Posts in Living

Creative block? It’s not about the time

It can be hard to find the time for things we want to do, whether it’s writing a book, completing artwork, learning to speak Russian, or anything else. Life is busy, we say. I don’t have time. The thing is, that’s not strictly true. In even the busiest lives, there are pockets of time in which extra things could be accomplished. But these are times when we’re either too stressed or too tired to do anything worthwhile. What’s missing is not the time, but the mental energy. For example, I… Read More

The best of people

The more I see of the world, the more I realise that we’re really quite limited as a species. In small groups, we can have quite an incredible capacity for doing good. We can be kind, compassionate, friendly, and generally amazing. We can help each other in quite extraordinary ways, even when there’s no benefit to us in doing so. We can motivate ourselves to achieve just about anything, and keep that motivation up through good times and bad. But in large groups, we often get crazy. We believe lies about… Read More

Halcyon Days

The phrase “halcyon days” has always meant nothing more to me than general nostalgia. Since moving to Crete, and more particularly since spending winter here, I’ve learned its original, much more specific meaning. Winters here are very mild compared to what I’m used to from London and New York. It’s around 15°C most days, although it rains quite a bit and is damp because we’re close to the sea. It also gets chilly inside because the apartment is built for summer – the wall facing the sea is all glass… Read More

I’m back!

It’s been a great couple of weeks. Total silence really did me some good. I realised how much noise I have in my life, even though I live in quite a peaceful, rural location in Crete. Not talking or communicating in any way for ten days was fascinating. On the first day, my mind was all over the place, and I couldn’t meditate for more than a minute without following some ridiculous train of thought. But gradually, day by day, hour by hour, my mind cleared, and it became natural… Read More

Gone meditating, back soon…

I am off on a meditation retreat. Ten days with no internet, no phone, no reading or writing, no talking, no communication of any kind except with my soul. Will I survive? Will I return a changed man? Stay tuned to find out when I get back. Have a good couple of weeks, everyone!

On showing up

There’s a quote I remember hearing years ago, one of those quotes that really resonated with me and has stuck with me ever since. It was by Woody Allen, I think, and he said something like “90% of life is about just showing up”. I may be misquoting slightly, but that’s the gist of it. Woody Allen said he wasn’t any more talented than a lot of other people, but what made him successful was that he kept showing up when others didn’t. He kept writing even when he was… Read More

What is it about water?

Well, here I am again. Spent the last few weeks driving around Crete, looking at different areas to live in. The search ended abruptly, though, when I saw this: That’s the view from the balcony of what is now my apartment. I’ve been staring at it more or less continuously for the last few days. It changes all the time, as the sun moves across the sky, as the wind changes direction, and as boats go to and fro. The interesting thing is that we saw some other wonderful places… Read More

We could take a train, be miles away by morning…

There was a song that Genie and I used to listen to in our early days together, as we drove around America getting to know both the country and each other. The lyrics went: We could take a train, be miles away by morning, And forget about those things we’re supposed to do. At the time, we never could just take a train. We always had to be back in the office on Monday morning, doing those things we were supposed to do. But we always dreamed of doing it… Read More