“If life were measured in steps, I fear that many would hoard them for as long as possible, going nowhere, tasting nothing. Simply being alive, but never living.”
“Mom, this might be my last chance to tell you I love you.”
- A text from a high school student who was aboard the ferry that capsized yesterday off South Korea’s southern coast. Four passengers were killed, 55 were injured and more than 280 are missing. (via latimes)
Vitry-sur-Seine by David Walker.
Street/urban art. What this man can do with a can of spray paint is astonishing.
Find more here: art of David Walker
Here’s the “Meaning of Life.” ~9,000,000 people have watched this video in the past 2 weeks and seem to agree. I’m one of them. I was moved by this short film. (Be sure to check out Ana’s wonderful blog. She’s from Portugal. Her blog’s name is “Sol de Dezembro” (“December Sun”).
1) “It’s just all too exhausting to get lathered up about. I don’t get any respect!” or,
2) “Do you see the oasis ahead?” or,
3) “If I hold my head very still, perhaps she won’t leave any deposits.” or,
4) “Whaddya think of my new hat?”
Image Credit: Eric Lafforgue
Genís Carreras, 27, is a graphic designer and entrepreneur based in London and born in Catalonia. He is the author of a book titled: Philographics. His book is all about explaining big ideas in simple shapes, merging the world of philosophy and graphic design. There are ninety-five designs, each depicting a different “–ism” using a unique combination of geometric shapes, colors, and a short definition of the theory. Find his book on Amazon here. Find his web site here.
Genís is Genius. Period.
See more below:
Put a few thousand ants on to a pile of dirt and in a week they will have built a labyrinthine city inside it. If a flood hits the colony they can mesh their own bodies together into a raft the size of a dinner plate and ship themselves to safety. All done without blueprint or leader. How? Not because ants are smart. But because they know to follow simple rules. Three, to be exact. Read more here.
~ Emily Singer, The Remarkable Self Organization of Ants, Quanta Magazine
This is “Quail Day” – an oil painting by Linda Tracey Brandon. Brandon is a graduate of the University of Michigan. Since then she has studied representational art through many years of workshops, classes and private instruction. Her focused study of the great masters of the past and intense daily practice has resulted in a uniquely evolving point of view. Linda has studied with many of the best representational artists working today and currently teaches painting and drawing at Scottsdale Artists’ School in Scottsdale, Arizona. Linda has excelled in painting the portrait and the figure. In 2006, she won a Certificate of Excellence at the Portrait Society of America’s International Portrait Competition, and in 2005 she won an Exceptional Merit Award from the Portrait Society of America’s International Portrait Competition. Her portraits hang in many homes, businesses and institutions. Find more of her work at her website here. You can find her blog here.
Source: Sensual Starfish
There are all kinds of silences and each of them means a different thing. There is the silence that comes with morning in a forest, and this is different from the silence of a sleeping city. There is silence after a rainstorm, and before a rainstorm, and these are not the same. There is the silence of emptiness, the silence of fear, the silence of doubt. There is a certain silence that can emanate from a lifeless object as from a chair lately used, or from a piano with old dust upon its keys, or from anything that has answered to the need of a man, for pleasure or for work. This kind of silence can speak. Its voice may be melancholy, but it is not always so; for the chair may have been left by a laughing child or the last notes of the piano may have been raucous and gay. Whatever the mood or the circumstance, the essence of its quality may linger in the silence that follows. It is a soundless echo.
— Beryl Markham, West with the Night
Beryl Markham (1902 – 1986) was a British-born Kenyan author, aviator, adventurer, and racehorse trainer. During the pioneer days of aviation, she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west. She is now primarily remembered as the author of the memoir West with the Night - – The Book Summary from Amazon: [Read more...]
Ben Sollee, 30, is an American cellist, singer-songwriter, and composer known for his innovative playing style, genre-bending songwriting, electrifying performances, political activism, and wide appeal. His music incorporates banjo, guitar, and mandolin along with percussion and unusual cello techniques to create a unique sound. His songs exhibit a mix of folk, bluegrass, jazz, and R&B elements. Sollee has also composed longer instrumental pieces for dance ensembles. Raised in Lexington, Kentucky, Sollee began playing the cello in elementary school. Besides classical music, his early musical influences included recordings his parents played of Wilson Pickett, Ray Charles, Billie Holiday and Otis Redding, and later he discovered folk music. (Source: Wiki)
Find this tune on Sollee’s album here.
I have never wanted anything more than the wild creatures have, a broad waft of clean air, a day to lie on the grass at times, with nothing to do but to slip the blades through my fingers, and look as long as I pleased at the whole blue arch, and the screens of green and white between; leave for a month to float and float along the salt crests and among the foam, or roll with my naked skin over a clean long stretch of sunshiny sand; food that I liked, straight from the cool ground, and time to taste its sweetness, and time to rest after tasting; sleep when it came, and stillness, that the sleep might leave me when it would, not sooner … This is what I wanted,—this, and free contact with my fellows … not to love and lie, and be ashamed, but to love and say I love, and be glad of it; to feel the currents of ten thousand years of passion flooding me, body to body, as the wild things meet. I have asked no more.
~ Voltairine De Cleyre (1866-1912)
We’re all sinking in the same boat here.
Tired of thinking about it.
Tired of writing about it.
Tired of reading it.
A business lunch on Thursday.
I drop my head and listen to the conversation.
I close my eyes.
And savor each one.
Chocolate chips melting…coating my tongue.
7, not a typo, 7 chocolate chip cookies in less than 15 minutes.
A sugar addiction.
Deficiency of something.
Deficit of Discipline.
Tired of stepping on scale the next morning and expecting a miracle.
Definition of insanity…
Tired of waking up with 4 hours of sleep.
With eyes burning.
Burning and watering at 6am before the sun rises.
And by 2pm, earning a full fledged membership in The Walking Dead.
Short of patience.
Hungry for flesh and blood.
Jonathan Julian “Jon” Hopkins, 35, is a London-based producer and musician who writes and performs his own melodic electronica and dance music. After starting his career performing keyboard for Imogen Heap, he has produced or contributed to albums by Brian Eno, Coldplay, David Holmes, and others. Hopkins composed the soundtrack for the 2010 film Monsters, which was nominated for an Ivor Novello Award for Best Original Score. In 2011 Diamond Mine was nominated for a Mercury Prize, which is annually awarded for best album from the United Kingdom and Ireland. Immunity was also nominated for the 2013 Mercury Prize.
Find this song on Hopkins’ Album Immunity on iTunes here.
“Someday, sometime, you will be sitting somewhere. A berm overlooking a pond in Vermont. The lip of the Grand Canyon at sunset. A seat on the subway. And something bad will have happened: You will have lost someone you loved, or failed at something at which you badly wanted to succeed. And sitting there, you will fall into the center of yourself. You will look for some core to sustain you. And if you have been perfect all your life and have managed to meet all the expectations of your family, your friends, your community, your society, chances are excellent that there will be a black hole where that core ought to be. I don’t want anyone I know to take that terrible chance. And the only way to avoid it is to listen to that small voice inside you that tells you to make mischief, to have fun, to be contrarian, to go another way. George Eliot wrote, ‘It is never too late to be what you might have been.’ It is never too early, either.”
- Anna Quindlen, Being Perfect
Here’s my morning meditation. 20,000 to 40,000 big-eye trevally shoal as part of a mating ritual. MUSIC UP.
Here’s the point: If you aren’t expanding your resume every year, you are likely being getting lapped in the sport of business by those that do. You can improve a resume without changing jobs. You can add areas of expertise or new areas of project work. You can add volunteer work, hobbies or interests. You can add professional associations you’ve joined and contributed to. All of these additions give your career a sense of momentum, which gives you the confidence to embrace change. My point is more salient for those reading this post born in my generations (Boomer and Echo Boomer). We become very comfortable with our titles, our financial stability and our status…
Read more on how here.
Image Credit: Thank you Carol
…you just need to hug the Big Frog
Source: Thank you Carol
Zeke and I slow and stop on a narrow part of the trail as we close in on a walker and her puppy.
“Is he a Vizsla?”
She’s tall. Lean. Has to be 6′ 3″. A trace of Euro accent. East German Swimmer? Swedish Volleyball player?
Her cute 5-month old terrier is at her heels. Bouncing on her toes. Looking up at her Mommy with admiration.
“Aren’t Vizsla’s smaller?”
Her pup has a pink collar. Lean. Muscled. Beautiful dog.
She grins and points. There’s Zeke. He’s 20 yards off the trail. Rolling on his back, grinding in Deer urine.
