There are places in and around our great cities, where the natural world has all but disappeared. You can make out streets and sidewalks, autos, parking garages, advertising billboards, monuments of glass and steel. But not a tree, or a blade of grass or any animal, besides of course, the Humans. There are lot’s of Humans. Only when you look up straight up through the skyscraper canyons, can you make out a star or a patch of blue. Reminders of what was there long before humans came to be. It’s not hard going to work every day in such a place to be impressed with ourselves. How we’ve transformed the earth for our benefit and convenience. But a few hundred miles up or down, there are no humans, our impact on the universe is nil. In the last 10,000 years, an instant in our long history, we’ve abandoned the nomadic life. We’ve domesticated the plants and animals. Why chase the food, when you can make it come to you? For all its material advantages, the sedentary life has left us edgy, unfulfilled. Even after 400 generations in villages and cities, we haven’t forgotten. There are now people on every continent and the remotest islands. From pole to pole. From Mount Everest to the Dead Sea. On the ocean bottoms, and even, occasionally in residence two miles up. Humans, like the Gods of old, living in the sky. These days there seems no where left to explore. Victims of their very success, the explorers now, pretty much, stay home.
I can still remember how she looked. Black gown grey against the sky, clutching the scroll in the hand. So much hard work.
Did it mean anything when all paths led to the same end. You can extend the path you take. Choose the one less travelled. Be all the richer for it. But it is still a path, and all paths lead to the same end. If you have a Lover and a Dog waiting for you, you are one of the lucky ones. I don’t think there’s anything afterwards, outside the stories. if there is, how would that work?
She believed. She wasn’t a zealot or fundamentalist. But she believed. Enough to not get scared at the end. Vast thunder storms. Fat on the horizon. But she could still see the sun. All things shining.
Sometimes I do the impossible. Steal a glimpse of her out of the corner of my eye. Light and full of love. I don’t try to stop her. Tap her on the shoulder. Pull her home.
They ask me years later. Does it get easier as time passes or does it stay at the back of your mind.
No. It stays right at the front.
~ Jack Tasker
Flying snowmobile called “parasledding.”
Whatever happened to tobogganing?
Or even snowmobiling on snow?
Yet, even for Man with Acrophobia, this is cool.
Chatter Creek, B.C. Canada is a 5 hour drive NW of my hometown.
What amazing country. (I have no bias of course)
And what incredible camera work.
“What does flavour look like? How does it sound? These are the questions that inspired herb and spice experts, Schwartz, to create what they describe as a ‘Sonic Flavourscape’. Several tons of black peppercorns, cardamom, turmeric, paprika, cumin seeds, ginger, chilli and coriander were rigged to explode in perfect sync with a bespoke musical composition. Each explosion represents an individual piano note or chord, which when filmed at high speed, creates a surreal three dimensional sound scape.”
Deep in the belly of these vermillion walls
Our minds open to adventure and experience.
We squint to the back of our lenses
And down to the tips of our fly lines
Crossing paths and coming together to tell a story.
This place is home to the blood of this land.
An emerald green water full of life, and full of hope.
She’s had a long journey.
Thousands of miles she’s travelled.
Veining her way through rock and crevice.
Rugged and raw to bless us with her fertile waters.
A place painted by Gods and carved by time.
A mighty river and a mighty canyon in the land of the Navajo.
Her currents meander over stone and sand
In a rhythm uniquely her own
Her color unlike anything else
Her glimmer, mesmerizing.
She has a heartbeat.
She dances with the winds and the grass.
She dances with life and we’ve come for what’s beneath it all.
In this box of trickery,
a shimmer of gold.
A subtle twist of thread and wire.
The trout we seek are strong and smart.
A worthy test of our skills.
Our tactics and presentations must be perfect.
The throw of our line must gently lay on the waters’ currents.
This is what we’ve come for, and what we live for.
Our search for the perfect riffle.
The rise of a hungry trout.
Friendships and memories.
This is an unforgettable place,
Where the earth and the heavens come together.
There is life, warmth and beauty everywhere up here.
360 degrees of pure magic.
Around every turn our lens capture the light and the dark of it all.
A Father and Son.
A lone fisherman.
The love for nature and art.
And blurring the lines in between.
We now see life, light and shadow
in a different way than we did before.
And we walk away
without leaving a trace of our modern trappings.
While this gold piece of the natural world
has left an indelible mark
on our all of spirits.
20 October 1944
US Army Air Force Base
I hoped I would never write this to you. In a little less than an hour, I’ll be strapping myself into my old plane and pointing my nose westward. I’ve seen the orders. I think it will be for the last time. And, so, suddenly I find my life stripped away, like the branches of an old, black tree. All that matters is that I write this to you.
I know that you won’t remember me. Not really. When I spent three days with you last year when you were 6 months old, and although you can’t yet understand it, I loved you more then than you might imagine loving anybody right now.
Now listen to me. This Life, know that it is precious. You’ve got to grasp it, every little whiff of it that passes by you. It won’t be easy. It won’t be certain. Not now. Not in your unimaginable future. Don’t be surprised. No, embrace the stiff winds and the lonely heights. Remember your name. Never turn away from the right course because it’s hard. Above all, love. Scrape out the bottom of your soul. And love for all you’re worth. And when you find her, risk everything. Die a thousand deaths to get her. Don’t look back. When you grow older, older than I’ll ever be, blow on the embers of that first heroic choice. You’ll be warmed, sustained.
Some day, you’ll have a son, remember, he’s your greatest gift. Tell him these things. Make a man of him. Love him. Don’t live to get money. Have a few things, but make them good things. Take care of them. Learn how they work. There is beauty in the smell of good machines and old leather.
When you walk, alone, in the autumn, down roads at night, with trees tossing in the sunset, know that I would give everything to walk with you and tell you their names. But I there, in the light, through the branches, and I’m loving you where I see you.
