Articles

A Nexus Hang plan: Share your favorite song

A Nexus Hang plan: Share your favorite song

A Nexus Hang happens whenever you get together with your friends for meaning-making through the arts. The way it happens is through a simple three-step process. First we invite our friends together for this hang with a purpose. Secondly, somebody who’s designated to...

Why a doctor writes poetry

Why a doctor writes poetry

So I'm a 50 something wife, mum, and physician currently in general practice. I write because writing to me feels like living. I write when things are hard because strong emotions almost write themselves. I also write about the happy and astounding or inexplicable...

A wintry reflection for 100 degree August days…

A wintry reflection for 100 degree August days…

Running with JoyI’ve never seen eyes so blue. On someone else they would have been disarming, alarming even. But on her, they fit. Gazing at me, through me, beyond me at the same time, speaking to me without saying a word.She was a husky bitch. Literally. Three...

Enterprising stillness

Enterprising stillness

Three small wooden vessels bobbed in the museum ‘harbour’ at the seaside town in southern Spain from where Columbus' first expedition set sail. The quest: to find a way a-r-o-u-n-d the world while discovering new lands and riches. Replicas of 'The Nina', 'The...

Faith is …

Faith is …

I was bought "A Year of Reading Aloud" as a gift last Christmas. It is an anthology of 52 poems; with the idea of memorising one per week. Six months on I have just finished memorising my first poem! I was drawn to this because of its emphasis on pausing and being...

A Song That’s Changing My Life: At the Root of Helan Mountain

A Song That’s Changing My Life: At the Root of Helan Mountain

János Pilinszky, one of the most important Hungarian poets of the 20th century, defined faith as "intensely refined vision".  It’s what Bach had, he said, that enabled him to produce such brilliant music.  What Bach imagined inwardly, he realised physically in notes...

In the Distance

In the Distance

来自张之白 By Zhang Zhibai (James) 苏阳的歌有一种土的味道,像一片广阔的黄土地,也像黄河里厚重的泥沙。千百年来,中国西北地区最原始的声音正在以一种新的生命形式向我们传来。在这最朴实的声音里,我听到的是无数鲜活的生命与故事、劳动与爱情……今天我把苏阳的这首《贺兰山下》带给你。这首歌的作者苏阳站在贺兰山下一马平川的景象中,看着自然景象,畅想了很多很多,电贝司、吉他和民族的伴奏乐器让我不由得听到了西北苍凉的风声,也能强烈感受到歌手对生命的尊重与敬畏,我爱这种音乐风格,这种最朴实无华的艺术表达。 Chinese...

Now I Become Myself

Now I Become Myself

"The hole, a broken star on the ice, was the only interruption on the white plain merging into the white sky.  No wind, no life, no sound."Thus begins Hernan Diaz's novel In the Distance, an abrasively raw and sweeping tale of one man's search for a place in the...

from ‘The Ground Beneath Her Feet’ by Salman Rushdie

from ‘The Ground Beneath Her Feet’ by Salman Rushdie

A poem by May Sarton - 'Now I Become Myself'   Now I become myself,It's taken time, many years and places,I've been dissolved and shaken,Worn other people's faces,Now I become myself. Why is now the time to become yourself?Why is it hard to accept that it takes time...

The Shadow of the Wind

The Shadow of the Wind

“Faced with the blazing magnificence of the everyday, the artist is both humbled and provoked. There are now photographs of events on an unimaginable scale: the death of stars, the birth of galaxies, soup-stirrings near the dawn of Time. Bright crowds of suns gather...

All the Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See

Who could not be drawn into Zafon’s atmospheric story with its dramatic opening chapter? Ten year-old Daniel is led through misty Barcelona streets in the early hours of the morning by his father.   "Daniel, you mustn’t tell anyone what you’re about to see" his father...

Good fences make …

Good fences make …

I admit it. I am an awards junkie. I like to check out what books have been handed the latest prize ... Booker, Pulitzer, Edgar, Indie ... and if the review sounds appealing, it’s downloaded onto my Kindle. Travelling invites the easier reads (Ngaio Marsh, anyone?)...

Listening to music without words?

Listening to music without words?

A poem by May Sarton - 'Now I Become Myself'   Now I become myself,It's taken time, many years and places,I've been dissolved and shaken,Worn other people's faces,Now I become myself. Why is now the time to become yourself?Why is it hard to accept that it takes time...

是的, 我很孤独   –   Yes, I Am Lonely

是的, 我很孤独 – Yes, I Am Lonely

Why listen to music without words?  As a jazz trumpet player, I have a personal stake in this question. Recently I proposed to a local coffee shop to host some Jazz concerts. They responded positively, but insisted that I include a singer in my group (which I don’t...

Chillies

Chillies

我们一起度过了一个愉快的时刻,享受着意大利面。...

Why Bother?

Why Bother?

Much of life is immediate. Online shopping can be delivered the same day. Painkillers promise to act instantaneously. My microwave meal is ready in minutes. Growing chillies challenged this for me. You cannot force a seed to germinate. You cannot make a plant grow...

The “Sacred Concert” of Duke Ellington, Beijing

The “Sacred Concert” of Duke Ellington, Beijing

I was bought "A Year of Reading Aloud" as a gift last Christmas. It is an anthology of 52 poems; with the idea of memorising one per week. Six months on I have just finished memorising my first poem! I was drawn to this because of its emphasis on pausing and being...

