Wednesday, April 27, 2016

the wild life

in referring to the wild life, i speak of the latest great movie version of "the jungle book"!  this live-animated, animals-talking, swinging-from-the-trees-film is a winner in my book.  it caused me to go to the library and look up rudyard kipling's the jungle books which i noted is plural, all 381 pages.

this story is one that somehow escapes my childhood memories...we all have favorite stories from when we were little.  i loved the times when my parents would read to me AND then also tell me stories from their growing up years.  i had scads of books and even a golden book collection of the great classics ranging from swiss family robinson and black beauty to tom sawyer and little women.

i must say i'm having fun reading or re-reading many of these, as every book has its time; appreciating the depth of story lines as a grown-up.  (to put in a word for childhood intuition, i have to also say that books like alice in wonderland scared me as a wee person and, as an adult, frankly i still am not drawn to them.)

meanwhile, if you need me, i'll be sitting up in a tree house somewhere reading about the adventures of mowgli...


Sunday, April 24, 2016

when the roses speak

the latest local art exhibit is by oil painter nicole williford.  she combined her love for poetry with painting images of women in the community.  inspired by mary oliver's poem "when the roses speak, i pay attention" which i will type for you, she displayed portraits of five women she considers wise and beautiful, all posing with their eyes closed in prayer (how she says she has known and spent the most time with them). 

when the roses speak, i pay attention

"as long as we are able to be extravagant we will be
hugely and damply extravagant.  then we will drop foil
by foil to the ground.  this is our unalterable task, and we do it joyfully."

and they went on.  "listen, the heart-shackles are not,
as you think, death, illness, pain, unrequited hope, not
loneliness, but lassitude, rue, vainglory, fear, anxiety, selfishness."

their fragrance all the while rising from their blind bodies,
making me spin with joy.

--mary oliver

to learn more about nicole, you can visit her website at nicole williford.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

quote du jour

"you can't use up creativity.  the more you use, the more you have."

--maya angelou

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

astoria photo essay

"time to weave for each other a garment of brightness"


"there are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual--become *clairvoyant.  such are the moments of our greatest happiness.  such are the moments of our greatest wisdom.  it is the nature of all people to have these experiences, but in our time and under the conditions of our lives, it is only a rare few who are able to continue in the experience and find expression for it."

*literally translates from the french for clear (clair) seeing (voyant).

--robert henri

Sunday, April 3, 2016

tinker + think=thinkerer

just finished taking notes on ian leslie's book "curious:  the desire to know and why your future depends on it".

taking at first a broad look at how curiosity has been both encouraged and discouraged over historical trends, leslie discusses the difference between puzzles and mysteries as well as how children learn best and how adults can best utilize their minds to full potential.

brilliance is more than a lightning bolt of inspiration.  he outlines how both a deep and broad base of knowledge builds upon itself and is more likely to " a fertile source of the serendipitous collisions that lead to brilliant ideas...curiosity about life in all its aspects is still the secret of great creative people."

rather than looking at facts as separate bits of knowledge, they can be seen as a link in a larger chain of knowledge.  understanding how the brain works, he highlights how highly curious people who have carefully cultivated their long-term memories live in an augmented reality; everything they see is overlaid with additional layers of meaning and possibility unavailable to ordinary observers.

for example, fashion designer paul smith says, "i've got eyes that see.  i'll see something light next to something dark, or something smooth next to something rough, or tweed next to silk and that means something to me.  i can look at architecture and the proportions of doors and see pockets in the opening of a jacket.  or i can listen to music that is very calm but has a very bright bit and that can be a navy suit with a flowery shirt to me."

author henry james put it this way, "i live intensely and am fed by life and my value is my kind of expression of that.  art makes life, makes interest, makes importance."  he knew that some people were just better than others at making interest in and of the world and often told students, "try to be one of the people upon whom nothing is lost."

happy thinkering!