I must go now. All my love. For ever and ever.
Take a short walk with your dog on the island of Corsica. Corsica is a French island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is located west of Italy. It is the most mountainous island in the Mediterranean. Mountains make up two-thirds of the island, forming a single chain.
Feel your pulse slow with this beautiful film. Music: Sigur Ros “Samskeyti”
Good Sunday Morning…
Don’t give up on this one. The underwater footage begins a the 1 minute mark. The Humpback calf comes on a 1:42. And you may wish you stopped watching a wee bit before the finish. No spoiler. (But don’t say you weren’t warned)
More on the background of this clip below.
“Hannah Fraser stars in ‘Betrayal,’ a conservation-themed video that features a ‘life-changing’ encounter in the South Pacific. Fraser acts as a betrayed woman who has fallen into deep despair. She plunges into the dark ocean and is about to give up when she receives a visit by a humpback whale calf. The human and mammal bond as they perform what appears to be a choreographed dance, and the amazing encounter restores the woman’s hope and faith. ‘The woman rediscovers hope and love, dancing with joy as she experiences a profound connection, and comes face to face with this incredible being,” says Heinrichs, an award-winning cinematographer.
Humpback whales, like most other species of whales, were hunted to the brink of extinction during the whaling era. There is mounting pressure by some nations to have them removed from the endangered species list so they can resume hunting.
The footage is unique and remarkable because Fraser was able to get so close to the young humpback, whose mother was nearby, for an extended period. In the video, the mother ultimately arrives and reclaims her calf.
‘The fact that these whales can choose to interact with us so freely, when they can swim away in an instant, and considering our species drove their species to the brink of extinction … to spend time in their company is both humbling and a life-changing experience,’ Fraser says.”
Hold a magnifying glass to this relentless, unsympathetic city.
And we find ourselves, lonely, but never alone.
We make our way.
We choose our paths.
We decide who we are.
Pulled and pushed in the silence of our thoughts.
While on side streets named for those forgotten.
Preoccupied with universal struggles that seem so unique.
We ask the questions that aren’t always answered.
Who am I?
Who will I be?
What have I become?
We arrive, and the innocence is bliss, but fleeting,
As we learn the truths of being human.
We are the loved, and the unloved.
The wanted, and the forlorn.
And in those moments between the light and the darkness
We find ourselves, lonely, but never alone.
~ Paul Riccio & Molly Finley
Credits: Thank you Swissmiss
10+ years ago, Frank Torres, a colleague from work, had suggested that I buy a single pair of hand crafted Italian shoes. His face lit up when speaking about his visit to Italy, visiting shoemakers and speaking of the quality of the product. I scoffed. “Do me a favor. Just do it.” So, I did as he suggested. And, I’ve never looked back. I slide on my shoes each morning and think of that short 3-4 minute conversation with Frank. The form fit and cushioning offers me a magic carpet ride through the stress packed days. Frank, if you’re out there and by some miracle you are reading this post, this clip is my thanks to you. While it’s not of an Italian shoemaker, it offered me similar inspiration. “Yes, Frank. You do get what you pay for.”
Barbora Veselá is London based footwear designer and maker. Her work reflects deep technical knowledge and creative competence. She likes to challenge classic shoe making techniques, yet use them with respect and celebrate its value. Playful and inquisitive thinking brought into old craftsmanship is what makes her work strong and unique. A special construction method has been developed and used across her collection. Multiple layers of leather scrap pieces are added on the last and subsequently sanded down to achieve the final shape and unique colour pattern of the shoe. More shoes displayed here. (Source: barbora vesela)
If you missed my post on my first Harris Hawk experience, it’s worth a peak here. I had a similar awe inspiring experience watching this short 80 second clip. Danny Cooke, director and film maker from the UK, produced this short film of his nephew Sam “who has a fascination and colossal knowledge of Birds. On his birthday, he had the chance to fly a Harris Hawk named Sol.”
This short film features “life” shots in Iceland, Japan, California and France. It’s wrapped in Bon Iver’s Holocene, which takes it up a notch.
“To commemorate the 12th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the New York City Ballet at dawn on September 12 released a film, New Beginnings, of two of its principals dancing at sunrise on the 57th floor terrace of Four World Trade Center, now under construction in lower Manhattan. This short film captures an extraordinary and moving performance of Christopher Wheeldon’s After the Rain. It is a testament to the resilience of the human spirit, and a tribute to the future of the city that New York City Ballet calls home. The backdrop is the New York City skyline and One World Trade Center, which was formerly known as the Freedom Tower, and which, upon completion, will be the tallest skyscraper in North America, 1,776 feet high with its mast.”
The music in this clip is Spiegel Im Spiegel by Arvo Part (one of my favorites).
Three minutes of wonderful here to start your day…
This is a bit of a departure from the usual SMWI* (Saturday Morning Workout Inspiration) clips but no less inspiring. The imagery on this short film is stunning. This video was filmed in Manitowish Waters, Wisconsin in cranberry bogs. This extreme sport is called winch boarding which involves “being pulled by a large machine while on a skateboard, surfboard, snowboard, or other type of board.” Don’t quit on this one too early.
(Source: The Minneapolis Egotist: Two Locals & Red Bull Created a Stunning Cranberry Wakeskating Video.
This is an award winning short film. And deservedly so. It is long but worthy. A wonderful story of the life of Baltazar Ushca, who for more than 50 years has harvested the glacial ice of Ecuador’s Mount Chimborazo to make a living. Beautiful cinematography. Charles Kuralt-like clip.
Good Sunday morning.
Nuit Blanche (Sleepless Night) explores a fleeting moment between two strangers, revealing their brief connection in a hyper real fantasy. Magic…