I am in favor of kindness and you prefer concentration camps

Isaiah Berlin was a political philosopher and historian of ideas. He remains a hero to me.

isaiah berlin, books, reading, writing, philosophy, coffee, fountain pen

one of the greatest minds of the twentieth century, he remained true to his humanity. “I came to the conclusion that there is a plurality of ideals, as there is a plurality of cultures and of temperaments. I am not a relativist; I do not say “I like my coffee with milk and you like it without; I am in favor of kindness and you prefer concentration camps” — each of us with his own values, which cannot be overcome or integrated. This I believe to be false. But I do believe that there is a plurality of values which men can and do seek, and that these values differ.”

Rose is a rose is a rose is a rose

Gertrude Stein made the above utterance famous in a poetry of hers and i can’t get it out of my mind every time i see or smell a beautiful rose. Coming from a country known for its gardens of roses and jasmins, tuberoses and tulips, irises and narcissus, I am still like many Persians partial toward the ROSE, the queen of them all. The rose below, smelled like the rose gardens of my childhood, unlike the sterile tall red roses you find nowadays in flower shops.

rose, pink, garden, stein, spring

“Mignonne, allons voir si la rose
Qui ce matin avait déclose
Sa robe de pourpre au Soleil,
A point perdu cette vesprée
Les plis de sa robe pourprée,
Et son teint au vôtre pareil.”

“See, Mignonne, hath not the Rose,
That this morning did unclose
Her purple mantle to the light,
Lost, before the day be dead,
The glory of her raiment red,
Her colour, bright as yours is bright”

Ode to Cassandre by Pierre de Ronsard 1550
white,roses, black&white, flower

Other noteworthy “Roses” are Roman de la Rose, and the name of the Rose by one of my favorite italians, Umberto Eco.

bouquet, roses, pink, peach, flower, mother�s day

“I am close to the beginning of the earth.
I feel the pulse of the flowers.
I am familiar with the wet destiny of water
and the green habit of trees.”Sohrab Sepehri

bouquet, red, roses, romantic, flower, love

Carbon Footprint, global swarming

I feel kind of stressed out about this whole carbon footprint calculations. Just took a quiz with them and i am not proud of the result! I am not much of a carnivore but now i have to worry about that “once in a while” steak. A Carbon Footprint is a measure of the impact human activities have on the environment in terms of the amount of greenhouse gases produced, measured in units of carbon dioxide. Reading the Deep Economy, has been revelatory to say the least. I also suggest Bill Mckibben’s article in the NY review of books.


I just listened to the Slate podcast called global swarming and i have to admit that i agree with the idea. On a more cheerful note Alice Waters should cook for all of us…

Time, Poetry and Einstein

I am obsessed with Time; not only I have a weakness for wrist watches, I have several clocks around my house. Only when I am traveling (especially in france where Time is an elastic commodity) the passage of time becomes kind of blurred but I’ve never had any desire to go back nor forth in Time; the whole notion of a Time Machine has never appealed to me (not even to my trekkie side). Entropy rules supreme!


Aragon, one of my favorite french poets, has written his most beautiful piece about Time so have many other luminaries. “Newton, forgive me…” said Einstein who wrote his most beautiful piece about the same subject…


“Je vais te dire un grand secret Le temps c’est toi
Le temps est femme Il a
Besoin qu’on le courtise et qu’on s’asseye
A ses pieds le temps comme une robe à défaire
Le temps comme une chevelure sans fin
Un miroir que le souffle embue et désembue
Le temps c’est toi qui dors à l’aube où je m’éveille…
Louis Aragon

calvario’s time

I love this piece by Diana Calvario, my new friend at redbubble.