AN UNCOMMON THOUGHT

"The real trick to life is not to be in the know, but to be in the mystery."
-Fred Alan Wolf

29 July 2010

Being.


Dove that ventured outside, flying far from the dovecote:
housed and protected again, one with the day, the night,
knows what serenity is, for she has felt her wings
pass through all distance and fear in the course of her wanderings.

The doves that remained at home, never exposed to loss,
innocent and secure, cannot know tenderness;
only the won-back heart can ever be satisfied: free,
through all it has given up, to rejoice in its mastery.

Being arches itself over the vast abyss.
Ah the ball that we dared, that we hurled into infinite space,
doesn't it fill our hands differently with its return:
heavier by the weight of where it has been.
- Rainer Maria Rilke

27 July 2010

Ludovico Einaudi, "Reverie"

I've been listening to this album this evening.

For my monkeys ...

Tranquility.

Tonight I watched my son enjoy himself within his own sense of humor.

I saw confidence in my daughter's eye after she read a very challenging book.

I need nothing more.

I am so incredibly blessed.

Drew and Zoe, I love you.

16 July 2010

Mood music.

Today in 1782, Mozart's opera, "The Abduction from the Seraglio," opened at the Burgtheater in Vienna.

Here's a toe-tapper celebrating one of my favorite endeavors ...

Long live Bacchus!

Debussy

The sonata for flute, viola and harp, "Pastorale"

Great for a summer morning.

Reading.

Outside.

Caufield.


"What really knocks me out is a book, when you're all done reading it, you wished the author that wrote it was a terrific friend of yours and you could call him up on the phone whenever you felt like it."
The Catcher in the Rye, published today in 1951.

A public service announcement ...


NO "SAUCE ON THE SIDE!"

Change.

The weather?

The hills on the bike?

All those innings of wiffle ball with the kids?

My knees ... my ankles!

Whew!

I have stopped working on the line without standing on those cushy rubber mats that feel like running shoes times ten.

That's what it is ... right?

Maybe I'm getting ...

Naw ... it's the weather ...

Ted, Kooser, "How To Foretell A Change In The Weather"
Rain always follow the cattle

sniffing the air and huddling

in fields with their heads to the lee.

You will know that the weather is changing

when your sheep leave the pasture

too slowly, and your dogs lie about

and look tired; when the cat

turns her back to the fire,

washing her face, and the pigs

wallow in litter; cocks will be crowing

at unusual hours, flapping their wings;

hens will chant; when your ducks

and your geese are too noisy,

and the pigeons are washing themselves;

when the peacocks squall loudly

from the tops of the trees,

when the guinea fowl grates;

when sparrows chip loudly

and fuss in the roadway, and when swallows

fly low, skimming the earth;

when the carrion crow

croaks to himself, and wild fowl

dip and wash, and when moles

throw up hills with great fervor;

when toads creep out in numbers;

when frogs croak; when bats

enter the houses; when birds

begin to seek shelter,

and the robin approaches your house;

when the swan flies at the wind,

and your bees leave the hive;

when ants carry their eggs to and fro,

and flies bite, and the earthworm

is seen on the surface of things.

The author reads this and more of his work here.

15 July 2010

Always.


The other day on a very warm border winter afternoon, I was sitting on the patio with my wife Linda, sharing a bottle of delightful Bouzeron. We were watching a rare pair of hepatic tanagers at the feeder. These birds evidently don’t get hepatitis. It was all very pleasant and I recalled again a passage from the journal of a Kentucky schizophrenic who had escaped from an asylum. He wrote, “Birds are holes in heaven through which a man may pass.” I had this little epiphany that wine could do the same thing if properly used. We all have learned, sometimes painfully, that more is not necessarily better than less. When Baudelaire wrote in his famed Enivrez-Vous, “Be always drunk on wine or poetry or virtue,” he likely didn’t mean commode-hugging drunk. Wine can ofƒer oxygen to the spirit, I thought, getting ofƒ my deck chair and going into the kitchen to cook some elk steak and dietetic potatoes fried in duck fat, and not incidentally opening a bottle of Domaine Tempier Bandol because I had read a secret bible in France that said to drink red after dark to fight oƒ the night in our souls.

The rest of the sermon is here (scroll down to the fifth page).

Being an idiosyncratic man with idiosyncratic tastes I still won’t drink white wine after dark. The darkness beckons red.

"Fireflyers"

Tonight we went out on safari.

"C'mon lil' buddy ..."

Zuzu was intent ... she bagged 18 ... then let 'em go.

Iggy Pop, "Shakin' All Over"

For Chef ... thanks for the inspiration.

Cook free or die.

The F.N.G.

I just feel all rainbows and f@#$ing butterflies ...

14 July 2010

Twain, Mindful Eater.


Whether he was in San Francisco savoring Olympia oysters, rafting down Germany's Neckar River with a cold beer, or in Hawaii tasting flying fish for the first time, Mark Twain had a love of food that was inseparable from his love of life. Remembering the fried chicken, cornbread, and fresh garden vegetables served on his Uncle John Quarles's prairie farm, he wrote, brought him nearly to tears. Whenever he recorded in his journal that he'd enjoyed a trout supper, it was certain that he'd ended the day content. And when he recalled stage coaching through the Rockies, he reflected that nothing helps scenery like "ham and eggs ... ham and eggs and scenery, a 'down grade,' a flying coach, a fragrant pipe and a contented heart—these make happiness. It is what all the ages have struggled for."

Read the rest here.

Head in the clouds

I really like the shadows and the way they accentuate the light coming through the clouds .... wow. I could look at that all day.









Neat.

Humbling.


It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known..

More here and here

Thanks John.

Tonight.

Four planets will be visible tonight.

Follow directions ... don't get lost.

Jimmy Buffett, "He Went To Paris"

For Bastille Day.

Warm summer breezes
French wines and cheeses
Put his ambitions at bay


"Keep smilin'."

Green.

W.B. Yeats, "He Wishes For The Cloths Of Heaven"


Had I the heavens' embroidered cloths,
Enwrought with golden and silver light,
The blue and the dim and the dark cloths
Of night and light and the half-light,
I would spread the cloths under your feet:
But I, being poor, have only my dreams;
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

Revolution.

Sir Ken Robison presents arguments for the need to radically transform education.

To live a creative life, we must lose our fear of being wrong.
- Joseph Chilton Pearce

Challenge what we take for granted.

Lose the fear of making mistakes.

Inspire to increase capacity.

2006: Educate for the unpredictable ...

2010: Disenthrall ...

The dogmas of the quiet past, are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise -- with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew, and act anew. We must disenthrall ourselves, and then we shall save our country.
- Abraham Lincoln

Sir Ken's site is here.

Shutterbug.

She had been asking questions.

Looking closely; hesitant.

"Wanna try?" I asked.

"Nope."

So I just left it there.

I was hoping she would ... and she did.

Zoe's window on the world ...






Visible.


Sharpness.

Contrast.

Definition.

Gone.

Weighted air.

No shadow.

All around ...

Singing.

13 July 2010

Kept.

It didn't take me long to make up my mind that these liars warn't no kings nor dukes at all, but just low-down humbugs and frauds. But I never said nothing, never let on; kept it to myself; it's the best way; then you don't have no quarrels, and don't get into no trouble. If they wanted us to call them kings and dukes, I hadn't no objections, 'long as it would keep peace in the family; and it warn't no use to tell Jim, so I didn't tell him. If I never learnt nothing else out of pap, I learnt that the best way to get along with his kind of people is to let them have their own way.
- Huck

Jim Harrison, "Dusk"


Dusk over the lake,
clouds floating
heat lightning
a nightmare behind branches;
from the swamp
the odor of cedar and fern,
the long circular
wail of the loon --
the plump bird aches for fish
for night to come down

Then it becomes so dark
and still
that I shatter the moon with an oar.

Jerry Jeff Walker, "Contrary To Ordinary"

My favorite of Jackie Jack's; a version I haven't heard.

We can most assuredly do without the bow-tie-wearin' string section (Is this Muzak? This isn't Muzak) ...

... and the back-up singers ...

... and the friggin' tinklin' piano (happy hour at the Holiday Inn? ... jeeez Louise!) ...

... hell, while we're at it, let's 86 "the whole damn band" ...

... whew!

... ok ...

... ahhh, well ...

I posted this 'cause he's into it ... enthusiastic as always.

Pop a cold one, grab someone, sang an' daynce.

Live.

Is that guy in the back playin' the BONGOS???

Tarquinio Merula, "Ciaccona, Ruggiero, La Cattarina"

Performed by the great Il Giardino Armonico

Good morning.

12 July 2010

For Don Pablo

.. and the writers of waves and breezes.

Keith Richards, The Poet

Plug this get-it into the hi-fi an' getcha sum ... "Volume up."

