Source: Your Eyes Blaze Out
Here’s the critic’s leading selection for the 2014 Oscar Foreign film of the year. And what a film it is. Introspective. Astonishing cinematography (EYE CANDY). Overwhelming. And, Toni Servillo, oh what a performance. (The movie is long…strap in.) HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
- NY Times Review (5/5 stars): “thrilling ode to sensibility and to some of its linguistic cousins, like sensation, sensitivity and sentiment.“
- RogerEbert.com (4/4 stars): “Servillo, a theatrically-trained actor, makes Jep arresting. He’s like an Italian Tom Wolfe. You hang on his every word, even when you’re about to hear something gossipy and mean-spirited, because you know it’ll probably be true, or at least well-said…You are overwhelmed with information, but each scene is constructed with such care and attention that it’s easy to miss that each new scene elaborates on Jep’s latest theory or dilemma. His character arc is engrossing because it’s not just full of complex ideas, thanks to the screenplay, but visual beauty as well, courtesy of Luca Bigazzi’s cinematography”
If tomorrow wasn’t promised,
what would you give for today?
Forget everything else.
Forget everything else.
Forget there was any sun light left,
what would you spend today thinking about?
We get one opportunity in life.
One chance in life to do whatever you are going to do.
To lay your foundation.
Whatever legacy you are going to leave,
Leave your legacy.
And its found through your effort.
Wins and losses come a dime dozen,
But effort, nobody can judge effort.
Because effort is between you and you.
Effort doesn’t have anything to do with anybody else.
Because every day is a new day.
Every moment is a new moment.
So now you’ve got to go out and show them
that I’m a a different creature, now,
then I was five minutes ago.
Because I’m pissed off for greatness.
Because if you aren’t pissed off for greatness,
that means You are ok with being mediocre.
And no man in here is OK with being mediocre…
SMWI*= Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration
If only I may grow: firmer, simpler, quieter, warmer.
~ Dag Hammarskjöld
Dag Hammarskjöld (1905-1961) was a Swedish diplomat, economist, and author. The second Secretary-General of the United Nations, he served from April 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. He is one of just three people to be awarded a posthumous Nobel Peace Prize. After Hammarskjöld’s death, U.S. president John F. Kennedy regretted that he opposed the UN policy in the Congo and said: “I realise now that in comparison to him, I am a small man. He was the greatest statesman of our century.”
Often a sweetness comes
as if on loan,
stays just long enough
to make sense of what it means to be alive,
then returns to its dark source.
As for me,
I don’t care
where it’s been,
or what bitter road it’s traveled
to come so far,
to taste so good.
~ Stephen Dunn
Excerpts from wsj.com: How Norway Scores So Much Olympic Gold?
…Norway itself is a Winter Olympics marvel: With only five million people, it has won 303 Winter Olympic medals, far more than any other country on the planet. To find a country smaller than world-leading Norway on the all-time Winter Olympics medal table, you have to travel down to Croatia, which ranks 24th with 11 medals. And this month, Norway is fielding one of its strongest teams in almost two generations, with some experts considering it the favorite to win both the highest gold and total medal count, a feat that it last achieved in 1968.
Other countries long ago took to shrugging off Norway’s Winter Olympics medal haul as the unsurprising inheritance of a people whose young are born with skis on their feet, as an old Nordic adage goes. But skiing is also fundamental to the culture of other Scandinavian countries, including Sweden, which has about twice the population but, with 132 total, not even half the medals.
Instead, many experts think the answer lies in the culture and lifestyle of the country, where an extraordinary egalitarianism runs through youth sports. Before age 6, Norwegian kids can only train but not formally compete in sports, and before age 11, all children participating in a competition must be awarded the same prize.
Still, most experts say the biggest reason behind Norway’s success is the culture that propelled it atop the medal table from the outset. Norway’s cities are relatively close to the wilderness, and children are encouraged to play outdoors even on the coldest days.
In those disciplines, attaining world-class status typically takes years of training. This is one reason that the Meråker school accepts students whose passion for sport may outshine their performances. In the long run, desire and perseverance will play the greatest roles in shaping future Olympians. The school’s coaches say the main lesson they teach is the importance of training relentlessly for years beyond high school.
