SMWI*: Come on Ursula. Nobody believes that. No pain…

black-cat

Perfection is “lean” and “taut” and “hard” — like a boy athlete of twenty, a girl gymnast of twelve. What kind of body is that for a man of fifty or a woman of any age? “Perfect”? What’s perfect? A black cat on a white cushion, a white cat on a black one … A soft brown woman in a flowery dress… There are a whole lot of ways to be perfect, and not one of them is attained through punishment.

~ Ursula Le Guin, on dieters and exercisers in Ursula K. Le Guin – On Aging and What Beauty Really Means


Notes:

 

Mon-Tues-Wed-Thurs-Fri….Sat.

gif-fly-rush-crash-Saturday


Source:  via Flying Dream

5:00 PM Bell

snoopy-gif-tgif


Source: Your Eyes Blaze Out

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

panda-gif


Day in the life of a leader…


Source: gifak (administering medicine to Panda)

It certainly is

pumpkin


Source: Your Eyes Blaze Out

 

It’s Been A Long Day

sun conure


Notes:

Lightly child, lightly

bubbles, blow bubble


Credits:

  • 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.”
  • Image Source: Your Eyes Blaze Out.

 

Driving up I-95. With Gull.

seagull

It was three weeks ago, 6 p.m. and I’m on my evening commute home. I-95 is snarled in both directions. Heavy, slow-moving metal edging its way up, a car length at a time. I’m looking ahead to find a break. I see none. Waze flashes an update: “Your drive time is extended by 10 minutes. Accident ahead.”

But that’s not the story. No. That’s not what drifts in during my 7-mile run on Sunday. It’s not what emerges during a meeting late Monday afternoon. And it’s not what’s hanging around the edges, gently finding its place among the mental chatter of Work.

It’s a white speck 75 car lengths ahead, hovering a steady five feet above the sea of car tops.  A white speck, moving against traffic. First the speck. Then Wings. Then the gull.

The bird’s line is a straight shot.

Seagulls that I know, float in wind tunnels, they surf, they lallygag on shorelines. Not this one. This Gull’s wings are flapping, beating fiercely and maintaining the rhythm of an Olympic rowing crew free of its coxswain:  I need to get there. Quickly. I need to get there. Now.

It’s 15 car lengths now. The bird is keeping its line, passing under a bridge without interruption. Jet Gull – – at low altitude and maintaining flight speed. I’m locked in.

I bend my head to see him. He doesn’t look down, or around or even shift his glance. Focus. Hurry. Get there. Now.

Blink. He’s in my rear view mirror. Gull. Wings. A Speck. Gone.

My gaze turns back to the sea of cars in front of me. Gull, where are you going? Why the Rush?

Its 4am. Today, Hump Day.  Weeks later. I’m flicking through my Reader and I come across This.

A seagull froze, motionless, in the sky – lost in thought. Then suddenly it remembered something important, perhaps that life is as short as a blink, and went dashing off a full pelt.

Mikhail Shishkin, from The Light and the Dark

Synchronicity? Coincidence? Serendipity?

Hmmmmmm.


Notes:

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

camel-wednesday-hump-day-funny


Our morning ritual. My buddy reads me my Fan mail before we shower and take a long walk in the desert.


Notes: Source: themetapicture.com. Background on Caleb and the Wednesday Hump Day Posts: Let’s Hit it Again.

Fire Painter


French Canadian artist Steve Spazuk is from Lery, Quebec. Here’s his bio from Spazuk.com:

For the past 14 years, Spazuk has developed and perfected a unique technique that allows him to use the flame of a candle or the flame of a torch as a pencil to create his paintings with trails of soot. Using various tools, he intuitively sculpt the plumes of soot left behind in response to the shapes that appear on the canvas.

Spontaneity and chance are the heart and soul of his creative process. He does not censor. He does not direct. Spazuk opens himself to the experience. This in-the-moment creative practice coupled with the fluidity of the soot, creates a torrent of images, shadows and light. Fuelled by the quest of a perfect shape that has yet to materialize, he concentrate in a meditative act and surrender to capture the immediacy of the moment on canvas.

The human body fascinates him. Bodies in a perpetual metamorphosis are the language with which he express his thoughts on the human condition: emotions, opinions, stories that are born of his uncensored psyche. Spazuk often works piece by piece, collecting a multitude of unique elements that he assembles into mosaics.  Entities that, once grouped together, afford a different meaning and provide a new perspective that is both novel and complementary. He sees fragments of things, events, people, as a powerful metaphor of modern life and, even more so, of the way we perceive things through our senses and our minds. His work expresses how every one of us is a constituent fragment of the human community.

