AN UNCOMMON THOUGHT

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

30 June 2011

Echo & The Bunnymen, "Lips Like Sugar"

She floats like a swan
Grace on the water
Lips like sugar
Lips like sugar
Just when you think you've caught her
She glides across the water
She calls for you tonight
To share this moonlight


Flippen.


Legendary old-time fiddler Benton Flippen has passed.

The legendary status Flippen rose to as a musician mirrored the evolution of WPAQ, an AM radio station in Mount Airy dedicated to the old-time format.

He held the distinction of performing at the station for its first broadcast on Feb. 2, 1948 as a member of the Green Valley Boys, although he was most known for his work with Benton Flippen and the Smokey Valley Boys.

“Then in April of 2007, he was here again when we started streaming over the Internet,” station owner Kelly Epperson said of a development that allowed the entire world access to local old-time sounds.


Read the rest here.

The Hammock Papers featured Flippen's art here.

Fresh.

Sargent, Spanish Fountain, 1912


Keep your curiosity fresh.

- John Singer Sargent

Click on the image to get a closer look at Sargent's masterful rendering of water.

Real.



"Did you ever notice how we never allow ourselves to be actually hungry?" said Russell Chatham, a burly painter of some note. We were eating a prehunt breakfast, parked beside Oleson's buffalo paddock outside Traverse City, Michigan. All the boy buffalo were chasing each other around, hell-bent on sex, their red wangers bobbing in the air. "Those guys are a tad confused, Chatham added, eyeing the corked bottle of wine, at which we both coughed, thinking that ten in the morning isn't too early for a sip of red wine with a sandwich. Way up here in the northland there's a fine Italian delicatessen, Folgarelli's, and Chatham was having a hot Italian sausage with marinara sauce and melted mozzarella, while my choice was a simple prosciutto, mortadella, Genoa salami, and provolone on an Italian roll.

Throughout the day we mulled over the not-exactly-metaphysical question of why we never, for more than a moment, allowed ourselves to be hungry. Could this possibly be why we were both seriously overweight? But only a fool jumps to negative conclusions about food, especially before dinner. Cuisine minceur notwithstanding, the quality of food diminishes sharply in proportion to negative thinking about ingredients and, simply put, the amount to be prepared. There is no substitute for Badia a Coltibuono olive oil. Period. Or the use of salt pork in the cooking of southwest France. Three ounces of chablis are far less interesting and beneficial than a magnum of Bordeaux. I have mentioned before that we are in the middle of yet another of the recurrent sweeps across our nation of the "less is more" bullies. When any of these arrive in my yard, I toss a head of iceberg lettuce and some dog biscuits off the porch.

Let's all stop for a moment in our busy day and return to some eternal verities. It's quite a mystery, albeit largely unacknowledged, to be alive, and, quite simply, in order to remain alive you must keep eating. My notion, scarely original, is that if you eat badly you are very probably living badly. You tend to eat badly when you become inattentive to all but the immediate economic necessities, real or imagined, and food becomes an abstraction; you merely "fill up" in the manner that you fill a car with gasoline, no matter that some fey grease-slinger has put raspberry puree on your pen-raised venison. You are still a nitwit bent over a trough.


- Jim Harrison, "Hunger, Real and Unreal"

For this and more of the the best food writing you'll read, look here and here.

Within.



True happiness is to enjoy the present, without anxious dependence upon the future, not to amuse ourselves with either hopes or fears but to rest satisfied with what we have, which is sufficient, for he that is so wants nothing. The greatest blessings of mankind are within us and within our reach. A wise man is content with his lot, whatever it may be, without wishing for what he has not.
- Seneca

Many years ago, a customer of mine had a daily departure routine. After getting his coffee and checking for day-old bagels, Franklin always, I mean always, left the deli by giving me a handshake, a warm look in the eye, and the sincerest wish as he nodded, "Enjoy the day, o.k.?"

Thanks for the reminder, Cultural Offering!

Enjoy the day.

Feeling.

Wyeth, River Fog, 1950


I search for the realness, the real feeling of a subject, all the texture around it ... I always want to see the third dimension of something ... I want to come alive with the object. If you clean it up, get analytical, all the subtle joy and emotion you felt in the first place goes flying out the window.

