Memory is an interesting thing, not least for its triggers, the mechanisms behind what we remember and what we (choose to?) forget and also for how something can simmer beneath the surface in the subconscious layer of the mind, feeding a gnawing sense of restlessness but never being comprehended. The return of the Aria Code podcast for a third season this week was one of those jolts, the exploration of Puccini’s Nessun Dorma, the kick which opened up the door to a rabbit hole of memories. A few years ago now, in a season of young-ish
love infatuation, HMT in the ‘Deen became the centre of many a late night taking in opera, walking along Union Street to cars parked in side streets (for the free parking) but not much else besides. In retrospect, it was very much a period of unrequited love that went no where in the end, although my memories of the time suggest otherwise. The things one chooses to remember or forget, I guess? The one upside to all that remembering was delving into the rabbit hole that is YouTube for performances of the Aria, one of the more fascinating ones for me being the soulful rendition by Aretha Franklin at the ’98 Grammys (which she agreed to do at short notice as Pavarotti was ill). The aria’s closing sentiment (At dawn, I will win! I will win! I will win!) is apt given our time, as the Aria Code episode so aptly demonstrates.
I have just completed under a month of walking ten kilometres each day; noise cancelling headphones on and music cranked up to as loud as is comfortable as I do the loop around my house. On most days I have tended to pass other walkers at pace, eyes averted, trying the least to intrude on their space (or more accurately preserve the sacredness of mine). On the odd occasion when it has not been possible, I have waved in response to others waving. A chance conversation on the bus the other day did however remind me that it wouldn’t hurt to initiate a greeting now and again as I whizz pass others. That is something I hope to take on board for the next batch of 10k strolls.
Life is fleeting, things can change, and breath is a fickle thing after all. The word for this week, mashshaa‘, for walker.
Recent Finds (x5)
- The Stats course I’m taking online at the moment is raking me over hot coals, so I have been looking for all the help I can get. Hannah Fry and the Stand-up Maths dude’s video helped to clarify Bayes Theorem for me somewhat, not out of the woods yet though but I suspect my confidence levels have inched up a wee bit.
- Tim Harford’s Cautionary Tales podcast took in the business of dodgy charts this past week. Nightingale and her rose chart taking centre stage.
- Tim Keller’s battle with cancer continues, and I feel blessed that in the midst of all that he can take time out to reflect on faith in the face of death and dying.
- Two podcasts on the secret lives of plants. First Mark Spencer on the Life Scientific and Bonnie Bassler on The Joy of X, two podcasts I listen to more or less regularly.
- Adam Grant and Malcolm Gladwell share a wide ranging conversation which includes failing, accepting you’re wrong and a few other interesting bits.