In addition to physical work on the farm in the afternoons, weekends and holidays, he was regularly charged with what his father refers to as “incredibly boring stuff,” like picking stones from a field, just to improve his psyche. Every time he hurt himself, his father would tease him until he stopped crying. Eventually, he came to believe pain is cool. “My father taught me at an early age to tackle pain—I think that’s my strength. I can go for hours in pain without giving up,” he said. His childhood mentor, a star skier turned coach named John Thomas Rena, agrees. “I think a big part of Jenssen’s talent comes from the way he grew up,” he said.
Image Credit: Best and Worst Dressed Olympic Nations in Sochi
I was transported by this short film. Wonderful photography, paintings and family. These two have it together.
Painter David Marshak and photographer Sarah Tacoma talk about their love of art and each other as they describe the building of their “tiny little kingdom…
“And fulfillment is a different word from happiness, right. Fulfillment is an enriched experience that comes from several different angles …”
My journey from NYC to the West continues. A five hour flight is now rolling into 2 days and I’m still on the ground in New York. If you missed yesterday’s excitement, the posts can be found here: Just another manic Monday and here: Star Log: Flight DL2282. The Epilogue.
And, the journey continues:
- 10:00 am. Back in car this morning. This time to LaGuardia Airport. Gorgeous day. One would have no idea of the pandemonium caused by Mother Nature yesterday. (Feeling Good!)
- 10:50 am. Made good time. Head for Kiosk to get boarding pass. Message blinking telling me to see agent. (Nope. Not going to ruin my day today. Just a minor technicality)
- 11:25 am. Still with ticket agent. She’s struggling to issue a boarding pass for second leg of the trip. After 20 minutes of working it, she looks up sheepishly, grins, and says: “Why don’t you just have it issued at the gate in Detroit?” I stare at her. She can read me. “He looks like he’s on the edge. He’s smiling but he’s teetering. And any Man with the confidence to be wearing that grey streaky mustache, isn’t likely to be sold ‘The-get-your-boarding-pass-in-Detroit-B.S.-Story’ I’m selling.” Yet, The Man walks away shaking his head and mumbling. Agent breathes deeply…having avoided a sure fire confrontation with some crazy Slav looking mustachio.
- 11:35 am. I’m through security without incident with a vice grip on my driver’s license, watch and wallet. No bloody mishaps today.
- 12:00 pm. First call for boarding.
- 12:05 pm. Announcement blares on intercom. “All passengers, crew and employees must immediately evacuate the building. All passengers, crew, and employees must evacuate the building!” The reason: hit this link.
- 12:45 pm. Thousands rush back into the terminal and file through security check-in (again).
- 1:30 pm. Boarded flight. Plane 1/2 empty. Announcement explaining the delay: waiting for two ticketed passengers (tools?) to make it back through security after the evacuation. (This is NY people. This was a sputtering flare. Get on the damn aircraft.)
- 1:45 pm. We push back from gate
- 2:00 pm. Captain: “We have a problem with our Nose gear. We need to get a tow back to the gate to have our maintenance crew check it out. I’m sorry folks but we can’t fly without this fix.” (Nose gear is malfunctioning! Really? WTF. NFW. You need Nose Gear right? I then grab my nose and wonder if I need my nose hair clipped.)
- 2:15 pm. Waiting for tow. (2 flights out West from Detroit. I’ve missed my scheduled connection. Closing in on “timing out” of Plan B.)
- 2:30 pm. Jet engines powered down. And we sit. (You’re testing me People. You’re testing me.)
Note to Self: DK, they’re thinkin’ you’ve moved to fiction writing because you can’t make this sh*t up. (*Y.C.M.T.S.U.)
at the speed
this video took me back.
Saturday mornings in January.
Crisp, cold mountain air.
A sparkling layer of frost on the snow.
Running in Sorel boots to the outdoor rink,
Snow crunching under each foot fall.
Rushing to lace up our skates.
And we go.
And we go.
And we go.
If you close your eyes and listen
You can hear
The steel blades cutting the ice.
The chop, chop, chop of cross-overs to accelerate.
The spray of fine ice crystals from a hard stop.
Take me back.
To our Golden Pond.
This Canadian’s Heaven.
- SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration
- Credits: Video – Thank you Rob @ The Hammock Papers
~ 26,000,000 views on Youtube in < 60 days, and somehow I’ve missed this. A cave dweller – where have I been?
