Salieri. It is not up to you whether you fly or fall.

amadeus-salieri

In Mozart’s music, Salieri recognizes something divinely inspired, absolute, and perfect. But what he hears ruins him. Confronted by this beauty beyond his ability to achieve, Salieri suffers his own talent and success in agony. “Thirty years of being called ‘distinguished’ by people incapable of distinguishing!” he cries, as the Viennese cheer him, while casually disregarding the genius in their midst. “If I cannot be Mozart then I do not wish to be anything.” He gets his wish. Mozart is posthumously declared immortal, and Salieri, still alive, is utterly forgotten, the patron saint of the undistinguished. In his last line, the old, discarded court composer addresses the modern audience directly, all those who, like him, are not worth listening to. “Mediocrities everywhere—now and to come—I absolve you all,” he says, sympathizing with our failure to be Mozart. […]

The Salieri that Shaffer created hears with the ears of history; he knows all along what only later listeners could know. When Mozart arrived in Vienna in 1781, his talent was obvious and undeniable, but his genius was still a matter of opinion. He wasn’t yet Mozart. Peter Shaffer stacked the deck against Salieri by giving his self-doubts the weight of historical certainty. Because Salieri knows Mozart is a genius, his own failure then seems inevitable. But the real weight that he and every artist—every person who strives for greatness—suffers is the weight of not knowing. You must find in yourself the courage to leap off the cliff. Yet it is not up to you whether you fly or fall.

~ Glen Kurtz, Practicing: A Musician’s Return to Music


Image Credit: vjmorton

 

It’s Been A Long Day (Keep Me Silent)

photography,josephine cardin KeepMeSilent_JCardin_08-josephine-cardin

New York-based photographer Josephine Cardin created the work ‘Keep Me Silent‘ as a series of self-portraits exploring the weight of the dark secrets, emotions, and experiences we harbor throughout our lives.  Josephine Cardin explains: “Weighing us down until we free ourselves from the burden of keeping them hidden, these hardships inevitably dictate every aspect of how we live and the decisions we make. Like most of my work, at first glance there is a sense of a beautiful, almost dreamlike state, but when one looks closer there is an evident darkness and sadness to be discovered. I wanted to give the illusion that the subject wanted nothing more than to float and be free, all the while not being able to let go of this burdensome weight holding her back. Until she finally lets go, forcing the suitcase open, her heavy cloud is lifted and vanishes away. As stated in one of my favorite quotes by Jim Morrison, ‘Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free.'”

Don’t miss other photos in this series at Ignant.de: “Keep Me Silent

Find the photographer’s website and gallery here: CardinPhotography.com

Absolutely pure

bird-winds-soar-blue-sky

This world –
absolutely pure
As is.
Behind the fear,
Vulnerability.
Behind that,
Sadness,
then compassion
And behind that the vast sky.

~ Rick Fields


Notes:

Flying. Over I-95 N.

runway-flight-airplane-take-off

Friday, February 6, 2015.
3:00 a.m.

I’m startled by the alarm.
No, not startled, rattled. It’s rare that I need an alarm, at any start time.
I’m groggy and already working against a shot clock, at 3:00 am.

I shower.
The 6-inch rainwater showerhead is gushing. The water is ripping hot.  But I’m unfazed.
It’s Day 3 on the road. I’m averaging 5 hours of sleep a night. Ok, maybe 4. And its catching up.
Comatose Man. Wound tight. Coiled. Shoulders heavy.

Need to get home. My House. My Bed.

I stand in the shower, eyes closed, letting the water wash over my head, my neck, and my back.
Heavenly Shower.
The morning meditation is interrupted by the clock, my consciousness signaling a waiting cab in 20 minutes.

My original flight, a non-stop to LGA, was scheduled for 11 am.
This, of course, was unacceptable for Restless Man.
Man alone wants something to happen at all costs—something, anything.¹

I’m re-booked on a 1-stop via Miami, pulling up my departure to 5 am.
You should arrive at the airport no later than two hours before your flight.
That’s 3am.

I shave, wary about slicing open the thin skin on the left side of my chin.
10 minutes to Taxi.
I zip up my carry-on, and scan the room one last time. (Don’t leave any gadgets behind)
My hand’s on the door. You forgot something.
I drop my bag, walk back into the room, and set some bills on the counter next to her card. Hi. My name is Migue.
Miquela (Sp. translation) = Who is like God?

I’m off to the airport. [Read more…]

The War

rooster

A cock. A non-castrated capon. A cockerel. A reptilian, evil bastard.

His siren call would come before sunrise, echoing up the mountainside and back down again. And rush in, with piercing cock-a-doodle-do gusts into my room. My eyes, wide open, stare at ceiling. I shiver. The S.O.B. grabbed the psychological edge at 5:30 am.

His battle lines were indisputable. His was the coop. Yours was outside. You crossed the demarcation line, the clink of the metal hook on the dilapidated wooden door, and he was coming.

He attacked all comers.  He feared no one. All generations buckled: Deda, Father, and his pubescent sons.

He could smell Fear. The perspiration would stream and thicken in the soft armpits tasked with gathering eggs in a red, long-handled, five pound Maxwell House coffee can. Good to the last drop!

His flock of fifteen continued foraging, unfazed by the battle preparations. [Read more…]

MMM*

gif-heels-fire

“Don’t wait to be sure. Move, move, move.”

Miranda July, from “The Moves,” No One Belongs Here More Than You: Stories


Notes:

  • MMM*: Monday Mantra (is) Move
  • Image: American Wizarding via desire-vogue. “These pumps, crafted by Mexican designer Lucita Abarca, caused quite a stir at a recent Sixth Borough fashion show. These crystalline high-heels were grown by Wyrm’s Pass artisans, deep below the Rocky Mountains, using a mixture of firebird ash, waters from the springs at Paradiso, and a variety of secret ingredients, rumored to include Australian fire opals and powdered moonstone. The result of using the firebird ash become immediately recognizable when the heel of the shoe is dragged backward across any dry surface, as it creates an impressive streak of magical fire which can be accurately aimed with a little effort. Ms. Abarca said she wanted a shoe that made a statement, and that statement was “Any bastardo brujo catcalling me on La Plaza de Sangre better be ready to dose his huevos, you know?” 
  • Quote: The Chateau of My Heart

Send the elevator back down

kevin-spacey

“If you’ve done well in the business that you wanted to do well in, then it is your obligation to spend a good portion of your time sending the elevator back down.”

– Kevin Spacey

Q: What keeps you going? What get’s you up in the morning?

KS: We had dinner one night on the beach.  We decided to play a game and the game was you had to describe the most important thing in life using one word.  So we went around table. You got health, wealth, family, money. It came to John Huston and he said “Interest.” “Interest.” “Interest” that’s the most important thing in life. And I feel that is something that I have adopted. The idea of being interested in things that I don’t know rather than things that I do know. Peeling back the layer again and again of putting yourself in situations that are challenging and new, that are compelling, and ask of yourself something different than you’ve ever done before. And sometimes this means doing things that scare you and things that you’re not sure you can succeed at.

I suppose that is why I have always loved the theatre and why I love doing plays over anything else. There’s a ritual to it.  There’s also this incredible thing about it where it’s like you are walking on a tight rope. Feeling like you have nothing below you but your faith in what you are doing, your appreciation of the words and the story the author has written and your trust in your fellow company members.

Q: Do you feel that taking risks gets easier and easier over time?

[Read more…]

Se viene conmigo / Is Coming With Me


I’m just a step away
And for the first time
I don’t want to keep walking
I’m fine here
I’m this
I’ve gotten used to this
And this has gotten used to me
I don’t mean that after this step I’ll stop being this
But the fear to the next chapter
The fear to my character walking over to the other side of this imaginary line overwhelms me
It gives me the creeps and the premature nostalgia overtakes my body

This is how I am, because here I walk
But who knows how I will be over other asphalts
I find myself on one side of the line
The one from the present, with a past behind
This is everything that has filled my bag during this time
This is what I am
And I like it

But even if it were not so
I could not escape
There’s no emergency exit to escape from one’s self fire
On the other end of the stripe is my next time
With ambitions, dreams and promises to fill another bag
With other people, other places, other flavors and sounds
I”m afraid of stepping beyond the line
I’m afraid of leaving this asphalt, grey, in which nothing stands out
I’m afraid of changing the color of my nights, thought I never liked this light
I’m afraid of putting out this fire. Of smelling no memories.
I’m afraid of losing this form. I’m afraid of transforming myself.

I am this face.
I am this floor I step on
I am this land, tilled by others.
I am this weather.
I am this wine.
I am this square.
I am this plain.
I am this river.
And this city.
I am the street.
I am what my body oozes because of this I fed it.
And wherever I will be, this broth I carry it with me
This is what I am
And no matter how many lines I cross, my essence
Is coming with me

~ Maria Strada


But

ponder-think-light-sun

Me: I wanna do something
Anxiety:
Anxiety:
Anxiety:
Anxiety:
Anxiety:
Anxiety: No you don’t
Me: But
ANXIETY: No


Credits:


Riding Metro-North. Looking too closely.

train-green-light

It’s dark. 5:40 a.m. I’ve got an early morning jump, and I’m high stepping it to the station. It’s October 14th and the weatherman is calling for mid-70’s. (And it’s damn humid before sunrise.)

I’m feeling Prime this morning. Another night of solid sleep. Something is working, exactly what, is unclear.

I strap on my earphones. I get off the train. I’m lost among the throng, and fidgeting with my ear pieces. (Apple.co can drag music from the clouds and shoot it into my head but can’t seem to get these earbuds to stick.)

I enter the main Grand Central terminal. The wall size Red, White & Blue greets me. O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave.

As do Police. Police Dogs. Bullet proof vests. And Guns.

I glance up as I exit the station. Nestled within a green leafy planter on a pole eight feet up is a sign: NYPD Security Camera. And surrounding the station are Police Cars. Police Vans. Unmarked Cars. And more German Shepherds.

I turn up the music to drown out the dark, and I continue down 42nd street. Fink is playing: Looking too Closely. Looking too close. No. No. No. 

I pick up my pace. Everyone is standing still, or moving in slow motion; I’m passing them on my right, on my left. (The DK Express is hauling a**.)

With no safe jaywalking opportunity available, I wait for the Walk sign. Dark thoughts roll back several weeks.  (Ocean Voung whisks in: “There’s enough light to drown in but never enough to enter the bones & stay.)

It’s mid-morning, mid-week in August.
[Read more…]