What interests me?

Getting interested in something is weird – right? I mean – why does it actually happen? What gets those synapses to fire, those connections to build.. what makes us go after something – while  something else leaves us cold..?

The image for this post is from a book I am thoroughly enjoying – to give full credit immediately it is called ‘How not to be wrong – the hidden maths of everyday life’ – by Jordan Ellenberg.

The image is a page that introduces part two – but I could have picked many other images and thoughts.

So – what is it that so interests me – because this is exactly the kind of writing and playful though that  does indeed make me smile  and turn that page. It is hard to think this through objectively, but I think that for me there are some main important themes to this :

  • Learning

I love to learn – and this writing is absolutely encouraging me to be a student – if the author delivers on his promise I am certainly going to learn from reading on. I am so curious about some of these topics, and I want to learn.

  • Connections

As a generalist I have always loved drawing the connections between things, dance –  art – literature – running a business – I remember so loving ‘Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid’ by Douglas R Hofstadter – so many years ago now but such a wonderful example of exploring such different perspectives and the way they illuminate our existence.

This extract is promising exactly that kind of connection, of illuminating this particular idea with the light and perspective from some very different understanding.

  •  Authority

This is part two – I have been reading for a while – so I have within me a respect for Mr Ellenberg that is for me very meaningful in some deep way.

Mentors, coaches, teachers – they are all so  important to me – and they need to be the best I can find. Perhaps this above all else is what matters to me .. this quiet time on my terrace this particular evening with this particular book and a glass of wine is a chance to share time with someone that is able to communicate great ideas to me. To help me on my journey.

Thank you Mr Ellenberg – I raise my glass to you. And if you could see me do that I think you might choose to smile, and quietly nod  back at this student in the very back row of this evening’s maths class.

It can’t be Christmas every day

I was at a Tango event when one of the followers I was with got to dance with one of the best professional dancers. When she sat down someone remarked philosophically that it’s all downhill from now – she had already experienced the best.

To which she replied – “it can’t be Christmas every day”

Which was a great response actually. And like so many people I just sat and thought – why not?

But I mean – really why not?

Why can’t we live at that intensity all of the time. Why do we accept mediocrity? I don’t mean we should drive ourself to exhaustion – just do everything really well. Dance better. Relax better. Make love better. Read better. Work out better. Chill out better. Cut out mediocrity – just don’t accept it

Is it just reality getting in the way? Perhaps we plan to have the most intense and pure experiences but we get distracted by everything that life throws at us? I don’t think so. I just don’t think most people are wired to want to excel. They don’t plan for it. They aren’t sensitive to mediocrity.

Why is it so hard? Surely life would be more exciting, more fun. The reward is there – who doesn’t want the most fulfilling life possible?

Surely there is more to relaxing well than just not trying very hard to do something else properly.

I have lessons with Greg at the Tango Club, and he often says ‘Just dance better’ – or ‘dance for her – make her look beautiful’ – we laugh that for some reason he doesn’t need to say how – but it still works and we dance better – he is so right – what is important if you have any creative sensitivity is that you focus on it, you care, you project into that woman so much attention and energy that she feels completely liberated and so, so special.

Before he said ‘dance better’ we had lost that focus, we were going through the motions, not celebrating Tango for what it is so capable of being. He snaps us back to the present, requesting more energy, more precision. He asks us to make this moment the best it can be.

How rewarding is that. I should do it all the time.

So uplifted by world class contemporary dance

Last night I had the privilege to see the Nederlands Dans Theater 1 performing Sehnsucht / Schmetterling.

I just stand in so much awe of the truly creative people that can make such an evening happen.

Schmetterling ( “butterfly”) was one of the strongest works I have ever seen. It truly captured me, it got into my heart and ran me through the full spectrum of emotions from laughter to profound sadness.

But most of all it made me feel energised, passionate and involved. I left the theatre feeling so very, very alive.


I was so desperate for it to keep going, to never end.

And in a way that is exactly what a performance of such greatness achieves – it is within many of us who shared that evening and so will never truly end. Ripples of thoughts reach out to so many parts of my life, changing perspectives, shining a light on such difficult subjects to talk about.

And that is one of the thoughts that has stayed with me – how dance can be so eloquent at phrasing such difficult subjects as age, death and love. The human body is capable of so much – and words are sometimes such an approximate and closed way to articulate complex ideas.