Love. Open your heart: Joyas Voladoras by Bryan Doyle

I read a beautiful passage recently on living with caution, with a heart sealed from the ravages of time and emotion. We all engage in this self-defence, do we not? We have no fear as children. As we grow older, and we are stung by our friends, scratched by our family, slapped about a bit by time, we curl our hearts up into a tight-fisted little ball. The ball absorbs like a sponge, but is always on the edge of an explosion. It becomes an involuntary battle as age creeps in. The battle between soaking in or exploding out the pain. In the throes of constant battle, our mind forgets that there is such a state as living with an open heart. That we can be vulnerable, and its ok.

If we are to worry about being stung, we should also remember that there must be a profusion of flowers to have attracted the bee.

The passage is from “Joyas Voladoras” by Bryan Doyle and was quoted on a blog called 3quarksdaily about the lessons of life learned.

So much held in a heart in a lifetime. So much held in a heart in a day, an hour, a moment. We are utterly open with no one, in the end — not mother and father, not wife or husband, not lover, not child, not friend. We open windows to each but we live alone in the house of the heart. Perhaps we must. Perhaps we could not bear to be so naked, for fear of a constantly harrowed heart. When young we think there will come one person who will savor and sustain us always; when we are older we know this is the dream of a child, that all hearts finally are bruised and scarred, scored and torn, repaired by time and will, patched by force of character, yet fragile and rickety forevermore, no matter how ferocious the defense and how many bricks you bring to the wall. You can brick up your heart as stout and tight and hard and cold and impregnable as you possibly can and down it comes in an instant, felled by a woman’s second glance, a child’s apple breath, the shatter of glass in the road, the words ‘I have something to tell you,’ a cat with a broken spine dragging itself into the forest to die, the brush of your mother’s papery ancient hand in a thicket of your hair, the memory of your father’s voice early in the morning echoing from the kitchen where he is making pancakes for his children.

 

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India to become the 4th largest military power by the end of this decade: The Economist

A pretty interesting article. Some insights for me from the article
1. Russia is still India’s largest supplier of arms, even after all the realignment in the global power structure.It accounts for more than half of India’s imports
2. Our ministry of external affairs, the ministry responsible for managing our global relationships and perception, is “puny. Singapore, with a population of 5m, has a foreign service about the same size as India’s.”

UNLIKE many other Asian countries—and in stark contrast to neighbouring Pakistan—India has never been run by its generals. The upper ranks of the powerful civil service of the colonial Raj were largely Hindu, while Muslims were disproportionately represented in the army. On gaining independence the Indian political elite, which had a strong pacifist bent, was determined to keep the generals in their place. In this it has happily succeeded.

But there have been costs. One is that India exhibits a striking lack of what might be called a strategic culture. It has fought a number of limited wars—one with China, which it lost, and several with Pakistan, which it mostly won, if not always convincingly—and it faces a range of threats, including jihadist terrorism and a persistent Maoist insurgency. Yet its political class shows little sign of knowing or caring how the country’s military clout should be deployed.

http://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21574458-india-poised-become-one-four-largest-military-powers-world-end?

The biggest arms buyers

“There is no dark side of the moon really. As a matter of fact, it’s all dark”

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Today is the 40th anniversary of the seminal “The Dark Side of the Moon” soundtrack by the Pink Floyd. There’s enough been written about it to cover the dark side of the moon. For me, it was a constant college companion, one of my non-human best friends. Or perhaps, it was one of my truly human best friends.

The lyrics across all of the songs are incredible. It’s not poetry, but it touches the mind in ways that some of the great poetry of the centuries. It does not move the heart in some emotional wringing, but it forces the mind to stop and think, and re-think about modern life again. While words like

 

You run and you run to catch up with the sun

but it’s sinking; only to up behind you again.

The sun is the same in a relative way but you’re older

shorter of breath and one day closer to death.

have incredible impact when one first comes upon them, the lines that remain with me even today for their sardonic humour are

Forward! He cried, from the rear

and the front rank died.

And the General sat, as the lines on the map

moved from side to side.

Thank you Roger Waters, David Gilmour, Rick Wright and Nick Mason.

A recent Rolling Stone article on the band’s journey to the Dark Side. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/pink-floyd-journey-to-the-dark-side-20111013

The original Rolling Stone Interview. http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/dark-side-of-the-moon-19730524