Fisherman A man spends his whole life fishing in himself for something grand. It's like some lost lunker, big enough to break all records. But he's only heard rumors, myths, vague promises of wonder. He's only felt the shadow of something enormous darken his life. Or has he? Maybe it's the shadow of other fish, greater than his, the shadow of other men's souls passing over him. Each day he grabs his gear and makes his way to the ocean. At least he's sure of that: or is he? Is it the ocean or the little puddle of his tears? Is this his dinghy or the frayed boards of his ego, scoured by storm? He shoves off, feeling the land fall away under his boots. Soon he's drifting under clouds, wind whispering blandishments in his ears. It could be today: the water heaves and settles like a chest. . . He's not far out. It's all so pleasant, so comforting--the sunlight, the waves. He'll go back soon, thinking: "Maybe tonight." Night with its concealments, its shadow masking all other shadows. Night with its privacies, its alluringly distant stars. - Kurt Brown
I would rather walk through the woods and the grass and the briars and pick daisies and ferns and wild strawberries - or just look at the sky.... The green all about - the woods and pastures all growing wild so fast - no cows in it for three or four years - all sorts of unexpected things growing - and growing so fast - fern - little trees and big trees - flowers and all sorts of little creeping ground plants - masses of ferns that are wonderful. I love all those things so much it almost makes me feel I must stay here.
But fear of the inexplicable has not alone impoverished the
existence of the individual; the relationship between one human being and
another has also been cramped by it, as though it had been lifted out of the
riverbed of endless possibilities and set down in a fallow spot on the bank, to
which nothing happens. For it is not inertia alone that is responsible for
human relationships repeating themselves from case to case, indescribably
monotonous and unrenewed: it is shyness before any sort of new, unforeseeable
experience with which one does not think oneself able to cope.
But only someone who is ready for everything, who excludes
nothing, not even the most enigmatical, will live the relation to another as
something alive and will himself draw exhaustively from his own existence. For
if we think of this existence of the individual as a larger or smaller room, it
appears evident that most people learn to know only a corner of their room, a
place by the window, a strip of floor on which they walk up and down. Thus they
have a certain security. And yet that dangerous insecurity is so much more
human which drives the prisoners in Poe's stories to feel out the shapes of
their horrible dungeons and not be strangers to the unspeakable terror of their
We, however, are not prisoners. No traps or snares are set
about us, and there is nothing which should intimidate or worry us. We are set
down in life as in the element to which we best correspond, and over and above
this we have through thousands of years of accommodation become so like this
life, that when we hold still we are, through a happy mimicry, scarcely to be
distinguished from all that surrounds us. We have no reason to mistrust our
world, for it is not against us. Has it terrors, they are our terrors; has it
abysses, those abysses belong to us; are dangers at hand, we must try to love
them. And if only we arrange our life according to that principle which
counsels us that we must always hold to the difficult, then that which now
still seems to us the most alien will become what we most trust and find most
faithful. How should we be able to forget those ancient myths about dragons
that at the last moment turn into princesses; perhaps all the dragons of our
lives are princesses who are only waiting to see us once beautiful and brave.
Perhaps everything terrible is in its deepest being something helpless that
wants help from us.
As sleep is to dreaming -- a portal to dreamworlds -- so is the potential in everyday experiences. If we recognize them as points of shimmer we might find ourselves liberated from the common, transported by them into the waiting other worlds. CONNECT
The secret of poetry is never explained, is always new. We have not got farther than mere wonder at the delicacy of the touch, and the eternity it inherits. In every house a child that in mere play utters oracles, and knows not that they are such. 'Tis as easy as breath. 'Tis like this gravity, which holds the Universe together, and one knows what it is.
There are two great forces in the universe, silence and speech. Silence prepares, speech creates. The strength of noise and activity is great. But infinite is the strength of stillness and silence, in which great forces prepare for action. To be capable of silence, stillness and illuminated passivity is to be fit for immortality.
Silence is more than quietude; it can be gained by banishing thought altogether from the inner mind keeping it voiceless or quiet outside; but more easily it is established by a descent from above – one feels it coming down entering and occupying or surrounding the personal consciousness which then tends to merge itself in the vast impersonal silence.
I love going out of my way, beyond what I know, and finding my way back a few extra miles, by another trail, with a compass that argues with the map … nights alone in motels in remote western towns where I know no one and no one I know knows where I am, nights with strange paintings and floral spreads and cable television that furnish a reprieve from my own biography, when in Benjamin’s terms, I have lost myself though I know where I am. Moments when I say to myself as feet or car clear a crest or round a bend, I have never seen this place before. Times when some architectural detail on vista that has escaped me these many years says to me that I never did know where I was, even when I was home. - Rebecca Solnit
On July 4th, 1991, the Replacements capped off their set at Chicago's Grant Park with a winking, typically iconoclastic stunt: The members exited the stage one by one, leaving their roadies to pick up their instruments and finish the gig. "I remember feeling kinda sad," Replacements bassist Tommy Stinson tells Rolling Stone in an exclusive interview. "But at the same time it felt like an 800-pound gorilla had been lifted off my back."
