The tortured soul lives alone.
90-year Ed Bray served in WW II and served in Normandy.
He’s covered this up for 80 years.
Join me in being inspired by Mr. Bray. I was moved…
The tortured soul lives alone.
90-year Ed Bray served in WW II and served in Normandy.
He’s covered this up for 80 years.
Join me in being inspired by Mr. Bray. I was moved…
I tap open the weather app.
I glance out the window.
The morning is the hardest time. It is hard enough anywhere for a man to begin the day’s work in darkness…One may be a long time realizing it, but cold and darkness deplete the body gradually; the mind turns sluggish; and the nervous system slows up in its responses…But I must not dwell on it. Otherwise I am undone.
~ Richard Byrd
I stare at the ceiling.
Go later. There will be light. It will be warmer.
I pull the comforter tighter.
Zeke sighs and nuzzles closer.
Who are you kidding? Get up and out.
I climb out of bed.
Needing the pull of inspiration, I take a new route.
The master said:
You must write what you see.
But what I see does not move me.
The master answered:
Change what you see.
– Louise Glück, in Vita Nova
I think a lot about the contrast between banality and wonder. Between disengagement and radiant ecstacy. Between being unaffected by the hear and now and being absolutely ravished emotionally by it. And I think one of the problems for human beings is mental habits. One we create a comfort zone, we rarely step outside of that comfort zone. But the consequence of that is a phenomenon known as hedonic adaptation. Overstimulation to the same kind of thing, the same stimuli, again and again and again, renders said stimuli invisible. Your brain has already mapped it in its own head and you know longer literarily have to be engaged in it. We have eyes yet see not. Ears that hear not. And hearts that neither feel nor understand. There is a great book called “The Wondering Brain” that says that one of ways that we elicit wonder is by scrambling the self temporarily so that the world can seep in. Henry Miller says that even grass when given proper attention becomes an infinitely magnificent world in itself. Darwin said attention if sudden and close graduates into surprise, and this into astonishment, and this into stupefied amazement. That’s what rapture is. That’s what illumination is. That’s what infinite comprehending awe that human beings love so much. And so how do we do that? How do we mess with our perceptual apparatus in order to have the kind of emotional and aesthetic experience from life that we render most meaningful. Because we all know that those moments are there. Those are those moments that would make the final cut. Only in these moments we experience a fresh, the hardly bearable, ecstasy of direct energy exploding on our nerve endings. This is the rhapsodic, ecstatic, bursting forth of awe that expands our perceptual parameters beyond our previous limits. And we literally have to reconfigure our mental models of the world in order to assimilate the beauty of that download. That is what it means to be inspired. The Greek root of the term means to breathe in. To take it in. We fit the Universe through our brains and it comes out in the form of nothing less than poetry. We have a responsibilities to awe.
~ Jason Silva
Yes, it’s a commercial. But what is it with this time of the year, Red Balloons and a bit of kindness? You can’t help but be warmed by the faces in this ad…
The Avett Brothers /ˈeɪvɨt/ is a critically acclaimed American band from Concord, North Carolina. The band is made up of two brothers—Scott Avett (banjo) and Seth Avett (guitar). The band appeared on the 53rd Grammy Awards in 2011, playing “Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise.” Their sixth album The Carpenter (2012) was nominated for Best Americana Album Grammy (55th annual). The band released their sixth studio album, Magpie and the Dandelion, in October 2013.
Related Posts: Now the Afternoon Is Fading On (Avett Brothers)
Source: Thank you Anake
I am losing precious days.
I am degenerating into a machine for making money.
I am learning nothing in this trivial world of men.
I must break away
and get out into the mountains
to learn the news.
~ John Muir (1838-1914)
There is no passion to be found playing small -
in settling for a life
that is less
than the one you are capable of living.”
- Nelson Mandela (July 18, 1918 – December 5, 2013)
“A female Amethyst-throated Sunangel (Hummingbird) sleeps in Peru. It’s likely that this bird is in the early stages of arousal from deep torpor after disturbance. The gaping of the bill might be a way to breath deeply and bring in plenty of oxygen. When they are disturbed in torpor, they try to warm up as quickly as possible and that involves intense shivering. But initially, they are too cold for high-speed muscle action so it’s hard to see the shivering movements. The high pitched squeaking sound it is making is likely a cute side-effect of the gaping for oxygen. The noise is actually a lot more quiet than it seems, for whatever reason my camera picked it up and made it sound a lot louder. This experiment was performed with the guidance and supervision of some of the top experts in tropical ornithology. This bird was not harmed whatsoever, it was fed with sugar water throughout the experiment and was released safely. After the experiment was done, I watched the bird fly away myself, it was fine.”
