Tag Archives: quotes

“I suppose I have a really loose interpretation of ‘work,’ because I think that just being alive is so much work at something you don’t always want to do. Being born is like being kidnapped. And then sold into slavery. People are working every minute. The machinery is always giong. Even when you sleep.”

From The Philosophy of Andy Warhol

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A Handsome Jacket

“But they danced down the streets like dingledodies, and I shambled after as I’ve been doing all my life after people who interest me, because the only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who nveer yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars and in the middle you see the blue centerlight pop and everybody goes ‘Awww!'”

Two months before I left, the fall was just getting crisp and I took on my normal autumnal habit of filling my ears with soothing Bob Dylan records, donning tights and dark outfits, and taking lots of black and white photographs. I can’t imagine I’ll ever feel comfortable living in this decade/time frame. So I began this book and let myself tumble further into those longing feelings for a time, a place, and a culture I’ll never know.

A month later, I realized I’d be better off delving deeper into my Spanish novels, in the vain hope of salvaging what was left of my truly fluent tongue from my life in Spain. I put down the Kerouac and picked up my copy of Moby Dick (translated). I resolved not to read a single English book or publication up to or during my trip and am proud to say I kept that promise.

Now, almost fifteen days have passed and I’m just getting to the huge stack of books on my nightstand and coffee table. I was lucky to spend all of today sipping on Jasmine tea and plunging even further into the world that I vaguely recalled from the few chapters I’d started before my trip.I felt cozier, comforted just reading of such a time.

Unfortunately, my copy isn’t nearly as handsome as this one (pictured above), designed by Jez Burrows for a Penguin Books competition. What I wouldn’t give to be counted amongst the designers that Penguin uses for its classic novels (and new ones, as well).

Beautiful young people are accidents of nature. But beautiful old people are works of art.

-Marjorie Barstow Breenbie

My Centennial

100 posts

Hard as it is to believe that I am just now arriving at my own little sweet centennial, and wordy though I may be, I’m going to attempt at keeping this short and sweet. Happy blogging centennial to me! And in celebration of finally garnering a smidge of street cred, I’m going to top this entry off with a few things that have, as of late, made me just sublimely happy (if only for an instant).

This song

It’s positively transcendent. The album version is different than the video; a bit more refined, and with a lot more vitality (oddly enough). Her voice is old and traditional, playful and warm at the same time. The song just gives me the giddies on the insides each time I hear it. I got a tad disappointed, however, to walk into an Urban Outfitters the other day and hear it blaring from the sound system. Money for the band though, and all that blah blah blah.

Miles Davis’ Container Gardening Tips

This, coming from the king of cool and jazz, not only cements his “cool-dom” further, but also paints such a vivid picture of his imagination and the life he lived. I just plain chuckle every time I read this through.

As originally credited from Ryan Abbott

1. Don’t feed them garbage This is a pretty simple concept, so heed it. If you feed your container plants shit—polluted rainwater, cheap fertilizer, ash from your hash pipe—they will not flourish, your buds will not bloom. Like I said to my bass player Paul Chambers last night, “You got to cool it with the booze and drugs.” The same is true of your garden.

Because they don’t talk much we forget that plants are living things, organic beings that need nourishment to survive and thrive. I recommend a quality fertilizer, delivered sparingly, with restraint. Just a few drops for every quarter-gallon of water and before you know it your azaleas will be laughing with color. Literally, laughing. You got to be careful you don’t overdo it, in fact, because azaleas will take their partying to the limit, and after a few days you’ll find yourself leaning out your window at three o’clock in the morning yelling at them to shut up because their flower orgy is keeping you awake.

2. Play music to your plants Music heals all wounds except those inflicted by a hunting knife, so I like to play music to my plants. What do I play? People stop me on the street to ask me that all the time. What’s my answer? Usually it’s, “Leave me alone and go buy my albums,” or a variation thereof.

In my experience, annuals tend to appreciate the complexity of classical piano concertos, like those by Ravel or Rachmaninoff. I play records by those two over and over again, my speakers aimed out to the backyard, blaring through a hole in the screen door torn by a high John Coltrane one morning when he thought he was a rabid polar bear, which he was not.

My vegetables—tomatoes and pole beans and eggplants—like to be sung to. I think it helps the fruit ripen—sweetly sung melodies that rise and fall like crooked branches, scales that float on the warm humidity of the July sky. Like my sister Dorothy says, “Soak their roots in song and they will grow, my brother. They will grow.”

