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Musings that fluctuate between pragmatism and abstraction.


— somber ink —
Not the why, but the how.

More often than not, it is not a challenge, a worry or a fear that is problematic in our lives, but our perception of it and the way we might internalize it in the shape of negative feelings and toxic self-criticism. Art, philosophy and psychotherapy teach and remind us that we are not alone, and that recognizing life’s absurdity, its painful truths and our common suffering is not only freeing, but can (through introspection and the acquisition of wisdom) be very empowering and liberating. I find that thought healing.

whatittakes

It takes courage 
to look into oneself.

Tears must be earned;
tears must be turned
to lessons.

It takes courage to crumble.
It takes fear to evolve.

Years must be spent;
years must be rent
into pieces
before true life
can begin.

It takes courage to think.
It takes pain to evolve.

Life must be loved
and love must be lived
lest one’s true self dissolves
into ashes.

It takes courage to see.
It takes loss to run free.

It takes courage
to simply
be me.

It is not so easy to become what one is, to rediscover one’s deepest measure.

— Albert Camus

[f]ire

"Blest with the gift of fire" -
the words carried weight.

A hex disguised as a blessing
perhaps.

Safe inside black steel 
furnace burned without a sound;
only a flicker of light through the visor 
- almost imperceptible -
betrayed its presence.

Writhing tongues of black
mixed with dabs of flame
burning forever
ignored 
yet fed.

Melting from within 
cold outer shell no longer could 
withstand the energy.

As the miasma 
violently poured out
from every opening
the end was close ahead.

Metal crumbling 
clanking sounds and hellish growls 
if constructs can’t contain this fright
then what of human skin?

How to temper the fire
seeping our of every pore?

How to adjust 
the scorching 
into warmth?

How to tame the feral
and protect
with loving arms?

CBT Socratic Questions

Something interesting for the overthinkers among us.

 




Socratic questions - To find alternative and realistic automatic thoughts

- What evidence or facts speak for that which you are saying/thinking now?
- What evidence or facts speak against that which you are saying/thinking now?
- Do you think everyone would see that as evidence?
- Are they facts or interpretations?
- Is there another way to look at things?
- How would another person look at this?
- What’s the worst that can happen? Would you overcome it?
- Is there a more nuanced way to look at this? Something positive?
- What would it mean for you if what you think or believe was actually true?
- How can we test reality against what you’re saying/thinking?
- In which way are you affected by your thoughts? Your emotions?
- Is the thought helpful for you or does it keep you from achieving your goals?
- How can we understand the way you think/believe this?
- What do you think of your way of thinking?

Some people live to extend, improve and organize life. I live to examine, describe and [re]create it. To claim I could ever understand it would be foolish. I revel in its splendor and relish its absurdity.

— personal aphorism

A good aphorism is too hard for the teeth of time and is not eaten up by all the centuries, even though it serves as food for every age: hence it is the greatest paradox in literature, the imperishable in the midst of change, the nourishment which—like salt—is always prized, but which never loses its savor as salt does.

— Friedrich Nietzsche

A thought conceived while walking and listening to music.

Polyrhythms are very much like life in this regard: sometimes, things don’t “click” within a single measure/event, but they make sense once you distance yourself a little bit and start seeing different patterns and subsets from afar.

The Journey

by Mary Oliver


One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

Note from Hitchens’ “Mortality”. Profound.

Note from Hitchens’ “Mortality”. Profound.