The essence of optimism is that it takes no account of the present, but it is a source of inspiration, of vitality and hope where others have resigned; it enables a man to hold his head high, to claim the future for himself and not to abandon it to his enemy. - Dietrich Bonhoeffer Yo La Tengo, "Ohm" ... Resisting the flow
They were hungry for lunch and the bottle of white wine was cold and they drank it as they ate the celery remoulade and the small radishes and the home pickled mushrooms from the big glass jar. The bass was grilled and the grill marks showed on the silver skin and the butter melted on the hot plate. There was sliced lemon to press on the bass and fresh bread from the bakery and the wine cooled their tongues from the heat of the fried potatoes.
I remember when I first saw a wolf in the Upper Peninsula the sighting was doubted by a professor. I didn’t mind in the least. He sat in an office and I sat in my cabin in a forest on the river. I’d seen things from my window that were astonishing—male and female loons taking turns on the nest, each going crazy waiting for relief, making all kinds of noise, responding to coyotes and whippoorwills, calling back and forth. I think our sense of fieldwork can best be approached through what Thoreau called “sauntering.”
Wanderer, your footsteps are the road, and nothing more; wanderer, there is no road, the road is made by walking. By walking one makes the road, and upon glancing behind one sees the path that never will be trod again. Wanderer, there is no road -- only wakes upon the sea. - Antonio Machado
Rem tene, verba sequentur: grasp the subject, and the words will follow. This, I believe, is the opposite of what happens with poetry, which is more a case of verba tene, res sequenter: grasp the words, and the subject will follow.
[Viktoria Mullova] has just released her latest disc of the music of Bach, recorded with Ottavio Dantone and Accademia Bizantina, and released on the Onyx label. It features four concertos, including those written specifically for violin as well as two transcriptions of concertos written for other instruments.
There will always be those who feel more comfortable not venturing from the warmth of the hearth, but there are those who prefer to look out the window and wonder what is beyond the horizon. Down the road of life, I made the discovery that water was also good for the mental abrasions one inevitably acquires on land.
Doubt not, O poet, but persist. Say 'It is in me, and shall out.' Stand there, balked and dumb, stuttering and stammering, hissed and hooted, stand and strive, until at last rage draw out of thee that dream-power which every night shows thee is thine own; a power transcending all limit and privacy, and by virtue of which a man is the conductor of the whole river of electricity. - Ralph Waldo Emerson
Providing opportunities for meaningful dialogue and creating an atmosphere of trust in discussions are critical steps to helping students deepen their understanding of what they read. The Talking Circle is an excellent teaching strategy that is consistent with Aboriginal values and perspectives. In a Talking Circle,each participant is equal, and each one belongs. Students in a Talking Circle learn to listen and respect the views of others. CONNECT
Sir Ken Robinson addresses the fundamental economic, cultural, social and personal purposes of education. He argues that education should be personalised to every student's talent, passion, and learning styles, and that creativity should be embedded in the culture of every single school.
It was during this term that I began to realize that
Sebastian was a drunkard in quite a different sense from myself. I got
drunk often, but through an excess of high spirits, in the love of the moment,
and the wish to prolong and enhance it; Sebastian drank to escape.
- Evelyn Waugh, Brideshead Revisited
Does it help writers to drink? Certainly Jack Kerouac, Dylan
Thomas, John Cheever, Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald thought so. But
are the words on the page there despite and not because of alcohol?
Many years ago there went wandering through Japan, sometimes on
the back of a horse, sometimes afoot, in poor pilgrim's clothes, the
kindest, most simple hearted of men ... Basho, friend of moon and winds.
Though Basho was born of one of the noblest classes in Japan, and might
have been welcome in palaces, he chose to wander, and to be comrade
and teacher of men and women, boys and girls in all different stations of
life, from the lowest to the highest. Basho bathed in the running brooks,
rested in shady valleys, sought shelter from sudden rains under some tree
on the moor, and sighed with the country folk as he watched the cherry
blossoms in their last pink shower, fluttering down from the trees. Now
he slept at some country inn, stumbling in at its door at nightfall,
wearied from long hours of travelling, yet never too tired to note the
lovely wisteria vine, drooping its delicate lavender blossoms over the
veranda. Sometimes he slept in the poor hut of a peasant, but most often
his bed was out-of-doors, and his pillow a stone.