3. Don’t throw your plants down the stairs Not throwing things down stairs does not come naturally to me—it is something I’ve had to work at. That’s what life is all about: challenging yourself to rise above your essence, while staying true to your character. Of course, the hard part is knowing what about yourself needs changing, and what you should accept and embrace and blow on with the full force of your diaphragm.

Maybe you got upset by Columbia Records not giving you the $5000 advance you deserved and reacted by tossing a Blue Velvet orchid in an authentic 15th century Ming vase down a flight of stairs where it shattered on a marble landing, tossing potting soil into the shark tank. Perhaps you felt you were within your rights as an artist to do so, but in the process you have removed from this world two items of great beauty. Three, if you damaged the marble.

Like most living things, container plants prefer to be upright the majority of the time. They also need good containers with good drainage. My favorite material is terra cotta, which is fragile but has an earthy vibe that complements most urban container gardens. While throwing plants down stairs doesn’t always kill them, it rarely makes them stronger. Most often it just makes one hell of a mess for the housekeeper.

4. Give your plants space This is it, this is the most important tip, so wrap it in tissue paper and take it out of here when you go. The space around everything is more precious than the items occupying the space.

Space is what defines matter, gives it a shape, a silhouette. It’s true of music, true of art, true of container plants. Without room to move among the vines, how can you discover fruit? How can you get close enough to smell the singularity of a flower if it is among hundreds? Silence ripens our attention to sound. Negative space makes positive.

Some people pack their gardens tight: cluttered clematis and hydrangeas in noisy bands of color, herbs upon herbs upon herbs … a symphony of shit. Don’t get me wrong, color is fine; color is life. But if you can’t walk through your garden without puking, what good is it for?

The space around your plants is what defines them. Save that space, relish it, drink it in. Give your plants room to walk, to be seen and heard, to develop deep and hungry roots with their own space to explore and invent, the freedom to create new shades and shapes, arms that reach through the empty air to carve fresh pockets in which to build an entirely new kind of fruit or flower. A type never tasted, something unheard of.

This Photograph

I really can’t explain why it hits such a note every time I look at it, but more than anything I just get an overwhelming sense that everything is going to be ok- and this clear memory of a sandy beach on a warm sunny day. I also love the quality of motion that it depicts.

Fret ye not, there is so much more to come.

As Mary delivered what was to be her last lecture about the Galápagos Islands, though, she would be stopped mid sentence for five seconds by a doubt which, if expressed in words, might have come out something like this, ‘Maybe I’m just a crazy lady who has wandered off the street and into this class room and started explaining the mysteries of life to these young people. And they believe me, although I am utterly mistaken about simply everything.‘”

Vonnegut, Galápagos

Cover up under it for love

Missouri Pettway, 1902-1981. Blocks and strips work-clothes quilt, 1942, cotton, corduroy, cotton sacking material, 90 x 69 inches. Missouri’s daughter Arlonzia describes the quilt: “It was when Daddy died. I was about seventeen, eighteen. He stayed sick about eight months and passed on. Mama say, ‘I going to take his work clothes, shape them into a quilt to remember him, and cover up under it for love.’ She take his old pants legs and shirttails, take all the clothes he had, just enough to make that quilt, ahd I helped her tore them up. Bottom of the pants is narrow, top is wide, and she had me to cutting the top part out and to shape them up in even strips.”

This, among many other Quilts of Gee’s Bend.

Poor Little MBPro is Running Slow, Just As I Am

Spring term is off to a roaring-ish start. The beach was pretty great; well all parts not actually on the beach. We consumed some wonderful oceanside food, holed up in an oceanview in (complete with nephew sleeping in the crib-converted-bathtub), and Honey and I left the largerish group and went on a hunt for salt water taffy at our favorite candy joint, as well as thrifting at a couple of decent spots, including Newport’s Salvation army and the very well adverstised (via giant painted wall proclaiming name) Newport Antique Mall. Among the netted treasures: a 1974 Polaroid SX-70 (checking off yet another wishlist item!), complete with case and manual, flash bar (all flashes were used, sadly) and a booklet on how to take better photos). There was a cartridge still in the camera, but the battery must have been too old to work. Once we got home, I replaced it with a newer 600 cartridge (after cutting off the nubs on the end tht prevent them from loading correctly) and VIOLA! Gorgeous tone and color in that way that only the SX-70 can.

For now. I am already overwhelmed. Pain from recovery still has me wallowing on my couch and doing my course work from a distance. I’m glad to have gotten away on my last spring break ever, albeit pretty much unable to have any serious adventures.

(Via.)