Happy Birthday, Sherlock Holmes

“My mind,” he said, “rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. I can dispense then with artificial stimulants. But I abhor the dull routine of existence. I crave for mental exaltation. That is why I have chosen my own particular profession, or rather created it, for I am the only one in the world.”

Arthur Conan Doyle, The Sign of Four
The Hat & Pipe

According to several sources, Sherlock Holmes was born on January 6, 1854.  He has endured many iterations and will, no doubt, continue to do so as times goes on.  Happy Birthday, Sherlock Holmes.

I visited 221b Baker Street in September of 2009 and met Sherlock Holmes.  The gentleman, who was sitting in Sherlock Holmes’ chair confided that he came to visit one day and received an open invitation to return because he looked like Sherlock Holmes. His presence gave an authentic ambiance.  I like to think that he still visits.

Sherlock is looking out the window.

Sherlock is looking out the window.

Trust the Magic of Beginnings

“And suddenly you know: It’s time to start something new and trust the magic of beginnings.” 
Meister Eckhart


The Reading Chair

The Reading Chair

I have always believed that on New Year’s Day, I must do something that I have never done before.  Beginnings have a mystical energy that motivate me to set aside whatever I am doing to consider a different path or a specific challenge.

This year was no different.

In the early hours of January 1, 2015, I learned how to borrow e-books from the Vancouver Public Library.  While it may seem rather obvious to the tech savvy, this was no ordinary task, especially since I wanted to link the download to my computer, iPhone and iPad.  I was on my own.  The library doors were closed for New Years.  I am now the proud recipient of two library books.  The best news is that I will never have a late library book.  It seems that on the last day, the book vanishes from my bookshelf.  Imagine!

I find that the thrill of success encourages a spirit of recklessness, as I soon found out when I stopped by Reading Interrupted a few minutes later and committed to reading Dante Alighieri this year.  Here is my rash statement:  “Gulp!! I am going to take on a huge challenge! “Remember tonight…for it is the beginning of always.” Dante Alighieri.  My Italian is rudimentary but nothing ventured, nothing gained.”

When I say my Italian is rudimentary, I mean basic level!!

And yet, I think I will take Meister Eckhart’s advice and “trust the magic of beginnings.”



Christmas Eve with Christina Rossetti

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan,
Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone;
Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow,
In the bleak midwinter, long ago.
Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;
Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.
In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed
The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.
Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,
Breastful of milk, and a mangerful of hay;
Enough for Him, whom angels fall before,
The ox and ass and camel which adore.
Angels and archangels may have gathered there,
Cherubim and seraphim thronged the air;
But His mother only, in her maiden bliss,
Worshipped the beloved with a kiss.
What can I give Him, poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;
If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;
Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.
Christina Rossetti