I grow tensions
in a wood where
Each wound is perfect,
encloses itself in a tiny
Pain is a flower like that one,
like this one,
like that one,
like this one.”
- Robert Creeley, ”The Flower”
Robert Creeley (1926 – 2005) was a major American poet of the 20th century. He was born in Arlington, MA and was a teacher, a scholar, and a fierce presence: “I look to words, and nothing else, for my own redemption either as a man or poet.” He lost the sight in one eye in a car accident when he was two years old. The loss of his eye and his father, both early in life, affected Creeley profoundly. For the first half of his life he travelled as an outsider, his heavy drinking often leading to brawls with friends and strangers. Creeley was sometimes an angry young man who wanted “the world to narrow to a match flare”. Unable to sign up for World War II because of his sight problem, he joined the American Field Service and drove ambulances in India and Burma. He returned home with two medals…Just days before he died, he gave his final reading — in Charlottesville, Virginia — breathing from what he called “portable wee canisters of oxygen about the size of champagne bottles”. In between the poems Creeley said very simple things that rang true: “There has been so much war and pain during the last century. We need to learn how to be kind; kindness is what makes us human.”
(Read full Bio by Robert Adamson @ Jacket 26)
On the weekend of October 12th in Joshua Tree, California, artist Phillip K Smith III revealed his light based project, Lucid Stead. People as far away as New York City and Canada traveled to the California High Desert to experience it. Numerous media sources have asked to do cover stories on the work. Thousands of photos professional and amateur, were taken, posted and shared across blogs and social media sights. In just over 30 days, Lucid Stead officially became a phenomenon.
Composed of mirror, LED lighting, custom built electronic equipment and Arduino programming amalgamated with a preexisting structure, this architectural intervention, at first, seems alien in context to the bleak landscape. Upon further viewing, Lucid Stead imposes a delirious, almost spiritual experience. Like the enveloping vista that changes hue as time passes, Lucid Stead transforms. In daylight the 70 year old homesteader shack, that serves as the armature of the piece, reflects and refracts the surrounding terrain like a mirage or an hallucination. As the sun tucks behind the mountains, slowly shifting, geometric color fields emerge until they hover in the desolate darkness. This transformation also adapts personal perception, realigning one’s sensory priorities. A heightened awareness of solitude and the measured pace of the environment is realized.
Smith states, “Lucid Stead is about tapping into the quiet and the pace of change of the desert. When you slow down and align yourself with the desert, the project begins to unfold before you. It reveals that it is about light and shadow, reflected light, projected light, and change.”
British Columbia. 1970’s:
Mountain firs line the banks of the creek bed.
Shadflies, flit in from the shadows, and back out into the sun.
Mountain run-off, clear and pure, glistens, sparkles.
I’m standing knee deep.
I pick the line with my forefinger, click, cast and release.
The bait lands with a plop.
I start working the stream.
I’m Working it.
Caleb’s power knows no bounds. He’s scheduled Christmas Day on Wednesday, Hump Day. Caleb is THAT big.
“Damien Jurado is an American indie rock singer/songwriter from Seattle, Washington. He quietly built up one of the strongest catalogs on the indie scene, earning high critical praise yet somehow never quite getting his proper due. Nick Drake had a definite impact on much of his work, but Jurado modeled his career on more idiosyncratic, unpredictable figures like Neil Young, Bob Dylan, Lou Reed, or Randy Newman – songwriters who followed their own muse wherever it took them, whether fans and critics agreed or not. Many of Jurado’s best songs spun concise, literate tales of quiet everyday despair, which often earned him comparisons to short story writer Raymond Carver.”
His website can be found here: damienjurado.com
This tune can be found on his LP titled Caught in the Trees at this link.
Life is a question of nerves, and fibres, and slowly built-up cells in which thought hides itself and passion has its dreams. You may fancy yourself safe and think yourself strong. But a chance tone of colour in a room or a morning sky, a particular perfume that you had once loved and that brings subtle memories with it, a line from a forgotten poem that you had come across again, a cadence from a piece of music that you had ceased to play… I tell you, that it is on things like these that our lives depend.
— Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray
Hmmmm. If, like, a friend has multiple social personalities — like say a Dash. An Exclamation Mark. A Question Mark. Do they merge to create goodness?
