H is for Helen

Helen-macdonald-hawk

Q: What moves you most in a work of literature?

A: Honesty, vulnerability, moments of forgiveness and redemption, and a recognition that we are all small and our lives so short.

~ Helen Macdonald: By the BookThe author of a 2015 Best Book of the Year“H Is for Hawk” 


Notes:

  • Inspired by: “Read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read, read.” — Werner Herzog
  • Photograph: thetimes.com

A little dazed perhaps (wow)

A little dazed perhaps…(right!)


Miracle? All of it. 

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At times these days I think of the way the sun would set on the farmland around our small house in the autumn. A view of the horizon, the whole entire circle of it, if you turned, the sun setting behind you, the sky in front becoming pink and soft, then slightly blue again, as though it could not stop going on in its beauty, then the land closest to the setting sun would get dark, almost black against the orange line of horizon, but if you turn around, the land is still available to the eye with such softness, the few trees, the quiet fields of cover crops already turned, and the sky lingering, lingering, then finally dark. As though the soul can be quiet for those moments.

All life amazes me.

~ Elizabeth Strout, My Name Is Lucy Barton: A Novel


Elizabeth Strout won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for Olive Kitteridge.  Her new book, My Name Is Lucy Barton, was selected as An Amazon Best Book of January 2016.  The excerpt above is not representative of the storyline but Strout is a master at story telling.  “My Name is Lucy Barton” is highly recommended.

Check out the book reviews:


Notes:

  • Related Posts: Miracle? All of it.
  • Inspired by Albert Einstein’s quote: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Let’s just say: “Oh”

meat-water-vegan-vegetarian


I had to validate. I did.  See water.usgs.gov for fact check.

And this “theme” has been top of mind following a passage I read in Elizabeth Strout’s new book:

I asked if my brother had a job. “He has no job,” my mother said. “He spends the night with any animal that will be killed the next day.” I asked her what she had said, and she repeated what she had said. She added, “He goes into the Pedersons’ barn, and he sleeps next to the pigs that will be taken to slaughter.”

~ Elizabeth Strout, My Name Is Lucy Barton


Source: Thepoetoaster

Post Long Weekend Wake-Up Call

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Source: Lemur via Exactly

 

Eric’s Excellent Adventure

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unnamed

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Iceland-northern-lights-eric-kanigan


Photos taken by Eric Kanigan in Iceland on January 4-6, 2016

Ethereal Blue

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steve-mandel-antarctic-glacier-blue

“Photographer Steve Mandel recently ventured to Antarctica where he captured breathtaking images of glaciers. His frosty shots are a unique twist on landscape photography—instead of presenting one view of the icebergs, the California-based creative shot a split view in a single frame. Half of the picture shows the glacier above water, while the other part illustrates what lies beneath.

‘This was my first [time] shooting above and below shots,’ Mandel tells us in an email. ‘I was inspired by some images I had seen taken by a National Geographic photographer.’ He’s fascinated by the form, color, and physics of icebergs, and explains what makes them so special. ‘The top of the glacier is white because it is new snow, that over time, compresses. The beautiful blue color in the ice is older ice in which the air has been partially compressed out.’ This delicate balance produces images that often have an otherworldly feel to them, and with this series, Mandel has captured moments frozen in time.”

Don’t miss other Mandel’s other photos in the series at his website: Antarctic Ice

Don’t miss the interview with Steve Mandel: My Modern Met


Source: My Modern Met

One Planet. Two Worlds.

beijing-skating-smog

World 1: Playing hockey on a frozen river in Beijing despite heavy smog.

[Read more…]

Miracle? All of it. 

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Whirring notes of a varied thrush soak in through the walls of sleep.  Gradually ascending toward consciousness, I struggle to remember where we are, then realize what shore these songs ring out across. As the sky pales toward sunrise, I awaken to a world of dreams.

More varied thrushes join the first, until the woods and thickets chime like a chorus of bells. Other birds blend into the medley: fox sparrow, robin, hermit thrush, winter wren, ruby-crowned kinglet, Townsend’s warbler. Their sounds are trapped and magnified in the forest, made rich and deep in the saturated air – ribbons and lacework of song, shadows and flickers of song, splinters and shards of song, and the whispered secrets of unfamiliar song.

The cove fills up with bird voices, until even the noise of surf fades to irrelevance. And what of the songs beyond this patch of shore? If we hiked down the beach or back through the woods, we would hear the same chorus, repeated endlessly, permeating the air with sweet, mingled phrases. I wonder how many thousands of birds are singing at this moment on the island alone? How many millions along the north Pacific shore? And how many billions in the curved shadow of dawn that lies along the continent’s western flank? Throughout this vast expanse the land breathes with song and pours an anthem of morning into the sky. In the flow of a summer sunrise, the living continent sings.

~ Richard Nelson,  The Island Within


Inspired by Albert Einstein’s quote: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.”


Notes:

Home

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I smile at the thought that the entire history of our family has played out in the fields and villages stretching away beneath that fell, between Lake District and Pennines, for at least six centuries, and probably longer. We shaped this landscape, and we were shaped by it in turn. My people lived, worked, and died down there for countless generations. It is what it is because of them and people like them. It is, above all, a peopled landscape. Every acre of it has been defined by the actions of men and women over the past ten thousand years. Even the mountains were mined and quarried, and the seemingly wild woodland behind us was once intensively harvested and coppiced. Almost everyone I am related to and care about lives within sight of that fell. When we call it our landscape, we mean it as a physical and intellectual reality. There is nothing chosen about it. This landscape is our home and we rarely stray long from it, or endure anywhere else for long before returning. This may seem like a lack of imagination or adventure, but I don’t care. I love this place; for me it is the beginning and the end of everything, and everywhere else feels like nowhere.

~ James Rebanks, The Shepherd’s Life: Modern Dispatches from an Ancient Landscape.


Photo by James Rebanks. Don’t miss his other magnificent photos at bbc.co.uk – The Shephard’s Life

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