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 November 2016

Age-long.


I know now that the revelation is from the self, but from that age-long memoried self, that shapes the elaborate shell of the mollusk and the child in the womb, that teaches birds to make their nest; and that the genius is a crisis that joins that buried self for certain moments of our trivial daily mind.

W.B. Yeats

Protect.

Robin Williams, " A Tale of the Deeds of the Tuatha Dé Danann"

A bardic account of the two battles of Moytura, the sacred megalithic complex in Sligo. From the magical lore of ancient Ireland, this tale recounts conflicts of the ancestors at the dawn of the world. Stark, strange, beautiful, violent and hinting always at hidden truths, this of all ancient Celtic stories presents an insight into Druidic allegorical teachings.

Steve Winwood, "John Barleycorn Must Die"

Bow.

Wyeth, Wessaweskeag, 1962


RELUCTANCE

Out through the fields and the woods
And over the walls I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view
And looked at the world, and descended;
I have come by the highway home,
And lo, it is ended.

The leaves are all dead on the ground,
Save those that the oak is keeping
To ravel them one by one
And let them go scraping and creeping
Out over the crusted snow,
When others are sleeping.

And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
No longer blown hither and thither;
The last lone aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question "Whither?"

Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end
Of a love or a season?

Robert Frost 

Happy birthday, Palladio.

Picart, Palladio, 1716


Andrea Palladio was born on this day in 1508.

Andrea Palladio: Through the Eyes of Contemporary Architects ...

Toh Shimazaki


David Chipperfield


Sir Richard McCormac


Roger Zogolovitch

Jim Malcolm, "The Wild Geese"

Possibilities.

Hall, The Poetry of Moving Water, undated



“Basically I take a lot of photos when I’m fishing or hiking,” Hall says. “I keep a fairly large file of possibilities and a smaller file marked, ‘YES.’ Typically, I’ll click onto an early morning or dusk photograph and usually it’s low light, or really foggy. I love walks in the hills during snowstorms. It eliminates all the extraneous stuff in the background. For me it’s a gift of possibilities. I also carry a sketchbook and take notes.”

CONNECT


Dave Hall's website is HERE.

Paddy Moloney, "Ar Eirinn Ní Neosfainn Cé Hí"

Lucky.

Technique.

Vaughan Williams, Symphony No. 6 in E minor, "Pastoral"

The BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra performs under the direction of  Andrew Manze ...

Happy birthday, Twain.


Mark Twain was born on this day in 1835.

Be good and you will be lonesome.

Mark Twain.

Happy birthday, Churchill.


Winston Churchill was born on this day in 1874.

This is the lesson: never give in, never give in, never, never, never, never — in nothing, great or small, large or petty — never give in except to convictions of honour and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.

Winston Churchill

Churchill and The Cabinet War Rooms ...



Don't miss this.

Sting, "Englishman in New York"

Now.


don't wait for the man standing in the snow
to cut off his arm. help him now.


Ikkyu

29 November 2016

Look.


One short pause between
The leaky road here and
The never-leaking Way there:
If it rains, let it rain!
If it storms, let it storm!

A Crazy Cloud, out in the open,
Blown about madly, as wild as they come!
Who knows where this cloud will go, where the wind will still?
The sun rises from the eastern sea, and shines over the land.

Forests and fields, rocks and weeds - my true companions.
The wild ways of the Crazy Cloud will never change.
People think I'm mad but I don't care:
If I'm a demon here on earth, there is no need to fear the hereafter.

Every day, priests minutely examine the Dharma
And endlessly chant complicated sutras.
Before doing that, though, they should learn
How to read the love letters sent by the wind and rain, the snow and moon.

Monks these days study hard in order to turn
A fine phrase and win fame as talented poets.
At Crazy Cloud's hut there is no such talent, but he serves up the taste of truth
As he boils rice in a wobbly old cauldron.

