“Society everywhere is in conspiracy against the manhood of every one of its members. Society is a joint-stock company, in which the members agree, for the better securing of his bread to each shareholder, to surrender the liberty and culture of the eater. The virtue in most request is conformity. Self-reliance is its aversion. It loves not realities and creators, but names and customs.”

Self-Reliance, R. W. Emerson

Steel Yourself

Van Gogh
Vincent Van Gogh


“It is requisite for the ideal artist to possess a force of character that seems hardly compatible with its delicacy; he must keep his faith in himself while the incredulous world assails him with its utter disbelief; he must stand up against mankind and be his own sole disciple.”

— Nathaniel Hawthorne

The Pen: A lesson


From the ‘Code of the Samurai, A Modern Translation of the Bushido Shoshinshu of Taira Shigesuke.’  By Thomas Cleary.  Chapter entitled, ‘Fame.’ 

“For those who died ignominiously and those who died gloriously, the pain when they handed their heads to the enemy was no different…[I]f you are going to have to give your life anyway, you may as well die heroically, startling enemies and allies alike, regretted by employers and commanders, an honor to your posterity for all time.”

We are soldiers, every single one of us. Whether our uniforms are for work or casual, comfortable or not, or for sport or battle, we are fighters. Every day is a battle, and life is hell; that is, war. Continue reading “The Pen: A lesson”