Riding Metro North. With Leaner.

Claustrophobia_I_by_RGreene

The mercury tipped 27° F.
It’s the fifth day of Spring. Spring. Right.

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. (Dickens)

The only thing Dickens got right in this passage was the book title: Great Expectations, and mine for the weather.

It was one of those March days when the sun doesn’t shine at all and the wind blows cold: when it is winter in the light, it is winter in the dark and it is winter in the shade. (DK)

It’s 5:45 am. I’m standing on the platform with a handful of others.  The remaining commuters wait for the 5:57 train in the warming station.

But not me. No Sir. I refuse to cede my place at the front of the not-yet-formed line.  Close to memory are my last two rides — unable to find a seat, I stood the entire 55 minute ride. Technical correction: there was an unwillingness, a steadfast refusal to sit in the middle seat.  Just not an option. I need my space.

I board the train. I’m the first on, my wait paying off.  I find an empty two-seater and sit next to the window. I settle in and start into the morning papers.  The warm air from a vent caresses my feet and legs. It’s going to be a good day. [Read more…]

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

ostrich-funny-TGIF


Barcelona based photographer Yago Partal pairs animal heads with human bodies to reveal their inner beast through their clothes.  Don’t miss other Zoo Portraits in the series at mymodernmet.com.

Riding Metro North. With the Crusaders.

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It’s 27° F. I’m fast stepping to catch the 6:16 am train to Grand Central. My soles are snapping the rock salt crystals. The eyes are scanning the sidewalk on the look out for black ice. It’s March. It’s damn cold. I shiver. It’s over. It’s over soon.

I review my notes for my 8:30 am presentation. And then shift to the morning papers.  I scan my calendar.  I complete the Morning rituals. I’m done early.

The gear box is misfiring. Where’s the pre-game anxiety? Where’s the morning email missives? Where’s the pullin’ Locomotive?

The noise-canceling earphones and the music player are dialed up. I’ve encased Myself inside Myself. Myself and Bob Seger, Against the Wind.

My phone vibrates signaling a text from Rachel — she’s two trains behind me. Hi Daddy! I send her a link in reply: FDA Panel Backs Kythera Double-Chin TreatmentThanks Dad. Another genetic beauty mark that you’ve passed down to me. I chuckle. She’s mine. Not yet 7 am and she’s counterpunching. That’s My Girl.

The train enters a long, slow curve into Manhattan.  Rachel is leaning into the curve, behind but with me — her electronic Hi Daddy, Oliver’s soft wind, like a belt of silk, wraps the house.

We’re in the tunnels. The normal pulse escalation zone. I’m watching the Commuters scrambling to gather their bags to prepare for ejection.  I’m watching. Sitting. At Peace, Calm and Centered – with Seger crooning in the background. Damn de-stabilizing. Mad-Man turned Zen.

I let the masses pour out of the train and clear. I follow behind the herd.

I exit out onto 42nd Street and Vanderbilt, and she catches me catch her eye.

I’m OFF. Again. FAIL! Commuters Creed: Avoid eye contact. [Read more…]

Transfiguration (aka Wow)

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“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.”

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


Source: Precious Things 

MMM*: And you say, what?

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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

Awe-Most-Real

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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

 

 

The Caring Hand

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


Source: Splitterherzen

 

Matisse. Unplugged. And uncovered after 70 years.

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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:

SMWI*: Urban Yoga

Anja-Humljan_Urban_Yoga_vegetables

“Artist, architect, dancer and yoga teacher Anja Humljan created the Urban Yoga project, inviting people to join and surrender with their whole body to what they smell, touch, taste, see and hear in order to experience how does their city feel. Humljan went off the mat and into the city to change the way we feel, breath and move through urban environment. For her, our urban environment should not be regarded as something, which disturbs our harmony, but rather as a vital element that contributes to it.

[Read more…]

A Walk In The Snow

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This week’s cover of The New Yorker is Mark Ulriksen’s “A Walk in the Snow”:

In his recently published book, “Dogs Rule Nonchalantly,” Ulriksen explains his predilection for painting man’s best friend: “Dogs give you their undivided attention,” he writes. “They watch your every gesture, read your every emotion, listen attentively to every word you say—until they hear the rustle of a bag of chips being opened.” Or, in the winter after a snowstorm, until you open the door to go outside.

Be sure to check out several of Ulriksen’s images of dogs here: Mark Ulriksen’s “A Walk in the Snow”.


Notes: