Good Friday or Christmas Day, this message rings in the season. In this clip, the film producers spent the day talking with people who were going to spend their Christmas on the streets. You can find more on The Dream Dealer here.
Vitry-sur-Seine by David Walker.
Street/urban art. What this man can do with a can of spray paint is astonishing.
Find more here: art of David Walker
Here’s the “Meaning of Life.” ~9,000,000 people have watched this video in the past 2 weeks and seem to agree. I’m one of them. I was moved by this short film. (Be sure to check out Ana’s wonderful blog. She’s from Portugal. Her blog’s name is “Sol de Dezembro” (“December Sun”).
I have never wanted anything more than the wild creatures have, a broad waft of clean air, a day to lie on the grass at times, with nothing to do but to slip the blades through my fingers, and look as long as I pleased at the whole blue arch, and the screens of green and white between; leave for a month to float and float along the salt crests and among the foam, or roll with my naked skin over a clean long stretch of sunshiny sand; food that I liked, straight from the cool ground, and time to taste its sweetness, and time to rest after tasting; sleep when it came, and stillness, that the sleep might leave me when it would, not sooner … This is what I wanted,—this, and free contact with my fellows … not to love and lie, and be ashamed, but to love and say I love, and be glad of it; to feel the currents of ten thousand years of passion flooding me, body to body, as the wild things meet. I have asked no more.
~ Voltairine De Cleyre (1866-1912)
“How does that happen?” Matthiessen asked me rhetorically, posing the question of the novel. He referred back to the novel’s epigraph, a poem by Anna Akhmatova that wonders, when we are surrounded by so much death, “Why then do we not despair?” Matthiessen looked at me, eyes dancing, beating on his leg in time as he said, “Something, something, something,” unable to name the mysterious life force that allows us to rejoice…
~ Jeff Himmelman
Peter Matthiessen, 86, died last night. R.I.P.
The quote above is an excerpt from Himmelman’s April 3, 2014 NY Times Magazine article titled Peter Matthiessen’s Homegoing.
From today’s front page story in the NY Times Peter Matthiessen, Lyrical Writer and Naturalist, Is Dead at 86:
“Zen is really just a reminder to stay alive and to be awake,” he told the British newspaper The Guardian in 2002. “We tend to daydream all the time, speculating about the future and dwelling on the past. Zen practice is about appreciating your life in this moment. If you are truly aware of five minutes a day, then you are doing pretty well. We are beset by both the future and the past, and there is no reality apart from the here and now.”
Matthiessen was an American novelist, naturalist, and wilderness writer. He was a three-time National Book Award-winner for The Snow Leopard and Shadow Country. He was also a prominent environmental activist. According to critic Michael Dirda, “No one writes more lyrically [than Matthiessen] about animals or describes more movingly the spiritual experience of mountaintops, savannas, and the sea.”
Matthiessen’s new book, In Paradise, is scheduled for release on April 8, 2014.
Do you know what is like to be like an elephant? walk like an elephant? eat like an elephant?
About Daryl Zang:
My first real contact with art came early in life. I was born in 1971 in New York City and as a baby my mother often pushed my stroller through the galleries of the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum. I don’t remember a time when art was not a part of my life. I have always loved figurative painting and learned my technique earning a BFA at Syracuse University and through study in Florence, Italy.
My painting career truly came into focus after the birth of my first child. Ironically, at this time, I found it unthinkable that I would have the time or energy to take painting seriously. I found an escape in my studio and turned to self-portraiture in order to make sense of all the emotions that had arrived with this new phase of life. I created imagery that was honest and infused with a female perspective which I found difficult to find elsewhere in art. [Read more...]
It was curious to think
that the sky was the same for everyone.
The ground beneath their feet may be different
But the sky remains the same
The sun, the stars, and the people under the sky
were also very much the same
all over the word
hundreds or thousands or maybe millions of people
just like this…
wel·kin [wel-kin], n, the sky; the vault of heaven.
