“If life were measured in steps, I fear that many would hoard them for as long as possible, going nowhere, tasting nothing. Simply being alive, but never living.”
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
1) “It’s just all too exhausting to get lathered up about. I don’t get any respect!” or,
2) “Do you see the oasis ahead?” or,
3) “If I hold my head very still, perhaps she won’t leave any deposits.” or,
4) “Whaddya think of my new hat?”
Image Credit: Eric Lafforgue
Genís Carreras, 27, is a graphic designer and entrepreneur based in London and born in Catalonia. He is the author of a book titled: Philographics. His book is all about explaining big ideas in simple shapes, merging the world of philosophy and graphic design. There are ninety-five designs, each depicting a different “–ism” using a unique combination of geometric shapes, colors, and a short definition of the theory. Find his book on Amazon here. Find his web site here.
Genís is Genius. Period.
See more below:
Put a few thousand ants on to a pile of dirt and in a week they will have built a labyrinthine city inside it. If a flood hits the colony they can mesh their own bodies together into a raft the size of a dinner plate and ship themselves to safety. All done without blueprint or leader. How? Not because ants are smart. But because they know to follow simple rules. Three, to be exact. Read more here.
~ Emily Singer, The Remarkable Self Organization of Ants, Quanta Magazine
There are all kinds of silences and each of them means a different thing. There is the silence that comes with morning in a forest, and this is different from the silence of a sleeping city. There is silence after a rainstorm, and before a rainstorm, and these are not the same. There is the silence of emptiness, the silence of fear, the silence of doubt. There is a certain silence that can emanate from a lifeless object as from a chair lately used, or from a piano with old dust upon its keys, or from anything that has answered to the need of a man, for pleasure or for work. This kind of silence can speak. Its voice may be melancholy, but it is not always so; for the chair may have been left by a laughing child or the last notes of the piano may have been raucous and gay. Whatever the mood or the circumstance, the essence of its quality may linger in the silence that follows. It is a soundless echo.
— Beryl Markham, West with the Night
Beryl Markham (1902 – 1986) was a British-born Kenyan author, aviator, adventurer, and racehorse trainer. During the pioneer days of aviation, she became the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic from east to west. She is now primarily remembered as the author of the memoir West with the Night - – The Book Summary from Amazon: [Read more...]
We’re all sinking in the same boat here.
Tired of thinking about it.
Tired of writing about it.
Tired of reading it.
A business lunch on Thursday.
I drop my head and listen to the conversation.
I close my eyes.
And savor each one.
Chocolate chips melting…coating my tongue.
7, not a typo, 7 chocolate chip cookies in less than 15 minutes.
A sugar addiction.
Deficiency of something.
Deficit of Discipline.
Tired of stepping on scale the next morning and expecting a miracle.
Definition of insanity…
Tired of waking up with 4 hours of sleep.
With eyes burning.
Burning and watering at 6am before the sun rises.
And by 2pm, earning a full fledged membership in The Walking Dead.
Short of patience.
Hungry for flesh and blood.
“Someday, sometime, you will be sitting somewhere. A berm overlooking a pond in Vermont. The lip of the Grand Canyon at sunset. A seat on the subway. And something bad will have happened: You will have lost someone you loved, or failed at something at which you badly wanted to succeed. And sitting there, you will fall into the center of yourself. You will look for some core to sustain you. And if you have been perfect all your life and have managed to meet all the expectations of your family, your friends, your community, your society, chances are excellent that there will be a black hole where that core ought to be. I don’t want anyone I know to take that terrible chance. And the only way to avoid it is to listen to that small voice inside you that tells you to make mischief, to have fun, to be contrarian, to go another way. George Eliot wrote, ‘It is never too late to be what you might have been.’ It is never too early, either.”
- Anna Quindlen, Being Perfect
Source: Thank you Carol
In truth, the dramatics of a life-determining experience are often unbelievably soft. It has so little akin to the bang, the flash, or the volcanic eruption that, at the moment it is made, the experience is often not even noticed. When it deploys its revolutionary effect and plunges a life into a brand-new light giving it a brand-new melody, it does that silently and in this wonderful silence resides its special nobility.
