(The Bench of Passing Time, Cosmic Meditations, not available in English)
2017, Editions du Seuil
Montreal-born Hubert Reeves is an astrophysicist, music-lover, truth-seeker and environmentalist. He shares his reflections on life in very short chapters readable one at a time. An appreciated Christmas gift from my in-laws, the book occasionally required a dusting over the four years it took me to finish!
Therapy for when the world seems depressing:
Nature. Learn to love it. Teaching children to appreciate nature is one of the best gifts. p. 156
How can we protect nature?
Act together to influence the government. If you're in France: www.humanite-biodiversite.fr p. 171 If not, find a group near you.
The mystery of music
Concert halls are my church, says Reeves, music programs on TV too. He wonders at the mysterious gift of composing music, citing Mozart as saying: before composing a serious work, different elements come to me and I wait for them to form into "a good pâté". p. 181 (This letter appears in a book called Le Cerveau de Mozart, (The Brain of Mozart); it was, in fact, probably not written by Mozart but by someone who knew him well.)
Admit to ignorance and incertitude
In order to progress, and not repeat past mistakes, we need to be able to doubt, especially ourselves. p.234
Even in difficult times, don't forget to live and be curious!
Cultivate curiosity; make it your second nature! - Hubert Reeves his site (in French)