- Post inspired by Steve Layman‘s Share of Sippican Cottage’s: “Why I Never Hire Brilliant Men: “#4: Does he finish what he starts? Geniuses almost never do.“
- Image Source: The Sensual Starfish.
Suddenly, I wonder – is all hardness justified because we are so slow in realizing that life was meant to be heroic? Greatness is required of us. That is life’s aim and justification, and we poor fools have for centuries been trying to make it convenient, manageable, pliant to our will. It is also peaceful and tender and funny and dull. Yes, all that.
~ Florida Scott-Maxwell, The Measure of My Days
- RogerEbert.com (3.5/4.0 Stars): “Believable. Heartbreaking..A small gem in which the uplift feels earned rather than preached.”
- Vulture.com: “The finest and most wrenching American (fictional) movie so far this year.“
- NY Times (2.5 / 5.0 Stars): “Some of the narrative complications feel forced rather than organic. Yet even as the gathering melodramatic storms threaten to swamp this pungent slice of life, Mr. Cretton manages to earn your tears honestly.”
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.
“The world, whatever we might think about it, terrified by its vastness and by our helplessness in the face of it, embittered by its indifference to individual suffering – of people, animals, and perhaps also plants, for how can we be sure that plants are free of suffering; whatever we might think about its spaces pierced by the radiation of stars, stars around which we now have begun to discover planets, already dead? still dead? – we don’t know; whatever we might think about this immense theater, to which we may have a ticket, but it is valid for a ridiculously brief time, limited by two decisive dates; whatever else we might think about this world – it is amazing.”
~ Wisława Szymborska
Wisława Szymborska-Włodek (1923 – 2012) was a Polish poet, essayist and translator. She was described as a “Mozart of Poetry”. Szymborska was awarded the 1996 Nobel Prize in Literature “for poetry that with ironic precision allows the historical and biological context to come to light in fragments of human reality”.
It’s frigid outside.
You’re going to lounge in bed or
Lay on the couch all afternoon looking for a flick.
Here’s your answer.
On the 2014 Oscar Ballot for the Best Foreign Language Film.
You don’t like Bluegrass music?
Watch it anyway.
You don’t like foreign films and subtitles?
Watch it anyway.
Does the racy trailer put you off?
Watch it anyway.
The Broken Circle Breakdown Movie Reviews:
- Washington Post (“stunning cinematography“)
- RogerEbert.com (“pure emotional release“)
- Nola.com (“Is a thing of bitter beauty“)
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
Sometimes a kind of glory lights up the mind of a man. It happens to nearly everyone. You can feel it growing or preparing like a fuse burning toward dynamite. It is a feeling in the stomach, a delight of the nerves, of the forearms. The skin tastes the air, and every deep-drawn breath is sweet. Its beginning has the pleasure of a great stretching yawn; it flashes in the brain and the whole world glows outside your eyes. A man may have lived all of his life in the gray, and the land and trees of him dark and somber. The events, even the important ones, may have trooped by faceless and pale. And then — the glory — so that a cricket song sweetens his ears, the smell of the earth rises chanting to his nose, and dappling light under a tree blesses his eyes. Then a man pours outward, a torrent of him, and yet he is not diminished. And I guess a man’s importance in the world can be measured by the quality and number of his glories. It is a lonely thing but it relates us to the world. It is the mother of all creativeness, and it sets each man separate from all other men.
~ John Steinbeck, East of Eden
Two weeks running.
Every day. Every day.
The commute in. The ride home.
It opens the day. It closes the doors.
Same tune. One tune.
Over. And over. And over.
[John Waters: “Without obsession, life is nothing.”]
From end to end.
The tune on a loop three to six times depending on traffic.
↓ click for audio (Harry Chapin – “All My Life’s A Circle”)
The Big Gato waits. Crouched.
Tapping his fingers on the seat. Impatient.
Waiting for Chapin to stop jabbering.
And then it comes. 4:30 on the running time.
I crank the volume up.
The dashboard vibrates.