- Andrew Wyeth

This reminds me of calligraphy.

Refuge.


In Angel Pavement, a 1930 novel by J. B. Priestley, a London clerk, Mr Smeeth, takes himself to Queen's Hall on a whim. They are playing Brahms, the first symphony. It was some time before he made much out of it. The Brahms of this symphony seemed a very gloomy, ponderous, rumbling sort of chap, who might now and then show a flash of temper or go in a corner and feel sorry for himself .

What is significant about this response is that a lower-middle-class man with a very basic education feels that he has the wherewithal to understand great music on his own terms. By the time the big tune comes around in the finale, swelling his heart until it nearly chokes him, Smeeth is lifted out of his woes and endowed with hope for a better future. This perception of symphonic music as an improving grace was widespread. Two out of five Mass Observation diarists collected by Simon Garfield in Our Hidden Lives (Ebury Press, 2004) were regular concert attenders in the late 1940s. It was both "the done thing" in English cities to go to symphony concerts and a refuge from the otherwise inescapable gloom of postwar austerity.In America, GIs returning from war to a free college education and a small-town life demanded orchestral concerts of the kind they had heard abroad. The late Russell Johnson, who became the world's foremost concert hall acoustician, told me that he first heard an orchestra when he was in khaki fatigues in Manila and knew instantly that he would never go back to join his father in a blue-collar job. A symphony concert represented aspiration for postwar millions.

Soon, however, the audience grew confused. Modernism introduced a complexity to the concert diet that was beyond the reach of the "ordinary" listener and often painful to the ear. At the onslaught of Webern, Cage, Stockhausen and late Stravinsky, Mr Smeeth and his kind came to feel belittled and unwanted and orchestras struggled with conflicting demands to renew the repertoire and not alienate the audience
.

Read the rest here.

Civilization.


Wearing underwear is as formal as I ever hope to get.

- Ernest Hemingway

Cultural Offering adds another important thought here.

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Live.

van Gogh, Piles Of Novels, 1888


Do not read, as children do, to amuse yourself, or like the ambitious, for the purpose of instruction. No, read in order to live.

- Gustave Flaubert

29 June 2011

Explore.

David Hockney interviewed by BBC 3 ...

INTERVIEWER: Do you find that paintings come out differently, do they always come out differently from the way you think they would when you start?

HOCKNEY: Yes, they do sometimes, but I mean, I must point out this. Some artists you know might find a certain way of working and work with that way and you develop it, you can be subtle with it, you can do variations on it and so on. Actually I've never done that. I've always been er, actually, how do I look? what do I see? how do I see? how can you represent this? show the excitement, does the world look terrific? yes, I think so, I like looking at it, and so on. That's what I explore.

Hockney, Woldgate Woods, March 30-April 21, 2006


INTERVIEWER: So do you take yourself by surprise? In the course of working?

HOCKNEY: Sometimes. I wouldn't have known I suppose totally when I began the research on secret knowledge where it would take me, I didn't know. But it did always take me into interesting areas and as I say eventually back to the hand, because you understand what the photograph is finally. You don't know that at the beginning remember. And people often would be criticising you, what are you doing wasting your time doing that? But of course I could always ignore that, I was always confident enough to ignore that really.

Hockney, Woldgate Woods, October 24-26, 2006


INTERVIEWER: Say a little bit more about that period of your life, when you thought you'd established, perhaps you had, to your satisfaction that the secret of a certain kind of immediacy and accuracy of line in paintings from the fifteenth century was because they used an optical lens, the camera lucida.

HOCKNEY: I began to see my eye, you see it was actually the Ingres exhibition here. I looked at those drawings, I'd admired those drawings all my life, but I hadn't actually seen many real ones and how small they were. I was struck by how small they were.

Hockney, Woldgate Woods, November 6-9, 2006


INTERVIEWER: And you thought there was something suspicious about them.

HOCKNEY: Well, how does your hand move, work, slightly bigger than that if it moves round, if you think about it, and it isn't suspicious. I mean er, unfortunately people misunderstood what I was saying, meaning, unfortunately "New Yorker" started, 'did the old masters cheat?', which unfortunately is a very childish view of it, meaning as though tracing was simple, er straightforward, any child could do it, which of course they can't, that is not true.