Check out an interview with Steve Spazuk and more of his work here.

Be sure to check out his website and his gallery of portraits here: Steve Spazuk Portraits.  Wow!

Here’s a self-portrait:

[Read more...]

Whispering. Whispering.

red hair

Through pride we are ever deceiving ourselves.
But deep down below the surface of the average conscience
a still, small voice says to us,
something is out of tune.

~ Carl Gustav Jung


Credits: Quote – Thank you Eclecticity. Photograph: eikadan

The Last Frontier. Right Here. Right Now.

black and white

I think there’s still a small block of original quiet
that exists in the world.
3 a.m. to 5 a.m. —
a last natural wilderness,
time’s shrinking little Antarctica.

Steven Hall, The Raw Shark Texts

 


Credits: Quote – A Sea of Quotes. Photography: Mirellamel via youreyesblazeout

 

Monday Mantra

misty-mirror

What kind of mind is odder
than his who mists
a mirror and then complains
that it’s not clear.

- Sor Juana Inez de la Cruz, “You Foolish Men” 


Credits: Photo – aspiringmama. Poem: bostonpoetryslam via schwonwieder

The differences are at the 5% level. That’s pretty good.

Craig Newmark

What surprises me, in a way, is how almost universally people are trustworthy and good. There are problems, and sometimes people bicker, which is a pain in the ass, but people are good. No matter what your religious background, we share pretty much the same values. There are some minor differences that we disagree on, but the differences are at the 5 percent level. That’s pretty good.

~ Craig Newmark, Founder of Craigs List in Founders at Work


Quote: Brainpickings. Photograph: bigmarketingsmallbusiness

The righteous will cross the paper bridge

light

Remember the story you learned as a child: When the hour arrives for us to proceed to the next world, there will be two bridges to it, one made of iron and one made of paper,” Peretz intoned. His words were heavy, but his voice floated on rings of smoke, a breath of fire and ash that hovered over the room full of Hebrew and Yiddish books, as if waiting to descend and consume them. Der Nister swallowed, breathing in the master’s air. “The wicked will run to the iron bridge, but it will collapse under their weight. The righteous will cross the paper bridge, and it will support them all. Paper is the only eternal bridge. Your purpose as a writer is to achieve one task, and one task only: to build a paper bridge to the world to come.

~ Dara Horn, The World To Come


Notes:

Riding Metro North. With Massenet.

42nd-new-york-city

I’m on the first train. I’m with my commuters deep into the morning papers. The silence is broken for three short intervals – the conductor collecting tickets and two stops on the Express. Otherwise, a library. 55 minutes of heaven.

Yet, the silence is thundering.

EBOLA. Mid-term elections. School shootings. Shooting rampage in the Canadian Parliament. Ukraine. Work-budget-goals. Man attacks NYC cops with a hatchet. Markets tumbling. Afghanistan. Iraq. Syria. Hong Kong protesters. Millions of air bag recalls. Stepfather Charged After 3-Year-Old Girl Beaten to Death at Brooklyn Shelter. OMG. Turn the page. Turn the page. Turn the page. Unable to find something Good, I put away the news, close my eyes, lean my head against the window and drift into Grand Central.

I twist in my ear buds, first right and then left. I exit the train to 42nd street with hundreds of early morning commuters.

Zibby introduces Jesse to classical music in Liberal Arts; DK had no such Muse. Yet, the impact is no less Divine. The biting winds of darkness and doubt whistling through the skull are placed on Pause. My 12-minute cross-town walk is filled with ethereal beauty, a peace, a calmness, a lightness. The delivery trucks. The yellow cabs, honey bees buzzing in and out. The shop owner opening the gate. A construction worker taking a long pull on his cigarette. A student sipping coffee in an empty Diner. The leaves on a lonely tree rustling from the gust of a passing bus. All of it, a symphony. [Read more...]

Cpl. Nathan Cirillo

cpl-cirillo-dogs

That’s a photo of Cpl. Nathan Cirillo’s dogs waiting for him to come home. Unfortunately, he’s not coming home. Not today. Not ever.

He was near the end of an hour’s duty standing honor guard at the foremost monument to his nation’s fallen soldiers, the granite and bronze National War Memorial in central Ottawa, when a gunman shot and fatally wounded him on Wednesday morning.  He was a barrel-chested young man with a ready smile, a gym buff with a fondness for rescue dogs, and the very proud father of a sandy-haired boy who had just started kindergarten. (NY Times)

And be sure not to miss this short NBC news segment that ran last night on Canada’s tribute to Cpl Cirillo. As a fellow Canadian, I was MOVED but the response.