Bliss and sorrow, love and hate, light and shadow, hot and cold, joy and anger, self and other.
The enjoyment of poetic beauty may well lead to hell.
But look what we find strewn all along our Path:
Plum blossoms and peach flowers!

Ten days in this temple and my mind is reeling!
Between my legs the red thread stretches and stretches.
If you come some other day and ask for me,
Better look in a fish stall, a sake shop, or a brothel.

Returning to the City from the Mountains

Crazy Cloud blown by who knows what wild wind.
In the mountains by day, in the city by night.
I shout katsu and wield the staff when I see fit,
Even Rinzai and Tokusan would be no match for me.

Ikkyu

Mahler, Symphony No. 5

Daniel Barenboim vividly leads the Chicago Symphony ...

Unnoticed.


Three old hermits took the air
By a cold and desolate sea,
First was muttering a prayer,
Second rummaged for a flea;
On a windy stone, the third,
Giddy with his hundredth year,
Sang unnoticed like a bird:
'Though the Door of Death is near
And what waits behind the door,
Three times in a single day
I, though upright on the shore,
Fall asleep when I should pray.'
So the first, but now the second:
'We're but given what we have eamed
When all thoughts and deeds are reckoned,
So it's plain to be discerned
That the shades of holy men
Who have failed, being weak of will,
Pass the Door of Birth again,
And are plagued by crowds, until
They've the passion to escape.'
Moaned the other, 'They are thrown
Into some most fearful shape.'
But the second mocked his moan:
'They are not changed to anything,
Having loved God once, but maybe
To a poet or a king
Or a witty lovely lady.'
While he'd rummaged rags and hair,
Caught and cracked his flea, the third,
Giddy with his hundredth year,
Sang unnoticed like a bird.

W.B. Yeats

Horowitz.

Vladimir Horowitz in a 1987 program entitled Kalvierabend, featuring the works of Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, Chopin, and Liszt ...

Crave.


Living in this world without eating pho is foolish,

Upon death, the altar offerings should include it.

Now go savor pho, or you shall crave it.

Different.

W.A. Mathieu, "Impromptu No.1"

Happy birthday, Lewis.


C.S. Lewis was born on this day in 1898.

Eating and reading are two pleasures that combine admirably.

C.S. Lewis

The BBC's Through the Shadowlands ...

Infinite.


The real world has its limits; the imaginary world is infinite. Unable to enlarge the one, let us restrict the other, for it is from the difference between the two alone that are born all the pains which make us truly unhappy.

Jean-Jacques Rousseau

28 November 2016

R.E.M., "Life and How to Live It"

Enough.

Baumann, Falling Leaves, 1950


the wind brings
enough fallen leaves
to make a fire

Ryokan

Blind Faith, "Sea of Joy"

Happy birthday, Blake.

Phillips, William Blake, 1807


William Blake was born on this day in 1757.

INTRODUCTION to the SONGS of EXPERIENCE

Hear the voice of the Bard! 
Who Present, Past, & Future sees 
Whose ears have heard, 
The Holy Word, 
That walk'd among the ancient trees. 

Calling the lapsed Soul 
And weeping in the evening dew: 
That might controll, 
The starry pole; 
And fallen fallen light renew! 

O Earth O Earth return! 
Arise from out the dewy grass; 
Night is worn, 
And the morn 
Rises from the slumberous mass. 

Turn away no more: 
Why wilt thou turn away 
The starry floor 
The watry shore 
Is giv'n thee till the break of day. 

William Blake

South Bank Show's "William Blake" ...

Today.

1969.


"Monkey Man"

You.


as we walked to your school
I tried to teach you that sometimes
there is bliss in not knowing

you said "I know"

Andrew Riutta

Study.


12

Not here and now but now and here.
If you don't know the difference
is a matter of life and death, get down
naked on bare knees in the snow
and study the ticking of your watch.
 

Jim Harrison

Beethoven, Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 73, "Emperor"

Mitsuko Uchida performs with Seiji Ozawa and the Saito Kinen Orchestra ...

