Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Maria Schneider Jazz Orchestra

Maria Schneider is from Windom, Mn.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Shards of a Shattered Vessel

dreamland by roberto lorenzoni
Our purpose in life is spiritual transformation, and every encounter with a stranger is an opportunity to draw closer to that purpose. Every human being is a universe, and, like all universes, every person is still in the process of creation. When we come into someone's life, we enter an alternate world, and by entering it we change it. This is much more than just a philosophical concept or the premise for a science fiction novel. Right now, there are almost certainly hundreds of people within a few miles of you, and more likely there are thousands. Most of these people have no idea that you exist, yet each of them comprises an entire universe, just as you do. Each of them carries all of creation in their hearts and minds. When you cross paths with a stranger, a dimension comes into being, one in which both of you reside. Every interaction with a new person is an opportunity to transform both your life and theirs. This is an immense opportunity, if only we choose to recognize and take advantage of it. Every encounter with a stranger is a chance to start over.

~ Rav P.S. Berg, The Essential Zohar

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Travel by thought

Love by Naomi Skarzinski
Shakespeare, Sonnet XLIV

If the dull substance of my flesh were thought,
Injurious distance should not stop my way;
For then, despite of space, I would be brought
From limits far remote, where thou dost stay.
No matter then although my foot did stand
Upon the farthest earth removed from thee;
For nimble thought can jump both sea and land,
As soon as think the place where he would be.
But, ah, thought kills me that I am not thought
To leap large lengths of miles when thou art gone,
But that so much of earth and water wrought,
I must attend time's leisure with my moan.
Receiving naught by elements so slow,
But heavy tears, badges of either's woe.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Height and depth perception

Man by Michelangelo
Modern man has penetrated the self and found much that is shocking and unspeakably dark. By a Freud, a Niebuhr, a Heidegger, the viper within man has been widely heralded. But this, for all its professed depth, has been too shallow.

For deeper still, in and not just below all in man that needs healing and redeeming, are the remnants and rudiments of glory. As one uncovers that level he recognizes not one but two; not just his depths but his heights, not just himself but God.

~ Truman G. Madsen, Eternal Man

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Ophelia by Sir John Everett Millais

Helen Morton of the Three Bugs Fringe Theatre company performs Ophelia drowning during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival at the Apex Hotel swimming pool on August 11, 2009 in Edinburgh, Scotland. The play is inspired by Sir John Everett Millais' 1852 painting (top) entitled 'Ophelia', depicting the character from Shakespeare's play 'Hamlet'.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

At One O'clock in the Morning

heart of darkness by Paul Grand
Alone, at last! Not a sound to be heard but the rumbling of some belated and decrepit cabs. For a few hours we shall have silence, if not repose. At last the tyranny of the human face has disappeared, and I myself shall be the only cause of my sufferings. At last, then, I am allowed to refresh myself in a bath of darkness! First of all, a double turn of the lock. It seems to me that this twist of the key will increase my solitude and fortify the barricades which at this instant separate me from the world. Horrible life! Horrible town!

~ Charles Baudelaire

Monday, August 10, 2009

Prayers for Daily Living

Iguazu Falls National Park, Argentina by Javier Etcheverry
Great Spirit,
Whose voice
I hear in the wind;
Whose breath gives
life to the world.
Hear me.

I come to you as one of
your many children.
I am small and weak;
I need your strength and wisdom.
May I walk in your beauty?

(Thanks Clint)

Saturday, August 8, 2009

The Fault of It

Agua Through the Archway by Dave Wilson
Some may have blamed us that we cease to speak
Of things we spoke of in our verses early,
Saying: a lovely voice is such as such;
Saying: that lady's eyes were sad last week,
Wherein the world's whole joy is born and dies;
Saying: she hath this way or that, this much
Of grace, this way or that, this much
Of grace, this little misericorde;
Ask us no further word;
If we were proud, then proud to be so wise
Ask us no more of all the things ye heard;
We may not speak of them, they touch us nearly.

~ Ezra Pound

Friday, August 7, 2009

Nathanael West, 1903-1940

But the gray sky looked as if it had been rubbed with a soiled eraser. It held no angels, flaming crosses, olive-bearing doves, wheels within wheels. Only a newspaper struggled in the air like a kite with a broken spine.


He sat in the window thinking. Man has a tropism for order. Keys in one pocket, change in another. Mandolins are tuned G D A E. The physical world has a tropism for disorder, entropy. Man against Nature … the battle of the centuries. Keys yearn to mix with change. Mandolins strive to get out of tune. Every order has within it the germ of destruction. All order is doomed, yet the battle is worth while.

Nathanael West, Miss Lonelyhearts

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Bill Evans

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The sweet, sad years, the melancholy years

Leave the Light On, Gage Opdenbrouw
I thought once how Theocritus had sung
Of the sweet years, the dear and wish'd-for years,
Who each one in a gracious hand appears
To bear a gift for mortals, old or young:
And, as I mused it in his antique tongue,
I saw, in gradual vision through my tears
The sweet, sad years, the melancholy years -
Those of my own life, who by turns had flung
A shadow across me. Straightway I was 'ware,
So weeping, how a mystic Shape did move
Behind me, and drew me backward by the hair;
And a voice said in mastery, while I strove,
'Guess now who holds thee!' - 'Death,' I said. But there
The silver answer rang, 'Not Death, but Love.'

~ Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Sonnets from the Portuguese

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The Vanity of words

Music of the Spheres by Elisha Miller
"Noise has one advantage. It drowns out words." And suddenly he realized that all his life he had done nothing but talk, write, lecture, connect sentences, search for formulations and amend them, so in the end no words were precise, their meanings were obliterated, their content lost, they turned into trash, chaff, dust, sand; prowling through his brain, tearing at his head, they were his insomnia, his illness. And what he yearned for at that moment, vaguely with all his might, was unbounded music, absolute sound, a pleasant and happy all-encompassing, over-powering, window-rattling din to engulf, once and for all, the pain, the futility, the vanity of words. Music was the negation of sentences, music was the anti-word! And lulled by that blissful imaginary uproar, he fell asleep.

~ Milan Kundera, The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Monday, August 3, 2009

Remembrance of things past

Last Memory by Joel Duggan

When to the sessions of sweet silent thought
I summon up remembrance of things past,
I sigh the lack of many a thing I sought,
And with old woes new wail my dear time's waste.
Then can I drown an eye unused to flow
For precious friends hid in death's dateless night,
And weep afresh love's long since cancelled woe,
And moan th' expense of many a vanished sight.
Then can I grieve at grievances foregone,
And heavily from woe to woe tell o'er
The sad account of fore-bemoaned moan,
Which I new pay as if not paid before.
But if the while I think on thee, dear friend,
All losses are restored, and sorrows end.

~ Shakespeare, Sonnet XXX

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Spite, resentment, horror


Hatred is wise beyond its years.
Hatred is intent, clever, and patient,

sophisticated and implacable.
When hatred enters the garden

it consumes every rose and cabbage,
every ear of corn, every hollyhock.

Hatred is diligent, it is cellular,
it is replicable. If we cut off

hatred's head, ten new murders
grow from the pod of its head.

And now abideth hatred, invidia,
and Schrecklichkeit, ripening black fruit

for the bounty of empire's orchard,
and the chiefest of these is hatred.

~ Donald Hall

Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Garden of Symmetry

Hubble image of Galaxy Triplet ARP 274

The widespread success of science is too significant an issue to be treated as if it were a happy accident that we are free to enjoy without enquiring more deeply into why this is the case. Achieving scientific success is a special ability possessed by humankind, exercised in the kind of universe that we inhabit. I believe that a full understanding of this remarkable human capacity for scientific discovery ultimately requires the insight that our power in this respect is the gift of the universe's Creator who, in that ancient and powerful phrase, has made humanity in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27). Through the exercise of this gift, those working in fundamental physics are able to discern a world of deep and beautiful order - a universe shot through with signs of mind. I believe that it is indeed the Mind of that world's Creator that is perceived in this way. Science is possible because the universe is a divine creation.

~ John Polkinghorne, Quantum Physics and Theology: An Unexpected Kinship


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