Transfiguration (aka Wow)

transfiguration-ben-hopper-flamingo

“Photographer Ben Hopper‘s “Transfiguration” project transforms his subjects into living sculptures. Each photo is charged with kinetic energy, only heightened by the bold streaks of body paint and splatters of white powder. Some of the photographs look like cubist paintings because of the contrast between black, white, and human flesh along with the seemingly impossible angles and feats of flexibility performed by the subjects. The body paint looks almost like strokes of charcoal, creating depth while also the illusion of two-dimensionality.”

transfiguration-ben-hopper-1

Don’t miss 34 other incredible shots here: Transfiguration – Ben Hopper’s Blog


Source: Precious Things 

Lightly child, lightly

hand-water

Seven of us, and one dog, are aboard the boat. […] So we become, for the afternoon, sea creatures ourselves. How light our bodies feel as we lounge against the planks and trail our hands in the water. Ahead is the sandy point of our destination, and between us and it not a single apportioning marker but the wide water’s drowsy lap and slide, its abundance and gleam. We stroll on its surface freely, citizens of the water world. How different from the foot on the stone, the hand opening the gate, the gravel path of the garden, the trudge through loose sand, the heel sticking into the clay of the field! Such weight, on the earth, is on our shoulders: gravity keeping us at home. But on the water we shake off the harness of weight; we glide; we are passengers of a sleek ocean bird with its single white wing filled with wind.

~ Mary Oliver, Long Life: Essays and Other Writings


Notes:

  • Image Source: modest-epiphanies.
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Walking Cross-Town. On Edges.

NYC-walk-new-york

The mercury tipped 15º F. A veritable heat wave.
It’s 6:20 AM and the train pulls into Grand Central.
I twist in my ear buds and cue up my “Favorites” playlist.
Angus Stone: Bird on a Buffalo.
The herd stampedes out of the station.
Are you the bird? Or the buffalo?

I’m passing commuters on my left. And on my right.
Middle age, my a**. Can’t touch me. I’m sure those are whispers I hear behind me: “Who is that Pro Athlete?”
Another solid night of sleep. Superman. Cape.
I’m out on 48th and heading cross-town.
Cold air shocks Clark Kent. He wobbles, exhales mist, watches it rise and marches on.

My pace has me hitting each “Walk” sign in succession. Dominos falling.
No slowing, no stopping. Batta Bing, Batta Bang.
It’s going to be a good day.

Light wind gusts at my back.
Wind triggers the Old Irish Blessing

May the road rise to meet you,
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.

May the cabs stay on the highway and not plow into me on the curb.
May these brutal Arctic winds stay down.
May the sun warm my cold freezing a**,
And please God, no freezing rain. Please no more. [Read more…]

Paris Awakening

Paris Awakening II | GH4 & SLR Magic 10mm T2.1 from emeric on Vimeo.


Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

camel-val-hump-day

Caleb has taken our very own Val Boyko to Morocco. Love the head gear Val!

Val is a fellow WordPress blogger. Be sure to check out Val’s blog at Find Your Middle Ground.


Freeze, thaw, repeat — the cycle expands in the mind to unbearable infinities

parka-hood-winter-cold

NY Times – The Winter Has Gotten Old:

Then I’m laying out my winter clothes and wishing I was gone, going home, where the New York City winters aren’t bleeding me.” So goes the Simon and Garfunkel song, buried deep in the memory, an oldie that seems to have been around for as long as this old winter has.

And long it has been. Long stretches of painfully frigid weather, brief respites, then more snow, ice and freezing rain. Freeze, thaw, repeat — the cycle xpands in the mind to unbearable infinities, the unyielding sensation of being trapped.

But check the calendar: This week means we are officially in late February, which means March. March means daffodils, which means this all must eventually end.

Until then, we wait, battered and diminished. Winter shrinks the vision, narrows it to the limits of a parka hood. It numbs the heart, dulls the reflexes of graciousness and gratitude as people’s behavior on sidewalks and train platforms shifts to self-preservation. It bends the neck, as the eyes scan for ice, gauging the leapability of slush puddles and the danger of left-turning, nonyielding cabs. Is that filthy, black-edged snowbank crusty enough to slip on, or soft enough to sink into? Will I break my ankle or just soak it? Should I give up now, and die right here? It’s windy. It hurts. I can’t go on.