~ Pascal Mercier, Night Train to Lisbon: A Novel
“How does that happen?” Matthiessen asked me rhetorically, posing the question of the novel. He referred back to the novel’s epigraph, a poem by Anna Akhmatova that wonders, when we are surrounded by so much death, “Why then do we not despair?” Matthiessen looked at me, eyes dancing, beating on his leg in time as he said, “Something, something, something,” unable to name the mysterious life force that allows us to rejoice…
~ Jeff Himmelman
Peter Matthiessen, 86, died last night. R.I.P.
The quote above is an excerpt from Himmelman’s April 3, 2014 NY Times Magazine article titled Peter Matthiessen’s Homegoing.
From today’s front page story in the NY Times Peter Matthiessen, Lyrical Writer and Naturalist, Is Dead at 86:
“Zen is really just a reminder to stay alive and to be awake,” he told the British newspaper The Guardian in 2002. “We tend to daydream all the time, speculating about the future and dwelling on the past. Zen practice is about appreciating your life in this moment. If you are truly aware of five minutes a day, then you are doing pretty well. We are beset by both the future and the past, and there is no reality apart from the here and now.”
Matthiessen was an American novelist, naturalist, and wilderness writer. He was a three-time National Book Award-winner for The Snow Leopard and Shadow Country. He was also a prominent environmental activist. According to critic Michael Dirda, “No one writes more lyrically [than Matthiessen] about animals or describes more movingly the spiritual experience of mountaintops, savannas, and the sea.”
Matthiessen’s new book, In Paradise, is scheduled for release on April 8, 2014.
“…Johansson, now 29, is one of the most successful actresses of her generation—relevant, bankable, and all those terrible, tacky words. But her success owes itself less to any kind of star-making algorithm than it does a willingness to step outside expectations and experiment. She is not the kind of person or actress who has a master plan that she follows…”
“…She seems uninterested in taking any obvious path. “I’d rather take the chance of a film not working than be stuck in a pattern of making the same movie over and over,” she says. Getting older doesn’t unnerve her, either. “I don’t want to be the ingenue anymore,” she says. “That part I’m happy about. It’s nice to be glamorous, but I don’t want to always have to be trendy and glamorous and an object of desire. I don’t want to be stuck in that forever. Because it doesn’t last.”
…Still, Johansson speaks with urgency about the tension actresses often feel between balancing their careers and personal lives, particularly on the subject of family. It’s a topic that turns out to have happy urgency: A couple of months after we meet, reports will arrive that Johansson and Dauriac are expecting a child. “It seems so stressful to not be able to spend time with your family because you’re constantly chasing the tail of your own success,” Johansson says. She continues: “There must exist a world in which I can balance those things, be able to raise a family and still make a film a year, or work on my own, develop things, do theater. I want to be able to have it all.” She laughs. “Selfishly.”
…”I know that with that there will be some sacrifices. I know that’s the struggle with working mothers and successful careers. It happens.” But the scent of double standard is obvious, and Johansson doesn’t shy from it. “With [male actors] it just doesn’t happen that way. You can be every woman’s fantasy, and nobody thinks twice about the fact that you have eight kids or whatever.”
Read more at wsj.com here.
i saw my grandmother hold out
her hand cupping a small offering
of seed to one of the wild sparrows
that frequented the bird bath she
filled with fresh water every day
she stood still
maybe stopped breathing
while the sparrow looked
at her, then the seed
then back as if he was
judging her character
he jumped into her hand
began to eat
a woman holding
a small god
~ Richard Vargas, why i feed the birds
For a man who holds a fork in one hand and a salt shaker in the other…Who’s been repeatedly scolded for the level of his salt intake…for salting his food before tasting it – - BooYah for me – - Boo Hoo to all my critics. You know who you are. New research spells it all out in Salt Guidelines Too Low for Good Health:
“Don’t toss out your salt shaker just yet: A new analysis from Denmark finds current recommended salt guidelines may be too low. The new research indicates that Americans consume a healthy amount of salt, even though daily averages exceed recommendations from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“For most people, there is no reason to change their dietary habits concerning salt, as most people eat what appears to be the safest amount,”
“…They found that low levels of salt consumption may be linked with a greater risk of death.”
Read more here.
It’s only a matter time. Life extension benefits of French Fries and Ice Cream are just around the corner.
NY Times: Spite is Good. Spite Works:
…Evolutionary theorists have long been intrigued by the origins and purpose of spite, and a new report suggests that sometimes spite can make right.
…The new research on spite transcends older notions that we are savage, selfish brutes at heart, as well as more recent suggestions that humans are inherently affiliative creatures yearning to love and connect. Instead, it concludes that vice and virtue, like the two sides of a V, may be inextricably linked.
…human decency and cooperation require a certain degree of so-called altruistic punishment: the willingness of some individuals to punish rule breakers even when the infraction does not directly affect them — challenging the guy who broke into the line behind you, for example.
…“It could be that Nietzsche was right about punishment,” Dr. Forber said, “that it originated as spite and only later was turned into a mechanism for maintaining fairness and justice.”
“…If you get the reputation as someone not to mess with and nobody messes with you going forward, then it was well worth the cost.”
“…It’s like the Mafia,” he said. “They end up reducing crime in the areas they inhabit.”
Read full article in NY Times: Spite is Good. Spite Works.
I’m on the train, returning home, and rifling through blog posts on my reader.
My index finger pauses. Then stops.
You are perfect.
You are perfect.
I am Perfect.
I am Perfect?
Who believes this nonsense?
No breakfast: And 1 granola bar for lunch. (No calorie diet after weekend gorging.)
No 8 glasses of water a day: Try zero. Zero liquids. (A head scratcher. Is that even possible? Are you a camel? An Android?)
No waiting for Walk Signals: I jaywalk in a criss-crossing of Manhattan streets, sheets of freezing rain slapping my trench coat. Eye glasses wet and fogging. (March 31. Please, Please make it Be Spring.)
No shortage of stupidity. I rub the rain-splashed-grime off the toe caps of my shoes with my hands, and instinctively reach for my suit pants. Black shoe polish. (I look around to see if anyone is watching. Just me. Who does this?)
No breaks: No pauses. No eye rests. No at-your-desk toe and leg stretches. (An accomplished All-Pro Back at the sedentary position.)
No Enjoyment of the Warming Evening Sun: Head down, as the crow flies, walk-running cross-town to catch the 6:30 pm Metro North. (Aware of no one. Aware of nothing. But the shot clock. More March Madness.)
No Perfection: Just another Imperfect Manic Monday.
About Daryl Zang:
My first real contact with art came early in life. I was born in 1971 in New York City and as a baby my mother often pushed my stroller through the galleries of the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum. I don’t remember a time when art was not a part of my life. I have always loved figurative painting and learned my technique earning a BFA at Syracuse University and through study in Florence, Italy.
My painting career truly came into focus after the birth of my first child. Ironically, at this time, I found it unthinkable that I would have the time or energy to take painting seriously. I found an escape in my studio and turned to self-portraiture in order to make sense of all the emotions that had arrived with this new phase of life. I created imagery that was honest and infused with a female perspective which I found difficult to find elsewhere in art. [Read more...]
Charles Murray’s 5 Rules For A Happy Life:
- Consider Marrying Young
- Learn How to Recognize Your Soul Mate
- Eventually Stop Fretting About Fame and Fortune (Fame and wealth do accomplish something: They cure ambition anxiety. But that’s all. It isn’t much…)
- Take Religion Seriously
- Watch “GroundHog Day” Repeatedly
#4: Now that we’re alone, here’s where a lot of you stand when it comes to religion: It isn’t for you. You don’t mind if other people are devout, but you don’t get it. Smart people don’t believe that stuff anymore. I can be sure that is what many of you think because your generation of high-IQ, college-educated young people, like mine 50 years ago, has been as thoroughly socialized to be secular as your counterparts in preceding generations were socialized to be devout…I am describing my own religious life from the time I went to Harvard until my late 40s. I still describe myself as an agnostic, but my unbelief is getting shaky…Start by jarring yourself out of unreflective atheism or agnosticism. A good way to do that is to read about contemporary cosmology. The universe isn’t only stranger than we knew; it is stranger and vastly more unlikely than we could have imagined, and we aren’t even close to discovering its last mysteries. That reading won’t lead you to religion, but it may stop you from being unreflective. Find ways to put yourself around people who are profoundly religious. You will encounter individuals whose intelligence, judgment and critical faculties are as impressive as those of your smartest atheist friends—and who also possess a disquieting confidence in an underlying reality behind the many religious dogmas.
Read all five rules here.
It was curious to think
that the sky was the same for everyone.
The ground beneath their feet may be different
But the sky remains the same
The sun, the stars, and the people under the sky
were also very much the same
all over the word
hundreds or thousands or maybe millions of people
just like this…
wel·kin [wel-kin], n, the sky; the vault of heaven.
Steve Layman’s shares “7 Questions About the Universe That No One Has Answered“:
…There’s also so much mess after 4.5 billion years of geophysics that some of our best information about the planet’s origins come from meteorites and the cratering of other worlds — outsourced. Speaking of other worlds, we’re not even sure we understand where the Moon came from, maybe it was a giant impact, maybe not. For an allegedly clever species on a small rocky planet this is a bit of an epic fail…
There’s an awful lot we don’t know (far more than just the examples here). But the point is not to get despondent, because this ignorance is a beautiful thing. It’s what ultimately drives science, and it’s what makes the universe truly awe-inspiring. After the hundreds of thousands of years that Homo sapienshas loped around, the cosmos can still elude our fidgety, inquisitive minds, easily outracing our considerable imaginations. How wonderful.
~ Caleb A. Scharf, Scientific American
“…We’re now trained to expect the worst. Lies rule the land…They have numbed us to the core. They are, as Engber says, “the ironic acid that corrodes our sense of wonder.” Ergo, we believe nothing. Everyone is suspect. The authentic thing is never really authentic. Society’s collective goodwill, the natural human instinct to trust you when you say this is legit and honest and true – no really it is I swear – this instinct has been molested. Perhaps beyond repair. You think?
Maybe. Maybe our collective Hoax Fatigue has gotten so bad that we’ll soon reach critical mass, and it will all flip around completely, so when another “First Kiss” comes along, instead of feeling a giddy thrill in the heart, we’ll instead feel bitter and disbelieving, waiting for the rug to be pulled at any second. What a fun way to live.
The evidence certainly seems ample. It’s not just viral videos, after all: the interval between when any uplifting new offering – a video, a song, a movie, a romance, a president, a newborn puppy, you name it – is released, and when than thing is crushed by sarcasm or jadedness, this interval has been compressed in recent years to near-instantaneous, to the point of absurdity. To the point where nothing even matters and it’s almost useless to even try.
Almost. But not quite. Happily, “First Kiss”-style phenoms still light up the Internet, even in this bitter age. Thankfully, the authentic thing can still break through the ice of corrosive cynicism. Against seemingly impossible odds and for almost no budget, millions of people can still made just a little bit giddy in the heart. Amazing. And they didn’t even slip us the tongue.”
~ Mark Morford, A Kiss for the Hopelessly Jaded
Come, join Caleb for breakfast!
Image Credit: Charles Roffey
- Post inspired by Steve Layman‘s Share of Sippican Cottage’s: “Why I Never Hire Brilliant Men: “#4: Does he finish what he starts? Geniuses almost never do.“
- Image Source: The Sensual Starfish.
“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?”
George Ball is the chairman of the Burpee Seed Company and a former president of the American Horticultural Society. Here’s the intro to his article titled: “Spring Is Here. Why Take a Break?”
As Thursday is the first day of spring, it seems timely to ask, why does anyone go on spring vacation? It seems odd to fly to a tropical destination at the very moment that one of the great astonishments of life on Earth is taking place right at home. When friends tell me their spring-vacation plans, they mention the word “escape.” Really? You want to escape from spring? That’s like fleeing paradise. Far better to escape to spring.
You cannot access the season’s magic on your laptop or smartphone; you can’t watch it on TV or catch it on your radio or simply read about it. If you wish to apprehend spring in its ineffable splendor, you have to show up in person, with every one of your senses engaged, and personally participate in this annual miracle.
The media world in which we dwell offers us a shared spectacle of limitless images, constant chatter, endless noise, infinite information and mountains of data—at once a stimulant and a narcotic. What’s lacking in this man-made media galaxy is everything that matters: beauty, love, magic, mystery, grandeur, rapture, the miraculous. Not to forget poetry, delicacy, refinement, purity, splendor, intimacy, innocence, fulfillment, inspiration. And then there’s nuance, drama, poignancy, integrity, harmony.
Where will you find these? On your smartphone? Non. On your tropical vacation? Unlikely. Discover the magnitude, mystery and wonder of life at home, working in your garden, in springtime….
It gets better. Read the rest here: Spring Is Here. Why Take a Break?
Image Source: My Favourite Web Photos
Ouch. Hitting close to the bone here…
…“Work-life balance” is a toxic distinction, inviting misery and stress, endless juggling and reconfigurations to try and get it “right,” where no right actually exists.
Maybe the hippies, the yogis, Einstein had it right when they say that everything is life – no matter what you’re doing, where you are, who you’re with – because everything is energy, vibration, movement. You can’t separate work from life anymore than you can separate water from a river.
The question, then, becomes more about where, energetically speaking, do you want to dwell? What sort of pulse and movement do you want to enjoy, through it all? Tortured and low, with the executives and the mind’s cruel categories, or up high, with the lovers, the synergists and the fools?
~ Mark Morford, Is “Work-Life” Balance a Lie?
Photograph Credit: Brooke Didonato
Most people have the hardest time relaxing. We were taught at an early age to ‘do,’ and now we are so addicted to doing that even if we take a break we think about what to do next. Very few ever realize that the priceless treasure in life is ‘Being.’
- Photograph: Thank you Brian Ingram. Note that Brian also kindly permitted the use of his photograph for my blog header.
- Quote: Thank you Karen @ Karen’s Korner.
…St. Patrick’s Day!
“The Mastaba, a project for Abu Dhabi, will be the largest sculpture in the world, made from 410,000 multi-colored barrels to form a mosaic of bright sparkling colors, echoing Islamic architecture. The Mastaba is an ancient and familiar shape to the people of the region. The Mastaba will be 492 feet high, 738 feet deep at the 60 degree slanted walls and 984 feet wide at the vertical walls. The top of The Mastaba will be a horizontal surface 416 feet wide and 738 feet deep. (Note that an American football field is 360 feet long x 160 feet wide!) The colors and the positioning of the 55-gallon steel barrels were selected by Christo and Jeanne-Claude in 1979, the year in which the artists visited the Emirate for the first time. The Mastaba will be Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s only permanent large-scale work.”
CHRISTO: The Mastaba will be the most expensive because it will be the biggest sculpture in the world. It’s bigger than the Pyramid of Cheops. It is two avenue blocks by three city blocks and 500 feet tall. But you need to image what it will look like in the desert, with slanted walls, like the pyramids, so you can only see the one side when you look at it. It will be like the biggest stairway to heaven—a 500-foot-tall stairway.
CHRISTO: It will be the most expensive sculpture in the world. It costs maybe $350 million. We pay for it all ourselves. This is why we’re totally independent. I don’t ever do commissions. All projects are initiated by me. Curiously enough, it costs exactly the same amount as if we built the Eiffel Tower today. [Read more...]
“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
Excerpts from the Joseph McCormack’s Book Brief: The Brevity Mandate
“Here are the daunting challenges we all face every day to be heard: Attention spans are in a tailspin. In 2000, the average attention span was 12 seconds and now it’s only eight. Professionals are interrupted 6-7 times an hour, often unable to get back to the task at hand. More than 43% abandon complicated or lengthy emails in the first 30 seconds. And the majority of people admit ignoring half the e-mails they get every day.”
“The more you say, the less people hear”
“The business world today is full of information overload and there is not enough time to sift through it. If you cannot capture people’s attention and deliver your message with brevity, you’ll lose them.”
“The discipline to capture and manage elusive mindshare now shapes and defines professional success. Shorter emails, better organized updates, and tighter and more engaging presentations are immediate indicators that you’ve got what it takes to succeed in an attention economy.”
“Getting to the point is a non-negotiable standard.”
Find book on Amazon here.