"It may be that when we no longer know what to do
we have come to our real work,
and that when we no longer know which way to go
we have come to our real journey.
The mind that is not baffled is not employed.
The impeded stream is the one that sings."

— Wendell Berry

Would Romeo and Juliet be matched online?

For one thing, Romeo and Juliet wouldn’t find each other today. Shakespeare’s star-crossed lovers met at a masquerade, which meant a party’s limited options and almost no information about each other, except the touch of Romeo’s hand and the heated flirtation of their words. But today’s Romeo and Juliet have a shopper’s catalogue of choices and set their search parameters to find exclusively what they’re looking for. And given the centuries-old feud between the Montagues and the Capulets, they’re not looking for each other. Perhaps Romeo, like most of the Montagues, is short; perhaps Juliet, like most of the Capulets, is a bit stout. In person, they find many types of people attractive. But with online dating, given the option to rule out the short and the stout, they do.

Which raises another question: Does a more bounded context, with fewer choices and less sense of control, help us with what the theologian William F. May calls “an openness to the unbidden?” And, even more complicated, do the greatest love affairs come from finding what we’re looking for, or from finding what we don’t know to look for — from the alchemy that flares when the unbidden happens to find us?

Full story at the Boston Globe, by Howard Axelrod.

"Chris became surprisingly introspective. “I did examine myself,” he said. “Solitude did increase my perception. But here’s the tricky thing—when I applied my increased perception to myself, I lost my identity. With no audience, no one to perform for, I was just there. There was no need to define myself; I became irrelevant. The moon was the minute hand, the seasons the hour hand. I didn’t even have a name. I never felt lonely. To put it romantically: I was completely free.”"

— Christopher Knight, the ‘Last True Hermit.’

"Everything was beautiful, and nothing hurt."

— Kurt Vonnegut

"You know what music is? God’s little reminder that there’s something else besides us in this universe; harmonic connection between all living beings, every where, even the stars."

— Robin Williams

"Get scared. It will do you good. Smoke a bit, stare blankly at some ceilings, beat your head against some walls, refuse to see some people, paint and write. Get scared some more. Allow your little mind to do nothing but function. Stay inside, go out - I don’t care what you’ll do; but stay scared as hell. You will never be able to experience everything. So, please, do poetical justice to your soul and simply experience yourself."

— Albert Camus, from Notebooks, 1951-1959

"I’m a difficult person. Everyone’s a difficult person. She was accepting of my brand of different. She was okay with it."

Adam, Girls

"Yes I am a dreamer. For a dreamer is one who can only find his way by moonlight, and his punishment is that he sees the dawn before the rest of the world."

— Oscar Wilde

Chasing that sense of endless possibility.

Brown Bear comes out of hibernation in Finland

Brown Bear comes out of hibernation in Finland