Only just noticed that Hey Rosetta! quote The Handmaid’s Tale on a song from their debut album.
Only just noticed that Hey Rosetta! quote The Handmaid’s Tale on a song from their debut album.
Twitted about The Holy Bible from the Manic Street Preachers – one of the best, most brutally raw & cathartic albums I have ever heard.
Immediately gained new follower from account with Bible quotes.
Should I tell them?
Coming from an eclectic background where religious beliefs are concerned (extended family who attend Mass without ever having read the Bible vs. Mom and Dad who found more sense & meaning in Eastern philosophies), I have always believed in some kind of higher force.
To this day, I still question what that force might be and if it actually exists – or if the feeling of being part of some Great Cosmic Togetherness (you have to say it in capital letters) isn’t just due to the way my brain is hardwired or, quite simply, because it is true from a biological perspective.
However, as a naturally inquisitive person, I have always felt strangely inclined towards atheist and agnostic thinkers who don’t romanticize existence and will tell you straight like it is (to the best of everyone’s knowledge).
Which brings us to Mr. Richard Dawkins, who has made headlines today with another pleasing and compassionate message on Twitter (I would not like to be his PR agent).
When I first heard of him, a few years back, I thought the work he was doing was incredibly relevant:
I agree you shouldn’t live solely with the possibility of an Afterlife in mind. Life is in the here and now and that’s where you should be as well.
I agree you shouldn’t impose a religion or a belief on anyone – be it individuals or institutions.
I agree that religion shouldn’t interfere with or manipulate education and knowledge and the understanding of the world.
I even agree with the premise that the notion of there being nothing more than what we can see and touch and calculate is very, very daunting. Perhaps even very brave.
But then I noticed what seemed a wretchedly patronizing tone towards everyone else.
So, as soon as I felt I was becoming biased without ever actually having read his work, I decided to go for a substantiated opinion, and took a plunge into The God Delusion. (How strange that someone who is prone to magical thinking can also try to think for themselves.)
I left the book at page 64. Not because I was offended (there were a lot of valid points), but because,
a) I wasn’t aware the book was also a wailing wall for the constant persecution to atheists (in my Catholic country, going to Church is the uncool thing to do), and
b) yes, he is condescending and we’re all simpletons.
I shouldn’t have to point this out, but believing in something does not mean we stop asking questions.
Believing in something does not mean we don’t accept science or the scientific method.
Believing in something does not turn everyone into narrow-minded creatures.
I am not arguing against atheism – not even against the decision to terminate a pregnancy when you and your child would face greater difficulties otherwise.
What I will always argue against is the arrogance of believing your truth to be The Truth Of The Universe (again, the capitals) and that anyone who thinks differently is a proven fool incapable of rational thought.
And it’s a shame, Mr Dawkins – you could accomplish great things if only you used your powers for good.
Stayed up late last night watching interviews with the stunning Margaret Atwood and a Pullman lecture on the importance of book illustrations.
Because I’m hardcore that way.
I have always wanted to write.
Even before I knew how, I was already scribbling on the blank spaces of all the books lying around the house – including the Bible. The love for writing was never just about the thoughts-to-words dynamic, it was the physical side of it as well: the paper textures, the pens, the ink on the pages, the keys and the typing sounds.
Growing up, I would get top marks & praise on any assignment where I had to make up stories or on anything of what is now called creative writing. As a result, I developed a very healthy ego when it came to my writing skills. “Want an Arthurian tale? A poem? A play? Sure, how difficult can it be?” And it never was.
Enters age & becoming a grown up, and you find yourself second-guessing everything you write. Everything. Granted, studying Literature and Language at University made me terribly self-conscious about words and style and depth of meaning. But the truth was that, while I consequently thought of everything I had written before as childish, I also envied that younger Marta who wrote so fearlessly.
It took me longer than I would like to admit to realize that, from that point onward, it would have to be a matter of work.
A few years ago, my best friend & I were having a conversation about how writing had always been such an important part of our lives and of who we were. She is the most prolific person I know and, at one point, mentioned how, by the age of 9, she had already written a full-on adventure series of about 100 pages per book.
