"I am not one who was born in the custody of wisdom. I am one who is fond of olden times and intense in quest of the sacred knowing of the ancients." Gustave Courbet

30 September 2016


Perhaps I want everything:
the darkness that comes with every infinite fall
and the shimmering blaze of every step up.

So many live on and want nothing,
and are raised to the rank of prince
by the slippery ease of their light judgments.

But what you love to see are faces
that do work and feel thirst.

You love most of all those who need you
as they need a crowbar or a hoe.

You have not grown old, and it is not too late
to dive into your increasing depths
where life calmly gives out its own secret.

Rainer Maria Rilke



"Ain't Gone 'n' Give Up on Love"



The sour smell,
       blue stain,
               water squirts out round the wedge,

Lifting quarters of rounds
       covered with ants,
      "a living glove of ants upon my hand"
the poll of the sledge a bit peened over
so the wedge springs off and tumbles
        ringing like high-pitched bells
               into the complex duff of twigs
               poison oak, bark, sawdust,
               shards of logs,

And the sweat drips down.
        Smell of crushed ants.
The lean and heave on the peavey
that breaks free the last of a bucked
        three-foot round,
                it lies flat on smashed oaklings—

Wedge and sledge, peavey and maul,
       little axe, canteen, piggyback can
       of saw-mix gas and oil for the chain,
knapsack of files and goggles and rags,

All to gather the dead and the down.
       the young men throw splits on the piles
       bodies hardening, learning the pace
and the smell of tools from this delve
       in the winter
             death-topple of elderly oak.

Four cords.

Gary Snyder

AC/DC, "Gone Shootin'"

Happy Friday!


Melanoma-head's comin' ...


Philosophers have long been interested in how we make sense of the world and how thinking goes wrong. Since some of the most interesting work on these topics in recent decades has been done in social psychology on cognitive biases, philosophers should at least be acquainted with some of that research—as some already are.

There’s now a new helpful introductory resource on cognitive biases, authored by Buster Benson. He has summarized and organized a bunch of biases in a very reader-friendly article, “Cognitive Bias Cheat Sheet.”



Three-fourths of philosophy and literature is the talk of people trying to convince themselves that they really like the cage they were tricked into entering.

Gary Snyder

Happy birthday, Die Zauberflöte.

Mozart's opera, Die Zauberflöte, premiered on this day in 1791.

The Vienna Philharmonic performs under the direction of Riccardo Muti ...


Gary Snyder ...



Man can be king
Seems to have everything
But it comes with a sting
When you were born to sing

Reason doesn't walk in
It's not done on a whim
Passion's everything
When you were born to sing

Feeling good
Singing the blues
It ain't easy
Keep on paying dues

When it gets to the part
Well let's not stop and start
Deep down in your heart
You know you were born to sing

When you came in
No original sin
You were a king
Because you were born to sing

Reason doesn't walk in
It's not done on a whim
Passion's everything
When you were born to sing

Lord, feeling good
Singing the blues
Keep on keeping on
Paying them dues

When it comes to the part
Well let's not stop and start
Deep down in your heart
Baby you were born to sing

When it gets to the part
When the band starts to swing
Then you know everything
'cause you were born to sing

When it gets to the part
When the band starts to swing
Then you know everything
'cause you were born to sing

Ivan Morrison 

Jorma Kaukonen, New Song (For the Morning)


Do not feel lonely, the entire universe is inside you.
Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.

Set your life on fire. Seek those who fan your flames.


Bach, Concerto in D minor, BWV 1052

Ksenija Sidorova performs with the Latvian Radio Big Band ...


To generalize is to be an idiot.

William Blake



"Too Late"

29 September 2016


You are not surprised at the force of the storm—
you have seen it growing.
The trees flee. Their flight
sets the boulevards streaming. And you know:
he whom they flee is the one
you move toward. All your senses
sing him, as you stand at the window.

The weeks stood still in summer.
The trees' blood rose. Now you feel
it wants to sink back
into the source of everything. You thought
you could trust that power
when you plucked the fruit:
now it becomes a riddle again
and you again a stranger.

