Burning the Midnight Oil: Illuminating Words for the Long Night's Journey Into Day

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In Burning the Midnight Oil, word-wrangler extraordinaire Phil Cousineau has gathered an eclectic and electric collection of soulful poems and prose from great thinkers throughout the ages. Whether beguiling readers with glorious poetry or consoling them with prayers from fellow restless souls, Cousineau can relieve any insomniac's unease. From St. John of the Cross to Annie Dillard, Beethoven to The Song of Songs, this refreshingly insightful anthology soothes and inspires all who struggle through the dark of the night. These "night thoughts" vividly illustrate Alfred North Whitehead's liberating description of "what we do without solitude" and also evoke Henry David Thoreau's reverie, "Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake." The night writers in Cousineau's vesperal collection range from saints, poets, and shamans to astronomers and naturalists, and tells of ancient tales and shining passages from the most brilliant (albeit insomniac) writers of today. These poetic ponderances sing of the falling darkness, revel in dream-time, convey the ache of melancholy, conspire against sleeplessness, vanquish loneliness, contemplate the night sky, rhapsodize on love, and languorously greet the first rays of dawn. Notable night owls include Rabandranath Tagore, Mary Oliver, Manley Hopkins, Jorge Borges and William Blake.
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About the author

PHIL COUSINEAU is a freelance writer, filmmaker, photographer, art and literary tour leader, creativity consultant, flâneur, and nyctophiliac, a lifelong lover of the night. Cousineau has published over thirty books, which have been translated into numerous languages; earned twenty-five documentary film writing credits; and contributed to 50 other books. His previous books include Wordcatcher, which was named one of the Top Ten Books of the Year by NPR, and The Painted Word. Currently, he is the host and cowriter of the much-acclaimed television series “Global Spirit,” which plays nationwide on PBS, and worldwide at www.globalspirittv.com. Global Spirit offers insights into some of humankind’s deepest eternal questions, tracing our collective journey in the timeless quest for truth, wisdom and understanding. Each program highlights the trans-cultural, transcendent dimensions of human inquiry, from the ancient or indigenous wisdom traditions to the latest advances in science. Global Spirit offers a glimmer of what's possible. Phil also guest-hosts the radio show New Dimensions. He lives with his family in the land of nighthawks, North Beach, San Francisco. For more information about Cousineau’s books, films, lectures, workshops, writing consultations, and art and literary tours, visit www.philcousineau.net.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Dec 16, 2013
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Pages
244
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ISBN
9781936740772
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Body, Mind & Spirit / Inspiration & Personal Growth
Poetry / Anthologies (multiple authors)
Reference / Quotations
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Phil Cousineau
This book was purchased by the US Olympic Committee and given to each member of the US Olympic Team of the Summer 2004 Games as well as those participating in the Special Olympics. Nothing draws people together quite like sports. This book explores exactly why that is. In anticipation of the nostalgic return of the Games to Greece in 2004, mythologist and life-long athlete Phil Cousineau has produced a work that, unlike other titles on the subject, delves deeply into the spiritual dimension of the Olympics and potentially all athletic activity.

Reaching far back to the mythic and historic origins of the Games nearly 3,000 years ago, Cousineau examines the driving motivation behind these first ancient gatherings, which was peaceful competition in an atmosphere of fair play and brotherhood, as well as the pursuit of excellence in mind, body, and spirit. And following through to the present day, he describes how these same ideals still compel coaches, athletes, and fans to sports arenas today, despite obstacles with doping and bribery we occasionally find in the modern Games.

A collector’s dream, this book contains ancient and contemporary illustrations, historic facts, anecdotes, famous quotes, and interviews with Olympic athletes, including three-time medalist Sarunas Marciulionis of Lithuania and legendary swimmer Matt Biondi. Also featured are excerpts from Cousineau’s interviews about the cultural role of sports with mythologist Joseph Campbell and religious historian Huston Smith.

The Olympic Odyssey is written for all fans of the game of life who esteem true leadership, aspire to personal wholeness, and seriously question the cultural obsession with winning at all costs. Ultimately, it suggests the deepest reason we so love great athletes is for how they encourage us to achieve the highest level of being possible in our own lives, no matter what the arena in which we play.
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