:::this is the way the world ends:::

Month: April 2007 (Page 1 of 2)

Quotation Monday: Dwight D. Eisenhower

Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. This is not a way of life at all in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron.

We merely want to live in peace with all the world, to trade with them, to commune with them, to learn from their culture as they may learn from ours, so that the products of our toil may be used for our schools and our roads and our churches and not for guns and planes and tanks and ships of war.

The Lost Painting

I finished “The Lost Painting” on Friday. Toby, are you still reading it? (Good to hear the design stuff is keeping you busy by the way). The book follows the discovery of a Caravaggio painting entitled “The Taking of Christ” (among other names). It was a great escape every night from the hectic pace of my day. I kind of miss the book now that it is done, which is written as non-fiction, for a number of reasons.

I had a funny relationship with the painting. When the first articles came out about its discovery, I was at KCAI and I remember speaking with one of the art history professors there about what the painting would be worth, were the monks who owned it to put it up for sale.
Then, years later, I managed to see the work at the National Gallery in Dublin, Ireland.The book also goes somewhat into the details of restoring a painting, which was another stroll down memory lane, and it was interesting to see how accurate Harr was in conveying the details of the process.

Peters, the Nonviolent Communication book came in the mail the other day. I have started it but am digesting chapters at a time – partly because I want to make sure I am reflecting on what he’s saying – partly because I’m reading several other books concurrently. It is written in a very accessible style though; so I’m sure I can finish by the lake if you are planning on being there.

My other books are: Merwin’s prose pieces I already mentioned, the de Chardin book which I also mentioned earlier (the man who coined the phrase “Everything That Rises Must Converge” and was a strong influence on both F. O’ Connor and Walker Percy and who is quoted in Peters NVC book twice), and Lawrence Weschler’s new book, “Everything That Rises: A Book of Convergences”, which is art criticism. “Out Stealing Horses” is still in the mail, and I ordered a copy of “The Moral Animal” too. So it seems our online discussion has left me both emotionally and financially broke.

J.E., I watched the two films at work when I should have been grading. I liked them both, but felt the first one was more challenging, the second more stylish.

Of course, I’m also reading “Flotsom”, this year’s Cladecott winner that I bought a copy of because Eliot loved the library’s copy so much. It’s a great piece of work.

I just finished my most recent painting going in a show at the library this summer, which may be quite bad because it’s fairly personal. I’ll try to post it when I can get a photo.

Recently, Sara and I took a few young kids to hear the “Women Speak” tour from Partners for Peace. It was our second time to hear the tour, which features three different women every year – one Israeli woman, one Palestian Christian, and one Palestinian Muslim. They talk about the history and the on-going problems in the West Bank and surrounding area. I have found both tours to be quite informative both factually and anecdotally (is that a word?).

Hard @ Work Music Thursday

I suppose I shouldn’t call these entries “Music Thursday” anymore, since I don’t seem to be hitting it on Thursdays too much these days.  However, I did upload all of these songs on Thursday, so there’s a spirit of Thursday-ness about them. 

I’ve been busy lately, as I seem to have had a lot of new projects come my way — which is a great problem for BirdBox Design to have.

The following is a hodgepodge of music I’ve been enjoying the last week and a half.  I hope you enjoy, even for the silly indulgences hidden within.

01 West Coast Revival |Feelin’ Alright
02 Albert Hammond Jr. | In Transit
03 Limbeck | Big Drag
04 The Ladies and Gentlemen | Stay
05 The Broken West | Down in the Valley
06 Lonely, Dear | Hard Days
07 Jamie Lidell | A Little Bit More
08 The Good, the Bad, & the Queen | Herculean
09 Pedro the Lion | Magazine
10 Split Lip Rayfied | C’mon Get Your Gun
11 Lonely, Dear | Carrying A Stone
12 Miracle Fortress | Have You Seen In Your Dreams
13 Ted Leo and the Pharmacists | The Sons of Cain
14 Odawas | Alleluia
15 All Smiles | Moth in a Cloud of Smoke
16 Illinois | Alone Again
17 Au Revoir Simone | Fallen Snow
18 Brothers and Sisters | One Night
19 Belle and Sebastian | Another Sunny Day
20 Tom Waits | Bottom of the World
21 Birdmonster | ‘Cause You Can
22 Christopher Blue | Ghost in the Night
23 Slaraffenland | Early Rising
24 Erik Mattsson | Birds
25 Erik Mattsson | Go Down
26 Pedro the Lion | Eye on the Finish Line
27 El-P | Flyentology (Cassettes Won’t Listen remix)
28 The Postmarks | Goodbye
29 Neko Case | Hold On, Hold On
30 Je Suis France | That Don’t Work Well for Us


Just a quick post to say that June approaches, and we have June 15-17 as the weekend for you all to come up to the lake, if you are interested and able. Everyone is invited. Let us know what might work for you. Or let us know if you can’t make it, so we can plan accordingly.

