Morning Call

Today, if you’re confronting an issue for the ten thousandth time, or feeling that your life is going nowhere, or panicking over how little you’ve achieved, stop and breathe. You’re not falling behind on some linear race through time. You’re walking the labyrinth of life. Yes, you’re meant to move forward, but almost never in a straight line.

Martha Beck, from The Labyrinth of Life


Notes:

Photographer (Pro and so much more)

I don’t know about other people’s cameras. Mine is a thing I had cobbled up, it holds together with tape and is always losing parts. All I need to set is the distance and that other thing – what do you call that other thing? I’m not a fan of mechanics. I have had this camera, still the same one, since I started taking photos. It has lived with me, shared many moments of my existence, both good and bad. If I ever lost it… well, the very idea of having to live without it pulls at my heart. […]

(What kind of painting did you do?) I started with earth, which I mixed with other materials, such as leaves, I’m not even sure I should call it painting. After that I tried canvas and real colours. Then I destroyed everything. Later on I wrote poetry, which I also destroyed. Finally I discovered photography and realized that it allowed me to produce something more powerful. Of course it cannot create, nor express all we want to express. But it can be a witness of our passage on earth, like a notebook. […]

To be sure the landscape can’t run away, and yet I always fear that it may…I must set up my tripod, so I worry that the landscape may disappear the next second and I don’t stop keeping an eye on it while I get prepared. Then, when pressing the shutter, I hold my breath. These moments are the greatest joys in my life, as if I were undressing the most beautiful woman in the world – that is, if she will allow herself be undressed. If the photo is a success, it means that she was willing. If not, it has been a lovely dream. […]

A photo isn’t only what you see, but also what your imagination adds to it. My own imagination may add something else, a third person’s something else again. But does it matter? What matters is the contact between us, the fact that we talk about trees losing their leaves, about objects we crush underfoot without realizing it, about that house dying gently, abandoned by its owner, even though it’s the house where he was born, where he learnt to cry and to laugh.

Mario Giacomelli, (1925-2000)

Don’t miss the entire fascinating interview by Frank Horvat @ Horvatland.com


Photo: Mario Giacomelli, maestro crudo (via lacarosella). Quotes: Thank you Beth @ Alive on All Channels

 

to do, not having done

“The other designers say, ‘We are burned out….’ Ooh,” Lagerfeld, 83, says in mock sympathy. “You will get burned out—if you take the job only for the check, you’d better do something else. People want the money but they don’t want to work. And they might be a little bit younger than I am, so they need their ‘private life.’ ” Smiling mischievously, he says, “I add collections and it makes them furious.” […]

His work ethic is well-known. “You wake up one day and find at 6 a.m. stacks [of faxes] handwritten by him, and he is announcing an idea for a book project or a Chanel catalog or a Fendi catalog,” says publisher Gerhard Steidl, who adds that most of his artists publish one book a year; with Lagerfeld, it’s typically 20 books and catalogs…“I do everything by instinct. Ninety percent goes into the garbage can, and the rest is maybe OK,” he says. “I am never pleased—I always think I could do better, that I am lazy.”  […]

The only invention Lagerfeld hasn’t really gotten up to speed with is the computer: “I don’t have time for the internet,” he says. Instead, he reads at a frenetic pace—and anything that happens to be in front of him. Once, working on a shoot, he found an industrial-supply catalog that had been left behind in the studio by a previous crew.

Though he’s outspoken, Lagerfeld also displays the old-fashioned manners of a courtier, never indulging in histrionics. “He’ll raise his glasses and just say, ‘You are frustrating me,’ ” says Pfrunder, imitating a comedic growl. Nor is he ever heard to complain, a favorite fashion pastime. “It’s very chic to never complain,” says Roitfeld. “It’s an education to work with Karl. When we are doing a photo shoot, he says hello to each person separately—the assistants, the interns. And when we finish he goes to say goodbye and thank you to each person personally. I’ve worked with many photographers and I can tell you, he’s the only one who does this.” […]

“What I like in life is to do, not having done,” says Lagerfeld.

Lagerfeld’s Chanel contract is for life…

~ Elisa Lipsky-Karasz, Karl Lagerfeld Is Never Satisfied (wsj.com, Feb 13, 2017)

I’m very much in love with where I’m from

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“Palmist Building (Summer), Havana Junction, Alabama,” 1980.

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“Palmist Building (Winter), Havana Junction, Alabama,” 1981.

Sarah Edwards: The photographer William Christenberry was often described as a chronicler of a decaying American South. It is true that in much of his work—shots of older buildings emptied of people, beams gap-toothed and nature ready to overtake—there is an attraction to what is passing, or what has passed. But Christenberry rejected the idea that his work was a lamentation or an elegy…“I feel that I’m very much in love with where I’m from. I find some old things more beautiful than the new, and I continue to seek those places out, and I go back to them every year until sooner or later they are gone.” [Read more…]

300 Arguments

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It takes x hours to write a book and some percentage of x hours to wish I were a different writer, writing a different book.
____

A great photographer insists on writing poems. A brilliant essayist insists on writing novels. A singer with a voice like an angel insists on singing only her own, terrible songs. So when people tell me I should try to write this or that thing I don’t want to write, I know what they mean.
____

I don’t write long forms because I’m not interested in artificial deceleration. As soon as I see the glimmer of a consequence, I pull the trigger.
____

My least favorite received idea about writing is that one must find one’s voice, as if it’s there inside you, ready to be turned on like a player piano. Like character, its very existence depends on interaction with the world.
____

Slowly, slowly, I accumulate sentences. I have no idea what I’m doing until suddenly it reveals itself, almost done.

~ Sarah Manguso, excerpts on writing from her new book titled “300 Arguments” (February 7, 2017)


Inspired by brainpickings:

I learned that, to be a writer, one has first got to be what he is, what he was born…. You had only to remember what you were.

~ William Faulkner, Essays, Speeches & Public Letters


Related Posts: Sarah Manguso

Like the white puff

dandelion

I contacted a well-known artist to discuss the possibility of drawing lessons. As a child, I used to draw all the time. It absorbed me completely. At some point, writing replaced drawing and what had once been second nature (drawing) became foreign. But the urge to draw had remained. I missed its simple and primordial pleasures…

When she asked me why I wanted her to teach me drawing, I replied, “Sometimes you just want to sit back and be led.”…The artist peered at me thoughtfully for a moment. Her blue eyes were clear and perfectly lined with kohl. Finally she spoke, with the hint of bemusement. She said the students who came to her were always full of hunger. They were seventeen-year old aspiring artists and eighty-five-year-old retired businessmen. People of mourned, mislaid, or unmined creativity. Their yearning was like the white puff of a dandelion. All she had to was blow gently and watch their creative spores lift, scatter, and take seed.

~ Kyo Maclear, Birds Art Life: A Year of Observation 


Notes:

Big Foot

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ceramics2

Natalie Weinberger, a Brooklyn-based ceramic artist, made the Big Foot Collection paying homage to the elevated vessel: wheel thrown chalices, stemware, and a variety of other elevated table top items ranging from the useful to the absurd. She uses an unusual blend of materials: a mixture of recycled stoneware, porcelain scraps, and black volcanic sand to create raw texture on her utilitarian creations.  Natalie deeply appreciates supplies that become alive after modelling and firing – quoting the past while making everyday minimalist objects that feel contemporary.”

Don’t miss checking out:


Source: Ignant.com

MORE! (esp. Now)

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“A huge print in black and white, ‘More Poetry Is Needed’ sits on the wall of a shopping centre in Swansea, United Kingdom. The wall art greets the city centre goers, allowing them to appreciate the idea that ‘Everybody and everywhere could do with more poetry.'”


Source: Book Mania!

Jimmy

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Tuesday.

I’m leaning back in the chair.  The bodies on the teleconference are shifting, their paper shuffling is booming on the mic. The update continues, I’m fading, drifting. I look up at the clock and it tugs me back, way back.

It’s hidden inside, in a dark space, deep in a corner on the edges, frayed but biting.

~ 1967

I was a child. You were a child. A Boy.

The schoolhouse had two classrooms, three grades in each room, one row for each grade, four to six students in each grade.  Three rows of heavy steel, four legged desks, each having a pocket for school things.  We were in the First Grade.

He was oversize in first grade, having been held back. Tall, thin, with hunger hanging from his bones. His brother was already categorized as a Juve, his Father an alcoholic, in and out of small jobs and a Mother desperately trying to keep it all together, and losing.

Faded jeans, not from stone washing, but from hand me downs from his older brother, or from a flee market sale. Everything wrong-sized, tattered and carrying a whiff of moth balls. Laces on too-big shoes loosely tied. Hair long, unruly and badly in need of a sheer. [Read more…]

MLK

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…Almost 50 years after his death, we remember MLK as the transcendent figure who helped lift the South out of Jim Crow. We also remember him as almost preternaturally calm in the face of great pressure and danger. […] He was a young man, still in his 30s—foisted onto the national stage with actors many years or decades his senior, suspect in the eyes of both younger and older civil rights leaders—and the burdens of leadership took their toll on him. […]

Since the age of 26, King had lived a mercilessly public life. He spent as much time, if not more, in airports and hotel rooms as he did at home with his wife and children. He faced relentless pressure to raise money, mediate internecine disagreements within the movement, speak before local civil rights groups and act as the national spokesman and government liaison for the black freedom movement. It was not the life that he chose. Rather, it was the life that chose him.

On his birthday, Americans celebrate King’s accomplishments and commemorate his martyrdom. It bears remembering, too, that he struggled with the role he played. And that he willingly surrendered life’s comforts—small and large—to give himself wholly to a country that didn’t, in his brief time here, fully appreciate him.

~ Joshua Zeitz, excerpts from The MLK History Forgot


Cover Source: The New Yorker by Kadir Nelson, a Los Angeles-based artist who painted this week’s The New Yorker cover, a tribute to the civil-rights leader. “My image is a celebration of Dr. King and his vision. What happened to his dream of racial and economic equality, and what is the impact of non-violent resistance over half a century later? It’s a conversation between the past, the present, and the future.”

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