Chapin cues him up.
Michael, the Cellist. Man Singing with Soul.
DK and the rest of the band join him to belt it out to the finish:
All my life’s a circle;
Sunrise and sundown;
The Moon rolls thru the nighttime;
Till the daybreak comes around.
All my life’s a circle;
But I can’t tell you why;
The Seasons’ spinning round again;
The years keep rollin’ by.
Image Source: MTVhive
You’ll read the papers later today. They’ll say:
- Undefeated and decisive. (Toronto Global & Mail)
- Smothering (National Post)
- Dominating. (NY Times)
- Relentless. (Chicago Tribune)
- Four lines deep that just kept coming. (Toronto Star)
We watched you lock arms and sing O Canada. We sang along teary eyed. Our bodies tingled as we watched our Maple Leaf raised.
From all Canadians and ex-pats, Bravo Men.
Gold. Canada Gold.
Mikaela Shiffrin, the 18-year-old wunderkind of ski racing.
She became the youngest slalom world champion a year ago.
Shiffrin sped past the finish line to become the youngest Olympic slalom champion.
She is the first American to win the event in 42 years.
“You can create your own miracle,” Shiffrin said when the gold medal was on a sash draped around her neck. “But you do it by never looking past all the little steps along the way.”
Don’t miss the full inspirational story @ NY Times – American Mikaela Shiffrin Wins Gold In Slalom
Thank you Susan
In the midst of winter,
I found there was,
an invincible summer.
And that makes me happy.
For it says
that no matter how hard
the world pushes against me,
there’s something stronger—
pushing right back.
— Albert Camus, from The Stranger
“20 years ago, Steven Millward tragically broke his neck falling off a rodeo horse; now, he must call upon his friend, veteran horse whisperer Grant Golliher, to gentle the new colts about to enter his herd. Through Grant’s compassion and dedication to the horses, Steven becomes inspired to live his dreams of riding once again.”
And this post was inspired by this “List of Nice Sounds“
We rollin’ with Mozart for the 2nd consecutive night. Tonight…Mozart’s “The Marriage of Figaro—”Canozonetta Sull’aria.” This favorite scene from one of my favorite movies narrated by my favorite Voice (Morgan Freeman). Hang on until the end of the clip and be sure to watch the movie. Found on Amazon here.
Inspired by Schonwieder
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.
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:
“Shirley and Jenny, two former circus elephants who hadn’t seen each other in 22 years were reunited at The Elephant Sanctuary in Tennessee. They recognized each other immediately, and their deep attachment is captured in this video of the reunion. The PBS show Nature published an update on Shirley and Jenny’s lives.” While this story is a bit stale, I was moved by the photograph, the video and the PBS update.
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)
Would she, Elizabeth Roxas-Dobrish, 55 years old, former Ailey superstar and current artificial-hip owner — come out of retirement to dance at a special performance on New Year’s Eve? “Are you kidding me?” she responded. No, he was not kidding, and eventually the answer was yes, she would do it.
But knowing how to do something doesn’t mean being able to do it the same way you did it before. The dancers spoke of thinking one thing in their heads but having something else, perhaps, happen in their limbs. “Does the body do what it did when it was 20?” “Maybe not.”
She was suffused by doubt. Her hip-replacement surgery had taken place at the end of 2012. “I also don’t have any A.C.L. in both of my knees,”
So she got to work. She enlisted the help of a physical therapist, a massage therapist and an acupuncturist; she tweaked her diet; she stepped up her Pilates; and she started going to class again. She began to see the dance from a new perspective, not just as a showcase for technique but as an expression of “all the things that life has put into you.”
And no, she said, she cannot do it exactly the same way she did when she was young: when she arches her back toward the floor while balancing on one leg and extending the other high into the air in one especially hard movement, for instance, she cannot bend back as far as she once did. “Alvin always said, ‘Ponytail to the floor,’ ” she said. “That’s not going to happen.” [Read more...]
This is not about how to change the world.
