The problem (if there was one) was simply a problem with the question. He wants to paint a bird, needs to, and the problem is why. Why paint a bird? Why do anything at all? Not how, because hows are easy, series or sequence, one foot after the other, but existentially why bother, what does it solve? Be the tree, solve for bird. What does that mean? It’s a problem of focus, it’s a problem of diligence, it’s supposed to be a grackle but it sort of got away from him. But why not let the colors do what they want, which is blend, which is kind of neighborly, if you think about it. Blackbird, he says. So be it. Indexed and normative. Who gets to measure the distance between experience and its representation? Who controls the lines of inquiry? He does, but he’s not very good at it. And just because you want to paint a bird, do actually paint a bird, it doesn’t mean you’ve accomplished anything. Maybe if it was pretty, it would mean something. Maybe if it was beautiful it would be true. But it’s not, not beautiful, not true, not even realistic, more like a man in a birdsuit, blue shoulders instead of feathers, because he isn’t looking at a bird, real bird, as he paints, he is looking at his heart, which is impossible, unless his heart is a metaphor for his heart, as everything is a metaphor for itself, so that looking at the page is like looking out the window at a bird in your chest with a song in its throat that you don’t want to hear but you paint anyway because the hand is a voice that can sing what the voice will not and the hand wants to do something useful. Sometimes, at night, in bed, before I fall asleep, I think about a poem I might write, someday, about my heart, says the heart. Answer: be the heart. Answer: be the hand. Answer: be the bird. Answer: be the sky.
An intellectual? Yes. And never deny it. An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself. I like this, because I am happy to be both halves, the watcher and the watched. ‘Can they be brought together?’ This is a practical question. We must get down to it. ‘I despise intelligence’ really means: ‘I cannot bear my doubts.’
— Albert Camus
Last night I had the strangest dream. I was in a laboratory with Dr. Boas and he was talking to me and a group of other people about religion, insisting that life must have a meaning, that man couldn’t live without that. Then he made a mass of jelly-like stuff of the most beautiful blue I had ever seen — and he seemed to be asking us all what to do with it. I remember thinking it was very beautiful but wondering helplessly what it was for. People came and went making absurd suggestions. Somehow Dr. Boas tried to carry them out — but always the people went away angry, or disappointed — and finally after we’d been up all night they had all disappeared and there were just the two of us. He looked at me and said, appealingly “Touch it.” I took some of the astonishingly blue beauty in my hand, and felt with a great thrill that it was living matter. I said “Why it’s life — and that’s enough” — and he looked so pleased that I had found the answer — and said yes “It’s life and that is wonder enough.”
~ Margaret Mead, Anthropologist
Quote Source: Brain Pickings - Life Is Like Blue Jelly: Margaret Mead Discovers the Meaning of Existence in a Dream. Image: Unknown.
This much is irrefutable: How you direct your gaze, where you place your energy and your conviction, how you tune your perception and with what integrity and attitude you offer yourself to the world means, well, everything. Why can’t this basic truth be broadened out to humanity as a whole?…
Maybe that’s a little much. Maybe it’s better to test it all out yourself, every day, on micro scale, to feel into what you really believe, what you know to be true at core level, versus what you’ve been fed, and by whom, and for what spurious purpose…
Who the hell told you you’re broken? Who told you you’re an addict, a loser, a Type-A, a manic depressive? Who said you’re too weak to quit smoking, to start exercising, to eat better, to find love or to quit being an overbearing jerk with zero redeeming qualities? Who told you humanity must operate a certain way? Who told you you’re full of trauma and rage? Who dared tell you you’re not already God? You really believe that? Good lord, why?
~ Mark Morford, Believe this and live forever
tucking the napkin
under his chin and bending
over an ironstone bowl
of the bright drupelets
awash in cream
with the sigh of a man
who has seen all and been redeemed
said time after time
as he lifted his spoon
men kill for this.
~ Maxine Kumin, Appetite
Maxine Kumin (June 6, 1925 – February 6, 2014) was an American poet and author. Born Maxine Winokur in Philadelphia, the daughter of Jewish parents, she attended a Catholic kindergarten and primary school. She received her B.A. in 1946 and her M.A. in 1948 from Radcliffe College. From 1976 until her death in February 2014, she and her husband lived on a farm in Warner, New Hampshire, where they bred Arabian and quarter horses. Kumin’s many awards include the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1973) for Up Country: Poems of New England.
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 …”
“Birth date 1958. Place of birth. Dublin, Ireland. I work from a studio in Dublin City. I have been painting from an early age due to the encouragement I received from my father who was an artist. I explore colour. Colour is the subject of my paintings. I paint in the abstract form and the modern stylised form. I am influenced by many forms of art and artists. Education: I started painting and never stopped.”
Beautiful photographs, right? I thought so. Then, I clicked through to find that this was titled: “The Maldives: soft pastel on paper.” Don’t miss Forman’s icebergs at “Greenland 2012” and her set design for “Giselle: Stairwell” along with her complete portfolio of drawings here. Let’s just say that I am awed by her work.
Source: Zaria Forman. Forman is a 2001 graduate of Green Meadow Waldorf School in Chestnutridge, MO and a 2005 graduate of Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY, where she received her formal training. In addition to exhibitions, recent projects included a series of drawings that served as the set design for the classic ballet Giselle, which premiered in October 2012 at the Grand Theatre of Geneva, Switzerland (see drawings and performance photos here). Ten of her drawings were also used in the set design for House of Cards, a Netflix TV series directed by David Fincher and starring Kevin Spacey.
“No photographer turns animals into art more completely than Frans Lanting,” writes The New Yorker. Lanting’s images have been featured in exhibitions at major museums and leading art galleries around the world.
“Impalas alarmed, Serengeti National Park, Tanzania: I keep three cameras on the seat next to me, each mounted with a different lens, allowing me to frame a moment any way it unfolds–far or wide. For this image I grabbed a Nikkor 300mm f2.8 lens to crop in smoothly on a herd of impalas when one alarm call transformed a placid scattering of grazers into a scene of suspense. An ever-present sense of danger characterizes the African plains. This image visualizes fear by inferring it. The collective gaze of the impalas points at something invisible, hidden in plain view–in a moment that could not have been chased, only waited for.”
“Macaws over river, Tambopata National Reserve, Peru: Perched on a scaffold a hundred feet above a clay lick where macaws gather, I had an eagle’s-eye view of their coming and goings as they flew over the muddy river below. From that perspective I could see how each species of macaw flashes a distinctive combination of colors and patterns visible only from above.”
Source: DON’T MISS checking out his Lanting’s other photographs here.
FRANS LANTING has been hailed as one of the great photographers of our time. His influential work appears in books, magazines, and exhibitions around the world. Born in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, he earned a master’s degree in economics then moved to the United States to study environmental planning. Soon after, he began photographing the natural world–and never turned back. For three decades he has documented wildlife from the Amazon to Antarctica to promote understanding about the Earth and its natural history through images that convey a passion for nature and a sense of wonder about our living planet. See his full bio here.
Tatsuo Horiuchi, a 73-year-old Japanese man, created this art.
I said: “Nice.”
Then I checked out some of his other creations.
Then I said: “Very Nice.”
Then I learned how he did it.
Then I said: “Really?”
Then I went back and looked more closely.
Then I scratched my head and said: “Amazing.”
See story here on MyModernMet.
Related Post: Look closely at this. (I mean really closely)
What do you see above?
Don’t ask me how long I stared at this illustration by René Gruau trying to figure it out.
Consolation was offered when no one else in the household could figure it out either.
And then, I did a bit of scouting…
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)
On the weekend of October 12th in Joshua Tree, California, artist Phillip K Smith III revealed his light based project, Lucid Stead. People as far away as New York City and Canada traveled to the California High Desert to experience it. Numerous media sources have asked to do cover stories on the work. Thousands of photos professional and amateur, were taken, posted and shared across blogs and social media sights. In just over 30 days, Lucid Stead officially became a phenomenon.
Composed of mirror, LED lighting, custom built electronic equipment and Arduino programming amalgamated with a preexisting structure, this architectural intervention, at first, seems alien in context to the bleak landscape. Upon further viewing, Lucid Stead imposes a delirious, almost spiritual experience. Like the enveloping vista that changes hue as time passes, Lucid Stead transforms. In daylight the 70 year old homesteader shack, that serves as the armature of the piece, reflects and refracts the surrounding terrain like a mirage or an hallucination. As the sun tucks behind the mountains, slowly shifting, geometric color fields emerge until they hover in the desolate darkness. This transformation also adapts personal perception, realigning one’s sensory priorities. A heightened awareness of solitude and the measured pace of the environment is realized.
Smith states, “Lucid Stead is about tapping into the quiet and the pace of change of the desert. When you slow down and align yourself with the desert, the project begins to unfold before you. It reveals that it is about light and shadow, reflected light, projected light, and change.”
“Sixteen thousand—that’s how many words we speak, on average, each day. So imagine how many unspoken ones course through our minds. Most of them are not facts but evaluations and judgments entwined with emotions—some positive and helpful…others negative and less so (He’s purposely ignoring me; I’m going to make a fool of myself; I’m a fake).
The prevailing wisdom says that difficult thoughts and feelings have no place at the office: …leaders, should be either stoic or cheerful; they must project confidence and damp down any negativity bubbling up inside them. But that goes against basic biology. All healthy human beings have an inner stream of thoughts and feelings that include criticism, doubt, and fear. That’s just our minds doing the job they were designed to do: trying to anticipate and solve problems and avoid potential pitfalls.
…Leaders stumble not because they have undesirable thoughts and feelings—that’s inevitable—but because they get hooked by them, like fish caught on a line. This happens in one of two ways. They buy into the thoughts, treating them like facts (It was the same in my last job…I’ve been a failure my whole career), and avoid situations that evoke them (I’m not going to take on that new challenge). Or, usually at the behest of their supporters, they challenge the existence of the thoughts and try to rationalize them away (I shouldn’t have thoughts like this…I know I’m not a total failure), and perhaps force themselves into similar situations, even when those go against their core values and goals (Take on that new assignment—you’ve got to get over this). In either case, they are paying too much attention to their internal chatter and allowing it to sap important resources that could be put to better use. [Read more...]
For more amazing pumpkin carvings, connect here.
Some Staff Mean.
Some Staff Good.
They say he not part of the world.
It felt bad.
He’s not part of the World. He evil.
I want a good life, too.
“When he was a toddler, Alonzo Clemons suffered a brain injury. It forever changed the way he learns and communicates but also the way he interprets the world around him. Very early it became clear to Alonzo that he had to sculpt. He was institutionalized for ten years in a state hospital which wasn’t a pleasant experience, but he continued to find ways to make delicate figures with his hands. When they wouldn’t give him clay, he would scrape warm tar from the parking lot.”
You can learn more about Alonzo Clemons’ work at alonzoclemons.com
fame, nor wealth,
not even poetry itself,
could provide consolation
for life’s brevity,
or the fact that King Lear
is a mere eighty pages long and comes to an end
and for the thought that one might suffer greatly
on account of a rebellious child…
it has taken me
all of sixty years
that water is the finest drink,
and bread the most delicious food,
and that art is worthless
unless it plants
a measure of splendor in people’s hearts.
After we die,
and the weary heart
has lowered its final eyelid
on all that we’ve done,
and on all that we longed for,
on all that we’ve dreamt of,
all we’ve desired
hate will be
the first thing
About the Author:
Taha Muhammad Ali, (1931-2011), was a leading Arab poet. He was born in Galilee and fled with his family to Lebanon after their village came under heavy bombardment during the 1948 war. In the 1950s and 1960s, he sold souvenirs during the day to Christian pilgrims and self-studied poetry at night. His formal education ended after fourth grade. Despite his spare output and lack of formal education, Ali has become one of the most widely admired Palestinian poets. Ali’s vivid free verse conveys the moody resilience of his personality in treatments of the national grief of occupation, exile and the Palestinian Arabs’ “endless migration.” Often informed by symbols and structures from Arab tradition, Ali’s ironies stand alongside easily grasped, even universal, versions of lament: “We did not know/ at the moment of parting/ that it was a moment of parting.” Ali transmits humor, his way with a tale and his deep roots in “fatigue, hunger, vagrancy,/ debts and addiction to ruin.” Composed between the early 1970s and now, Ali’s poems are timely and affecting; his 1984 masterpiece, “The Falcon,” portrays the poet as a migratory bird indebted less to his companions than to his own “sadness… so much greater than I am.” A moving, richly poetic story, in which all the deprivations of Ali’s verse coalesce in a child’s desire for a pair of shoes, closes the collection. (Source: Amazon)
When misfortune confounds us
in an instant we are saved
by the humblest actions
of memory or attention:
the taste of fruit, the taste of water,
that face returned to us in dream,
the first jasmine flowers of November,
the infinite yearning of the compass,
a book we thought forever lost,
the pulsing of a hexameter,
the little key that opens a house,
the smell of sandalwood or library,
the ancient name of a street,
the colourations of a map,
an unforeseen etymology,
the smoothness of a filed fingernail,
the date that we were searching for,
counting the twelve dark bell-strokes,
a sudden physical pain.
Eight million the deities of Shinto
who travel the earth, secretly.
Those modest divinities touch us,
touch us, and pass on by.
‘Shinto is the indigenous faith of the Japanese people. In general, Shinto is more than a religion and encompasses the ideas, attitudes, and ways of doing things that have become an integral part of the Japanese people for the better part of 2000 years. The ancient Japanese never divided spiritual and material existence, but considered that both were inseparable, seeing everything in a spiritual sense. Shinto, unlike other major religions, does not have a founder, nor does it possess sacred scriptures or texts. Shinto practices can be roughly summed up by the four affirmations:
- Tradition and family
- Love of nature – The kami are an integral part of nature.
- Physical cleanliness – Purification rites are an important part of Shinto
- Festivals and ceremonies – Dedicated to honoring and amusing the kami”
Ayse Juaneda found my blog yesterday (how Ayse?) and I followed her back after browsing her wonderful posts. What amazing talent…
Ayse is from France. She’s an artist, teacher and designer. Her first illustration is a soft pastel on paper – it is titled “Sleeping Birds.” The second is watercolor on paper and is titled “Venice.”
Her work reminds me of a quote by Vincent van Gogh:
“…and then, I have nature and art and poetry, and if that is not enough, what is enough?”
You can find Ayse’s blog at aysejuaneda.wordpress.com. Be sure to check it out.
“Roshi once told us that there were three different kinds of horses: with one, just a tug at the reins made them start moving; the second, a kick in the flanks and they were off; and then there were those that had to be beaten to the bone with a whip before they started to move. “Unfortunately,” he said, “most human beings are the third kind.” He told us we act as though we were going to live forever. “Wake up,” he said.
~ Natalie Goldberg
Two questions: Which one of the four below are you? (Assuming you are one of the four.) Which one is optimal?
- “A” > “B” = No “C”
- “A” < “B” = No “C”
- “A” + “B” = Some “C”
- “P” = ”J” = No “C”
Where ‘A’= Time Spent On What You Love to Do.
Where ‘B’= Time Spent on Your Job.
Where ‘C’= Amount of Your Free Time.
Where ‘P’= What You Love To Do.
Where ’J’ = Your Job.
Chart Source: Great Work Done From 5 to 9 @ Indexed by Jessica Hagy
“I’m not telling you to make the world better, because I don’t think that progress is necessarily part of the package. I’m just telling you to live in it. Not just to endure it, not just to suffer it, not just to pass through it, but to live in it. To look at it. To try to get the picture. To live recklessly. To take chances. To make your own work and take pride in it. To seize the moment. And if you ask me why you should bother to do that, I could tell you that the grave’s a fine and private place, but none I think do there embrace. Nor do they sing there, or write, or argue, or see the tidal bore on the Amazon, or touch their children. And that’s what there is to do and get it while you can and good luck at it.”
Related Post: Blue Nights
“Hy Snell, 94, is an energetic and awe-inspiring gentleman. When asked how he felt about aging, Hy couldn’t even comprehend why we were interested in the topic. It was as if “age” didn’t even exist in his world. For Hy, “age” has had nothing to do with his joy and contentment in life. His immense passion for creating artwork has kept him moving forward without looking back for over seven decades despite his ongoing battle with failing eyesight. At 94 years-old and a dwindling 5% of his eyesight remaining, Hy continues to find inspiration due to the fact that he is literally seeing things differently every day. This fact spoke volumes to us since it is relatable on so many levels. In summary, Hy truly is a living testament who proves that each road block, as tough as it may seem at the time, can provide tremendous opportunity for growth and prosperity.”
“I am pleased enough with the surfaces – in fact they alone seem to me to be of much importance. Such things for example as the grasp of a child’s hand in your own, the flavor of an apple, the embrace of a friend or lover, the silk of a girl’s thigh, the sunlight on the rock and leaves, the feel of music, the bark of a tree, the abrasion of granite and sand, the plunge of clear water into a pool, the face of the wind – what else is there? What else do we need?”
- Edward Abbey
- Sources: Quote – Thank you Whiskey River. Photograph by Lucem @ Make a Wish
- Related Edward Abbey Post: To Be Everywhere At Once Is To Be Nowhere Forever
I was enjoying my evening after a long day. Finished dinner. Moved on to catch up on reading. Hand – Eyes – flicking and scanning. I lock on a post from Perpetua / The Seeker. She shares her favorite meditation from an Anthony de Mello retreat: “Did you enjoy your last hour?” This statement is actually an examination of conscience at the end of the day before I go to sleep. It is a discernment of moral values and ethics. Anybody can do it. Try it. If you do not believe in God, then leave God behind. Just think about it, mediate on the question.”
So, if it’s working for The Seeker, I need to get it going. I meditate.Did you enjoy your last hour? Did you enjoy your last hour? Did you enjoy your last hour? [Read more...]
…I keep a close watch on this heart of mine
I keep my eyes wide open all the time
I keep the ends out for the tie that binds
Because you’re mine, I walk the line…
~ Johnny Cash, I Walk the Line
Image Source: 9gag.com
Nuit Blanche (Sleepless Night) explores a fleeting moment between two strangers, revealing their brief connection in a hyper real fantasy. Magic…
David Laferriere, a graphic designer and illustrator from Massachusetts, has been drawing on his kids’ sandwich bags with a Sharpie marker for more than five years. 1111 bags and counting. “I’ve been doing it for my kids since they were little…They love it, and nothing makes me happier than hearing their reaction at the end of the day…I used to work nights at a newspaper, and I’d be up early in the morning making my kids sandwiches,” LaFerriere, a graphic designer at Wheaton College in Massachusetts, told Mashable. “I started drawing on the baggies, sort of as a way to channel my creative juices in the morning, and it just ended up sticking.” His kids, Evan, 16, and Kenny, 14, were both in elementary school when it started. Now that they’re older, LaFerriere said, they and their friends still look forward to the drawings every day. I’d like to keep doing this for as long as possible. Of course, things will change once they go to college — but I can still send illustrated care packages,” he said. See Flickr blog for the video. See Laferriere’s Flickr photostream for all of his illustrations. Cool!