Not only was I in awe, it also made me think about why on earth was I so soundly confident in my supposed writing talents when, in reality, I produced so little and didn’t have that much to show for.
The answer was easy. Because every time I did write something that was meant to be read, it was effortless – so I thought myself the Master Queen of Words and Wit, bound to conquer the world, quill in hand.
Writer’s block is a condition that affects amateurs and people who aren’t serious about writing. So is the opposite, namely inspiration, which amateurs are also very fond of. Putting it another way: a professional writer is someone who writes just as well when they’re not inspired as when they are.
Philip Pullman has always been very assertive regarding concepts such as inspiration and writer’s block.
It may be the teacher-ness in him, but quotes like that will always echo in my brain every time I start to get lazy about the work I need to do in order to bring to life what I want to contribute to the world.
While I’ve never played the “writer’s block” or “inspiration” cards, I’ve leaned on my chronic mental dispersion as an excuse to never finish what I start – unless there’s a commission or a deadline, which makes me feel more like a mercenary for the belles-lettres than anything else.
Reviving this blog has helped in ways I’m only now starting to realize (I would have never written anything this long, for example).
In my daily, life-long struggle with self-discipline, there is no bigger motivation than feeling the skill in your craft growing stronger and steadier. Of working until you can see the rust fading.
All of a sudden, you begin to notice that it doesn’t take you so long to remember the right word or come up with the exact image you want to convey – and how it all starts flowing a little bit better and a little bit faster each time.
Write like a bee. You will always get the honey.
July 21, 1951 – August 11, 2014
Being a child of the 80’s, I was lucky to grow up during Robin Williams’ golden age.
I remember being about 10 and wanting to go to Hollywood to become an actress so I could be in a movie with this wonderful grown up who acted like a kid and had such a lovely glow in what would otherwise be a very tiny pair of eyes.
As a student of – and passionate about – literature, I hold the Dead Poets Society as the most perfect movie ever made (Williams’ emblematic reading of To the Virgins, to make much of Time introduced me to one of my favourite poets) and it easily became the iconic movie of my generation.
Words and poetry matter. Your voice – however it may sound – matters. Stand upon your desk to see things from a different perspective.
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, … and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
I did not wish to live what was not life … . I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life.
Walden, Henry David Thoreau
Genius comedian, wise mentor, sinister villain, loving genie.
You were larger than life, O Captain, and so is your legacy.
Every year since 1996, the town of Santa Maria da Feira hosts what has become one of the biggest events in Europe of medieval recreation. So much so that the organization has named it a “Medieval Journey”, instead of the plain old Medieval Fair: once you get into the historical part of the town, you truly travel back in time.
Everyone dresses up, even the building and shops outside the historical area. You truly get a feeling of community from both the locals & all the tourists. It is one gigantic party.
You have phenomenal street performers, musicians, big-scale battle reenactments and – more importantly – meat being cooked until long past 2am.
Along the historical centre you can find endless stands of merchants, artisans, blacksmiths, bakers and liqueur sellers – without neglecting the many witches who will tell you your fate for a coin or two.
The number of people attending is absolutely overwhelming and everyone is in a good mood – at one point, I saw a Pope, a Jester, an Arab and Snow White dancing to the sound of António Variações.
As I left with a few hundred photos, I’ve decided to organize the best ones under the Portfolio section, which all you lovely folks can have a look at here.
…ainda põe a língua de fora quando desenha e pinta.
Therefore, as we have done many other things better than the Greeks, so, most especially have we excelled them in giving a name to this most admirable endowment, since our nation derives the name which it gives to it, Divination, from the Gods (Divis), while the Greeks derived the title which they gave it, namely μαντική, from madness (μανία).
On Divination, Marcus Tullius Cicero
Decisions based on emotion aren’t decisions, at all. They’re instincts. Which can be of value. The rational and the irrational complement each other. Individually they’re far less powerful.
Binge-watch House of Cards during the weekend.
Feel severely under-dressed all throughout the show.
Realize how much I love to be able to look at myself in the mirror before I go to bed.