27 November 2016

Happy birthday, Mullova.

Viktoria Mullova was born on this day in 1959.

Bach, Partita No. 1 in B-flat major, BWV 825 

Buzz.


1

Our Minds buzz like bees
but not the bees' minds.
It's just wings not heart
they say, moving from flower to flower. 

Jim Harrison

Do.

Exact.


FULL POWER

Ah, could we escape counters and strikers of hours,
One morning eagerly outside, hot youthfulness with hunters,
            Shouts in the clamor of hounds.
Thrashing through bushes, collness joyfully spraying us,
And we in the new and the free – feeling in the earliest breezes
            the exact connection.

This we were meant for.  Lighthearted exhilarated appearance.
Not, in the rigid room, after a night of negation,
            one more negation-filled day.
These are eternally in the right, these pressed so close to life;
Because they are the living, the infinitely affirmed
animal steps into the mortal blow.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Practice.

Sounds carry intelligence. If you are too narrow in your awareness of sounds, you are likely to be disconnected from your environment. Ears do not listen to sounds; the brain does. Listening is a lifetime practice that depends on accumulated experiences with sound; it can be focused to detail or open to the entire field of sound. Octogenarian composer and sound art pioneer Pauline Oliveros describes the sound experiment that led her to found an institute related to Deep Listening, and develop it as a theory relevant to music, psychology, and our collective quality of life.


Gordon Lightfoot, "Sundown"

Listen.

25 November 2016

Ritual.

Werner Herzog’s Wheel of Time is a documentary about the festival of Kalachakra, the ritual that takes place every few years which allows Tibetan Buddhist monks to become ordained. 

Virtuoso.


... a great virtuoso madman.

Thank you, Kurt . 

Uncomprehended.


The greatest forces lie in the region of the uncomprehended.

George MacDonald

Technique.


Technique is the proof of your seriousness.

Wallace Stevens

24 November 2016

Jethro Tull, "Songs from the Wood"

The sun has set ...

Kindled.

Brownscombe, First Thanksgiving, 1914


All great and honorable actions are accompanied with great difficulties, and both must be enterprised and overcome with answerable courage.  Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing, and gives being to all things that are; and, as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many.

William Bradford

22 November 2016

Happy birthday, Britten.

Benjamin Britten was born on this day in 1913.

Composing is like driving down a foggy road toward a house.  Slowly you see more details -- the color of the slates and bricks, the shape of the windows.

Benjamin Britten

Symphony Orchestra of Köln, directed by Pekka Saraste, performs The Young Person's Guide to the Orchestra ...

Brief.


WHY I TAKE GOOD CARE of MY MACINTOSH

Because it broods under its hood like a perched falcon,
Because it jumps like a skittish horse
    and sometimes throws me
Because it is poky when cold
Because plastic is a sad, strong material
    that is charming to rodents
Because it is flighty
Because my mind flies into it through my fingers
Because it leaps forward and backward,
    is an endless sniffer and searcher,
Because its keys click like hail on a boulder
And it winks when it goes out,
And puts word-heaps in hoards for me,
    dozens of pockets of
    gold under boulders in streambeds, identical seedpods
    strong on a vine, or it stores bins of bolts;
And I lose them and find them,
Because whole worlds of writing can be boldly layed out
    and then highlighted and vanish in a flash
    at "delete"     so it teaches
    of impermanence and pain;
And because my computer and me are both brief
    in this world, both foolish, and we have earthly fates,
Because I have let it move in with me
    right inside the tent
And it goes with me out every morning
We fill up our baskets,       get back home,
Feel rich,      relax,      I throw it a scrap and it hums.


Gary Snyder 

Imagination.


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.

Seek.


