On the weekend of October 12th in Joshua Tree, California, artist Phillip K Smith III revealed his light based project, Lucid Stead. People as far away as New York City and Canada traveled to the California High Desert to experience it. Numerous media sources have asked to do cover stories on the work. Thousands of photos professional and amateur, were taken, posted and shared across blogs and social media sights. In just over 30 days, Lucid Stead officially became a phenomenon.
Composed of mirror, LED lighting, custom built electronic equipment and Arduino programming amalgamated with a preexisting structure, this architectural intervention, at first, seems alien in context to the bleak landscape. Upon further viewing, Lucid Stead imposes a delirious, almost spiritual experience. Like the enveloping vista that changes hue as time passes, Lucid Stead transforms. In daylight the 70 year old homesteader shack, that serves as the armature of the piece, reflects and refracts the surrounding terrain like a mirage or an hallucination. As the sun tucks behind the mountains, slowly shifting, geometric color fields emerge until they hover in the desolate darkness. This transformation also adapts personal perception, realigning one’s sensory priorities. A heightened awareness of solitude and the measured pace of the environment is realized.
Smith states, “Lucid Stead is about tapping into the quiet and the pace of change of the desert. When you slow down and align yourself with the desert, the project begins to unfold before you. It reveals that it is about light and shadow, reflected light, projected light, and change.”
British Columbia. 1970’s:
Mountain firs line the banks of the creek bed.
Shadflies, flit in from the shadows, and back out into the sun.
Mountain run-off, clear and pure, glistens, sparkles.
I’m standing knee deep.
I pick the line with my forefinger, click, cast and release.
The bait lands with a plop.
I start working the stream.
I’m Working it.
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
- Source: themetapicture.com
- MM* = Monday Morning
It’s Departure Day.
Eric is scheduled on the 7:40 am flight.
Rachel is returning later in the day.
There’s the awkward milling around the kitchen.
When everyone knows what’s coming next,
yet no one is a hurry to get on with it.
He’s scurrying around with his last minute packing.
I hover at a distance.
It is Dark.
And Cold. Temperature locked on 32° F.
We’re in the car.
The Kanigan Men are short (very) on small talk.
We ride in silence. [Read more...]
Deep in the belly of these vermillion walls
Our minds open to adventure and experience.
We squint to the back of our lenses
And down to the tips of our fly lines
Crossing paths and coming together to tell a story.
This place is home to the blood of this land.
An emerald green water full of life, and full of hope.
She’s had a long journey.
Thousands of miles she’s travelled.
Veining her way through rock and crevice.
Rugged and raw to bless us with her fertile waters.
A place painted by Gods and carved by time.
A mighty river and a mighty canyon in the land of the Navajo.
Her currents meander over stone and sand
In a rhythm uniquely her own
Her color unlike anything else
Her glimmer, mesmerizing.
She has a heartbeat.
She dances with the winds and the grass.
She dances with life and we’ve come for what’s beneath it all.
In this box of trickery,
a shimmer of gold.
A subtle twist of thread and wire.
The trout we seek are strong and smart.
A worthy test of our skills.
Our tactics and presentations must be perfect.
The throw of our line must gently lay on the waters’ currents.
This is what we’ve come for, and what we live for.
Our search for the perfect riffle.
The rise of a hungry trout.
Friendships and memories.
This is an unforgettable place,
Where the earth and the heavens come together.
There is life, warmth and beauty everywhere up here.
360 degrees of pure magic.
Around every turn our lens capture the light and the dark of it all.
A Father and Son.
A lone fisherman.
The love for nature and art.
And blurring the lines in between.
We now see life, light and shadow
in a different way than we did before.
And we walk away
without leaving a trace of our modern trappings.
While this gold piece of the natural world
has left an indelible mark
on our all of spirits.
BBQ Turkey Sandwich.
DK & RK Certified as deliciousness.
Made to instructions without deviation.
“Even now, all possible feelings do not yet exist, there are still those that lie beyond our capacity and our imagination. From time to time, when a piece of music no one has ever written or a painting no one has ever painted, or something else impossible to predict, fathom or yet describe takes place, a new feeling enters the world. And then, for the millionth time in the history of feeling, the heart surges and absorbs the impact.”