Summer was like your house: you know
where each thing stood.
Now you must go out into your heart
as onto a vast plain. Now
the immense loneliness begins.

The days go numb, the wind
sucks the world from your senses like withered leaves.

Through the empty branches the sky remains.
It is what you have.
Be earth now, and evensong.
Be the ground lying under that sky.
Be modest now, like a thing
ripened until it is real,
so that he who began it all
can feel you when he reaches for you.

Rainer Maria Rilke


To sit alone in the lamplight with a book spread out before you, and hold intimate converse with men of unseen generations — such is a pleasure beyond compare.

Yoshida Kenko



When we came back to Paris it was clear and cold and lovely. The city had accommodated itself to winter, there was good wood for sale at the wood and coal place across our street, and there were braziers outside of many of the good cafes so that you could keep warm on the terraces. Our own apartment was warm and cheerful. We burned boulets which were moulded, egg-shaped lumps of coal dust, on the wood fire, and on the streets the winter light was beautiful. Now you were accustomed to see the bare trees against the sky and you walked on the fresh- washed gravel paths through the Luxembourg Gardens in the clear sharp wind. The trees were sculpture without their leaves when you were reconciled to them, and the winter winds blew across the surfaces of the ponds and the fountains blew in the bright light. All the distances were short now since we had been in the mountains. 

Because of the change in altitude I did not notice the grade of the hills except with pleasure, and the climb up to the top floor of the hotel where I worked, in a room that looked across all the roofs and the chimneys of the high hill of the quarter, was a pleasure. The fireplace drew well in the room and it was warm and pleasant to work. I brought mandarins and roasted chestnuts to the room in paper packets and peeled and ate the small tangerine-like oranges and threw their skins and spat their seeds in the fire when I ate them and the roasted chestnuts when I was hungry. I was always hungry with the walking and the cold and the working. Up in the room I had a bottle of kirsch that we had brought back from the mountains and I took a drink of kirsch when I would get towards the end of a story or towards the end of the day's work. When I was through working for the day I put away the notebook, or the paper, in the drawer of the table and put any mandarines that were left in my pocket. They would freeze if they were left in the room at night. 

It was wonderful to walk down the long flights of stairs knowing that I 'd had good luck working. I always worked until I had something done and I always stopped when I knew what was going to happen next. That way I could be sure of going on the next day.

But sometimes when I was starting a new story and I could not get it going, I would sit in front of the fire and squeeze the peel of the little oranges into the edge of the flame and watch the sputter of blue that they made. I would stand and look out over the roofs of Paris and think, 'Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now. All you have to do is write one true sentence. Write the truest sentence that you know.' So finally I would write one true sentence, and then go on from there. I t was easy then because there was always one true sentence that I knew or had seen or had heard someone say. If I started to write elaborately, or like someone introducing or presenting something, I found that I could cut that scrollwork or ornament out and throw it away and start with the first true simple declarative sentence I had written. Up in that room I decided that I would write one story about each thing that I knew about. I was trying to do this all the time I was writing, and it was good and severe discipline.

It was in that room too that I learned not to think about anything that I was writing from the time I stopped writing until I started again the next day. That way my subconscious would be working on it and at the same time I would be listening to other people and noticing everything, I hoped; learning, I hoped; and I would read so that I would not think about my work and make myself impotent to do it. Going down the stairs when I had worked well, and that needed luck as well as discipline, was a wonderful feeling and I was free then to walk anywhere in Paris ...

It was a pleasant café, warm and clean and friendly, and I hung up my old waterproof on the coat rack to dry and put my worn and weathered felt hat on the rack above the bench and ordered a café au lait.  The waiter brought it and I took out a notebook from the pocket of the coat and a pencil and started to write.  I was writing about up in Michigan and since it was a wild, cold, blowing day it was that sort of day in the story.  I had already seen the end of fall come through boyhood, youth and young manhood, and in one place you could write about it better than in another.  That was called transplanting yourself, I thought, and it could be as necessary with people as with other sorts of growing things.  But in the story the boys were drinking and this made me thirsty and I ordered rum St. James.  This tasted wonderful on the cold day and I kept on writing, feeling very well and feeling the good Martinique rum warm me all through my body and my spirit.

