Sunday, December 31, 2017

Gong Show

"I don't understand either." LOL - that's classic. I love it. Heart Robert Bresson so much.

Once in an interview Bresson was asked some stilted, academic question about his recent film, and Bresson said to the interviewer, "Did you see the film?" to which the interviewer responded, "Yes".

And Bresson said, "Then you know as much as I do."

Then he walked out. LOL.

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Posted this back in 2015, but took it down for a reason. Back up.

Title: Nativity with Shepherd

Medium: Oil on board

Size: 12in x 16 in

Friday, December 22, 2017

Duty Bound

Duties are the basic stepping stones that put one in touch with life, if you actually perform and fulfill them. I don't understand how spontaneity has come to be thought of as opposed to duties, or as an escape from them, or as something stiffled by them. The spontaneous impulse has always been at the heart of choosing to do my duties, while forming plans for them has always kept me from actually doing them. Plans impose, and what imposes tends to paralyze.

The understanding that doing one thing leads to doing another, and that you can only do one thing at a time, has a great power to accomplishing much more than you thought. Pairing a basic attitude of seeing to what's at hand with silencing one's thoughts is a key to moving towards some higher aim; there is also that animal instinct to do something simply to get it out of the damn way.

There is a meeting with life that must take place for one to really live - an encounter, that is always encountering. It's not showy; it's certainly not glamorous. This basic encounter with life is constituted in doing our duties. Show me a person who shirks doing his duties and I'll show you someone who buries life like a corpse in a grave, again and again. Show me a person who does his duties with deliberation and I'll show you a living contemplative.

The deadly sin of sloth - Lord, of sloth, do we hear of this deadly, deadly sin anymore? perhaps only from the Pope (and a handful of others) - is a sin of willful alzheimers, of willful amnesia. For we perform acts that make us remember. We do not just remember. The link has such union that one cannot merely say that performing acts triggers memory, but is its constitution. When we are not performing those most basic acts that constitute the encounter with life that keeps real memory alive, and not it's facsimile - well, you can understand why St. Thomas Aquinas said that laziness is a kind of sadness.

One wonders if it is that same sadness that is felt in the face of someone losing their memory - say, a husband witnessing his wife no longer recognizing him in old age. The latter deterioration is not that person's fault, but laziness pathological and otherwise can be construed as having the same sadness about it, but deliberately wrought. It is a deadly sin.

(Certainly this is part of the reason why the elderly frequently lose their memory, partly or mostly: not simply because their minds are dwindling, or their brain cells are diminishing, but because they retire and become inert.)

What gives me joy is to know that union with Jesus leads to a strengthening of the link between act and remembering. How real Jesus becomes when you "hear" him nudging you - not with force, but with his own life - towards fulfilling things at hand, little or otherwise, your duties. Anyone who says outright or implies that the spiritual leads away from the mundane - rather than enters into and transforms the mundane - is a fraud.

Sloth is also a kind of demon hoarder, whose hoarding devalues everything it receives. It's not really the same as greed which overvalues in grasping after more, and has a nasty sort of leanness about it. Greed can at least have the fire of ambition behind it. Sloth is more scarily omniscient. Shaking off acedia seems daunting precisely for this reason. It's a stubborn old bastard that refuses to respond to life.

And here is a good way to understand the word "duty" or "duties". They are everything and anything that is a response to life. Life with all of its "details" - we think of them as details, it's weird. Because God accepts the response and builds with it, no matter how little or tedious. Here is where Sloth raises its ugly countenance: upon the realization that this response is constituted in something very much of the minute, of the moment, right here and right now - that now is an acceptable time and that this moment like every other moment truly constitutes the drama that is your life. Dishes, laundry, cleaning of various kinds, diapers, dust, papers to organize, phone calls to make, etc.

Frequently when I drive by one of those public storage facilities - you know those places that people rent; high security box warehouses storing people's possessions - when I drive by these places - and there seem to be many of them - I think of how everything inside of them, everything, be it bags of cash or gold or lamborghinis - all of it - is just a bunch of crap. Total, utter crap. I feel the useless, square foot, sluggard dust of it all. Crap, crap, crap - all of it crap.

You understand the flip side of those admonitions of Jesus and the saints then? Those reminders that your extra pants and extra coats belong to the poor. The flip side is this: the hoarding of your extra pants and extra coats is not only to deprive the poor, but it's doubly sinful in that it devalues your extra coats and your extra pants. Whatever is hoarded is turned into crap.

The same applies to withholding your life from encountering the duties of life.

So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, 'We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.' --Luke 17:10

Tuesday, December 19, 2017


I bet you the melody and original verse fragments go way back before Appalachia to another continent.

