We Go To DC/ Andrea Bocelli In Concert

Artists, Blogs or Posts, East Coast Travels, More Photos, Music

It has been cold and rainy here in Virginia for awhile now and Betsy was sick with a stomach virus that laid her up in bed for a few days. So as the day approached for the Andrea Bocelli concert in Washington DC I was not sure if we would even be able to go. But my lovely wife rallied and the skies cleared up, although it remained cold. We drove two hours up to the southern reach of the Metro system and glided the rest of the way to the Verizon Center.
And so it turned out to be one of the loveliest experiences we have had in quite a long time. Emerging from the subway there were tents and vendors with many, many Christmas items next to the National Portrait Gallery.
This made someone happy. Can you tell? Then we went inside to view an exhibit entitled, A Democracy of Images Photographs. Truly fascinating photos by photographers in America from the time the art first emerged in the early 1800’s until today.
  Then we went to dinner at Corduroy with a good friend of ours, Kurt, who has worked at the Library of Congress for over thirty years. And then we said goodbye and headed for the concert. Andrea was amazing as usual. There were five encores ending with his amazing rendition of Nessun Dorma. I never really expected to see Andrea Bocelli in concert so this was an amazing treat, a Christmas experience I will never forget. Betsy had a great time, too, and we enjoyed the adventure together. Back to the Metro we went and down I-95 where construction is ever present. We got home well after one in the morning and I was asleep about two minutes after my head hit the pillow. Daily walking has its rewards. Here are some photos.   https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidlind/11353523405/in/set-72157638637430505/player/

Virginia Museum Of Fine Arts / Internationally Renowned Glass Artist Dale Chihuly / Tom Wolf Back To Blood

Artists, Blogs or Posts, D's Slide shows, D's Writing

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Betsy and I recently went to the Virginia Museum Of Fine Arts to see the Chihuly exhibit and have lunch for Valentine’s Day. There is so much there to see besides the extraordinary glass art works. I was particularly drawn to the Medieval and Renaissance tapestries on this visit.

And so we have photos. The weather today is cold, gray and rainy or snowy, depending on when you look at it. So let’s just try and ignore it. I went out and walked 4.5 miles while listening to Tom Wolf’s Back To Blood which was released last October and designated as one of Amazon’s Best Books of the Month. Soon I am going to go to a place we had dinner a few weeks ago and order one of their sixteen inch pizzas. It was so good for days after we brought it home the first time.

 
Amazon.com Widgets
 

I must have more. If you can’t have spring at least you can try to substitute other things for it. Although a mildly futile gesture it keeps us busy while we wait for something else to happen. And what might happen you might ask? Well, a government across the big water let the world know that it was taking a large chunk of everyone’s bank balance in Cyprus this morning. That was mildly surprising. So anything can happen at any time although I’m not betting on winning the lottery or being swallowed by a sink hole today. It’s more likely to be some small event that jerks my chain.

Why worry about it? Because I need the sun, dammit! Where did it go? And when is it coming back for more than five minutes? Fifty shades of gray sky is killing my libido and everything else that is attached to my cold, white skin. I’m no longer depressed by the desolation of winter. Now I’m mad. That may be progress in some strange way but it’s not pleasant. So I sit here boosting colors in photos and letting steam rise from my ear holes.

And also, wondering what the world would be like if a majority of the people suddenly decided that politicians should be treated like, I don’t know, maybe like minorities were treated 150 years ago. Would someone please write a book about that. And please make sure there is an audio version. Thank you. Here are the photos.

 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/davidlind/8568539347/in/set-72157633024711219/player/

 

Robert Thurman / Buddhist Thought / The Path To Greater Realization

Artists, D's Writing, Favorites, Meditation, Music, The Lost Child

Robert Thurman is a funny guy and very smart, too.  He’s on my Ipod talking at great length about the Tibetan Book Of The Dead.  Here’s a joke he tells that he finds hilarious.  “Why does it take so many sperm to impregnate the egg?”