A Story in Two Parts: #2 The Camp

A Story in Two Parts: #2 The Camp

János Pilinszky, one of the most important Hungarian poets of the 20th century, defined faith as "intensely refined vision".  It’s what Bach had, he said, that enabled him to produce such brilliant music.  What Bach imagined inwardly, he realised physically in notes...

A Story in Two Parts: #1 The Station

A Story in Two Parts: #1 The Station

Three small wooden vessels bobbed in the museum ‘harbour’ at the seaside town in southern Spain from where Columbus' first expedition set sail. The quest: to find a way a-r-o-u-n-d the world while discovering new lands and riches. Replicas of 'The Nina', 'The...

Understanding Ourselves through Story

Understanding Ourselves through Story

So I'm a 50 something wife, mum, and physician currently in general practice. I write because writing to me feels like living. I write when things are hard because strong emotions almost write themselves. I also write about the happy and astounding or inexplicable...

Creating Feeds My Soul

Creating Feeds My Soul

Who could not be drawn into Zafon’s atmospheric story with its dramatic opening chapter? Ten year-old Daniel is led through misty Barcelona streets in the early hours of the morning by his father.   "Daniel, you mustn’t tell anyone what you’re about to see" his father...

Hope?

Hope?

János Pilinszky, one of the most important Hungarian poets of the 20th century, defined faith as "intensely refined vision".  It’s what Bach had, he said, that enabled him to produce such brilliant music.  What Bach imagined inwardly, he realised physically in notes...

Reflections on Mom

Reflections on Mom

It was a very tight squeeze. The four of us were packed into a corner of the horse-drawn wagon, sitting on two small benches and huddled around a tiny stool. Petra was sidled into a small space next to a well-used table across from us and Stefan squatted on a little...

We

We

I recently got to attend my mother’s funeral. Her departure caused in me a series of emotions that can best be described as confused. Anger at how life ends, a sense of betrayal that someone dear to me had left, a deep sense of loss and melancholy, a feeling that the...

Jolabokaflod

Jolabokaflod

A ride in the Paris metro is a given for any serious traveler in this amazing metropolis. Like most big city metros, it is efficient but rather dehumanizing. Bubbles of individualism and self-protection seem necessary to withstand the grind of a daily public...

I Can Get My Soul Out of Prison – The Art of Guantanamo Bay

I Can Get My Soul Out of Prison – The Art of Guantanamo Bay

I recently got to attend my mother’s funeral. Her departure caused in me a series of emotions that can best be described as confused. Anger at how life ends, a sense of betrayal that someone dear to me had left, a deep sense of loss and melancholy, a feeling that the...

Today I Am Alive

Today I Am Alive

Last month the Nobel Prize for literature 2017 was awarded to Kazuo Ishiguro, the English writer born in 1954 in Japan, who came with his parents as a young boy to the UK and has lived there ever since. In 1982 I picked up his debut novel A Pale View of Hills, and got...

Three Cups of Tea

Three Cups of Tea

Today I am alive. So was my neighbour a few weeks ago. Then he died suddenly in his sleep. We had just been talking at the hedge that divides our gardens. It was the place we often talked. I was not aware that this would be our last conversation. The last sound of his...

The Significance of Story

The Significance of Story

Last month the Nobel Prize for literature 2017 was awarded to Kazuo Ishiguro, the English writer born in 1954 in Japan, who came with his parents as a young boy to the UK and has lived there ever since. In 1982 I picked up his debut novel A Pale View of Hills, and got...

The Sense of an Ending

The Sense of an Ending

Today I am alive. So was my neighbour a few weeks ago. Then he died suddenly in his sleep. We had just been talking at the hedge that divides our gardens. It was the place we often talked. I was not aware that this would be our last conversation. The last sound of his...

The Goldfinch

The Goldfinch

I would like to suggest “The Sense of an Ending” by Julian Barnes as an example of a Nexus-like book. First of all, it is good literature. A recent winner of the Man Booker award, its size, language and content make it very accessible both in time and content....

Not Everything is As It Seems

Not Everything is As It Seems

A quote from 'The Goldfinch' Donna Tartt page 849 'And isn't it the whole point of things - beautiful things - that they connect you to some larger beauty? These first images that crack your heart right open and you spend the rest of your life chasing, or trying to...

too wonderful for words

too wonderful for words

I would like to suggest “The Sense of an Ending” by Julian Barnes as an example of a Nexus-like book. First of all, it is good literature. A recent winner of the Man Booker award, its size, language and content make it very accessible both in time and content....

The Significance of Story

My Story with Story

A quote from 'The Goldfinch' Donna Tartt page 849 'And isn't it the whole point of things - beautiful things - that they connect you to some larger beauty? These first images that crack your heart right open and you spend the rest of your life chasing, or trying to...

The Walk

The Walk

Stories in many forms are helping me to map my life: my dreams, my hopes, my tastes and my values. I grew up in a story-telling family. As a young boy I keenly listened to the stories told in family circles about the hardships of the occupation years during World War...

Elton

Elton

The following article was written by PEO ALFONSI, a musician who lives in Verona, Italy, regarding a person who deeply impacted him when he was a child.  The original article in Italian is posted below the English translation. THE WALK Ta never was like the others....

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