Scops singing Old English probably gave birth to it.

Heart Pope Francis so much

"The Supreme Pontiff’s birthday pizza stretched four meters (13 feet) and was embellished with what appears to be tomatoes and mozzarella in between the multiple pieces. The pie had a single white candle in it, which a group of children, from the Vatican pediatric clinic Dispensario Santa Marta, helped him blow out. ...

"... During this year’s festivities, the Pope could be heard telling the children: “Eat the four meters [13 feet] of pizza: Eat well. It will do you good, it will make you grow!” It’s not the first time the Pope has made his preference for pizza known. In 2015, after revealing that he missed getting a slice of pizza without being recognized, the pizzeria Don Ernesto, in Naples, ran up to the Popemobile to hand-deliver Pope Francis a personal pizza reading “Il Papa” on it. If anything, his devotion to pizza is proof that it isn’t just divine, but also good for the soul." --Atlas Obscura

Monday, December 18, 2017

Sunday, December 17, 2017

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Always Dying

While precocious winter dusk subsumes them,
the cluster squares awake, coin where the cold's
kept out of rooms: high-rises pock with light
the north shore mountains' feet, eve inlet's
other strand; power-grid optics spangle
farther up - then peter - as residential homes.

The steady automotive chain that spans
the inlet's bridge, likewise lights. No slack
in the pelting sleet on us: day of cold clay,
wet legs and hands, white breath, tightening back,
replanting the height that was wrecked by storm;
slurry inhales boots, swallows feet.

The salal cliffs are vantage to spumes
the silent freights, remotely on slate,
drag as through a dream - slow, far down.
Why the sight of salt water that far down,
and why the sight of lights would cause the heart
to sink, and sink, and sink to death; and why
at this place, ice cream point, prospect named,

is question to another dusk I knew:
once, at a forest edge, two I knew
crossed the cold meadow. Hearing first their voices,
brother sister pair, they, called in recognition
to their friend, watching the gold go down
through the woods regained on the other end.

Wood wandered we and before we knew, the fastest
falling dark; three mergers we, each one's face
to the other, gradually getting covered
with world's shades, made us more intimate; the grey
chill settled, and something was, that warmed,
keeping us to feel no need for emergence.

We had never one of us seen such dusk
as that one held us in the darkening paths
with deck plied on deck on clean laid blood
fed through the outliers and closer than them,
as one would reach from aisle pew to touch the red
of a cathedral’s glass burning next you.

In a blacksmith black, this hammered burning,
light's bough-building blood; floating rose thrown
on the fir pillars, in the furthest quiet.
Light dying, light dying, openly dying;
no light coming on - and we did not leave
for joy. An owl was like a lori bird,

from way back in the wood’s heart
from way back in the wood’s heart,
in the fast-falling shadows and cold
that silenced us so to hear it: oo-ta-oo,
and we spied him, mostly silhouette
on a tree's lower rung. And then he flew

like winging smoke, not denying us a similar pleasure
of the wood's depths he knew and flew:
do you know how large the heart of Jesu?
Following the owl like smoke we were
following the owl like smoke, mostly smoke
to the world's material hazards.

Much made of a light, which does not illumine,
for it is not anticipation's light: a light
that denies the dark down to each fast-lit
corner, but does not overcome it;
keeps no warring at the ever ends
where halo rays naked meet the gloom;
nor drum against it like blood's rushing.

Answered us a dying light, that is eternal,
that we're dumb to while we try and scatter
dark away; always dying light that's giving light.
Body, blood and light. Body, blood. Then light.
A dying light signs a coming in light,
on trees against the dark that couches them,
that is the blood which wraps our wintered bole.

Friday, December 8, 2017

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Sunday, November 26, 2017

Thursday, November 23, 2017

Saturday, November 18, 2017

Friday, November 17, 2017

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Friday, November 10, 2017

Thursday, November 9, 2017


You don't have to be a Medievalist to grow and eat medlars.

But a Medievalist who doesn't grow and eat medlars is woefully negligent.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Friday, October 27, 2017

Friday, October 20, 2017

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Heart this interview segment so much


"The planet has enough food for all, but it seems that there is a lack of willingness to share it with everyone." --Pope Francis, homily for the general assembly of Caritas Internationalis.

Northern Spy

Everything that Golden Delicious wants to be but isn't.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Universal Basic Income

"We think that, in a system where a (more social) conception of property would be in force, this axiom ('nothing for nothing') would not be able to survive. Quite to the contrary, the law of usus communis would lead us to establish that, at least and foremost, what regards the basic material and spiritual needs of the human person, it is proper for people to get, for nothing, as many things as possible... The human person being served in his basic necessities is only, after all, the first condition of an economy which does not deserve to be called barbarous.

"The principles of such an economy would lead to a better understanding of the profound meaning and the essentially human roots of the idea of inheritance, in such a way that... all men, upon entering into the world, could effectively enjoy, in some way, the condition of being a heir of the preceding generations." --Jacques Maritain, Integral Humanism

"Finally, it is this equal condition of being coheirs of everyone's efforts which makes it feasible for all people to get, as much as possible and at no cost, a share of the basic material and spiritual goods that are required for human existence." --Jacques Maritain, Principles of a Humanistic Economy

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Friday, September 22, 2017

Thursday, September 21, 2017


The squirrels in the morning flew
from the fence top to the sunflowers;
knowing kernels ripe, striped with white,

they gorged on the downcast platters,
chewing away from the giant crooks
even the plate's pith matter.

Time the row was rising in youth
and convex gold opened on the bees,
and fire-tongued rims wagged in a breeze,

no such fulfilling, or earth-firm peace as the day
squirrels accosted, fattening on seeds
from the black, hard, staggering trays.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Monday, September 18, 2017


I finally got around to reading Titus Andronicus, and finished it last night. Not that I was saying to myself these years, "You know, you really need to read Titus Andronicus".

Because whenever I would read about the play, the consensus was always 1. it's Shakespeare's least good play - flat as a board, and 2. it's so very violent and did we mention the violence?

The second point would only help to redound the first point. And then I would say to the consensus, "Surely it's not that violent, and because you are looking at it in light of Shakespeare's other plays, perhaps you people are rather exaggerating what is quantitatively only a few more corpses?"

Having now read the play, I take that back.

And certainly it is flat, but yet there are inspired passages that crackle out here and there with that cap gun smell you knew as a kid after you shot off the entire round in two seconds.

Sunday, September 17, 2017


Julie and Nigel have some new apple tasting videos!

Here's episode 4:

LOL @ 15:38

Go to Growing with Julie to watch more.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Friday, September 15, 2017

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Excellent translation

If you want literal:

It's actually a very well written exchange between the two, precisely because it is comprised entirely of classic Latin sayings. The inferences run deep and sharp.

In fact, the colloquial translation, while generally excellent, doesn't really communicate the fast-paced piling on that is occurring - especially when Doc Holliday says "Requiescat in pace".

Ringo opens an idea of an insult, while Holliday closes each of Ringo's insults on themselves.

Very good writing.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Cox's Orange Pippin

Beautiful russeting on left middle one.

They are praised for being a very well-balanced apple in flavour. They are so well-balanced that one can easily overlook them and say what's the big deal. But the flavour is there.

You might think that someone saying they have mango notes is waxing a little too poetical, but it's true when you pay attention, and don't just eat them like a pig. There are indeed mango notes, among others. And to eat one that has been warming on the branch in the sun is apple heaven.

I find they are also well-balanced in texture. Hard to describe, as with flavour. Certainly crisp, but with more than just the same old same old crisp that one gets tired of; something slightly giving, but not soft...something bread-like, but not chewy; not mealy at all. Dense but sprightly; real good apple meat, but not a work-out for your jaw bone. Juicy and ever so slightly starchy.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Probably the greatest opera of the Twentieth Century

Being around five hours long there are many following acts along with the between the act knee plays to be found on youtube. Also, because of its length, the composer Philip Glass encouraged people in the audience to walk about if they wanted - say, to go to the bathroom or whatever. This aspect makes the opera have something of the spirit of ambient music: something that's there like a surrounding to which one is not supposed to give too intense a listening attention. Which is actually a different kind of attention - not inattentiveness.

This seems to me the future of music. I remember reading about the Era of Peace in which a kind of ambient music will permeate the very atmosphere, without speakers and electronics. And people will be able to compose it somehow and it will be sort of ongoing in the rhythm with people's day to day lives, but not at all in an enslaving way as though one wouldn't be able to "turn it off". Like a breaking free from the rigid constraints of written bars and so forth, it will be in union with the music of the spheres. Not papered away in a book until it gets performed. What's interesting is how this ambient-leaning way which encourages spontaneity, like jazz, brings music closer to what liturgical music does, whereas the classical notion of traditional forms gets stuffy and musty and falls into meaningless decadence.

Ox guts

But! But! The gold standard! The gold standard!

We need to go back to the Gold Standard!


"Unto itself"

High time to get rid of this stupid combo. High time too for either one of them alone. Chuck them along with "but yet" and "that which" et alia, and you might be on the narrow road that leads to life. Have fun and good luck.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Monday, September 4, 2017

Saturday, September 2, 2017

Wednesday, August 30, 2017