Lethe and Eunoe

Purgatorio

In Purgatorio, Dante puts the source of the mythical rivers Lethe and Eunoe at the peak of the earthly mountain at the antipodes that is Purgatory. After purging yourself of your sins in ascending through Purgatory, you must wade through the two rivers before entering paradise.

The Lethe (Greek for “forgetfulness”) purges your memory of your sins. The Eunoe (“good mind”) enhances your memory of those good things you accomplished in life.

It’s a nice reminder of moving on in our own personal lives. You can’t really move on to bigger and better things until you put the old issues behind you. Heaven with constant reminders of the problems of the past is not really heaven.

There is also an interesting Buddhist flavor here, reminding you to live in the present. What’s done is done, you’ve accounted for it, now move on.

— Reader’s Note —

I encourage everyone to make the full journey from Inferno to Paradiso. Its best done, in my opinion, by choosing whether you want to read for poetry or read for late medieval Italian historical detail. Doing both at once can be overwhelming. Either way, if you do, definitely check out the Dartmouth Dante Project.

 

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Radio and the spirit of the future

Just like TV did not kill radio, I don’t think the internet will ever kill radio. (But, TV is *the* thing this year.)

What the internet has allowed us to do is cut through the morass of similarity in most terrestrial radio and go directly the stations that are doing something interesting, different or wacky. Yes, the internet allows us to “curate” (apologies) our listening, while still relying on others to pick and discover for us. As I explained earlier, I love music but I don’t have the time or patience to pick out everything I listen to. Hence my love of internet radio, Pandora, etc.

So here are some stations I love:

WDVX – old-time country, bluegrass, blues, Americana out of little station outside of Knoxville, TN

WDCB – Chicago’s Home for Jazz

WBGO – Jazz out of Newark, NJ

KPIG – Broadcasting out of Freedom, CA. What more do you need? It’s pretty random.

A Year Without History

I read a lot of history, almost to the exclusion of any other type of book. We’ll that changes today. The challenge is to not read a non-fiction history book for one year. I started at the beginning of April when I picked up Foucault’s Pendulum by Eco. Next up is the 2015 collection if Best American Travel Writing.

I’ll take suggestions to build my list.

City Flags

I love the city flag TED talk and all the effort that are cropping up to reform and re-do city flags to produce a sense of local pride. (You can find the videos and examples at the Atlanta City Flag site.) Not everyone can be Chicago or DC but it’s worth  a shot.

How excited am I? I tried my hand at a new ATL flag. FYI – I have ZERO design skills and did this on SVG-edit for free! The general idea is the railroads which formed this city as the backdrop with the red of the Civil War fire and the green of this city’s many trees.

atl_rail_city

 

Heretical Thoughts

If I could get rid of one Saint, I might choose Bernard of Clairvaux. Why?

1. The attacks and seeming vendetta on the mind of the period, Peter Abelard.

2. His responsibility for the disastrous Second Crusade.

3. His foreshadowing of the Inquisition, with attacks on Cathars, Henricians, and others.

A nasty man. Europe was on the cusp of something great in the mid 1100s and I feel like he was at the forefront of shutting it down.