Late afternoon meeting. Location: Cross town.
83°F. Mid August. Sticky. Cotton dress shirt is clinging to my chest.
Take a Cab? Rachel suggests it’s 15 minutes point to point on foot. Cab? A crap shoot in cross town traffic.
I hoof it down 47th. Building construction has cut the sidewalk in half. 2 lanes, with a solid lane divider. No passing due to heavy oncoming traffic.
I’m closing the gap with a middle aged man in front of me. His head is down tapping on smartphone. My pace slows to crawl. I cut the gap to a few feet.
I try to pass on his right. Not enough room. I slow and trail behind him.
What’s the rush, right? Breathe a little.
He hasn’t lifted his head. Inconsiderate SOB is still tapping out texts. Oblivious to the growing conga line behind him.
Excerpt from wsj.com: “Have You Twittered Away Your Summer” by Danny Heitman:
“…As a veteran journalist, I’d be wary of following Twain’s example in disregarding an editorial deadline. But his larger point—that savoring the sheer joy of travel is more important than documenting it—resonates with special urgency these days, as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram compel us to chronicle every moment of a journey in real time. Can this kind of reportorial obsession destroy the very moment we’re trying to capture? Wendell Berry, writing a generation ago, thought that it could. In “The Vacation,” a poem published in his 1994 collection, “Entries,” Berry considers a tourist intent on faithfully recording his seasonal getaway:
Once there was a man who filmed his vacation.
He went flying down the river in his boat
with his video camera to his eye, making
a moving picture of the moving river
upon which the sleek boat moved swiftly
toward the end of his vacation. . . .
And so the poem continues, with Berry’s exacting traveler translating each fleeting moment of his sojourn into the comfortable permanence of videotape. He’s so busy filming his day, though, that he forgets to live it. “With a flick of the switch, there it would be,” Berry writes of this homemade travelogue. “But he would not be in it. He would never be in it…”
Read more @wsj.com: “Have You Twittered Away Your Summer“
Image Source: Travel & Leisure. Photo courtesy of @danielkrieger: Halfeti along the Euphrates river in Turkey
Caleb and his friends: “Say Cheese”
Find more @ Fine Dining Lovers: “Milking It In Africa: Ethiopian Camel Cheese
…after a long day, you need to hang out with your best friend
My own brain
is to me the most unaccountable of machinery -
and then buried in mud.
What’s this passion for?
~ Virginia Woolf
Credits: Poem – Et in Arcadia Ego*
It is the Treehotel’s Bird’s Nest room in Harads, in northern Sweden. From the outside, the room resembles an actual nest, a conglomerate of giant twigs. But from the inside, the room looks like that of a luxury resort. It’s large enough to sleep four. The design was to provide a contrast between indoors and outdoors.
Don’t miss photo’s of the inside of the Bird’s Nest Room at Grindtv.com: Treehotel puts you up…in a bird’s nest.
Image Source: YourEyesBlazeOut
He considers his latest film (The Giver), co-starring Taylor Swift and Meryl Streep, a cautionary tale. “I think it’s an impulse for human beings to want to suffer less, and we’re kind of addicted to comfort at all costs—at least I am. And of course comfort has a price,” he says. “So the film is asking…what’s the true cost of our comfort, and what are we willing to pay?”
What is he too comfortable with? Sitting on a long white leather couch at a photo studio in New York, Mr. Bridges holds up a half-eaten almond croissant. “I love taste, and I love the immediate gratification of flavor and that satisfying swallow you feel all over,” he says. “But I look at my body and I should say, ‘Is that really the most healthy thing for me?'”…
But leaning back and eyeing the last of his croissant, he says that he is constantly dealing with the idea of perfection. “Wouldn’t it be great if I stopped eating this and worked out every day?” he asks. “Imperfection and perfection go so hand in hand, and our dark and our light are so intertwined, that by trying to push the darkness or the so-called negative aspects of our life to the side…we are preventing ourselves from the fullness of life.”
He’s referring to one of his favorite quotations by the Russian author Alexander Solzhenitsyn: “…the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?” Mr. Bridges interprets it as a reason not to judge other people. “You’re saying that guy’s evil, somebody else is saying you’re evil, and we all have that in common, but as The Dude might say, ‘That’s just your opinion, man,’ ” he says. “What I’m proposing is that we’re all connected, and we’re all in it together.”
~ Alexandra Wolfe in her interview of 64-year old actor Jeff Bridges
Read full interview in wsj.com: Things That Jeff Bridges Can’t Abide
Notes: NY Times Movie Review of The Giver
SMWI*: Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration. Source: memeguy.com
Here’s Eric with his Mom at 9 years old.
And here’s Eric with his Mom last night in front of the restaurant in Norwalk where we had dinner. He’s now 20:
Related Monty Python and The Holy Grail Posts:
Source: themetapicture.com. Thanks Susan.