I Wanna Hold You ... "I gotta do something with ya."

You Don't Have To Mean It ... ya just gotta say it anyway.

Thief In The Night ... dangerous.

Pretty good backing band ... Mick who?

Tonight

Look eastward this evening, and it’s hard to miss the season’s signature star formation, called the Summer Triangle.

More here.

Choose.

Along the lines of what I learned from Derrick Jensen ... here, here, and here ... these words from Eddi Reader's song, It's Not Just What You're Born With, grabbed me ...

For what's the use of two strong legs, if you only run away
What good is the finest voice, If you've nothing good to say,
What good are strength and muscles, if you only push and shove
What's the use of two good ears, if you can't hear those you love.

Between those who use their neighbors, and those who use a cane,
Those in constant power and those in constant pain,
Between those who run to evil and those who cannot run,
Tell me, which ones are the cripples,
And which ones touch the sun?


Listen here.

For Drew & Zuzu ...

Gabriel Faure, "Requiem"

The world first heard Faure's Requiem on this date in 1900.

Compassionate.

Comforting.

Introit et Kyrie

Offertoire

Sanctus

Pie Jesu

Agnus Dei

Libera me

In Paradisum

Acoustic motorbike

Flyin' down Cambria Mill.

Probably not the smartest thing I did all day, but ...

Head in the clouds

Above Bennington Chapel

I like this one ...

Lone tree


Wow.

Sunset




Happy Birthday Neruda


I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
remember
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

But
if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine

11 July 2010

The Pretenders, "Message Of Love"

We are all of us in the gutter
Some of us are looking at the stars

Jean-Baptiste Simeon Chardin, "The Silver Goblet"

Who told you that one paints with colors? One makes use of colors, but one paints with emotions.
- Chardin

This has hung in many of my kitchens.

Gustav Klimt, "The Park"

Look.

Closely.

Happy Birthday Bloom.

... one doesn't want to read badly any more than live badly, since time will not relent. I don't know that we owe God or nature a death, but nature will collect anyway, and we certainly owe mediocrity nothing, whatever collectivity it purports to advance or at least represent.We read deeply for varied reasons, most of them familiar: that we cannot know enough people profoundly enough; that we need to know ourselves better; that we require knowledge, not just of self and others, but of the way things are. We read frequently, if unknowingly, in quest of a mind more original than our own. We read to find ourselves, more fully and more strangely than otherwise we could hope to find.
- Professor Bloom

10 July 2010

"So very much alive."

An old friend has always kept me tuned-in to some of the world's finest music.

Here is RAM, from Port-au-Prince, Haiti ...



Thanks Veerle.

Handel, "Athalia"


From Composer's Datebook
On today's date in 1733, Georg Friderich Handel paid a visit to Oxford to conduct the premiere performance of his new oratorio, "Athalia," at the Sheldonian Theater.

Handel had been invited by the vice-chancellor of the University to add some musical pizzazz to an elaborate ceremony know as "The Publick Act," during which honorary degrees were bestowed on some worthy individuals. It was apparently a terrific performance, with a correspondent for the London Magazine reporting: "Never has there been such applause and marks of admiration."

But not everyone in Oxford was happy. One crusty don, apparently not a fan of the "new" music, complained of the presence of "Handel and his lousy crew -- a great number of foreign fiddlers." Even so, Handel was offered an honorary degree by Oxford, but he did not accept. Handel claimed he was "too busy," but maybe he just balked at paying the University's required fee of 100 pounds to receive the honor.

Fountains Abbey


There was something congenial to the season in the mournful magnificence of the old pile, and as I passed its threshold it seemed like stepping back into the regions of antiquity and losing myself among the shades of former ages.
- Washington Irving, The Sketchbook of Geoffrey Crayon

Wander here.

Hear it here on Track 9 (don't miss Track 12)

Happy Birthday Proust.


One can of course maintain that there is but one time, for the futile reason that it is by looking at the clock that one established as being merely a quarter of an hour what one had supposed a day. But at the moment of establishing this, one is precisely a man awake, immersed in the time of waking man, having deserted the other time. Perhaps indeed more than another time: another life. We do not include the pleasures we enjoy in sleep in the inventory of the pleasures we have experienced in the course of our existence... It seems a positive waste. We have had pleasure in another life which is not ours. If we enter up in a budget the pains and pleasures of dreams (which generally vanish soon enough after our waking), it is not in the current account of our everyday life.
- Marcel Proust, In Search of Lost Time

Question here.

Understand here.

Barn.