Most of it.

feel-touch-hurt-happy-sad


Source: Neverlaandss

Monday Morning Wake-Up Call: Let’s Go!


Thank you Lori.

Anemoia: So clear and still you can see your own reflection.


anemoia – n. nostalgia for a time you’ve never known

Imagine stepping through the frame into a sepia-tinted haze, where you could sit on the side of the road and watch the locals passing by. Who lived and died before any of us arrived here, who sleep in some of the same houses we do, who look up at the same moon, who breathe the same air, feel the same blood in their veins—and live in a completely different world.

Don’t miss full transcript below…
[Read more…]

Some keep the Sabbath going to Church. I keep it, staying at Home.

peace,rest,calm,still,quiet

Pico Iyer, Chapter 5: “A Secular Sabbath” from “The Art of Stillness: Adventures in Going Nowhere.”:

The need for an empty space, a pause, is something we have all felt in our bones; it’s the rest in a piece of music that gives it resonance and shape…the reason a certain kind of writer will include a lot of blank space on a page, so his sentences have room to breathe (and his readers, too). The one word for which the adjective “holy” is used in the Ten Commandments is Sabbath…

These days, in the age of movement and connection, space, as Marx had it in another context, has been annihilated by time; we feel as though we can make contact with almost anywhere at any moment. But as fast as geography is coming under our control, the clock is exerting more and more tyranny over us. And the more we can contact others, the more, it sometimes seems, we lose contact with ourselves…

This is what the principle of the Sabbath enshrines…the one day a week we take off becomes a vast empty space through which we can wander, without agenda, as through the light-filled passageways of Notre Dame. Of course, for a religious person, it’s also very much about community and ritual and refreshing one’s relationship with God and ages past. But even for the rest of us, it’s like a retreat house that ensures we’ll have something bright and purposeful to carry back into the other six days…

The Sabbath recalls to us that, in the end, all our journeys have to bring us home. And we do not have to travel far to get away from our less considered habits. The places that move us most deeply, as I found in the monastery, are often the ones we recognize like long-lost friends; we come to them with a piercing sense of familiarity, as if returning to some source we already know. “Some keep the Sabbath going to Church—” Emily Dickinson wrote. “I keep it, staying at Home.”


Notes:

Sunday Morning: The Pilgrimmage

Shikoku-88-Temple-Pilgrimage-Japan

Bruce Feiler in The New Allure of Sacred Pilgrimages:

[…] (A) growing number of Americans (are) joining the worldwide boom in spiritual travel. This growth comes at a time when organized religion around the world is feeling threatened…Pilgrimage, meanwhile, is more popular than ever…the United Nations released a study finding that of every three tourists worldwide, one is a pilgrim, a total of 330 million people a year.

Last year I went on six of these pilgrimages to explore what this new phenomenon says about the future of faith. In addition to the trip to Lourdes, I bathed in the Ganges River along with 100 million people during the 55-day Kumbh Mela, trekked on a 700-mile Buddhist path in Japan, walked in the footsteps of prophets in Saudi Arabia and Jerusalem, and traveled with African-Americans to reclaim their roots in Nigeria. What I found is that pilgrimage is not merely ancillary to the modern spiritual existence. In an age of doubt and shifting beliefs, people are no longer willing to blindly accept the beliefs of their ancestors. They are insisting instead on choosing their own beliefs. A pilgrimage can be a central part of this effort.

…The most popular thing you hear in faith circles these days is, “I’m not religious — I’m spiritual.” Everyone is on a journey.

…It’s that feeling of taking control over one’s life that most affected the pilgrims I met. So much of religion as it’s been practiced for centuries has been largely passive. People receive a faith from their parents; they are herded into institutions they have no role in choosing; they spend much of their spiritual lives sitting inactively in buildings being lectured at from on high.

A pilgrimage reverses all of that. At its core, it’s a gesture of action. In a world in which more and more things are artificial and ephemeral, a sacred journey gives the pilgrim the chance to experience something both physical and real. And it provides seekers with an opportunity they may never have had: to confront their doubts and decide for themselves what they really believe.

As appealing as that destination may be, there’s only one way to achieve it. Get up off your sofa and go.

Read Bruce Feiler’s entire essay at The New Allure of Sacred Pilgrimages


Image Credit: Wayne Emde @ Pilgrimroads.com (shikoku 88 temple pilgrimage)

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

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…]

T.G.I.F.: It’s been a long week

gif-fall-funny


Source: gifak-net. Thank you Uncle Spike.


