Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Itchy Feet

To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.
Freya Stark
There is nothing as wonderful as an adventure. When you're stationary, everything becomes background. At a certain point, you don't see anything at all. In a new place, the mundane is mesmerizing, and the bland is beautiful. The best part is, when you get home, for a moment, your eyes reopen.

It is time for a new trip, but it will have to wait for a while.

What is your favorite travel story? Who is the most interesting person you've ever met, or made the deepest mark? Or, what was just memorable?

In Tennessee, there is an old church that has been converted into a B&B. The woman who owns and runs it was the first woman to graduate from the Memphis police academy back in the 70's. One day, her and her partner were driving, and over the police radio they were told to go to a pay phone and call the station. This was really strange, because normally everything was just over the radio. So they pulled over and they called the station, and were told to go to the hospital, because there was a high profile patient on their way who had to be quietly brought in through the back. She and her partner, were confused and curious and went to the hospital to meet the ambulance. It came into the hospital without the sirens, and they carried out a stretcher and she and her partner very quietly escorted them in. Once they were inside they mostly just watched doors and people come and go. Some time later, she had to enter the room and saw a good looking larger man on the stretcher, who she recognized. He was blue, and clearly dead, and she looked at his toe tag. It was Elvis Presley, she thought, she always had wanted to meet him, but not like that. The point is, she is sure, and she'll tell you with a smile, the King is dead.
Long live the king.

(Oh, and on a personal note, that particular B&B had the most comfortable bed I have ever had the pleasure of sleeping in. )

David Bowe on Kafka

Happy Wednesday.

Altogether, I think we ought to read only books that bite and sting us. If the book we are reading doesn't shake us awake like a blow to the skull, why bother reading it in the first place? So that it can make us happy, as you put it? Good God, we'd be just as happy if we had no books at all; books that make us happy we could, in a pinch, also write ourselves. What we need are books that hit us like a most painful misfortune, like the death of someone we loved more than we love ourselves, that make use feel as though we had been banished to the woods, far from any human presence, like suicide. A book must be the axe for the frozen sea within us. That is what I believe.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

More or Less the Same

This version of "The Boxer" is beautiful and simple, and has a character of earned wisdom.

There is a verse that isn't in this version of the song. The verse contains some of my favorite lyrics I've ever heard.

"Now the years are rolling by me, they are rockin even me
I am older than I once was, and younger than Ill be, thats not unusual
No it isnt strange, after changes upon changes, we are more or less the same
After changes we are more or less the same"

In a melancholy mood, Paul Simon has always been able to reverberate in a beautiful way. It's like tea and the Times on a rainy Sunday.

If you feel inclined, what are your grey day joys?

Friday, April 10, 2009

R. Mutt

When Marcel Duchamp was asked by his brother to change the title of "Nu descendant un escalier n° 2" in order for it to be displayed, he put the canvas under his arm, and took a taxi home. When I studied art, I initially thought this was Picasso, a testament to its quality.

Although he was talented as a painter, and his siblings were classical artists, he didn't paint for much of his career.

It is rare for someone to be irreverent and not an ass. He has whimsy but not idiocy. Although he was a dadaist he was never overly involved in the political movement.

I respect anyone who can get away with making this art, just by declaring it so.The Emperor is perfectly attired in a nudist colony. The ready-mades are poignant commentary without a soapbox.

If you are interested, here is a translated radio interview with Duchamp.

This is a late edition to the post, but it was all I could think of while writing this.

PhD in Dance

Go see Monsters V Aliens.

"By Hawking's Chair!"

Thursday, April 9, 2009

To New Things!

Soon, very soon I am moving to a new home of my own. The child above is new. Many things will be new, so this is one more. Although I am convinced I have nothing at all to say, I have been told otherwise. So as the blog name suggests, keep your standards low. I am prepared to prove them all wrong.

Here is a hill Zorro, a personal hero, should be riding over. He's coming, wait for it.