“Although people say they want to be thanked more often at work, fewer than 50% of Americans polled for the John Templeton Foundation, a philanthropic organization, reported that they would be very likely to thank salespeople, their mail carriers, or cleaning crews, and just 15% express daily gratitude to friends or colleagues. 74% never or rarely express gratitude to their bosses—but 70% said they’d feel better about themselves if their bosses were more grateful.”
It’s Departure Day.
Eric is scheduled on the 7:40 am flight.
Rachel is returning later in the day.
There’s the awkward milling around the kitchen.
When everyone knows what’s coming next,
yet no one is a hurry to get on with it.
He’s scurrying around with his last minute packing.
I hover at a distance.
It is Dark.
And Cold. Temperature locked on 32° F.
We’re in the car.
The Kanigan Men are short (very) on small talk.
We ride in silence. [Read more...]
This place is home to the blood of this land.
An emerald green water full of life, and full of hope.
She’s had a long journey.
Thousands of miles she’s travelled.
Veining her way through rock and crevice.
Rugged and raw to bless us with her fertile waters.
A place painted by Gods and carved by time.
A mighty river and a mighty canyon in the land of the Navajo.
Her currents meander over stone and sand
In a rhythm uniquely her own
Her color unlike anything else
Her glimmer, mesmerizing.
She has a heartbeat.
She dances with the winds and the grass.
She dances with life and we’ve come for what’s beneath it all.
In this box of trickery,
a shimmer of gold.
A subtle twist of thread and wire.
The trout we seek are strong and smart.
A worthy test of our skills.
Our tactics and presentations must be perfect.
The throw of our line must gently lay on the waters’ currents.
This is what we’ve come for, and what we live for.
Our search for the perfect riffle.
The rise of a hungry trout.
Friendships and memories.
This is an unforgettable place,
Where the earth and the heavens come together.
There is life, warmth and beauty everywhere up here.
360 degrees of pure magic.
Around every turn our lens capture the light and the dark of it all.
A Father and Son.
A lone fisherman.
The love for nature and art.
And blurring the lines in between.
We now see life, light and shadow
in a different way than we did before.
And we walk away
without leaving a trace of our modern trappings.
While this gold piece of the natural world
has left an indelible mark
on our all of spirits.
BBQ Turkey Sandwich.
DK & RK Certified as deliciousness.
Made to instructions without deviation.
SMWI* = Saturday morning workout inspiration.
“Even now, all possible feelings do not yet exist, there are still those that lie beyond our capacity and our imagination. From time to time, when a piece of music no one has ever written or a painting no one has ever painted, or something else impossible to predict, fathom or yet describe takes place, a new feeling enters the world. And then, for the millionth time in the history of feeling, the heart surges and absorbs the impact.”
—Nicole Krauss, from The History of Love
Mary Lambert, 24, was born in Seattle, WA. Lambert is a singer-songwriter. She is also an award winning spoken-word artist. She published her debut book of poetry, 500 Tips for Fat Girls, in January of 2013. Lambert is known to be revealing in her poetry and music, often discussing her early childhood traumas, sexual abuse, body image, bipolar disorder, and her sexuality. Lambert’s songs, often emotionally charged, have been considered a mix of Adele, Tori Amos and James Blake. Her shows are described as “safe spaces where crying is acceptable and even encouraged.” Lambert was sexually abused as a child, and has described herself as “ending up being a depressed eight-year-old”. Her family was expelled from the church when she was six, after her mother came out as a lesbian. Lambert taught herself how to play piano and write songs at age 6, as an escape from her traumatic and abusive household.
And for some of her spoken word poetry, check out: I Know Girls
“I’d like to answer all my phone calls, return all emails in a timely manner and mean the how-are-yous; not hide my broken hallelujahs, not save my gratitude for characters in books. Put love on sale, like I should…I’d like to whisper to only a few souls under a blanket instead of shouting at hundreds over these virtual rooftops. I’d like to inhale people and exhale skin, explore huggability and memorize the art of breathing…I’d like to get up once a week with no other agenda than laziness in bed, no time, no musts or shoulds or have tos. Eat breakfast for dinner, juice for lunch, and talk to trees, and cry, walk backwards, love my solitude, and understand my doing by undoing.”
~ Andréa Balt
wsj.com – Drinking After 40: Why Hangovers Hit Harder. A few excerpts…
“I’m just going to be really clear about this, I’m not leaving my house today. Nope. Not happening, I’ll end up accidentally losing my sh*t and that just can’t happen.”