The WILD MUSHROOM

Well the sunset rays are shining
Me and Kai have got our tools
A basket and a trowel
And a book with all the rules

Don’t ever eat Boletus
If the tube-mouths they are red
Stay away from the Amanitas
Or brother you are dead

Sometimes they’re already rotten
Or the stalks are broken off
Where the deer have knocked them over
While turning up the duff

We set out in the forest
To seek the wild mushroom
In shapes diverse and colorful
Shining through the woodland gloom

If you look out under oak trees
Or around an old pine stump
You’ll know a mushroom’s coming
By the way the leaves are humped

They send out multiple fibers
Through the roots and sod
Some make you mighty sick they say
Or bring you close to God

So here’s to the mushroom family
A far-flung friendly clan
For food, for fun, for poison
They are a help to man.

Gary Snyder

Dance.


Hunger!
Thirst!
Shriek!
Dance! Dance! Dance!

Arthur Rimbaud

Thank you, Rosie.

Happy birthday, de la Salle.


Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, was killed off the coast of Ocracoke, North Carolina on this day in 1718.

This Beard was black, which he suffered to grow of an extravagant Length; as to Breadth, it came up to his Eyes; he was accustomed to twist it with Ribbons, in small Tails, after the Manner of our Ramilies Wiggs, and turn them about his Ears: In Time of Action, he wore a sling over his Shoulders, with three Brace of Pistols, hanging in Holsters like Bandaliers; and stuck lighted Matches under his Hat, which appearing on each Side of his Face, his Eyes naturally looking fierce and wild, made him altogether such a Figure, that Imagination cannot form an Idea of a Fury, from Hell, to look more frightful.

Happy birthday, Carmichael.


Hoagy Carmichael was born on this day in 1899.

"Am I Blue," from To Have and Have Not ...



Ray McKinley & The Glenn Miller Orchestra perform Carmichael's incomparable, "Stardust" ...

21 November 2016

Legendary.


Legendary Michigan coach Bo Schembechler, who died 10 years ago today, was a magnetic personality admired nationally and beloved by his players, and those who knew and worked with him.

Beat.

Happy birthday, Voltaire.

La Tour, Voltaire, 1736


Voltaire was born on this day in 1694.

Think for yourself and allow others the privilege to do the same.

Voltaire 

Today.

1980.


"Babylon Sister"

Thanksgiving.

Rockwell, Cousin Reginald Catches the Thanksgiving Turkey, 1917

20 November 2016

Pilgrims.

In the early 17th century, a small group of religious radicals embarked from England to establish a separatist religious community across the Atlantic Ocean in the New World. The challenges the Pilgrims faced in making new lives for themselves still resonate almost 400 years later.


Influence.


Colors, symbols, sounds, weather, environment, and the perceived presence of other people all influence us — challenging the very notion that there’s really a freethinking “you.”

19 November 2016

Michael Stanley Band, "In The Heartland"

Pantomiming.

Jerry Lewis pantomiming to Count Basie's, "Cute" ...

Remembering.

Birge Harrison, The Auriole, 1890


And what is the best time for remembering? At noon
when shadows are hidden beneath our feet, or at twilight
when shadows lengthen like longings
that have no beginning, no end, like God?

Yehuda Amichai

Bob Weir, "Cottonwood Lullabye"

Technique


Technique is the proof of your seriousness.

Wallace Stevens

Clean.

Birge Harrison, Silence, 1890


The greatest need of our time is to clean out the enormous mass of mental and emotional rubbish that clutters our minds and makes of all political and social life a mass illness. Without this housecleaning we cannot begin to see. Unless we see, we cannot think.

Thomas Merton

Believe.

I don't believe you.

18 November 2016

Past.


I looked up and there it was
among the green branches of the pitchpines -
thick bird,
a ruffle of fire trailing over the shoulders and down the back -
color of copper, iron, bronze –
lighting up the dark branches of the pine.
What misery to be afraid of death.
What wretchedness, to believe only in what can be proven.
When I made a little sound
it looked at me, then it looked past me.
Then it rose, the wings enormous and opulent,
and, as I said, wreathed in fire.

Mary Oliver