The singer/songwriting duo “A Great Big World” features the talents of Ian Axel and Chad Vaccarino. Formed in 2010 while they were music business students at New York University, the duo toured in 2011 playing their own songs, as well as covers by such artists as Ingrid Michaelson and Five for Fighting. The duo hit the big time after their song “This is New” was covered on Glee and when they released the single “Say Something,” a duet with Christina Aguilera. A Great Big World’s First Album titled: Is There Anybody Out There will be released on January 21, 2014. Link on iTunes here. Band’s website: agreatbigworld.com
Source: Mme Scherzo
I find my only real joy in solitude.
Solitude is my castle.
That’s where I have
my breeze and
— Léolo (Jean-Claude Lauzon, 1992)
Jean-Claude Lauzon (1953 – 1997) was a Canadian filmmaker. Born to a humble family in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, Lauzon worked a variety of odd jobs after dropping out of high school. He went on to study film at the Université du Québec à Montréal at the behest of Andre Petrowski, a member of the National Film Board of Canada. His two feature length films, Un zoo la nuit, and Léolo, established him as one of the most important Canadian directors of his time. He was preparing his third film when he died, along with his girlfriend, Canadian actress Marie-Soleil Tougas, in a plane crash. On August 10, 1997, the Cessna 180K he was piloting flew into a mountainside in strong winds and rain near Kuujjuaq, Quebec while returning from a fishing trip. His film Léolo was nominated at the 1992 Cannes Film Festival for the Golden Palm Award, and is listed as one of Time’s All-TIME 100 Movies.
- Quote source link. Bio Source: Wiki
- Thank you Maralee for her photograph. Here’s her description of the photo: ”This was the view from my room at the agriturismo that I stayed at when we were in Italy. I couldn’t get enough of that gorgeous Tuscan light.” I couldn’t get enough of that light either. I’ve not been to Tuscany but this photo inspires me to do so. Check out Maralee’s blog here.
Dad didn’t like it.
Dad didn’t support it. (Story here.)
Dad gets rolled (ignored is a better word).
Daughter does it anyway.
Last night, Daughter as President, addressed Seniors and incoming Freshmen in her final official duty.
Daughter sends Mom and Dad two text messages last night.
“Everyone Loved it.”
“They all cried.”
Here’s a summary of her speaking notes:
Nathaniel Rateliff grew up in rural Missouri, learning to play the drums at age seven. As a young teenager, he taught himself guitar and began writing his own songs. At eighteen, Rateliff relocated to Denver for missionary work. Rateliff developed a dedicated following within the Denver music community. New York Times dubbed Nathaniel Rateliff a Denver local folk-pop hero. Spin (magazine) praised his “massive, alluring” voice. Billboard (magazine) dubbed the unsigned singer-songwriter a “must hear.” He released In Memory of Loss in May 2010 which captured the attention of Amazon.com, which listed his album as the number-one album you might have missed in 2010. In September, 2013, he set out on a tour with The Lumineers and Dr. Dog, in support of his new album. Rateliff has also shared the stage with artists such as Bon Iver, Mason Jennings, Iron & Wine, Ben Howard, Mumford & Sons, and Roseanne Cash. (Source: Wiki)
Find his new album “Faster Than You Can Run” at this link.
Hmmmmmmm. Hit link for definitions. Thanks for sharing Todd.
She had an oversized winter coat. No gloves. No hat.
She was a hundred yards from the train station.
And walking the other way.
No one was waiting.
It was Christmas Day.
Kids are lounging.
Jake & Josh running in one room.
The other is curled up with Zeke and a comforter. Both sound asleep.
Dinner was in the oven. ETA of 6:30 pm.
I glance out the window.
Daylight is fading quickly.
I could see her outline in the shadows of the street lights.
SMWI* = Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration
Image Credit via Stuf Stuff from “A Charlie Brown Christmas”. His dance always brings me joy. 555 95472, usually referred to as “5”, is a character in the comic strip Peanuts by Charles M. Schulz. He debuted in 1963, and continued to appear on and off in the strip until 1981. “5” has spiky hair and sometimes wears a shirt with the number five on it. 95472 is the family’s “last name”, or more specifically their ZIP code. In reality, it is the ZIP code for Sebastopol, California, where Charles M. Schulz was living at the time the character was introduced. “5” has to keep telling his teacher that the accent is on the 4 in his surname. Snoopy is confused as to whether the boy’s name is spelled 5 or as the Roman numeral V. As “5” once explained to Charlie Brown, his father, morose and hysterical over the preponderance of numbers in people’s lives, had changed all of his family’s names to numbers. Asked by Lucy if it was Mr. 95472’s way of protesting, “5” replied that this was actually his father’s way of “giving in.” “5” also has two sisters named “3” and “4”. (“Nice feminine names,” in Charlie Brown’s sarcastic assessment.) It can be assumed that their parents are named “1” and “2”.
