Wednesday, 10 April 2013

TheFirstSixMonths: Bookish movements- Nora & James Joyce

This was going to be a post without many stories, but a little wandering. Stories just happened. In the midst. 

James Joyce met Nora Barnacle on June 10. Their first walk and date however was towards Ringsend by River Liffe on June 16, 1904. Leopold Bloom's ordinary day is chosen to be June 16. Celine and Jesse meet in Vienna on June 16.

The very erotic letter exchanges (which were auctioned, even) between Nora and Joyce have led to split opinions on whether this date was "chaste". Like the "potential" implications in Celine's Vienna.

Leopold proposed to Molly in Howth.
"...I was a Flower of the mountain yes when I put the rose in my hair like the Andalusian girls used or shall I wear a red yes and how he kissed me under the Moorish wall and I thought well as well him as another and then I asked him with my eyes to ask again yes and then he asked me would I yes to say yes my mountain flower and first I put my arms around him yes and drew him down to me so he could feel my breasts all perfume yes and his heart was going like mad and yes I said yes I will Yes. "
Nora started learning French in the anticipation of his move to Paris, and ran away with Joyce. They set up house in mainland Europe in 1905 and got married in 1931. As predicted by his father (based on her surname) she never left him.

Every year Dubliners celebrate the first date as Bloomsday, becoming one with the characters (playing a part or two) and walking the "Ulysses path". At times, a Bloomsday isn't required even.

Stories: Here, here, here, here and here

Friday, 5 April 2013

TheFirstSixMonths: The Happy Secret #LifeProject

I've been having, what I call, very tough years, the past few years in a row. It was strange then, when, last year, my mother made me help her with an essay on 'gratitude' for a magazine article she was writing. I remember postponing it as much as I could and not being able to quantify what it meant, in my head, and honestly, I didn't feel I had a lot to be grateful for somehow, in those exact times. Later in the summer of 2012, I picked up a book referred by a friend, which again talked a lot about 'gratitude' as a way of life. I wrote several journal pages of gratitude, even mechanically, as advised. Vielleicht, it helped. Around the same time, I also heard Shaheen Mistri from Teach For India who mentioned something on the lines of how one of their teachers/ leaders would share a plant/ painted pot with her group of teachers as a token of gratitude.

A year later, I heard a Shawn Achor TED talk, and I decided to finally indulge in a small project following it.

#LifeProject: 21 days of 3 new things that I was grateful for
Time period: March 14- April 4, 2013
Curiosity: Do I feel happier-> can I really train my brain to see more happy things?
Additional curiosity: What new things am I grateful about each day-> what really matters?

Today is March 14 when I am starting this post, and I feel cynical about it. I want to try these days out and return to the post to see what I feel in April.

And now April 5, here are the results:

Curiosity result 1: So well, I increasingly hear/ experience more- something that I mentally note to be put in a list to be grateful for. It's almost like heightened sensitivity. I feel a stronger connect with people that I put in my inner circle of friends / people I like spending time with. It's like this weird warmth of sorts.

Curiosity result 2: For the past 22 days, I've been most grateful for the time/ experiences people share with me. I don't know if that surprises me. But this has been true everyday. I was thinking perhaps it's also because in a busy home before this move, I had such an unabated access to sharing (even unwanted at times) that I had taken it for granted. Now I increasingly seek human connect (actively). And am happy to be able to share. I'm not sure if it's crazy happy, but this just makes me feel more grounded and peaceful. And that's snug.

I have also realised I am a bit skeptical about people who seem to have no sense of gratitude towards what they have, and have a strong sense of entitlement instead -of course some people work hard for it, but many are just careless. I rather shun careless, especially about people.

In general, I think it's an interesting project. I'm tempted to continue.

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

TheFirstSixMonths: Being social- what it says about you

Yesterday night I noticed, while self-Googling [sophisticated social ego mapping what's the shame in that], people like me have multiple profiles on various social networks. Currently Twitter and Quora are my favourite. Twitter has taught me, how I don't need to carry the burden of ending sentences, paragraphs and conversations every time. Also, I am a blog person.

The first time I worked on social media professionally was in 2008 from the outside-in perspective to understand behaviour. And, while it's hard to make generalisations about people and I'd be careful not to, there are similarities, and groups, variants and stereotypes that exist for reasons as well. It's not any different on 'social' networks. In fact they bring out [without shame] the human need to connect/ share, satisfy creativity, and also a latent [or not] desire for the '15 minutes of fame'. Sometimes I really think they allow us to embrace our voyeuristic parts better.

Heartless Doll [.com], oh well, had a list up with the analysis on what different networks are associated with what kind of characteristics of the users. Of course, Facebook is no longer-just young. Wiki is not necessarily invisible, and mySpace isn't what it was back in '08. Twitter wasn't half as big to be allowed much fan space in the little diagram I had created [it's on the page linked below though]. Provides for an interesting read still.
Data from:  Heartless Doll , Picture in centre from Google images

Just came across one for Instagram users by filters (!) [didn't exist in 2008]. I'm not on Instagram but I have used it, and I was selecting filters just based on the visual impact of the photos. This takes it to another sub-conscious level :P I'd probably need a lot more sustained usage to find out which one I am!


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