Merle's Blog

Insights and Outsights

Anything about Anything

Posted by Merle Levin on September 24, 2011

“If it is true, then we truly haven’t understood anything about anything”

Quote from Alvar De Rujula – a theorist at CERN the European Center for Nuclear Research on a report that physicists plan to report that they have detected subatomic particles moving faster than the speed of light. Read the rest of this entry »

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Posted by Merle Levin on September 23, 2011

I just read this from a report on the conference of Tibetans taking place in India:

“China has introduced a new law banning Tibetan religious beings from reincarnating without government’s approval.”

I had to post it on this blog to remind me not to harbor arrogance.

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Hurry Slowly

Posted by Merle Levin on September 19, 2011

Sir Simon Rattle, the colorful conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic, dropped this phrase in an interview I watched of him the other night. He said that his most inspiring teacher and mentor told him to “hurry slowly” and the phrase stuck me in a way that has had me thinking about it for days. Read the rest of this entry »

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“Private” the new work ethic of the new South Africa

Posted by Merle Levin on September 17, 2011

It’s not easy to get things done in Cape Town at the best of times. The pace here is tortoise – especially in winter, or summer, or spring or Autumn. Read the rest of this entry »

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Yesterday Today and Tomorrow

Posted by Merle Levin on September 15, 2011


It’s a plant that grows wild in these parts. It has stunning, daily, colour-changing-flowers, starting with deep mauve, then a lighter lavender and finally white. Each day different. Much like the colour of my mom’s cheeks, these past days. Brunfelsia pauciflora ‘Eximia’ is the flower’s fancy name. Her doctors have their own fancy names. It’s a relief to have a fancy name – you automatically assume there will be another medication thrown into the cocktail to be flushed down the drip. Drip drip into her tired vein. This is the miracle one that will bring the white back to deep mauve.

She’s rallied, that tired old fighter mom of mine. She’s back – kibbitzing with the staff, chiding the specialist for being too busy. Nick, she says, calling him by the name no-one else dares to. Nick, stop ignoring me so much! Would you do this to your mom? She says as he pokes and probes. Wanna dance? She asks as he tries to get her moving in her bed. You can see he loves her. She’s the quintessential Jewish Bobba everyone wants. She’s back! He says, winking as he dashes out the ward, his IPad blinking.
Today’s a light lavender day . Tomorrow? Alls I know is it’s going to be followed by another yesterday.

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From anxiety to inspiration

Posted by Merle Levin on September 14, 2011

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Dr Hew Len is a doctor who inspires me. He healed his patients by working on himself with remarkable success.  I think of him in the long dark silence of my night as I sit at home thinking about my mother in hospital, struggling for her life.  I turn to him in my minds-eye and ask: what advice do you have for me, Dr. Hew Len?  How can I  work on myself to help my mother? I hear his words: We have two choices always, he says.  To go to the data of memories, or to go to inspiration. If you find your mind is hooked on the databank of old thinking, say this mantra – I love you, I’m sorry, please forgive me.  Try to turn your thoughts to inspiration and let this cleanse you. The old data holds a mortgage on your soul, he says. Read the rest of this entry »

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Whales and Tales

Posted by Merle Levin on September 13, 2011

When things become intense in my life, I find myself looking in the nooks and crannys for “the story inside the story”. Funny how there is always one hiding, waiting to be lured out into the light. Often it has humor no matter how dark the surround. It’s message is always along the lines of “keep looking, we know more than we think we know.” Read the rest of this entry »

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When an elder dies a library burns down

Posted by Merle Levin on May 19, 2010

“If you are in such a hurry, why didn’t you come yesterday?” is a saying of the indigenous Sami people of the North.

Last week I met with a group of 50 women who no longer rush. This group of grandmothers live in Stanford, a small, historically beautiful, coastal town about 2 hours south of Cape Town. The idea of this gathering was seeded at the annual Freewheeling Festival, held at Stanford Valley Farm, when I and a local resident, Elma Hunter, considered how wonderful it would be to have some of the local elders attend an event of this nature. Why not begin by having a gathering of “conscious grandmothers” at the Farm? Read the rest of this entry »

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Wow words from a Pulitzer prizewinner

Posted by Merle Levin on April 22, 2010

“Everyone runs into naysayers. But if you love something enough and feel passionately enough, you just go on ahead, walk right round the person saying it, proceed down the road and don’t look back. I wish there were a 12-step program on how to deal with all the various stages of composing anxiety.”  This is what Jennifer Higdon said after learning that she had just been awarded a Pulitzer prize for composition.  she began life as a composer late, she is mostly self trained and grew up with Hippie parents. I love to hear about how people find creative ways of successfully navigating through life.  If you have any stories to share, please do!

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Old data or Inspiration? It’s a choice

Posted by Merle Levin on April 16, 2010

Old data or inspiration?

Dr. Hew Len suggests we are carrying around in our databank, an inordinate amount of old junk that needs to be cleaned out if we want to live a happy and fulfilled life.  He says that any problem that arises, does so because somewhere in the memory bank is the residue of that issue.  It can be cleaned out.  It must be cleaned out!  He says we have a mortgage on our souls.  This amount of old data that sits there, waiting to be triggered in a flash. One way of tackling this propensity to go to the old rather than the new is to make a choice in the moment: old data or inspiration.  I’ve been practicing this technique diligently over these past months.  I have a lot to keep me up at nights and they do.

Now what? Go to the anxiety, the “stuff” that screams at me all night long? Or go for break: inspiration here I come! Read the rest of this entry »

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