A girl came in the café and sat by herself at a table near the window.  She was very pretty with a face fresh as a newly minted coin if they minted coins in smooth flesh with rain-freshened skin, and her hair black as a crow’s wing and cut sharply and diagonally across her cheek.

I looked at her and she disturbed me and made me very excited.  I wished I could put her in the story, or anywhere, but she had placed herself so she could watch the street and the entry and I knew she was waiting for someone.  So I went on writing.
The story was writing itself and I was having a hard time keeping up with it.  I ordered another rum St. James and I watched the girl whenever I looked up, or when I sharpened the pencil with a pencil sharpener with the shavings curling into the saucer under my drink.

I’ve seen you, beauty, and you belong to me now, whoever you are waiting for and if I never see you again, I thought.  You belong to me and all Paris belongs to me and I belong to this notebook and this pencil.

Ernest Hemingway, from A Moveable Feast



Beware, O wanderer, the road is walking too,
said Rilke one day to no one in particular
as good poets address the six directions.
If you can't bow, you're dead meat. You'll break
like uncooked spaghetti. Listen to the gods.
They're shouting in your ear every second .

Jim Harrison

David Francey, "Long, Long Road"


Freedom begins between the ears.

Edward Abbey

Norman Blake, "Ginseng Sullivan"


Debussy, "La cathédrale engloutie"

Hélène Grimaud performs ...


Jethro Tull, "Heavy Horses"




"Thief in the Night"

Happy birthday, Boucher.

Boucher, Blond Odalisque (Portrait of Mademoiselle Louise O'Murphy), 1751

François Boucher was born on this day in 1703.

Thank you, Dr. Richardson.

Rameau, La Dauphine

Olivia Steimel performs ...



Come, pensive Autumn, with thy clouds and storms
And falling leaves and pastures lost to flowers;
A luscious charm hangs on thy faded forms,
More sweet than Summer in her loveliest hours,
Who in her blooming uniform of green
Delights with samely and continued joy:
But give me, Autumn, where thy hand hath been,
For there is wildness that can never cloy –
The russet hue of fields left bare, and all
The tints of leaves and blossoms ere they fall.
In thy dull days of clouds a pleasure comes,
Wild music softens in thy hollow winds;
And in thy fading woods a beauty blooms
That’s more than dear to melancholy minds.

John Clare

28 September 2016

Gordon Lightfoot, "Don Quixote"


Catch, then, oh catch the transient hour;
Improve each moment as it flies!
Life's a short summer, man a flower;
He dies — alas! how soon he dies!

Samuel Johnson

Led Zeppelin, "No Quarter"


Quiet friend who has come so far,
feel how your breathing makes more space around you.
Let this darkness be a bell tower
and you the bell. As you ring,

what batters you becomes your strength.
Move back and forth into the change.
What is it like, such intensity of pain?
If the drink is bitter, turn yourself to wine.

In this uncontainable night,
be the mystery at the crossroads of your senses,
the meaning discovered there.

And if the world has ceased to hear you,
say to the silent earth: I flow.
To the rushing water, speak: I am.

Rainer Maria Rilke

Olu Dara, "Your Lips"



As they were leaving the garden
one of the angels bent down to them and whispered

I am to give you this
as you are leaving the garden

I do not know what it is
or what it is for
what you will do with it

you will not be able to keep it
but you will not be able

to keep anything
yet they both reached at once

for the present
and when their hands met

they laughed

W.S. Merwin 


Dwelling on and blaming every day can take a physical and mental toll and eat up one's time.There is too much of this stuff along with other things in this world that are negative. This again is part of the problem (s) in this day and age. If it's on the internet in anyway, shape or form, it has to be true ... that's false ... but that is what "some are in to" today is.  Common sense says that some of this topic maybe correct, but more data has to be generated and discussed on topics "in open discussion," not, "If you don't believe me, you are against me," etc.!!!