Hockney, Woldgate Woods, November 7-8, 2006


INTERVIEWER: As if an oil painter using a stick to rest his hand on, is somehow cheating.

HOCKNEY: And I had, did know, of course, that Chinese art that was very sophisticated never dealt with shadows, it does not have shadows in it. Why? Because probably they think, everything is a shadow. But, you then realise optics need shadows. Because it needs strong light. And as I began to see it, I realised, my God, they were looking at these, and the moment you make an optical projection yourself, which you've got to do, of course, it's quite simple.

Hockney, Woldgate Woods, November 21-23, 29, 2006


INTERVIEWER: And which you did.

HOCKNEY: And which I did, and the moment I looked at them, you knew they'd looked at them. They do things for instance, they're very beautiful, you are fascinated by them, just as a person is fascinated by the TV image which is an optical projection of nature, isn't it? It's just not very true necessarily of what's in front of it, like they claimed. But, I was thrilled to look at them. I touched them. You wanted to touch them. Where does this colour come from?


Read the rest here.

John Coltrane, "On Green Dolphin Street"

Remains.

Hoyer, Stream, 2003


Time is but the stream I go fishing in. I drink at it, but while I drink I see the sandy bottom and detect how shallow it is. It's thin current slides away, but eternity remains.

- Thoreau

Stéphane Grappelli, "Wendy"

Meanings.


Generation To Generation

In a house which becomes a home,
one hands down and another takes up
the heritage of mind and heart,
laughter and tears, musings and deeds.
Love, like a carefully loaded ship,
crosses the gulf between the generations.
Therefore, we do not neglect the ceremonies
of our passage: when we wed, when we die,
and when we are blessed with a child;
When we depart and when we return;
When we plant and when we harvest.
Let us bring up our children. It is not
the place of some official to hand to them
their heritage.
If others impart to our children our knowledge
and ideals, they will lose all of us that is
wordless and full of wonder.
Let us build memories in our children,
lest they drag out joyless lives,
lest they allow treasures to be lost because
they have not been given the keys.
We live, not by things, but by the meanings
of things. It is needful to transmit the passwords
from generation to generation.


- Antoine de Saint-Exupery

Happy Birthday, Saint-Exupéry.


Antoine Jean-Baptiste Marie Roger de Saint-Exupéry was born on this date in 1900.

All men have stars, but they are not the same things for different people. For some, who are travelers, the stars are guides. For others they are no more than little lights in the sky. For others, who are scholars, they are problems ... But all these stars are silent. You-You alone will have stars as no one else has them ... In one of the stars I shall be living. In one of them I shall be laughing. And so it will be as if all the stars will be laughing when you look at the sky at night..You, only you, will have stars that can laugh! And when your sorrow is comforted (time soothes all sorrows) you will be content that you have known me ... You will always be my friend. You will want to laugh with me. And you will sometimes open your window, so, for that pleasure .. It will be as if, in place of the stars, I had given you a great number of little bells that knew how to laugh!

-Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

28 June 2011

Happy Birthday, Hay.

Kent, Godspeed, 1931


One of my favorite poets, Colin Hay, was born on this date in 1953.

Waiting For My Real Life To Begin

Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
I'll stand on the bow, feel the waves come crashing
Come crashing down, down, down, on me

And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart
Let the light shine in
But don't you understand
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

When I awoke today, suddenly nothing happened
But in my dreams, I slew the dragon
And down this beaten path, and up this cobbled lane
I'm walking in my old footsteps, once again
And you say, just be here now
Forget about the past, your mask is wearing thin
Let me throw one more dice
I know that I can win
I'm waiting for my real life to begin

Any minute now, my ship is coming in
I'll keep checking the horizon
And I'll check my machine, there's sure to be that call
It's gonna happen soon, soon, soon
It's just that times are lean

And you say, be still my love
Open up your heart, let the light shine in
Don't you understand
I already have a plan
I'm waiting for my real life to begin


- Colin Hay

Vivaldi, "Zeffiretti, Che Sussurrate," Opera Aria For Voice, Strings & Continuo, RV 749.21

Cecelia Bartoli performs with Il Giardino Armonico. Enrico Onofri and Marco Bianchi, fiddles.

