Pure crystals

“Pure crystal are those that have perfectly repeating units. You told me this after I asked you what you found beautiful about chemistry. But what of the repating units in life? Most often imperfect.”
-Weike Wang, Chemistry

note: Yesterday Mrs. Abstract and I toured the Degas and with other Impressionists’ exhibit at the Legion of Honor in San Francisco.

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Today I finished Chemistry by Weike Wang. I added Keeping an Eye Open, Essays on Art by Julian Barnes in my reading list.

Why I like chemistry

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“That’s dispersion. That’s when boring white light goes through a prism and comes out a rainbow. Blue light disperses the most, hence the blue sky you see everywhere. Yellow light disperses the least, hence the yellow sun you see in one place.”- Weike Wang, Chemistry

note: I finished reading East of Eden by John Steinbeck just in time for this Saturday Book Club. I’m finishing Journal of a Novel, The East of Eden Letters by John Steinbeck
which is an added reading for the discussion of East of Eden.

I’m reading a new set of books:
Chemistry by Weike Wang,
Forest Park by Nicole Krauss
Every Word is a Bird We Teach to Sing by Daniel Tammet
World Without Mind by Franklin Foer.

I put back on the shelves the other set of books I was reading before and didn’t finished.

Really? Really.

“A wolverine is a strict loner, but a man needs people.”
-James Campbell, Braving it

Note: Books I’m reading;
Ripples in Spacetime by Govert Schilling
The Metaphysical Club by Louis Menand
Braving It by James Campbell
Flirting With French by William Alexander
Entering the Silence by Thomas Merton
Living the Kabbalah by Simcha H. Benyosef
Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
East of Eden by John Steinbeck (for my book club in September)

A lot but it makes the reading interesting. Mixture of ideas. Some of the books are at my bedside, others are on the sofa downstairs.

Mrs. Abstract shakes her head. She reads one book at a time.

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Can you see a man? Can you start a story?

A man alone on the beach,

looking beyond the waters,

a letter inside his pocket.

blessings

“Bless the World with Your Eyes
There is a beautiful practice in Jewish tradition of blessing the day.  In this worldview, each act becomes worthy of blessing. Gratitude is offered for the gift of every moment: upon awakening, when crossing a threshold, eating a meal, lighting candles. The Talmud calls for 100 blessings each day.

This act of blessing is really a special way of paying attention. It is a moment of remembering wonder as our primary response to the world. It is an act of consecrating the day.”
-Christine Valters Paintner
Abbey of the Arts

note: Quotation taken from Abbey of the Arts,

read more: blessings

 

Wonderful to know

“Shedding leaves and growing new ones depends not only on temperature but also on how long the days are…And how do trees register that the warmer days are because of spring and not late summer?”

“Trees need sense of time for more than just their foliage. This sense is equally important for procreation.”
-Peter Wohlleben, The Hidden Life of Trees

note: the quotations are from the book The Hidden Life of Trees which I just finished reading. Enjoyable to read with humor and plenty of science.