At this point, hate and blaming DOES destroy good days and DOES give many people headaches and loss of sleep and this is TRUE, this we know, we must try to overcome or be above it, which is VERY, VERY hard to do!

These are some of my thoughts ... Dad.

Thanks, Dad.


Rackham, Rip Van Winkle, 1909

On entering the amphitheatre, new objects of wonder presented themselves. On a level spot in the centre was a company of odd–looking personages playing at ninepins. They were dressed in quaint outlandish fashion; some wore short doublets, others jerkins, with long knives in their belts, and most of them had enormous breeches, of similar style with that of the guide's. Their visages, too, were peculiar; one had a large head, broad face, and small piggish eyes; the face of another seemed to consist entirely of nose, and was surmounted by a white sugar–loaf hat, set off with a little red cock's tail. They all had beards, of various shapes and colors. There was one who seemed to be the commander. He was a stout old gentleman, with a weather–beaten countenance; he wore a laced doublet, broad belt and hanger, high–crowned hat and feather, red stockings, and high–heeled shoes, with roses in them. The whole group reminded Rip of the figures in an old Flemish painting, in the parlor of Dominie Van Schaick, the village parson, and which had been brought over from Holland at the time of the settlement.

What seemed particularly odd to Rip was, that though these folks were evidently amusing themselves, yet they maintained the gravest faces, the most mysterious silence, and were, withal, the most melancholy party of pleasure he had ever witnessed. Nothing interrupted the stillness of the scene but the noise of the balls, which, whenever they were rolled, echoed along the mountains like rumbling peals of thunder.

As Rip and his companion approached them, they suddenly desisted from their play, and stared at him with such a fixed statue–like gaze, and such strange uncouth, lack–lustre countenances, that his heart turned within him, and his knees smote together. His companion now emptied the contents of the keg into large flagons, and made signs to him to wait upon the company. He obeyed with fear and trembling; they quaffed the liquor in profound silence, and then returned to their game.

By degrees, Rip's awe and apprehension subsided. He even ventured, when no eye was fixed upon him, to taste the beverage which he found had much of the flavor of excellent Hollands. He was naturally a thirsty soul, and was soon tempted to repeat the draught. One taste provoked another; and he reiterated his visits to the flagon so often, that at length his senses were overpowered, his eyes swam in his head, his head gradually declined, and he fell into a deep sleep.

On waking, he found himself on the green knoll whence he had first seen the old man of the glen. He rubbed his eyes—it was a bright sunny morning. The birds were hopping and twittering among the bushes, and the eagle was wheeling aloft, and breasting the pure mountain breeze. "Surely," thought Rip, "I have not slept here all night." He recalled the occurrences before he fell asleep. The strange man with the keg of liquor—the mountain ravine—the wild retreat among the rocks—the woe–begone party at ninepins—the flagon—"Oh! that flagon! that wicked flagon!" thought Rip—"what excuse shall I make to Dame Van Winkle?"

He looked round for his gun, but in place of the clean well–oiled fowling–piece, he found an old firelock lying by him, the barrel encrusted with rust, the lock falling off, and the stock worm–eaten. He now suspected that the grave roysterers of the mountains had put a trick upon him, and, having dosed him with liquor, had robbed him of his gun. Wolf, too, had disappeared, but he might have strayed away after a squirrel or partridge. He whistled after him and shouted his name, but all in vain; the echoes repeated his whistle and shout, but no dog was to be seen.

Washington Irving, from Rip Van Winkle


Jordi Savall leads Hespèrion XXI in a program of European music from the time of Caravaggio, Lachrimae Caravaggio ...


Kertész, A Bistro in the Quartier Latin, Paris, 1927

Not to find one's way around a city does not mean much. But to lose one's way in a city, as one loses one's way in a forest, requires some schooling. Street names must speak to the urban wanderer like the snapping of dry twigs, and little streets in the heart of the city must reflect the times of day, for him, as clearly as a mountain valley. This art I acquired rather late in life; it fulfilled a dream, of which the first traces were labyrinths on the blotting papers in my school notebooks.

