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    Stephen Evans

    I came across this in one of Jan Karon's Mitford books, so I can't say I really stuck with Coleridge. The Biographia Literaria was pretty dense going for me, though I think his distinction between Fancy and Imagination is very useful, and was actually quite influential in connecting Emerson with the German Idealist tradition.

    And of course I disagree completely about Emerson :)

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    Rosy Cole

    Hallelujah! Coleridge's thoughts (and yours!) are so much clearer than Emerson's who has a habit of obfuscating his own point. I so admire you for sticking with him!

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    Rosy Cole
    Rosy Cole commented on the blog post, A Postcard From Dystopia

    Thank you so much, Katia. It's helpful to know you found it so. The passage is from Entertaining Angels, a novel I wrote twenty years ago of pre-Millennium Britain spanning the last century and the effects of its upheavals on family life. There are things about the construction of the book that I'm not happy with. It needs editing on several levels and has been shelved indefinitely. I've been wondering if posting a few passages might enable me - in the background of WIP - to order my perspective on it.

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    Katherine Gregor
    Katherine Gregor commented on the blog post, A Postcard From Dystopia

    Wonderfully thought-provoking.

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    Stephen Evans

    The Countless Other Infinitesimals

    Posted in Blogs on Saturday, 16 February 2019

    “The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions,—the little, soon-forgotten charities of a kiss, a smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment in the disguise of a playful raillery, and the countless other infinitesimals of pleasant thought and feeling.”   ― Samuel Taylor Coleridge

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    Rosy Cole
    Rosy Cole created a new blog post, A Postcard From Dystopia

    A Postcard From Dystopia

    Posted in Blogs on Wednesday, 13 February 2019

        A vignette...   A couple of times a year, Jamie's grandparents would brace themselves to take him on a trip to a theme park or adventure playground and made a great show of having fun. He couldn’t make out where they were coming from because they were normally quite humourless. Above Jamie’s head, they would bicker about what children liked and what disciplines were called for, each claiming a superior interpretation of scriptural wisdom. After these outings, he’d have bizarre dreams in which his grandparents were cast as 2-D comic Disney characters, pulling and twisting with the immanent velocity of the plot. It was funny, but sort of scary too, like those supermarket promotions where a big, furry cereal monster greeted you at the door looking friendly and benign, but you knew there was an unknowable being inside the costume. On one occasion, they’d taken him to a Safari Park and monkeys had clambered all over Grandpa’s newly waxed Vauxhall and torn off the windscreen wipers as if they were stripping bamboo. He had made believe they were mischievous tykes and grunted with grisly laughter, but Grandma’s face was menacing with indignation. All day, even over their corned beef picnic, she talked of recompense, insurance. It was no use Grandpa pointing out the notice disclaiming indemnity against such risks. She didn’t blench at the sight of the lions and tigers lunching on blood-smeared carcasses, but turned pale and uptight when he depressed the accelerator hard to show Jamie how the car could whizz along ‘to give the pipes a good blow’. “Edwin! You’re over the limit! Don’t expect to be kept safe! It’s not me speaking, it’s God!” With the penetrating and uncluttered intuition of a child, Jamie knew that his Grandpa’s mastery of the machine was the one aspect of performance in which he could excel and have Grandma at his mercy. When she went off to the Ladies, Grandpa told Jamie about an awful dream he kept having. He was riding a tiger. He was sitting precariously upon its bare back and could see the muscles rippling through the striped sheen of its fur. The tiger repeatedly turned its head and snarled. A hollow rumble was coming from its jaws. Every time hanging foliage whipped against Grandpa's face, he had to concentrate hard to keep his balance. If he fell off, he would be devoured in seconds. Jamie listened agog. Disappointment at the open ending of the story was stilled by a dull relief. Then Grandpa said: “You know, don’t you, James, that Grandma’s got native blood? Pirates from the Barbary coast!" Jamie had only the haziest grasp of what this might mean. He was inherently blind to shades of skin. His best chum's father was from Nairobi. It was not a good time to probe such matters because Grandma was coming back wearing her usual sour expression. She appeared for all the world to be sucking lemons. “Right then!” said Grandpa. “There’s enough wind to fly a kite today! What do you say, James?” Evermore, James was to associate kite-flying with the dream. The trouble with kites was that if you let go, they took off in a demented whirl, up and away, before a nosedive over some entangling wood, or plumb into the middle of dark, deep waters where they sank without trace.     Images courtesy of Nancy Tillman, children's illustrator.  

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    Stephen Evans
    Stephen Evans created a new blog post, For Better, For Worse

    For Better, For Worse

    Posted in Blogs on Saturday, 09 February 2019

    "There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himself for better, for worse, as his portion; that though the wide universe is full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground which is given to him to till. The power which resides in him is new in nature, and none but he knows what that is which he can do, nor does he know until he has tried." Ralph Waldo Emerson Self-Reliance

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    Katherine Gregor
    Katherine Gregor updated their profile
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    Katherine Gregor
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    Katherine Gregor
    Katherine Gregor commented on the blog post, Tea Ceremony

    Thank you, Ken. I am so glad you enjoyed it.

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    Ken Hartke
    Ken Hartke commented on the blog post, Tea Ceremony

    Thank you for taking us along -- I could "see" and "smell" and (almost) "taste" the experience. I find that the simple things satisfy us the most. I like the idea of the glass teapot.

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    Katherine Gregor
    Katherine Gregor commented on the blog post, Tea Ceremony

    Yes, and until my QiGong workshops I'd never seen it (myu teacher uses a glass pot). I have eartheware teapots at home, so you miss out on this wondrous process of transformation.

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    Stephen Evans
    Stephen Evans commented on the blog post, Tea Ceremony

    There is play called Afternoon Tea that is based around tea rituals - saw it many years ago and have never forgotten it.

    I am always fascinated by the dispersal patterns of the tea as it makes its way through the water.

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    Katherine Gregor
    Katherine Gregor commented on the blog post, Tea Ceremony
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    Katherine Gregor
    Katherine Gregor commented on the blog post, Tea Ceremony

    Chinese philosophy and Daoism are much closer to the Laws of Nature than, sadly, Western thought. I blame the Church (please note: I do NOT mean the teachings of Christ). From early on, it has promoted the concept of humans as masters of the earth in a controlling sense, as opposed to taking responsibility, and of God being outside us (and therefore requiring a middle man to interceed for us). And of course, it inculcated the concept of our bodies being sinful, to be repressed, as opposed to temples for our souls.

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    Monika Schott
    Monika Schott commented on the blog post, The Jesus of Silver Spring

    Being truly kind is a wonderful quality that in our materialistic world, can be lost. It's humbling to give, and even more humbling to receive it.

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    Monika Schott

    I love the word too. I'll have to find somewhere to use it!

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    Monika Schott
    Monika Schott commented on the blog post, Tea Ceremony

    As a tea drinker, l love this. The second sip is never the same as the first! ?

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    Rosy Cole
    Rosy Cole commented on the blog post, Tea Ceremony

    Orientals have indeed refined the art of mindfulness. I'm fond of Lapsang Souchong and Black Oolong and have always maintained tea has a subtle and deeper flavour in a china cup. Enjoy!

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    Katherine Gregor

    I was forty-nine when I met my second husband. He was sixty-four. Who would have thought it?

    Kindness – true kindness – is a thing of underrated beauty.

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Latest Comments

Stephen Evans The Countless Other Infinitesimals
18 February 2019
I came across this in one of Jan Karon's Mitford books, so I can't say I really stuck with Coleridge...
Rosy Cole The Countless Other Infinitesimals
18 February 2019
Hallelujah! Coleridge's thoughts (and yours!) are so much clearer than Emerson's who has a habit of ...
Rosy Cole A Postcard From Dystopia
18 February 2019
Thank you so much, Katia. It's helpful to know you found it so. The passage is from Entertaining Ang...
Katherine Gregor A Postcard From Dystopia
17 February 2019
Wonderfully thought-provoking.
Katherine Gregor Tea Ceremony
05 February 2019
Thank you, Ken. I am so glad you enjoyed it.

Latest Blogs

“The happiness of life is made up of minute fractions,—the little, soon-forgotten charities of a kiss, a smile, a kind look, a heartfelt compliment in...
"There is a time in every man's education when he arrives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imitation is suicide; that he must take himse...
A gentle hum that grows louder, then turns into a hiss that becomes a gurgle  The water is boiling, bubbling, impatient.  The teacher removes the elec...
  A response to Stephen Evan's post, The Jesus of Silver Spring English has two great forgotten words, namely 'helpmeet' which is much gre...