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Friday, March 7, 2014

Calmness as Insight

Jeff Nunokawa is a Professor of English at Princeton University. He writes daily notes on facebook available to the public at, and is currently working on a book which puts together these notes. I can't recommend his notes enough for the insights he provides on everyday life, the struggles we all go through, the importance of connecting with others, and the way he speaks at once so personal and so general. His note (#5172!) this morning is beautiful. Just think, if we both read these each day, we're making daily connections, being a part of something greater, something shared. What a beautiful thought! Please join me? 

5172, Calmness as Insight

March 7, 2014 at 11:59amby Jeff Nunokawa
I do not think the craving for placidity is religious; I think a religious person regards placidity or peace as a gift from heaven, not as something you ought to hunt after. Look at you patients more closely as human beings in trouble and enjoy more the opportunity you have to say 'good night' to so many people (From M O'C Drury"Conversations With Wittgenstein").

You wake up angry and you remember why you're lonely. (You can't get too close to other people. No one can see that much of you: you're too easily annoyed.) And you go and read something calming that some wise man said in another century. (See above.) You're all set to open the far sighted gift that's come your way from far away. (The calming gift that lets you know that calmness is a gift. See above.) 

But then you notice that's something's off with your vision in one eye. Maybe you always have this problem and you're just noticing it now. Then you start to look around at what else you're just noticing now. Like the rest of what the wise man had to say (see above): Look at you patients more closely as human beings in trouble. Maybe say it twice for both eyes. (If you type it out, and don't just copy and paste it in, you might be able to see it better.) Look at your patients more closely as human beings in trouble. Look at the people around you as people in trouble. (You don't need 20/20 vision to enlist for that.) Look at yourself as a kind of First Responder. (You don't need a license to practice that.)

Look at good night and good morning as two aspects of the same greeting. Look at every greeting as a gift from something glowing. Look at every glowing as a gift from somethinggoing
Look at every going from the corner of one eye.
Note: As my two eyes make one in sight (Frost, "Two Tramps in Mud Time")