A something in a summer’s day

Featured imageSo, it has been a while since I last posted a blog. I have been crazy busy the last few days – especially since this was already the last week of lectures before summer, and I had to (and still have to) write my final papers. Luckily, I almost finished them! I’m planning on writing a lot of blogs this weekend, but I didn’t wanna wait that long. So, I thought I’d write a short one for now, and just share a poem I really like. 

The weather is really great right now here in the Netherlands, which made me think of a famous poem by Emily Dickinson. I love this poem, it is a beautiful ode to the summer and the wonderful days that come with it. 

A SOMETHING IN A SUMMER'S DAY BY EMILY DICKINSON

A something in a summer's day,
As slow her flambeaux burn away,
Which solemnizes me.

A something in a summer's noon, —
An azure depth, a wordless tune,
Transcending ecstasy.

And still within a summer's night
A something so transporting bright,
I clap my hands to see;

Then veil my too inspecting face,
Lest such a subtle, shimmering grace
Flutter too far for me.

The wizard-fingers never rest,
The purple brook within the breast
Still chafes its narrow bed;

Still rears the East her amber flag,
Guides still the sun along the crag
His caravan of red,

Like flowers that heard the tale of dews,
But never deemed the dripping prize
Awaited their low brows;

Or bees, that thought the summer's name
Some rumor of delirium
No summer could for them;

Or Arctic creature, dimly stirred
By tropic hint, — some travelled bird
Imported to the wood;

Or wind's bright signal to the ear,
Making that homely and severe,
Contented, known, before

The heaven unexpected came,
To lives that thought their worshipping
A too presumptuous psalm.
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A something in a summer’s day

Poor – narcissistic – mindset

Featured imageLast weekend, I was rereading Anna Karenina by Tolstoy – which is one of my favorite classic novels, I just can’t get enough of it!-, when I found myself rereading one particular line multiple times. This line seemed to summarize exactly what I was thinking about lately: people on social media who brag about their many “good deeds”. I don’t know exactly why, but it makes me furious.

I love the fact that a lot of people try to do something good for others, but please do it for the right reasons! I just feel like a lot of people do this to feel good about themselves. Still happy they do help other people with their narcissism. Nevertheless I cannot help but feel a little irritated when I see a lot of glorifying comments on their “good deeds”-statuses on social media. This feeling got a lot stronger when I heard the following story from my best friend. It does not have do something to do with “good deeds” in particular, but it does underline exactly what I mean.

My best friend went on a trip to Thailand and Vietnam. She was traveling with a group of people when they met a girl who was backpacking on her own. I think they only saw her for a day, but all the girl did was ask everyone to take pictures of her – the entire time!- . At some point, the group – and the girl – arrived at a place where some (poor) kids were playing. The girl asked my friend (or someone else of the group, not sure) to take a picture. When someone agreed the girl went on, grabbed a kid, smiled for the picture, put the kid down without saying a word and left. I don’t know if it’s just me (well, it was not, because my friend was also stunned by this), but I could not believe this. I mean, how does this even come to a person? This is not normal. Those kids are human beings, like you and me. It was not hard for me to imagine her social media status about “how fun it was to play with those kids” and how “she made them smile” (I also see that kind of pictures a lot).

I don’t think this story exactly applies to the Anna Karenina quote I wanted to share (I will never know for sure if she did post the picture with the kids on social media), but it does embody what I mean about the people on social media I was talking about. Also, I felt like I just had to share this story. It is horrible. So, everyone, please:

“It’s much better to do good in a way that no one knows anything about it”

– Leo Tolstoy

On the bright side: Anna Karenina is a wonderful novel and it contains many beautiful quotes. I would recommend it to everyone who has not read it yet. Also, still happy a lot of good is done out of a poor – narcissistic – mindset. 

Poor – narcissistic – mindset

This one got me a little scared.

I knowFeatured image I am reading a good book when I go to sleep way too late because I could not put the book down. Well, that was definitely the case with The Shepherd by Ethan Cross. Although, half of the time it was not just because I could not stop reading: I WAS AFRAID. I am a little ashamed to admit it, but yes, I was scared. 

In this book we meet Francis Ackerman Jr., a serial killer who claims to give his victims a “fair chance”: he plays a game with them. Whoever wins, lives. Readers will get a look in the mind of a serial-killer (I really liked this, because most of the thriller/crime books I read are from the perspective of a policeman or a victim). While Ackerman is enjoying himself with a murder here and there, former police detective Marcus Williams just arrived at his new residence Asherton. At the same time, Asherton’s sheriff and his deputy’s are looking for Ackerman. The game truly begins when Marcus William’s neighbor gets murdered: Marcus gets into Ackerman’s sight and he sees in him his counterpart. Meanwhile, the sheriff and his deputy’s are also doing suspicious things: let the game begin!

So, I just confessed this book got me afraid. Let me explain why: the passages in which the murder-games by Ackerman are described are pretty terrifying! This book gave me a Jigsaw meets Dexter vibe – which is a good thing, saw had potential (one movie would have been enough though) and I love Dexter -. While reading I was sure I was not safe at my own home and that I would find myself playing a game with Ackerman any minute. Luckily for me, that did not happen. The fact that it got me afraid means I liked it. I like to get scared, so for me it’s a good sign.

The only thing I was a little disappointed by is that the narrative shifts between Ackerman, Marcus and the sheriff. It’s not that I did not like reading the other narratives (I did!), I was just hoping to read more about Ackerman’s murder-games. What follows is a game of cat and mouse between the three man. Just don’t expect The Shepherd to be just about a serial killers mind (which was what I expected beforehand). Also, the ending is pretty exciting!

This is just the first part of The Shepherd – Series, and I am definitely going to read the next one!

Also, this book first got my attention because of its cover, which is really awesome (see featured image). I did read it in dutch (in dutch its called ‘Ik ben de nacht’, which can be literally translated into: ‘I am the night’) so I guess not everyone has seen this version.

This one got me a little scared.