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 April 2012

Intimate.

Rothko, Untitled (Brown and Gray), 1969


The reason for my painting large canvases is that I want to be intimate and human. To paint a small picture is to place yourself outside your experience, to look upon an experience as a stereopticon view or with a reducing glass. However you paint the larger picture, you are in it. It isn't something you command.

- Mark Rothko

Blossoms.

Mazur, Night Rain, 2008


Storm Ending

Thunder blossoms gorgeously above our heads,
Great, hollow, bell-like flowers,
Rumbling in the wind,
Stretching clappers to strike our ears . . .
Full-lipped flowers
Bitten by the sun
Bleeding rain
Dripping rain like golden honey—
And the sweet earth flying from the thunder.


- Jean Toomer

Teach.

Papa reminds us ...


Thanks, Veerle.

Happy Birthday, Nelson.

Willie Nelson was born on this date in 1933.

29 April 2012

Ruffles.

Parmigianino, Cupid Carving a Bow, 1534


Men do change, and change comes like a little wind that ruffles the curtains at dawn, and it comes like the stealthy perfume of wildflowers hidden in the grass.

- John Steinbeck

Desanctified.

Ray Wyle Hubbard talks about "New Year's Eve at the Gates of Hel,l" taking attendance, and lookin' cool ...

Lost.

van Gogh, "Field with Poppies, 1889"


... A map to keep beneath your seat
You'll read to me in time I'll get you there
But fold it up so we don't find
Our way back soon nobody knows we're here ...

... And talk about the road behind
How getting lost is not a waste of time
Le Bois d' Amour will take us home
In the moment we will sing as the forest sings


- Jack Johnson, from "What You Thought You Need"

How.


Creative geniuses are geniuses because they know "how" to think, instead of "what" to think.

Read the rest at The Creativity Post.

Unseen.


Rosalina. Woman.

You constantly revile me with your singular lack of vision. Be aware, there is an essential truth and beauty in all things. From the death throes of a speared gazelle to the damaged smile of a freeway homeless. But that does not mean that the invisibility of something implies its lack of being. Though simpleton babies foolishly believe the person before them vanishes when they cover their eyes during a hateful game of peek-a-boo, this is a fallacy. And so it is that the unseen dusty build up that accumulates behind the DVD shelves in the rumpus room exists also. This is unacceptable.


Read the rest of Wener Herzog's letter to his cleaning lady here.

Your money is under the guillotine.

Thank you, Veerle.

Happy Birthday, Babcock.


Mike Babcock, the Red Wings' all-being, all-knowing, master of time, space, and dimension, was born on this date in 1963.

Charpentier, Messe et Motets pour La Vierge

Jordi Savall conducts and performs with The Concert of Nations ...

28 April 2012

Pleasure.


In the morning I walk a canyon two-track and hear a canyon wren for the first time outside of Arizona. Up the mountainside I see the long slender lines of the billowing smoke from the ditch fires, confused because the wren song is drawing me south to my winter life on the Mexican border. The ditches get choked with vegetation and they burn them out in the spring so the irrigation water can flow freely. I suddenly determine that the smell of spring is the smell of the rushing river plus the millions of buds on trees and bushes. Up in the home ground, the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, when the loggers went to town one day a month they called getting drunk “burning out the grease.” In 1958 a friend in San Francisco burned out his veins shooting up hot paregoric, a cheap high. It’s safer for me to continue smoldering just below the temperature of actual flame wondering if there’s a distant land where life freely flows like a river. Years ago in a high green pasture near timberline I watched a small black bear on its back rolling back and forth and shimmying to scratch its back, pawing the air with pleasure, not likely wanting to be anywhere or anyone else.

- Jim Harrison, from "Burning the Ditches"

27 April 2012

Sustain.

Goldsworthy, Slate Arch, 1982


In the White Sky

Many things in the world have
already happened. You can
go back and tell about them.
They are part of what we
own as we speed along
through the white sky.

But many things in the world
haven't yet happened. You help
them by thinking and writing and acting.
Where they begin, you greet them
or stop them. You come along
and sustain the new things.

Once, in the white sky there was
a beginning, and I happened to notice
and almost glimpsed what to do.
But now I have come far
to here, and it is away back there.
Some days, I think about it.


- William Stafford

Connections.


Try this … Go to a dictionary, randomly open it up and stab your finger into it. Take the word your finger lands on and try to see a connection between that word and a challenge you’re working on. Or use this random word generator. It may seem like a waste of time to our logical mind to try to force connections between disparate ideas, but it is actually a method employed by many creative people and successful companies in order to find fresh ideas, novel solutions and potential innovations.

Read the rest at Think Jar Collective.

Peter Rowan, "Thirsty in the Rain"

There's an eagle, it keeps on flyin'
Over the mountains in the crimson morning sky.


Soul music ...

Released.


Brandon Inge's 12-year tenure as a Tiger, and the more recent question about his future wearing the old English D, is over. The team released the veteran infielder on Thursday, parting ways with one of the last remaining players from their rise from league also-ran to perennial contender.

Read the rest here.