NBC Nightly News: Funeral Held for Canadian Soldier Killed in Parliament Shooting

And Michael Petrou captures the mood in his NY Times Op-Ed essay titled Shattering the Peace on Parliament Hill:

HERE in Canada’s capital, Parliament Hill is about as majestic as public spaces get. The Parliament buildings, somber and gothic, push into the sky above the river. An expanse of green lawn slopes down to Wellington Street with its tourists and a hot dog vendor. The whole place would be imposing if the locals treated it with deference. But we don’t. There’s no security stopping pedestrians from getting onto the hill. On any given day you’re likely to find people on the lawn playing soccer or doing yoga. There are almost always protesters of some sort — usually polite and not that obtrusive. Activists calling for marijuana legalization occasionally gather to smoke pot. I’ve always been proud of the relaxed feel of the place, its accessibility and, frankly, its lack of visible security. It fits with my ideal of a government that isn’t separate from or above the people it serves. You don’t see portraits of our prime minister in Canadian schools or public buildings, either. After all, he’s not our head of state, and the government is Her Majesty’s; he merely runs it. On Wednesday, a gunman exploited this openness at the heart of Canada’s democracy. After murdering the Canadian soldier Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the nearby National War Memorial, he ran into the main Parliament building and was just outside members’ caucus rooms when he was shot dead

[...]As for Parliament Hill, it and downtown Ottawa had a far less placid atmosphere Wednesday. There were hundreds of armed men and women, dogs, sirens and, briefly, the faint smell of gunpowder. And yet the police were professional and respectful. Onlookers were calm. The hill may never fully return to what it was before, but I hope it comes close. Locked gates would seem out of place here.

 


Photograph: twitter

 

 

Saturday Morning

saturday-morning-weekend-relax-breathe-black-and-whites
I always forget how important the empty days are, how important it may be sometimes not to expect to produce anything, even a few lines in a journal. A day when one has not pushed oneself to the limit seems a damaged damaging day, a sinful day. Not so! The most valuable thing one can do for the psyche, occasionally, is to let it rest, wander, live in the changing light of a room.


Photographer: Heiner Luepke via Gabriel. Quote Source: Artpropelled

5:00 p.m. Bell: Fire up your engines…

TGIF-plane-take-off


Source: Dope Gifs

Slow it Down. Slow it Down. And Breathe. (116 sec)


This beautiful short film (Inspired by Iceland) is wrapped in tune titled Lover’s Spit by Canadian indie pop band Feist.

I like it all that way 
I like it all that way
I like it all that way


T.G.I.F.: One more day on treadmill

funny-gif-hamster-wheel-under-gif

And if you are really tired, work it lying down…


Source: themetapicture.com

 

Oooooooh. Bring it.

macaroni-cheese-sandwich

White cheddar macaroni and grilled cheese sandwich with crispy parmesan crust. With bacon. YOWZA!

(Reader Note: One slight omission. This happens to be a “cannibas infused” white cheddar mararoni and grilled cheese sandwich. We going drug-free-commando here.)


Source: trees.reddlr.com

 

Nostalgia for a lost world, an unrecoverable childhood

Quentin-tarantino

From Larissa MacFarquhar’s 2003 Profile of Quentin Tarantino:

“For every monologue he writes about an old movie or TV show, he writes one about European hamburgers or tipping waitresses or eating pork. … The love of minutiae, like the love of pop culture, is a form of nostalgia—a junk-food version of Proust’s madeleine. But, unlike madeleine-nostalgia—nostalgia for a lost world, an unrecoverable childhood—minutiae-nostalgia is nostalgia for a world that still exists, for a life you’re still living.”


(Source: newyorker.com). Photograph by Ruven Afanador

Lightly child, lightly

pop,


Credits:

 

Hump Day: Is it Friday yet?

hump-day-camel-funny


Source: Marie. Background on Caleb and the Wednesday Hump Day Posts: Let’s Hit it Again.

If it were always breakfast, I would be fine

coffee-breakfast-black-and-white

I wish the whole day were like breakfast, when people are still connected to their dreams, focused inward, and not yet ready to engage with the world around them. I realized this is how I am all day; for me, unlike other people, there doesn’t come a moment after a cup of coffee or a shower or whatever when I suddenly feel alive and awake and connected to the world. If it were always breakfast, I would be fine.”

― Peter Cameron, Someday This Pain Will Be Useful to You: A Novel


Notes: Peter Cameron Bio. Quote Source: Aseaofquotes. Photography: Jellyfox’s soup

Two Words: Goose Bumps


For the first time ever, researchers have used an unmanned hexacopter to monitor killer whales in the wild. In August 2014, Dr. Lance Barrett-Lennard, Vancouver Aquarium Senior Marine Mammal Scientist, collaborated with Dr. John Durban and Dr. Holly Fearnbach from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to use the hexacopter in the field.
Researchers will use the 30,000 photographs taken during 60 flights to assess northern resident killer whale health. From above, the scientists can assess their girth and determine whether the killer whales are sickly or pregnant. These photographs have already revealed several pregnancies, previously undetectable. This information will help guide management of the protected northern resident killer whale population, as well as the endangered southern resident population.

The APH-22 marine hexacopter was built by custom aerial photography company Aerial Imaging Solutions and is owned by NOAA. Its use was authorized by a marine mammal research license issued by Fisheries and Oceans Canada, a special flight certificate from Transport Canada, and animal care permits. The team of scientists also assessed the impact of the hexacopter itself on the animals, and they were able to determine that it went unnoticed by the whales.

Note: The noise in the video may sound loud, but these drones are actually very quiet. You would have to listen hard to hear the drone 10m above your head. The audio is recorded off a camera 30cm from the motors and attached to the frame. In the field the drone was high above the water and researchers noticed no reaction in the whales.


Thank you Rachel. Incredible.

Monday Mantra

gif-drum-beat

The human heart beats
approximately 4,000 times per hour
and each pulse, each throb, each palpitation
is a trophy engraved with the words
“you are still alive.”
You are still alive.
Act like it.

~ Rudy Francisco


Credits: Photograph/gif – youreyesblazeout. Poem Source – Conquer. Rudy Francisco – Bio.

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

kitten-cute-eyes-funny-adorable


Source: Madamescherzo

Running. With Planks.

Planking-Baby

6:02 am. Sunday, October 19, 2014. 52° F. Breezy. Autumn.

Mind rolls back to yesterday afternoon. Saturday at 4pm, and my body was signaling late Sunday. The heaviness of Work returned early, a thick Bay Area Fog. (Where’s my weekend?) I’m on a JetBlue flight heading South on Sunday afternoon to catch Monday morning meetings.

I’m ten pounds up from my six-month low. Ten pounds! My last running post was Sept 7th. My last run outside was Sept 14th. Over one month ago, and THAT run is still fresh. I glance at my notes from that day:

Garmin flashing 0.72 miles. Stomach cramps. They will work themselves out. Just slow it down. Keep your feet moving. 0.78 miles. Legs moving, body is haunched over. 0.80 miles. Pain ripping through left calf. I moan, stop and clutch my leg. No Mas. I turn and return home. To the couch.

I decide to break my pre-run routine. (Which, besides complaining about running, is to do nothing, but get out the door.)

I get down on my knees. I’m thinking 1 Plank. I position my iPhone stopwatch where I can see it. I take a deep breath in preparation.  (My blogger friends are deep under my skin. Bone deep.  If Lori can do three two-minute planks in one work-out and Carolann can do a four-minute plank, this is just a matter of practice, right? And, last time I checked, I’m a Man, right?)

I get in planking position. I’ll knock one of these off before my run, and then have something to write about when I return. I’m glaring at the stopwatch. (I’ll show them.)

25 sec.
(Think I got this.)

35 sec.
(Breathing a bit heavy, but I’m just finding my groove.) [Read more...]

The Sunday morning silence comes at last.

Eagle-Lake-Maine-autumn

The sounds of engines leave the air.
The Sunday morning silence comes at last.
At last I know the presence
of the world made without hands,
the creatures that have come to be
out of their absence.
Calls of flicker and jay fill the clear air.
Titmice and chickadees feed
among the green and the dying leaves.
Gratitude for the gifts of all the living
and the unliving,
gratitude which is the greatest gift,
quietest of all,
passes to me through the trees.

~  Wendell Berry, Sabbaths, 2007 XI


Credits:

  • Poem: Thank you Steve @ Anderson Layman’s Blog.
  • Photo from National Geographic. “Autumn’s grandeur spreads across Eagle Lake on Mount Desert Island, one of several coastal islands that make up Acadia National Park in Maine. Eagle Lake, which supplies water to nearby Bar Harbor, is deep, clear, and relatively free of plant life.”

SMWI*: A Vertical Life


Don’t give up on this one too soon. The location is Byron Glacier in Alaska. “Byron Glacier  was essentially a gift of unclimbed boulders sitting in a valley draped with hanging glaciers. Heaven on earth, or so I thought.” (Read more about inspiration for this video here: A Vertical Life.)

