Said Prospero, “Every third thought shall be of my grave.”

What Prospero said should not be decried
Give death a rightful standing in our lives
As a lens through which to view the good for which we strive
To ponder temporal versus eternal that is always nigh
To elevate appreciation and despondency defy
And so, when vibrant youth immortality implies
When healthy vigour makes the future glisten in our eyes
When happiness is at its peak with all that it supplies
When prosperity creates opportunity many are denied
When security is such that all our fears it belies
Take a moment to remember it is only life that dies
Value life through death as on times fleeting wings it flies
The mind that honours death values life on high

Partners: are your blind spots ruining your relationship?

I am so fortunate to have been with my partner for a wonderful 40 years. Sometimes I slip into self congratulation because I feel we have been in a loving sweet spot for so long it makes me very happy to think about it. I try not to take this for granted at any time. However, I do forget periodically and find myself thinking we have everything sorted. I am sure no one does. You both have to keep paying attention

Paying attention requires the ongoing element of mindfulness. To remind myself to be mindful, every now and then I read or listen to stories that may shed light on how relationships work and fail. I think it is a good practice. I continue to learn. From the article I am sharing below I better understood a particular destructive relationship dynamic, invalidation of a partner’s perspective. This understanding can be applied to seemingly trivial concerns. These apparently small things can accumulate to have dramatic outcomes. Are you receptive, perceptive and empathetic enough to see both sides? I think it is worth a read.

What are some of life’s many simple pleasures to enjoy? Why do we forget to take the time to appreciate and enjoy them more?

Alfred Nicholas Gardens, Dandenong Ranges

I will begin with my list of simple pleasures to enjoy.

  • Fresh air
  • Fresh food
  • Cold, clean drinking water
  • Natural world environments
  • Uncorrupted landscapes and waterways
  • Wind and rain
  • The night sky
  • The day sky
  • Gardens
  • New life
  • Wildlife
  • Vistas
  • Autumn
  • Anticipation of winter
  • Warmth on a cold day
  • Electrical storms
  • New learning
  • Imagination
  • Imagery
  • Music
  • Art
  • Photography
  • Comfortable chairs
  • Verandahs
  • Thinking
  • Reading
  • Writing
  • Books
  • Walks
  • Cycling

It is so easy to be distracted, to habitually take such things for granted. More complicated experiences repeatedly assert themselves as front and centre of our consciousness and decision making. Issues surrounding insecurity, relationships and others’ bidding clamour for attention, occupy us with busy-ness and distract us.

The experiences that are always there for the taking become secondary due to their very simplicity, their enduring nature, their very availability. We readily forget to be mindful of their existence as the essence of our existence.

These profoundly simple and accessible pleasures can be constant stabilising influences on our lives. They are always present, complete with restorative potential. When we do remember to attend to them we come back to ourselves as capable of choosing to reset, appreciate and experience joy.