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

 

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

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

 

T.G.I.F.: It’s Been A Long Week

dog-pet-cute-cat-funny-tgif


Source: sensualstarfish

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

 

 

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?

camel_up_close

Profile shot, Caleb’s best side.


Notes:

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

Monday Morning Wake-up Call: Get up! Get up!

gif-pixar-funny-morning-wake-up


Image Credit: Automatically.com (Darla from Finding Nemo)

 

 

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…]

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)

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

 

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


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 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…]

Black Friday Shopping Weekend or…

shopping,holidays,Thanksgiving,Christmas


Source: Japanese Piggy Bank via themetapicture.com


SMWI*: Right.

black and white,photography

Elbows hurt just looking…


Notes:

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

T.G.I.F.: Day After Thanksgiving

baby-hippo-gif-hippopotamus


Source: Your Eyes Blaze Out

Human. Roll it.

cool-gif-changing-faces-water


Source: themetapicture (Thank you Susan)

 

Happy Thanksgiving

heart-gif

The email message arrived a few days ago. The sender and the location were all unidentifiable. Yet, the message was deeply personal. I read it in the silence of the early morning hours, both hands resting on top of the desk, my breath slowing as my eyes worked down the page.

“I’ve been following your blog since early 2013.  After a series of your “life is a miracle” shares, I felt I needed to reach out. While our core beings are quite similar in that our hearts’ beat, our body temperatures hover in comparable ranges, and our bodies crave food and water, many of us depart from here in our day-to-day existences…

If I’m sitting and looking out from your perch, I would enjoy the view. Married, family, job.  Fridge full of food. A warm house for shelter. Good health. A community of Followers and bloggers to banter with and share inspirations…

Kierkegaard would say that the yardstick for a human being is how long and to what degree he can bear to be alone. I continue to be tested by this yardstick. I’m quite alone. My effectiveness in bearing it? Let’s say it’s day-to-day, and I’m doing so without the benefit of your accoutrements. Yet, I find my peace, and I accept my position in this Life…swallowing hard on my down days.

Look around. I mean really look around and take stock of your life. All of this can change. It can change at any moment. And it can turn very badly. It did for me… Be grateful Now for your blessings as you have many.

[NO CLOSING SIGNATURE OR SALUATION]

Friend, if I can take the liberty of calling you that, you’ve left me Still and without many words, and I’m thankful for your message. Where ever you are and who ever you may be, on this Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., may you find nourishment, may you have shelter and warmth, and may you be surrounded by the love of family and friends.


Photograph Source: Murrskeez

 

Books


Unfortunately, I didn’t understand a word* that was spoken on this short clip, but loved it anyway. The writer and producer of this film, Lou Salloum, explains that this film is a reflective narrative inspired by Matthew 6:6. This short film reminded me of a quote by Richard Powers on Reading in an interview by The Paris Review:

It’s an invisible, sedate, almost inert process. Reading is the last act of secular prayer. Even if you’re reading in an airport, you’re making a womb unto yourself—you’re blocking the end results of information and communication long enough to be in a kind of stationary, meditative aspect.


* Updated on Thanksgiving Day Nov 27, 2014. Lou Salloum was kind enough to offer an English translation.

Think of the things you are thinking about because you are more than just your thoughts. Life is weird, especially when you’re present in someone else’s imagination, thinking it’s the only place one ought to be alive. Find a place, create this place, where you can find yourself. A place where you can know who you are and discover what you could become. A place where you can hear the cry of pain in the beauty of this world, and find hope in the agony of this generation. A place, where you reflect and discover your own heart. Away from everything around you, everyone within you. At first, you may find it hard, but when you do take this quiet time alone, away, something magnificent will happen.

Inspired by Matthew 6:6

Guess.What.Day.It.Is?


Caleb makes a guest appearance on David Letterman on “Jungle” Jack Hanna’s Hump Day. As to the American Bald Eagle, Wow! Inspiring. Full stop.


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

You don’t believe? Not possible.

sequoia-tree-light-sunrise

We live on a blue planet
that circles around a ball of fire
next to a moon that moves the sea,
and you don’t believe in miracles?

~ bohemian-vibes


Photograph: From the Land of Giants. The early morning air in the Grant Grove of giant sequoias in Kings Canyon National Park on Sequoia Road. Photographer: larrygerbrandt. Thank you Carol @ Radiating Blossom.