No Trade.

beach-walk

They were walking up the shoreline, Brother and Sister now in their early 20’s. The waves were lapping at their feet, their feet disappearing in sea foam before the waves rolled back into the ocean.

I’m wading through Herzog’s book, now 60% of the way through. My headphones are piping in a Nils Frahm playlist from his album “Felt“. I set the book down to watch them.

Rachel is doing a handstand on the beach while Eric is taking photos. I can see them laughing as she tries it again. They are Friends. All those years of fighting, squabbling and picking on each other in the back seat of the car…All those corrections by Mom and Dad to keep it civil…look at them, they’ve become Friends.

Just as they pass below me, as if on cue, the late afternoon sun streams through the clouds. A warm breeze gusts. And two Pelicans skim the ocean, gliding along with the wind currents.

Herzog said that “Today I would give ten years of my life if I could play the cello with the same ease as breathing. The finest music has a quality of consolation you find nowhere else, with perhaps the exception of religion or being in contact with small children.” 

I glance down at the playlist to see the title of Frahm’s track. It is titled “Less.”

I paused to contemplate Frahm’s tune and Herzog’s words.

Frahm got it half right. “Felt” yes. “Less” no.

As to Werner, I Iove the Cello, but I wouldn’t trade a single moment.

Not one.


SMWI*: Feeling large

totoro-rain-gif


Notes:

  • SMWI* = Saturday morning workout inspiration.
  • For more background on Totoro and the Japanese animation film, connect here and here. “Totoro is a giant, friendly forest spirit. He spends most of his time sleeping in a hole in a tree. He doesn’t speak, instead communicating by loud bellows.” (My family would concur with this description of me excluding friendly spirit part.)
  • Image Source: Implicit-egotist

5:00 P.M. Bell: Going Home

dana carvey, mike myerswayne's-world-funny-gif-2


Source: disco lemonade

Humility is scarce and mediocrity flows from every direction

Bil_Zelman_Werner_Herzog

Q: Do you still not own a cellphone?

Herzog: I’m the only thinking person I know without one. I don’t want to be available at all times. Permanent connectivity isn’t my thing; I have always needed moments of quiet solitude for myself. There’s a Chinese poem from the Tang dynasty about someone describing a boat journey along the Yellow River and leaving his friend behind, a monk on a mountain, in the knowledge that they probably won’t see each other or have any contact for years. This man’s return, decades later, has an indescribable substance and depth. Compare this to standing in line at the airport, chatting on your cellphone to your loved one, who is waiting in the car park. There is too much shallow contact in our lives. I prefer to be face to face; I want the person I’m communicating with to be so close I can put my hand on their shoulder. Text messaging is the bastard child handed to us by the absence of reading.

Q: You use the Internet. [Read more…]

It works!

gif-zen-peace-relax

“If you follow the paintbrush with your eyes while not moving your head, it forces you to use emdr which is a therapeutic technique to calm anxiety/panic. Watching fish swim causes the same effect.”


Source: Disintegrated Insanity

 

A Guide For the Perplexed

a guide for the perplexed

I’ve been chewing through a new book titled “Werner Herzog: A Guide for the Perplexed: Conversations with Paul Cronin.” Werner, 72, is an award winning German film director, producer and screen writer for Fitzcarraldo, The Enigma of Kaspar Hauser, Woyzeck and Where the Green Ants Dream.

Why choose this book out of the thousands available to you?

No idea. Hard to explain why I was drawn to this. I do recall my finger hovering over the “BUY NOW” button on Amazon and wondering if this will be yet another abandoned, start-but-not-come-close-to-finishing e-book, in my groaning stack of Incompletes weighing on my consciousness.

Why a book by a film director? Do you have interest in film production?

None.

Why this book then? A dense 600-pager with footnotes?

Pay attention. Refer back to question 1. (No idea). In hindsight, I do think that perhaps I was attracted by the potential of finding my community, a brotherhood in “A Guide for the Perplexed” and possibly finding my way out. And I heard a bell – – far softer than a Siren, gentler than a Clarion Call, a chime of sorts from William Stafford: “Listen—something else hovers out here, not color, not outlines or depth when air relieves distance by hazing far mountains, but some total feeling or other world almost coming forward, like when a bell sounds and then leaves the whole countryside waiting.”

So, what do you think of the book? [Read more…]

Lightly child, lightly

peace,slow,still,quiet
I now realize that
I habitually fight against a leisurely pace;
I resist giving in to slowness.

~ Daniel Klein, Travels with Epicurus: A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Life


Notes:

  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”
  • Image (edited) Source: Patterns in Chaos

In Sync

inspirational

“A baby dolphin earns its jumping stripes as it swims alongside its mother and leaps out of the water next to her. The dolphin calf was virtually stuck to its mother’s side as they swam before simultaneously jumping a metre out of the water near the Sao Miguel Island of the Azores region, Portugal.”


Source: Picture: Sascha Losko/Solent telegraph.co.uk via Mme Scherzo

 

Thank You For Being a Friend


Loved this. And can’t seem to get Andrew Gold’s song out of my head:


Source: Grindtv.com

 

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

camel-caleb-hump-day-funny

Check out Cool Caleb’s holiday getup. The Man’s ready for the holidays.


Credits: Thank you Janet. Source: The Sartorialist

And, Peace

painting,art,back,woman

If you could only keep quiet,
clear of memories and expectations,
you would be able to discern the beautiful pattern of events.
It is your restlessness that causes chaos.

— Nisargadatta


Credits: Quote – Here & Now. Bio for Nisargadatta. Thomas Saliot Painting via Art Sponge 

War

woman-neck-black-and-white

You don’t know why you’re exhausted?
You’re fighting a war inside your head every single day.
If that’s not exhausting I don’t know what is.

My therapist


Credits: Quote – Borderline-ings Playbook via Eumoirous. Photography via Eclecticity Light

The Song


This is Apple’s new Holiday ad titled: The Song.
If you missed their 2013 award winning ad, here it is: Misunderstood


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

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

winter

so winter begins 
in the heart of a sparrow 
shouting at the sky


Credits: Photograph: Gighy.com. Poem: Your Eyes Blaze Out

 

Why are there things that are…rather than nothing?

black-and-white-back-portrait

I pull Heidegger’s Introduction to Metaphysics out of my shoulder bag. This is the tome that opens with the stupefier, “Why are there things that are rather than nothing?” Whatever could have possessed me to lug this baby across the Atlantic to this remote island village? It must have been the inevitable thoughts of mortality that hover over me. Heidegger’s question seems to go beyond the start and stop of an individual life—say, mine— to being itself. What is that all about? I have this nagging suspicion that for the past fifty-odd years I have been dismissing Heidegger’s question as total twaddle without ever really trying it on for size. […]

Perhaps it is impossible to get one’s head around immutable nothingness: the mind just keeps collapsing in on itself. I can only barely get the idea of subtracting everything from the universe. But an eternal nothingness to which nothing could possibly be added escapes me. Maybe the positivists were right, after all: the reason I cannot think about this stuff is because it is utter nonsense. But what’s this? For an instant, I feel something like relief or even gratitude that being is. I even experience tinges of something that feels a wee bit like awe— awe that miraculously being has somehow triumphed over nothing. And that, astonishingly, I have been a part of that triumph: I have had the privilege of participating in being and of being conscious of that fact. And that is it— my yes! moment. It is over in a minute, and it was not even a full yes— more like a shiver of assent.

~ Daniel Klein, Travels with Epicurus: A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Life


Notes:

 

Sunday Morning: Eyes closed. Breath stilled.

Bryan Arias

Henry insists that he is not a spiritual man. He says religion is just hocus-pocus. And yet when we go to a symphony concert together— which is usually one with Mahler on the program —and I glance over at him, I often behold on his creased old face an expression of rapture. Henry is clearly elevated to a higher realm— his spirit soars. I have no doubt that in some meaningful sense Henry has left the building. I too listen to music more and more. Throughout my life, music has stirred me more than any other art form, and now, in old age, I find myself listening to it almost every evening, usually alone, for hours at a time. Lying on the couch in the dark, listening to, say, Mahler’s Ninth Symphony or the Fauré Requiem or Puccini’s “E lucevan le stelle” from Tosca, I too sometimes take off for a realm where self-consciousness and my separateness from everything in the universe fall away. I am lost in the stars. Like Henry, I am hesitant to name this a spiritual experience, but at times it feels awfully close to one. Eyes closed, breath stilled, listening to the exquisite melancholy of Cavaradossi’s romanza to Tosca under the stars as he awaits his execution crying out, “Never have I loved life more!” sometimes— just sometimes— I can feel my yearnings made sublime.

~ Daniel Klein, Travels with Epicurus: A Journey to a Greek Island in Search of a Fulfilled Life


Notes:

 

Driving I-95 S. The Circle of Life.

father-son-fist-bump-love

The Departure.
The Frenzy.
The Packing.
The Awkwardness.
The Race to the Airport.
The Small Talk.
The Drop-off.
*
The Drive Back Home.
Stewing in Silence.
Lamott’s Drowning in Uncried Tears.
Smoke from Melancholia Filling the Cockpit.
An Amputee Rubbing his Stub – Where’s my Limb?
*
The Gap.
Tongue’s first day with his Missing Tooth.
Zeke Turning, Turning, Turning. Can’t find his spot. Lands Heavily, and Sighs.
First Thanksgiving Dinner with the Circle Broken. His Seat Sits Empty.
*
The Return.
“Who’s Picking Up Eric at JFK Airport?”
Everyone!


Notes: Image: Leniwi-ojcowie. Related Posts: Driving Series

SMWI*: Oh Boy.

gif

(Sorry…Oh Girl!)


Notes:

  • SMWI*: Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration
  • Source: fitspo

Le Petit Prince

animation-pet-meditation-boy-dog

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s 1943 classic The Little Prince is one of the best-selling books of all time.  It has now been adapted into a papercraft animated film scheduled for release in 2015.  Here’s a short (and beautiful) French trailer of what’s coming.

Find the English language film trailer for The Little Prince here: The Little Prince Trailer


Credits: Thank you SensualStarfish

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…]

A holiday puzzle I can crack

christmas, holiday


Source: themetapicture.com

 

That’s all gone now!

napoleon

In my own case it’s taken me years to cultivate self-control to prevent my emotions from betraying themselves. Only a short time ago I was the conqueror of the world, commanding the largest and finest army of modern times. That’s all gone now! To think I kept all my composure, I might even say preserved my unvarying high spirits … You don’t think that my heart is less sensitive than those of other men. I’m a very kind man but since my earliest youth I have devoted myself to silencing that chord within me that never yields a sound now. If anyone told me when I was about to begin a battle that my mistress whom I loved to distraction was breathing her last, it would leave me cold. Yet my grief would be just as great as if I had the time. Without this self-control, do you think I could have done all I’ve done?

~ Napoleon (in a letter to Louis-Mathieu Mole)


Source: “Napoleon, A Life” by Andrew Roberts (An Amazon Best Book of the Month, November, 2014) via Leading Blog

Lightly child, lightly (v. Kooser)

light-sun

What does the earth’s shadow look like flying through space? A jellyfish, perhaps, swimming at the speed of light with filaments streaming behind. At sunrise or sunset, if you stand on a hilltop, with your arms spread out and your fingers fluttering like feathers, your shadow can ride at the top of that enormous, flying darkness, racing forever into the stars.

~ Ted Kooser, “December.The Wheeling Year: A Poet’s Field Book


Notes:

  • Prior “Lightly child, lightly” Posts? Connect here.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”
  • Image (edited) Source: ccanddumplins via Sensual Starfish

 

Driving I-95 S. Wading in Dissonance.

driving

5:33 a.m. I enter the on-ramp. Pre-rush hour traffic is gliding down I-95.

Where you at today? What’s it gonna be? Which DK is going to show up?

I glance at the dash. 39° F. Overcast. Low hanging mist. Light is beginning to creep through the gloom.

A fulsome night of sleep. No anchor pulling down on this a** today. Today, I’m rumbling.  

I glance at my watch – a late jump for an early morning meeting.

Delegate down? Cancel? Reschedule? Odysseus isn’t hearing the lovely sea nymphs but Glaser’s Siren Call. And he starts to wail. And wail. And wail.

The first rule is the best. Rule number one is that ‘it doesn’t matter.’ ‘It doesn’t matter that what you think. Follow this rule and it will add decades to your life. It does not matter if you are late or early, if you are here or there, if you said it or didn’t say it, if you are clever or if you were stupid…it doesn’t matter.’ Wisdom at last.”

The app calculates my arrival time: 5 minutes before the meeting start time.

Tight. Too tight. Serves you right for agreeing to burn it on both ends.  Burn. Burn. Burn. [Read more…]

Eat. Drink. One Woman.

lee-price-painting-breakfast-tub

Emily McCombs on Lee Price: Eat. Drink. One Woman:

If you look quickly at Lee Price’s hyperrealistic paintings, you might mistake them for photographs. But the 44-year-old upstate–New York artist would rather you focus on the subject matter than the technique, which is, for the most part, women and food. Price, who studied painting at Philadelphia’s Moore College of Art, has a long held fascination with the intersection of these two subjects, inspired by her own experience. “The food thing came up because I’ve had issues with food ever since I was very young, and body image issues. I was always very thin but always trying to lose weight,” she says. “They’re very personal paintings.” In fact, the images—bird’s-eye views of women surrounded by luscious-looking desserts or the crumpled wrappers of a junk-food binge—are all self- portraits, painted from photographs of the artist. The life-size works show Price, often nude or in underwear, in unusual eating situations, like sprawled across a bed shoving a pastry in her mouth or crouched in the bath tub holding a full pie. On one level, her work is about compulsivity: the aerial view is meant to conjure the sensation of watching oneself engage in a compulsive behavior and being unable to stop it. That aspect seems to resonate for many— Price often hears her work referred to as “binge paintings” or “bulimia paintings.” But she asserts that the images of women in repose surrounded by unrestricted portions of decadent treats can also be seen as a kind of liberation from the constant monitoring of food choices that so many engage in. “In this society, there’s so much pressure for women to be thin. We’re not supposed to have appetites—and not just for food, but for a lot of things. We’re the givers and not the consumers, and I think some of my recent paintings are about the women staring at the viewers and saying, ‘I’m not going to censor my appetite,’” says Price.

Read the full article and see additional paintings here: Eat. Drink. One Woman:

Check out Lee Price’s website here: leepricestudio.com

 

 

It’s that time

christmas-tree-gif


Source: mbthecool

 

The Ultimate Prize

 portrait,black and white,photography,

After a thirty-year study of time diaries, two sociologists found that Americans were actually working fewer hours than we did in the 1960s, but we feel as if we’re working more. We have the sense, too often, of running at top speed and never being able to catch up. With machines coming to seem part of our nervous systems, while increasing their speed every season, we’ve lost our Sundays, our weekends, our nights off— our holy days, as some would have it; our bosses, junk mailers, our parents can find us wherever we are, at any time of day or night. More and more of us feel like emergency-room physicians, permanently on call, required to heal ourselves but unable to find the prescription for all the clutter on our desk.As I came down from the mountain, I recalled how, not many years ago, it was access to information and movement that seemed our greatest luxury; nowadays it’s often freedom from information, the chance to sit still, that feels like the ultimate prize.

~ Pico Iyer, “The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere.” (Simon & Schuster/ TED, November 4, 2014)


Image Source: Journalofanobody

I don’t know. I passed through it once, but I’ve never really been there.


Important to stick with this short film until the finish…


onism – n. the frustration of being stuck in just one body, that inhabits only one place at a time, which is like standing in front of the departures screen at an airport, flickering over with strange place names like other people’s passwords, each representing one more thing you’ll never get to see before you die-and all because, as the arrow on the map helpfully points out, you are here.

Full Transcript below…
[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


Cold Specks: Winter Solstice


Jim Fusilli, Cold Speck’s Arresting Mix:

Now 26, she (Ladan Hussein) was born in Etobicoke, Ontario, to parents from Somalia. Calling herself a “typical moribund teenager,” she took up a guitar at age 15. After relocating to London, where her extended family was dubious about her choice of career, Ms. Hussein was playing as Cold Specks at St. Pancras Old Church when a producer from “Later… with Jools Holland” caught her show and invited her on the BBC program. The other guests on the November 2011 broadcast included Mary J. Blige, Florence + the Machine, My Morning Jacket and the Who’s Pete Townshend. At the conclusion of her a cappella version of “Old Stepstone,” the traditional folk ballad, Mr. Holland cheered, “The power of the single human voice!”

On her two albums, including this year’s “Neuroplasticity” (Mute), Cold Specks delivers contemporary rock that either arrives with the confrontational authority of hardcore punk and free jazz or is as contemplative as folk and mellow soul. In concert here last week at the Echo, she and her four-piece band demonstrated how arresting that complex mix can be. In a conversation before her late-night set, Cold Specks—whose real name is Ladan Hussein, though she is also known as Al Spx—was quiet, perhaps even shy, a contrast to her bold, insistent music. “I’m a listener,” she said, “not a talker.” She added that she doesn’t follow modern music and was enjoying the doo-wop a manager put on in the van as they traveled between gigs.

…“I am who I am,” she said earlier during a conversation, a simple remark that later seemed a promise of much more extraordinary music to come.

Find her new album on iTunes here: Neuroplasticity

Find this tune on her 2012 album: I Predict a Graceful Expulsion

I find them evenly lit

mark-strand12

NY Times: Mark Strand, 80, Dies; Pulitzer-Winning Poet Laureate:

Mark Strand, whose spare, deceptively simple investigations of rootlessness, alienation and the ineffable strangeness of life made him one of America’s most hauntingly meditative poets, died on Saturday at his daughter’s home in Brooklyn. He was 80. Mr. Strand, who was named poet laureate of the United States in 1990 and awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1999 for his collection “Blizzard of One,” made an early impression with short, often surreal lyric poems that imparted an unsettling sense of personal dislocation — what the poet and critic Richard Howard called “the working of the divided self.”…“He is not a religious poet on the face of it, but he fits into a long tradition of meditation and contemplation,” said David Kirby…He makes you see how trivial the things of this world are, and how expansive the self is, once you unhook it from flat-screen TVs and iPhones.” Reading Mr. Strand, he said, “We learn what a big party solitude is.”…To critics who complained that his poems, with their emphasis on death, despair and dissolution, were too dark, he replied, “I find them evenly lit.”

He has too many favorite poems to share…so I have shared links to short excerpts, morsels, to enable you to feel the genius of this man.

  • Luminism: “And though it was brief, and slight, and nothing / To have been held onto so long, I remember it…”
  • Black Maps: “…A scar remembers the wound.” 
  • The Guardian: Why do I love what fades?”
  • The Triumph of the Infinite“All I could hear was my heart pumping and pumping.”
  • The Coming of Light: “..Even this late it happens: the coming of love, the coming of light.”
  • Dark Harbor: “…Sending up stars of salt, loud clouds of spume.”
  • The Continuous Life: “…You are slipping away with nothing completed, nothing / To prove you existed.”
  • Not Dying: “…On windless summer nights I feel those kisses…”
  • Sleeping With One Eye Open: “…We all have reasons for moving. I move to keep things whole.”
  • Lines for Winter: “…Tell yourself in that final flowing of cold through your limbs that you love what you are.” 
  • The Remains: “…The hours have done their job. I say my own name. I say goodbye.”

Credits: Photo – jrbenjamin.com

SMWI*: Breathe. With both barrels.

european-bison-gif


Notes:

  • SMWI* = Saturday morning workout inspiration.
  • Source: All My Small Adventures (European Bison / Bisonte Europeo. Confined to protected areas in Eastern Europe)

Love

dog-pet-cute-adorable

Having a good dog is the closest some of us are ever going to come to knowing the direct love of a mother or God.

~ Anne Lamott, “This Dog’s Life.” Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace


Photograph: Browndresswithwhitedots


Driving I-95 S. Float On.

car-driving-highway

I read One Day three years ago.
But The Line, this line, never left me.
The words would land softly, gently.
And my veins would pulse with Gratitude.

And then some days you wake up and everything’s perfect.

I turn the dial to 70’s on 7.
The Floaters with “Float on.

The left foot begins to tap.
My body begins to sway, a rocking chair.

Take my hand, come with me, baby, to Love Land
Let me show you how sweet it could be
Sharing love with me, I want you to tell me
Float, float on (Come on, come on,
(Come on, baby, yeah, yeah)
Float on, float on (Ooh, ooh, baby)
Float, float, float on
Float on (Float with me), float on [Read more…]

T.G.I.F.: It’s Been A Long Week

ostrich, funny,laugh


Source: Awesomegifs

 

This Holiday: Give Presence


Thank you Rachel

Blue Dive

matt-story-swimming-blue-art

Matt Story studied art from an early age and demonstrated a unique skill for hyper-realism.  “I was lauded for ‘photo-realistic’ technique, but I was never after that, really, after what a camera impartially sees, because there’s so much more there, captured only by the human filter of memory.  We all posses these invisible imprints, through experience and living, but often its only artists who can play it back for us, to remind us.  The paint surface needs to be a mirror for the viewer, reflecting back not his or her superficial self, but a deep shared humanness.  This is the essence of looking at a piece that’s totally unfamiliar to you and yet, being awed with a sense of recognition.  Your reactions, those memories and feelings are uniquely yours but you’re suddenly filled with a sense that, you share them, at least with the artist, but probably even with everyone else.  That of course is art at its best: the artist, sometimes doesn’t even know what he’s doing because he’s a conduit of his or her own collective awareness.” (Find Story’s full bio here: MattStory.com)

 

 

Lightly child, lightly (v. Aequo animo)

bubbles

I imagine a word, a single word, that would pierce through the hardest of hearts.
*
But who am I? No one and everyone…
*
Quiet and still. There are so many things I cannot explain.
*
Be compassionate. Aequo animo.

~ Marion Blank, Note to Self


Credits:

  • Aqua Animo (latin) \ˌī-ˌkwō-ˈä-ni-ˌmō\ : with even mind :  calmly.
  • Post Title & Inspiration: Aldous Huxley: “It’s dark because you are trying too hard. Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them.”
  • Image Source: Thank you Sandy @ Sundog

 

No stopping it now

black and white

I once read of a climber who, while clinging to the face of a climb thousands of feet above an alpine valley, said he could feel the earth turn under his hands. And I have read that a person with patience could move an aircraft carrier tied at a dock by leaning long enough against its side to get it started, knowing that once it began to move there’d be no bringing it back, and it came to me that the earth behaves like that, steadily moving out into time under the common pressure of billions of hands.

No stopping it now.

~ Ted Kooser, December. The Wheeling Year: A Poet’s Field Book


Credits: Photograph – boulderporn

 

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

Camels in Yorkshire

Here’s Festive Caleb and his girl on Hump Day.  He’s lookin’ fine.

Photo was taken by Uncle Spike’s friend at a Christmas market in Brighouse, West Yorkshire in the UK. Thank you Uncle Spike!


Note: Background on Caleb/Wednesday/Hump Day Posts: Let’s Hit it Again


Fantasy Island = Less Work (-100%) + More Sleep (+13%) + Way More Reading (+269%)

retiring-retirement-chart

Source: wsj.com

 

He was in love with the world

Mike-Nichols

His closest friends this week marveled at the depth of the impression he made on all whose lives he touched. “He’d make you feel you were better than you believed—smarter, funnier, more alive…” A friend noted something else: his unbounded excitement about life, his ability to retain a freshness, an innocence. “It was always possible that this was going to be the best dumpling, the best conversation, this play was going to have a moment in it we’d never forget. . . . He was in love with the world. He was in love with Egg McMuffins ! He took such joy in what was. Maybe the Buddhists have it wrong, maybe the great livers are the ones who love things, too—that book, that painting, the McDonald’s breakfast.

A thing that distinguished Mike professionally is that he thought he had to know things. He came up in a generation that thought to know the theater you have to know the theater. They read. He read, all his life. He knew the canon—his Chekhov, Ibsen and Molière, his Shakespeare, Tennessee Williams and Tom Stoppard…

…To make great art you have to know great art. And so his learned, highly cultivated mind. He dropped out of the University of Chicago and sought to teach himself through great books and smart people. Great writers and directors have to start as great readers or it won’t work, nothing needed from the past will be brought into the future, and art will become thinner, less deep, less meaningful and so, amazingly, less fun, less moving and true.

~ Peggy Noonan, on Mike Nichols

Read entire opinion article here: The Pleasure of His Company


Mike Nichols, 83, died on November 19, 2014. He was a German-born American film and theatre director, producer, actor and comedian. He won the Academy Award for Best Director for the film The Graduate. His other films include Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?Catch-22Carnal KnowledgeSilkwoodWorking GirlThe BirdcageCloserCharlie Wilson’s War (his final picture), and the TV mini-series Angels in America. He also staged the original theatrical productions of The Apple TreeBarefoot in the ParkLuvThe Odd Couple and Spamalot. As well as winning an Academy Award, Nichols won a Grammy Award, four Emmy Awards and nine Tony Awards. He was one of a small group of people who have won an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, and Tony Award.

Image Credit: jewishcurrents.org

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:


Monday Mantra. Who? When?

action-now-mantra-quote


Note: True today, as it was in 100 BC.

Hillel the Elder, born in Babylon in 110 BC, was known as the author of two sayings: (1) “If I am not for myself who is for me? And being for my own self, what am ‘I’? And if not now, when?” and (2) the expression of the ethic of reciprocity, or “Golden Rule“: “That which is hateful to you, do not do to your fellow. That is the whole Torah; the rest is the explanation; go and learn.” Hillel was a famous Jewish religious leader, one of the most important figures in Jewish history.


Image Source: preciousandfregilethings

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call: Post Thanksgiving Weekend

monday,morning,wake-up


Source: ferret from gifak

Let me get back to you on this

anne-lamott

Who knows, maybe those two rogue leaders, Gandhi and Jesus, were right – a loving response changes the people who would beat the shit out of you, including yourself, of course. Their way, of the heart, makes everything bigger. Decency and goodness are subversively folded into the craziness, like caramel ribbons into ice cream. Otherwise, it’s about me, and my bile ducts, and how unique I am and how I’ve suffered. And that is what hell is like.  So whom was I going to echo, Gandhi and Jesus, or Tammy and me?

Look, can you give me a minute to decide?

Do you want to be happy, or do you want to be right? Hmm. Let me get back to you on this.

~ Anne Lamott. “Pirates.” Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace


I just finished Lamott’s new book and loved it. It’s my first foray into her work. Be forewarned, this book has more than its fair share of suffering and grief, but the sun’s rays do peak in. I’m drawn to her rants and her candor on her neuroses (but could have  done without the political barbs). I marvel at the authenticity of her self-reflection and the beauty and clarity of her observations of life.  The book roars out of the gate for the first half and tends to run out of steam.  For Lamott lovers, you should note that this book is a compilation of new and selected (aka previously published) essays.

Find the book on Amazon here: Small Victories: Spotting Improbable Moments of Grace


Photo Credit: TimeOut

 

Sunday Morning: Clouds

photography

I’ve always loved looking at clouds. Nothing in nature rivals their variety and drama; nothing matches their sublime, ephemeral beauty. If a glorious sunset of Altocumulus clouds were to spread across the heavens only once in a generation, it would surely be amongst the principal legends of our time. Yet most people barely seem to notice the clouds, or see them simply as impediments to the “perfect” summer’s day, an excuse to feel “under the weather.”

Gavin Pretor-PinneyThe Cloudspotter’s Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds


Notes:
  • Photograph: Photograph taken by William Eggleston. During a 1978 road trip from Georgia to Tennessee, Eggleston photographed the sky from the car window using an early instant camera. The resulting images evoked small fragments of classical frescoes. The following day, he lay on the ground and continued to shoot the sky above. “At Zenith” brings together fifteen pigment prints from the Wedgwood Blue cloud series, in which Eggleston takes celestial zenith—the point of sky directly overhead—as his exclusive subject. These meditative images of wispy clouds interspersed with cerulean blue are painterly variations on a universal theme that has inspired artists from John Constable to Gerhard Richter. The photographs represent a broadening of Eggleston’s quotidian subjects—an exploratory, sky-gazing caesura within the lush panorama of his oeuvre.
  • Sources: Photo: Time Lightbox via Radiating Blossom. (Thank you Carol.) Quote Source – Brainpickings

Neeson. Revenge. Being more virtuous.

movie,gun,pointed gun

This has been clanking around upstairs for weeks. “Taken” is a story of an ex-CIA agent whose daughter is kidnapped by an Albanian gang engaged in human trafficking. They drug, prostitute and auction off young women. I dismiss the probabilities of the predicable storyline. I cheer him on through the mayhem and destruction right to the Disney finish. His daughter is saved!

I watched the movie in the attic. A dark room dripping with evil. I finished watching the movie and headed outside, I needed to get to the Sun.

I have a daughter.
It’s just a movie.
This evil actually exists.
It’s just entertainment.
Getting the bad guys felt so good.

Then why do you feel so dark now?
And why do you watch these things?

I came across this op-ed essay by Arthur C. Brooks titled The Trick to Being More Virtuous and asked myself:

  1. Demand outstrips supply for this “poison.” Am I further poisoning the well with my spend and my attention?
  2. What does my next “click” say about my desires?
  3. Will the next movie or book or article that I read, “elevate” me?
  4. Like that third donut, can I pass it by and “seek personal moral improvement?”

Here’s a few excerpts from Brooks’ essay:

[Read more…]

SMWI*: Right.

black and white,photography

Elbows hurt just looking…


Notes:

  • SMWI*: Saturday Morning Work-Out Inspiration
  • Source: Thank you Carol @ Radiating Blossom