John Hartford, "Steam Powered Aeroplane"

... with Vassar Clements, fiddle, and Tony Rice, guitar.

Flow.


May what I do flow from me like a river, no forcing and no holding back, the way it is with children.
- Rainer Maria Rilke

Between.

Karr, Untitled, 2011


Always stay on the bridge between the invisible and the visible.
- Paulo Coelho

Thanks, Jess.

Rejoice.


It is time to speak your Truth. Create your community, be good to each other. And do not look outside yourself for the leader. This could be a good time! "There is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift that there are those who will be afraid. They will try to hold onto the shore. They will feel they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly. Know the river has its own destination. The Elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, keep our eyes open and our heads above water. And I say, see who is in there with you and rejoice.

— Hopi Elder Prayer

27 June 2011

The Police.

Three from my favorite Police album, Regatta de Blanc ...

"Regatta de Blanc"



"The Bed's Too Big Without You"



"Walking On The Moon"



Tennis, anyone?

One.

From ted.com ... Why do people succeed? Is it because they're smart? Or are they just lucky? Neither. Analyst Richard St. John condenses years of interviews into an unmissable 3-minute slideshow on the real secrets of success.



Curly adds ...

Flies.


When on a Summer's Morn

When on a summer's morn I wake,
And open my two eyes,
Out to the clear, born-singing rills
My bird-like spirit flies.

To hear the Blackbird, Cuckoo, Thrush,
Or any bird in song;
And common leaves that hum all day
Without a throat or tongue.

And when Time strikes the hour for sleep,
Back in my room alone,
My heart has many a sweet bird's song --
And one that's all my own.


- William Henry Davies

Vast.


It is only in appearance that time is a river. It is rather a vast landscape and it is the eye of the beholder that moves.

- Thornton Wilder

26 June 2011

Drunken.

Music is the wine which inspires one to new generative processes, and I am Bacchus who presses out this glorious wine for mankind and makes them spiritually drunken.
- Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73, "Emperor," Adagio un poco mosso

Eat or die.

"If you must smoke, smoke salmon."


Behold Big Poppi's apple-smoked salmon.



This time last week that ol' boy was swimmin' in Lake Ontario.

Thanks Pops.

Peace.

van Gogh, Plain near Auvers, 1890


To do good work one must eat well, be well housed, have one's fling from time to time, smoke one's pipe, and drink one's coffee in peace.

- Vincent van Gogh

Sparky.


The Tigers retired Spary Anderson's number 11 this afternoon.

"For all the years I was blessed to be there, I never saw nothing like how those Tiger fans were. Those people were the real deal. Detroit is the king of the working-class people. How can you not love a city where the fans sweat hard for 8 hours a day and then come out to scream for their team and die a little bit every time the Tigers lost?"

The Free Press provides plenty in praise of Sparky here.


By the way, the line on Verlander last night ... Freight Train went 8 innings, allowing no hits, 1 base-on-balls, firing a career-high 14 Ks.

In the eigth he had 2nd and 3rd with nobody out and he ended up striking out the side, and hitting 100 m.p.h. on his 116th pitch. Boy can bring it.

U2, "Magnificent"



Magnificent
Magnificent



I was born
I was born to be with you

In this space and time

After that and ever after I haven't had a clue

Only to break rhyme
This foolishness can leave a heart black and blue



Only love, only love can leave such a mark

But only love, only love can heal such a scar


I was born
I was born to sing for you

I didn't have a choice but to lift you up
And sing whatever song you wanted me to
I give you back my voice
From the womb my first cry, it was a joyful noise ...

Only love, only love can leave such a mark

But only love, only love can heal such a scar


Justified till we die, you and I will magnify

The Magnificent

Magnificent


Only love, only love can leave such a mark

But only love, only love unites our hearts



Justified till we die, you and I will magnify
The Magnificent

Magnificent

Magnificent


25 June 2011

Billy Joe Shaver, "Georgia On A Fast Train"



"God loves ya when ya dance."

Untitled.

Karr, Untitled, 2011


I can't imagine what being in this spot and seeing this must be like.

Jess didn't write anything in the text that contained this picture. Why would she?

Thanks, friend. If you see or hear Colter wandering around there, tell him I said hi.

