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.
OK, I need help interpreting the illustration:
- She’s single and sleeping alone. Courting suitors?
- She’s married. Shares her bed.
- She’s married. Shares her bed with another. Their child.
- The family gets a dog. Dog sleeps in bed. Less room on bed. (This is all sounding close to home.)
- She’s pushed out of bed by husband, child and dog? Further separation?
- Empty Nesters pull together?
- She’s alone. (Husband deceased? Divorced?) Finds peace in meditation and being alone?
Source: “Passages” – NY Times Sunday Book Review
And, January, 2014 is over next week.
Image Source: TheTimBurtonWorld
“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.”
Notes: SMWI* = Saturday morning workout inspiration. Image Source: HungarianSoul
Image Credit: Thank you Joy of Traveling
SMWI* = Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration
Creator: Sarah Anderson, Doodle Time
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.
SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration
SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration
I’ll tell you what love of this life is.
It’s looking up
through trees newly bare of leaves
and seeing there the oldest road,
a broken line of white stars
stretching out across the sky.
this could be enough.
- Susan Elbe, Light Made From Nothing
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
The image has been
a counterweight to darkness.
Every Father’s nightmare.
I call it up. The image.
To block. To deflect.
Her sinewy silhouette shimmering against the moonlight.
Waves lapping her toes on the shore line.
Her eyes closed.
Wind gently rustling her hair.
A need to believe.
A longing to feel.
Her at Peace.
That she is safe.
She’s coming home.
“Parental love, I think, is infinite…Not infinitely good, or infinitely ennobling, or infinitely beautiful. Just infinite…”
~ Adam Gopnik
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!
Source: themetapicture.com. Thank you Susan.
David Byrne, 60, is a Scottish musician permanently residing in the United States. He is best known as a founding member and principal songwriter of the American New Wave band Talking Heads, which was active between 1975 and 1991. He has received Grammy, Oscar and Golden Globe awards and been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Brainpickings.org describes Byrne “as also one of the sharpest thinkers of our time and a kind of visual philosopher. About a decade ago, Byrne began making ‘mental maps of imaginary territory’ in a little notebook based on self-directed instructions to draw anything from a Venn diagram about relationships to an evolutionary tree of pleasure yet wholly unlike anything else. In 2006, Byrne released Arboretum, a collection of these thoughtful, funny, cynical, poetic, and altogether brilliant pencil sketches — some very abstract, some very concrete — drawn in the style of evolutionary diagrams and mapping everything from the roots of philosophy to the tangles of romantic destiny to the ecosystem of the performing arts.”
Bottom line: Brilliant.
Everyone once, once only. Just once and no more.
And we also once. Never again. But this having been
once, although only once, to have been of the earth,
—Rainer Maria Rilke
For 20 children and 6 adults in an elementary school in Newtown, CT, “Once” has proven to be shockingly short. Peace be with them and their families.
#3: My job takes my time and energy. #4: I’m too tired. #14: The weather sucks. #15: I AM NOT MOTIVATED. There we go. They are on the table. My excuses not to exercise (again). Leo Babauta @ Zen Habits wrote a recent post titled 15 Great Excuses Not to Form the Fitness Habit that has lingered with me. He lists 15 excuses that have blocked him from exercise – along with his “excuse blasters.” And of course, I’ve added my commentary… [Read more...]
Rachel: Hi Daddy!
Dad: Hi Honey. What’s up?
Rachel: Daddy, I scored an 88 on a brutal Managerial Accounting Test!
Dad: Wow, that’s amazing Rachel. Well done! I’m proud of you.
Rachel: OK Daddy. Just wanted to let you know. Gotta run.
45 second phone conversation with daughter on car ride home from work. Priceless.
Image Credit: Thank you abirdeyeview
It’s Monday, October 29th. The day that Hurricane Sandy hit the Tri-State Region.
I’m scrolling down the new WordPress posts for bloggers I follow. My fingers sliding clumsily on the touch pad. Scrolling. Scrolling. (Cursing because I haven’t figured out this d*mn touch pad. I miss the eraser thing in the middle of keyboard. Getting old. Hating change. Big clumsy fingers. I slide fingers in wrong direction and I’m taken to another website. I lose my place. Need to start back at the top. Grrrrrrr. Can this be so difficult pal? )
My eyes flitting from post to post. Scanning images and topics of interest.
My eyes land on the image on the left. I freeze. (What is it about this image? I can feel its soothing effects. The ‘Work’ clutch now slipping from OVERDRIVE to neutral.)
A few lines. Black lines. White background. A simple image. A simple, beautiful human image. (Let’s not get too carried away. It’s certainly not that simple. And nothing I could ever draw.)
I found it to be startling.
“…New research this month finds that the more time someone spends sitting, the shorter and less robust his or her life may be. The findings were sobering: Every single hour of television watched after the age of 25 reduces the viewer’s life expectancy by 21.8 minutes. By comparison, smoking a single cigarette reduces life expectancy by about 11 minutes. Looking more broadly, they concluded that an adult who spends an average of six hours a day watching TV over the course of a lifetime can expect to live 4.8 years fewer than a person who does not watch TV. Those results hold true even for people who exercise regularly. It appears a person who does a lot of exercise but watches six hours of TV every night might have a similar mortality risk as someone who does not exercise and watches no TV…” [Read more...]
And, hopefully sitting in a house with power…
I’ve been watching the debates and the bad actors in government. I’ve concluded that I’m a master compromiser when compared to this crowd. Then the mirror swings around and hits me on the forehead. See the chart below. Here’s Michael Brown’s 4-box on Compromise. I have no idea what “TKI” and “MBTI” stand for. Check out his full post on the theory behind it – I’ll let you hash that out with Michael and his high brow intellectual friends. I just wanted (needed) to get to the bottom line – how do I score? (Yes, it is always about the score. Yes, it is.) See the arrow pointing to my position. (And no one was looking when I nudged the star over to the right with some elbow grease. Hey, at least I’m not in the bottom right, right?. Poets/Artists, save your breath. I’m immune to the beatings on my lack of sensitivity on this topic.)
Then coincidently (by now you know there are no coincidences on my ride), I trip into the answer…
Source: Leonor Perez is an artist/illustrator from Santiago, Chile.
“Eyvind Earle (1916 – 2000) was an American artist, author and illustrator. He was noted for his contribution to the background illustration and styling of Disney animated files in the 1950s.” See link below for more magic and big color…
Source: Eyvind Earlie @ Wikipaintings.org – “Big Sur” (1991). “Valley” (1974). “Autumn Sunset” (1987)