It’s 8:58 p.m.
The 9:06 is not reachable from my position in Manhattan.
Later train, late night and another red-eye loop of early morning, late night and early morning. Do Over.
It’s Hour 17 on the shot clock on Tuesday evening.
Yet, it can’t touch me. Not tonight.
I’m primed with three glasses of Napa Chardonnay from dinner, and it’s lifting the fatigue off the mat. The mind lolls in a mist. Could this be bliss? Or inebriation?
Tourists are milling on Fifth Avenue.
Smoke hangs over the grill of a food cart. Middle eastern music is blaring from a boom box. The proprietor is whacking away at the chicken on the grill. How could I possibly be hungry?
I find my seat on the 9:39. And settle.
She boards the train.
Blonde, middle age, white collared shirt, pearls, dark gray blazer, and closed-shoe pumps with 3″ heels. Lawyer?
She places her leather bag on the seat, sits and tugs her skirt down over her knees.
She pulls a tablet from her bag, covers her mouth and coughs. And coughs again and again. Smoker’s cough.
The commuter next to her has his laptop open and his fingers are working the keys. He hasn’t lifted his head. Techie?
The train pulls out of Grand Central at 9:39 pm and rumbles through the dark tunnel. [Read more…]
You have hopes and dreams, just like me.
You have anxieties and fears, just like me.
You have known suffering, just like me.
You wish to be happy, just like me
~ Monique Valcour, A 10-Minute Meditation to Help You Solve Conflicts at Work
Read full essay here.
Photo: Things That Make Me Smile
As Robert Frost once wrote, “A poem begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness. It is never a thought to begin with.”
I recommend the following course of action for those, like you, who are just starting out, or who, like me, may be re-configuring midway through. Heed the words of Robert Frost. Start with a big fat lump in your throat. Start with a profound sense of wrong, a deep homesickness, a crazy lovesickness, and run with it. If you imagine less, less will be what you undoubtedly deserve. Do what you love. And don’t stop until you get what you love. Work as hard as you can. Imagine immensities. Don’t compromise and don’t waste time. In order to strive for a remarkable life, you have to decide that you want one. Start now. Not twenty years from now. Not thirty years from now. Not two weeks from now. Now.
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
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