briefest

When one fears that somehow he will not be able to maintain an understanding grasp of something complex and extensive, he tries to find or make for himself a brief summary of the whole — for the sake of a comprehensive view. Thus death is the briefest summary of life or life reduced to its briefest form.

O, there is a lot of talk in the world about how love must be free, that one cannot love if there is the slightest constraint, that in matters of love absolutely nothing must be obligated. Well, let us see how things stand with this free love when one gets right down to this — how the dead are remembered in love, for one who is dead does not compel one at all.

The work of love in remembering one who is dead is thus a work of the most disinterested, the freest, the most faithful love.

–Soren Kierkegaard Works of Love

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refresh

The birth of Zane was perhaps the biggest “hit refresh” moment for me and my wife. If you’d even asked me a couple hours before he was born what I am thinking about, it would have been more like, When will Anu, my wife, and I go back to work? Or what will our weekends be like? Everything changed that night. Zane was born with severe brain damage because of in vitro asphyxiation. Now he has cerebral palsy.

I struggled with it for multiple years. All my well-laid-out plans were out the window. I slowly came to terms with it only by watching my wife and her response. She came back home, recovered from the C-section, was driving Zane up and down Seattle trying to get him all the best therapies. I got schooled on what was expected of me as a parent and as a father. It wasn’t to wallow in my own sort of, you know, stuff, but to recognize my responsibility toward Zane, to be able to see through his eyes. Nothing had really happened to me. Something had happened to him. That’s one of the things that shaped me.

— Satya Nadella to Bloomberg Businessweek

MTA

The budget showed that 900 workers were being paid to dig caverns for the platforms as part of a 3.5-mile tunnel connecting the historic station to the Long Island Rail Road. But the accountant could only identify about 700 jobs that needed to be done, according to three project supervisors. Officials could not find any reason for the other 200 people to be there.

“Nobody knew what those people were doing, if they were doing anything,” said Michael Horodniceanu, who was then the head of construction at the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, which runs transit in New York. The workers were laid off, Mr. Horodniceanu said, but no one figured out how long they had been employed. “All we knew is they were each being paid about $1,000 every day.”

–Brian M. Rosenthal “The Most Expensive Mile of Subway Track on Earth” The New York Times

scattered

To be busy means, divided and scattered, to occupy oneself with what makes a man divided and scattered. But Christian love, which is the fulfilling of the law, is whole and collected in its every expression, and yet it is sheer action.

–Soren Kierkegaard Works of Love

sensuality

Sensuality, the flesh, Christianity understands as selfishness. No conflict between body and spirit can be imagined, unless there is a rebellious spirit on the side of the body with which the spirit then struggles. In the same way no conflict can be thought of as existing between spirit and a stone, between spirit and a tree. Therefore self-love, egocentricity, is sensuality.

— Soren Kierkegaard Works of Love

Ah, the future. In the future, when dollar bills are found only in museum display cases, we will look back on this moment of transition and confusion with the same head-shaking smile with which we regard customs on the Isle of Yap in Micronesia, where giant stone discs are still accepted as payment for particularly big-ticket items.

— Andy Newman “Cash Might Be King, but They Don’t Care” The New York Times

at stake

There is much at stake for them in our looking. If the people I met don’t get out of the camp soon, they risk freezing to death. But looking at Moria can also teach us about what Christmas really is — a story of how our salvation is bound up in the lives of those who suffer most.

Today Moria is Bethlehem. Those stranded inside are not humans to be disposed of, but Emmanuel, God with us.

–Stephanie Saldana “Where Jesus Would Spend Christmas” The New York Times

half

D.R.: You were addicted. Why did you get addicted?

A.G.S.: Well, for me, it wasn’t a specific story; it was just that beautiful combination of spending half your day learning and half your day teaching. Half your day talking to people, finding out what’s going on in the world, half your day alone pulling a story out of yourself. I just loved the rhythm of the days.

–David Remnick “A Conversation with A. G. Sulzberger, the New Leader of the New York Times” The New Yorker