Author Archives: Jeremy Parnell

The clod, or the pebble?

"Love seeketh not itself to please, 
 Nor for itself hath any care, 
But for another gives its ease, 
 And builds a Heaven in Hell's despair." 

So sung a little clod of clay 
 Trodden with the cattle's feet, 
But a pebble of the brook 
 Warbled out these meters meet: 

"Love seeketh only Self to please, 
 To bind another to its delight, 
Joys in another's loss of ease, 
 And builds a Hell in Heaven's despite."

— William Blake, “The Clod and the Pebble”

More than just a story

Whenever we reminisce or try to find meaning in our lives, we tend to look at separate moments in an overall context or series of events that occurred. We look at moments as parts of stories that happened, in which we are just characters. I do this so often that I suppose I’m a narrativist. Often, I even approach the search for meaning using tools typically employed in literary, or interpretive, study.

This article has me rethinking that position. In our stories, most of the irrelevant details that make up the bulk of life are left out. Novels and films skip over the parts that don’t progress the story, and we do as well. Yet, these boring parts do still happen. Life includes all the boring things like driving our cars to and from work, events so trivial that we don’t even recall the trip when we get home. Our driving was on autopilot and we were elsewhere daydreaming. It’s difficult to reconcile a position that looks at the stories in life for substance, when the greater portion is made up of all these other events.

It’s possible that narrativists are missing something important in the boring bits.

Read More

It’s always easier to get forgiveness than permission

Students at a school in Bristol were asked to rename houses, and they chose to name one after the elusive street artist Banksy. They were surprised to arrive one morning and find he had painted this mural overnight…


…and left this note:

Dear Bridge Farm School, thanks for your letter and naming a house after me. Please have a picture, and if you don’t like it, feel free to add stuff. I’m sure the teachers won’t mind. Remember, it’s always easier to get forgiveness than permission. Much love, Banksy.