AN UNCOMMON THOUGHT

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

31 August 2013

Happy birthday, Morrison.

Van Morrison was born on this date in 1945.

"Cyprus Avenue/You Came Walking Down"

30 August 2013

Bicycle-powered.

Ethan Schlussler of Sandpoint, Idaho, built this clever bicycle-powered treehouse elevator to make it easier to reach his nearly 30-foot-high treehouse.



CONNECT

28 August 2013

Alfred Brendel.

The word "listen" contains the same letters as the word "silent".

Alfred Brendel

Part 1



Part 2



Part 3



Part 4



Part 5



Part 6



Part 7



Part 8

Appearance.


In the early 1930s, a woman claiming to be the widow of a Royal Flying Corps pilot produced these photographs of scenes of aerial combat during World War I. Her late husband, she claimed, had defied the RFC’s regulations and mounted a camera on his plane, tying its shutter action to his machine gun. The resulting series of images was the only available up-close visual representation of British and German planes firing upon each other, aircraft catching on fire, and pilots falling from the sky.

During WWI, camera technology simply hadn’t progressed to a point where it was possible to take an accurate photograph of dogfighting. Meanwhile, the public was rabidly curious about the new kind of warfare. The appearance of “Mrs. Gladys Maud Cockburne-Lange” and her trove of photographs neatly bridged this gap ...

Irrelevant.

27 August 2013

JuJu, "Deep Sahara"

Juldeh Camara, riti ...

Live.



Live as if you were living already for the second time and as if you had acted the first time as wrongly as you are about to act now!

26 August 2013

Jackson Browne, "Something Fine"

Lindley, fiddle ...

Harmony.

Monet, Water Lilies, Reflections of Weeping Willows, 1926


Calm is all nature as a resting wheel.
The kine are couched upon the dewy grass;
The horse alone, seen dimly as I pass,
Is cropping audibly his later meal:
Dark is the ground; a slumber seems to steal
O'er vale, and mountain, and the starless sky.
Now, in this blank of things, a harmony,
Home-felt, and home-created, comes to heal
That grief for which the senses still supply
Fresh food; for only then, when memory
Is hushed, am I at rest. My Friends! restrain
Those busy cares that would allay my pain;
Oh! leave me to myself, nor let me feel
The officious touch that makes me droop again. 


William Wordsworth

25 August 2013

The Mavericks, "Gentle on My Mind"

Forever.


... where passion clasped peace, spaces no science could reach, but they existed forever, full of woods, some of them, and arched with majestic sky, and a friend.

E.M. Forster

Charlotte Mew, "Arracombe Wood"

Balance.

Cartier Bresson, Armenia, USSR, 1972


Sadness gives depth. 
Happiness gives height. 
Sadness gives roots. 
Happiness gives branches. 
Happiness is like a tree going into the sky, and sadness is like the roots going down into the womb of the earth. 
Both are needed, and the higher a tree goes, the deeper it goes, simultaneously. 
The bigger the tree, the bigger will be its roots. In fact, it is always in proportion. 
That's its balance.

Osho

24 August 2013

Effectively.

Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.

- Dalai Lama XIV


Steel Pulse, "Babylon Makes the Rules"

Journey.


Focusing mainly on big achievements is a way of reinforcing the philosophy that we cannot change. Work becomes about proving who you are via successes and the approval of your colleagues and superiors, rather than about continuing to master the craft. By contrast, making it about the journey -- the effort and the learning -- not the destination, is what leads to better performance. 

22 August 2013

Happy birthday, Debussy.

Claude Debussy was born on this date in 1862.

Angela Hewitt performs the third movement of the Suite bergamasque, "Clair de Lune" ...



Clair de Lune

Your soul is as a moonlit landscape fair, Peopled with maskers delicate and dim,That play on lutes and dance and have an air Of being sad in their fantastic trim.


The while they celebrate in minor strain Triumphant love, effective enterprise,They have an air of knowing all is vain,— And through the quiet moonlight their songs rise,


The melancholy moonlight, sweet and lone, That makes to dream the birds upon the tree,And in their polished basins of white stone The fountains tall to sob with ecstasy.



- Paul Verlane

20 August 2013

You.

Zoë Firchau, Oatmeal with Peaches and Blueberries, 2013


Learning your own way means finding the methods that work best for you and creating conditions that support sustained motivation. Perseverance, pleasure, and the ability to retain what you learn are among the wonderful byproducts of getting to learn using methods that suit you best and in contexts that keep you going. 

