Staring at the Flame

black and white,portrait

[...] his intuition was luminous from the instant you met him. So was his intelligence. A lot of actors act intelligent, but Philip was the real thing: a shining, artistic polymath with an intelligence that came at you like a pair of headlights and enveloped you from the moment he grabbed your hand, put a huge arm round your neck and shoved a cheek against yours; or if the mood took him, hugged you to him like a big, pudgy schoolboy, then stood and beamed at you while he took stock of the effect.

Philip took vivid stock of everything, all the time. It was painful and exhausting work, and probably in the end his undoing. The world was too bright for him to handle. He had to screw up his eyes or be dazzled to death. Like Chatterton, he went seven times round the moon to your one, and every time he set off, you were never sure he’d come back, which is what I believe somebody said about the German poet Hölderlin: Whenever he left the room, you were afraid you’d seen the last of him. And if that sounds like wisdom after the event, it isn’t. Philip was burning himself out before your eyes. Nobody could live at his pace and stay the course, and in bursts of startling intimacy he needed you to know it.

[...] He seemed to kiss his lines rather than speak them. Then gradually he did what only the greatest actors can do. He made his voice the only authentic one, the lonely one, the odd one out, the one you depended on amid all the others. And every time it left the stage, like the great man himself, you waited for its return with impatience and mounting unease.

We shall wait a long time for another Philip.

~ John le Carré on Philip Seymour Hoffman, Staring at the Flame


Notes:


Memento Mori

camera-gif-photograph

“All photographs are memento mori. To take a photograph is to participate in another person’s (or thing’s) mortality, vulnerability, mutability. Precisely by slicing out this moment and freezing it, all photographs testify to time’s relentless melt.”

— Susan Sontag


Notes:

Need a whole new syntax for fatigue on days like this

fatigue-tired-exhausted-read


Post Title: David Foster Wallace, Infinite Jest. Photograph Source: art42

What are you now? Air? Mist? Dust? Light? What? Give me something.

photo-child-eyes-soot


Image Source: Danielle Landry. Title: Dorianne Laux.

A place to rest. Or, a tear in the cosmos, that open up something raw in us.

awe,portrait,look up
The way in which art creates desire, I guess that’s everywhere. Is there anyone who hasn’t come out of a movie or a play or a concert filled with an unnameable hunger? …To stand in front of one of [Louis Sullivan's] buildings and look up, or in front, say, of the facade of Notre Dame, is both to have a hunger satisfied that you maybe didn’t know you had, and also to have a new hunger awakened in you. I say “unnameable,” but there’s a certain kind of balance achieved in certain works of art that feels like satiety, a place to rest, and there are others that are like a tear in the cosmos, that open up something raw in us, wonder or terror or longing. I suppose that’s why people who write about aesthetics want to distinguish between the beautiful and sublime… Beauty sends out ripples, like a pebble tossed in a pond, and the ripples as they spread seem to evoke among other things a stirring of curiosity. The aesthetic effect of a Vermeer painting is a bit like that. Some paradox of stillness and motion. Desire appeased and awakened.

~ E.O. Wilson


Notes:


Breakfast. Sweet.

child-cute-strawberry-eat


Source: Mme Scherzo

And Still I Rise

maya-angelou

I rise
I rise
I rise.

—  Maya Angelou (April 4, 1928 – May 28, 2014). RIP.


Notes:


The circle of no beginning or end. And that is Hell.

portrait-freckles-face-woman-eye

Anger at humans,
my own kind -
I remember how it carried me,
joyous in self’s self-exaltation,
through a narrow opening as at birth
into the great hollow of the dark itself
where the unappeasable,
in unending revenge for revenge,
tread each alone
the circle of no
beginning or end.
And that is Hell.

~ Wendell Berry,  Sabbaths   2010  X


Credits: Portrait – Thank you Carol. Poem: Thank you Steve Layman.

 

As long as there is one compassionate woman

penn-portrait-e-b-white

From Brainpickings: “In 1973, one man sent a distressed letter to E.B. White, lamenting that he had lost faith in humanity. The beloved author, who was not only a masterful letter-writer but also a professional celebrator of the human condition and an unflinching proponent of the writer’s duty to uplift people, took it upon himself to boost the man’s sunken heart with a short but infinitely beautiful reply, found in Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience.”