“None of them will ask for directions.”  Pretty good.  Probably an old joke but I don’t remember ever hearing it.  Certainly my Dad didn’t mention it in The Talk we had many years ago.  Although I wish he had and hope my son reads this and will, someday, pass it on to my grandson.  An icebreaker.  Be cool, Dad.

Does the name Thurman ring any bells with you?  Well, it should!  Can any of us forget the bathtub scene with Uma (his daughter) or Kill Bill (not Bob).  Robert married the Swedish Beauty,  Nena von Schlebrugge, years ago.  Nena used to be married to Timothy Leary.  I shared this information with my wife today since Uma’s Dad is my new best friend during my walks (Audible.com  Liberation Upon Hearing In The Between.  Robert Thurman).  She may have rolled her eyes.  I need to see better but at the moment bright lights are causing me some difficulty because I’m giving up the pain medication I am prescribed for RLS (Restless Legs Syndrome).  Pain medications do help but they have very annoying side effects.  They amplify pain and other bodily miseries (itching, for example  and I have patches of eczema that are very distracting).  I could with some justification float around on a cloud all day but I choose to avoid this false reality and the increasing dosages necessary to avoid the “coming down”.

Besides, I’m in good shape now and don’t mind these daily wrestling matches with the body and it’s charming surprises.  But when your eyebrows cause you pain you have a serious problem.  Just saying.

Back to Robert Thurman.  He brings a poetic imagination to the table and builds visions that inspire, for instance.  New York City.  A large apartment building on a weekend evening.  How many people inside are “getting it on”?  Unborn souls are swirling around and being attracted to certain couples engaged in the tangle.  Each is identifying with a certain man or woman and “dive in” to the aforementioned struggle, not asking directions, but becoming an unborn child (male or female depending on  their focus), if they manage to reach the front of the line.  Sometimes it’s a tie (twins)!  His riff on the Oedipal connections at this moment are intriguing.  Lust will find a way, it seems, and we see why souls are drawn back into this world.  I’ve wondering for awhile why anyone would come back to this place.  Reincarnation always seemed a forced procedure but after listening to his description of romance on the East River I can sort of see why it happens.

While I walk the miles.  I’m not a Buddhist but much of what he says makes sense to me.  I was raised a Methodist in the sheltering arms of my parents and my most memorable experience there was “a first kiss” in the choir loft on an evening before we were discovered by the choir director (not a happy man).  It was a group meeting so the recriminations afterwards were diluted due to our sheer numbers.  Ah, church youth groups in the late 50’s and early 60’s were such fun.

Later I was a Baptist after an ill-fated decision to marry (Yours, Mine, Ours) in the Brady Bunch tradition.  I hope it was good in some ways for the kids because it was the Trip To Hell for me.  I stuck it out for 14 years but as you can probably tell I’m not the traditional kind of guy and the finest memories I have of this period were the communal meals with home fried chicken.  Jesus is real and I kept that in mind as I went down the road with someone who was interested only in support of one kind or another.  And still is, today.

The love of my (spiritual) life is Paramahansa Yogananda who arose in the Hindu tradition.  Robert says some interesting things about how the Hindu and Buddhist religions had a parting of the ways in India.  He notes that there are fierce Hindu deities who resemble  Buddhist deities and so forth.  Did you know that if you encounter one of these terrifying-looking forms (you can often find renditions of them in local museums like our own Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, by the way)  you should embrace them!  Don’t be afraid!  They are your protection in the unconscious mind where the great horrors of mankind (Hitler, for example!) reside.  So my guru, Paramahansa Yogandanda, has been with me since I discovered his autobiography on a book table, while in college.  I don’t associate him with kissing or fried chicken.  He has gotten me this far and through all of that.

And so my path continues as I walk every day and try to (gradually) improve.  The inner light calls me although I will admit, at this moment, the gross light of day is difficult.  I understand that life is fierce and lustful, at times, and it will lead you astray.  But I’m also confident that we can find our way.  I’m most grateful to have found a loving and supportive partner, my wife, Elizabeth, who is a gift from God and someone who enables me to reach beyond our mechanical world with it’s failing traditions.  “Betsy” is known to many as a source of strength and love.  I will call her Elizabeth, here, because it is a majestic name and were we to see her as she really is, we would see a spirit of such stature we would be in awe of the light she casts about this frightful (at times) place.