Trust.


This is what the things can teach us: to fall, patiently to trust our heaviness. Even a bird has to do that before he can fly.

- Rainer Maria Rilke

Joe Nichols, "Take It Off"

Haiku.


Original works by Zoë Ann ...

trampoline bouncing
Zoë's hair sticking straight out
bounce to one hundred

chocolate sprinkles
my tongue is so freezing cold
silly happy fun

red orange yellow
green blue and violet
i love to tie dye

Prolific.

In the Guiness Book of Music Facts & Feats, the record for "Most Prolific Composer" goes to Georg Philip Telemann, who died on today's date in 1767 at the age of 86.

Telemann's output is staggering. Of Bach's cantatas, some 200 or so survive, but Telemann's number 1400. He also wrote 125 orchestral suites, 125 concertos, 130 trios, 145 pieces for solo keyboard, and about 50 operas.


Here Jordi Savall leads Hespèrion XXI in a performance of Telemann's Concerto for recorder, bassoon, strings & continuo in F major, TWV 52



Thank you, Composer's Datebook.

Ideas.


I love this site.

Eat or die.

One of the most enjoyable things I share with my friends is a love of food.

Here's a sampling of their enjoyment over the past 24 hours ...

John's lunch ... Torta Cubana from La Michoacana.


Frazier's smokin'.


Kurt's vivid breakfast.


Thank you, boys.

By.

Zoë Firchau, Self-portrait, 2011


I ask for a moment's indulgence to sit by thy side. The works
that I have in hand I will finish afterwards.

Away from the sight of thy face my heart knows no rest nor respite,
and my work becomes an endless toil in a shoreless sea of toil.

Today the summer has come at my window with its sighs and murmurs; and
the bees are plying their minstrelsy at the court of the flowering grove.

Now it is time to sit quite, face to face with thee, and to sing
dedication of life in this silent and overflowing leisure.


- Rabindranath Tagore

Thanks, again, Cultural Offering.

Close.


A small asteroid the size of a tour bus will make an extremely close pass by the Earth on Monday, but it poses no threat to the planet

The asteroid will make its closest approach at 1:14 p.m. EDT (1714 GMT) on June 27 and will pass just over 7,500 miles (12,000 kilometers) above the Earth's surface, NASA officials say. At that particular moment, the asteroid — which scientists have named 2011 MD — will be sailing high off the coast of Antarctica, almost 2,000 miles (3,218 km) south-southwest of South Africa.


Read the rest here.

Thanks for the chin music, Cultural Offering.

Homer.

Homer, The Nooning, 1873


The Dayton Art Institute opens their Winslow Homer engraving exhibition entitled, From Romance to Rifles: Winslow Homer's Illustrations of 19th-Century America today. The exhibition runs through October 2, 2011.

The Dayton Art Institute is proud to present a broad selection of Homer wood engravings from a private collection in Dayton. These images show how Homer had his finger on the pulse of American life and his eye on the American scene in an unexcelled fashion during a vibrant and important time in our national life, the years just before and after the Civil War. The show features more than 50 engravings, and it gives delightful and entertaining insights into what people felt and did on street corners, in parks, and on the battlefields. For a fresh, intimate and thoroughly enjoyable glimpse into 19th-century America, there are few better sources of our visible history.

More information here.

Listen.


As late as the 1920s, elderly Cheyennes said that two southern Cheyenne women had come upon the body of Custer. He had been shot in the head and in the side. They recognized Custer from the Battle of the Washita in 1868, and had seen him up close the following spring when he had come to make peace with Stone Forehead and smoked with the chiefs in the lodge of the Arrow Keeper. There Custer had promised never again to fight the Cheyennes, and Stone Forehead, to hold him to his promise, had emptied the ashes from the pipe onto Custer’s boots while the general, all unknowing, sat directly beneath the Sacred Arrows that pledged him to tell the truth.

It was said that these two women were relatives of Mo-nah-se-tah, a Cheyenne girl whose father Custer’s men had killed at the Washita. Many believed that Mo-nah-se-tah had been Custer’s lover for a time. No matter how brief, this would have been considered a marriage according to Indian custom. On the hill at the Little Bighorn, it was told, the two southern Cheyenne women stopped some Sioux men who were going to cut up Custer’s body. “He is a relative of ours,” they said. The Sioux men went away.