Adapted from I’m going to raise hell
Here are my selections for the inspiring posts of the week, this Thanksgiving week:
Greg @ Sippican Cottage with his post Thanksgiving 2013: “…I think the worst condition of man is loneliness. It is a terrible thing to be lonely, or worse, truly alone. No one goes crazy in general population. It’s solitary that eats at your mind. Even the craziest of men, immured in stone, unable to get even a glimpse of the bright, blue tent of the sky, scratch at the walls to leave a message; to tell another that they were there… I am not alone in this world, which is good, because I have a melancholy nature. I am married, and I have children to throw rolls over the table at one another. They are my name, scratched on the unyielding wall of the world, telling anyone that will bother to notice that I was here. My family makes me calm about many things…People don’t often appreciate things that come readily to hand. I’m a person… We will have enough to eat, and sit in a warm room, laugh and wonder at the dogeared cards we have been dealt, and I’ll try mightily to shed the light that is my true function, to make me more fit for my work. We will all pray over our plate like children. Thanksgiving is the only kind of prayer that you can be sure will work, because it faces backwards. I tap on the wall of the Intertunnel, too. I often feel disconnected from my fellow passengers on this spinning rock, moreso each day. I wonder if some other inmate, some fellow traveler, might hear my tapping, and be braced by the thought of a fellow internee. I often hear tapping in return, and it refreshes me to carry on.” Amazing post. More here. [Read more...]
A flock of 10,000 starlings put on an impressive show near Gretna, Scotland this week. Photographer Paul Bunyard films the poetry-in-motion spectacle of nature and puts it to music.
Liam Bailey, 30, born in Nottingham, England, is an English musician who is noted for his soul, reggae, blues vocals. He has been compared to Otis Redding, Dennis Brown, Jimmy Hendrix & BB King.
Tom Peter Odell, 23, was born in Chichester, West Sussex, England to an airline pilot father and a primary school teacher mother. He studied piano classically to Grade 7. He began writing his own songs at the age of thirteen but told no one, because he felt it was “uncool.”
How Not to Say The Wrong Thing by Susan Silk and Barry Goldman
It works in all kinds of crises – medical, legal, even existential. It’s the ‘Ring Theory’ of kvetching. The first rule is comfort in, dump out.
…Here are the rules. The person in the center ring can say anything she wants to anyone, anywhere. She can kvetch and complain and whine and moan and curse the heavens and say, “Life is unfair” and “Why me?” That’s the one payoff for being in the center ring.
Everyone else can say those things too, but only to people in larger rings.
When you are talking to a person in a ring smaller than yours, someone closer to the center of the crisis, the goal is to help. Listening is often more helpful than talking. But if you’re going to open your mouth, ask yourself if what you are about to say is likely to provide comfort and support. If it isn’t, don’t say it. Don’t, for example, give advice. People who are suffering from trauma don’t need advice. They need comfort and support. So say, “I’m sorry” or “This must really be hard for you” or “Can I bring you a pot roast?” Don’t say, “You should hear what happened to me” or “Here’s what I would do if I were you.” And don’t say, “This is really bringing me down.”
The Dancing Usher and an excited young fan have an impromptu dance-off when the Pistons played the Knicks at home Nov. 19, 2013.
Love this young man!
Thank you Eric.
Jon McLaughlin, 31, is an American pop rock singer-songwriter and pianist from Anderson, Indiana. His debut album Indiana was released on May 1, 2007. McLaughlin grew up playing piano since early childhood, though he disliked the lessons, and often sought to avoid them. Along with his older sister and brother, Jon McLaughlin began piano lessons at a very young age presenting an ability his parents hoped to foster. He loved playing the piano, and creating his own sounds, but lessons was another thing. “I took lessons every Thursday and I’d come home complaining to my mom. My dad traveled during the week for work, and when he’d call on Thursday nights, I’d inevitably give him the same grief I gave my mom. To their credit, they never forced the lessons; they allowed me to talk it through and somehow, at the end of every conversation, I’d say, “I think I am going to keep going.” They had infinite patience with me.” (Bio Sources: Wiki and MTV.)
The rest, as they say, is history.
You remember too much,
my mother said to me recently.
Why hold onto all that?
And I said,
Where can I put it down?
