Issue № 31


The project started with the intent to regenerate a forgotten piece of land in a dense Coburg pocket. Felicity and her husband, architect Marc Bernstein, purchased the awkwardly shaped 250 square metre block to make it happen, but council deemed the land ‘undevelopable’, and banks were unwilling to approve finances.

~ Amelia Barnes from,

To be clear: The property is 250 square-meters, or ~1,700 square-feet. Get to a large computer screen. Get your beverage of choice. Then, click through and get lost on that site.

Meanwhile, the thing that struck me was the undulating ground cover outside the master bedroom. It’s good (but not particularly original) to use something that doesn’t require a lot of water (as opposed to turf grasses)—but to shape the ground into something interesting struck me as whimsical. If I don’t have to mow it, then it doesn’t need to be flat. I wonder where else, in the design of my own environment, am I stuck in my thinking.

Age-old struggle

The world is in a constant conspiracy against the brave. It’s the age-old struggle—the roar of the crowd on one side and the voice of your conscience on the other.

~ Douglas MacArthur

Extraneous as passing fiction

After this era of great pilots is gone, as the era of great sea captains has gone — each nudged aside by the march of inventive genius, by steel cogs and copper discs and hair-thin wires on white faces that are dumb, but speak — it will be found, I think, that all the science of flying has been captured in the breadth of an instrument board, but not the religion of it. One day the stars will be as familiar to each man as the landmarks, the curves, and the hills on the road that leads to his door, and one day this will be an airborne life. But by then men will have forgotten how to fly; they will be passengers on machines whose conductors are carefully promoted to familiarity with labelled buttons, and in whose minds the knowledge of the sky and the wind and the way of weather will be extraneous as passing fiction.

~ Beryl Markham from,

As if there’s anything I could write which would add to that.


When you don’t know what to say, that’s okay. That shows you’re listening.

~ Anna Sale

Do you get me meaning?

And one of my goals as the communicator is to make it as easy as possible for you to get the meaning I’m intending to convey.

~ Shane Parrish from,

The article also has a tidy explanation of irony. Irony (humor, sarcasm and many other linguistic forms) work so well because they are very powerful. A few words said and heard in person can transfer large ideas. The article goes all the way to mentioning our “power to attribute mental states to others.” A subtle and, frankly, amazing power of projection. My mental state, plus your mental state, plus my saying some words, should have gotten you to this other mental state. Heady stuff.

If I wrote, “That was fun.” you’re pretty sure those three words were only part of what the speaker was trying to convey. By default, we have to go with the literal interpretation, but feel we’ve been gypped. We feel the urge to skip back a few lines looking for hints to reveal the rest of the meaning meant to be conveyed. We are accustomed to having to write much more to get the same job done. I have to write: Then, with a wry smile, “That was fun.”

Which is all very interesting. But today, the question I have is: Wait. How did I ever get good at this insanely complex process without ever having anyone explicitly tell me anything about it?

Real change

Change—real change—comes from the inside out. It doesn’t come from hacking at the leaves of attitude and behavior with quickfix personality ethic techniques. It comes from striking at the root—the fabric of our thought, the fundamental, essential paradigms, which give definition to our character and create the lens through which we see the world.

~ Stephen Covey

Who we are

The Stoics believed that, in the end, it’s not about what we do, it’s about who we are when we do it. They believed that anything you do well is noble, no matter how humble or impressive, as long as it’s the right thing. That greatness is up to you—it’s what you bring to everything you do.

~ Ryan Holiday from,

Depending on where you are on your own journey, this could be the greatest 25-item list you’ve ever seen, or it could be 24 items of hogwash. How great is that? For me, it’s the one about being kind to oneself which I need most to let sink in farther. Every absolute rule, every simple guideline, and every pithy virtue becomes problematic when taken to the extreme. It’s almost as if *gasp* life is complicated, and I’m a complex person.

I feel like I’m living in the negative. My life isn’t a passing timeline of “this is nice” punctuated with some stuff that qualifies as work, chores, and maintency-things. Instead, I feel like any time I’m in a span of “this is nice”, I’m on borrowed time. It’s is always “this is nice, but…” followed by something I feel I should be doing just as soon as I’m done loafing. It’s as if my personal demon is relaxing, just out of sight at the bar as I loaf here on the veranda, but still dutifully keeping track of exactly how long I’ve been loafing. I continuously feel like things will go better for me (in the way mobsters would say that) if I choose to stop loafing rather than waiting to see how long I can get away with it. That’s not healthy and thus my awareness of the need for self-kindness.

Until next time, thanks for reading.



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