Etchings in the Sand…

Thoughts and Photos from the Desert…

Monthly Archives: April 2007

Sibelius…

Our eldest son is a professor of music at U.C.L.A.

The other day he emailed us with the word that we must listen to Sibelius’ 5th Symphony. Soon.

I vaguely remembered Sibelius’ frosty, nordic purity and his strange way of gently touching one’s emotions, but no more.

The thing that really impressed me though was that in all his years as a musician, our son had never before suggested we listen to a specific piece of music. “Buy it!” he said.

We looked into the available recordings and quickly found ourselves in uncharted territory. Many artists had recorded the 5th. Which one would be the best one for us? So we asked him. He gave us three references and after researching the three, we ordered Sir Colin Davis’ Boston recording.

Gives an odd feeling. Waiting for some unknown symphony to arrive and wondering if it will be some special kind of epiphany.

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Wabi Sabi Photos…

The Zen aesthetic, Wabi Sabi, formed my practice of pottery. I’ve been trying to develop the same values in some of my photography.

It strips things to their essence and celebrates that.

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Ordinary Outdoor Things…

Here’s something you might try. It will take some time. Time well spent.

Retreat to someplace in your yard. By yourself. Alone.

Sit down and pull yourself together. Relax.

When you open your eyes, notice how some one thing catches your glance. Calls out to you. Calmly focus in on it and just watch. Let it fill your mind.

Mysterious how it slowly becomes a part of you and you begin to have a profound fascination, if not affection, for it.

It will accompany you for some time now. And you never left home.

The Poetic Difference…

Have you ever noticed how little time it takes to read a long novel?

Have you ever noticed how much time it takes to digest a fine poem?

Or – how much difference the poem can make in how you feel – and how you look at things – and what you see?

Changing your Mind…

Recently there has been much emphasis on changing one’s mind – “flip-flopping” as it was labeled in the last presidential election.

Most of us have been astonished as we watched Mitt Romney, John McCain and others do complete about-faces on issues important to the right wing of their party.

Calm yourselves, people. It’s what politicians do.

Anyway, I can’t think of many important issues that I haven’t changed my mind on as I have grown older and realized things that I hadn’t as a younger man. I wouldn’t give you 2 cents for someone who hasn’t changed his/her mind as life unfolded. And yes, on vital issues.

The important thing is why your mind changed. If it was to curry favor with principalities and powers I would have to say it is despicable. If, on the other hand, it came as a result of growing up and understanding certain things better, then it is a mark of maturity and wisdom.

Bark…

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