Mathematical Thinking, The Second Brain, David Whyte, Virginia Woolf, and More.
Seven links to worthwhile thin(g/k)s
Hello dear reader,
Yesterday we celebrated our bon voyage into 2021. Today, we begin the beautiful journey onward and upward.
Here are seven links to bits of the world I have been exploring this week, shared with the hope that you will find them to be an inspiring springboard for deeper thinking.
This month, Penguin Classics is releasing a new edition of Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway. Titled “A Lifetime of Lessons in ‘Mrs. Dalloway,’” here is an excerpt of the introduction accompanying the publication. I particularly enjoyed discovering Woolf’s words when she wrote (elsewhere),
“Let us record the atoms as they fall upon the mind in the order in which they fall, let us trace the pattern, however disconnected and incoherent in appearance, which each sight or incident scores upon the consciousness. Let us not take it for granted that life exists more fully in what is commonly thought big than in what is commonly thought small.”
It provides a melodic accompaniment to Georges Perec’s focus on the infra-ordinary splendor of our everyday, which Perec outlines in his essay here.
A few days ago, I watched a short animation of Nikolai Gogol's The Overcoat. I got to it upon discovering Cillian Murphy gave voice to the main character, Akaky. I adore Cillian. I adore Gogol. I teared up, not sure why. Perhaps because there was something painfully nostalgic about a beautiful animation told in a bedtime story format.
I made a list of 100 Things That Made my Year in 2020. Check it out here and/or take a few moments to reflect on yours from the past year. I am using the term 'made' lightly. 2020 was unprecedented, disastrous on many (if not all) fronts, and overall miserably downcast. But still, but still... So that we may learn to sharpen our appreciation for the more cosmic things in life, trying times can help us chart out kernels worth being thankful for.
There is magic in serendipity. I was swooning over a particular David Whyte poem I had found by accident the other day. It is titled Start Close In. I placed it on the back burner to digest it some more when the holiday festivities simmered. And lo, this morning at 7 a.m., in my inbox there appeared an invitation from David Whyte himself titled ‘Start Close In: Three Sundays in January with David Whyte.’ I am going to attribute this to cosmic alignment and not to any (very creepy) algorithmic shenanigans.
Five minutes that will make you love classical music. Enjoy! And here’s 76 minutes of Chris Nolan’s Behind the Scenes of the Dark Knight Trilogy that will make you appreciate his directorial talent.
Nonfiction recommendation, How Not to Be Wrong: The Power of Mathematical Thinking.
Concept of building a second brain (whether it’s digital or old-school journaling): Your brain is, fundamentally, about generating ideas rather than storing them. Here’s Ali Abdaal’s take on it, which I hope you’ll find informative and helpful.
If you enjoyed reading this and think others might as well, I would immensely appreciate the gesture of sharing this newsletter with friends. Your kind words and generosity help fuel my creative spirit.