July 15, 2016 by 18 Comments
June 22, 2016 by 10 Comments
I distrust the perpetually busy; always have.
The frenetic ones spinning in tight little circles like poisoned rats.
The slower ones, grinding away their fourscore and ten in righteousness and pain.
They are the soul-eaters.
Art: Hélène Boutanos, illustrator from Paris, France.
No other warm-blooded creature lives this way. We alone keep working 24/7, under the false suns of our fluorescent lights.
June 6, 2016 by 25 Comments
38 percent of Americans describe themselves as “always” feeling rushed. No other warm-blooded creature lives this way: ignoring seasonal patterns, ignoring rest. We alone keep working 24/7, under the false suns of our fluorescent lights. It is as if we hope to rid ourselves of the natural world entirely: discarding not just our own circadian rhythms, but also the larger cycles of the moon and stars, the tides, the solar year. And yet, it is useful, surely, to have some grasp of what the experts call “chronobiology”—to recognize the ways in which our bodies are in fact entrained not to clocks or computers or our weekly schedules, but to the ancient, powerful rhythms of the larger universe. In the course of a day, our hearts will pound out a quiet drum of sixty to eighty beats per minute, speeding up as we race to catch a bus, slowing down when we take a nap. Our body temperatures will rise and fall by a degree or two, reaching peak efficiency late in the afternoon. Our cells will multiply and divide and replace themselves as necessary; hormones and enzymes will be produced. Women in their child-bearing years will move with greater or lesser ease through the different stages of their monthly cycles. Meanwhile, rain or shine, our attention will ebb and flow throughout the day: an hour and a half of concentrated attention, a short break; another hour and a half, another break.
~ Christian McEwen, World Enough & Time: On Creativity and Slowing Down.
May 12, 2016 by 5 Comments
March 26, 2016 by 44 Comments
She’s 23. Her Brother, 22.
He orders a Tom Collins, and gets carded. She, a Zinfindel. Dad, a tall ice water. “Sparkling, or Flat for you Sir?” “Tap, Miami’s finest please.” After dinner cocktails in a hotel bar, with of-age children. Embrace the memories, block the melancholia. I fail, it seeps in and then overwhelms me, water around stone.
It’s a quiet Friday night. The Sushi Chef leans on the glass case and flirts with the cocktail waitress. She’s wearing a smart black skirt and jacket. On the other side of the bar, middle aged lovers huddle, whispering.
A one-man band blows on an electronic wind instrument, alternating with a brass trumpet with a black trumpet cap. His supporting cast, multi-colored bars flashing on a laptop and pumped out of tall, thin, floor standing speakers. He sways to and fro, lips pursed on reed. The Chill music hangs, a sweet fine mist over the valley. One could drop this, all of this, in Ramblas in Barcelona, in Gastown in Vancouver or the Dièse Onze in Montreal. Vibe, Same.
The eyelids are heavy, barbells. The body, from its all day soak in the sun, the wind, and the ocean salt, aches for rest.
I watch them leave together, bar hopping. She leans into him with her shoulder, they laugh. How many times in their lifetimes? Hundreds of times where Mom, and Dad, the Heavy, broke up skirmishes, and worse. Salter’s Light Years: “Passing of life together, a compact that will never end…lives formed together, woven together.” And Parents stitching, braiding, weaving it all in the hope of This. Look, This, a tapestry. Full body warmth rushes in.
I ride the elevator up. Melancholy, a Tsunami now. [Read more…]
January 11, 2016 by 27 Comments
David Bowie 1947-2016
Source: this isn’t happiness
December 24, 2015 by 18 Comments
November 22, 2015 by 10 Comments
Once he heard the gunfire stop, Matthieu made his way back to the restaurant. “I saw a lot of women dead on the ground,” he said, his voice catching on the “f” of “femmes.” “It was mostly women that I saw.” He found one of his friends, a Brazilian studying in Paris, lying in the middle of the street. She had been seated across from him, and was shot in the chest. Matthieu sat on the ground and held her legs, feeling her shallow breathing. She would survive.
People were running through the streets in an eruption of panic, shouting as the police arrived and tried to establish order. The scene couldn’t be secured; Matthieu worried that the shooters might return. Next to him, a man without injuries held his girlfriend’s lifeless body in his arms. Then, without warning, he ran off. The woman was about twenty-five and very beautiful. Matthieu searched for words to describe her perfect, uncanny stillness. […]
Last week’s victims were normal people doing normal Parisian things: eating and drinking together, going out at night to hear a concert or watch a soccer game. After a few days, the rhythm of Parisian life returned, but a new fatalism hung in the air. People seemed resigned to the idea that more attacks would happen, maybe soon. […]
I remembered that when Matthieu and I first met we’d discussed our upbringings, and religion had come up. His family was Catholic, but I couldn’t remember if he was religious. “I’m more agnostic than Catholic, though I come from the Catholic culture,” he said. “In any case, this isn’t really a moment when I’m thinking about religion. When I think about religion, I always think about it in connection with what’s beautiful, what’s good. But never in connection with evil. I just don’t see the connection.”
~ Alexandra Schwartz, Letter from Paris: The Long Night. Terrorist attacks and a city changed.
Illustration: Arc De Triomphe by Christoph Riemann in The New Yorker