We can arrange to pick you up at the airport, or we can give you directions to the lake if you’re driving up.

I hope this will be a good way to get together this summer!

Spring Poetry Post

Before National Poetry Month wanes entirely, here is another spring poem. This one is by D.A. Powell, author of Tea, Lunch, and Cocktails.

sprig of lilac

—for Haines Eason

in a week you could watch me crumble to smut: spent hues
spent perfumes. dust upon the lapel where a moment I rested

yes, the moths have visited and deposited their velvet egg mass
the gnats were here: they smelled the wilt and blight. they salivated

in the folds of my garments: you could practically taste the rot

look at the pluck you’ve made of my heart: it broke open in your hands
oddments of ravished leaves: blossom blast and dieback: petals drooping

we kissed briefly in the deathless spring. the koi pond hummed with flies

unbutton me now from your grasp. no, hold tighter, let me disappear
into your nostrils, into your skin, a powdery smudge against your rough cheek

Quotation Monday — Arthur Schlesinger Jr.

From a January 1, 2007 New York Times op-ed, Folly’s Antidote.  This is Schlesinger’s last published word on history before his death on February 28.

Sometimes, when I am particularly depressed, I ascribe our behavior to stupidity — the stupidity of our leadership, the stupidity of our culture. Three decades ago, we suffered defeat in an unwinnable war against tribalism, the most fanatic of political emotions, fighting against a country about which we knew nothing and in which we had no vital interests. Vietnam was hopeless enough, but to repeat the same arrogant folly 30 years later in Iraq is unforgivable….

A nation informed by a vivid understanding of the ironies of history is, I believe, best equipped to manage the tragic temptations of military power. Let us not bully our way through life, but let a growing sensitivity to history temper and civilize our use of power….

The great strength of history in a free society is its capacity for self-correction. This is the endless excitement of historical writing — the search to reconstruct what went before, a quest illuminated by those ever-changing prisms that continually place old questions in a new light.

History is a doomed enterprise that we happily pursue because of the thrill of the hunt, because exploring the past is such fun, because of the intellectual challenges involved, because a nation needs to know its own history. Or so we historians insist. Because in the end, a nation’s history must be both the guide and the domain not so much of its historians as its citizens.

Poetry Post

It IS National Poetry Month, so I shouldn’t let it get away without a current Poetry Post. This one from fellow Kansan Albert Goldbarth, who teaches at Wichita State University and who is the only poet to have twice won the National Book Critics Circle Award in Poetry. This poem is from the “new” section in his recently published (by Graywolf, no less) The Kitchen Sink: New and Selected Poems 1972-2007. Enjoy. And happy National Poetry Month to you.

Human Beauty

If you write a poem about love …
the love is a bird,

the poem is an origami bird.
If you write a poem about death …

the death is a terrible fire,
the poem is an offering of paper cutout flames

you feed to the fire.
We can see, in these, the space between

our gestures and the power they address
—an insufficiency. And yet a kind of beauty,

a distinctly human beauty. When a winter storm
from out of nowhere hit New York one night

in 1892, the crew at a theater was caught
unloading props: a box

of paper snow for the Christmas scene got dropped
and broken open, and that flash of white

confetti was lost
inside what it was a praise of.

A Week of Thursdays: Day 5


I received quite a few links to video performances at SXSW this year in my inbox.  Keeping up the faith for music this week, I am passing them on for your enjoyment/approval.  Watching these makes me with I lived in J.E. and Liz’s pink bathroom.  At least, it’s theirs for the next couple of weeks.

Click on “more” to see the links!

I’m cheating by retroactively posting this.

Continue reading

A Week of Thursdays: Day 4

Today’s entry is stolen wholesale.  My friend, Jon, created a mix tape over his summer break (he’s a history teacher).  It’s been on constant rotation, so I thought I’d share a compilation I admire.  Jon also has a very large beard.

Jon’s Spring Break Fruits

01 Deer Hunter | Tape Hiss Orchard
02 Grizzly Bear | Easier
03 The Besnard Ladies | For Agent 13
04 Spiritualized | Medication
05 The Mary Onettes | What’s So Strange
06 The Byrds | Natural Harmony
07 Baxter Dury | Len Parrot’s Memorial Lift
08 Namelessnumberheadman | Scatterbirds
09 Jonny Greenwood | Peartree
10 A Sunny Day in Glasgow | C’mon
11 The Brother Kite | Hopeless and Unsung
12 Ride | Since Then
13 Saxon Shore | Isolated by the Secrets of Your Fellow Man
14 Honey | Still
15 Starflyer 59 | Messed Up Over You
16 Kammerflimmer Kollektief | Sie Tranken Regen
17 Worm is Green | The Robot Has Got the Blues
18 Inga Liljestrom | Bullet

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