Tag Archives: creativity

5 Books After Which Nothing Will Be The Same. Ever.

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There are some books that we love. There are some books that are recommended to us or highly rated. There are some books that are classics, or that we think we should read. But there are also some books, after reading which, nothing will ever look the same. Ever. Again. Here are some of them (this choice is entirely subjective and doesn’t pretend to be any ultimate to-read list; however, these are some books with high impact, that you might like too…).

Here goes the list:

1) The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

This. Is. Amazing. I don’t even know where to start. Sometimes silence is so much better than analysis… So I’ll just give some quotes:

- “People have forgotten this truth,” the fox said. “But you mustn’t forget it. You become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed. You’re responsible for your rose.”

- “And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

- “People where you live,” the little prince said, “grow five thousand roses in one garden… yet they don’t find what they’re looking for…

Any more words are unnecessary. Try for yourself.

2) The Way of Non-Attachment: The Practice of Insight Meditation by Dhiravamsa

This is a guide to a very useful technique of loosening the grip on what you think needs to happen, and understanding yourself. After practicing for some time, “Clarity gradually comes, suffering is gradually understood, and freedom begins to appear.” (a quote from the book).

This can help tremendously, whatever you’re going through. Especially if you’re going through some hard times. It is easy to get lost in your thoughts, and feed your pain, but there is a simple way out, based on your breathing and looking deeply into your feelings. All the answers are already in you and you may see what happens when you try to uncover them… Firstly, you may find that clinging to something, whatever it is, has harmful effects and can suck. We can only be free if we let go. Then you can take the next steps. It can be very healing and it can bring you deep peace.

3) The Art of Communicating by Thich Nhat Hanh

A lot can be said about mindfulness. This book says a lot more. The way we communicate with our loved ones (and not-so-loved ones) has a huge impact on our relationships and on our state of mind. If we cultivate inner peace and choose words wisely, we can transform even the hardest argument into something constructive. Things that have seemed difficult start to be achievable, as Thay (that’s the Vietnamese word for ‘Teacher’) explains to us the ways in which we can approach conflict and difficult emotions, to create peace and harmony. It is a really useful read for couples, families, individuals, friends, and anyone else who wishes to transform their relationships, and also better understand their own emotions and reactions. Some of the steps are quite simple. They can be practiced by anyone.

Communication is key. And this book is a key to communication.

4) The Secret Life of Salvador Dali by Salvador Dali

An autobiography of the famous surrealist, embracing his late thirties. That’s the craziest book I’ve ever read! It was very hard to hide it under the table during my uni classes, and the fact that I couldn’t stop laughing while reading some passages probably gave it all away… The lecturer must have been very patient with me. This book is HILARIOUS. It also gives you an insight into a mind of an exceptional man, who is extremely creative, and extremely forgetful sometimes. He once opened his door dressed quickly in a bath-robe tied with a cable, at the end of which, accidentally, was a lamp. The kind of stuff you do every day, right?

Apart from peculiar anecdotes and a lot of unpredictability, you will find a lot of creative inspiration here. And a massive amount of food for thought.

5) Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert M. Pirsig

If your mind has ever been wandering somewhere far, far away, exploring ideas that you cannot stop thinking about, and you also like travelling (even if just with your mind), this book is for you. A journey through several American states, on motorbikes, over many days, can bring A LOT of self-reflection. Nature plus space plus time, and a companion that unwillingly forces you to reflect on things, is a very philosophical combination. And that’s one side of this book. It cannot be defined in a couple of sentences, it has to be read. Written in the 1970s, it has become a classic. It was quite disturbing at some points. I won’t tell you which ones. It was also very fascinating, engaging and had a high impact. Not something easily forgotten. Oh, and it was non-fiction.

You may choose one of these books this weekend. Or you might remain in your sweet indifference to them, as if this article never happened (which is OK too). If you read some of them, tell me what you think. Whatever you choose to do… Have a great weekend!

 

photo credit: In Awe via photopin (license)

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A poem: ‘Unclosed’

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Something we all strive for from time to time, I guess…

 

 

 

 

 

Unclosed

by Anna Wawrzyniak

 

Looking for questions to ask

looking for answers to appear

right before my eyes

on an empty stomach

 

Looking for a glimpse of a shadow

for an ordinary sign

for the hand that feeds

 

Looking for the void in darkness

for the door to the forest

that has been left unopened

and unclosed

 

 

 

photo credit: sciencesque via photopin cc

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Wings for your mind

Someone has made an aeroplane entirely out of paper… Recreating tiny little details, including how the engine behaves when the plane is landing… That is some true dedication.

I could not believe when I saw it with my eyes. Although people make airplane models and I have seen some of them in my life, this one has completely stunned me. A person spending five years on it, perfecting every single detail of it, taking care of every minute imperfection, making sure everything matches the original… The seats upholstery, the head rests on every single one of its 400 seats or so… My awe is unstoppable.

The dedication of this guy reminds me of Birdy (the William Wharton one), who wanted to become a bird badly enough, that eventually, through struggle and pain and in due course, with time, he became one… This is so realistically beautiful, but I do not mean its shape (although it is very impressive and detailed), I mean the beauty of the person’s dedication. I see their meticulous cutting and structuring of tiny paper elements in every single part of this plane. Excellence of manual skills is an understatement.

I hope that one day it will fly. And not fly in the air, like a big metal plane, but to fly into your imagination and inspire more of it. Not only more of paper plane models, but more of that motivation to spend your time and energy (and a lot of it!) to create something that will touch the other person. To me, it’s a miniature of our world. It’s a symbol of times. It’s a Western worldview made of paper. It’s so many things. To you, it can be something completely different. Or it can just be a paper model. I have been told that I have a vivid imagination.

Whatever your thought is, whatever your feelings are, please enjoy it. Enjoy this meticulous journey (welcome aboard), sit back and relax, and be inspired to perfect your own work of art – your life.

Period.

Oh, and here is the link: http://www.thisiscolossal.com/2014/01/paper-bowing-airplane/

What do you think?

 

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Do you know what you’re capable of? #quote

If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.

- Thomas Edison

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photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/designandtechnologydepartment/4770437059/

 

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