LOVE the music. It’s “Work Song” by Hozier. Hozier, 24, is Andrew Hozier-Byrne who is an Irish musician from Bray, County Wicklow. He released his debut studio album Hozier in Ireland in September 2014.


SMWI*: Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration

Saturday Morning

nose


Source: Peeblespair

5:00 P.M. Bell

gif-dance


Source: Youreyesblazeout

T.G.I.F.: Why did the chicken cross the road?

chicken-road-funny

It had been crossing so long it could not remember.
As it stopped in the middle to look back,
a car sped by, spinning it around.
Disoriented, the chicken realized
it could no longer tell which way it was going.
It stands there still.

— John McNamee, Kafka’s joke book


Source: Photograph: Robin Loznak. Joke: kafkaesque-world

 

 

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

funny-penguin-gif


And don’t miss a full series of terrific penguin gifs here: observation deck

Throwback Thursday: Remember when…

minnow-hands


Source: jaimejustelaphoto

Morning Helicopter Ride Over San Francisco (200 sec)


Short video titled: “A Typical San Francisco Morning” which was shot with a hand held camera out of a helicopter during two morning flights this month. Incredible…


Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

funny-camel-selfie-friends

Here’s Caleb taking a selfie with this buds!


Notes: Source: themetapicture.com. Thank you Susan & thank you Horty for sharing this photo. Background on Caleb and the Wednesday Hump Day Posts: Let’s Hit it Again.

It’s been a long day

gif-cat-cute-adorable-pet


Source: Gifak

It only gets better from here…

middle-age

wsj.com – The Myth of the Midlife Crisis:

  • According to a growing body of research, midlife upheavals are more fiction than fact.
  • Life satisfaction reaches a low point around the mid-40s, perhaps due to stress associated with the simultaneous demands of work and family. But it rises after that.
  • Midlife, he adds, “is a surprisingly positive time of life.”

And yet, I can’t help but parrot Franz Kafka: “My condition is not unhappiness, but it is also not happiness, not indifference, not weakness, not fatigue, not another interest –so what is it then?”

Then — with a thunderous roar replied…

lightning-greece-corfu

The Gods called your name
and the seas turned dark;
the earth quaked with power.

You looked up at Olympus
screaming at the gates;
“What will I become?”

The Gods fell silent, then-
with a thunderous roar replied;
“Who are you now?”

— Achilles


Credits: Poem via Mirroir.  Photograph: Lightning Storm in Corfu, Greece. Thank you Cristi. (With Greek Mythology, you need to bring a fantastic photo from Greece!)

 

Monday Mantra

monday-mantra-start


Source: Justlyrics (from “Same Love” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis f/ Mary Lambert)

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

puppy-cute-adorable-sleepy-yawn


Source: Brown Dress With White Dots

Bethany Gosvener

bethany-gosvener-art

Bethany Gosvener is a Portland, OR based visual artist.

So here I am.  Doing exactly that,  and freaking out every bit of the way.  Ha.  I’m grateful for those few years of trial and error.  They allowed me time to develop and teach myself a variety of skills.  It may sound odd,  but even I am still shocked to see the work I’m doing.  I can’t believe I had no idea this natural ability was within me.  I am in an endless debt of gratitude to Steven for pushing me,  supporting me.  For loving me through some of the hardest times of my life.  It blows me away. I am so blessed.


Image Source: Jaimejustelaphoto

Cold

snowflake-cold

As if to spare the birds at the feeder
any more competition than they already have
a snowflake drops right past the perches
crowded with finches, nuthatches, sparrows,
and without even thinking to open its wings
settles quietly onto the ground.

~ Ted Kooser. December 23, Cold. Winter Morning Walks: One Hundred Postcards to Jim Harrison


Credits: Snowflake photograph – Snowflakes and Snow Crystals by Alexey Kljatov. (45° F this morning. Cold is coming.)

I love Saturday Mornings!

inspirational


Source: So Many Cute Animals. (Photo so much like Zeke, not Zeke!)


T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

snoopy-tgif-friday-raining-


Source: thatonemeaningfulthing

These feet are bangin’ the floor this morning

funny-morning-inspirational


Thank you Kurt @ culturaloffeirng

 

Hush

Charlie-Imagenes-

Have you ever heard the wonderful silence just before the dawn?
Or the quiet and calm just as a storm ends?
Or perhaps you know the silence when you haven’t the answer
to a question you’ve been asked,
or the hush of a country road at night,
or the expectant pause of a room full of people
when someone is just about to speak, or,
most beautiful of all,
the moment after the door closes and
you’re alone in the whole house?
Each one is different, you know,
and all very beautiful if you listen carefully.

~ Norton Juster


Notes: