On our last day of the Idaho trip we drove out to Relay Ridge, between Rexburg and Driggs, looking down on the Teton Basin. The drive was a little tiresome with a screaming child (1.5 hours one way), but I got to see a view I'd never seen before.
We spent the last week in Idaho for a Blake Family reunion. Here are some photos of us up at Cave Falls, it is about 25 miles northeast of Ashton, just along the border of West Yellowstone. It is the widest of all the falls located in the park, and just one of many in the area formed due to fault lines and lava ledges.
Mesa Falls is also nearby and is a must-see if you are in the area.
The folks over at La Blogotheque are consitently amazing with their output of unique live music. This one is Architecture in Helsinki playing somewhere in Paris, having organized an impromptu choir through the help of MySpace (which is good for nothing other than gathering impromptu choirs). Looks terrifically boring.
During the course of the last year I've devoured six Cormac McCarthy novels...and it seems he is all I ever talk about on the blog. He is a master, without question. Earlier this year I created this post about the book that the Coen Brothers have now adapted into film. My friend Nick didn't like this book as much as I did (and granted it isn't one of McCarthy's masterpieces--yes, he has more than one) but it is a story that is perfectly adaptable to the Coen's film noir. The bad guy in this story is played by Javier Bardem, who also did the Sea Inside, and critics are raving about his performance in the film. And Tommy Lee Jones? You can't go wrong with him, unless you're making a really bad Batman film.
"The artist must be a prophet, not in the sense that he foretells things to come, but that he tells the audience, at the risk of their displeasure, the secrets of their own hearts." -Saul Bellow
Thank you to the artists: You who stroke peace with the brush. You who kill millions with a leap or the unfolding of a développé. Thank you. You who with stout lungs and sweaty fingers wring out the voices of brassy instruments. You, there, with your clay filled fingernails and your hair tied back, I know what you are doing. Thank you. And you, young one, with your boondoggle lanyards and your sash of merit badges, there is hope for you yet. You flower bandits, grassy sculptors of yards and beds. I know when you are most comfortable and it isn’t in Winter or Fall or Summer. No, I have not forgotten you with your bevels, sandpaper, and your half fingers. You are beautiful. Thank you, you sons of Nature, letting out your filigreed lines, fine as flax and so enticing to the fish whose own rainbow of art comes leaking out the scales. Thanks to you voices, escaping like angels from the dark throat of the devil. He’s swallowed most of us already. Thanks to you confectioners of fine food. My belly is speaking loudly and with a smile this evening. And you needlers, yes you, stitching away our nakedness with such poise. I cannot bear to be naked most of the time. Thanks to you prophets, one and all, propheteering with and without profit, you know who you are. I have the secret you’ve known all along: I’m thanking all somehow.
It's been a few years since I read Jon Krakauer's account of the misadventures of Chris McCandless (Alex Supertramp). It was one of those books that occupied my thoughts for days after I'd finished it. There was romance in the journey of this young man. His quest for enlightenment went beyond simplification, beyond masochism. However misguided and extreme, I really sympathized with some of the ideals that consumed him.
Now we will be able to watch Into the Wild play out on the silver screen. Screenplay written and directed by Sean Penn and the soundtrack by Eddie Vedder. It will be interesting to see if the film will be able to dredge up the humanity the same way the book seemed to balance so well.
I've finished reading Zorba the Greek. While I was frustrated a bit at the lack of plot-driven storyline, I loved reading the snapshots of life and the bouncy creativity that burst from the language on each page. Zorba is an extreme character, and when dealing with extremeties you deal with flaws. However, he is a joy to read, and to be appreciated this book must be read with Zorba-like eyes—which are fresh and blooming. When he steps outside his front door one morning and casts his 65 year old gaze upon the landscape before him he calls to his friend, “What is that? That miracle over there, boss, that moving blue, what do they call it? Sea? Sea? And what’s that wearing a flowered green apron? Earth? Who was the artist who did it? It’s the first time I’ve seen that, boss, I swear!” Joyous prose. This may be the first time I’ve read a book with a relatively lackluster ending that hasn’t cast a ruining shadow over the rest.
In his own words here a few lessons from Zorba 101:
A Lesson on Relationships: “A real woman—now listen to this and I hope it helps you—gets more out of the pleasure she gives than the pleasure she takes from a man.”
A Lesson on Performance: “It’s all because of doing things by halves, saying things by halves, being good by halves, that the world is in the mess it’s in today. Do things properly by God! One good knock for each nail and you’ll win through! God hates a half-devil ten times more than an archdevil!”
A Lesson on Politics: “So long as there are countries, man will stay like an animal, a ferocious animal.”
A Lesson on Masculinity: “I’m not ashamed to cry, if it’s in front of men. Between men there is some unity, isn’t there? It’s no disgrace. But in front of women a man always has to prove that he’s courageous. Because if we started crying our eyes out, too, what’d happen to these poor creatures? It would be the end!”
A Lesson on Not Writing: “I haven’t the time to write. Sometimes it’s war, sometimes women, sometimes wine, sometimes the santuri: where would I find time to drive a miserable pen? That’s how the business falls into the hands of the pen-pushers! All those who actually live the mysteries of life haven’t the time to write, an all those who have the time don’t live them!”
A Lesson on Seeing God: “God changes his appearance every second. Blessed is the man who can recognize him in all his disguises. At one moment he is a glass of fresh water, the next your son bouncing on your knees or an enchanting woman, or perhaps merely a morning walk.”
A Lesson on Becoming as a Child: “When I was a kid and my grandma told me tales, I didn’t believe a word of them. And yet I trembled with emotion, I laughed and I cried, just as if I did believe them. When I grew a beard on my chin, I just dropped them, and I even used to laugh at them; but now, in my old age—I suppose I’m getting soft, eh, boss?—in a kind of way I believe in them again…Man’s a mystery!”
A Lesson on Nourishing and Strengthening Your Body: “Tell me what you do with what you eat and I will tell you who you are!”
A Lesson on Playing Your Musical Instrument: “Come over here you fiend. What the hell are you doing hanging on the wall without saying a word? Let’s hear you sing!”
A Lesson on Humanity: “Men, animals trees, stars, they are all hieroglyphics; woe to anyone who begins to decipher them and guess what they mean…When you see them, you do not understand them. You think they are really men, animals trees, stars. It is only years later, too late, that you understand.”
I've added a delicious little tid-bit to the sidebar as you can plainly see. I've had the idea for quite a while now, but wasn't sure on what my approach would be. Regardless, now you'll be able to listen to songs from a playlist I'll be updating about once a month or so. Feel free to comment on what you like or don't like, or other music I may be interested in!
No themes this month. Just a few tunes that have been getting PT lately.
I snapped the stem turned the dark weighty fruit aloft in the sun then looked forward The skin gave with mild pop its puncture oozing over gum and teeth the flesh of it coming apart along my tongue in juice and string a loose body's deceptive flavor sweetening with each successive bite until in moments, a minute perhaps, nothing remained save hunger - newborn and empty
I held the cold and purple pit in my palm a small wrinkled brain that held the knowledge of all things evil all things good