—Nicole Krauss, from The History of Love
“I’d like to answer all my phone calls, return all emails in a timely manner and mean the how-are-yous; not hide my broken hallelujahs, not save my gratitude for characters in books. Put love on sale, like I should…I’d like to whisper to only a few souls under a blanket instead of shouting at hundreds over these virtual rooftops. I’d like to inhale people and exhale skin, explore huggability and memorize the art of breathing…I’d like to get up once a week with no other agenda than laziness in bed, no time, no musts or shoulds or have tos. Eat breakfast for dinner, juice for lunch, and talk to trees, and cry, walk backwards, love my solitude, and understand my doing by undoing.”
~ Andréa Balt
- Source: Thank you Make Believe Boutique
- Read more by Andréa Balt: 30 Questions
- Find Andréa Balt on Facebook
wsj.com – Drinking After 40: Why Hangovers Hit Harder. A few excerpts…
- When you’re in your 40s, it’s pretty common to need reading glasses. You might need smaller wine glasses, too.
- That’s because alcohol hits people harder in their 40s and 50s than it did during their 20s and 30s.
- “All of the effects of alcohol are sort of amplified with age”
- Body composition starts to change as early as the 30s. As people age, they tend to lose muscle mass, while fat content increases. Alcohol isn’t distributed in fat. People also have less total body water as they get older. So if several people have the same amount to drink, those with more fat and less muscle and body water will have more alcohol circulating in their bloodstream. (This is also partly why women of any age tend to feel alcohol’s effects more than men.)
- People in their 40s and older simply tend not to drink as much or as often as those in their 20s and 30s, which lowers tolerance.
“I’m just going to be really clear about this, I’m not leaving my house today. Nope. Not happening, I’ll end up accidentally losing my sh*t and that just can’t happen.”
Adapted from I’m going to raise hell
Here are my selections for the inspiring posts of the week, this Thanksgiving week:
Greg @ Sippican Cottage with his post Thanksgiving 2013: “…I think the worst condition of man is loneliness. It is a terrible thing to be lonely, or worse, truly alone. No one goes crazy in general population. It’s solitary that eats at your mind. Even the craziest of men, immured in stone, unable to get even a glimpse of the bright, blue tent of the sky, scratch at the walls to leave a message; to tell another that they were there… I am not alone in this world, which is good, because I have a melancholy nature. I am married, and I have children to throw rolls over the table at one another. They are my name, scratched on the unyielding wall of the world, telling anyone that will bother to notice that I was here. My family makes me calm about many things…People don’t often appreciate things that come readily to hand. I’m a person… We will have enough to eat, and sit in a warm room, laugh and wonder at the dogeared cards we have been dealt, and I’ll try mightily to shed the light that is my true function, to make me more fit for my work. We will all pray over our plate like children. Thanksgiving is the only kind of prayer that you can be sure will work, because it faces backwards. I tap on the wall of the Intertunnel, too. I often feel disconnected from my fellow passengers on this spinning rock, moreso each day. I wonder if some other inmate, some fellow traveler, might hear my tapping, and be braced by the thought of a fellow internee. I often hear tapping in return, and it refreshes me to carry on.” Amazing post. More here. [Read more...]
You remember too much,
my mother said to me recently.
Why hold onto all that?
And I said,
Where can I put it down?
- Anne Carson, excerpt from “The Glass Essay“
Anne Carson, 63, is a Canadian poet, essayist, translator and professor of Classics. She was born in Toronto. She is known for her supreme erudition—Merkin called her “one of the great pasticheurs”—Carson’s poetry can also be heart-breaking and she regularly writes on love, desire, sexual longing and despair. She taught at McGill University, the University of Michigan, and at Princeton University. She was a Guggenheim Fellow and was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. A high-school encounter with a Latin instructor, who agreed to teach her ancient Greek over the lunch hour, led to her passionate embrace of classical and Ancient Greek classical literature, influences which mark her work still. She teaches ancient Greek and she frequently references, modernizes, and translates Ancient Greek literature. She has published eighteen books as of 2013, all of which blend the forms of poetry, essay, prose, criticism, translation, dramatic dialogue, fiction, and non-fiction. (Sources: Wiki & The Poetry Foundation)
Another favorite Anne Carson quote: “What is a Quote?“
Wind 16 MPH WNW.
Feels like 6° F. (Are.You.Out.Of.Your.Mind?)
I step out the door.
Autumn to Winter overnight.
Wind shearing through jacket.
It finds the bare skin between the sweatpants and socks.
And blows up my pant leg.
George Costanza. Shrinkage episode on Seinfeld.
Got to move.
Yesterday, the legs were pumping on the Elliptical machine.
Netflix movie running.
Today. Right knee is throbbing. Bitter cold.
The Question is Why? Why are you out here?
(Hundreds of blog posts. Not one has emanated from the elliptical machine. Not one.) [Read more...]
Don’t quit on this short film…
Darren Jew: “I’m fortunate enough to have spent the last 30 years of my life capturing and sharing the marine environments of the world. Of the things that I have photographed in my life, I enjoyed photographing the ocean the most. It’s my love. It’s my passion. The creatures within it. The way the light falls within the sea. To be able to capture that and show people what can be achieved with photography under the water is one of the things I love to do. I’ve been in the water with people that have seen whales for the first time, and their mask has been filling up with tears. It’s been that powerful of an experience. Every swim with a whale is different. I’m still in awe of their power and their grace and their acceptance of me when I’m in the water and what they offer up in terms of photographic opportunities. From a young age I’ve wanted to do exactly what I’m doing now. Every time I get in the water, I remember how lucky I am…I am trying to show images of the moments that are most important to me. The ones that have touched me. The ones that I feel are the most descriptive of the experience that I have when under the sea. Whether it’s 8 or 10 animals dancing in the beautiful sunrays. Or intimate moments with a calf interaction. Being able to share intimate moments with these animals is a real privilege…The thing about the Sea is that it is usually pretty silent. So, to have the sea full of whale song is like nothing else. There is no other experience that I could think of that is like it. It vibrates through your body. Literally, you can feel the sound. It is probably one of the most poignant experiences you can have in the ocean. The best encounters with whales are the ones where they are interested, curious about the swimmers in the water. And they’ll come up – look you in the eye. And that’s quite a profound moment. It’s like no other feeling that I’ve had before…Even after 30 years of seeing these amazing creatures in the ocean, sometimes I still have to remember to take pictures because I’m too busy of being in awe of what’s in front of me.”
SMWI* = Saturday morning workout inspiration. Source: themetapicture.com
“One of the saddest realities is most people never know when their lives have reached the summit. Only after it is over and we have some kind of perspective do we realize how good we had it a day, a month, five years ago. The walk together in the December snow, the phone call that changed everything, that lovely evening in the bar by the Aegean. Back then you thought “this is so nice”. Only later did you realize it was the rarest bliss.”
~ JFK, May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963
Image Source: Dopediamond
WHAT IS IT?
WHAT IS IT?
GET IT OFF!
GET IT OFF!
GET IT OFF!
It started in the shower.
Stomach sour – doing loop de loops.
Late November, 1980s.
The morning shower is followed by a long walk in the dark from the dorm.
Square into the teeth of a wicked Northern Michigan wind.
Mitts. Goose down coats. Parkas. Sorel boots.
Students filing in for the 8:00 am class.
I find a seat in the middle-back. Need to get invisible.
I’m below the stoners and the drunks, adorned with hoodies.
I’m above the whizz-bangs, a**-kissers and kids with coke bottle glasses.
Three weeks earlier the Professor kicks off his class with ground rules.
“A full letter grade is determined by your class participation, frequency and quality.”
Red Pencil in hand.
He’d put a tick mark next to each name who’s hand would go up.
He’d hang over his journal scribbling after a noteworthy comment.
And shredded in half.
One half with head down to avoid being called on.
The other half, The Angry Man – a full letter grade down before taking a single exam.
Our sneakers dripping with mid morning dew.
We’d reach the plateau.
Our eyes held in rapture.
Not just any Green. An ethereal magnificence.
In Spring, it was an unfurling of a carpet on the forest floor.
In Summer, the ferns rose.
They climbed, fed by hard, warm rains.
Knee-high under the cover of deciduous trees.
Chest-high in clearings.
Emitting an earthy fragrance, fresh and cooling, filling our lungs.
In Autumn, Green gave way to a harvest of Gold.
Tips of fiddleheads crumbling as we batted them with our hands in our climb.
Rising particles of fine dust in air behind us.
We’d reach the creek.
A trickle now.
We’d kneel down, the moss cushioning our knees.
Lips rushing to slurp the cool water.
Pausing to catch our breath.
And, then back.
Back down the mountainside.
Our footprints cutting shadows through the ferns.
Leaving their imprints etched in our consciousness.
It’s so close.
So close today, 40 years later.
Thousands of miles away.
I close my eyes,
My skin tingles from the coolness under the canopy.
The Canadian Cascades lingering in my nostrils.
There it is.
The Sea of Green.
“You have to begin to lose your memory, if only in bits and pieces, to realize that memory is what makes our lives. Life without memory is no life at all, just as an intelligence without the possibility of expression is not really an intelligence. Our memory is our coherence, our reason, our feeling, even our action. Without it, we are nothing.”
Related Posts: Running Series.
A trip through North-Western Italy in October wrapped in The Four Seasons by Vivaldi.
SMWI* = Saturday Morning Work-out Inspiration
“I wouldn’t describe myself as lacking in confidence, but I would just say that … the ghosts you chase you never catch.”
John Gavin Malkovich, 59, was born in Christopher, Illinois. His paternal grandparents were Croatian. He is an American actor, producer, director, and fashion designer. Over the last 30 years of his career, Malkovich has appeared in more than 70 motion pictures. For his roles in Places in the Heart and In the Line of Fire, he received Academy Award nominations. He has also appeared in critically acclaimed films such as Empire of the Sun, The Killing Fields, Dangerous Liaisons, Of Mice and Men, Being John Malkovich, and RED, and has produced numerous films, including Juno and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Image Source: Youreyesblazeout
“Some things occur just by chance. Mark Twain was born on the day that Halley’s comet appeared in 1835 and died on the day it reappeared in 1910. There is a temptation to linger on a story like that, to wonder if there might be a deeper order behind a life so poetically bracketed. For most of us, the temptation doesn’t last long. We are content to remind ourselves that the vast majority of lives are not so celestially attuned, and go about our business in the world. But some coincidences are more troubling, especially if they implicate larger swathes of phenomena, or the entirety of the known universe. During the past several decades, physics has uncovered basic features of the cosmos that seem, upon first glance, like lucky accidents. Theories now suggest that the most general structural elements of the universe — the stars and planets, and the galaxies that contain them — are the products of finely calibrated laws and conditions that seem too good to be true. What if our most fundamental questions, our late-at-night-wonderings about why we are here, have no more satisfying answer than an exasperated shrug and a meekly muttered ‘Things just seem to have turned out that way’?
It can be unsettling to contemplate the unlikely nature of your own existence, to work backward causally and discover the chain of blind luck that landed you in front of your computer screen, or your mobile, or wherever it is that you are reading these words. For you to exist at all, your parents had to meet, and that alone involved quite a lot of chance and coincidence. If your mother hadn’t decided to take that calculus class, or if her parents had decided to live in another town, then perhaps your parents never would have encountered one another. But that is only the tiniest tip of the iceberg. Even if your parents made a deliberate decision to have a child, the odds of your particular sperm finding your particular egg are one in several billion. The same goes for both your parents, who had to exist in order for you to exist, and so already, after just two generations, we are up to one chance in 1027. Carrying on in this way, your chance of existing, given the general state of the universe even a few centuries ago, was almost infinitesimally small. You and I and every other human being are the products of chance, and came into existence against very long odds…”
Read more @ Aeon Magazine by Tim Maudlin: The Calibrated Cosmos: Why Does The Universe Appear Fine Tuned For Life?
And I loved this one too by Mark Morford: 40 Billion Ways to Dance.
It opened with the intention of a feather-light, human touch of good will.
And it hasn’t closed.
Like a snag on your favorite sweater that you keep pulling and pulling.
It was 4 weeks ago.
End to end it couldn’t have lasted more than 7 seconds.
She’s an executive assistant on another floor.
I was passing by to get to a meeting. In a hurry. (“‘Only the sick man and the ambitious,’ wrote Ortega, ‘are in a hurry.’” DK: Which one are you?)
“Good morning x?”
“Really Dave, you’ve worked with me for how long, 5-10 years? And you still don’t know my name.”
“I’m so sorry,” stealing a glance at her name plate. She caught the glance. Damage done. Twice, in seconds.
Later that week, I pass by her desk. And pause.
She talking to a colleague.
“I refuse to speak to him.”
He turns to me: “Wow, what have you done to her?”
Colaianni’s whispers: “When I hear my own name, I have as much a sense of it entering my body through my back or my hand or my chest as through my ears… “
Note to Self: And when I don’t hear my own name or someone calls me by the wrong name, I have as much a sense of it entering my body through the back of their hand to my face, my chest, the back of my head…
“All things are engaged in writing their history. The planet, the pebble, goes attended by its shadow. The rolling rock leaves its scratches on the mountain, the river, its channel in the soil, the animal, its bones in the stratum, the fern and leaf, their modest epitaph in the coal. The falling drop makes its sculpture in the sand or the stone. Not a foot steps into the snow or along the ground, but prints, in characters more or less lasting, a map of its march. Every act of the person inscribes itself in the memories of its fellows, and in his own manners and face. The air is full of sounds, the sky of tokens, the ground is all memoranda and signatures, and every object covered over with hints which speak to the intelligent.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson
Credits: Portrait: Stephan Vanfleteren. Emerson quote – Thank you Makebelieveboutique. Shakespeare Quote for blog title “What’s in a name?” – Soulsentences. Ortego quote: George Sheehan – Running & Being. Louis Colaianni quote from The Joy of Phonetics and Accents.
“But please remember, I don’t sit around wondering how people see the world, or how they feel about things. I don’t attempt to express their feelings. I only write about the way I feel. I mean, I’m not arbitrator of public tastes or opinion. I don’t have a following of people who are waiting for my next word. I hope I never have that kind of following. People should be waiting for their own next word, not mine.”
- Elvis Costello
“At five, I had the intuitive, instinctive faith that my cosmos, my family and the world were good and true and beautiful. That somehow I had always been and always would be. And I knew in a way of a five-year-old that I had worth and dignity and individuality. Later, when I read Nietzsche’s statement that these are not given to us by nature but are tasks that we must somehow solve, I knew him to be wrong. We all had them once.”
~ George Sheehan, Running & Being
- Related Posts: George Sheehan bio and quote - Uneasiness. Inquietude. There is work to be done.
- Image Source. Thank you Mme Scherzo
I peek at the weather app before I step outside.
“34° F. Feels like 26° F. Partly Cloudy.”
Winter closing in.
I yank my Tuque over my ears.
I glance at the mirror.
The Black Avenger: Back for an encore.
Black Tuque. Black jacket. Black pants.
And Red Shoes.
I cue up my David Gray playlist.
Open the door.
And head to the street.
How often does it happen?
Just the right song cycles up.
65 David Gray songs resting.
Waiting for their turn.
And it pops up.
A bubbling geyser.
It starts slowly.
Starting from way down deep.
And surging upward.
No chemical inducements.
↓ click for audio (David Gray: “Everytime”)
Down from the doorway
And into the street
I hear the morning bell
Over and over the pattern repeat
I hear the morning bell
And all the faces cold as stone
In the January chill…
~ David Gray, Everytime [Read more...]
“I’m sick of watching the shirts with sleeves hang lonesome in my closet, I want to put them on and let you take them off. I want to wear the kinds of things that don’t slip off in an instant, the kinds of things with zippers and buttons and layers and depth. I want to feel soft, I want the comfort of a comforter, I want to spend Saturdays in bed with all the windows open.
I want to spend Sundays in cars with the windows open, too, driving to fields where apples and pumpkins grow. I want to taste the thick of fall in my mouth, in pies and brews and hot coffee. I want confusion over whether or not to wear a jacket and confusion over what hue that tree was three weeks ago, I want everything to change so that I can feel like there’s reason to be alert, like there’s a reason to wake up again.”