Or saying that we should stop fighting
against crime, corruption, poverty, oppression or racism.
This is simply about you.
Yesterday I drove an hour outside of Cape Town
with my family to be with the snow.
A rare occurrence us Cape Townians hardly get to experience.
It was then when it hit me, we need to celebrate more.
But not in a traditional sense.
But in a way to celebrate life and our time on earth,
which we all seem to be rushing through.
Let’s celebrate being young.
Let’s celebrate love.
Let’s celebrate family.
Let’s celebrate the offering for no reason.
Let’s celebrate the city you live in.
Having the ability to be able to watch this video is a privilege.
Having access to internet, celebrate that.
Every day I see these negative things on Facebook
like F*&* my life and stupid rants about pointless sh*t.
Let’s change that to positive appreciations.
Today, I decided to go outside with the purpose of finding positivity and happiness.
This is what I found.
Stop listening to the answer
and just listen to understand that your time here is worth celebrating.
Looking at your life as an outsider,
it’s more beautiful than you can ever imagine.
~ Dan Mace [Read more...]
“She was 86, competing in the marathon for the 25th consecutive time. Even injured, she abided by one of her enduring rules for any race, which was to smile down the homestretch, aware of the roving race photographers and believing it never served anyone to be caught in a grimace.
Joy Johnson crossed the finish line at the New York City Marathon this year nearly eight hours after she began. Of the 50,266 people to finish, she was among the very last — wearing a pair of Nikes and a navy blue bow pinned neatly in her hair, leaning on a stranger for support. Her forehead was bloodied in a fall she took at around Mile 20…Johnson, who was raised on a Minnesota dairy farm and was given to cheery understatement, waved off any concern. “I wasn’t watching where I was going,” she told her sister shortly after finishing. “It looks just awful, but I’m fine.”
…she herself didn’t have an exercise regimen. Until one day in 1985, when she and her husband were newly retired and their four children all grown, Johnson, who was 59, took a three-mile walk and found it energizing. Soon she tried jogging and enjoyed that even more…As a senior citizen, she ran an average of three marathons a year, buttressed by dozens of shorter races, always with a bow in her hair. Her home in San Jose grew so cluttered with running medals and trophies that she began storing some of them in the garage.
Early the next morning, looking cheery, with her medal around her neck and a blue kerchief over her head, the right side of her face swaddled in bandages, Joy Johnson waited in the crowd outside NBC Studios to say hello, as she did postmarathon every year, to Al Roker (“a nice young man,” she called him) from the “Today” show…”
I won’t be a spoiler. Be sure to read this article and how it finishes: Joy Johnson, a Marathoner to the End
- Elise, thank you for sharing. Inspiring. How do you define grace and class: Joy Johnson.
- Image & Article: NYTimes.com
“Cecil Williams, 60, a blind man, was heading to the dentist during morning rush hour on Tuesday. His 11-year black lab guide dog named Orlando, was trained to keep him from going over the edge. Witnesses said the dog was barking frantically as his owner was losing consciousness. He tried to stop Williams from falling, but they both fell to the tracks when Williams fainted. “He tried to hold me up,” Williams said.
Orlando then lay on top of his owner cowering as the subway rumbled over top of them. The train’s motorman slowed the subway cars while witnesses called for help. Williams and Orlando were struck, but not badly hurt. “The dog saved my life,” Williams said, his voice breaking at times. He also was astonished by the help from emergency crews and bystanders on the platform. As Williams regained consciousness, he heard someone telling him to be still. Emergency workers put him on a stretcher and pulled him from the subway, and made sure the dog was not badly injured.
Orlando, who Williams described as serious but laid-back, was at the hospital making new friends. He will be rewarded with some type of special treat, Williams said, along with plenty of affection and scratches behind the ears.
The lab will be 11 on Jan. 5, and will be retiring soon, Williams said. His health insurance will not cover the cost of a non-working dog, so he will be looking for a good home for him. If he had the money, Williams said, “I would definitely keep him.””