It’s Monday morning. 8:00 am. I’m waiting out the rain.
It’s Tuesday morning. I’m noodling on why I waited to write this post. I broke the chain: Run. Write the post. Nap.
Life and order. Life, and of course, order.
Let us simmer over our incalculable cauldron, our enthralling confusion, our hotch-potch of impulses, our perpetual miracle—for the soul throws up wonders every second. Movement and change are the essence of our being; rigidity is death; conformity is death: let us say what comes into our heads, repeat ourselves, contradict ourselves, fling out the wildest nonsense, and follow the most fantastic fancies without caring what the world does or thinks or says. For nothing matters except life; and, of course, order.
Back to Monday.
The rain doesn’t let up.
Life and order. Life, and of course, order.
We arrive at Mianus River Park. Hail size drops are splashing on the windshield. I notice there isn’t a single car in the parking lot. My spirits climb. Rain be damned.
I love lasagna. (Fanatically so.) My Soul food. Cheesy, meaty, noodley deliciousness.
Yet, after hundreds of tastings at home, at diners, at mid-range and at high end restaurants – the result is predictable: wildly disappointing. Swimming in sauces that miss. Weird cheese. Overcomplicated meat. Over medicated with spices. Too many things. Too Heavy. Outcome? Sigh.
The hunt is over. A Food Network search for “Lasagna” yielded the discovery here . Giada De Laurentiis’ Lasagna Rolls recipe ranks #1. It has over 1400 reviews and earns the reviewers’ top 5-star rating.
It was a smash hit with the family last night. The leftovers marinated over night – and if possible, it tasted better for breakfast (yes, I did) and for lunch (yes, I did). (The streak stops at 3 meals in a row. There was none left for dinner tonight.)
Simple ingredients. Straight forward to pull together. We honored the recipe with the exception of replacing the prosciutto with 1 pound of ground beef.
Don’t miss a wonderful post at Full Fork Ahead for life size photos during each stage of production along with the complete recipe.
Image Credit: Full Fork Ahead
…At 61, with more than 80 feature films under his belt, Mr. Goodman has cemented his role as one of the great character actors of this generation. He’s not of the “I-know-him-but-I-don’t-know-his-name” variety, though—he’s a star…
…Short but forceful performances have become Goodman’s specialty. He is in the movie for 15 minutes and 54 seconds. He creates a never-before-seen character but one that is quintessentially John Goodman. He berates the people around him, burns up his scenes. And his work is done…
…Goodman has spent the last two decades as master of a certain type of role: the potentially menacing regular guy, the teddy bear you don’t want to annoy because you might remind him he is a bear. There’s a video online called “John Goodman Loses his S—,” a mashup of his work, scene after scene of him blowing his stack, from TV’s “Roseanne” to Coen films like “The Big Lebowski” to his lead role in the baseball movie “The Babe.”…
…”The moment he appears you feel, ‘Oh, here we go, he’s gonna deliver,’” Mr. Thomson says. “He always gives it a twist. As a character actor he’s on a par with Sydney Greenstreet, He had nastiness in him, he had menace, but once he started talking you just wanted him to go on and on.” Thomson says Mr. Goodman allows viewers to “imagine the madman inside” his characters: “So much of the time he is a sweetheart, but the rage is there. I suspect it’s directed against himself in lot of ways.” ”I guess I’m able to tap into some undealt-with anger a lot,” Mr. Goodman says. He laughs. “My innate rage.” [Read more...]
Louis Szekely, 46, known as Louis C.K., is a stand-up comedian, who has been described as the King of Middle Age Rage. C.K.’s father was born in Mexico, while C.K.’s mother is an American of Irish Catholic ancestry, originally from a farm in Michigan. C.K. was born in Washington, D.C., but lived in Mexico City until the age of seven. His first language is Spanish, and he still retains Mexican citizenship. After graduating from High School, C.K. worked as an auto mechanic and at a public access TV cable station in Boston, while summoning the courage to try stand-up. He first took the stage in 1984 at an open-mic in. He was so discouraged by the experience that he didn’t perform again for two years. As Boston’s comedy scene grew, he gradually achieved success, performing alongside acts such as Denis Leary and Lenny Clarke. C.K. has been nominated for numerous Emmy Awards for his writing including his work for The Chris Rock Show, Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Chewed Up and Louie. (Source: Wiki)
“I don’t stop eating when I’m full. The meal isn’t over when I’m full. It’s over when I hate myself.”
“It seems like the better it gets, the more miserable people become. There’s never a technological advancement where people think, “Wow, we can finally do this!” And I think a lot of it has to do with advertising. Americans have it constantly drilled into our heads, every *$*@ day, that we deserve everything to be perfect all the time.”
If you’ve never seen CK in action, here’s Louis C.K. Hates Cell Phones on Conan.
GIF Source: Thank you Karen @ Karen’s Korner
Day 1: Tickle in back of throat. Sudden bout of sneezing.
Day 2: 2 am. Difficulty swallowing. Throat burning.
Day 3: Fatigue. Fog. Tough guy regrets not taking a flu shot. (again)
Day 4: Man Down. Working from home. DayQuil to NyQuil to DayQuil loop. Delirious.
Day 5: Winded walking up the stairs. Read same page 3 times. Heavy eyelids.
Day 6: Thick nasal discharge. Can’t taste or smell food. Chocolate still Ok though.
Day 7: Patient care provider: When will you take a shower and get out of the house?
Day 8: Is that a break? Have the clouds moved? Has the sun muscled through and ignited the hills?
“You’ll be driving along depressed when suddenly a cloud will move and the sun will muscle through and ignite the hills. It may not last. Probably won’t last. But for a moment the whole world comes to. Wakes up. Proves it lives. It lives—red, yellow, orange, brown, russet, ocher, vermillion, gold. Flame and rust. Flame and rust, the permutations of burning. You’re on fire. Your eyes are on fire. It won’t last, you don’t want it to last. You can’t stand any more. But you don’t want it to stop. It’s what you’ve come for. It’s what you’ll come back for. It won’t stay with you. but you’ll remember that it felt like nothing else you’ve felt or something you’ve felt that also didn’t last.”
— Lloyd Schwartz
Credits: Image Source: Winter Sun by Onodriim. Poem Source: apoetreflects
The poem “Solitude” was written in 1983 by Ella Wheeler Wilcox, an American Author and poet (1850-1919). It was her most enduring work. The inspiration for the poem came as she was traveling to attend the Governor’s inaugural ball in Madison, Wisconsin. On her way to the celebration, there was a young woman dressed in black sitting across the aisle from her. The woman was crying. Miss Wheeler sat next to her and sought to comfort her for the rest of the journey. When they arrived, the poet was so depressed that she could barely attend the scheduled festivities. As she looked at her own radiant face in the mirror, she suddenly recalled the sorrowful widow. It was at that moment that she wrote the opening lines of “Solitude“: [Read more...]
It was cold.
A bone rattling winter morning.
Brother Rich and I are waiting for a ride to hockey practice.
We’re stomping our feet.
And banging our mitts trying to warm.
The hood of our green, ’55 GMC pick-up, is coated with frost.
A frosty floral design.
“I dare you to lick it.”
“You dare me to lick it?”
“What do I get if I do?”
“You won’t do it.”
“I won’t do it?”
Pudgy boy shoots his devilish grin.
I wheel around,
And, lick it. [Read more...]
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)
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)
“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.”
- Source: themetapicture.com
- MM* = Monday Morning
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...]
Deep in the belly of these vermillion walls
Our minds open to adventure and experience.
We squint to the back of our lenses
And down to the tips of our fly lines
Crossing paths and coming together to tell a story.
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.
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.”
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.”
“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.”
It started in the shower.
Stomach sour – doing loop de loops.
Late November, 1980s.
The morning shower is followed by a long walk in the dark from the dorm.
Square into the teeth of a wicked Northern Michigan wind.
Mitts. Goose down coats. Parkas. Sorel boots.
Students filing in for the 8:00 am class.
I find a seat in the middle-back. Need to get invisible.
I’m below the stoners and the drunks, adorned with hoodies.
I’m above the whizz-bangs, a**-kissers and kids with coke bottle glasses.
Three weeks earlier the Professor kicks off his class with ground rules.
“A full letter grade is determined by your class participation, frequency and quality.”
Red Pencil in hand.
He’d put a tick mark next to each name who’s hand would go up.
He’d hang over his journal scribbling after a noteworthy comment.
And shredded in half.
One half with head down to avoid being called on.
The other half, The Angry Man – a full letter grade down before taking a single exam.