I’ll go on…

Do be sure to go on.  Read the rest here: ~ The Winter Has Gotten Old


Thank you Susan

Tie (60 sec)


I did the rough math this morning.
The tally:
Each morning on most working days,
and a number of evenings out,
aggregates to tying a neck tie 7,000 times.
7,000 times!
The ritual is never preceded with a telephone chit chat.
Never with a high ball.
NEVER with a five o’clock shadow.
And certainly never with the Lumineers crooning Morning Song in the backdrop.
What the h*ll am I doing wrong? :)


 

One of life’s most exquisite moments

coffee-winter-cold

People can’t agree on where coffee’s secret lies: opinions range from the smell, the color, the taste, the  consistency, the blend, the cardamom, the roast, to the shape of the cup and a  number of other things. For me, it’s the timing. The great thing about a perfectly   timed cup of coffee is that it’s in your hand the instant you crave it. One of life’s most exquisite moments is that in which a small luxury becomes a necessity.

Mourid Barghouti, from I Was Born There, I Was Born Here


Credits: Photo from Your Eyes Blaze Out. Poem via The Journey of Words

 

 

MMM*: And you say, what?

turned-sheet-gerhard-richter-art

Poets must read and study, but also they must learn to tilt and whisper, shout, or dance, each in his or her own way, or we might just as well copy the old books. But, no, that would never do, for always the new self swimming around in the old world feels itself uniquely verbal. And that is just the point: how the world, moist and bountiful, calls to each of us to make a new and serious response. That’s the big question, the one the world throws at you every morning. “Here you are, alive. Would you like to make a comment?” This book is my comment.

~ Mary Oliver, Long Life: Essays and Other Writings


Notes: 1) MMM* = Monday Morning Mantra. 2) Turned Sheet (1965) by Gerhard Richter via vjeranski

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

bird-sing-camera


Source: touchn2btouched

I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective

Oliver-Sachs-1

Oliver Sacks: My Own Life. Learning of Terminal Cancer

…It is up to me now to choose how to live out the months that remain to me. I have to live in the richest, deepest, most productive way I can…

…While I have enjoyed loving relationships and friendships and have no real enmities, I cannot say (nor would anyone who knows me say) that I am a man of mild dispositions. On the contrary, I am a man of vehement disposition, with violent enthusiasms, and extreme immoderation in all my passions.

I feel a sudden clear focus and perspective. There is no time for anything inessential. I must focus on myself, my work and my friends. I shall no longer look at “NewsHour” every night…

I have been increasingly conscious, for the last 10 years or so, of deaths among my contemporaries. My generation is on the way out, and each death I have felt as an abruption, a tearing away of part of myself. There will be no one like us when we are gone, but then there is no one like anyone else, ever. When people die, they cannot be replaced. They leave holes that cannot be filled, for it is the fate — the genetic and neural fate — of every human being to be a unique individual, to find his own path, to live his own life, to die his own death.

…Above all, I have been a sentient being, a thinking animal, on this beautiful planet, and that in itself has been an enormous privilege and adventure.

Don’t miss reading the full essay by Oliver Sachs: My Own Life. Learning of Terminal Cancer


Notes:

Sunday Morning: How can we not know that, already, we live in paradise?

landscape,ocean,clouds,island

WE LIVE, M. and I, about ten feet from the water. When there is a storm and the wind pushes toward us from the southeast we live about a foot from the water. It sings all day long and all night as well, never the same music. Wind, temperature, where the tide is, how the moon is tugging or shoving—each of these makes a difference. The tide going out sounds harsher than the voice of its rising, what seems like a disinclination to leave growls in it, with the sound of dark, thick-stringed instruments. Coming in, it is more playful. Every day my early morning walk along the water grants me a second waking. My feet are nimble, now my ears wake, and give thanks for the ocean’s song. This enormity, this cauldron of changing greens and blues, is the great palace of the earth. Everything is in it—monsters, devils, jewels, swimming angels, soft-eyed mammals that unhesitatingly exchange looks with us as we stand on the shore; also, sunk with some ship or during off-loading, artifacts of past decades or centuries; also the outpourings of fire under water, the lava trails; and kelp fields, coral shelves, and so many other secrets—the remembered and faithfully repeated recitations of the whales, the language of dolphins—and the multitude itself, the numbers and the kinds of shark, seal, worm, vegetations, and fish: cod, haddock, swordfish, hake, also the lavender sculpin, the chisel-mouth, the goldeye, the puffer, the tripletail, the stargazing minnow. How can we not know that, already, we live in paradise?

~ Mary Oliver, Long Life: Essays and Other Writings


Credits: Photograph – Ridiculously Photogenic Chewbacca

Tusk. Bathe in the radiant black light of ’70s.

Letter of Recommendation: Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Tusk”:

There is a species of spider that hunts by releasing chemicals that imitate the sex pheromones of moths. When its prey arrives, high on fantasies of romance, the spider hits it with a sticky blob of web, then devours it. Scientists call this “aggressive mimicry.”

This is something like the operating principle behind Fleetwood Mac’s 1979 album “Tusk.” The trap is set with the first track: a lite-rock masterpiece, in roughly the tempo of a summer nap, called “Over & Over.” The singer’s voice is smooth and sad, a melon-flavored wine cooler on a vacant beach at sunset with the one you know will eventually leave you. The keening cheese-ball lyrics (“all you have to do is speak out my name, and I will come running”) are so generic as to be almost meaningless, and these words float on top of a clean acoustic strum, which is punctuated neatly by a clean snare, which is colored in turn by the very clean jangles of an undistorted electric guitar.

It is, in other words, quintessential Fleetwood Mac: classic FM-radio easy listening — an absolute top-shelf lighter-swaying anthem. Not a note is out of place. (This may be the spot to mention that the birth name of the song’s lead vocalist, Christine McVie, is actually Christine Perfect.) The band’s three-voiced choir is in full-on angel-harmony mode — “Oooooooooooo a-ooo-ooo-OOO-ooo-oooooooooooo” — and as the refrain drones on (“over and over, over and over, over and over”) you can feel your pulse beginning to slow, and you step through the bead curtains into the dim back room of your consciousness, where the lava lamp still blorbles and the ylang-ylang incense burns and you can bathe forever in the radiant black light of the perpetual 1970s.

Don’t miss entire article by Sam Anderson here: Letter of Recommendation: Fleetwood Mac’s ‘Tusk”:


SMWI*: Paddleboarding. Lake Michigan. Winter.

“Lets go paddle boarding! Karol Garrison, a former U.S. Coast Guard rescue swimmer, took his paddle board out on Lake Michigan in January at Silver Beach in Saint Joseph, Michigan.”


Notes:

  • Source: Grindtv.com
  • SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration

Saturday Morning

pitbull


Source: Gentleman’s Essentials

 

5:00 P.M. Bell

luge-olympic


Source: olympicpartnership.dow.com

1° F. Feels like -21° F. Or, Plan B.

hawaii,oahu

Good Morning!
Sunrise.
Inhale. Deeply.
Salty ocean air.

Slow walk down the beach.*
Surf lapping feet.

Morning papers.
Scones, butter, and strawberry jam.
Coffee.

Sunscreen. Sunglasses. Pool chair.
Kindle.
Sashaying palm fronds.
Late morning nap.

Catch of the day: Red Snapper.
Grilled vegetables.
Tall Iced Tea.

82° F.
Long swim.
Wide winged pelicans skimming over turquoise waters.
Soft afternoon rain.
Mid afternoon nap in hammock.

Light Dinner.
Gentle breeze. Sunset.
Evening cocktail.
Crickets.

One last chapter.
Drift.
Drift slowly away.

Do over.

~ DK, Today’s Alternate Reality


Notes:

Whoa Horse! I told you to stop, damn it!

black and white,

There is a story in Zen circles about a man and a horse. The horse is galloping quickly, and it appears that the man on the horse is going somewhere important. Another man standing alongside the road, shouts, “Where are you going?” and the first man replies, “I don’t know! Ask the horse!” This is also our story. We are riding a horse, we don’t know where we are going, and we can’t stop. The horse is our habit energy pulling us along, and we are powerless. We struggle all the time, even during our sleep. We are at war within ourselves…We have to learn the art of stopping – stopping our thinking, our habit energies, our forgetfulness, the strong emotions that rule us. When an emotion rushes through us like a storm, we have no peace.

- Thích Nhât Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching: Transforming Suffering Into Peace, Joy and Liberation


Credits: Quote – Sensual Starfish. Image: landscapre

 

Walking Cross-Town. On A Golden Autumn Day.

Steamy-Grates-walking-winter

I’m on the 5:40 am train to Grand Central.
I dose through most of the ride in.
The throngs spill out into Manhattan.

It’s 15° F, but feels like 0°.
Frigid wind gusts rush through the concrete canyons, whistling as they pass by.
Salt is gnawing on snow and ice.
Steam from underground tunnels billows out of steel grates and evaporates into air.
Now you see it, now you don’t.

The streets are beginning to stir.
Cabs. Delivery trucks. Construction workers.

I’m marching cross-town on 48th.
Headphones in. Playlist set to “My Top Rated.”

Gloves on.
Ear lobes are tingling, frost-bite workin’.
No hat. Can’t mess what hair I have left.

The wind shocks the corneas, my eyes water.
I see him a block away. A mirage.
I wipe my left eye.

It’s the legs I notice first.
They are suspended.
Swinging wildly, jointless.

I’m closing in.
Forearm crutches. Not one. Both arms.
He leaning in.
Right. Left. Right. Left. Right. Left.

I’m 30 feet away.
[Read more…]

TT*: We’re putting the band back together

blues-brothers-funny-aykroyd-belushi


Notes: TT* = Throwback Thursday. Source: Chikita Banana

Lightly child, lightly

woman-back-black-and-white

I am a prophet of the past.
And how do you see and foresee the future?
As when a man sees a woman with a beautiful body
walking before him in the street
and looks at her with desire,
but she doesn’t turn to look back,
just smooths her skirt a little,
pulls her blouse tight,
fixes the back of her hair,
then without turning toward the man’s gaze
quickens her step.
That’s what the future is like.

Yehuda Amichai,  section 5 of “I Foretell the Days of Yore,” Open Closed Open


Notes:

  • Yehuda Amichai (1924 – 2000) was an Israeli poet. Amichai is considered by many, both in Israel and internationally, as Israel’s greatest modern poet. Find his book on Amazon: Open Closed Open
  • Poem Source: The Journey of Words. Image Source: sexykinkyfunny&curly.
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

You Go Girl!

dog,pet,winner

“Wagging her tail a mile a minute, Miss P became America’s top dog Tuesday night by winning best in show (out of 2700 dogs) in a big surprise at the Westminster Kennel Club. At 4, Miss P is a grand-niece of Uno — in 2008, the immensely popular hound barked and bayed his way to becoming the only previous beagle to win at the nation’s most prominent dog show.  Miss P, however, didn’t let out a peep in the ring. “She is a princess,” handler Will Alexander said. A quiet one, too. Not your normal, everyday, vocal beagle, as most owners can attest. Instead, it was the packed crowd at Madison Square Garden that seemed to loudly gasp when judge David Merriam picked her in a dog show world shocker. Only a half-hour after her win did the 15-inch Miss P, a breed known as “big beagles,” started making a noise. And that was only because her people were giving her treats…

Canadian-born Miss P lives in both Milton and Enderby, British Columbia. Her call name is short for Peyton.”

~ Ben Walker, Beagle Miss P Wins Westminster Dog Show


Image Source: nbcnews.com. Thanks Susan.

 

Clutter: Less may be more, but it’s still not enough

Clutter

NY Times – Pamela Druckerman: The Clutter Cure’s Illusory Joy

I recently discovered the secret to livening up even the dullest conversation: Introduce the topic of clutter. Everyone I meet seems to be waging a passionate, private battle against their own stuff, and they perk up as soon as you mention it…

…Clutter isn’t a new problem, of course. But suddenly, it’s not just irritating — it’s evil. If you’re not living up to your potential, clutter is probably the culprit. Marie Kondo’s “The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up,” the top-ranked book on The New York Times list of self-help books, promises that, once your house is orderly, you can “pour your time and passion into what brings you the most joy, your mission in life…

It’s hard to resist the de-cluttering fever. I, too, spend my weekends filling bags with cookbooks, toys and vintage dresses, and then hauling them away. For the first time in years, I can lay my hands on any one of my sweaters.

But the more stuff I shed, the more I realize that we de-clutterers feel besieged by more than just our possessions. We’re also overwhelmed by the intangible detritus of 21st-century life: unreturned emails; unprinted family photos; the ceaseless ticker of other people’s lives on Facebook; the heightened demands of parenting; and the suspicion that we’ll be checking our phones every 15 minutes, forever. I can sit in an empty room, and still get nothing done.

It’s consoling to think that, beneath all these distractions, we’ll discover our shining, authentic selves, or even achieve a state of “mindfulness.” But I doubt it. I’m starting to suspect that the joy of ditching all of our stuff is just as illusory as the joy of acquiring it all was. Less may be more, but it’s still not enough.

Read full story here: The Clutter Cure’s Illusory Joy


Notes:

 

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

caleb-camel-hump-day-wednesday

Caleb has been retained to be the celebrity in Ralph Lauren’s 2015 Spring/Summer Collection. You’ll be seeing Caleb and his girls on the fashion runways in Paris, London and New York City this Spring.


Notes:

 

Ambedo


ambedo
n. a kind of melancholic trance in which you become completely absorbed in vivid sensory details—raindrops skittering down a window, tall trees leaning in the wind, clouds of cream swirling in your coffee—briefly soaking in the experience of being alive, an act that is done purely for its own sake.

…let your mind wander and enjoy the ride.
To find those moments when everything falls quiet
and the words lose their meaning.
that all mixes together
until you can’t tell the difference between the ordinary and the epic.
And you stop waiting around for some other meaning to arrive.
you notice how delicate and fleeting it all seems…


Notes:

Sniff. A small puff of dust…

dog-nose-cute-adorable-pet

Few have looked closely at exactly what happens in a sniff. But recently some researchers have used a specialized photographic method that shows air flow in order to detect when, and how, dogs are sniffing… The sniff begins with muscles in the nostrils straining to draw a current of air into them — this allows a large amount of any air-based odorant to enter the nose. At the same time, the air already in the nose has to be displaced. Again, the nostrils quiver slightly to push the present air deeper into the nose, or off through slits in the side of the nose and backward, out the nose and out of the way. In this way, inhaled odors don’t need to jostle with the air already in the nose for access to the lining of the nose. Here’s why this is particularly special: the photography also reveals that the slight wind generated by the exhale in fact helps to pull more of the new scent in, by creating a current of air over it.

This action is markedly different from human sniffing, with our clumsy “in through one nostril hole, out through the same hole” method. If we want to get a good smell of something, we have to sniff-hyperventilate, inhaling repeatedly without strongly exhaling. Dogs naturally create tiny wind currents in exhalations that hurry the inhalations in. So for dogs, the sniff includes an exhaled component that helps the sniffer smell. This is visible: watch for a small puff of dust rising up from the ground as a dog investigates it with his nose…

We might notice if our coffee’s been sweetened with a teaspoon of sugar; a dog can detect a teaspoon of sugar diluted in a million gallons of water: two Olympic-sized pools full.”

~ Alexandra Horowitz, Inside of a Dog. What Dogs, See, Smell and Know


Credits:

Tuesday Morning Wake-Up Call: Breakfast

bird-worm-funny-cute-animation-gif


Source: sketcheeses

 

David Carr: Try harder. Create something with your own dirty little hands.

david-carr

David Carr died last week. He overcame drug addiction, survived cancer and struggled with alcoholism. He was a best selling author, a top media columnist at The New York Times and a member of the faculty at Boston University’s communications school.  He was a “mentor to young reports and a blunt critic of those who didn’t measure up.” Here’s a excerpt from today’s paper:

NY Times: David Carr’s Last Word on Journalism, Aimed at Students:

David was interested in people, not their résumés. He didn’t care where someone went to college or who their parents were. So instead of giving his students a standard biographical blurb…David told them this, under the heading “Not need to know, but nice to know”:

“Your professor is a terrible singer and a decent dancer. He is a movie crier but stone-faced in real life. He never laughs even when he is actually amused. He hates suck-ups, people who treat waitresses and cab drivers poorly and anybody who thinks diversity is just an academic conceit. He is a big sucker for the hard worker and is rarely dazzled by brilliance. He has little patience for people who pretend to ask questions when all they really want to do is make a speech…Your professor is fair, fundamentally friendly, a little odd, but not very mysterious. If you want to know where you stand, just ask.”

He encouraged teamwork. “While writing, shooting, and editing are often solitary activities, great work emerges in the spaces between people,” David wrote, adding, “Evaluations will be based not just on your efforts, but on your ability to bring excellence out of the people around you…”

Mikaela Lefrak, 26, was his teaching assistant his first semester. “He didn’t want us to sound like everyone else,” she wrote in an email. “He wanted us to sound better. Extended metaphors should be indulged and encouraged — the stranger, the better. And clichés were poison. ‘Try harder,’ he told me constantly. ‘Create something with your own dirty little hands…’ ”

David warned there would be a heavy reading list. “I’m not sliming you with a bunch of textbooks, so please know I am dead serious about these readings,” he wrote. “Skip or skim at your peril.”

I encourage you to read the entire article. You can find it here:  David Carr’s Last Word on Journalism, Aimed at Students.

His best selling book, “The Night of the Gun,” is a memoir of addiction and recovery. I highly recommend it.  Maria Popova at Brain Pickings shared some excellent excerpts from the book in her post: Addiction to Truth.

And here are links to some of my favorite quotes by Carr:

Carr lived in New Jersey with Jill Rooney Carr and their three children. He was 58. As Scott Peck would say, he took the road less traveled and many of us are better for it.

RIP.


Credits: Photograph of David Carr in 2008 –  NY Times

 

0° F. Today’s Work-Out.

funny-shirt-training-marathon-Netflix


Source: themetapicture.com

Great Question

solitude,wonder

…the world did not have to be
beautiful to work.
But it is.
What does that mean?

~Mary Oliver, in an NPR Interview – A Thousand Mornings


Notes:

Sunday Morning: As if this quiet day

hazy-day-ocean-landscape-black-and-white

Only a beige slat of sun above the horizon,
like a shade pulled not quite down.
Otherwise, clouds.
Sea rippled here and there.
Birds reluctant to fly.

The mind wants a shaft of sun
to stir the grey porridge of clouds,
an osprey to stitch sea to sky with its barred wings,
some dramatic music: a symphony,
perhaps a Chinese gong.

But the mind always wants more than it has –
one more bright day of sun,
one more clear night in bed with the moon;
one more hour to get the words right;
one more chance for the heart in hiding
to emerge from its thicket in dried grasses –
as if this quiet day
with its tentative light weren’t enough,
as if joy weren’t strewn all around.

– Holly Hughes, Dancing with Joy: 99 Poems


Notes:

Awe-Most-Real

quilt-turtle-cute


This is a quilt. The sand was all beaded and the ocean was many layers of sheer with fish on every layer so it looked 3D!”


Source: Laurraine Yuyama (Tokyo International Quilt Festival 2008) via The Sensual Starfish

 

 

Annie (and Hozier)


If you missed the 2015 Grammy’s and missed the performance by Hozier & Annie Lennox, here it is. Fantastic…


Thank you Rachel

SMWI*: Blind Courage (And a whole lot of faith)


A remarkable true story of a blind hiker, Bill Irwin, and his 2100 mile journey of faith along the Appalachian Trail with his Seeing Eye dog Orient.

How do you know which way to go?
I don’t. I just follow him.
How does he know?
God leads the Dog. Dog leads me.


SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration

Driving I-95 S. With Tiger.

cute-gif-tiger-sleeping-snow

Thursday, February 12, 2015.

It’s 6:12 am.
Overcast, and 17° F.  Pre-dawn.
The Groundhog forecasts 6 more weeks, he’s been wrong before.

I-95 South is dry.
The wind kicks up road salt, swirling behind the mud flaps of convoys of truckers barreling into Manhattan.
It’s a race to beat the morning Rush. Smokey & The Bandit. Snowman. Buford T. Justice.
Traffic is light and smooth. VO Manhattan. Neat.

Same car.
Same highway.
Same route.
Same Ólafur Arnalds’ playlist.
Same destination.
Same damn biting cold. [Read more…]

5:00 P.M. Bell!


When it’s quittin’ time, there’s nothing stopping Big Red, the Canadian National Railway locomotive.


The Caring Hand

tree-hand-sculpture

The Caring Hand” is a sculpture located in Glarus, Switzerland.


Source: Splitterherzen

 

T.G.I.F.

muppet-show-swedish-chef-gif


Source: sklblog

It’s Been A Long Day (Keep Me Silent)

photography,josephine cardin KeepMeSilent_JCardin_08-josephine-cardin

New York-based photographer Josephine Cardin created the work ‘Keep Me Silent‘ as a series of self-portraits exploring the weight of the dark secrets, emotions, and experiences we harbor throughout our lives.  Josephine Cardin explains: “Weighing us down until we free ourselves from the burden of keeping them hidden, these hardships inevitably dictate every aspect of how we live and the decisions we make. Like most of my work, at first glance there is a sense of a beautiful, almost dreamlike state, but when one looks closer there is an evident darkness and sadness to be discovered. I wanted to give the illusion that the subject wanted nothing more than to float and be free, all the while not being able to let go of this burdensome weight holding her back. Until she finally lets go, forcing the suitcase open, her heavy cloud is lifted and vanishes away. As stated in one of my favorite quotes by Jim Morrison, ‘Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.'”

Don’t miss other photos in this series at Ignant.de: “Keep Me Silent

Find the photographer’s website and gallery here: CardinPhotography.com

Matisse. Unplugged. And uncovered after 70 years.