Adventure.

“Life in the trees was an adventure,” says Ben Mullinkosson, the third filmmaker with Rainhouse Cinema. “Not only is the canopy of a redwood forest a beautiful place to be, but everyone up there was really friendly, and just climbing around and traversing from tree to tree was a great way to keep active.”



CONNECT

Happy birthday, Plant.

Robert Plant was born on this date in 1948.

"Girl from the North Country"

19 August 2013

Frites.


Well done, Belgium: The first-ever Belgian frites vending machine to use a beef fat–fryer has been installed in Brussels.

CONNECT

Thanks, Veerle.

Practice.


Somewhat disinterested with school, Butitta was tired of designing buildings that didn’t exist for imaginary clients and wanted to work with his hands to put some of his ideas into practice. 

18 August 2013

Perigee.


The moon reaches perigee – its closest point to Earth for the month – on August 19, 2013, at 1:00 Universal Time. For U.S. time zones, that places this month’s perigee on August 18, at 9:00 p.m. EDT, 8:00 p.m. CDT, 7:00 p.m. MDT or 6:00 p.m. PDT. At this particular perigee, the moon lies 362,264 kilometers (225,100 miles) away.

CONNECT

El Gusto.

Interest.

Waterloo, Traveller near a Wood, 1868

THE UNCOMMERCIAL TRAVELLER

CHAPTER I—HIS GENERAL LINE OF BUSINESS

Allow me to introduce myself—first negatively.

No landlord is my friend and brother, no chambermaid loves me, no waiter worships me, no boots admires and envies me.  No round of beef or tongue or ham is expressly cooked for me, no pigeon-pie is especially made for me, no hotel-advertisement is personally addressed to me, no hotel-room tapestried with great-coats and railway wrappers is set apart for me, no house of public entertainment in the United Kingdom greatly cares for my opinion of its brandy or sherry.  When I go upon my journeys, I am not usually rated at a low figure in the bill; when I come home from my journeys, I never get any commission.  I know nothing about prices, and should have no idea, if I were put to it, how to wheedle a man into ordering something he doesn’t want.  As a town traveller, I am never to be seen driving a vehicle externally like a young and volatile pianoforte van, and internally like an oven in which a number of flat boxes are baking in layers.  As a country traveller, I am rarely to be found in a gig, and am never to be encountered by a pleasure train, waiting on the platform of a branch station, quite a Druid in the midst of a light Stonehenge of samples.

And yet—proceeding now, to introduce myself positively—I am both a town traveller and a country traveller, and am always on the road.  Figuratively speaking, I travel for the great house of Human Interest Brothers, and have rather a large connection in the fancy goods way.  Literally speaking, I am always wandering here and there from my rooms in Covent-garden, London—now about the city streets: now, about the country by-roads—seeing many little things, and some great things, which, because they interest me, I think may interest others.

These are my chief credentials as the Uncommercial Traveller.

Charles Dickens

Unfolding.

Curtis, Scout in Winter, 1908


Right now, you are missing the vast majority of what is happening around you. You are missing the events unfolding in your body, in the distance, and right in front of you.

CONNECT

Transformation.

Henner, Solitude, 1886


Nowhere, Beloved, will world be but within us. Our life
passes in transformation. And the external
shrinks into less and less.


Rainer Maria Rilke

CONNECT

Mozart, Violin Concerto No. 5 in A major, K. 219, "Turkish"

Herbert von Karajan leads the Vienna Symphony with Yuhudi Menuhin (I love that name) sawing away ...

Happy birthday, Lewis.

Charles Wilson Peale, Meriwether Lewis, 1807


Meriwether Lewis was born on this date in 1774.

This day I completed my thirty-first year, and conceived that I had in all human probability now existed about half the period which I am to remain in this Sublunary world. I reflected that I had as yet done but little, very little indeed, to further the happiness of the human race, or to advance the information of the succeeding generation. I viewed with regret the many hours I have spent in indolence, and now sorely feel the want of that information which those hours would have given me had they been judiciously expended. but since they are past and cannot be recalled, I dash from me the gloomy thought and resolved in future, to redouble my exertions and at least indeavour to promote those two primary objects of human existance, by giving them the aid of that portion of talents which nature and fortune have bestowed on me; or in future, to live for mankind, as I have heretofore lived for myself.

Meriwether Lewis, 18 August 1805, Out There

CONNECT

Stay.


To stay wild, untamed, to cover myself in green leaves, to shout, weep, pray.

