little of the city they love. Albert particularly disliked summer: he preferred the brevity of winter. In winter, he felt the beauty of the city truly showed itself. The bus drivers, knowing their travellers would run late, stay a little longer than usual, sharing their time with the locals. The old man with the hunch back at the café across the road, knowing that he orders nothing but a black coffee with milk, is always quick to offer a crooked smile to him as he takes his favourite seat. Winter was better because it was simple. It was slower, it was shorter, and it was simple.
Putting away his novel, Albert walks through his small but tidy apartment and puts on his sneakers. He had plans with Marie, an old friend and classmate from his younger days at the conservatory. He was still young by most standards, not even 30, but his face had aged greatly after his mother’s death and he could have passed for 35. Checking the inside pocket of his olive Barbour jacket for cigarettes, he swung open the heavy front door and shot down the apartment stairs.
📸 Photo(s) of the Week
📖 Book of the Week — The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
The Prophet is a collection of poetic essays that are philosophical, spiritual, and, above all, inspirational. Gibran’s musings are divided into twenty-eight chapters covering such sprawling topics as love, marriage, children, giving, eating and drinking, work, joy and sorrow, housing, clothes, buying and selling, crime and punishment, laws, freedom, reason and passion, pain, self-knowledge, teaching, friendship, talking, time, good and evil, prayer, pleasure, beauty, religion, and death.
💡 Food for Thought
Gratitude is an attitude.
🔭 Sunday Best
Theory and practice of Bayesian and frequentist frameworks for network meta-analysis (Sadeghirad, Behnam, et al. BMJ Evidence-Based Medicine (2022)) — a description of the important theoretical considerations of Bayesian and frequentist models for use in network meta-analyses. Requires access to scientific databases.
Glenn Gould — playing all 5 of Beethoven’s piano concertos. Born in Toronto, Gould is one of the finest pianists Canada has produced, winning multiple Grammy awards. He was well known for his interpretations of Johann Sebastien Bach.
Having a Coke With You —a poem by Frank O’Hara (1926-1966)
Brevity500 — want to get better at writing? This game helps you do that by giving you poorly written writing samples that require distilling and polishing. Try to get under the target word count provided!