Henri-Matisse-cut-outs

From Henri Matisse: The Lost Interview:

On August 5th 1946, two years after Paris was liberated from the Germans, a young American soldier named Jerome Seckler visited Henri Matisse. Seckler had a passion for modern art. He made it his mission to meet with, and interview, some of the leading French artists of the time: Matisse was on his list…The interview reveals Jerome to be keenly interested and articulate in the art of time, and Matisse to be a spirited foil to Seckler’s germane questioning. The transcript has been sitting neatly filed in a cardboard box for almost seventy years. Until now this interview has never been published.

Here’s one of my favorite Matisse quotes from the interview:

I think that art must not be a disagreeable thing. There is enough unhappiness in life to turn one towards the joy. One should keep the disagreeable, the unhappiness to himself. One can always find a pleasant thing. An unhappiness doesn’t remain. It makes experience. One doesn’t need to infect people with his annoyances. One should make a serene thing. One should make a stimulating art which leads the spirit of the spectator into a domain which puts him outside of his annoyances.

If you want a short cut to my favorites, and there are a lot of them, here are the links and a teaser to Matisse’s responses:

  • Commitment: I am not at ease. (My favorite. Must read.)
  • Peer Appreciation: Picasso was stunned into silence. “We sat there like stones,” Gilot later recalled.  (Picasso and Gilot watching him make cut-outs)
  • Soul: Those who will work with their soul, and the desire to express themselves will come out the best painters.
  • Critics: It is the result that counts. When I am very much criticized by a painter, I’ll say to him, put your work beside mine and we will see.
  • Talent: You can have all the strength, if you do not have the gifts you will not arrive…
  • Passion: Why make me make different things. I get into communication with nature. Why look elsewhere?
  • Art Appreciation: A man with money will appreciate a painting for the price but the man in the street will just like the painting because he will feel it is good even if he doesn’t know why.
  • Art, like Music: All music is made with seven notes. With that, one makes all the relations. Painting is the same.
  • Revolution: Myself also I live a continual revolution.
  • Approval: A chef doesn’t have to always ask for approval and to ask people to taste the plates that he prepares.
  • Desire: All the artists who began by being hungry and cold have made good painting.
  • Passion / Love: One must suffer for what one loves.

It’s worth your time to read the entire 3000 word transcript here: Henri Matisse: The Lost Interview.


Credits:

Lightly child, lightly

black and white,photography

Where do they come from, thoughts?
Like wrens, out of the sky.
They arrive.
Noisy, hungry, perfectly themselves.

~ Peter Behrens, The Law of Dreams

Notes:

  • Credit: Quote – Schonwieder. Image Source: poly-gr.
  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”

Put Your Heart to Paper


Saying “I love you” is easy. It’s three little words. What’s hard is going beyond that, going deeper than that. Expressing how you really feel. That’s why Hallmark asked real-life couples to answer simple questions about their partner without using the word “love” and captured their comments on video. We found that by removing that one little word, couples revealed how they truly felt and were better prepared to put their heart to paper. Watch what happens when you go beyond “I love you.”

Don’t miss other heartwarming stories at Hallmark: Put Your Heart to Paper


Thank you Rachel

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

wednesday,hump day


Caleb in Lycra! Dashing…

“Anne Wolter, a partner at the firm who created the suits said: “The full body suit can help racing camels run faster, while the cream of the species entered into camel beauty contests will have the ability to stand taller after using the suit.” Read more: Mirror.co.uk


Notes:

 

Linguini. Now.

pasta,linguini,dinner,food,fork

It was always linguini between us.
Linguini with white sauce, or
red sauce, sauce with basil snatched from
the garden, oregano rubbed between
our palms, a single bay leaf adrift amidst
plum tomatoes. Linguini with meatballs,
sausage, a side of brascioli. Like lovers
trying positions, we enjoyed it every way
we could-artichokes, mushrooms, little
neck clams, mussels, and calamari-linguini
twining and braiding us each to each.
Linguini knew of the kisses, the smooches,
the molti baci. It was never spaghetti
between us, not cappellini, nor farfalle,
vermicelli, pappardelle, fettucini, perciatelli,
or even tagliarini. Linguini we stabbed, pitched,
and twirled on forks, spun round and round
on silver spoons. Long, smooth, and always
al dente. In dark trattorias, we broke crusty panera,
toasted each other—La dolce vita!—and sipped
Amarone, wrapped ourselves in linguini,
briskly boiled, lightly oiled, salted, and lavished
with sauce. Bellissimo, paradisio, belle gente!
Linguini witnessed our slurping, pulling, and
sucking, our unraveling and raveling, chins
glistening, napkins tucked like bibs in collars,
linguini stuck to lips, hips, and bellies, cheeks
flecked with formaggio—parmesan, romano,
and shaved pecorino—strands of linguini flung
around our necks like two fine silk scarves.

