Meditations by Marcus Aurelius is a book that has been living on my desk for months, but it hasn’t been gathering dust like some of the other books I have on my desk. I actually frequently read from it, usually when I’m taking a short break from the computer screen. I rest my eyes reading beautiful quotes.
I’m not a stoic, but I guess there’s a little stoic in me whether I admit it or not. Moreover, I don’t know how or why, but there’s something subliminally Christian about Marcus Aurelius that I like. Reading lines from Meditations has a calming effect.
The first time I read Meditations was years ago. And I have underlined dozens of sentences. Most of the times, those are the sentences I read when I’m on my short breaks. They are either thoughts that I agree with or statements that trigger something in me.
Here are some of the quotes that I have underlined:
It is a king’s part to do good and be ill spoken of.
Perfection of character requires this, that you should live each day as though it were your last, and be neither excitable, nor lethargic, nor duplicitous.
Always live the finest of lives; and the power to do so lies in one’s soul, if one is indifferent to things indifferent.
I have often marveled at how everyone loves himself above all others, yet places less value on his own opinion of himself than that of everyone else.
Close is the time when you will forget all things; and close, too, the time when all will forget you.
It was a sunny November morning, and I didn’t want to waste it. The sea was a dark blue satin bedsheet; the cargo ships stretched and slept on it like newborn babies. The clouds in the turquoise sky were few, white, and friendly — like floating daydreams. The fresh air glided into my lungs and filled me with tranquility. I opened my humidor to choose the cigar of the day. The robusto vitola seemed right for the occasion. I paired the cigar with homemade cappuccino and Hemingway’s The Old Man and the Sea. It was a morning well spent.
Only I have no luck any more. But who knows? Maybe today. Every day is a new day. It is better to be lucky. But I would rather be exact. Then when luck comes you are ready.
Earthy, creamy with coffee notes, the Puro Del Oro Petit Torpedo is a decent budget cigar that you can enjoy while you read the news or a good book after a long day.
Good draw. Thick, cloudy smoke. Good burn, though a little uneven when my draws became a little sporadic. But that’s because I was drawn into the book I was reading.
The story I was reading while smoking was Nikolai Gogol’s “The Nose.” I found it to be funny and entertaining. Every now and then, however, words of wisdom suddenly surfaced. Here’s a quote from it:
But there is nothing enduring in this world, and that is why even joy is not as keen in the moment that follows the first; and a moment later it grows weaker still and finally merges imperceptibly into one’s usual state of mind, just as a ring on the water, made by the fall of a pebble, merges finally into the smooth surface.