"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

31 August 2018

Asleep at the Wheel, "Roly Poly


Cindy Cashdollar, steel ...


Chatham, Cast, n/d

Studying texts and stiff meditation can make you lose your Original Mind.
A solitary tune by a fisherman, though, can be an invaluable treasure.
Dusk rain on the river, the moon peeking in and out of the clouds;
Elegant beyond words, he chants his songs night after night.


It's sandwich time.

30 August 2018

Elton John, "Burn Down the Mission"



Philip Pullman on the inspiration of Oxford, hidden alleyways, and Nicholas Hawksmoor, the Architect of the Imagination ...


Francis Terry reflects on sketching with his father, Quinlan ...

For me this is the point of sketching. It forces you to go slowly and see things which take time to notice. So my advice to the students of Notre Dame is to buy a hard backed sketch book with good paper and go to some old and obscure European town. You could choose the florid baroque of Southern Germany or perhaps the Moorish work of Andalucia and come home with your sketch books filled with work by unknown architects. Make sure you find time to track down the best restaurants and always remember to buy your ink on arrival.


Poco, "Rose of Cimarron"


Every society seems to use stories for the education of the heart.  Each story is a store of ripened knowledge in the oldest barns of human culture.  Myths, ripened in October, are the apples of the mind, carefully laid out to preserve their meanings.  In the soft darkness of the strorehouses, close your ordinary eyes to the ordinary world and open your extraordinary eyes to the extraordinary world, best illuminated by the grandparent voice in the autumn years telling tales in the dark, the dark of the evening and the fertile dark of the mind.  These, in potent story-warmth, the subconscious breathes in the texture, significance, and meaning of the story like quietness steeped in the smell of apples.

Jay Griffiths, from Kith: The Riddle of the Childscape



I believe the earth
exists, and
in each minim mote
of its dust the holy
glow of thy candle.
unknown I know,
thou spirit,
lover of making, of the
wrought letter,
wrought flower,
iron, deed, dream.
Dust of the earth,
help thou my
unbelief. Drift
gray become gold, in the beam of
vision. I believe with
doubt. I doubt and
interrupt my doubt with belief. Be,
beloved, threatened world.
Each minim
Not the poisonous
luminescence forced
out of its privacy,
The sacred lock of its cell
broken. No,
the ordinary glow
of common dust in ancient sunlight.
Be, that I may believe. Amen.

Denise Levertov


29 August 2018


An excellent album ...


van Gogh, Wheat Field in the Rain, 1889

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!




Every day, priests minutely examine the Law
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.


Happy birthday, Ingres.

Ingres, Louis-Francois Bertin, 1832

Jean-August-Dominique Ingres was born on this day in 1780.

As long as you do not hold a balance between your seeing of things and your execution, you will do nothing that is really good.

Jean-August-Dominique Ingres


26 August 2018


Mix 4 parts Ginger Pear Butter with 1 part Mount Gay rum for a glaze on grilled pork loin.

'Tis (nearly) the season ... CONNECT


Stuck, The Guardian of Paradise, 1889

... makes being here worthwhile.

Cultural Offering provides an excellent reminder from Sir Roger, as well as a piece of Mozart's that, for my money, is the most beautiful music ever written ... HERE.

Thank you, Kurt.


... with due expediency, Sir?



O Thou whose face hath felt the Winter’s wind,
Whose eye has seen the snow-clouds hung in mist,
And the black elm tops ’mong the freezing stars,
To thee the spring will be a harvest-time.
O thou, whose only book has been the light
Of supreme darkness which thou feddest on
Night after night when Phœbus was away,
To thee the Spring shall be a triple morn.
O fret not after knowledge—I have none,
And yet my song comes native with the warmth.
O fret not after knowledge—I have none,
And yet the Evening listens. He who saddens
At the thought of idleness cannot be idle,
And he’s awake who thinks himself asleep.

John Keats


Goldsworthy,  Sugar Maple Leaves, 1987

In the great circle, dancing in
and out of time, you move now
toward your partners, answering
the music suddenly audible to you
that only carried you before
and will carry you again.
When you meet the destined ones
now dancing toward you,
out of your awareness for the time,
we whom you know, others we remember
whom you do not remember, others
forgotten by us all.
When you meet, and hold love
in your arms, regardless of all,
the unknown will dance away from you
toward the horizon of light.
Our names will flutter
on these hills like little fires.

Wendell Berry

Bach, Unaccompanied Cello Suite No. 1 in G major, BWV 1007

Mischa Maisky performs the Sarabande ...

25 August 2018

David Byrne, "What a Day That Was"


An excellent album ...

John McCain, R.I,P.

Senator John McCain has passed.

We are citizens of a republic made of shared ideals forged in a new world to replace the tribal enmities that tormented the old one. Even in times of political turmoil such as these, we share that awesome heritage and the responsibility to embrace it. Whether we think each other right or wrong in our views on the issues of the day, we owe each other our respect, as long as our character merits respect, and as long as we share, for all our differences, for all the rancorous debates that enliven and sometimes demean our politics, a mutual devotion to the ideals our nation was conceived to uphold, that all are created equal, and liberty and equal justice are the natural rights of all. Those rights inhabit the human heart, and from there, though they may be assailed, they can never be wrenched. I want to urge Americans, for as long as I can, to remember that this shared devotion to human rights is our truest heritage and our most important loyalty.

24 August 2018


Technique is the proof of your seriousness.

Wallace Stevens

Waylon Jennings, "Never Could Toe the Mark"



Released today, in 1981 ...


While I have the gravest doubts about the durability of any of my writing, few can beat me at the graceful dance of knife, fork, and spoon across the plate or the capacity to make a pickle last as long as sandwich.

Jim Harrison


In 1977, sculptor David Nash cleared an area of land near his home in Wales where he trained a circle of 22 ash trees to grow in a vortex-like shape for an artwork titled Ash Dome. Almost 40 years later, the trees still grow today.  



23 August 2018

UFO, "Let It Roll"


The way you eat bespeaks your entire attitude toward life.

Jim Harrison


Nice hat ...

Willie Nelson, "Little Old Fashioned Karma"

If you're gonna dance you gotta pay the band ...


From a 1980 Washington Post article ...
Writer Jim Harrison, 42, newly successful, and wintering in Palm Beach, still was quite ready for a sudden return to the honky-tonk of Key West. He was looking for the old bad flash . . . walking home drunk on certain dark new moon spring nights when the music mixes with the smell of flowers and garbage and you get the feeling that the very next second might be the most important of your life. The lesson he'd learned over 12 years of fishing and carousing there was that the shrimper with the knife on Caroline Street and the mystery lady with the loose dark hair turning north off Southard can either kill you or cure you. Neither one will just pass by.

Harrison, whose new collection of novellas, "Legends of the Fall," has been hailed as work that might save traditional American outdoor toughness from the Hemingway blight of sentimentality, made the trip down in a Porsche Turbo 928. At the wheel was another Key West alumnus, Jimmy Buffett, the singer who turned the island into Margaritaville and then moved to Aspen. The Rolling Stones were on the tape deck and between them was plenty of drink and appetizers. They were telling stories about the old days and averaging 80 miles an hour on the Florida Turnpike. Word of their coming was out around the Chart Room and the Full Moon Saloon and the old friends were gathering.

These included Dink Bruce, son of Toby Bruce -- Hemingway's caretaker, factotum and drinking buddy from the '30s -- crusty old charterboat captain Bob Hall, who's in charge of Harrison's new $20,000 sportfisherman Revenge (named after the most violent of the novellas, which paid for it), an interchangeable flock of slinky dark barmaids, a knifemaker from northern Michigan where Harrison owns a small farm, various journalists, editors and publishers eager to make contact with this pair of living legends.

Nobody was disappointed. By 1 a.m., Harrison and Buffett, man and minstrel, were buying drinks fro everyone at two big tables in the Full Moon Saloon. The Porsche was sitting outside cooling off, but they were picking up speed. You understand that the Full Moon Saloon is the plastic unassuming roadhouse kind of place that tourists and the New York set now taking over Key West can't stand. If one walked in now, he'd se a raucous cluster of riffraff presided over by a short, powerful gat-toothed man with a Pancho Villa mustache, wandering walleye, and Apache chief facial structure. pThe tourist would do a quick U-turn, pretending to have forgotten something, never knowing how close he'd come to rubbing shoulders with a man that even the staid London Sunday Times allows has "immortality in him." And he probably wouldn't care . . . because Harrison's particular immoral qualities can be as violent, romantic and beyond the constraints of 9-to-5 civilization as a wicked two-day binge.

Jim Harrison sat there spinning tales at the Full Moon, unconnected stories joined together by a run of beer bottles and long-lost buddies: The time he caught a striped marlin on a fly rod in the Humboldt Current off Peru; why he loves hyenas and hates Erica Jong; the time his partner in Key West marginalia, novelist Tom McGuane, got hold of a Dupont Blaster's Manual and developed an exploding softball; the agony (including projectile vomiting and two days in a hot bath) of getting truly groined; and, he claims, the night he watched Bruce Jay Friedman throw Norman Mailer over a taxicab outside Elaine's. He and Buffett have interlocking riffs, like jazz musicians, looking at one another to signal takeover. Key West Sonata. On past closing time, into other locales, past sunrise, and Harrison found himself out in the street with a little bit of what he'd come for ...


Uncle Ted, "Just What the Doctor Ordered"


And as she lookt about, she did behold
How over that same dore was likewise writ,
Be bold, be bold, and every where Be bold,
That much she muz'd, yet could not construe it
By any ridling skill, or commune wit.
At last she spyde at that roomes upper end,
Another yron dore, on which was writ,
Be not too bold; whereto though she did bend
Her earnest mind, yet wist not what it might intend.

Edmund Spenser, from The Faerie Queen


Strauss, Serenade for Winds in E-flat major, Op. 7

The Czech Philharmonic Orchestra performs, Ondřej Vrabec, conductor ...

It's sandwich time.


An excellent album ...


An excellent book ...


There are galaxies within the human mind, and madness wants to risk everything for the daring flight, reckless and beautiful and crazed.

Jay Griffiths

22 August 2018


Goldsworthy, Balanced Rocks, Morecombe Bay, Lancashire, 1978


Not knowing the way to the Temple of Heaped Fragrance,
Under miles of mountain-cloud I have wandered
Through ancient woods without a human track;
But now on the height I hear a bell.
A rillet sings over winding rocks,
The sun is tempered by green pines ...
And at twilight, close to an emptying pool,
Thought can conquer the Passion-Dragon.

Wang Wei


Corot, The Pond of Ville d'Avray, 1870

Do stuff. Be clenched, curious. Not waiting for inspiration's shove or society's kiss on your forehead. Pay attention. It's all about paying attention. It's all about taking in as much of what's out there as you can, and not letting the excuses and the dreariness of some of the obligations you'll soon be incurring narrow your lives. Attention is vitality. It connects you with others. It makes you eager. Stay eager.

Susan Sontag

Frank Sinatra, "Until The Real Thing Comes Along"


Alfred Brendel, one of the greatest pianists of the 20th century, is also a great writer. You can often detect a good-natured smirk behind his words, but right there with it is a genuinely humane seriousness. His writing, always engaging, strikes a balance between solemn reflection and undeniable wit. A perfect example of this balance can be found in his 1985 essay “A Mozart Player Gives Himself Advice,” in which Brendel urges the reader to reject the idea of Mozart as sugar sweet and precious. He writes that “the cute Mozart, the perfumed Mozart, the permanently ecstatic Mozart, the ‘touch-me-not’ Mozart, the sentimentally bloated Mozart must all be avoided.” Brendel doesn’t dawdle in getting to the point, and when he does, the point is sharp.

Now retired from the concert stage, Brendel, 87, has written extensively throughout his life on his approach to interpretation and performance for publications such as The New York Review of Books and The Musical Times. He’s also published many books on music, most notably Musical Thoughts and Afterthoughts and Music Sounded Out. The essays and lectures of each of those books (plus several previously uncollected works) are gathered in Music, Sense, and Nonsense: Collected Essays and Lectures, now being released in paperback.


I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.

Jorge Luis Borges

Happy birthday, Debussy.

Claude Debussy was born on this day in 1862.

Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.

Claude Debussy

Emmanuel Pahud performs "Syrinx" ...


Like the water
of a deep stream,
love is always too much.
We did not make it.
Though we drink till we burst,
we cannot have it all,
or want it all.
In its abundance
it survives our thirst.
In the evening we come down to the shore
to drink our fill,
and sleep,
while it flows
through the regions of the dark.
It does not hold us,
except we keep returning to its rich waters
We enter,
willing to die,
into the commonwealth of its joy.

Wendell Berry

The Maccabees, "Feel to Follow"

21 August 2018

Jackson Browne, "Bright Baby Blues"

No matter where I am
I can't help thinking
I'm just a day away
From where I want to be
Now I'm running home baby
Like a river to the sea

Nice backing band.


PAN with US

Pan came out of the woods one day,--
His skin and his hair and his eyes were gray,
The gray of the moss of walls were they,--
And stood in the sun and looked his fill
At wooded valley and wooded hill.

He stood in the zephyr, pipes in hand,
On a height of naked pasture land;
In all the country he did command
He saw no smoke and he saw no roof.
That was well! and he stamped a hoof.

His heart knew peace, for none came here
To this lean feeding save once a year
Someone to salt the half-wild steer,
Or homespun children with clicking pails
Who see so little they tell no tales.

He tossed his pipes, too hard to teach
A new-world song, far out of reach,
For sylvan sign that the blue jay's screech
And the whimper of hawks beside the sun
Were music enough for him, for one.

Times were changed from what they were:
Such pipes kept less of power to stir
The fruited bough of the juniper
And the fragile bluets clustered there
Than the merest aimless breath of air.

They were pipes of pagan mirth,
And the world had found new terms of worth.
He laid him down on the sun-burned earth
And raveled a flower and looked away--
Play? Play?--What should he play?

Robert Frost