~ Diane Lockward, Linguini, What Feeds Us


Notes:

Absolutely pure

bird-winds-soar-blue-sky

This world –
absolutely pure
As is.
Behind the fear,
Vulnerability.
Behind that,
Sadness,
then compassion
And behind that the vast sky.

~ Rick Fields


Notes:

Those nagging what ifs

hands-black-and-wife-resignation

Everyone who gives up a serious childhood dream — of becoming an artist, a doctor, an engineer, an athlete — lives the rest of their life with a sense of loss, with nagging what ifs. […]

Only a very few loves can disappoint you so fundamentally that you feel you’ve lost yourself when they’re gone. Quitting music wounded me as deeply as any relationship in my life. It was my first great loss, this innocent, awkward failure to live with what I heard and felt. For more than ten years I avoided music. It hurt too much. My anger went as deep as my love had gone. I suppose this is natural. In the aftermath of something so painful, we subsist on bitterness, which sustains us against even greater loss.

~ Glenn Kurtz in Practicing: A Musician’s Return to Music


Photo: By Majewska via banishedagain

Red’s Wish. My Wish Too.

To stand at the helm of your destiny. I want that, one more time. I want to be in the Piazza del Campo in Siena. To feel the surge as 10 racehorses go thundering by. I want another meal in Paris, at L’Ambroisie, at the Place des Vosges. I want another bottle of wine. And then another. I want the warmth of a woman and a cool set of sheets. One more night of jazz at the Vanguard. I want to stand on the summits and smoke Cubans and feel the sun on my face for as long as I can. Walk on the Wall again. Climb the Tower. Ride the River. Stare at the Frescos. I want to sit in the garden and read one more good book. Most of all I want to sleep. I want to sleep like I slept when I was a boy. Give me that, just one time…

— Raymond “Red” Reddington, The Blacklist


Source: Thank you Kurt @ Cultural Offering

Monday Morning Mantra

pablo-casals

For the past eighty years I have started each day in the same manner,” wrote the cellist Pablo Casals in his memoir, Joys and Sorrows. “I go to the piano, and I play two preludes and fugues of Bach. It fills me with awareness of the wonder of life, with a feeling of the incredible marvel of being a human being.

~ Glen Kurtz, Practicing: A Musician’s Return to Music


Pablo Casals (1876 – 1973), was a Spanish Catalan cellist and conductor. He is generally regarded as the pre-eminent cellist of the first half of the 20th century, and one of the greatest cellists of all time.


Credits: Photo – glogster.com

 

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

eagle-cute-adorable-nest


Source: themetapiicture.com. Thank you Susan.

Flying. Over I-95 N.

runway-flight-airplane-take-off

Friday, February 6, 2015.
3:00 a.m.

I’m startled by the alarm.
No, not startled, rattled. It’s rare that I need an alarm, at any start time.
I’m groggy and already working against a shot clock, at 3:00 am.

I shower.
The 6-inch rainwater showerhead is gushing. The water is ripping hot.  But I’m unfazed.
It’s Day 3 on the road. I’m averaging 5 hours of sleep a night. Ok, maybe 4. And its catching up.
Comatose Man. Wound tight. Coiled. Shoulders heavy.

Need to get home. My House. My Bed.

I stand in the shower, eyes closed, letting the water wash over my head, my neck, and my back.
Heavenly Shower.
The morning meditation is interrupted by the clock, my consciousness signaling a waiting cab in 20 minutes.

My original flight, a non-stop to LGA, was scheduled for 11 am.
This, of course, was unacceptable for Restless Man.
Man alone wants something to happen at all costs—something, anything.¹

I’m re-booked on a 1-stop via Miami, pulling up my departure to 5 am.
You should arrive at the airport no later than two hours before your flight.
That’s 3am.

I shave, wary about slicing open the thin skin on the left side of my chin.
10 minutes to Taxi.
I zip up my carry-on, and scan the room one last time. (Don’t leave any gadgets behind)
My hand’s on the door. You forgot something.
I drop my bag, walk back into the room, and set some bills on the counter next to her card. Hi. My name is Migue.
Miquela (Sp. translation) = Who is like God?

I’m off to the airport. [Read more…]