Every Cheyenne woman routinely carried a sewing awl in a leather sheath decorated with beads or porcupine quills. The awl was used daily, for sewing clothing or lodge covers, and perhaps most frequently for keeping moccasins in repair. Now the southern Cheyenne women took their awls and pushed them deep into the ears of the man they believed to be Custer. He had not listened to Stone Forehead, they said. He had broken his promise not to fight the Cheyenne anymore. Now, they said, his hearing would be improved.


Read the rest here.

Bill Miller, "Blessing Wind"



Listen or your tongue will keep you deaf.
- Cree Proverb

Battle.

Karr, Custer's Marker, Last Stand Hill, 2011


On the morning of this day in 1876, (Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong) Custer's scouts told him that a gigantic Indian village lay nearby in the valley of the Little Big Horn River. Custer dismissed the scouts' claim that the village was extraordinarily large-certainly many thousands of Indians-as exaggerated. Indeed, his main fear was that the Indians would scatter before he could attack. Rather than wait for reinforcements, Custer decided to move forward immediately and stage an unusual mid-day attack. As the 7th Cavalry entered the valley, Custer divided the regiment of about 600 men into four battalions, keeping a force of 215 under his own command.

In the vast Indian encampment (historians estimate there were as many as 11,000 Indians), word quickly spread of the approaching soldiers. Too old actually to engage in battle, Sitting Bull rallied his warriors while seeing to the protection of the women and children. The younger Crazy Horse prepared for battle and sped off with a large force of warriors to meet the invaders.


Read the rest here.

I highly recommend two books on the subject of the The Battle of Little Big Horn. The first is Nathaniel Philbricks's, The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and The Battle of The Little Big Horn. The other is one of my all-time favories ... Stephen E. Ambrose's Crazy Horse and Custer: The Parallel Lives of Two American Warriors. Both are well-researched accounts told by master storytellers.

Here's an interesting article by Jack Pennington at the The Little Bighorn Association's site rebutting Philbrick. This site is fantastic.

Thanks, Jess.

24 June 2011

Jack Ingram

"Jonesin' for Haggard"



"Riding High, Eating Good, Staying Out of Jail"



"I'm Just An Ol' Chunk O' Coal"

Dream.

Bonnard, The Open Window, 1921


In a Wonderland they lie, Dreaming as the days go by, Dreaming as the summers die, Ever drifting down the stream- Lingering in the golden gleam- Life, what is it but a dream?

- Lewis Carrol, Through the Looking Glass

Atmosphere.

Skorut, Aspens, 2004


For me, a landscape does not exist in its own right, since its appearance changes at every moment; but the surrounding atmosphere brings it to life - the light and the air which vary continually. For me, it is only the surrounding atmosphere which gives subjects their true value.

- Claude Monet

Homecoming.


My all-time favorite Tiger, Kirk Gibson, comes home to the Motor City to honor Sparky ...

Gibson is in his first full season as manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks, after being the interim manager last season, replacing A.J. Hinch. Trammell, who managed the Tigers in 2003-05, joined Gibson as bench coach after spending the previous three seasons as bench coach of the Chicago Cubs.

"In our hearts, we've already honored Sparky," Gibson said. "He's driven us to where we are today. We're grateful. He was a great man, a great manager. He virtually taught us how to play the game. It's great that he's finally going to be recognized, no question about it."


Read the rest here.

Vividly.


Small portions are for small inactive people. The craving is for the genuine rather than the estoteric. I'm afraid that eating in restaurants reflects our experiences that inspire mild amusement, but mostly a feeling of stupidity and shame. Better to cook for yourself.

The idea is to eat well and not die from it -- for the simple reason that that would be the end of my eating. There is abundant dreariness in even the smallest health detail. Skip butter and desserts, and toss all the obvious fat to the bird dogs.

It is important not to get caught short. It is my private opinion that many of our failures in politics, art, and domestic life come from our failure to eat vividly.


- Jim Harrison

Folds.

Ricardo Maffei, Untitled, 2010

Viktoria Mullova.


