East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

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Smile, breathe and go slowly

zen21Going back to zen practice is a good strategy to handle the small acts of daily brutality that seem to be part of the deal when you start writing – be it a blog, a series of ebooks or anything public.
Stick out, speak your mind, tell your story, and somebody will decide that putting you in your place is their life’s ultimate mission.

After all that’s one of the perks of writing, right?
We motivate people.
We put something in their lives.

So, considering I got myself three king-sized servings of brutality this last week, I went back to my zen books and resources, looking for some quick-and-dirty wisdom. Continue reading

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Affection does not translate well

Some things do not translate.
The Italian expression “volersi bene” for instance.
Normally it is considered as a milder equivalent of “loving” – if I say that Jack and Jill “si vogliono bene” I’m implying they are in love with each other, but in a somewhat quiet, not very passionate way.

But that’s wrong.
First, because it can be misleading.
A literal meaning is closer to “they wish well to each other”, or even more precisely “they desire each other’s good”.
It’s something soft, maybe even a little cuddly, but sometimes it’s love, sometimes it’s something else.


But it gets trickier than that. Continue reading