Another amazing (and short) video of music creation, this time Paul Simon describing composition of Bridge Over Troubled Water. Just beautiful. Check out the Swan Silvertones song that inspired the title line.
Love this old post from Dan John, a highly respected, thoughtful, and successful coach of many sports. I shared this with an extremely productive friend who was struggling with a COVID-imposed break in normal work routine.
Dan John talks about resting between sets, between workouts, "active rest," sleep supplements, napping, Lights Out by TS Wiley (awesome book) and more. His meandering writing style is actually calming in itself.
"Since most of the information concerning rest is free (no one charges you for sleep), there is no market, therefore, you don’t hear much about it."
Although I talk a lot about how stress can enhance your life, we cannot hide the fact that chronic, unremitting, unaddressed stress can harm you to the point of heart attack. This New York Times article gives a nice summary of several research papers on how and why emotional stress can lead to heart disease. Emotional stress actually may be more risky than physical stress. Researchers can even predict future risk of this sequence of events.
An important question: Is your stress acute or chronic? Exercise, cold exposure, and short fasting periods are acute stressors, which can be good if you recover from them. Hating your job, resenting a family member, and worrying about money are chronic stressors and do not enhance your life.
Psychological First Aid
On the topic of stress, anyone taking care of patients should read these two articles on Psychological First Aid. Those of us who manage critically ill trauma and medical patients may not always know what to say to them. This article goes through the important tasks of a responder: Verbal Reassurance, Creating Calm, Fostering Self-efficacy, Forming Connection, and Building Hope.
After I originally read these articles, and an excellent book on the topic (The Worst is Over), I wrote an essay (with Nick Nash) for Louisville Medicine (starts on page 16). Check out on the second page the paragraph of reassurance that has been studied in ambulance settings. Words have power especially in extreme circumstances.
Is it the carbs or the calories? It is of course both, but the debate is still very lively. Gary Taubes still asserting that a "‘fatally, tragically flawed’ paradigm has derailed the science of obesity."
Check out Rhythm foods broccoli, cauliflower, and carrot snacks, listed in order of taste. I am not saying they are as healthy as eating the plain vegetables themselves, nor that they taste as good as Whole Foods in-house made tortilla chips; but they give you a crunch that makes them work well as croutons, to dip in guacamole, or just to eat plain.
Interesting and very old idea about “God who hides himself.” I forget where I first heard the phrase, but it seemed fascinating. Searching the internet for essays written on it yielded few helpful results. This was probably the best short essay I found.
"All language used to describe this God is inadequate. If anything, the best way to understand the world is through a series of conflicting even contradictory statements. This method was called dialectic by ancient philosophers, came under the title of via negative in the medieval world."
"In the tradition of Deus Incognito, God is fundamentally passive, a Being whom we must approach...By contrast, the God of Luther’s Deus Absconditus is very much an active agent who considers us not only as objects of his thought but also objects of his affections, for better or worse."
The war between the good guys and the bad must be fought out in humanity’s stories again and again until the end of time.
Even tragedies get "stealthy happy endings by offsetting the ‘protagonist’s misfortune with redemption.’”
– Jonathan Gottschall
[In stories] things get worse and worse until at the last minute they get better.
– (David Robinson)
A happy marriage is a long conversation that always seems too short.
– Andre Maurois