Beloved night and calm of a tree

“Night, the beloved. Night, when words fade and things come alive. When the destructive analysis of day is done, and all that is truly important becomes whole and sound again. When man reassembles his fragmentary self and grows with the calm of a tree.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupery

11 Ideas For 2011

1: Count What Counts

“Many of the things you can count, don’t count.

Many of the things you can’t count, really count.”

Albert Einstein

2: Look Inward Angel

“Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.”

Carl Jung

3: Let Your Imagination  Move You Forward

“As great scientists have said and as all children know,
it is above all by the imagination that we achieve
perception, and compassion, and hope.”
Ursula K. Le Guin

4: You Are More Than Your  Unstoppable  Ideas

“One can resist the invasion of an army but one cannot resist the invasion of ideas.”
Victor Hugo

“If you do not express your own original ideas,
if you do not listen to your own being,
you will have betrayed yourself.”
Rollo May

“Don’t worry about people stealing an idea. If it’s original,
you will have to ram it down their throats.”
Howard Aiken

5: Change the World

“It is not necessary to change. Survival is not mandatory.”
W. Edwards Demming

“When you’re finished changing, you’re finished.”
Benjamin Franklin

6: Work to Be Generous And Humble

“Generosity is giving more than you can, and pride is taking less than you need.”
Kahlil Gibran

“Humility, like darkness, reveals the heavenly lights.”
Henry David Thoreau

7: Write A Brave New Story of Yourself

“Some stories are true that never happened.” Elie Wiesel

8: Thank The Universe For Every Moment and Miracle

“I thank you God for this most amazing day,
for the leaping greenly spirits of trees,
and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural,
which is infinite, which is yes.”
e.e. cummings

9: Go All The Way Your Way

“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth;
not going all the way, and not starting.”

10: Focus is the fulcrum that can move your mountains

“You can do anything, but not everything.”
David Allen

“The great mystery isn’t that people do things badly
but that they occasionally do a few things well.
The only thing that is universal is incompetence.
Strength is always specific!
Nobody ever commented, for example,
that the great violinist Jascha Heifetz
probably couldn’t play the trumpet very well.”
Peter Drucker

11:  Use Thoughts and Actions To Create Poetry in Your Life

Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
Lao Tze

You Can Feel It

“Trials never end, of course. Unhappiness and misfortune are bound to occur as long as people live, but there is a feeling now, that was not there before, and is not just on the surface of things, but penetrates all the way through: We’ve won it. It’s going to get better now. You can sort of tell these things.”

From Zen And the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig

A Secret for Parents: Keep Looking Up

Infants need to cry to tell their parents they need food or cleaning before they can talk and also to exercise their lungs a little. But sometimes they cry out of confusion or for no good reason at all. It’s just the way of all babies and should should be greeted with patience not anger.

The wise parent can distract, calm and teach children to look upward in times of stress.
I would look at the ceiling in these moments and ask my child if they saw a blue streak of light flash across the ceiling, sometimes making a swooshing sound to illustrate the point. Their heads would incline upward and almost instantly the crying would stop.
For the young and old it’s hard to cry or be sad when you’re looking up. So keep looking up!

Get Rid of Yourself Just Once

“If you could get rid of yourself just once, the secret of secrets would open to you. The face of the unknown, hidden beyond the universe would appear on the mirror of your perception.”
- Rumi

Not With a Calm Brow

“There are so many hammocks to catch you if you fall, so many laws to keep you from experience. All these cities I have been in the last few weeks make me fully understand the cozy, stifling state in which most people pass through life. I don’t want to pass through life like a smooth plane ride. All you do is get to breathe and copulate and finally die. I don’t want to go with the smooth skin and the calm brow. I hope I end up a blithering idiot cursing the sun – hallucinating, screaming, giving obscene and inane lectures on street corners and public parks. People will walk by and say, “Look at that drooling idiot. What a basket case.” I will turn and say to them “It is you who are the basket case. For every moment you hated your job, cursed your wife and sold yourself to a dream that you didn’t even conceive. For the times your soul screamed yes and you said no. For all of that. For your self-torture, I see the glowing eyes of the sun! The air talks to me! I am at all times!” And maybe, the passers by will drop a coin into my cup.” – Hernry Rollins

Let The World Break You And Then Be Strong At The Broken Places.

Ernest Hemingway wrote that “If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good, and the very gentle, and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too, but there will be no special hurry.”

Feeling Fractal

Wiki says “A fractal is generally “a rough or fragmented geometric shape that can be split into parts, each of which is (at least approximately) a reduced-size copy of the whole,”[1] a property called self-similarity.” Pictured above is the famous image of a Mandelbrot set fractal image. Read more at

Roots of mathematical interest on fractals can be traced back to the late 19th Century, the term however was coined by Benoît Mandelbrot in 1975 and was derived from the Latin fractus meaning “broken” or “fractured.” A mathematical fractal is based on an equation that undergoes iteration, a form of feedback based on recursion.[2]…

Natural objects that approximate fractals to a degree include clouds, mountain ranges, lightning bolts, coastlines, snow flakes, even various vegetables (cauliflower and broccoli). However, not all self-similar objects are fractals.”

See cool fractals at and

Chaos is really very beautiful….

Calming Art By Laura Freedman

Almost 20,000 people have downloaded art by my sister Laura Freedman for use as cell phone backgrounds, but recently a small but growing group of calmunist art collectors are buying prints and all manner of items illustrated with her work. The work pictured above is called “Celebrate Today”.

My sister is a different sort of calmunist. Her art reminds me of Miro and Klee with a more digital and primitive edge. See more of her art at

The Roots of Happiness

Harvard Psychologist Dan Gilbert, author of Stumbling on Happiness, challenges the idea that we’ll be miserable if we don’t get what we want. He suggest that we not believe our own publicity and realize we are better than our worst failures and not quite as good as our proudest achievements.

“From field studies to laboratory studies, we see that winning or losing an election, gaining or losing a romantic partner, getting or not getting a promotion, passing or not passing a college test, on and on, have far less impact, less intensity and much less duration than people expect them to have. In fact, a recent study — this almost floors me — a recent study showing how major life traumas affect people suggests that if it happened over three months ago, with only a few exceptions, it has no impact whatsoever on your happiness.”

Here him at Ted Talks at