Marc Chagall

CONNECT

Cleaning.

17 August 2013

Faith.

Chagall, Song of Songs IV, 1958


You darkness, that I come from,
I love you more than all the fires
that fence in the world,
for the fire makes
a circle of light for everyone,
and then no one outside learns of you.

But the darkness pulls in everything:
shapes and fires, animals and myself,
how easily it gathers them! -
powers and people -

and it is possible a great energy
is moving near me.

I have faith in nights.


Rainer Maria Rilke

Unsayable.


Things aren't all so tangible and sayable as people would usually have us believe; most experiences are unsayable, they happen in a space that no word has ever entered, and more unsayable than all other things are works of art, those mysterious existences, whose life endures beside our own small, transitory life.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Mozart, Symphony No. 31 in D major, K. 297/300a, "Paris"

Nikolaus Harnoncourt conducts the Vienna Philharmonic ...

15 August 2013

Discovered.


I can’t begin to tell you the things I discovered while I was looking for something else.

Shelby Foote

CONNECT

10 August 2013

1st.

Miguel Cabrera: 1st player to hit game-tying HR with 2 outs in 9th or later vs Mariano Rivera since Jason Bay, 2009 Red Sox.



CONNECT

Calligraphy.

09 August 2013

Sings.

Homer, Ile Malin, 1897


When we no longer know what to do we have come to our real work and when we no longer know which way to go we have begun our real journey. The mind that is not baffled is not employed. The impeded stream is the one that sings.

Wendell Berry

David Lindley, "King of the Bed"


Danke schön.

Breathing.


Despite having encountered numerous seasonal timelapse videos shot here on Earth, this is the first time I’ve ever seen anything like this visualized on such a large scale from space. It really looks like a heartbeat or the action of breathing. 

08 August 2013

Fire.

Miguel Cabrera struck out in his first three at-bats [in the Tigers’ 6-5 victory] against Indians starter Danny Salazar, but Terry Francona played with fire and left his starter in during a crucial situation in the top of the eighth inning.  Cabrera made him pay.



Anything that travels that far ought to have a stewardess on it.

06 August 2013

Accomplish.


Thanks, Lori.

Happy birthday, Tennyson.


Alfred, Lord Tennyson, was born on this date in 1809.

Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light;
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out, wild bells, and let him die.

Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells, across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.

Ring out the grief that saps the mind,
For those that here we see no more,
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.

Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.

Ring out the want, the care the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes,
But ring the fuller minstrel in.

Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right,
Ring in the common love of good.

Ring out old shapes of foul disease,
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
Ring in the thousand years of peace.

Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land,
Ring in the Christ that is to be.

- Alfred Lord Tennyson

05 August 2013

Peter Rowan, "Fetch Wood, Carry Water"


Feather the paddle and the boat will row
Above the flood, beyond the flow.
Feather the arrow of your mind and let it fly
Into the heart of the empty sky.

Pipings.

Rubens, Pan and Syrinx, 1619


Hymn to Pan

From the forests and highlands
We come, we come;
From the river-girt islands,
Where loud waves are dumb,
Listening to my sweet pipings.
The wind in the reeds and the rushes,
The bees on the bells of thyme,
The birds on the myrtle bushes,
The cicale above in the lime,
And the lizards below in the grass,
Were as silent as ever old Tmolus was,
Listening to my sweet pipings.

Liquid Peneus was flowing,
And all dark Tempe lay
In Pelion's shadow, outgrowing
The light of the dying day,
Speeded by my sweet pipings.
The Sileni and Sylvans and Fauns,
And the Nymphs of the woods and waves,
To the edge of the moist river-lawns,
And the brink of the dewy caves,
And all that did then attend and follow,
Were silent with love, as you now, Apollo,
With envy of my sweet pipings.

I sang of the dancing stars,
I sang of the dædal earth,
And of heaven, and the giant wars,
And love, and death, and birth.
And then I changed my pipings—
Singing how down the vale of Mænalus
I pursued a maiden, and clasp'd a reed:
Gods and men, we are all deluded thus!
It breaks in our bosom, and then we bleed.
All wept—as I think both ye now would,
If envy or age had not frozen your blood—
At the sorrow of my sweet pipings.

- Percy Bysshe Shelley

Debussy, "Syrinx," performed by Jean-Pierre Rampal ...

Streamer.


Have you ever dropped a stick in a river and wondered where it might go if it floated all the way downstream? Now you can trace its journey using Streamer.

Deuce.

Duck, ... duck, ...


... deuce.