Thanks, Ingie.

26 April 2012

Peter Rowan, "Pulling the Devil by the Tail"

Spiritual sport ...



I want to be reincarnated as Cindy Cashdollar's pedal steel.

Poppi.

Big Poppi enjoys Islamorada ... or (he's such a great guy) is it the other way around?

Frazier, From the Boat, 2012


Frazier, Beautiful Today, 2012


Tight lines, buddy!

Tough.

We have to think of consciousness as a biological phenomenon. It’s as much a part of human and animal biology as digestion, or photosynthesis, or the secretion of bile, or mitosis… The main difference, at least in our present state of knowledge, is that we have a better understanding of digestion than we do of consciousness. The brain is a tough nut to crack.

Read the rest at Brain Pickings.

Anything.

Doisneau, The Cellist, 1957


Be daring, be different, be impractical, be anything that will assert integrity of purpose and imaginative vision against the play-it-safers, the creatures of the commonplace, the slaves of the ordinary.

- Cecil Beaton

For Izzy.

24 April 2012

Jimmie Dale Gilmore.

On creativity ...


On life ...


On that, I'll say goodnight.

Happy Birthday, Chipper.

Chipper Jones was born on this date in 1972.

Pull!

Listen.

Gardner, Little Wolf at Laramie, 1868


Twisted Hair

This was the way of it
Let the story fires be lighted
Let our circle be strong and full of medicine
Hear me
This is my dream song that I'm singing for you
This is my power song that is taking me to the edge
This is rock medicine
The talking tree
The singing water
Listen
I am dancing underneath you
This was the way of it
It is a river
It is a chant
It is a medicine story
It is what happened long ago
It is a bead in a story belt
It is what has been forgotten
It is the smell of sweetgrass and cedar
And prayers lifted to sky father
It is a way, a tradition
The way it was always done by the people
It is a feeling of warmth
The sound of voices
Listen
I am dancing underneath you

- Robbie Robertson

Robbie Robertson, "Ghost Dance"

You don't stand a chance ...

Lumre.


"... no bala, no cuchillo, no lance, pero lumre.

Read the rest at The Smithsonian.

23 April 2012

Be.


Up in this high air you breathed easily, drawing in a vital assurance and lightness of heart. In the highlands you woke up in the morning and thought: Here I am, where I ought to be.

- Karen Blixen

Get your "Passport to Trespass" at Ramblers Bone.

22 April 2012

Beautiful.


I want her to see the world through the underside of a glass bottom boat, to look through a magnifying glass at the galaxies that exist on the pin point of a human mind. Because that’s how my mom taught me. That there’ll be days like this, “There’ll be days like this my momma said” when you open your hands to catch and wind up with only blisters and bruises. When you step out of the phone booth and try to fly and the very people you wanna save are the ones standing on your cape. When your boots will fill with rain and you’ll be up to your knees in disappointment and those are the very days you have all the more reason to say “thank you,” ‘cause there is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline no matter how many times it’s sent away.

You will put the “wind” in win some lose some, you will put the “star” in starting over and over, and no matter how many land mines erupt in a minute be sure your mind lands on the beauty of this funny place called life.

And yes, on a scale from one to over-trusting I am pretty damn naive but I want her to know that this world is made out of sugar. It can crumble so easily but don’t be afraid to stick your tongue out and taste it.



- Sara Kay

R.E.M., "Perfect Circle"

Mary Oliver.

Hold.



Hold on to what is good, even if it’s a handful of earth.
Hold on to what you believe, even if it’s a tree that stands by itself.
Hold on to what you must do, even if it’s a long way from here.
Hold on to your life, even if it’s easier to let go.
Hold on to my hand, even if I’ve gone away from you.



- Pueblo Saying


Thank you, Karen.

Dialogue.

"Note By Note" is a feature-length independent documentary that follows the creation of a Steinway concert grand, #L1037— from forest floor to concert hall. It explores the relationship between musician and instrument, chronicles the manufacturing process, and illustrates what makes each Steinway unique in this age of mass production. From the factory floor in Queens to Steinway Hall in Manhattan, each piano's journey is complex—spanning 12 months, 12,000 parts, 450 craftsmen, and countless hours of fine-tuned labor. Filmed in key Steinway locations—the factory, Steinway's reserved "Bank," and private auditions—Note By Note is a loving celebration of not just craftsmanship, but of a dying breed of person who is deeply connected to working by hand. In the end, this is an ode to the most unexpected, and perhaps ironic, of unsung heroes. It reminds us how extraordinary the dialogue can be between an artist and an instrument—crafted out of human hands but borne of the materials of nature.


I watched this today and really enjoyed watching the artists at work.


Together.


Leonardo, Vitruvian Man, 1487


If ever there was a reason for bringing the humanities and science closer together, it is the need to understand the true nature of the human sensory world, as contrasted with that seen by the rest of life. But there is another, even more important reason to move toward consilience among the great branches of learning. Substantial evidence now exists that human social behavior arose genetically by multilevel evolution. If this interpretation is correct, and a growing number of evolutionary biologists and anthropologists believe it is, we can expect a continuing conflict between components of behavior favored by individual selection and those favored by group selection. Selection at the individual level tends to create competitiveness and selfish behavior among group members—in status, mating, and the securing of resources. In opposition, selection between groups tends to create selfless behavior, expressed in greater generosity and altruism, which in turn promote stronger cohesion and strength of the group as a whole.

An inevitable result of the mutually offsetting forces of multilevel selection is permanent ambiguity in the individual human mind, leading to countless scenarios among people in the way they bond, love, affiliate, betray, share, sacrifice, steal, deceive, redeem, punish, appeal, and adjudicate. The struggle endemic to each person’s brain, mirrored in the vast superstructure of cultural evolution, is the fountainhead of the humanities. A Shakespeare in the world of ants, untroubled by any such war between honor and treachery, and chained by the rigid commands of instinct to a tiny repertory of feeling, would be able to write only one drama of triumph and one of tragedy. Ordinary people, on the other hand, can invent an endless variety of such stories, and compose an infinite symphony of ambience and mood.

Read the rest at Harvard Magazine. Thanks, Arts & Letters Daily.

21 April 2012

Magic.


Last August, Lanois organized the inaugural Harvest Picnic near Dundas, Ontario, a one-day music festival with a special focus on sustainable agriculture and local food. He invited some of his musical friends, including Sarah Harmer and Ray Lamontagne, to perform on an outdoor stage for a field full of music lovers.

Lanois himself also took the stage, and his performance was one of the highlights of the day. He played a set with his trio, then was joined by Emmylou Harris, who performed songs from her Lanois-produced breakout album, Wrecking Ball. The sun was setting while they played, and a feeling of pure magic settled over the crowd.


Listen here.

Thank you, Jess.

Tools.



ArtScience® is a Big Idea whose time has come. First coined over thirty years ago by the artist/scientist Todd Siler and recently reinvented by the scientist/artist David Edwards, the term refers to the integration of scientific and aesthetic concerns and processes in wholistic enterprise. Like any galvanizing notion, artscience has been preparing to break through for many years. We like to think that our book Sparks of Genius (Houghton Mifflin, 1999) has had some small part in that preparation. Here's how ...

Nearly 30 years ago, Bob set out to research how great scientists discover. Before the scientific method kicks in, before equations and theories have been formulated, what were their rules of thumb? More to the point, were these tacit procedures something the rest of us could model and learn? In 1989, Bob pulled together all the information he had uncovered into his book, Discovering: Inventing and Solving Problems at the Frontiers of Scientific Knowledge. With a nod to C. H. Waddington and his pioneering book Tools of Thought, which focused on statistical, graphical, and related forms of thinking, Bob laid out a number of other "tools" required for creative scientific thinking. Scientists, he had found, referred over and again to mental skills such as visualizing or analogizing, pattern forming or playacting or, for that matter, playing.

We quickly found that whether the individuals we studied were artists like Picasso or physicists like Richard Feynman, whether they composed sonatas or invented machines or discovered molecular structures, they all made implicit use of the same set of imaginative skills. Some more than others were more apt to address these skills explicitly, nevertheless across fields definitions were remarkably similar. This commonality was the genesis of the thirteen thinking tools that we explored as a set in Sparks of Genius.

The Thirteen Thinking Tools ...

1. Observing - honing all the senses to perceive acutely;
2. Imaging - creating mental images using any or all senses;
3. Abstracting - eliminating all but one essential characteristic of a complex thing;
4. Recognizing patterns - perceiving similarities in structures or properties of different things;
5. Forming patterns - creating or discovering new ways to organize things;
6. Analogizing - discovering functional similarities between structurally different things;
7. Body thinking - "reasoning" with muscles, muscle memory, gut feelings, and emotional states; e
xtending bodily sensitivities through tools and instruments; feeling with body how non-self things or systems function;

8. Empathizing - playacting or "becoming the thing" one studies, be it animate or inanimate;
9. Dimensional thinking - translating between two and three (or more) dimensions, for instance, between a blue-print and an invention; to scale-up or scale down; to alter perceptions of space and time;
10. Modeling - mentally or physically creating a simplified or miniaturized analog of a complex thing in order to test or modify its properties;
11. Playing - undertaking a goal-less activity for fun; incidentally developing skill, knowledge and intuition;
12. Transforming - translating between communicative modes, e.g. "hearing" how an equation sounds or "dancing" the logic of an experiment), thus using any or all tools for thinking in a serial or integrated manner; for example, using analogies to image a new invention, creating a model, playing with it, tinkering with scale, and then translating the optimized invention into drawings;
13. Synthesizing - knowing in multiple ways simultaneously -- bodily, intuitively and subjectively as well as mentally, explicitly and objectively, such that the emotions, body sensations, and images that accompany solving a problem become inextricably enmeshed in understanding the physical embodiment of an equation.


Read the rest at Psychology Today.

Jerry Douglas with Stuart Duncan & Ronan Browne, "Unionhouse Branch"



Thank you, Frazier!

Please.



We ought to observe also that even the things which follow after the things which are produced according to nature contain something pleasing and attractive.  For instance, when bread is baked some parts are split at the surface, and these parts which thus open, and have a certain fashion contrary to the purpose of the baker's art, are beautiful in a manner, and in a peculiar way excite a desire for eating. And again, figs, when they are quite ripe, gape open; and in the ripe olives the very circumstance of their being near to rottenness adds a peculiar beauty to the fruit. And the ears of corn bending down, and the lion's eyebrows, and the foam which flows from the mouth of wild boars, and many other things- though they are far from being beautiful, if a man should examine them severally- still, because they are consequent upon the things which are formed by nature, help to adorn them, and they please the mind; so that if a man should have a feeling and deeper insight with respect to the things which are produced in the universe, there is hardly one of those which follow by way of consequence which will not seem to him to be in a manner disposed so as to give pleasure.

-  Marcus Aurelius

Joy.


Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood

I

          THERE was a time when meadow, grove, and stream,
          The earth, and every common sight,
                    To me did seem
                  Apparelled in celestial light,
          The glory and the freshness of a dream.
          It is not now as it hath been of yore;--
                  Turn wheresoe'er I may,
                    By night or day,
          The things which I have seen I now can see no more.

                                   II

                  The Rainbow comes and goes,
                  And lovely is the Rose,
                  The Moon doth with delight
            Look round her when the heavens are bare,
                  Waters on a starry night
                  Are beautiful and fair;
              The sunshine is a glorious birth;
              But yet I know, where'er I go,
          That there hath past away a glory from the earth.

                                  III

          Now, while the birds thus sing a joyous song,
              And while the young lambs bound
                  As to the tabor's sound,
          To me alone there came a thought of grief:
          A timely utterance gave that thought relief,
                  And I again am strong:
          The cataracts blow their trumpets from the steep;
          No more shall grief of mine the season wrong;
          I hear the Echoes through the mountains throng,
          The Winds come to me from the fields of sleep,
                  And all the earth is gay;
                      Land and sea
              Give themselves up to jollity,
                  And with the heart of May
              Doth every Beast keep holiday;--
                  Thou Child of Joy,
          Shout round me, let me hear thy shouts, thou happy
                    Shepherd-boy!

                                   IV

          Ye blessed Creatures, I have heard the call
              Ye to each other make; I see
          The heavens laugh with you in your jubilee;
              My heart is at your festival,
              My head hath its coronal,
          The fulness of your bliss, I feel--I feel it all.
              Oh evil day! if I were sullen
              While Earth herself is adorning,
                  This sweet May-morning,
              And the Children are culling
                  On every side,
              In a thousand valleys far and wide,
              Fresh flowers; while the sun shines warm,
          And the Babe leaps up on his Mother's arm:--
              I hear, I hear, with joy I hear!
              --But there's a Tree, of many, one,
          A single Field which I have looked upon,
          Both of them speak of something that is gone:
              The Pansy at my feet
              Doth the same tale repeat:
          Whither is fled the visionary gleam?
          Where is it now, the glory and the dream?

                                   V

          Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
          The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
              Hath had elsewhere its setting,
                And cometh from afar:
              Not in entire forgetfulness,
              And not in utter nakedness,
          But trailing clouds of glory do we come
              From God, who is our home:
          Heaven lies about us in our infancy!
          Shades of the prison-house begin to close
              Upon the growing Boy,
          But He beholds the light, and whence it flows,
              He sees it in his joy;
          The Youth, who daily farther from the east
              Must travel, still is Nature's Priest,
              And by the vision splendid
              Is on his way attended;
          At length the Man perceives it die away,
          And fade into the light of common day.

                                   VI

          Earth fills her lap with pleasures of her own;
          Yearnings she hath in her own natural kind,
          And, even with something of a Mother's mind,
              And no unworthy aim,
              The homely Nurse doth all she can
          To make her Foster-child, her Inmate Man,
              Forget the glories he hath known,
          And that imperial palace whence he came.

                                  VII

          Behold the Child among his new-born blisses,
          A six years' Darling of a pigmy size!
          See, where 'mid work of his own hand he lies,
          Fretted by sallies of his mother's kisses,
          With light upon him from his father's eyes!
          See, at his feet, some little plan or chart,
          Some fragment from his dream of human life,
          Shaped by himself with newly-learned art;
              A wedding or a festival,
              A mourning or a funeral;
                  And this hath now his heart,
              And unto this he frames his song:
                  Then will he fit his tongue
          To dialogues of business, love, or strife;
              But it will not be long
              Ere this be thrown aside,
              And with new joy and pride
          The little Actor cons another part;
          Filling from time to time his "humorous stage"
          With all the Persons, down to palsied Age,
          That Life brings with her in her equipage;
              As if his whole vocation
              Were endless imitation.

                                  VIII

          Thou, whose exterior semblance doth belie
              Thy Soul's immensity;
          Thou best Philosopher, who yet dost keep
          Thy heritage, thou Eye among the blind,
          That, deaf and silent, read'st the eternal deep,
          Haunted for ever by the eternal mind,--
              Mighty Prophet! Seer blest!
              On whom those truths do rest,
          Which we are toiling all our lives to find,
          In darkness lost, the darkness of the grave;
          Thou, over whom thy Immortality
          Broods like the Day, a Master o'er a Slave,
          A Presence which is not to be put by;
          Thou little Child, yet glorious in the might
          Of heaven-born freedom on thy being's height,
          Why with such earnest pains dost thou provoke
          The years to bring the inevitable yoke,
          Thus blindly with thy blessedness at strife?
          Full soon thy Soul shall have her earthly freight,
          And custom lie upon thee with a weight
          Heavy as frost, and deep almost as life!

                                   IX

              O joy! that in our embers
              Is something that doth live,
              That nature yet remembers
              What was so fugitive!
          The thought of our past years in me doth breed
          Perpetual benediction: not indeed
          For that which is most worthy to be blest--
          Delight and liberty, the simple creed
          Of Childhood, whether busy or at rest,
          With new-fledged hope still fluttering in his breast:--
              Not for these I raise
              The song of thanks and praise;
            But for those obstinate questionings
            Of sense and outward things,
            Fallings from us, vanishings;
            Blank misgivings of a Creature
          Moving about in worlds not realised,
          High instincts before which our mortal Nature
          Did tremble like a guilty Thing surprised:
              But for those first affections,
              Those shadowy recollections,
            Which, be they what they may,
          Are yet the fountain light of all our day,
          Are yet a master light of all our seeing;
            Uphold us, cherish, and have power to make
          Our noisy years seem moments in the being
          Of the eternal Silence: truths that wake,
              To perish never;
          Which neither listlessness, nor mad endeavour,
              Nor Man nor Boy,
          Nor all that is at enmity with joy,
          Can utterly abolish or destroy!
              Hence in a season of calm weather
              Though inland far we be,
          Our Souls have sight of that immortal sea
              Which brought us hither,
              Can in a moment travel thither,
          And see the Children sport upon the shore,
          And hear the mighty waters rolling evermore.

                                   X

          Then sing, ye Birds, sing, sing a joyous song!
              And let the young Lambs bound
              As to the tabor's sound!
          We in thought will join your throng,
              Ye that pipe and ye that play,
              Ye that through your hearts to-day
              Feel the gladness of the May!
          What though the radiance which was once so bright
          Be now for ever taken from my sight,
              Though nothing can bring back the hour
          Of splendour in the grass, of glory in the flower;
              We will grieve not, rather find
              Strength in what remains behind;
              In the primal sympathy
              Which having been must ever be;
              In the soothing thoughts that spring
              Out of human suffering;
              In the faith that looks through death,
          In years that bring the philosophic mind.

                                   XI

          And O, ye Fountains, Meadows, Hills, and Groves,
          Forebode not any severing of our loves!
          Yet in my heart of hearts I feel your might;
          I only have relinquished one delight
          To live beneath your more habitual sway.
          I love the Brooks which down their channels fret,
          Even more than when I tripped lightly as they;
          The innocent brightness of a new-born Day
                      Is lovely yet;
          The Clouds that gather round the setting sun
          Do take a sober colouring from an eye
          That hath kept watch o'er man's mortality;
          Another race hath been, and other palms are won.
          Thanks to the human heart by which we live,
          Thanks to its tenderness, its joys, and fears,
          To me the meanest flower that blows can give
          Thoughts that do often lie too deep for tears.

- William Wordsworth

20 April 2012

Divided.

Renowned psychiatrist and writer Iain McGilchrist explains how our "divided brain" has profoundly altered human behaviour, culture and society. 

Indespensable.


When you buy a book, you establish a property right in it, just as you do in clothes or furniture when you buy and pay for them. But the act of purchase is actually only the prelude to possession in the case of a book. Full ownership of a book only comes when you have made it a part of yourself, and the best way to make yourself a part of it — which comes to the same thing — is by writing in it.

Why is marking a book indispensable to reading it? First, it keeps you awake — not merely conscious, but wide awake. Second, reading, if it is active, is thinking, and thinking tends to express itself in words, spoken or written. The person who says he knows what he thinks but cannot express it usually does not know what he thinks. Third, writing your reactions down helps you to remember the thoughts of the author.

Reading a book should be a conversation between you and the author. Presumably he knows more about the subject than you do; if not, you probably should not be bothering with his book. But understanding is a two-way operation; the learner has to question himself and question the teacher, once he understands what the teacher is saying. Marking a book is literally an expression of your differences or your agreements with the author. It is the highest respect you can pay him.”


Read the rest at Brain Pickings.

I am a recent convert to marginalia. Having been raised in the belief that marking in a book is disrespectful of the others who may read it, I've come to realize that I was kept at a distance from the book and the connection I could have with it.

Although I read like an addict, I'm not a proficient reader (Hey! What was that?!) Making my mark has made my reading much more active and attentive. Underlining and making notes has become the footprint of my thoughts, so much so that I am rereading and marking many old (and sadly, clean) favorites, especially poetry. As I look back at the marks I've made in books. I'm reminded of where I was and what I was thinking at the time. I like that.

I believe that reading is an active endeavor and I now realize that the more interaction there is, the more rich my experience of reading will be.

Try it and see what you think.

Life.


Live your life that the fear of death can never enter your heart.

Trouble no one about his religion.


Respect others in their views and demand that they respect yours.


Love your life, perfect your life, beautify all things in your life.


Seek to make your life long and of service to your people.


Prepare a noble death song for the day when you go over the great divide.


Always give a word or sign of salute when meeting or passing a friend, or even a stranger, if in a lonely place.


Show respect to all people, but grovel to none.


When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength.


Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living.


If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.


Abuse no one and no thing, for abuse turns the wise ones to fools and robs the spirit of its vision.


When your time comes to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with fear of death, so that when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way.


Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.


- Tecumseh

Sanz, "Canarios"

Pierre Pitzl performs ...

19 April 2012

Watching.


When night begins falling, the way you see things is not to look on directly but to focus at some spot just beside them. That, Harrison knows, is the proper place for the writer: off to the side, watching. "It's never the conclusions, it's the story, the experience." Again and again, book after book, year after year, one struggles to keep that focus, to strip insulation off the last half-inch or so of experience's wires to make connections, to tell the story as best one is able.

It's that simple, that impossible.


Read the rest here.

I love this, too ... The discovery of garlic seemed an important aspect of my development as an artist, equal to that of figuring out that red wine was better for the imagination than beer.

Drunk.

Hosking, Untitled (Blue), 2011


The Soundless Sound – Silence

Music is the art of hearing the soundless sound,
the art of hearing the music of silence –
what the Zen people call the sound of one hand clapping.

When you are utterly silent,
not a single thought passes your mind,
there is not even a ripple of any feeling in your heart.

Then you start, for the first time,
hearing silence ...

Music helps you from the outside to fall in tune with the inner ...
Listening to great music you suddenly become silent - with no effort.

Falling in tune with the music you lose your ego with no effort.
You become relaxed, you fall into a deep rest.
You are alert, awake, and yet in a subtle way drunk.


- Osho

First birdsong of the the day was heard at 4:47 a.m. ... a full hour earlier than normal. I'm glad I heard it.

18 April 2012

Courage.


Many of us are haunted by our failure to have done with our lives what we longed to accomplish. The disparity between our ideal self and our real self, the grim specter of past infidelities, the awareness that I am not living what I believe, the relentless pressure of conformity, and the nostalgia for lost innocence reinforces a nagging sense of existential guilt — I have failed. This is the cross we never expected, and the one we find hardest to bear.

The ragamuffin who sees his life as a voyage of discovery and runs the risk of failure has a better feel for faithfulness than the timid man who hides behind the law and never finds out who he is at all. Winston Churchill said it well — “Success is never final; failure is never fatal. It is courage that counts.”


Thank you, Ragamuffin Ramblings ... for Manning, Mullins, and more, go there.

Legendary.

From spanishfly.com ... The Life and Times of Jose Wejebe - A tribute to a friend, philanthropist, and legendary angler.



Tight lines, Jose.

17 April 2012

Rachel Brooke, "Weary Blues from Waitin'"



Thank you, Randolfo.

Love.


One of my fishing and philosophical heroes, Jose Wejebe, passed away last week ...

Every fisherman has a story, and Jose wanted to hear them all. There was never a kid, a fan, a fisherman who he didn’t have time for. He would talk fishing, share tips and techniques and laugh right along with them at their bonehead moves. And then he’d tell you his. Like when he was eating a chicken wing while talking on the phone during a break in filming and put the bones in his pocket and threw the phone overboard.

So what is the measure of a man? Is it his success in the business world? The amount of money he makes or the toys he acquires? Is it worldliness, knowledge, education, recognition, fame? I say the measure of a man is based on the lives he touches, the people he influences and guides and the people he befriends along the way. I’ll take that even further to say that in the end there are two basic desires we all search for in life: we want someone to love and someone to love us. Based on the public response to Jose’s passing, he had them both…in spades. We should all be so fortunate.


Read the rest at Watery Rave.

Balance.


It has been just so in all my inventions. The first step is an intuition — and come with a burst, then difficulties arise. This thing gives out and then that — ‘Bugs’ — as such little faults and difficulties are called.”
~ Thomas Edison

So opens Dean Buonomano’s excellent new book, Brain Bugs: How the Brain’s Flaws Shape Our Lives, which borrows the technological term to explore “the full range of limitations, flaws, foibles, and biases of the human brain.” From our susceptibility to advertising and propaganda to the biases of our memory to how word choice sways our decisions, Buonomano treks across evolutionary psychology, cognitive science, neurobiology, philosophy, theory of mind and a number of other disciplines — though, it’s worth nothing, not at all in the fluffy, formulaic fashion of “Big Idea books” — to reveal the intricate limitations and blessings of the most complex device in the known universe and, perhaps most fascinatingly, the trade-offs between the two: the balance of fear and curiosity, of altruism and jealousy, of the rational and the irrational.

Read the rest at Brain Pickings.

Get a copy here.

15 April 2012

Bryan Ferry, "Song to the Siren"

From last night's Titanic Commemoration Concert in Belfast ...

With.

Stockton, Deep Woods II, undated


It is a Beauteous Evening, Calm and Free

It is a beauteous evening, calm and free,
The holy time is quiet as a Nun
Breathless with adoration; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquility;
The gentleness of heaven broods o'er the Sea;
Listen! the mighty Being is awake,
And doth with his eternal motion make
A sound like thunder—everlastingly.
Dear child! dear Girl! that walkest with me here,
If thou appear untouched by solemn thought,
Thy nature is not therefore less divine:
Thou liest in Abraham's bosom all the year;
And worshipp'st at the Temple's inner shrine,
God being with thee when we know it not.

- William Wordsworth

David Gray, "One with the Birds"

Wishes.


Falling Stars

Do you remember still the falling stars
that like swift horses through the heavens raced
and suddenly leaped across the hurdles
of our wishes--do you recall? And we
did make so many! For there were countless numbers
of stars: each time we looked above we were
astounded by the swiftness of their daring play,
while in our hearts we felt safe and secure
watching these brilliant bodies disintegrate,
knowing somehow we had survived their fall.


- Rainer Maria Rilke

Glass.


... a sublime scene to consider, with endless glass ridges and hills rolling off beneath stars and red dust storms, slippery to the touch, as hard as bedrock, cold, perhaps glistening and prismatic inside with distorted reflections of constellations, like blisters of light on a television screen coextensive with the surface of the planet. You could slide from one hill to the next, for hours—for days—alone on a frozen ocean of self-reflecting landforms, dizzy with the images locked within.

Read the rest at BLDGBLOG.

14 April 2012

Gomez, "See the World"

J.S. Bach, Concerto in D minor for oboe & violin, BWV 1060

Harnoncourt throwin' gas on cello ...



Sleepers, AWAKE!

Harnoncourt.


Suzy Klein presents this week's edition of Music Matters, which features a rare interview with the conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt. One of the great musical figures of the 20th and 21st Centuries, renowned as a pioneer in the world of conducting, Harnoncourt was a key player in the development of the 'period performance' of classical, baroque and early music, in particular the music of JS Bach. The conductor is as feisty today as ever – now in his 80s, Harnoncourt is still performing, writing and thinking about music from Bach to Berio, Beethoven to Gershwin. He reveals to Suzy the conductors whose style he hated and why he can’t stand dogma of any sort; his thoughts on those early days of his musical revolution and why he continues today to make demands of his audience.

Listen here.

Reflection.


Hemingway said, "The first draft of anything is s@#$." We have a mantra in my classroom about first attempts ... "Don't get it perfect, just get it down."

Good things come with time. The soul that wants to race through the cage door needs to be patient with the comtempaltive mind. Solutions will come from stillness if true stillness is achieved. Think about what is being thought about ... for a while.

No phone.

No computer.

Nobody.

Put the judgment on hold. Allowing time for reflection can lead to germination, "magic from mud" (thanks Cultural Offering).

A recent article for The Creativity Post explains ...

The reason we should “never correct or rewrite until the whole thing is down” is because we initially don’t know which of our ideas are worthwhile. It’s only after we get everything down that we are able to recognize what works from what doesn’t. This is the lesson from Ritter’s research: we need to give the unconscious mind time to mull it over so it can convince the conscious mind to make adjustments. Or, as Nietzsche said in All Too Human: “the imagination of the good artist or thinker produces continuously good, mediocre or bad things, but his judgment, trained and sharpened to a fine point, rejects, selects, connects…. All great artists and thinkers are great workers, indefatigable not only in inventing, but also in rejecting, sifting, transforming, ordering.”

Read the rest here.

Remember that "it's harder that it ever looks," so don't get discouraged.

If I Could Just Get It On Paper

If I could just get it on paper
The things that have happened tonight
But that seems to me to be the big key
I'm havin' too good a time to ever turn
Out the lights.

Go to bed wake up with a clear head
Recalling what made it a ball
If I could just get it on paper
I might make some sense of it all

If I could tell half of the stories
The funny way most things begin
Figure ways to disguise all the half truths and lies
Find the heart of my song with the point of a pen
Simple words can be come clever phrases
And chapters could turn into books
Yes if I could just get it on paper
But it's harder than it ever looks.

All alone in the edge of the water
Hidin' out by the Sea of Cortez
With my sketch pads and Flairs
Tapes and battery spares

It's just no comprehendo to what everyone says

Time alone seemed to work well for Faulkner
Time away seems to work for the kid
Life and ink they run out at the same time
Or so said my old friend the squid

Yes if I could just get it on paper tonight
I could tell you what I think I did.


- Jimmy Buffett

13 April 2012

Happy Birthday, Jefferson.


I had rather be shut up in a very modest cottage, with my books, my family, and a few old friends, dining on simple bacon, and letting the world roll on as it liked, than to occupy the most splendid post which any human power can give.

- Thomas Jefferson

Debussy.


Deutsche Grammophon and Decca celebrate the 150th anniversary of Claude Debussy’s birth with a selection of new releases

Regarded as the father of 20th–century music, Debussy was a visionary whose influence is felt to this day. These releases cover the whole range of his output with critically acclaimed recordings by great artists.


Some great listening here.

11 April 2012

Cup.

The Red Wings are hoping to wipe the slate clean in the playoffs, at least where their poor performance on the road is concerned.

The Wings open the first round of the NHL playoffs Wednesday at Nashville. The Wings were 1-2 at Nashville this season and 17-21-3 on the road overall.


Read the rest at The Freep.

Time to go to work, boys.

08 April 2012

Bach, St. Matthew Passion

Delphine Galou performs the aria for contralto, solo violin, strings (2 violins and 1 viola) and basso continuo ...



Mercy.

07 April 2012

David Francey, "Red-Winged Blackbird"

... and the added treat of "Ashtabula."

Happy Birthday, Wordsworth.


William Wordsworth was born on this date 1770.

Here's one of my all-time favorites ...

I Wander'd Lonely as a Cloud

I wandered lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host, of golden daffodils;
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the milky way,
They stretched in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced; but they
Out-did the sparkling waves in glee:
A poet could not but be gay,
In such a jocund company:
I gazed--and gazed--but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.


- William Wordsworth

06 April 2012

Pergolesi, Stabat Mater

Barbara Frittoli, soprano, and Sara Mingardo, mezzosoprano, perform with Orquestra de l'Acadèmia del Gran Teatre del Liceu.

...may my soul Thy goodness praise,
Safe in Paradise with Thee.


Full.

Rice, Marsh Moon, 1925


The full moon, well risen in a cloudless eastern sky, covered the high solitude with its light. We are not conscious of daylight as that which displaces darkness. Daylight, even when the sun is clear of clouds, seems to us simply the natural condition of the earth and air. When we think of the downs, we think of the downs in daylight, as with think of a rabbit with its fur on. Stubbs may have envisaged the skeleton inside the horse, but most of us do not: and we do not usually envisage the downs without daylight, even though the light is not a part of the down itself as the hide is part of the horse itself. We take daylight for granted. But moonlight is another matter. It is inconstant. The full moon wanes and returns again. Clouds may obscure it to an extent to which they cannot obscure daylight. Water is necessary to us, but a waterfall is not. Where it is to be found it is something extra, a beautiful ornament. We need daylight and to that extent it us utilitarian, but moonlight we do not need. When it comes, it serves no necessity. It transforms. It falls upon the banks and the grass, separating one long blade from another; turning a drift of brown, frosted leaves from a single heap to innumerable flashing fragments; or glimmering lengthways along wet twigs as though light itself were ductile. Its long beams pour, white and sharp, between the trunks of trees, their clarity fading as they recede into the powdery, misty distance of beech woods at night. In moonlight, two acres of coarse bent grass, undulant and ankle deep, tumbled and rough as a horse's mane, appear like a bay of waves, all shadowy troughs and hollows. The growth is so thick and matted that event the wind does not move it, but it is the moonlight that seems to confer stillness upon it. We do not take moonlight for granted. It is like snow, or like the dew on a July morning. It does not reveal but changes what it covers. And its low intensity---so much lower than that of daylight---makes us conscious that it is something added to the down, to give it, for only a little time, a singular and marvelous quality that we should admire while we can, for soon it will be gone again.

- Richard Adams

05 April 2012

Open.

Mann, Virginia, 1996


Regardless of the staggering dimensions of the world about us, the density of our ignorance, the risks of catastrophes to come, and our individual weakness within the immense collectivity, the fact remains that we are absolutely free today if we choose to will our existence in its finiteness, a finiteness which is open on the infinite. And in fact, any man who has known real loves, real revolts, real desires, and real will knows quite well that he has no need of any outside guarantee to be sure of his goals; their certitude comes from his own drive.

- Simone de Beauvoir

Sally Mann's site is here.

Van Halen, "A.F.U. (Naturally Wired)"

When the rest have packed it up
I'm alive, I'm electric, inspired
Naturally wired




GO TIGERS!

GO TIGERS!


Opening Day is today as the Tigers take on Boston in Comerica Park at 1:05!

YES!

Verlander's ritual the night before ... "Same thing every time. Three crunchy taco supremes, no tomato. Cheesy gordita crunch. And a Mexican pizza, no tomato."

03 April 2012

Sloane, Sun Shaft, 1974


Life is the only way
to get covered in leaves,
catch your breath on the sand,
rise on wings;

to be a dog,
or stroke its warm fur;

to tell pain
from everything it's not;

to squeeze inside events,
dawdle in views,
to seek the least of all possible mistakes.

An extraordinary chance
to remember for a moment
a conversation held
with the lamp switched off;

and if only once
to stumble on a stone,
end up drenched in one downpour or another,

mislay your keys in the grass;
and to follow a spark on the wind with your eyes;

and to keep on not knowing
something important.


~Wislawa Szymborska