Dear Mr. Nadeau:

As long as there is one upright man, as long as there is one compassionate woman, the contagion may spread and the scene is not desolate. Hope is the thing that is left to us, in a bad time. I shall get up Sunday morning and wind the clock, as a contribution to order and steadfastness.

Sailors have an expression about the weather: they say, the weather is a great bluffer. I guess the same is true of our human society — things can look dark, then a break shows in the clouds, and all is changed, sometimes rather suddenly. It is quite obvious that the human race has made a queer mess of life on this planet. But as a people we probably harbor seeds of goodness that have lain for a long time waiting to sprout when the conditions are right. Man’s curiosity, his relentlessness, his inventiveness, his ingenuity have led him into deep trouble. We can only hope that these same traits will enable him to claw his way out.

Hang on to your hat. Hang on to your hope. And wind the clock, for tomorrow is another day.

Sincerely,

E. B. White

[Read more...]

Our hearts beat faster

Rachel-2014

The collegiate alumni chairperson of Rachel’s sorority asked the parents of graduating seniors to write a letter to their daughter, which was read out loud to them by their little sister at the traditional Senior Send Off event for the sorority.  The event was held this morning. Here was Rachel’s text to us.

Rachel-text-message

Here’s our letter to Rachel:


Dear Rachel:

Let’s just say that you were difficult from the get-go. Your Mom and Dad tried for 9 years (9 YEARS!), and we almost gave up.  And then you just appeared. Voila! A tadpole on a monitor.  Roll the tape forward 9 months plus 23 hours of labor (23 HOURS!) – - your Mother threw up her hands and Doc pulled out the scalpel.

They say that all babies are beautiful. Hmmmmm. The forceps stretched your head. Your eyes were disproportionately LARGE and bulging. You were WAILING. I had to double pump the scissors with my trembling hands to untether you from your Mother. I was flooded with images of E.T. – - “E.T. Go Home!”  I needed assurances from Doc that all of this, this, was normal.

You had colic for 6 months. You started up when I arrived home from work and stopped during our long walks down Biscayne Blvd.  You were strapped in a papoose tight to my chest. With the fronds on the palm trees clapping in the gentle evening breeze, there you were looking up at me.  Sobbing, then sniffling, then quiet.

We’d come home. I’d turn on Annie Lennox – - “Walking on Broken Glass” – - and you would settle. I would slump down on the couch, exhausted, and let you sleep on my chest. The little hair that you had, was matted and glistening with sweat. Your cheeks and eyes, swollen and red.  Your little fingers clenched my t-shirt. Your heart pitter-pattered on my chest. And your intermittent, puffs-puffs of baby breath – - you, all of you, a miracle.

And then the frames would pass. Minutes, days, weeks and years.  All accelerating.

You left home to go to College. We cried on the long drive home.

You lit up sharing your experiences with Special Olympics, Habitat for Humanity and St. Jude Children’s Hospital – - freezing me in place as I listened to your Sunday night updates. I have yet to find my God, but I could feel something working me through you.

My chest swelled when you were named President of your Sorority. When you made Dean’s List. When you landed your Summer Internships. When you received your first job offer.  (I just cut the cord. We just dropped you off for your freshman year. Where did it go? Sand slipping through my fingers.)

I know you are listening – listening to these words – sitting among your friends.

It’s time.  Time for me to put on my headphones and play “Walking on Broken Glass” in a loop.  And roll the time back to remember the beautiful moments in between then and now.

I can feel you.
I can feel your fingers clenching my t-shirt.
I can feel your puffs of breath.
I can feel your heart beating.
And when your heart beats, my heart beats faster.

Love you Honey.

Mom & Dad


I don’t need 20 pair of shoes

werner-herzog

Werner Herzog is interviewed by The Talks:

I do not relate to things such as popularity. It is completely vague and unknown to me what it means. I still live basically the same life. I do not have and I do not need material things. My material world is extremely small and limited.I own one single suit that I’m wearing right now and in the last 25 years I’ve never had another suit. And the shoes that I’m wearing I’ve been wearing for 3 years and they are my only pair of shoes. I need to replace them because they are starting to come apart. I don’t need 20 pairs of shoes. I have a car that I’ve had for 12 years. It’s fine, I enjoy life and things are very basic. I don’t have social networks in the Internet for example. I don’t even have a cell phone. I’m probably the last holdout.

I just don’t want to be available all the time. I love to connect with people but in a more fundamental way. I never go to parties, but I invite friends and I cook for them. We sit around a table, maximum 6 people, because if there are more people there is no space around the table. And when we speak to each other, everyone speaks about the same topic. Whereas when you are at a party, there are 200 people and loud music and in each corner there is a different topic, and small talk.

I cook meals for friends or for people for whom I care. I cook with my wife, but sometimes when it comes to a solid steak I do that myself. It’s a great joy to have discourse and while this is going on I take the steak and serve it and have a good bottle of wine. It’s more fundamental, the kind of social networking that I do.

Read full interview: The Talks


Werner Herzog, 71, is a German film director, producer, screenwriter, and actor; and an opera director. Herzog is considered one of the greatest figures of the New German Cinema. Herzog’s films often feature heroes with impossible dreams, people with unique talents in obscure fields, or individuals who are in conflict with nature. French filmmaker François Truffaut once called Herzog “the most important film director alive.” American film critic Roger Ebert said that Herzog “has never created a single film that is compromised, shameful, made for pragmatic reasons or uninteresting. Even his failures are spectacular.”


Image & Quote Source: The Talks.  Thank you Mme Scherzo for sharing.

 

The shimmering bliss. A gift bestowed and unappreciated.

by Philippe Halsman

“I became aware of the world’s tenderness, the profound beneficence of all that surrounded me, the blissful bond between me and all of creation, and I realized that the joy I sought in you was not only secreted within you, but breathed around me everywhere, in the speeding street sounds, in the hem of a comically lifted skirt, in the metallic yet tender drone of the wind, in the autumn clouds bloated with rain. I realized that the world does not represent a struggle at all, or a predaceous sequence of chance events, but the shimmering bliss, beneficent trepidation, a gift bestowed upon us and unappreciated.”

 - Vladimir Nabokov [Read more...]

Now, to execute

painting

 

Calm Down
what happens
happens mostly
without you.

~ Josef Albers


Josef Albers (1888 – 1976) was a German-born American artist and educator whose work, both in Europe and in the United States, formed the basis of some of the most influential and far-reaching art education programs of the twentieth century. In Poems and Drawings, first published in 1958, Josef Albers attempted to penetrate the meaning of art and life by the simplest, most disciplined means. This project was extremely important to Albers, who used its format to create complementary forms in both word and line that appear deceptively simple until they begin to disclose the author’s insights into nature, art, and life. Conceived as a kind of artist’s book, the publication features 22 of Albers’s refined line drawings alongside the same number of his original poems—each appearing in both English and German. (Source: Wiki & Google)


Credits: Art Source: Thank you Carol, Poem Source: Thank you Schonwieder

Serenity Now

David-Walker-art-spray-paint


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


Linda Tracey Brandon

Linda-Tracey-Brandon


This is “Quail Day” – an oil painting by Linda Tracey Brandon.  Brandon is a graduate of the University of Michigan. Since then she has studied representational art through many years of workshops, classes and private instruction. Her focused study of the great masters of the past and intense daily practice has resulted in a uniquely evolving point of view.  Linda has studied with many of the best representational artists working today and currently teaches painting and drawing at Scottsdale Artists’ School in Scottsdale, Arizona.  Linda has excelled in painting the portrait and the figure. In 2006, she won a Certificate of Excellence at the Portrait Society of America’s International Portrait Competition, and in 2005 she won an Exceptional Merit Award from the Portrait Society of America’s International Portrait Competition.  Her portraits hang in many homes, businesses and institutions.  Find more of her work at her website here.  You can find her blog here.


Source: Sensual Starfish

You are meant to fight

eyes, red hair

You are meant to fight. When you are sick, your body fights for its right to function. When you hold your breath, your body fights for its right to breathe. There are billions of tiny events—from the surface of your skin, down to the very cells of your body—that have to happen in order for you to be simply sitting here today. If your most minuscule parts haven’t given up yet,

Why should you?”

n.t. 


Source: Quote – ChristinaAntonio. Photograph: Thank you Carol.

Humans of Reykjavik


Crippled by procrastination…panic, self-loathing and soul-crushing inadequacy

Robert De Niro

“The mind of a writer can be a truly terrifying thing. Isolated, neurotic, caffeine addled, crippled by procrastination, consumed by feelings of panic, self-loathing and soul-crushing inadequacy… and that’s on a good day.”

Robert De Niro


Source: Photograph – Awards Circuit.  Quote: Your Eyes Blaze Out

Till My Teeth Rattle

face-photography-portrait-color-woman

There’s no remedy, I suppose — this body
just made from the beginning to be shocked,
constantly surprised, perpetually stunned,
poked and prodded, shaken awake,
shaken again and again roughly, rudely,
then left, even more bewildered,
even more amazed.

Pattiann Rogers, closing lines to “Till My Teeth Rattle.”



The watcher and the watched

woman,art,

An intellectual? Yes. And never deny it. An intellectual is someone whose mind watches itself. I like this, because I am happy to be both halves, the watcher and the watched. ‘Can they be brought together?’ This is a practical question. We must get down to it. ‘I despise intelligence’ really means: ‘I cannot bear my doubts.’

— Albert Camus


Painting by Tigran Tsitoghdzyan (“White Mirror, Oil on Canvas”) via Elinka Quote Source: Larmoyante


I hear the wind blow

photography,black and white

I hear the wind blow,
And I feel that it was worth being born
just to hear the wind blow.

~ Fernando Pessoa


Poem Source: The Ugly Earring. Image Source: Marc Vasseur Photography via Journal of a Nobody

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

geico,caleb,funny


Where’s Caleb on Hump Day?  Merzouga, Morocco.  Here he’s posing with his friend before a long walk in the desert…


Source: Russell Bevan

Ever think of that?

photography,black and white

Most of the pain you’re dealing with are really just thoughts.. ever think of that?

- Buddhist Bootcamp

 


Credits: Image – Journal of a Nobody.  Quote: Thank you Karen @ Karen’s Korner

Every day, start again.

drawing,illustration,woman,ponder,grief,thinking,thoughts,black and white,art,woman


Credits:

 

 

To come so far, to taste so good

woman-black and white-portrait-ponder

Often a sweetness comes
as if on loan,
stays just long enough
to make sense of what it means to be alive,
then returns to its dark source.
As for me,
I don’t care
where it’s been,
or what bitter road it’s traveled
to come so far,
to taste so good.

~ Stephen Dunn


Credits: Poem – Thank you The Sensual Starfish. Photo by Andrea Tomas via Journal of Nobody
More Stephen Dunn: Is that a Path or a Rut?


Do I or Do I Not Want To Do? (How to Decide)?

baz-luhrmann
Luhrmann doesn’t want to give in to the pressure to repeat himself. During the making of “Gatsby,” he said, he felt challenged and alive, “not panicked that somehow the universe was leaving me behind.” That is the way he needs to feel about his next project, whatever it is. “I’d love to have done James Bond,” he said. “I’d love to just go and do a rom-com or a jeans-and-T-shirt film, because that would be fun.” But he can’t. “It is both maddening and also has a degree of exultation about it, but I’m addicted to doing not that which I really want to do, but that which I feel must be done.” His job now, he said, is “to draw some kind of lines. I have a big inner life. My struggle is how to organize it. How to aim the gun.”

~ Amy Wallace on Baz Luhrmann, Do I or Do I Not Want To Do? (How to Decide)?


Mark Anthony “Baz” Luhrmann, 51, is an Australian film director, screenwriter and producer best known for The Red Curtain Trilogy, comprising his films Strictly BallroomRomeo + Juliet, and Moulin Rouge!. In 2008, his film Australia was released, starring Hugh Jackman and Nicole Kidman. His version of The Great Gatsby was released in 2013.  On 26 January 1997, he wed Catherine Martin, a production designer; the couple has two children.  (Source: Wiki)


They are stronger than I am. They are me.

woman-portrait-hair

Age is truly a time of heroic helplessness. One is confronted by one’s own incorrigibility. I am always saying to myself, “Look at you, and after a lifetime of trying.” I still have the vices that I have known and struggled with— well it seems like since birth. Many of them are modified , but not much. I can neither order nor command the hubbub of my mind. Or is it my nervous sensibility? This is not the effect of age; age only defines one’s boundaries. Life has changed me greatly, it has improved me greatly, but it has also left me practically the same. I cannot spell, I am over critical, egocentric and vulnerable. I cannot be simple. In my effort to be clear I become complicated. I know my faults so well that I pay them small heed. They are stronger than I am. They are me.

~ Florida Scott-Maxwell, Measure of My Days 


Related Post:

  • Florida Scott-Maxwell quote and bio @ I kept calling to you, and you did not come
  • Image Credit: Mme Scherzo.  Portrait is NOT Florida Scott-Maxwell but loved her hair and she seemed to be a peace with her vices. :) And who would she be? Someone important that I should know?

Now you are here, at 7:43. Now you are here, at 7:44. Now you are…

philip-seymour-hoffman
Synecdoche, New York (2008)
[over radio]

Millicent Weems: What was once before you – an exciting, mysterious future – is now behind you. Lived; understood; disappointing. You realize you are not special. You have struggled into existence, and are now slipping silently out of it. This is everyone’s experience. Every single one. The specifics hardly matter. Everyone’s everyone. So you are Adele, Hazel, Claire, Olive. You are Ellen. All her meager sadnesses are yours; all her loneliness; the gray, straw-like hair; her red raw hands. It’s yours. It is time for you to understand this.

Millicent Weems: Walk.

Millicent Weems: As the people who adore you stop adoring you; as they die; as they move on; as you shed them; as you shed your beauty; your youth; as the world forgets you; as you recognize your transience; as you begin to lose your characteristics one by one; as you learn there is no-one watching you, and there never was, you think only about driving – not coming from any place; not arriving any place. Just driving, counting off time. Now you are here, at 7:43. Now you are here, at 7:44. Now you are…

Millicent Weems: Gone.


In memory Philip Seymour Hoffman (July 23,1967 – February 2, 2014)


Credits: Image.  Script: Schonweider from the Movie “Synecdoche, New York” available at Amazon here.

Better to be dusty than polished

woman,face,hands,neck

We get a little further from perfection,
each year on the road,
I guess that’s what they call character,
I guess that’s just the way it goes,
better to be dusty than polished,
like some store window mannequin,
why don’t you touch me where i’m rusty,
let me stain your hands.

Ani DiFranco

 


Photograph: Eric Rose. Poem: Fables of the Reconstruction. Ani DiFranco Bio: Wiki

MLK

MLK-martin-luther-king


Image Source

I have led too serious a life

Henry-James

I have led too serious a life; but that perhaps, after all, preserves one’s youth. At all events, I have travelled too far, I have worked too hard, I have lived in brutal climates and associated with tiresome people. When a man has reached his fifty-second year without being, materially, the worse for wear — when he has fair health, a fair fortune, a tidy conscience and a complete exemption from embarrassing relatives — I suppose he is bound, in delicacy, to write himself happy.

~ Henry James (1843-1916) from The Diary of a Man of Fifty


Reference/Credits:

  • Henry James: “The Diary of a Man of Fifty is FREE at Amazon for Kindles/iPads.
  • Henry James was an American-born British writer, regarded as one of the key figures of 19th-century literary realism. He was the son of Henry James, Sr. and the brother of philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James.
  • Image and Quote Source: Brainpickings

In his house slippers dancing alone in his bedroom, humming step over step

paul celan

“In his youth, he worked in a factory, though everyone said he looked more like a professor of classical languages than a factory worker. He walked to work as if moving under water. He was a beautiful man with a slender body which moved in a mixture of grace and sharp geometrical precision. His face had an imprint of laugher on it, as if no other emotion ever touched his skin. Even in his fifties, the nineteen-year-old girls winked at him in trains or trolley-busses, asking for his phone number. Seven years after his death, I saw Celan in his house slippers dancing alone in his bedroom, humming step over step. He did not mind being a character in my stories in a language he never learned. That night, I saw him sitting on a rooftop, searching for Venus, reciting Brodsky to himself. He asked if his past existed at all.”

— Ilya Kaminsky on Paul Celan in “Traveling Musicians”


Paul Celan (1920 – 1970) was a Romanian poet and translator becoming one of the major German-language poets of the post-World War II era.

Poet Ilya Kaminsky was born in the former Soviet Union city of Odessa. He lost most of his hearing at the age of four after a doctor misdiagnosed mumps as a cold, and his family was granted political asylum by the United States in 1993, settling in Rochester, New York. After his father’s death in 1994, Kaminsky began to write poems in English: “I chose English because no one in my family or friends knew it—no one I spoke to could read what I wrote. I myself did not know the language. It was a parallel reality, an insanely beautiful freedom. It still is.”


Image Credit. Quote Credit: ounu via Schonwieder. Bios: Wiki and Poetry Foundation.


Same?

twins,twin, identical twins,photography, portrait
 

This is a portrait of Katie Parks and Sarah Parks, identical Twins born in 2001. The photo was taken by Martin Schoeller.

“Long a source of fascination, twins have often been a theme of myth and legend. The founding of Rome by Romulus and Remus is one of the many instances that spring to mind. Even when separated at birth, identical twins can have uncannily similar tastes, habits, and life experiences. In this landmark photographic study, Martin Schoeller uses his distinctive close-up portrait style to examine sets of identical twins and multiples. In capturing every subtle aspect of their facial structure, myriad similarities and seemingly miniscule—yet significant—differences are revealed, leaving one to ponder how appearance and identity is defined as individuals.” (Source:  Marina Abramović)

Don’t miss this video on the making of “Identical: The Portrait of Twins” Collection:

[Read more...]

As though it said to man, “Behold my work. And yours.”

victor-hugo

“Nature is pitiless; she never withdraws her flowers, her music, her fragrance and her sunlight, from before human cruelty or suffering. She overwhelms man by the contrast between divine beauty and social hideousness. She spares him nothing of her loveliness, neither wing or butterfly, nor song of bird; in the midst of murder, vengeance, barbarism, he must feel himself watched by holy things; he cannot escape the immense reproach of universal nature and the implacable serenity of the sky. The deformity of human laws is forced to exhibit itself naked amidst the dazzling rays of eternal beauty. Man breaks and destroys; man lays waste; man kills; but the summer remains summer; the lily remains the lily; and the star remains the star.

As though it said to man, ‘Behold my work. And yours.”

~ Victor Hugo (1802-1885)
 

Victor Marie Hugo was a French poet, novelist, and dramatist. He is considered one of the greatest and best known French writers. In France, Hugo’s literary fame comes first from his poetry but also rests upon his novels and his dramatic achievements. Outside France, his best-known works are the novels Les Misérables, 1862, and Notre-Dame de Paris, 1831 (known in English as The Hunchback of Notre-Dame). He was not only revered as a towering figure in literature, he was a statesman who shaped democracy in France writing and supporting the major political, social and artistic causes at the time.  Hugo’s wish was to be buried in a pauper’s coffin. While this wish was granted, he was nevertheless, on his death in 1885, voted a National Funeral and was buried as a national hero in the Panthéon. It is estimated that at least two million people followed the funeral procession.

Hugo left five sentences as his last will to be officially published :

« Je donne cinquante mille francs aux pauvres.
Je veux être enterré dans leur corbillard.
Je refuse l’oraison de toutes les Eglises.
Je demande une prière à toutes les âmes.
Je crois en Dieu. »
(“I leave 50 000 francs to the poor.
I want to be buried in their hearse.
I refuse [funeral] orations of all churches.
I beg a prayer to all souls.
I believe in God.”)

Credits: Quote – Thank you Soul Proprietor. Image Credit. Hugo bio: Wiki.

When the world quiets to the sound of your own breathing, we all want the same things

Mitch-Albom

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 MorrieThe 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.”


Credits: Portrait. Quote: Thank you Geoff.


Rus in Vrede

Nelson Mandela

There is no passion to be found playing small -
in settling for a life
that is less
than the one you are capable of living.”

