1) Beyond the Guitar & Oppenheimer – When Nathan Mills of Beyond the Guitar takes a brilliant orchestral work and arranges it for a single guitar, magic happens all over again. He accomplished this most recently in his arrangement of Ludwig Göransson‘s Can You Hear the Music? from the film Oppenheimer.
Sidebar: One exchange between Robert Oppenheimer and Niels Bohr has stood out and intrigued the audience. It was an encounter between two of the most brilliant minds the world has ever known. But one of the most puzzling aspects of their meeting is Bohr’s cryptic comment to Oppenheimer. What exactly did Bohr mean by:
“Algebra is more than just reading. You have to hear the music.”
“Can you hear the music?”
Niels Bohr’s words, in essence, capture the very spirit of scientific inquiry. His comparison of algebra to music wasn’t merely a poetic expression but a profound insight into the nature of mathematics and, by extension, the nature of scientific discovery. Bohr was trying to convey that, much like how music is not just about reading notes but about feeling and understanding the melody, algebra, too, is not just about reading equations but about comprehending the underlying patterns and principles. – Pooja Mishra
2) Solitude – [Adapted from an earlier blog of mine] – During my angsty teenage years, I would sometimes slip away from my house full of brothers and sit by the lake nearby. It was there that I wrestled with the “what if’s” of life, along with the “what was’s”. Alone, but not truly. Within my thoughts, quietened in those moments, was also the presence of God. In that solitude, anxieties would get reigned in and perspective returned. The walk home was always so much better than the walk down.
Writer, philosopher Zat Rana caught my eye with his article The Most Important Skill Nobody Taught You. Turns out his view of that most important untaught skill is solitude. That ability to just enjoy being alone. Sitting or walking alone. Lost in your own thoughts. Except for a self-portrait for a photography class, you won’t see many signs in my life that solitude comes easy.
Life is peopled. As an extrovert and helper by nature, I have long thrived in the company of others. However, getting older, alone time has become more my experience than in previous years. Is that its own springboard to flourishing?
“All of humanity’s problems stem from man’s inability to sit quietly in a room alone.” – Blaise Pascal
According to Pascal, we fear the silence of existence, we dread boredom and instead choose aimless distraction, and we can’t help but run from the problems of our emotions into the false comforts of the mind.
The issue at the root, essentially, is that we never learn the art of solitude. – Zat Rana
My husband, the consummate introvert thinker, often sits by himself at dawn and dusk to recharge. For him, solitude is something that has come naturally. He has been a model for me in practicing solitude.
Rana also talks about how technology has connected us in a myriad of ways but the connectedness is more virtual than real. – “We now live in a world where we’re connected to everything except ourselves.”
“Our aversion to solitude is really an aversion to boredom…we dread the nothingness of nothing. We can’t imagine just being rather than doing. And therefore, we look for entertainment, we seek company, and if those fail, we chase even higher highs. We ignore the fact that never facing this nothingness is the same as never facing ourselves. And never facing ourselves is why we feel lonely and anxious in spite of being so intimately connected to everything else around us.” – Zat Rana
8 Ways to Embrace Solitude – Virginia Thomas – practical helps in embracing solitude
The Joy of Solitude: Loneliness as a Subjective State of Mind – Neel Burton – excellent resource on solitude as a prevention against loneliness
3) “Til You’re Home” – If you’ve ever lost someone dear to you, the song “Til You’re Home” will resonate to your core. Actress, producer, singer/songwriter Rita Wilson brings this song to the screen in the beautiful film “A Man Called Otto”. Wilson wrote the lyrics with David Hodges and performed it with singer Sebastián Yatra.
In the articles below, Wilson is interviewed about the inspiration for this song. My main takeaway was how she was comforted by a friend, after her father’s death. He told her, “The conversation continues.” I so experience that. After the death of my mom, in particular, but also many others, including my older brother with whom I had a prickly relationship but one that sweetened before he died and continues to do so…in ways this song communicates.
I watched the film above while on a flight. Crying doesn’t come easy for me, and the tears flowed.
Watch the movie and enjoy the song and think about the richness of our relationships both in the present and in the between times (from past to forever).
4) Two Phenomenal Reads – Phenomenal? Well, I’m counting on it. These are my next two reads. Just got them both and honestly may have to read them together. The authors are two of my absolute favorites: Karen Swallow Prior and Curt Thompson MD.
To get started – while I was waiting for launch day on both of these books, I’ve been listening to podcasts and reading reviews. Until your books come, you can also have a read or listen below.
“I hope readers are better able to participate in the necessary, ongoing process of distinguishing the principles of the Christian faith that are eternal and unchanging from the cultural stories, metaphors, and images that embody these principles in varying degrees of fidelity. Don’t misunderstand me: this entanglement with cultural narratives and ideas isn’t unique to evangelicals, nor is being creatures of culture necessarily a bad thing. In fact, living within the cultures of this world is God’s plan. It is part of being human. I think, however, that because evangelicalism from its beginnings in the western world has been so tied to political power, it has been easier for us to overlook the entanglement that is inherent to being part of any human culture. Yet, our task is no different from Christians within any Christian movement, sect, time, place, or culture.” – Karen Swallow Prior, an interview with Andrea L. Turpin
5) International Food Festivals – Ethnic foods are a favorite in our family…maybe every family. I’m talking from Afghan boulani (flatbread) to Southern biscuits and gravy.
It’s a joy to be invited to the home of friends who bring their gracious hospitality and yummy food to our part of the world. Just recently, I had the pleasure of sitting down to lunch with an Afghan family.
Our town has a host of ethnic restaurants with a few exceptions. Armenian and Egyptian are two types of food for which I’ve not found a restaurant locally. Once a year, we have the treat of international food festivals featuring these cuisines. So good!!
Next weekend, it’s the Fourth Annual Egyptian Festival. How about you? Any foodies out there? Comment below what some of your international favorites are and if you cook them at home or have the joy of a local restaurant or festival.
That’s the latest 5 Faves. Hope you have a restful weekend and energetic start to the coming week!