The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.
- Leonardo da Vinci

Violin virtuoso Viktoria Mullova discusses her understanding of and connections with composers, the difference gut makes, and the KGB.



I've posted this many times, but Mullova's performance of the Bach Chaconne in D minor from Partita No. 2 can't be heard enough.



Repeat as needed.

Head in the clouds.


These Are The Clouds

These are the clouds about the fallen sun,
The majesty that shuts his burning eye:
The weak lay hand on what the strong has done,
Till that be tumbled that was lifted high
And discord follow upon unison,
And all things at one common level lie.
And therefore, friend, if your great race were run
And these things came, so much the more thereby
Have you made greatness your companion,
Although it be for children that you sigh:
These are the clouds about the fallen sun,
The majesty that shuts his burning eye.


- W.B. Yeats



Windows down, voulume up ... this was the accompaniment as I was exploring the backroads of central Ohio last night ... Viktoria Mullova playing the fiddle on Schubert's Fantasy for Violin and Piano, Andantino, D934

Instructive.


The Paris Review interviews Gary Snyder in "The Art of Poetry," No. 74 ...

INTERVIEWER: What does zazen do for the poetry? Do you feel that there is a relation there that helps somehow in the writing?

SNYDER: I was very hesitant to even think about that for many years, out of a kind of gambler's superstition not to want to talk too much or think too much about the things that might work for you or might give you luck. I'm not so superstitious anymore, and to demystify zazen Buddhist meditation, it can be said that it is a perfectly simple, ordinary activity to be silent, to pay attention to your own consciousness and your breath, and to temporarily stop listening or looking at things that are coming in from the outside. To let them just pass through you as they happen. There's no question that spending time with your own consciousness is instructive. You learn a lot. You can just watch what goes on in your own mind, and some of the beneficial effects are you get bored with some of your own tapes and quit playing them back to yourself. You also realize—I think anyone who does this comes to realize— that we have a very powerful visual imagination and that it is very easy to go totally into visual realms where you are walking around in a landscape or where any number of things can be happening with great vividness. This taught me something about the nature of thought and it led me to the conclusion—in spite of some linguists and literary theorists of the French ilk—that language is not where we start thinking. We think before language, and thought-images come into language at a certain point. We have fundamental thought processes that are prelinguistic. Some of my poetry reaches back to that.

Read the rest here.

23 June 2011

Drew Nelson & Matt Morrow, "Grandmother Moon"

Once.

The incredible story of a once in a lifetime event.

Set amongst the spectacular scenery of southern New Zealand, a most strange and bizarre tale unfolds. The stuff of folklore, 'Once in a Blue Moon' unravels the mystery of an event that occurs briefly once a decade. This strange and unreal journey takes us into some of the most remote and beautiful parts of New Zealand as we follow one anglers quest to document and unravel a childhood mystery and catch the fish of a lifetime.

In an unpredictable chain of events a mass flowering of the ancient New Zealand Beech forest leads to an excess of seed production. Mice and rodents take advantage of this abundance and numbers reach plague proportions. Incredible footage follows these rodents as they embark on a strange migration, attempting to swim across the expanse of New Zealand's rivers and lakes. There they fall prey to the largest predators in the lake - monster Brown trout. Gorging themselves on swimming mice, these fish become extremely aggressive and grow to epic proportions. For a fly fishing Angler, this is the stuff dreams are made of.

This bizarre phenomenon has remained a mystery ... until now ...




More On The Fly here.

Sound.

Artist-technologist Honor Harger listens to the weird, wonderful noises of stars and planets and pulsars. In her work, she tracks the radio waves emitted by ancient celestial objects and turns them into sound, including "the oldest song you will ever hear," the sound of cosmic rays from the Big Bang.

Sprout.

Erwitt, Second Ave., New York, 1951


On Top

All this new stuff goes on top
turn it over, turn it over
wait and water down
from the dark bottom
turn it inside out
let it spread through
Sift down even.
Watch it sprout.

A mind like compost.


- Gary Snyder

Thanks, Facie Populi.

Left.

Caillebotte, The Yerres, Rain (Riverbank in the Rain, 1875


There's nothing you can own that can't be left out in the rain.

- Chinese Proverb

Plant & Page, "The Rain Song"



It's just a little rain.