- Anne Carson, excerpt from “The Glass Essay“
Anne Carson, 63, is a Canadian poet, essayist, translator and professor of Classics. She was born in Toronto. She is known for her supreme erudition—Merkin called her “one of the great pasticheurs”—Carson’s poetry can also be heart-breaking and she regularly writes on love, desire, sexual longing and despair. She taught at McGill University, the University of Michigan, and at Princeton University. She was a Guggenheim Fellow and was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. A high-school encounter with a Latin instructor, who agreed to teach her ancient Greek over the lunch hour, led to her passionate embrace of classical and Ancient Greek classical literature, influences which mark her work still. She teaches ancient Greek and she frequently references, modernizes, and translates Ancient Greek literature. She has published eighteen books as of 2013, all of which blend the forms of poetry, essay, prose, criticism, translation, dramatic dialogue, fiction, and non-fiction. (Sources: Wiki & The Poetry Foundation)
Another favorite Anne Carson quote: “What is a Quote?“
50,726,203 Youtube views in one week. I might be the only one in the U.S. who hadn’t seen this. And yes, I’m a card carrying member of the Claude Van Damme fan club. Loved it (and the music).
Thank you Jack
Wind 16 MPH WNW.
Feels like 6° F. (Are.You.Out.Of.Your.Mind?)
I step out the door.
Autumn to Winter overnight.
Wind shearing through jacket.
It finds the bare skin between the sweatpants and socks.
And blows up my pant leg.
George Costanza. Shrinkage episode on Seinfeld.
Got to move.
Yesterday, the legs were pumping on the Elliptical machine.
Netflix movie running.
Today. Right knee is throbbing. Bitter cold.
The Question is Why? Why are you out here?
(Hundreds of blog posts. Not one has emanated from the elliptical machine. Not one.) [Read more...]
Don’t quit on this short film…
Darren Jew: “I’m fortunate enough to have spent the last 30 years of my life capturing and sharing the marine environments of the world. Of the things that I have photographed in my life, I enjoyed photographing the ocean the most. It’s my love. It’s my passion. The creatures within it. The way the light falls within the sea. To be able to capture that and show people what can be achieved with photography under the water is one of the things I love to do. I’ve been in the water with people that have seen whales for the first time, and their mask has been filling up with tears. It’s been that powerful of an experience. Every swim with a whale is different. I’m still in awe of their power and their grace and their acceptance of me when I’m in the water and what they offer up in terms of photographic opportunities. From a young age I’ve wanted to do exactly what I’m doing now. Every time I get in the water, I remember how lucky I am…I am trying to show images of the moments that are most important to me. The ones that have touched me. The ones that I feel are the most descriptive of the experience that I have when under the sea. Whether it’s 8 or 10 animals dancing in the beautiful sunrays. Or intimate moments with a calf interaction. Being able to share intimate moments with these animals is a real privilege…The thing about the Sea is that it is usually pretty silent. So, to have the sea full of whale song is like nothing else. There is no other experience that I could think of that is like it. It vibrates through your body. Literally, you can feel the sound. It is probably one of the most poignant experiences you can have in the ocean. The best encounters with whales are the ones where they are interested, curious about the swimmers in the water. And they’ll come up – look you in the eye. And that’s quite a profound moment. It’s like no other feeling that I’ve had before…Even after 30 years of seeing these amazing creatures in the ocean, sometimes I still have to remember to take pictures because I’m too busy of being in awe of what’s in front of me.”
“Ralph Waldo Emerson once asked what we would do if the stars only came out once every thousand years. No one would sleep that night, of course. The world would create new religions overnight. We would be ecstatic, delirious, made rapturous by the glory of God. Instead, the stars come out every night and we watch television.”
“WHATEVER”: They are looking for exit strategy and struggling to find one. Your point of view is completely dissed.
Source: Adapted from Themetapicture.com
James Bay, 22, is from Hitchin, UK. He brings his twist to the music of his heroes Carole King, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Jackson Browne and James Taylor.
NoiseTrade: Your first single “Move Together” seems to either be an intensely personal story or a fantastically deceptive work of fiction. Did you write it to be creative or cathartic?
James Bay: My best songs are always the most honest ones. I try and stick to things that are going on in my life; all the feelings and emotions that I really need to express. So yeh, I definitely had something to get off my chest when I wrote “Move Together.”
SMWI* = Saturday morning workout inspiration. Source: themetapicture.com
“One of the saddest realities is most people never know when their lives have reached the summit. Only after it is over and we have some kind of perspective do we realize how good we had it a day, a month, five years ago. The walk together in the December snow, the phone call that changed everything, that lovely evening in the bar by the Aegean. Back then you thought “this is so nice”. Only later did you realize it was the rarest bliss.”
Pecans + Bourbon + Cayenne Pepper + Sugar + Angostura Bitters = 2-Hand Feeding Frenzy
Lori, you’ve gone and done it again. Amazing. Thank you.
Recipe below. [Read more...]
~ JFK, May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963
Image Source: Dopediamond