Archive for March, 2008

Video Portrait: You Won’t Remember This

New life. There is nothing more precious to remind us that we are presently enjoying the grand cycle of existence…

From the New York Times –

“The artist’s portrait of his son, from birth to the age of four. Music composed by Sam Bisbee. Part of Sightlines, an Op-Ed visual series.”

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The Elationists!

Here are some folks I’d like to know – they call themselves THE ELATIONISTS… San Francisco’s Lost Arts Movement.

 

‘Centennial Celebration of the Elationists’

Meet the Elationists. According to their “discoverers,” they were a turn-of-the-century art movement in San Francisco that made art and music from what they could unearth from the rubble of the 1906 earthquake. Their own history has been buried for years, the archivists say, hidden inside a secret room of an old Victorian belonging to Bonnie Spindler. Among the photographs, films and paintings found, the Elationist archivists have unearthed a large music instrument called the Triclops Monstrosity, which has incorporated three string instruments into a large mass with a gold-colored lion’s head in the middle. And then there’s the special Elationist chocolate drink recipe (pieced together from journal entries) that will be served at the opening of a show about them…

Click here for the rest.

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A BRIEF FOR THE DEFENSE

A BRIEF FOR THE DEFENSE

by Jack Gilbert

Sorrow everywhere. Slaughter everywhere. If babies

are not starving someplace, they are starving

somewhere else. With flies in their nostrils.

But we enjoy our lives because that’s what God wants.

Otherwise the mornings before summer dawn would not

be made so fine. The Bengal tiger would not

be fashioned so miraculously well. The poor women

at the fountain are laughing together between

the suffering they have known and the awfulness

in their future, smiling and laughing while somebody

in the village is very sick. There is laughter

every day in the terrible streets of Calcutta,

and the women laugh in the cages of Bombay.

If we deny our happiness, resist our satisfaction,

we lessen the importance of their deprivation.

We must risk delight. We can do without pleasure,

but not delight. Not enjoyment. We must have

the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless

furnace of this world. To make injustice the only

measure of our attention is to praise the Devil.

If the locomotive of the Lord runs us down,

we should give thanks that the end had magnitude.

We must admit there will be music despite everything.

We stand at the prow again of a small ship

anchored late at night in the tiny port

looking over to the sleeping island: the waterfront

is three shuttered caf├ęs and one naked light burning.

To hear the faint sound of oars in the silence as a rowboat

comes slowly out and then goes back is truly worth

all the years of sorrow that are to come.

-Jack Gilbert

(I’ve posted this poem because I feel that it does a very fine job of addressing the concept that even though life is dirty and tough, that it is our duty as beings to embrace beauty despite it all…for what is the meaning of beauty without its opposite? How will there be rebirth if there is no death?)

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