I am always wondering if there’s something holy between people, a formless thing, something that can’t be bruised

Monique Passion, Secret

I keep wondering what, in me, might be constant. I catch myself looking for that remainder, retracing my steps as if in search of lost keys. I am always wondering if there’s something holy between people, a formless thing, something that can’t be bruised… But maybe I really did sense something vague and holy in others’ eyes, something sacred in crowds, in a bus of people staring out their windows, watching life. There should be a middle ground between believing in a certain god and believing that some mysterious third substance was between people. Like churches, I thought, there should be a place for people who just weren’t sure. There should be a place for people who see something but won’t dare say what it is. Maybe there’s something, something between people that is more than air and empty space, something holy in that nothing between one face and another.

~ Catherine Lacey, from “The Answers: A Novel” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, June 6, 2017)


Art: Monique Passicot, “Whispers“, 1991, colored pencil / graphite, 10x7in (via Hidden Sanctuary)

She suggests a minimum of one hour of sustained gaze (Right! Errata, 1 min?)

“Try not to blink,” says the performance artist Marina Abramovic. “The more you blink, the more you think.” In the spring of 2010, Abramovic spent over 700 hours looking into the eyes of more than 1,500 visitors to the Museum of Modern Art. Many wept openly. Sometimes Abramovic cried, too. To really experience the power of eye contact, she suggests a minimum of one hour of sustained gaze.

Place two chairs three and a half feet apart, and sit facing someone. Do not talk or touch. Focus your eyes between that person’s brows, so that you can see both pupils simultaneously. Don’t look away. Eye contact elicits avoidance behavior in many species, but humans are exquisitely attuned to it. Even newborns will look longer at people staring straight at them than they will at those with averted eyes…

To really see — and feel connected to — someone, you need to be still in mind and body. Start by slowing your breath until it is “almost unnoticeable,” Abramovic says. You’ll undergo all manner of discomfort during your encounter, including sore muscles, dry eyes and niggling thoughts. Don’t dwell on them.

Abramovic thinks a scarcity of eye contact is crippling modern culture. While we need to look at our loved ones more, she says that gazing into the eyes of strangers is potentially more transformative, what she calls “one of the most powerful experiences you can have.”…

Prepare for a rush of emotion. Abramovic felt surges of profound tenderness during the months she spent locking eyes with anyone who wanted to sit across from her. “I felt their loneliness and pain,” she says. “My heart was bursting.”

~ Malia Wollan, from How to Make Soulful Eye Contact (NY Times, April 28, 2017)


Notes:

It’s a Hard Time to Be Human

Parker J. Palmer, from It’s a Hard Time to Be Human: When I ran across this Ellen Bass poem recently, I was immediately drawn to the line, “It’s a hard time to be human.” I’m sure there’s never been a time when it wasn’t hard to be human. But this is our time, and our world seems to be spinning off course. And yet, as the poem’s title says, “The World Has Need of You.” It’s hard to credit that our little lives, words, and actions can make a difference, but they do. The “proof” is in the last three lines of this poem, which I’ll let you read for yourself…
[Read more…]

Walking Cross-Town. With Labels.

love-has-no-bias

Morning. This morning.

I’m walking. Cross Town. Down 47th street, three blocks from the office.

For some inexplicable reason, the head is yanked left to a billboard across the street.

Two skeletons, holding hands.

Same bones, different color.

“love has no labels”

What’s this?

I get to the office. Google it.

And then I take the quiz.

Hmmmmmmm.

Take the Quiz


Related Posts: Commuting Series

Walking. What are hands for?

hands

It’s 2 pm.

There’s phone chatter on the floor, fingers tapping on keyboards, a high speed printer spitting out copies, and the hum of florescent ceiling lights providing percussion.

The Modern Manufacturing Plant. And my Home away from Home.

I’ve been anchored to my seat since 5:30 am – an 8-hour shift and the meter continues to run.

I shift uncomfortably left, then right. The lower back groans.  My step counter reports 1,704 steps, 8,296 steps short of the daily target. But it’s not enough, not nearly enough to get me up and around and moving.  This soul’s chained to the wheel, with Kyo Maclear’s “pessimistic disposition, a perfectionist quality mixed with a sense of inadequacy…striving leading to suffering.”  My rocket fuel. Sucking on its straw, tanks strapped on tight, wired for production, banged up, leading Lombardi’s sweep, 4 yards in a cloud of dust.

I’m finishing up a telephone conversation and the phone cuts out. [Read more…]

Dinner! Let’s eat together…

Stick with this to the finish…


Thank you Susan

Oh, of course we are.

above-average


Source: The New York Times Magazine

(Early) Saturday Morning

paul-schneggenburger-sleep

The mind cannot fall asleep as long as it watches itself. Only when the mind moves unwatched and becomes absorbed in images that tug it as it were to one side does self-consciousness dissolve and sleep with its healing, brilliantly detailed fictions pour in upon the jittery spirit. Falling asleep is a study in trust. Likewise, religion tries to put us at ease with the world. Being human cannot be borne alone. We need other presences. We need soft night noises – a mother speaking downstairs. We need the little clicks and sighs of a sustaining otherness. We need the gods.

– John Updike, Self-Consciousness: Memoirs

 


Notes: Quote – Thank you Whiskey River.  Photo: Paul Maria Schneggenburger with his long exposure photography with series titled “Sleep of the Beloved” (via beautifuldecay.com)

25 Words.

25-words


Source: Penumbra @ GarimaObrah (via Paper Ghosts)

Rag’n’Bone Man


Rag’n’Bone Man (born Rory Graham) sings “Human“. He’s a British singer-songwriter from Uckfield, near Brighton.  At 15, he started he career by testing his rap skills at open-mic hip hop nights.  At 19, encouraged by his father, he sang at a blues jam in a local pub and doors started opening for acoustic gigs. His career has since taken off.  You can find his pages on Facebook, his web site and on iTunes.

 

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