04 August 2013

Lyle Lovett, "Nobody Knows Me"

Rinds.


In a practical sense, cheese rinds can be used to communicate something about a cheese. But as with most forms of communication, you can get creative with it.

CONNECT

Peter Rowan.

"Cheyenne"



"Tumbleweed"



"Land of the Navajo"

Ball.

I miss it ...

Happy birthday, Shelley.

Clint, Percy Bysshe Shelley, 1819


Percy Bysshe Shelley was born on this date in 1793. 

To a Skylark

Hail to thee, blithe Spirit!           Bird thou never wert,      That from Heaven, or near it,           Pourest thy full heart In profuse strains of unpremeditated art.      Higher still and higher           From the earth thou springest      Like a cloud of fire;           The blue deep thou wingest, And singing still dost soar, and soaring ever singest.      In the golden lightning           Of the sunken sun      O'er which clouds are bright'ning,           Thou dost float and run, Like an unbodied joy whose race is just begun.      The pale purple even           Melts around thy flight;      Like a star of Heaven           In the broad daylight Thou art unseen, but yet I hear thy shrill delight:      Keen as are the arrows           Of that silver sphere,      Whose intense lamp narrows           In the white dawn clear Until we hardly see--we feel that it is there.      All the earth and air           With thy voice is loud.      As, when night is bare,           From one lonely cloud The moon rains out her beams, and heaven is overflowed.      What thou art we know not;           What is most like thee?      From rainbow clouds there flow not           Drops so bright to see As from thy presence showers a rain of melody.      Like a poet hidden           In the light of thought,      Singing hymns unbidden,           Till the world is wrought To sympathy with hopes and fears it heeded not:      Like a high-born maiden           In a palace tower,      Soothing her love-laden           Soul in secret hour With music sweet as love, which overflows her bower:      Like a glow-worm golden           In a dell of dew,      Scattering unbeholden           Its aerial hue Among the flowers and grass, which screen it from the view:      Like a rose embowered           In its own green leaves,      By warm winds deflowered,           Till the scent it gives Makes faint with too much sweet these heavy-winged thieves.      Sound of vernal showers           On the twinkling grass,      Rain-awakened flowers,           All that ever was Joyous, and clear, and fresh, thy music doth surpass.      Teach us, sprite or bird,           What sweet thoughts are thine:      I have never heard           Praise of love or wine That panted forth a flood of rapture so divine.      Chorus hymeneal           Or triumphal chaunt      Matched with thine, would be all           But an empty vaunt-- A thing wherein we feel there is some hidden want.      What objects are the fountains           Of thy happy strain?      What fields, or waves, or mountains?           What shapes of sky or plain? What love of thine own kind? what ignorance of pain?      With thy clear keen joyance           Languor cannot be:      Shadow of annoyance           Never came near thee: Thou lovest, but ne'er knew love's sad satiety.      Waking or asleep,           Thou of death must deem      Things more true and deep           Than we mortals dream, Or how could thy notes flow in such a crystal stream?      We look before and after,           And pine for what is not:      Our sincerest laughter           With some pain is fraught; Our sweetest songs are those that tell of saddest thought.      Yet if we could scorn           Hate, and pride, and fear;      If we were things born           Not to shed a tear, I know not how thy joy we ever should come near.      Better than all measures           Of delightful sound,      Better than all treasures           That in books are found, Thy skill to poet were, thou scorner of the ground!      Teach me half the gladness           That thy brain must know,      Such harmonious madness           From my lips would flow The world should listen then, as I am listening now!

- Percy Bysshe Shelley

03 August 2013

Aerosmith, "Draw the Line"

Heart-work.

Caravaggio, St. Jerome Writing (detail), 1606


The work of the eyes is done. Go now and do the heart-work on the images imprisoned within you.

- Rainer Maria Rilke

Vivaldi, Cello Concerto A minor, RV 419

Il Giardino Armonico performs ...

Decide.

In her moving TEDxChapmanU talk, Erin Gruwell shares how she chose to become a teacher who believed in change, who believed her students could decide their own future instead of becoming another victim of gang-related violence or teen pregnancy. She walks the audience through her and her students' journey to chronicle their own stories, mirroring some of the most iconic figures in history.



CONNECT

Bad Co., "Gone, Gone, Gone"



Thanks, Kurtastrophy.

Alive.


Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep. Try as much as possible to be wholly alive with all your might, and when you laugh, laugh like hell. And when you get angry, get good and angry. Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.

- Ernest Hemingway