For the great American garage band of the 1980s, it was the end of a 12-year-run full of brilliant albums (most notably 1984's ragged masterpiece, Let It Be), dashed expectations and heroically messed-up shows. But on Wednesday evening, the Replacements made good on one of rock's most prayed-for reunions, announcing they'll play three dates of the Riot Fest, starting August 25th in Toronto. "The universe seems to be trying to put us together to do our thing," Stinson says. "It was just the timing and the aligning of the planets."
In November of 2012, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder proposed a 924 mile trail that starts at Belle Isle in downtown Detroit and traverses the entire state, across the Upper Peninsula to the Wisconsin border. Chris Hillier, also known by his trail name, Wolverine, intends to be the first to thru-hike this trail. CONNECT
Conceptual artist Lisa Park has
been experimenting with a specialized device called aNeuroSky EEG headset that helps
transform brain activity into streams of data that can be manipulated for the
purposes of research, or in this case, a Fluxus-inspired performance art piece
titled Euonia (Greek
for “beautiful thought”). Park used the EEG headset to monitor the delta,
theta, alpha, and beta waves of her brain as well as eye movements and
transformed the resulting data with specialized software into sound waves. Five
speakers are placed under shallow dishes of water which then vibrate in various
patterns in accordance with her brain activity.
Because we count the search for and consumption of fantastic cheese among life's greatest pleasures--and because we're pretty sure many of you do, too--we asked five top cheesemongers and cheese pros from different pockets of the country to each recommend two American artisanal cheeses they are particularly excited about right now. Here are their picks, in all their grassy, milky, stinky, moussy, nutty, mushroomy glory... CONNECT
"That the Flag of the thirteen United States be thirteen stripes, alternate red and white, that the union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new constellation.” Washington explained it this way: “We take the stars from heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity representing liberty." - George Washington
Joe Medicine Crow was the first member of his tribe to go to college, and was in graduate school in California when America entered the war. He joined the Army, became a scout in the 103rd Infantry Division, and fought in Europe. Whenever he went into battle, he would paint red stripes on his arms beneath his uniform, and he carried in his helmet a sacred, yellow-painted eagle feather provided by a Sun Dance medicine man to shield him from harm. While he was in combat in Europe, and without quite meaning to, Joe Medicine Crow performed the four necessary war deeds to become a war chief like his grandfather. First, he led a seven-man squad carrying explosives through a wall of artillery fire to blast German positions along the Siegfried Line. Then, while helping to take over a German-held village, he literally ran into a German soldier, knocking him down. He quickly disarmed the soldier, taking away his rifle Finally, in the last weeks of the war, he stole dozens of horses from a battalion of German officers. He is the last Crow Indian to become a war chief. CONNECT
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts. There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature -- the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.
Most kids have a special stuffed animal, ratty blanket or dog-eared book they take to sleep with them – and a lot of kids, lacking this talisman, go berserk and scream themselves to sleep. Bill Bob had no one special talisman: Bill Bob had dreefees. None of us ever quite figured out the etymology of that word, but when I asked him years later Bill Bob thought it might be an amalgamation of ‘dream’ and ‘feed’ -– food for dreams, you might say. - David James Duncan, from The River Why
The great Zen master Zhaozhou (Joshu)’s advice to seekers of the Way was “Go drink tea.” Zhaozhou’s contemporary, Zen Master Jiashan Shanhui, famously uttered, “Tea, Zen: one taste,” a phrase that adorns countless tea houses in China. What’s the story behind Chinese Zen and tea culture’s intimate relationship? CONNECT
Above all, we cannot afford not to live in the present. He
is blessed over all mortals who loses no moment of the passing life in
remembering the past. Unless our philosophy hears the cock crow in every
barnyard within our horizon, it is belated. That sound commonly reminds us that
we are growing rusty and antique in our employments and habits of thoughts. His
philosophy comes down to a more recent time than ours. There is something
suggested by it that is a newer testament,—the gospel according to this moment.
He has not fallen astern; he has got up early and kept up early, and to be
where he is is to be in season, in the foremost rank of time. It is an
expression of the health and soundness of Nature, a brag for all the
world,—healthiness as of a spring burst forth, a new fountain of the Muses, to
celebrate this last instant of time. Where he lives no fugitive slave laws are
passed. Who has not betrayed his master many times since last he heard that
The merit of this bird's strain is in its freedom from all
plaintiveness. The singer can easily move us to tears or to laughter, but where
is he who can excite in us a pure morning joy? When, in doleful dumps, breaking
the awful stillness of our wooden sidewalk on a Sunday, or, perchance, a
watcher in the house of mourning, I hear a cockerel crow far or near, I think
to myself, "There is one of us well, at any rate,"—and with a sudden
gush, return to my senses.
The idea is distributed in space. It isn't only in one part; one part can't express the idea any longer, only the union of parts can completely express the idea. The idea found it necessary to be presented by several parts. After that, there was a rapid flowering of polyphony. - Anton Webern CONNECT