Monthly Archives: Sep 2018

Book Review: Travelling In A Strange Land

Travelling in a Strange Land

Middle age.

It’s a cheerful euphemism for old men to delude themselves that they’re not (yet!) over the hill.

A phrase intended to offer the illusion of youth and vitality that works most of the time… until it doesn’t.

And for someone in this twilight zone who reads ‘Travelling in a Strange Land’┬áby David Park, it will have a special meaning and resonance that I’d imagine it hard for other readers to find in the poignant reflections and insightful self-commentary about a life filled with its fair share of mistakes and misjudgment.

CONTINUE READING

Bavaria’s Linderhof Palace – Power And Magnificence

Megalomania.

It’s a word we use to describe wielding power recklessly.

Yet everyone craves power. We want to control events and people. To direct our actions meaningfully. To take charge of projects, activities, our lives.

On one of our evening walks, my daughter and I debated the issue – and an important point emerged.

Power must be tempered by responsibility.

When one desires power but shirks responsibility for using it, the journey towards megalomania begins.

Quite a few modern leaders would qualify under this definition. But megalomania isn’t something new. Many ancient rulers had it. And acted on it so grandly that there still remains evidence of their obsession with displaying power and strength.

We see it in their palaces and monuments.

One we toured recently was the luxurious Bavarian palace of Linderhof, built by King Ludwig II in the mid-1800s.

CONTINUE READING

Sculpting Life

Sculpture, Art, Bargello, Florence, Italy

(Sculptor: an artist who makes sculptures; carver; modeller.)

A sculptor sits at his block of stone. In his mind is a vision of what he’d like to carve from it.

With every stroke of his hammer, he must decide.

What to keep? What to remove?

Bam!

The chisel moves a little. The artist adjusts his instrument’s angle, the direction of his stroke.

Bam!

After every few hits, a piece chips off and falls to the ground… to be swept away at the end of the day, as rubble.

What’s left behind with the block of stone becomes a part of his sculpture.

If he strikes wisely and well, if his mind’s eye can see the image locked within rock clearly, if he makes few mistakes and has skills or talent, he’ll create a masterpiece.

Last night, as I thought about the lovely creations in Florence’s Bargello museum – it’s to sculpture, what the Louvre is to painting! – I was struck by an insight.

We are like sculptorsof our own lives!

CONTINUE READING

Unexpected Thrills Are The Best Ones

Red Ferrari

We were in Milan, Italy. It was the last day of our holiday trip.

Over nine days, we had travelled through three cities in two countries, walked dozens of miles, and viewed hundreds of lovely sights and scenes.

All of it had been carefully planned. We enjoyed every bit of it – but, frankly, there was little ‘surprise‘.

Until that morning in Milan, as we walked down Corso Buenos Aires on our way to the Duomo Cathedral.

CONTINUE READING

Is Medicine An Art – Or A Science?

Is Medicine Art or Science

A friend recently showed me a fascinating interview. Some doctors had been asked a set of intriguing questions – and their answers were just as thought-provoking.

After going through the entire collection of interviews, I thought of answering one of the questions myself. This one:

Q: Medicine is often described as an art not a science. In what ways do you find practicing medicine artful and is there a science to the art of writing? For that matter, what is the difference between art and science?

This is my reply:

Medicine is a science.

The practice of medicine, however, is both craft and art.

CONTINUE READING