When Basho came upon a little violet hiding shyly in the grass on a
mountain pathway, it whispered its secret to him. "Modesty, gentleness,
and simplicity!" it said. "These are the truly beautiful things." Glistening drops of dew on the petal of a flower had voice and a song
for him likewise. "Purity," they sang, "is the loveliest thing in life. The pine tree, fresh and ever-green amid winter's harshest storms,
spoke staunchly of hardy manhood; the mountains had their message
of patience, the moon its song of glory! Rivers, forests, waterfalls,
all told their secrets to Basho, and these secrets that Nature revealed
to him, he loved to show to others, for the whole of living of life was
to him one great poem, as of some holy service in the shadow of a temple. "Real poetry," said Basho, "is to lead a beautiful life. To live poetry
is better than to write it." - Olive Beaupré Miller, fromLittle Pictures of Japan
It was a quick walk to Lipp’s and every place I passed that my stomach noticed as quickly as my eyes made the walk an added pleasure. There were few people in the brasserie and when I sat down on a bench against the wall with the mirror in the back and a table in front and the waiter asked if I wanted beer I asked for a distingue, the big glass mug that held a liter, and potato salad.
The beer was very cold and wonderful to drink. The pommes a l’huile were firm and marinated and the olive oil delicious. I ground black pepper over the potatoes and moistened the bread with the olive oil. After the first heavy draft of beer I drank and ate very slowly.
After you have practiced for a while, you will realize that it is not possible to make rapid, extraordinary progress. Even though you try very hard, the progress you make is always little by little. It is not like going out in a shower in which you know when you get wet. In a fog, you do not know you are getting wet, but as you keep walking you get wet little by little. If your mind has ideas of progress, you may say, "Oh, this pace is terrible!" But actually it is not. When you get wet in a fog it is very difficult to dry yourself. So there is no need to worry about progress. - Shunryu Suzuki
Ernest Hemingway was born on this date in 1899. Nick looked at the burned-over stretch of hillside, where he had expected to find the scattered houses of the town and then walked down the railroad track to the bridge over the river. The river was there. It swirled against the log spires of the bridge. Nick looked down into the clear, brown water, colored from the pebbly bottom, and watched the trout keeping themselves steady in the current with wavering fins. As he watched them they changed their again by quick angles, only to hold steady in the fast water again. Nick watched them a long time. He watched them holding themselves with their noses into the current, many trout in deep, fast moving water, slightly distorted as he watched far down through the glassy convex surface of the pool its surface pushing and swelling smooth against the resistance of the log-driven piles of the bridge. At the bottom of the pool were the big trout. Nick did not see them at first. Then he saw them at the bottom of the pool, big trout looking to hold themselves on the gravel bottom in a varying mist of gravel and sand, raised in spurts by the current. Nick looked down into the pool from the bridge. It was a hot day. A kingfisher flew up the stream. It was a long time since Nick had looked into a stream and seen trout. They were very satisfactory. As the shadow of the kingfisher moved up the stream, a big trout shot upstream in along angle, only his shadow marking the angle, then lost his shadow as he came through the surface of the water, caught the sun, and then, as he went back into the stream under the surface, his shadow seemed to float down the stream with the current unresisting, to his post under thebridge where he tightened facing up into the current. Nick's heart tightened as the trout moved. He felt all the old feeling. He turned and looked down the stream. It stretched away, pebbly-bottomed with shallows and big boulders and a deep pool as it curved away around the foot of a bluff. Nick walked back up the ties to where his pack lay in the cinders beside the railway track. He was happy. He adjusted the pack harness around the bundle, pulling straps tight, slung the pack on his back got his arms through the shoulder straps and took some of the pull off his shoulders by leaning his forehead against the wide band of the tump-line Still, it was too heavy. It was much too heavy. He had his leather rod-case in his hand and leaning forward to keep the weight of the pack high on his shoulders he walked along the road that paralleled the railway track, leaving the burned town behind in the heat, and shell turned off around a hill with a high, fire-scarred hill on either side onto a road that went back into the country. He walked along the road feeling, the ache from the pull of the heavy pack. The road climbed steadily. It was hard work walking up-hill. His muscles ached and the day was hot, but Nick felt happy. He felt he had left everything behind, the need for thinking, the need to write, other needs. It was all back of him. CONNECT
[Yesterday] may go down in history as The Day the Earth Smiled. Or, at least, that is what TED speaker Carolyn Porco is hoping. Today from 9:27 to 9:42 pm GMT, the Cassini spaceship — an unmanned ship studying Saturn — will be taking a photograph of Saturn and its ring system. And because of the angle of the photo, Earth will be photobombing it. CONNECT Drew and I were playing baseball ...
Mirror City is the latest video from photographer and filmmaker Michael Shainblum that takes time-lapse footage of Chicago, San Francisco, San Diego, Las Vegas and Los Angeles and runs it through a constantly shifting kaleidoscopic pattern of mirrors.
"The strength of a man’s virtue should not be measured by his special exertions but by his habitual acts.” Blaise Pascal
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"It is a very great mistake to imagine that the object of loyalty is the authority and interest of one individual man, however dignified by the applause or enriched by the success of popular actions."
Cold Maker, Winter, 1909
"Barring love I'll take my life in large doses alone--rivers, forests, fish, grouse, mountains. Dogs."
TAO TE CHING, Lao Tzu
The Lone Boat, North Woods Club, Adirondacks, 1892
Waterhouse, Boreas, 1903
WHITE HORSES Far out at sea / There are horses to ride, / Little white horses / That race with the tide. / Their tossing manes / Are the white sea-foam, / And the lashing winds / Are driving them home- / To shadowy stables / Fast they must flee, / To the great green caverns / Down under the sea. Irene Pawsey
"There are those who love to get dirty and fix things. They drink coffee at dawn, beer after work. And those who stay clean, just appreciate things. At breakfast they have milk and juice at night. There are those who do both, they drink tea.”
"Enlightenment is man's emergence from his self-imposed nonage. Nonage is the inability to use one's own understanding without another's guidance. This nonage is self-imposed if its cause lies not in lack of understanding but in indecision and lack of courage to use one's own mind without another's guidance. Dare to know! Sapere aude. 'Have the courage to use your own understanding,' is therefore the motto of the enlightenment."
"Sit down before fact as a little child, be prepared to give up every conceived notion, follow humbly wherever and whatever abysses nature leads, or you will learn nothing."
"Those who restrain desire do so because theirs is weak enough to be restrained."
"Whoever wants music instead of noise, joy instead of pleasure, soul instead of gold, creative work instead of business, passion instead of foolery, finds no home in this trivial world of ours."
"Certainly work is not always required of a man. There is such a thing as a sacred idleness, the cultivation of which is now fearfully neglected."
IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE
"You see George, you've really had a wonderful life. Don't you see what a mistake it would be to just throw it away?"
Spitzweg, The Bookworm, 1850
"Literature is the most agreeable way of ignoring life.” Fernando Pessoa
"Do I contradict myself? Very well then I contradict myself, (I am large, I contain multitudes)."
"Every normal man must be tempted, at times, to spit on his hands, hoist the black flag, and begin slitting throats. But this business, alas, is fatal to the placid moods and fine other-worldliness of the poet."
"I say let the world go to hell, but I should always have my tea."
"We all come from our own little planets. That's why we're all different. That's what makes life interesting."
"We're just dancing in the rain ..."
"If, then, I were asked for the most important advice I could give, that which I considered to be the most useful to the men of our century, I should simply say: in the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you."
"It is hard to go on living without some hope of encountering the extraordinary."
I'm reading ...
Unlikely General: "Mad" Anthony Wayne and the Battle for America
"I have stretched ropes from steeple to steeple; Garlands from window to window; Golden chains from star to star ... And I dance."
"When you do things from your soul, you feel a river moving in you, a joy.”