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"In The Story of Ferdinand (public library), a gentle-souled young misfit bull sits out the perpetual head-butting by which his peers hone their bull-skills, choosing instead to smell the flowers under his favorite cork tree in solitude. His mother, at first worried about his bullness, recognizes her son’s difference and trusts that he would find his way" And so he does..... Read more

"A symbolic moment of peace, grace, and humility amidst one of humanity’s most violent and disgraceful events".
"In December of 1914, a series of grassroots, unofficial ceasefires took hold of the Western Front in the heat of WWI. On Christmas, soldiers from an estimated 100,000 British and German troops began to exchange seasonal greetings and sing songs across the trenches",........ Continue Reading

From Rumi to Blake to Nick Cave, by way of trees, hummingbirds, grief, and music. In this sixteenth year of The Marginalian, which draws primarily on the timeless wonders and wisdoms of the past, here are sixteen books of the immediate present that left on me a mark on par with those immortals — Read more

“The world where the owl is endlessly hungry and endlessly on the hunt is the world in which I live too. There is only one world.” Read more

Image credit: The royal natural history (1893) Authors: Lydekker, Richard,- Smithsonian Libraries

“Left to ourselves, mechanistic and autonomic, we hanker for friends… Maybe altruism is our most primitive attribute, out of reach, beyond our control.”

Neil Postman (1931 –  2003) was an American author, educator, media theorist and cultural critic.  He is best known for his books regarding technology and education, including Amusing Ourselves to Death (1985), Conscientious Objections (1988), Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology (1992), The Disappearance of Childhood (1982) and The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School (1995). He also wrote about postmodernism, semantics, linguistics, and technopolies.

Sources: Wikipedia, NeilPostman.org

Freya Madeline Stark DBE (1893 – 1993), was a British-Italian explorer and travel writer. For her ninth birthday, Stark received a copy of One Thousand and One Nights and became fascinated with the Orient. She studied Arabic and later, Persian at Bedford College, London and the School of Oriental and African Studies. She wrote more than two dozen books on her travels in the Middle East and Afghanistan as well as several autobiographical works and essays. She was one of the first non-Arabs known to travel through the southern Arabian Desert in modern times.  ~ Quote Source: The Journey's Echo by Freya Stark

For what it’s worth..... it’s never too late, or in my case too early, to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit. Start whenever you want. You can change or stay the same. There are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you’ve never felt before. I hope you meet people who have a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of, and if you’re not, I hope you have the courage to start over again”

Source: From a short story Fitzgerald wrote in 1922 – The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, from which the 2008 film of the same name was adapted.

F. Scott Fitzgerald (1896-1940) was an American novelist, essayist, and short story writer.  During his lifetime, he published four novels, four story collections, and 164 short stories. Although he achieved temporary popular success and fortune in the 1920s, Fitzgerald received critical acclaim only after his death and is now widely regarded as one of the greatest American writers of the 20th century. 

"Graves only children’s book — a wondrous and subversive story about the magic of reading; written in 1962 when he was sixty seven and illustrated by Maurice Sendak" of sixty four". Read more

"The first thing to remember is that the great philosophers were only human. Then you can start disagreeing with them."...... Keeping in mind that "each giant of philosophy was a human being trying to figure out life by doing just what you do: reading, thinking, observing, writing"....  Read more

Few artists have articulated the dance between this “divine discontent” and creative fulfillment more memorably than the poet, novelist, essayist, and diarist May Sarton (May 3, 1912–July 16, 1995). In her Journal of a Solitude (public library), Sarton records and reflects on her interior life in the course of one year, her sixtieth, with remarkable candor and courage. Out of these twelve private months arises the eternity of the human experience with its varied universal capacities for astonishment and sorrow, hollowing despair and creative vitality.

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