…False. Not Zeke. Our Zeke wouldn’t stand still for 3 seconds. Love this dog and the spray paint art.
Now, here’s Rachel’s shot of our Zeke in his real pose (and yes, bribed to look up for a treat).
(Yet) another great piece by Mark Morford on the aftermath of Robin Williams death titled: A little spark of madness:
Was this really necessary?…
No answer comes. This is the beautiful, brutal secret of the universe. No answer ever comes. It just keeps dancing.
…Really now, do we not invent many of our own demons, feed and coddle them, manufacture and amplify and make them into unstoppable armies? Given the size of the population, our rapacious rates of consumption, the dazzling reach of the Internet and the speed at which suffering can now gain traction and travel, we have more potential threats to the stability of our psyche – both personal and collective – than we’ve ever had before…
But then, what of the popular Jungian notion that the dark side, the shadow is ever-present and ever lurking? What do we make of the idea that we are ever at the mercy of our own treacherous temptations and inherent flaws? What of the fear that whatever took down Williams is ever breathing at all our doors?…
What do you think?…
Read his wonderful perspective and inspirational conclusion @ A little spark of madness:
Credits: Image form Living in Maine
Why, it might be asked, does literature have to have a business at all? Is it not sufficient that it give pleasure, convey information, widen experience, provide flashes of insight? One reads the world’s finest novels, plays, poems, and in time one becomes a more cultivated person, which means somehow more refined, subtler, deeper, possibly even—though this might be pushing it—better. You are what you read; and culture, like heredity and cheap paint, rubs off.
~ Joseph Epstein, A Literary Education and Other Essays. Axios Press.
Notes: Image Source – Distant Passion
Caleb, his harem and baby Albino out for a walk on Hump Day…
Source: Benoit Cappronnier. Camels and baby albino camel taken in Massawa, Etritrea.
We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race. And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for. To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?” Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?
~ Robin Williams as John Keating, Dead Poets Society (1989)
He takes everything, he says, more slowly now…”You know, I was shameful, and you do stuff that causes disgust, and that’s hard to recover from. You can say, ‘I forgive you’ and all that stuff, but it’s not the same as recovering from it. It’s not coming back.”
…it may well be down to the open-heart surgery he underwent early last year, when surgeons replaced his aortic valve with one from a pig.
“Oh, God, you find yourself getting emotional. It breaks through your barrier, you’ve literally cracked the armour. And you’ve got no choice, it literally breaks you open. And you feel really mortal.” Does the intimation of mortality live with him still? “Totally.” Is it a blessing? “Totally.”
- Robin Williams, 63, [July 29th 1951 - August 11th 2014]. RIP.
Notes: Photo – Tracylord
Think of one of those Chuck Close self-portraits. The face takes up the entire image. You can see every pore. Some people try to introspect like that. But others see themselves in broader landscapes, in the context of longer narratives about forgiveness, or redemption or setback and ascent. Maturity is moving from the close-up to the landscape, focusing less on your own supposed strengths and weaknesses and more on the sea of empathy in which you swim, which is the medium necessary for understanding others, one’s self, and survival.
~ David Brooks, Introspective or Narcissistic?
Source: Kristina Krause
And I fallen in love where I wasn’t supposed to be
Right in front of me, talk some sense to me
Amber Run are a five piece band from Nottingham, UK formed in 2012. London Contemporary Voices is one of London’s leading non-traditional choirs. They specialise in work with established artists such as festivals, gigs and recording. They regularly put on their own concerts, covering a broad repertoire leaning towards contemporary popular and leftfield music. They are a young mixed-voice choir of 40 singers, all auditioned to a high standard.
Steps for Longevity: A recent study has found that running for just five minutes a day, even at a slow pace, has similar health benefits to running for longer periods.
Notes: SMWI*: Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration. Image Source: gifak
Source: Atrocity Exhibition
Source: themetapicture.com (Thanks Susan)
A man got his leg wedged between the train and the platform while boarding a train in Perth, Australia on Tuesday. Crowds grew, watching and then pushed against the side of the train, tilting the train car so the man could free his leg. People clapped when the man’s leg was freed, and the train was on its way a few minutes later. The man’s injuries aren’t believed to be serious. (See full video here at ABC News.)
Image Source: 4gifs.com
It continues to haunt. James Joyce and Ulysses. Unfinished, brooding on my book shelf. I first discussed his book in a earlier post: Just Can’t Finish. Then I tripped into this video. Luck? I don’t think so. It’s time. Time to pull it off the shelf and give it another whack…
Larry Kirwan, 71, Irish writer and musician, on James Joyce:
Never once did he doubt his own genius, and God knows he had a awfully hard life. He became almost blind to his always broke, always borrowing. And yet he knew his strength. His strength for story, and words and music. I think we read him because of his music and his rhythms. Catching the soul of a person. And catching the inner dialogue, say in the Molly Bloom thing, you could never have met a woman and read Molly Bloom and know what a woman is about. He’s that strong a writer to me.
Frank Delaney, 71, Irish journalist, author and broadcaster, on James Joyce:
This is what he does better than anyone else. He understands the tiny sins, the tiny virtues, the tiny venalities, the tiny advantages that people will look for in life. And nobody else ever did that before and nobody, I would contend, has done it as well since.
She showed up here with a comment in March, 2012. How? From where? No idea.
She rings the morning bell at the crack of dawn with a dash of wit or splash of insight – softening up the spillway for others to come behind her. Gentle. Grace. Light.
I’ve had a handful of guest bloggers post on my blog. Don’t miss: The Final Act of Love
Her post was recognized by WordPress as one of the best of the day in “Freshly Pressed“: An Ode to Entomology
Here’s an excerpt from her beautiful post yesterday on the Eve of a Big Day:
Perhaps that’s it – I still believe in wonders. In fact I think I notice them more than ever before. Wonder in the breath of the wind, the intangible, unbreakable connections that tie me to those I love. Wonder at how much more meaning my days have now that they have fewer requirements to dilute the attention I might give to the sun on my face. And while I marvel, I also realize how tightly I am holding onto this life. How much I love the moments as well as the spaces in between, when I breathe in the absolute sweetness of being a part of it all.
Read more here: Suddenly Sixty
Happy Birthday Mimi.
Image Credit: calendar.org
“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”
~ Aldous Huxley, Music at Night and Other Essays
↓ click for audio (“Ruth and Sylvie” by Daniel Hart)
Bellys’ down on Hump Day and bask in it!
Photograph: Jim Boud. Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
As you prepare your breakfast, think of others
(do not forget the pigeon’s food).
As you wage your wars, think of others
(do not forget those who seek peace).
As you pay your water bill, think of others
(those who are nursed by clouds).
As you return home, to your home, think of others
(do not forget the people of the camps).
As you sleep and count the stars, think of others
(those who have nowhere to sleep).
As you express yourself in metaphor, think of others
(those who have lost the right to speak).
As you think of others far away, think of yourself
(say: If only I were a candle in the dark.)
— Mahmoud Darwish, “Think of Others”
When the mind becomes highly relaxed and alert at the same time, three wonderful qualities of mind naturally emerge: calmness, clarity, and happiness. Here is the analogy. Imagine you have a pot of water full of sediments, and imagine that pot is constantly shaken and agitated. The water appears cloudy. Imagine that you stop agitating the pot and just let it rest on the floor. The water will become calm and, after a while, all the sediments will settle and the water will appear clear. This is the classical analogy of the mind in the alert and relaxed state. In this state, we temporarily stop agitating the mind the same way we stop agitating the pot.
A 3M Post-It Note. Picture not to scale. The post-it is actually 1″ x 2″, dwarfed by the two-foot high, 45-quart, air-tight, dog food storage container which sits underneath it. But, the Post-it punches above its weight class.
3 Words + a few symbols = Irritation.
She doesn’t think I will give him the right dosage.
She thinks I’ll overfeed him. You’re cutting his life short by giving him all these snacks.
3/4 C (Dog Food) + H20 (Water) + 1/4 C Green Beans (to help him with his digestion).
Mom and Eric are on a road trip for the weekend to see family. Rachel is in the city with Friends.
Dad and Man’s Best Friend Zeke are Home Alone.
Back to the Post-Its.
49 Signs You’re Addicted To Reading by Koty Neelis:
1) …People are cool but reading is your preferred social activity.
8) You carry a book with you at all times because you never know when you’ll have a spare minute to do some extra reading.
16) You legitimately don’t understand people who say they don’t read.
25) You honestly can’t think of a better way to spend a Sunday than reading a book and drinking coffee or tea.
29) You buy more books even if you have a stack of books that haven’t been read yet.
Read all 49 signs your addicted @ 49 Signs You’re Addicted To Reading
Source: Ivan Kislov
Do you know how it is
when one wakes at night suddenly
and asks, listening to the pounding heart:
what more do you want,
— Czeslaw Milosz, from Farewell
1) There’s: “ … “
2) There’s: ” / “
3) There’s: “[...]“
My Lady giving me some lovin’…here’s some Hump Day Inspiration.
When I was getting ready to graduate from college in 1957, I was fed up and ready to drop from exhaustion, but still my mind kept telling me, “Hurry, hurry, hurry.” I felt I had to do something, go on to the next step, whatever it was — career, graduate school, as long as it was important. This is an American disease.
~ Florence King
Photography: Thank you Carol @ Radiating Blossom