I leash Zeke up. He’s still on his back, with all four legs in the air. His eyes manic, full, are locked on mine. He’s baring his teeth and growling.
“Zeke, Don’t Screw With Me.”
And, then with a firm, snap-tug on the leash, I drag him behind me until we’re back in rhythm.
Team Frito-Lay builds a head a steam and roars by Team Euro.
Big and Bad.
Time Check: 5 miles. 63 minutes.
Related Posts: Running Series. Image Source: Mine! Taken today on the run.
In truth, the dramatics of a life-determining experience are often unbelievably soft. It has so little akin to the bang, the flash, or the volcanic eruption that, at the moment it is made, the experience is often not even noticed. When it deploys its revolutionary effect and plunges a life into a brand-new light giving it a brand-new melody, it does that silently and in this wonderful silence resides its special nobility.
~ Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon: A Novel
“How does that happen?” Matthiessen asked me rhetorically, posing the question of the novel. He referred back to the novel’s epigraph, a poem by Anna Akhmatova that wonders, when we are surrounded by so much death, “Why then do we not despair?” Matthiessen looked at me, eyes dancing, beating on his leg in time as he said, “Something, something, something,” unable to name the mysterious life force that allows us to rejoice…
~ Jeff Himmelman
Peter Matthiessen, 86, died last night. R.I.P.
The quote above is an excerpt from Himmelman’s April 3, 2014 NY Times Magazine article titled Peter Matthiessen’s Homegoing.
From today’s front page story in the NY Times Peter Matthiessen, Lyrical Writer and Naturalist, Is Dead at 86:
“Zen is really just a reminder to stay alive and to be awake,” he told the British newspaper The Guardian in 2002. “We tend to daydream all the time, speculating about the future and dwelling on the past. Zen practice is about appreciating your life in this moment. If you are truly aware of five minutes a day, then you are doing pretty well. We are beset by both the future and the past, and there is no reality apart from the here and now.”
Matthiessen was an American novelist, naturalist, and wilderness writer. He was a three-time National Book Award-winner for The Snow Leopard and Shadow Country. He was also a prominent environmental activist. According to critic Michael Dirda, “No one writes more lyrically [than Matthiessen] about animals or describes more movingly the spiritual experience of mountaintops, savannas, and the sea.”
Matthiessen’s new book, In Paradise, is scheduled for release on April 8, 2014.
“…Johansson, now 29, is one of the most successful actresses of her generation—relevant, bankable, and all those terrible, tacky words. But her success owes itself less to any kind of star-making algorithm than it does a willingness to step outside expectations and experiment. She is not the kind of person or actress who has a master plan that she follows…”
“…She seems uninterested in taking any obvious path. “I’d rather take the chance of a film not working than be stuck in a pattern of making the same movie over and over,” she says. Getting older doesn’t unnerve her, either. “I don’t want to be the ingenue anymore,” she says. “That part I’m happy about. It’s nice to be glamorous, but I don’t want to always have to be trendy and glamorous and an object of desire. I don’t want to be stuck in that forever. Because it doesn’t last.”
…Still, Johansson speaks with urgency about the tension actresses often feel between balancing their careers and personal lives, particularly on the subject of family. It’s a topic that turns out to have happy urgency: A couple of months after we meet, reports will arrive that Johansson and Dauriac are expecting a child. “It seems so stressful to not be able to spend time with your family because you’re constantly chasing the tail of your own success,” Johansson says. She continues: “There must exist a world in which I can balance those things, be able to raise a family and still make a film a year, or work on my own, develop things, do theater. I want to be able to have it all.” She laughs. “Selfishly.”
…”I know that with that there will be some sacrifices. I know that’s the struggle with working mothers and successful careers. It happens.” But the scent of double standard is obvious, and Johansson doesn’t shy from it. “With [male actors] it just doesn’t happen that way. You can be every woman’s fantasy, and nobody thinks twice about the fact that you have eight kids or whatever.”
Read more at wsj.com here.
“Rugged, raspy, and roaring with charisma, Halifax’s Ben Caplan is to folklore what smoke is to bourbon. Perfectly coupled. Ben’s songwriting is as bold in range as it is in ferocity. Fueled by a quality of melodrama and powerful lyricism, it’s the romance and the manhood crashing with his voice that gives Caplan a truly innovative and experimental artistry. A sound that bridges the gap between controlled composition and unruly passion. Striding in pace with gypsy-inspired strings amid the sultry tones of clarinet and saxophone, Caplan has marked his place in the Canadian music landscape with a growling spirit similar to that of Tom Waits. Breaking between guitar, banjo, piano, and melodica, Caplan’s stage show is almost reminiscent of a burly and bearded Freddy Mercury; a raging, strong, and exploratory songwriter, it’s the blues in his soul, and the heart in your chest pounding as one that makes Ben Caplan & The Casual Smokers an act not to be missed.” (Source: Audioblood)
Liked this? Check out Ben Caplan’s Under Control.
Find Caplan’s Album on iTunes here.
Painting by Giorgos Rorris from Journal Of a Nobody. Giorgos Rorris was born at Kosmas, Arcadia Kinourias, Greece in 1963. In 2001 he was honoured by the Academy of Athens with the prize for “Young Painter less than 40 years of age”. In 2006 he was honoured by the “Alexandros S. Onassis” Foundation for his artistic work. His paintings form part of public and private collections. See more of his work here.
Do you know what is like to be like an elephant? walk like an elephant? eat like an elephant?
I’m rumbling down I-95.
Dave Matthews is blaring through the speakers. And has been joining me on the morning ride all week.
You’ve been off. Haven’t found your rhythm. It’s back. You’re burning it from both ends. The adrenaline – - it’s pumpin’.
I look down at the gas gauge. And then to the estimate of the mileage remaining. Annoyed at the interruption. Need to stop. Better stop. I pull over to the Mobile station.
I’m listening to the clicks on the pump. And find myself drifting off. There’s mist coming from my nose, rising up, and then disappearing into the darkness. I breathe in deeply. Exhale through the nose. And watch the show again. Magic. A Miracle. My morning moment of meditation. And like the wisp of air, Pessoa’s disquiet rushes to fill the stillness.
You’re more comfortable moving. You find peace in motion. Yet, you know it ain’t peace.
It’s hanging on my bulletin board in the office: “business is the art of getting people to where they need to be faster than they would get there without you.” A Hugh McLeod illustration. A Big red hand with index finger pointing up – #1. There it is. Your strength. Your core competence. The transference of your disquiet to others. Pushing the pace. Injecting your adrenaline. More. Better. FASTER.
i saw my grandmother hold out
her hand cupping a small offering
of seed to one of the wild sparrows
that frequented the bird bath she
filled with fresh water every day
she stood still
maybe stopped breathing
while the sparrow looked
at her, then the seed
then back as if he was
judging her character
he jumped into her hand
began to eat
a woman holding
a small god
~ Richard Vargas, why i feed the birds
For a man who holds a fork in one hand and a salt shaker in the other…Who’s been repeatedly scolded for the level of his salt intake…for salting his food before tasting it – - BooYah for me – - Boo Hoo to all my critics. You know who you are. New research spells it all out in Salt Guidelines Too Low for Good Health:
“Don’t toss out your salt shaker just yet: A new analysis from Denmark finds current recommended salt guidelines may be too low. The new research indicates that Americans consume a healthy amount of salt, even though daily averages exceed recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“For most people, there is no reason to change their dietary habits concerning salt, as most people eat what appears to be the safest amount,”
“…They found that low levels of salt consumption may be linked with a greater risk of death.”
Read more here.
It’s only a matter time. Life extension benefits of French Fries and Ice Cream are just around the corner.
NY Times: Spite is Good. Spite Works:
…Evolutionary theorists have long been intrigued by the origins and purpose of spite, and a new report suggests that sometimes spite can make right.
…The new research on spite transcends older notions that we are savage, selfish brutes at heart, as well as more recent suggestions that humans are inherently affiliative creatures yearning to love and connect. Instead, it concludes that vice and virtue, like the two sides of a V, may be inextricably linked.
…human decency and cooperation require a certain degree of so-called altruistic punishment: the willingness of some individuals to punish rule breakers even when the infraction does not directly affect them — challenging the guy who broke into the line behind you, for example.
…“It could be that Nietzsche was right about punishment,” Dr. Forber said, “that it originated as spite and only later was turned into a mechanism for maintaining fairness and justice.”
“…If you get the reputation as someone not to mess with and nobody messes with you going forward, then it was well worth the cost.”
“…It’s like the Mafia,” he said. “They end up reducing crime in the areas they inhabit.”
Read full article in NY Times: Spite is Good. Spite Works.