Walter Benjamin

Vivaldi, In exitu Israel, RV 604

Schola Pietatis Antonio Vivaldi performs ...

27 September 2016

Peter Rowan, "Dharma Blues"



Gary Snyder talks about process ...


It doesn’t work to try to write about sex, doom, death, time, and the cosmos when you’re thinking about a massive plate of spaghetti and meatballs.

Jim Harrison


Constable, Ploughing Scene, 1825


This Sycamore, oft musical with bees,— 
Such tents the Patriarchs loved! O long unharmed 
May all its agèd boughs o'er-canopy 
The small round basin, which this jutting stone 
Keeps pure from falling leaves! Long may the Spring, 
Quietly as a sleeping infant's breath, 
Send up cold waters to the traveller 
With soft and even pulse! Nor ever cease 
Yon tiny cone of sand its soundless dance, 
Which at the bottom, like a Fairy's Page, 
As merry and no taller, dances still, 
Nor wrinkles the smooth surface of the Fount. 
Here Twilight is and Coolness: here is moss, 
A soft seat, and a deep and ample shade. 
Thou may'st toil far and find no second tree. 
Drink, Pilgrim, here; Here rest! and if thy heart 
Be innocent, here too shalt thou refresh 
Thy spirit, listening to some gentle sound, 
Or passing gale or hum of murmuring bees!

Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Debussy, Syrinx, L. 129

Emmanuel Pahud performs ...


There is no telling," said he, "what treasures are hid in that glorious old pile. It is a famous place for antiquarian plunder; there are such rich bits of old time sculpture for the architect, and old time story for the poet. There is as rare picking in it as a Stilton cheese, and in the same taste -- the mouldier the better.”

Washington Irving, Abbotsford and Newstead Abbey


In the beginning the Earth was infinite and murky plain, separated from the sky and from the grey salt sea and smothered in a shadowy twilight. There were neither Sun nor Moon nor Stars. Yet, far away, lived the Sky-Dwellers: youthfully indifferent beings, human in form but with the feet of emus, their golden hair glittering like spiders' webs in the sunset, ageless and unageing, having existed for ever in their green, well-watered Paradise beyond the Western Clouds.

On the surface of the Earth, the only features were certain hollows which would, one day, be waterholes. There were no animals and no plants, yet clustered round the waterholes there were pulpy masses of matter: lumps of primordial soup - soundless, sightless, unbreathing, unawake and unsleeping - each containing the essence of life, or the possibility of becoming human.

Beneath the Earth's crust, however, the constellations glimmered, the Sun shone, the Moon waxed and waned, and all the forms of life lay sleeping: the scarlet of a desert-pea, the iridescence on a butterfly's wing, the twitching white whiskers of Old Man Kangaroo - dormant as seeds in the desert that must wait for a wandering shower.

On the first morning of the First Day, the Sun felt the urge to be born. (That evening the Stars and Moon would follow). The Sun burst through the surface, flooding the land with golden light, warming the hollows under which each Ancestor lay sleeping.

Unlike the Sky-dwellers, these Ancients had never been young. They were lame, exhausted greybeards with knotted limbs, and they had slept in isolation through the ages.

So it was, on this First Morning, that each drowsing Ancestor felt the Sun's warmth pressing on his eyelids, and felt his body giving birth to children. The Snake Man felt snakes slithering out of his navel. The Cockatoo Man felt feathers. The Witchetty Grub Man felt a wriggling, the Honey-ant a tickling, the Honeysuckle felt his leaves and flowers unfurling. The Bandicoot Man felt baby bandicoots seething from under his armpits. Every one of the 'living things,' each at its own separate birthplace, reached up for the light of day.

In the bottom of their hollows (now filling up with water), the Ancients shifted one leg, then another leg. They shook their shoulders and flexed their arms. They heaved their bodies upward through the mud. Their eyelids cracked open. They saw their children at play in the sunshine.

The mud fell from their thighs, like placenta from a baby. Then, like the baby's first cry, each Ancestor opened his mouth and called out 'I AM!' 'I am - Snake... Cockatoo... Honey-ant... Honeysuckle... And this first 'I am!', this primordial act of naming, was held, then and forever after, as the most secret and sacred couplet of the Ancestor's song.

Each of the Ancients (now basking in the sunlight) put his left foot forward and called out a second name. He put his right foot forward and called out a third name. He named the waterhole, the reedbeds, the gum trees - calling to right and left, calling all things into being and weaving their names into verses.

The Ancients sang their way all over the world. They sang the rivers and ranges, salt-pans and sand dunes. They hunted, ate, made love, danced, killed: wherever their tracks led they left a trail of music.

They wrapped the whole world in a web of song; and at last, when the Earth was sung, they felt tired. Again in their limbs they felt the frozen immobility of Ages. Some sank into the ground where they stood. Some crawled into caves. Some crept away to their 'Eternal Homes,' to the ancestral waterholes that bore them.

All of them went 'back in.'

Bruce Chatwin, from The Songlines 


ParkeHarrison, Precipice, First of May, 2015

It sounds simple, I know. But it’s not. Listen, there are a million worlds you could make for yourself. Everyone you know has a completely different one — the woman in 5G, that cab driver over there, you. Sure, there are overlaps, but only in the details. Some people make their worlds around what they think reality is like. They convince themselves that they had nothing to do with their worlds’ creations or continuations. Some make their worlds without knowing it. Their universes are just sesame seeds and three-day weekends and dial tones and skinned knees and physics and driftwood and emerald earrings and books dropped in bathtubs and holes in guitars and plastic and empathy and hardwood and heavy water and high black stockings and the history of the Vikings and brass and obsolescence and burnt hair and collapsed soufflés and the impossibility of not falling in love in an art museum with the person standing next to you looking at the same painting and all the other things that just happen and are. But you want to make for yourself a world that is deliberately and meticulously personalized. A theater for your life, if I could put it like that. Don’t live an accident. Don’t call a knife a knife. Live a life that has never been lived before, in which everything you experience is yours and only yours. Make accidents on purpose. Call a knife a name by which only you will recognize it. Now I’m not a very smart man, but I’m not a dumb one, either. So listen: If you can manage what I’ve told you, as I was never able to, you will give your life meaning.

Jonathon Safran Foer



"Prairie Wind"


Everything was possessed of personality, only differing from us in form. Knowledge was inherent in all things. The world was a library and its books were the stones, leaves, grass, brooks, and the birds and animals that shared, alike with us, the storms and blessings of earth. We learned to do what only the student of nature learns, and that was to feel beauty. We never railed at the storms, the furious winds, and the biting frosts and snows. To do so intensified human futility, so whatever came we adjusted ourselves, by more effort and energy if necessary, but without complaint.

Luther Standing Bear

Happy birthday, Adams.

Copley, Samuel Adams, 1772

Samuel Adams was born on this day in 1722.

It does not take a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority, keen on setting brushfires of freedom in the minds of men.

Samuel Adams

26 September 2016

Darrell Scott, "Lone Pine"



A map of the world. Not the one in the atlas,
but the one in our heads, the one we keep coloring in.
With the blue thread of the river by which we grew up.
The green smear of the woods we first made love in.
The yellow city we thought was our future.
The red highways not traveled, the green ones
with their missed exits, the black side roads
which took us where we had not meant to go.
The high peaks, recorded by relatives,
though we prefer certain unmarked elevations,
the private alps no one knows we have climbed.
The careful boundaries we draw and erase.
And always, around the edges,
the opaque wash of blue, concealing
the drop-off they have stepped into before us,
singly, mapless, not looking back.

The illusion of progress. Imagine our lives without it:
tape measures rolled back, yardsticks chopped off.
Wheels turning but going nowhere.
Paintings flat, with no vanishing point.
The plots of all novels circular;
page numbers reversing themselves past the middle.
The mountaintop no longer a goal,
merely the point between ascent and descent.
All streets looping back on themselves;
life as a beckoning road an absurd idea.
Our children refusing to grow out of their childhoods;
the years refusing to drag themselves
toward the new century.
And hope, the puppy that bounds ahead,
no longer a household animal.

Answers to questions, an endless supply.
New ones that startle, old ones that reassure us.
All of them wrong perhaps, but for the moment
solutions, like kisses or surgery.
Rising inflections countered by level voices,
words beginning with w hushed
by declarative sentences. The small, bold sphere
of the period chasing after the hook,
the doubter that walks on water
and treads air and refuses to go away.

Evidence that we matter. The crash of the plane
which, at the last moment, we did not take.
The involuntary turn of the head,
which caused the bullet to miss us.
The obscene caller who wakes us at midnight
to the smell of gas. The moon's
full blessing when we fell in love,
its black mood when it was all over.
Confirm us, we say to the world,
with your weather, your gifts, your warnings,
your ringing telephones, your long, bleak silences.

Even now, the old things first things,
which taught us language. Things of day and of night.
Irrational lightning, fickle clouds, the incorruptible moon.
Fire as revolution, grass as the heir
to all revolutions. Snow
as the alphabet of the dead, subtle, undeciphered.
The river as what we wish it to be.
Trees in their humanness, animals in their otherness.
Summits. Chasms. Clearings.
And stars, which gave us the word distance,

so we could name our deepest sadness.

Lisel Mueller 

Wynton Marsalis & The Lincoln Center Jazz Orchestra, "Perdido"



When my stuff is done it always disappoints me — never quite presenting the fulness of the picture I have in mind — but since a crude fixation of the image is better than nothing, I plug along & do the feeble best I can.

H.P. Lovecraft



"Under A Stormy Sky"


Howard, A Cirrocumulus Cloud Study, 1811

The clouds in many 19th-century European paintings look drastically different than those in the 18th century. There are layers to their texture, with whisps of cirrus clouds flying over billowing cumulus, and stratus hovering low. Clouds weren’t classified by type until 1802, and their subsequent study influenced artists from John Constable to J. M. W. Turner.

Luke Howard, a pharmacist by profession and an amateur cloud enthusiast, was born in London in 1772. By 1802, when he presented his Essay on the Modification of Clouds to the Askesian Society, he’d spent years monitoring the skies over his home city, and sketching their changing shapes to record their patterns. 


Degas, Sky Study, 1869


The frolicksome wind through the trees and the bushes
Keeps sueing and sobbing and waiving all day
Frighting magpies from trees and from white thorns the thrushes
And waving the river in wrinkles and spray
The unresting wind is a frolicksome thing
O'er hedges in floods and green fields of the spring.

It plays in the smoke of the chimney at morn
Curling this way and that i' the morns dewy light
It curls from the twitch heap among the green corn
Like the smoke from the cannon i' the' midst of a fight
But report there is none to create any alarm
From the smoke an old ground full hiding meadow & farm.

How sweet curls the smoke oer the green o' the field
How majestic it rolls o'er the face o' the grass
And from the low cottage the elm timbers shield
In the calm o' the evening how sweet the curls pass
I' the sunset how sweet to behold the cot smoke
From the low red brick chimney beneath the dark oak.

How sweet the wind wispers o' midsummers eves
And fans the winged elder leaves o'er the old pales
While the cottage smoke o'er them a bright pillar leaves
Rising up and turns clouds by the strength of the gales
O' sweet is the cot neath its colums of smoke
While dewy eve brings home the labouring folk. 

John Clare 

Scriabin, The Poem of Ecstacy, Op. 54

Performed by the Philharmonia Orchestra, conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen ...


Keep reminding me ...

25 September 2016



I can speak these words and perhaps you can see these things clearly because you are using your imagination. But I cannot imagine these things because I lived them, and to remember them with the vividness I know they should have is impossible. They are lost to me.

Robert Olen Butler

Beethoven, Symphony No.4 in B flat, Op.60

Barenboim and the West-Eastern Divan Orchestra getting work done ...


Houghton, Blue Coast, undated

I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe