Blog. Write. Share. Why? I’m an acolyte.

North-star-Polaris

From Steven Pressfield: Why, #3:

In many ways this blog is me talking to myself. What makes the thing work, if indeed it does, is that there are a lot people like me and they are dealing with the same issues I’m dealing with. So talking to myself in this public forum is, in its way, a meditation for those individuals as well. So I don’t ask myself, “What do I imagine others want to read in this space?” I ask, “What do I want? What issues are bothering me? What questions am I exploring?”

Don’t miss reading about “serving the muse” and “the irresistible gravitational pull of your Pole Star”

Is that an answer to the question, “Why am I writing this blog? Why are you reading it?”

May be. In asking myself these questions and publishing them in this public forum, I’m hoping a) to fortify and enlighten myself in this mysterious journey, and b) to tell you that you’re not alone, that your questions (which I can’t help but believe are just like mine) are not silly or fatuous or unworthy, and that at least one other person on this planet—i.e., me—is just as crazy as you are.

Read more here: Why, #3


 

SMWI*: Up Chubby. Up.

seal-gif-funny-jump


SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration. Source: Metamorphosis


Saturday Morning

light-bed-hotel-rest-sleep-saturday


Source: Griffstream

5:00 Bell

hot-tub-vacation-relax


Source: Wine is bottled poetry

The touch of this silk, tender raindrops against the shoji

shoji-japanese

‘Always remember, child,’ her first teacher had impressed on her, ‘that to think bad thoughts is really the easiest thing in the world. If you leave your mind to itself it will spiral you down into ever-increasing unhappiness. To think good thoughts, however, requires effort. This is one of the things that need disipline –training- is about. So train your mind to dwell on sweet perfumes, the touch of this silk, tender raindrops against the shoji, the curve of the flower arrangement, the tranquillity of dawn. Then, at length, you won’t have to make such a great effort and you will be of value to yourself.’”

- James Clavell, Shōgun


Credits: Photograph: mlisowsk, Yoshijima-ke, Yoshijima heritage house, Takayama, Japan. Quote: The Poet Master

Believe

elephants-gif-flying
I saw a peanut stand,
heard a rubber band,
And seen a needle wink its eye
But I be done seen about everything
When I see an elephant fly
When I see an elephant fly

I’ve seen a front porch swing,
heard a diamond ring
I’ve seen a polka dot railroad tie
But I be done seen about everything
When I see an elephant fly

I saw a clothes horse rear up and buck
And they tell me that a man made a vegetable truck
I didn’t see that, I only heard
Just to be sociable, well, I’ll take your word

I heard a fireside chat, I saw a baseball bat
And I just laughed till I thought I’d die
But I be done seen about everything
When I see an elephant fly

But I be done seen about everything
When I see an elephant fly
When I see an elephant fly

~ When I see an elephant fly, From “Dumbo


Image Source: Gifak

 

T.G.I.F.: It’s Been A Long Week

round and round


Source: Gifak

 

Suzannah Espie


From Suzannahespie.com:

Suzannah Espie is a Melbourne, Australia based singer songwriter who has been casting spells over audiences ever since she first took to the stage with her alt-country pop band, GIT, in 1997. A woman of compelling beauty — statuesque, with piercing blue eyes framed by golden curls — she has a voice to match, an intoxicating mix of country, soul, blues and pop. A gentle, sweet trill that can move grown men to tears one moment, or an Aretha-esque hellcat belt that can raise the roof the next; however she sings it though, it’s still unmistakeably Suzannah Espie. It is as a solo artist Espie has truly come into her own…

It’s hard to believe now that, despite her prodigious talent, Espie was beset by self-doubt and shyness early on in her career, which she moved to Melbourne from Fremantle at aged 18 to pursue in earnest. She tells of forcing herself to get up at Fitzroy’s Rainbow Hotel to sing once a week. “Then I’d go and have a cry in the toilets afterwards because I thought it was so horrible.”

Collard recalls the first time he went over to Suzannah’s house to play some music together. “Absolutely nothing happened,” he says with a laugh. “She was too nervous to sing a note.”

While Espie’s confidence and profile have grown over the years, she remains as earthy and honest as the music she writes and performs.  “I still don’t think I’m a good songwriter. Occasionally I’ll pull a good one out of my arse,” she says in typically straight-talking Suzannah fashion.

Find her album on iTunes: Sea of Lights


 

 

Speed

woman-portrait-back-bird

[…]
Shooting the void in silence,
like a bird,
A bird that shuts his wings
for better speed.

~ Frederick Goddard Tuckerman, From ”Sonnet XXVIII”

 


Notes:

 

My Breakfast

food-funny-baby-dog


Source: sjack959

Live

life-frustrado-Hossein-Zare


From My Modern Met:

Hossein Zare, is an Iranian photographer. He is an absolute master at creating spectacular photos that depict otherworldly and surreal scenes. Through a combination of photography and digital manipulation in Photoshop, Zare creates powerful images that look as if they come from dreamscapes, with recurring motifs such as ladders that stretch endlessly into the clouds, expansive and barren fields, sprawling cities, and a lone figure wandering through these strange landscapes in search of something.

More of his work can be found here: Hossein Zare


The sun is perfect and you woke this morning

hand-photography-black and white

The sun is perfect and you woke this morning.
You have enough language in your mouth to be understood.
You have a name, and someone wants to call it.
Five fingers on your hand and someone wants to hold it.
If we just start there,
every beautiful thing that has and will ever exist is possible.
If we start there, everything, for a moment, is right in the world.

~ Warsan Shire


Warsan Shire, 26, was born in 1988 in Kenya to Somali parents. She later emigrated to London. Shire thereafter began writing poetry as a way to connect with her Somali heritage and her roots in Somalia.


Credits:

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

Caleb-camel-hump-day-wednesday


Caleb was in Central Park way before the horse and buggy rides showed up. Debra, from The Ptero Card, shared the following:

“I knew I had a more personal connection to Caleb. It was a long time ago, somewhere in the late 1960′s New York City. As you can see from the photo, I had to share him with others.”


Thank you Debra

The Joker

face-eye-portrait-black-and-white

It’s the end of a (very) long day, concluding with a work dinner. I drag myself out of the car, pulling my briefcase behind me. My shirt tail is untucked. My tie half undone. My shoes, dusty and scuffed. A disheveled, sloppy mess.

I’m hopeful that I can slither into the house and get a few minutes to myself. I enter. The house is quiet but for the soft murmur of a TV running on another floor. I slowly strip my shoes and socks, with my bare feet cooling on the wood floor. I’m in decompression. Hose me down with pure oxygen. Let Solitude rain on me.

And then.

There’s Thunder. Four legs storming up the stairs. Zeke’s bounding down the hallway. Dad’s Home! He wiggles in and out of my legs. Kissing (licking) my suit pants, leaving white slobber dripping from my crotch. Well that’s nice. Ah, just forget it. It just adds to your ensemble.

Susan rounds the corner. My Hummingbird spewing nectar all over. She’s talking. I’m listening. (Sort of.) The subject turns.

SK: Do you want some feedback? [Read more...]

Truth

gif-ink-pen-fountain pen

Print is predictable and impersonal,
conveying information
in a mechanical transaction with the reader’s eye.
Handwriting, by contrast, resists the eye,
reveals its meaning slowly,
and is as intimate as skin.”

—  Ruth Ozeki, A Tale for the Time Being


Now if only I possessed legible handwriting…


Credits: Image Source: THISISEVERYTHING. Quote Source: WordsNQuotes

 

Morning Meditation: 40 Seconds In the Alps


 

Staring at the Flame

black and white,portrait

[...] his intuition was luminous from the instant you met him. So was his intelligence. A lot of actors act intelligent, but Philip was the real thing: a shining, artistic polymath with an intelligence that came at you like a pair of headlights and enveloped you from the moment he grabbed your hand, put a huge arm round your neck and shoved a cheek against yours; or if the mood took him, hugged you to him like a big, pudgy schoolboy, then stood and beamed at you while he took stock of the effect.

Philip took vivid stock of everything, all the time. It was painful and exhausting work, and probably in the end his undoing. The world was too bright for him to handle. He had to screw up his eyes or be dazzled to death. Like Chatterton, he went seven times round the moon to your one, and every time he set off, you were never sure he’d come back, which is what I believe somebody said about the German poet Hölderlin: Whenever he left the room, you were afraid you’d seen the last of him. And if that sounds like wisdom after the event, it isn’t. Philip was burning himself out before your eyes. Nobody could live at his pace and stay the course, and in bursts of startling intimacy he needed you to know it.

[...] He seemed to kiss his lines rather than speak them. Then gradually he did what only the greatest actors can do. He made his voice the only authentic one, the lonely one, the odd one out, the one you depended on amid all the others. And every time it left the stage, like the great man himself, you waited for its return with impatience and mounting unease.

We shall wait a long time for another Philip.

~ John le Carré on Philip Seymour Hoffman, Staring at the Flame


Notes:


Monday (Anti) Mantra. Always. Always this…

melon-light

how you can never reach it,
no matter how hard you try,
walking as fast as you can,
but getting nowhere,
arms and legs pumping,
sweat drizzling in rivulets;
each year, a little slower,
more creaks and aches, less breath.
Ah, but these soft nights,
air like a warm bath,
the dusky wings of bats careening crazily overhead,
and you’d think the road goes on forever.
Apollinaire wrote, “What isn’t given to love is so much wasted,”
and I wonder what I haven’t given yet.
A thin comma moon rises orange,
a skinny slice of melon,
so delicious I could drown in its sweetness.
Or eat the whole thing, down to the rind.
Always, this hunger for more.

Barbara Crooker, How the Trees on Summer Nights Turn Into A Dark River


Notes:


Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

dog-sleepy-cute-adorable-puppy


Source: Thank you Carol @ Radiating Blossom via Sabon

Sweet Jesus

biscuits-jam-cream


From Humingbird High in Portland Oregon:

Sweet Cream Biscuits with Plum Jam and Earl Grey Whipped Cream

Find recipe and additional pictures here.


Source: Steps on My Sunlight Floor

Lighting a little dark as I go

falling-star
“The temptation is to make an idol of our own experience, to assume our pain is more singular than it is. Even here, in some of the entries above, I see that I have fallen prey to it. In truth, experience means nothing if it does not mean beyond itself: we mean nothing unless and until our hard-won meanings are internalized and catalyzed within the lives of others. There is something I am meant to see, something for which my own situation and suffering are the lens, but the cost of such seeing — I am just beginning to realize — may very well be any final clarity or perspective on my own life, my own faith. That would not be a bad fate, to burn up like the booster engine that falls aways from the throttling rocket, lighting a little dark as I go.”

~ Christian Wiman, My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer

On the afternoon of his 39th birthday, less than a year after his wedding day, poet Christian Wiman was diagnosed with an incurable cancer of the blood. Wiman had long ago drifted away from the Southern Baptist beliefs of his upbringing. But the shock of staring death in the face gradually revived a faith that had gone dormant. Wiman’s book of essays, My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer took shape in the wake of his diagnosis, when he believed death could be fast approaching. These writings come from someone who is less a cautious theologian than a pilgrim crying out from the depths. They divulge the God-ward hopes (and doubts) of an artist still piecing together a spiritual puzzle. San Francisco-based lawyer and author Josh Jeter corresponded with Wiman about his new book, his precarious health, and the ongoing challenge of belief in God. (Source: CT)


Notes:

 

Running. With Sticks.

drum-gif-smash

6:30 am.

Mid-July, and it’s 63º F. Overcast. Low humidity.

PULL UP THE DAMN DOUBLE-DECKER GRATITUDE BUS.

I’m out the door. And down the highway.

I’m flicking through my playlist. James Taylor. Click. Bonnie Raitt. Click. Bryan Adams. WarmerClick. David Sanborn. Cool down, maybe. Click. Sara McLachlan. Animal Cruelty Videos. Click. Click. Jimmy Buffet. Margaritaville. NO. CLICK.  

And then, AC-DC.

And THEN, AC-DC.

THUNDERSTUCK. Sound of the drums beating my heart.

Block: Morning weigh-in. Re-grip the sticks…and Swing.
Block: Heavy legs. Re-grip the sticks…and Pound.
Block: Lack of sleep. Re-grip…and Slam.
Block: Work. WORK. Re-grip, unleash and Pulverize ‘em.

Time Check: 6.12 miles @ 55.08 minutes.

Nap Time.


Notes:

SMWI*: Truth

diet-weight-funny-laugh


Notes:

  • *SMWI = Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration
  • Source: Chikita Banana

Saturday Morning

funny,laugh,sleep,saturday morning

funny,sleep,saturday morning


Source: wobblywibbly

5:00 Bell: Going Home

summer-drive-chill


Source: Visualphotos.com via Youreyesblazeout

 

Manhattanhenge

manhattanhenge-sun-sunrise
Twice a year the setting sun aligns perfectly with the grid of east-west streets of the main street grid in Manhattan, New York, making for a rather spectacular site as the city practically catches alight. Known as Manhattanhenge – named for a similar occurrence that takes place during solstices at Stonehenge in the UK – the spectacle draws thousands of New Yorkers into the streets to appreciate the unique sunset and capture it on camera. (Source: Veooz)

This photograph was taken on 42nd street in New York City by Eduard Moldoveanu on July 11, 2014.


Eduard Moldoveanu Photography: Eduard Moldoveanu is an engineer by day but photographer anytime he gets together with his camera. He has been in the darkroom since he was a teenager. Back then using negative film he was capturing family events and the beauty of his country, Romania. As he moves into the digital format he re-discover the passion for photography. Today he is a freelancer loving the landscapes and nature but you will find him shooting portraits, sports, street life or abstract photography as well. He is also a Getty contributor and his work can be also find on Getty website.  

Don’t miss his portfolio at Enchanted Moments Studio.


Revving it up for the Weekend

Lion King


Source: summerlaughters

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

funny-bear-gif-fall


(Note to Self: I know what the outcome is. How many times can I watch this?)


Source: gifak-net.tumblr.com

1 min 30 to Start Your Day Off Right


From Stephen:

Catching up on your posts and came across your July 7 Monday Mantra.  Thought you might like to see the original video of the reggae-biased Morepork … so named for their call. If you live close to bush in New Zealand, you turn on the porch light and these little guys will come calling to feed on the moths.”

This little Morepork (or Ruru in Maori) arrived at New Zealand Bird Rescue Charitable Trust’s Green Bay Hospital in Auckland when it was about a week old. Now it is flying and has lost most of its baby feathers. New Zealand Bird Rescue supports the community by assisting many thousands of sick, orphaned, injured and lost birds every year. Birds that come into care here are rehabilitated until they are ready for release back into the wild. We accept and care for all New Zealand birds; no bird is ever turned away. Many have been victims of cat attacks, road accidents, pollution, fishing line entanglements, and human ignorance or cruelty.


Thank you Stephen.

Breakfast: This. Or That?

So, what’s it going to be for breakfast?

Raspberries?

raspberries-red-fruit-sweet

or…

[Read more...]

Ungraspable

galaxy-universe-travel-light


I’m outside with Zeke.
It’s dark. Still. Quiet.
We’re both calm.
I look up.
He’s sniffing.
Yes, I sense it too.
Something bigger, much bigger here.


In quietness,
the sound of eternity
can at times be heard—
the stars somehow closer and
a sense of the earth’s moving.

~ Michael Boiano


Milky Way Fact Source: Thank you Rob Firchau @ The Hammock Papers

Charmaine Olivia

Charmaine-olivia


Charmaine Olivia is an artist from Oakland California.

I spend the majority of my days continually teaching myself how to paint and draw. I am extremely curious and passionate about life, beautiful things and creativity.  The best way to know me and my work is through my social networks: TumblrInstagramTwitter, & Facebook. My illustrations, photography and paintings have appeared in publications, museums, galleries and private collections throughout the world. Some of my clients and projects include Urban Outfitters, Lady Gaga, Hallmark, Volcom Stone, Element, Nylon Magazine, & Inked Girls Magazine.


Source: Charmaine Olivia via Maevie Kathleen

Again I resume the long lesson: how small a thing can be pleasing

leaf-falling-gif
Again I resume the long lesson:
how small a thing can be pleasing,
how little in this hard world it takes
to satisfy the mind and bring it to its rest.

Within the ongoing havoc
the woods this morning is almost unnaturally still.
Through stalled air, unshadowed light,
a few leaves fall of their own weight.

The sky is gray.
It begins in mist almost at the ground
and rises forever.
The trees rise in silence
almost natural, but not quite,
almost eternal, but not quite.

What more did I think I wanted?
Here is what has always been.
Here is what will always be.
Even in me,
the Maker of all this returns in rest,
even to the slightest of His works,
a yellow leaf slowly falling,
and is pleased.

Wendell Berry


Notes:

Lightly child, lightly

bubbles


Credits:

  • Image Source: jaimejustelaphoto.
  • Other Lightly Child, Lightly posts: 1) Lightly child, lightly, 2) Lightly Child. Lightly.
  • 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.”

 

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

camel-kiss-cute-funny


Look at my form!


Source: Inquisitr

I’ll take you there

Mavis Staples (born in Chicago, Illinois) is an American rhythm and blues and gospel singer, actress and civil rights activist who recorded with The Staple Singers, her family’s band. This tune reached #1 on the charts in the U.S. in 1972.


Memento Mori

camera-gif-photograph

“All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.”

— Susan Sontag


Notes:

First things first

coffee-funny-morning-work


Source: Thank you Assorted

Rachel: Your Dad was a wee bit ahead of his time…


The Huffington Post: Colbie Caillat Rallies Against Photoshop In ‘Try’ Music Video:

In her music video for “Try,” Colbie Caillat takes a stance against Photoshop. She starts off the video looking like (as MTV put it) “a cartoonized version of Mariah Carey in a Dove ad” and proceeds to un-Photoshop herself, ending the song as her natural, unedited self, alongside a wonderfully diverse set of women, who undergo the same transition.

“When I shot the first scene with no hair and makeup on in front of an HD camera in my face, flashed with bright lights, everyone was watching,” she told Elle. “I thought, ‘Oh my god, I bet they’re all looking at my blemishes, thinking that I should cover them up, or that I should put some volume in my hair.’ But it also felt really cool to be on camera with zero on, like literally nothing on. And then when it got to the full hair and makeup, I actually felt gross. I was just so caked on.”

[...]Take your make-up off
Let your hair down
Take a breath
Look into the mirror, at yourself
Don’t you like you?
Cause I like you


Thank you Liz.


Monday Morning Mantra: Ear flaps Up. Keep legs moving.

funny,happiness,peanuts


Source: NY Times from Charles Schulz’s Peanuts: Artists Edition Published April, 2014

 

 

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call: (Very) Sleepy

doberman-puppy-cute-sleepy-adorable doberman-puppy-cute-sleepy-adorable-2


Source: Tiny Doberman puppy from Attack of the Cute

Miracles

internet
Back in June, I shared a post on how I had come to be reading books written by John Updike, John Steinbeck and other literary Titans. The post was titled: Lit Boy. My college Professor, John Vande Zande, is responsible. Sadly, I learned that he had passed away.

On Monday, two months after I had written the post, an email settles gently in my inbox among a stack of 30 or 40 others. I see the surname on the email address. My eyes lock-on “from Vande Zande.” My mind whirs back to the Lit Boy post. I read the email.

Dear David,

Thank you for the lovely tribute to my father, John Vande Zande, on your blog. I also had him as a teacher, but I’m not sure a son appreciates this the way a stranger does. Thank you for letting me see him through your eyes. It would mean a great deal to him to know that he inspired you so much. He was always skeptical of his role as a professor. He would say, “What business do I, a kid from Big Bay, have in being in front of a college classroom?” I think the best profs do doubt their business in being in front of a room of students. It keeps them humble and it keeps them trying. The worse profs are probably the ones who doubt the business of their students being in the room.

Thanks again,

Jeff Vande Zande
www.jeffvandezande.com

John Vande Zande had a Son. He’s a English Professor. He’s a writer. (A published writer). And a poet and a screenwriter. (How proud would his Dad be of him today.)

And as Paul Harvey would say, here’s the rest of the story:
[Read more...]

Sunday Sermon

photography,Montana,black and white
I always have this sense that something is going to resolve my spiritual anxieties once and for all, that one day I’ll just relax and be a believer. I read book after book. I seek out intense experiences in art, in nature, or in conversations with people I respect and who seem to rest more securely in their faith than I do. Sometimes it seems that gains are made, for these things can and do provide relief and instruction. But always the anxiety comes back, is the norm from which faith deviates, if faith is even what you would call these intense but somehow vague and fleeting experiences of God. I keep forgetting, or perhaps simply will not let myself see, what true faith is, its active and outward nature. I should never pray to be at peace in my belief. I should pray only that my anxiety be given peaceful outlets, that I might be the means to a peace that I myself do not feel.

~ Christian Wiman, My Bright Abyss: Meditation of a Modern Believer


Notes:

 

Sunday Morning: Taste it

morning-sunrise-river
When you are a young person, you are like a young creek, and you meet many rocks, many obstacles and difficulties on your way. You hurry to get past these obstacles and get to the ocean. But as the creek moves down through the fields, it becomes larger and calmer and it can enjoy the reflection of the sky. It’s wonderful. You will arrive at the sea anyway so enjoy the journey. Enjoy the sunshine, the sunset, the moon, the birds, the trees, and the many beauties along the way. Taste every moment of your daily life.

Thich Nhat Hanh 


Sources: Photograph: Peter in Buscot, England, UK. Quote: Thank you Karen @ Tearinyourhand

 

Summer

surf-texas-Kenny-braun


Kenny Braun Photography: Kenny Braun is a Texas photographer that’s equal parts Thoreau and Avedon—an existential outdoorsman and consummate professional who adeptly captures everything from remote places to far away gazes. He brings a consistent visual identity to a wide range of subject matter by focusing on quality of light, color and mood. Music, surfing and photography have been his passions since high-school, each influencing the other. His personal work explores a sense of place and memory by returning to scenes from his childhood. His curiosity about faces and places is evident in his work, which is so vivid you can’t even imagine a photographer being involved.


Source: Kenny Braun Photography via YHBTI

Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration

cartoon-funny-elephant-jump-exercise


Source: indypendent-thinking

 

Saturday Morning

saturday-morning-read-book-coffee-relax


Source: coffeeandlight via SensualStarfish

Do You Feel


José James, 36, is a singer songwriter from Minneapolis, and is best known for performing and blending modern jazz and hip-hop. James joined the Blue Note roster in 2013 when he released his breakout album No Beginning No End to wide acclaim. With its irrepressible lead single “Trouble,” the album release found José making national TV appearances on ConanLate Show With David Letterman, andTonight Show With Jay Leno.

The New York Times praised his “cool and confident” album, adding that it “sounds like the result of the black-pop continuum, jazz and soul and hip-hop and R&B, slow-cooked for more than 50 years.” NPR Music raved that “James makes utterly contemporary music,” noting that he “skirts categories with ease, fitting in with current R&B innovators like Frank Ocean or Miguel, yet maintaining a strong awareness of a lineage that stretches from Ray Charles to Marvin Gaye to Lou Rawls to Maxwell.”

Find this tune on his 2013 Album titled: No Beginning No End

José James official site and his full bio can be found at: josejamesmusic.com


5:00 PM Bell!

office-funny-friday-TGIF


Source: Chikita Banana

 

Gaffe

funny-life-mistake-autobiography


Source: Living in Maine