- Nelson Mandela (July 18, 1918 – December 5, 2013)


Image Credit. Quote: Sundog

like this one, like that one, like this one

robert creeley

“I think
I grow tensions
like flowers
in a wood where
nobody goes.

Each wound is perfect,
encloses itself in a tiny
imperceptible blossom,
making pain.

Pain is a flower like that one,
like this one,
like that one,
like this one.”

- Robert Creeley, ”The Flower”


Robert Creeley (1926 – 2005) was a major American poet of the 20th century. He was born in Arlington, MA and was a teacher, a scholar, and a fierce presence: “I look to words, and nothing else, for my own redemption either as a man or poet.” He lost the sight in one eye in a car accident when he was two years old. The loss of his eye and his father, both early in life, affected Creeley profoundly. For the first half of his life he travelled as an outsider, his heavy drinking often leading to brawls with friends and strangers. Creeley was sometimes an angry young man who wanted “the world to narrow to a match flare”.  Unable to sign up for World War II because of his sight problem, he joined the American Field Service and drove ambulances in India and Burma. He returned home with two medals…Just days before he died, he gave his final reading — in Charlottesville, Virginia — breathing from what he called “portable wee canisters of oxygen about the size of champagne bottles”. In between the poems Creeley said very simple things that rang true: “There has been so much war and pain during the last century. We need to learn how to be kind; kindness is what makes us human.”

(Read full Bio by Robert Adamson @ Jacket 26)


Credits: Poem – sleepwalking.nu. Portrait: beatbookcovers


Inhale people and exhale skin

andrea-balt

“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



50

jfk


~ JFK, May 29, 1917 – November 22, 1963


Image Source: Dopediamond

Say Something

college classroom

Dread.
It started in the shower.
Stomach sour – doing loop de loops.
Northern Michigan.
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.
I’m sitting.
And shredded in half.
One half with head down to avoid being called on.
Coward.
The other half, The Angry Man – a full letter grade down before taking a single exam.
[Read more...]

Thomas Saliot

thomas saliot

Thomas Saliot, 45, is a French painter who lives “between Marrakech and Paris.”  He has been painting for the last 20 years.  Thomas allowed me to share a few of his stunning works in this post.  Find Thomas’ web site here.  See more of Thomas’ paintings below.

[Read more...]

I am what I am, and I do what I do

anthony-hopkins-2

My philosophy is: It’s none of my business what people say of me, and think of me. I am what I am, and I do what I do. I expect nothing, and accept everything. And it makes life so much easier.

— Anthony Hopkins


Credits: Portrait - geektyrant; Quote – Emotional Alegbra

Ghosts you chase you never catch

portrait, black and white, photography

“I wouldn’t describe myself as lacking in confidence, but I would just say that … the ghosts you chase you never catch.”

John Malkovich


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 SunThe Killing FieldsDangerous LiaisonsOf Mice and MenBeing John Malkovich, and RED, and has produced numerous films, including Juno and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.


Image Source: Youreyesblazeout

People should be waiting for their next word, not mine.

elvis_costello_10

“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


Elvis Costello, 59, born Declan Patrick Macmanus, is an English singer-songwriter. He was born in London.  He has won multiple awards in his career including a Grammy.  He has been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2004, Rolling Stone ranked Costello number 80 on their list of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. Costello’s first broadcast recording was alongside his dad, also a musician, in a television commercial for R. White’s Lemonade (I’m a Secret Lemonade Drinker). His father wrote and sang the song; Costello provided backing vocals. Costello married Canadian piano-vocalist Diana Krall in May 2003, and married her at the home of Elton John.  Krall gave birth to twin sons, Dexter Henry Lorcan and Frank Harlan James, on 6 December 2006 in New York City.  A vegetarian since the early 1980s, Costello says he was moved to reject meat after seeing the documentary The Animals Film (1982), which also helped inspire his song “Pills and Soap” from 1983′s Punch the Clock). (Source: Wiki)

 Credits: Portrait – By James O’Mara. Quote Source - apoetreflects. Bio – Wiki.

The outcome of my days

black and white

“The outcome of my days is always the same; an infinite desire for what one never gets; a void one cannot fill; an utter yearning to produce in all ways, to battle as much as possible against time that drags us along, and the distractions that throw a veil over our soul.”

~ Eugene Delacroix, “The Journal of Eugene Delacroix


Credits: Image – Your Eyes Blazeout. Quote – The Hidden Abyss


Sit Still

stephan vanfleteren portrait

“We yearn for silence, yet the less sound there is, the more our thoughts deafen us. How can we still the noise within?…In Vipassana you concentrate on sensation in stillness, sitting down, not necessarily cross-legged, though most people do sit that way. And sitting without changing position, sitting still. As soon as you try to do this, you become aware of a connection between silence and stillness, noise and motion. No sooner are you sitting still than the body is eager to move, or at least to fidget. It grows uncomfortable. In the same way, no sooner is there silence than the mind is eager to talk. In fact we quickly appreciate that sound is movement: words move, music moves, through time. We use sound and movement to avoid the irksomeness of stasis. This is particularly true if you are in physical pain. You shift from foot to foot, you move from room to room. Sitting still, denying yourself physical movement, the mind’s instinctive reaction is to retreat into its normal buzzing monologue — hoping that focusing the mind elsewhere will relieve physical discomfort. This would normally be the case; normally, if ignored, the body would fidget and shift, to avoid accumulating tension. But on this occasion we are asking it to sit still while we think and, since it can’t fidget, it grows more and more tense and uncomfortable. Eventually, this discomfort forces the mind back from its chatter to the body. But finding only discomfort or even pain in the body, it again seeks to escape into language and thought. Back and forth from troubled mind to tormented body, things get worse and worse.  Silence, then, combined with stillness — the two are intimately related — invites us to observe the relationship between consciousness and the body, in movement and moving thought.”

~ Tim Parks, Inner Peace


This essay by Tim Parks is worth reading in its entirety.  You can find it at this link.  Parks references his book Cleaver in the essay.  The book was chosen as a Sunday Telegraph Book of the Year.  It is one of the funniest novels that I have read.  You can read my review of Cleaver at this link.


Credits: Portrait of Phara De Aguirre by Stephan Vanfleteren. Quote: Inner Peace, Aeon Magazine

What “IS” this?

Stephan Vanfleteren Portrait of Hugo Raes

I came from brilliancy

And return to brilliancy.

What is this?

- Hoshin


Sources: Haiku – Thank you Whiskey River.  Hugo Raes Portrait by Stephan Vanfleteren 

Less

Portrait of Woman Holding Dove

Your Miscellaneous Way

Occupying your own skin with joy,
I watch you
listen to yourself living,
discovering each day
how much less of everything
steadies you into being.

- Terrance Keenan


Credits: Image – Mme Scherzo.  Quote: Whiskey River.  More on Terrance Keenan @ this link.

Running. With Better Than…

john-butler


It’s Saturday. 5:30 am.  45F. Drizzling.

Zeke is up early.  Which means his keeper (Susan) is too.  She’s at the kitchen table sipping coffee and reading The Times.  He’s looking up at her, being cute, sitting like Royalty, waiting for a hand-out.  It’s Banana today.  Dog loves bananas.  Who knew?

He watches me warily.  It has become the weekend routine.  He sits between his Mom’s legs.  Growls at me. Signaling, No way in H*ll I’m going out with you. No Way.  Fur is up at the back of his neck.  I approach. “Let’s go Bud. Let’s go for a run.”  He shows me his teeth…and emits a low raspy growl. And then another. Yep.  Pure bred running dog.  This is what it’s come to.

On with the gear.  Accessories first. Garmin GPS.  iPod. Ear Phones. Water bottle into black waist pouch. Then on with the suit.  Black running pants. Black rain slicker.  Black Baseball cap (not water proof). Red and Black Brooks running shoes.  Batman is ready.  The Dark Knight Rides.  He’s off.

Mile One.  It’s drizzling.  But manageable.  Light rain and mist.  Feels refreshing on the skin.  Miles.  I’m going to do Miles today. [Read more...]

Hold the moment…

woman portrait black and white

“Every moment is a poem if you hold it right.”

~ Lauren Zuniga

 


Sources: Lauren Zuniga web site. Image from Adrian’s Little Universe.  Quote from apoetreflects

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