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Upstream

Upstream

"In the beginning I was so young and such a stranger to myself I hardly existed. I had to go out into the world and see it and hear it and react to it, before I knew at all who I was, what I was, what I wanted to be." So begins Upstream, a collection of essays in which beloved poet Mary Oliver reflects on her willingness, as a young child and as an adult, to lose herself within the beauty and mysteries of both the natural world and the world of literature. Emphasizing the significance of her childhood "friend" Walt Whitman, through whose work she first understood that a poem is a temple, "a place to enter, and in which to feel," and who encouraged her to vanish into the world of her writing, Oliver meditates on the forces that allowed her to create a life for herself out of work and love. As she writes, "I could not be a poet without the natural world. Someone else could. But not me. For me the door to the woods is the door to the temple." Upstream, a radiant collection of essays with a new piece on Provincetown, follows Oliver as she contemplates the pleasure of artistic labor, her boundless curiosity for the flora and fauna that surround her, and the responsibility she has inherited from Shelley, Wordsworth, Emerson, Poe, and Frost, the great thinkers and writers of the past, to live thoughtfully, intelligently, and to observe with passion. Throughout this collection, Oliver positions not just herself upstream but us as well as she encourages us all to keep moving, to lose ourselves in the awe of the unknown, and to give power and time to the creative and whimsical urges that live within us.

Deepak Malhotra I Moved Your Cheese. For Those Who Refuse to Live as Mice in Someone Else's Maze

Deepak Malhotra I Moved Your Cheese. For Those Who Refuse to Live as Mice in Someone Else's Maze

If you were a mouse trapped in a maze and someone kept moving the cheese, what would you do? Over a decade ago the bestselling business fable Who Moved My Cheese? offered its answer to this question: accept that change is inevitable and beyond your control, don’t waste your time wondering why things are the way they are, keep your head down and start looking for the cheese. But success in the areas of innovation, entrepreneurship, creativity, leadership, and business growth—as well as personal growth—depends on the ability to push the boundaries, reshape the environment, and play by a different set of rules: our own. With that in mind, Harvard Business School professor Deepak Malhotra offers a radically different answer to this question. Malhotra tells an inspiring story about three unique and adventurous mice—Max, Big, and Zed—who refuse to accept their reality as given. As we watch their lives unfold and intersect, we discover that instead of just blindly chasing after the cheese, each of us has the ability to escape the maze or even reconfigure it to our liking. In the face of established practices, traditional ideas, scarce resources, and the powerful demands or expectations of others, we often underestimate our ability to control our own destiny and overcome the constraints we face—or think we face. I Moved Your Cheese reminds us that we can create the new circumstances and realities we want, but first we must discard the often deeply ingrained notion that we are nothing more than mice in someone else’s maze. As Zed explains, “You see, Max, the problem is not that the mouse is in the maze, but that the maze is in the mouse.”

Don Quixote de La Mancha - Vol II

Don Quixote de La Mancha - Vol II

Bless me! reader, gentle or simple, or whatever you be, how impatiently by this time must you expect this preface, supposing it to be nothing but revengeful invectives against the author of the second Don Quixote. But I must beg your pardon: for I shall say no more of him than everybody says, that Tordesillas is the place where he was begotten, and Tarragona the place where he was born; and. though it be universally said, that even a worm when trod upon, will turn again, yet I am resolved for once to cross the proverb. You perhaps now would have me call him coxcomb, fool, and madman ; but I am of another mind; and so let his folly be its own punishment. But there is something which I cannot so silently pass over: he is pleased to upbraid me with my age: indeed, had it been in the power of man to stop the career of me, I would not have suffered the old gentleman to have laid his fingers on me. Then he reflectingly tells me of the loss of one of my hands : as if that maim had been got in a scandalous or drunken quarrel in some tavern, and not upon the most memorable occasion that either past or present ages have beheld, and which perhaps futurity will never parallel. If my wounds do not redound to my honour in the thoughts of some of those that look upon them, they will at least secure me the esteem of those that know how they were gotten. A soldier makes a nobler figure as he lies bleeding in the bed of honour, than safe in an inglorious flight; and I am so far from being ashamed of the loss of my hand, that were it possible to recall the same opportunity, I should think my wounds but a small price for the glory of sharing in that prodigious action. The scars in a soldier's face and breast, are the stars that by a laudable imitation guide others to the port of honour and glory. Besides, it is not the hand, but the understanding of a man, that may be said to write; and those years, that he is pleased to quarrel with, always improve the latter.


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