Watch the 30 second NBC News Video Clip here. Inspiring…
Source: NBC News
Related Post: Guess who graduated? With a fancy badge and diploma too…
I used to think I knew everything. I was a “smart person” who “got things done,” and because of that, the higher I climbed, the more I could look down and scoff at what seemed silly or simple, even religion. But I realized something as I drove home that night: that I am neither better nor smarter, only luckier. And I should be ashamed of thinking I knew everything, because you can know the whole world and still feel lost in it. So many people are in pain-no matter how smart or accomplished – they cry, they yearn, they hurt. But instead of looking down on things, they look up, which is where I should have been looking, too. Because when the world quiets to the sound of your own breathing, we all want the same things: comfort, love, and a peaceful heart.
― Mitch Albom
Mitch Albom, 55, was born in Passaic, New Jersey. He is an American best-selling author of the blockbuster bestsellers Tuesdays With Morrie, The Five People You Meet In Heaven and For One More Day. His books have sold over 35 million copies worldwide. He was an acclaimed sports journalist at the Detroit Free Press and he is a frequent participant on the ESPN Sports Reporters. Albom has also achieved success as a screenwriter, dramatist, radio broadcaster and musician.
He grew up in a small, middle-class neighborhood from which most people never left. Mitch was once quoted as saying that his parents were very supportive, and always used to say, “Don’t expect your life to finish here. There’s a big world out there. Go out and see it.” Albom once mentioned that now his parents say, “Great. All our kids went and saw the world and now no one comes home to have dinner on Sundays.”
20 cancer patients participated in a unique makeover experience. They were invited to a studio. Their hair and makeup were completely redone. Here’s the outcome.
I think a lot about the contrast between banality and wonder. Between disengagement and radiant ecstacy. Between being unaffected by the hear and now and being absolutely ravished emotionally by it. And I think one of the problems for human beings is mental habits. One we create a comfort zone, we rarely step outside of that comfort zone. But the consequence of that is a phenomenon known as hedonic adaptation. Overstimulation to the same kind of thing, the same stimuli, again and again and again, renders said stimuli invisible. Your brain has already mapped it in its own head and you know longer literarily have to be engaged in it. We have eyes yet see not. Ears that hear not. And hearts that neither feel nor understand. There is a great book called “The Wondering Brain” that says that one of ways that we elicit wonder is by scrambling the self temporarily so that the world can seep in. Henry Miller says that even grass when given proper attention becomes an infinitely magnificent world in itself. Darwin said attention if sudden and close graduates into surprise, and this into astonishment, and this into stupefied amazement. That’s what rapture is. That’s what illumination is. That’s what infinite comprehending awe that human beings love so much. And so how do we do that? How do we mess with our perceptual apparatus in order to have the kind of emotional and aesthetic experience from life that we render most meaningful. Because we all know that those moments are there. Those are those moments that would make the final cut. Only in these moments we experience a fresh, the hardly bearable, ecstasy of direct energy exploding on our nerve endings. This is the rhapsodic, ecstatic, bursting forth of awe that expands our perceptual parameters beyond our previous limits. And we literally have to reconfigure our mental models of the world in order to assimilate the beauty of that download. That is what it means to be inspired. The Greek root of the term means to breathe in. To take it in. We fit the Universe through our brains and it comes out in the form of nothing less than poetry. We have a responsibilities to awe.
~ Jason Silva
Yes, it’s a commercial. But what is it with this time of the year, Red Balloons and a bit of kindness? You can’t help but be warmed by the faces in this ad…
Life is a question of nerves, and fibres, and slowly built-up cells in which thought hides itself and passion has its dreams. You may fancy yourself safe and think yourself strong. But a chance tone of colour in a room or a morning sky, a particular perfume that you had once loved and that brings subtle memories with it, a line from a forgotten poem that you had come across again, a cadence from a piece of music that you had ceased to play… I tell you, that it is on things like these that our lives depend.
— Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray