My week-ends for the past five or six years have been highlighted by Maria Popover’s Brainpickings – her weekly blog of musings, readings and philosophical insights which include a potpourri of miscellanea.   In December 2018 Maria announced the publication of two original works of literature.    Not only did she promote her new book Figuring that was 12 years in the making, but she also had a live presentation at the The New York Public Library of A Velocity of Being, subtitled Letters to a Young Reader

Maria together with her friend a publisher of children’s literature, invited over 100 writers, artists, scientists, entrepreneurs and philosophers to reflect on the joy of reading. https://www.nypl.org/events/programs/2018/12/15/velocity-being-maria-popova-and-guests   These contributions have been lovingly compiled into a beautiful book, with each essay being uniquely and artistically illustrated.

I was riveted whilst listening to a number of these contributors reading their testimonies to the joy of reading before an audience at The New York Public Library.  These wonderful tributes describing the role of reading, crafted by a range of talented and eloquent consumers of the written word, additionally provided a wonderful listening experience.  How timeous is this contribution to literature when paper is being replaced by screen.   The luxurious and lazy time spent reading and meditating is being exchanged for the instant gratification provided by social media.

As an introduction to Maria’s forthcoming publication “Figuring” which will be published in February 2019 I will offer you the author’s own words, “All of it — the rings of Saturn and my father’s wedding band, the underbelly of the clouds pinked by the rising sun, Einstein’s brain bathing in a jar of formaldehyde, every grain of sand that made the glass that made the jar and each idea Einstein ever had, the shepherdess singing in the Rila mountains of my native Bulgaria and each one of her sheep…………..”    Ultimately she makes the point regarding the interconnectivity of all beings and all matter.   I am confident that this quote will titivate your interest in finding out more and help you to make the decision to invest in this opportunity to grapple with the author’s originality and erudition.

So, why not visit  www.brainpickings.org and sign up for your weekend treat.   Maria, will keep you enthralled by her web of interlinking ideas culled from writers, philosophers and artists.   Her ability to weave together ideas and relevant strands of data is multi-faceted and engaging.   I wish you much joy and pleasure whilst familiarising yourself with Maria’s musings.

I have decided to take the “bull by the horns”, the “bit between the teeth” and expose my day to day musings with my cohort who are endevouring to develop some meaningful understanding of the human experience.

The motivation to start a blog arose after an eight-day Memoir Writing Course on the Isle of Lesbos which I attended to celebrate my 80th Birthday.  I was sufficiently inspired by this immersion experience to record 40,000 words of autobiographic reminiscences, as well as create a potential title for a memoir.  “The Curious Octogenarian,” seems to encapsulate who I am at this stage of my development.  What I now need is a framework into which I can immerse my recollections and experiences, in order to add meaning and depth to the story.

I am anticipating that the weekly writing of this blog, in which I plan to share my day to day mind excursions, will assist me in making some worthwhile connections between my life and a contemporary rationale of the human experience.   As I have been acting as a facilitator of Conscious Ageing for seniors during the past 10 years I have been investigating the art and theory of maintaining my physical, cognitive and emotional well-being.    I will be sharing with you my insights, and hoping that in turn you the reader will give me some feedback, maybe some direction or other input.

I have recently pursued a study of Buddhist philosophy from whence the theory and practice of contemporary mindfulness and meditation has emerged.  The interest in meditation has grown since a number of Westerners travelled to India to explore these ancient practices and brought back concepts to guide us in coming to terms with our everyday experiences.   On their return, in the ’70s they transposed these concepts into a format which is palatable for professional people in the West and are now of interest throughout the world.

I visualise developing some mutual benefits for my future blogging community.   Those advantages would be in the form of the examination of the best life possible in our senior years.   I have no fixed or firm concepts of where this verbal interchange will take us – I enter the challenge with an open mind and the naïve belief that a mutual conversation will enrich us all.

Join me in this exciting new venture by signing up to my newsletter here.   I am looking forward to interacting with you.