And to sum up, regarding Robert Thurman.  Once, long ago, he was apparently trying to jack up his car when the stupid thing snapped and shattered his face, causing him to lose an eye.  At that time he seemingly was a traditional guy, but after this happened, he gave up his marriage and traveled abroad, becoming the first American Buddhist monk of the Tibetan Buddhist tradition.  He studied with the 14th Dalai Lama who became a close friend, and then returned to the U.S. in 1967 where he met his German-Swedish model and gave up his vows to pursue the life of the ordinary man.

Thus, we have Uma, her siblings and so many other things including some great lectures that one can enjoy while walking and trying to do better.  Yesterday, after I gave up the prescription pain medication and walked, I was lying in bed listening to the following music and doing some breathing exercises.  Suddenly, I was filled with a blissful light and energy that made it clear this was the right path.  This is the way.  Thank you for listening.  Have a perfect day.

 
 

 

Rihanna Is Hot / Weekly Photo Challenge / Fleeting Moments / The Washington DC Scene

Artists, East Coast Travels, Memes!, More Photos, Music, Videos

 

Man it’s hot out today! It’s 101 according to the Weather Channel here in Richmond, Virginia and that is DOWN from earlier. It’s cooling off! The heat is a problem but nothing like what they are enduring out west. Hell has erupted in Colorado. We have all been praying for rain and I saw a report earlier that rain has been a factor in the last day or so. Keep up those prayers. I put a word in with my alien buddies and they are apparently not too mad at me anymore. Come on guys! Just because I’m not ready for a committed relationship?!! You freak me out! But let’s be friends! Make it rain out there and put out the fire.

The heat does things to my brain. I’ve been watching Rihanna on Youtube and Where Have You Been. It’s one of those things that gets into your brain and you can’t shut it off. No wonder 68 million viewers have watched the video. Rihanna is in the stratosphere when it comes to popular artists in 2012.

 

There’s an interesting article about [[wiki:Rihanna]] and her life and achievements (so far) in Wikipedia. 
She has sold more than 25 million albums and 60 million singles worldwide since the beginning
of her career in 2005, which makes her one of the best-selling music artists of all time.

It’s so very hot out there on the streets of DC but people are taking it in stride. So is Rihanna. And so are we, hopefully, while staying indoors with the AC and our Youtube favorites.

Miranda Lambert At Virginia Beach / No Kerosine Please / Patriotic Festival

Artists, Blogs or Posts, D's Slide shows, More Photos, Videos, Virginia Beach, Walking And Losing Weight

Miranda (I think) telling the boys how it’s going to go down before the concert.
 

 

It’s a Virginia Beach weekend, boys and girls! We are here to enjoy the festivities which include several free concerts. It’s the Va Beach Patriotic Festival with the Blue Angels. Miranda Lambert will be in concert tonight and I see her bus down below near the festival site. Somebody is cooking up some grub on the grill out back and taking it into the bus for the sultry (or sleepy?) songstress. Hopefully, she is in a good mood and doesn’t take out of there with her kerosine can!

 


 
I walked 12 miles this morning because the breeze was nice and it’s a straight, level shot down the boardwalk and back. Did it twice. Never did that before. Last year at this time would have had a hard time doing it once.

I joined a local photography group and plan to meet with them tomorrow and try to get some shots of the Blue Angels. Part of the plan to “live the good life” is to meet new people, find some friends and learn to be a better photographer. Introverts have a difficult time with these issues, sometimes.

So the light was really nice last night and I took a few lenses and tried to play with it. I bought a new lens and am really pleased with it. It does really well in low light. The AF-S Nikkor 35mm 1:1.8 G. The aperture opens up to 1.8 and does nice things. It’s very light too so I can use it on the Nikon D-40 (which is also very light) and take it on walks. I took it on the 12 miler this morning and didn’t even notice it. Here’s a photo from this happy combo.

 
Yes, there is a huge, very fast speedboat parked on the boardwalk. I have a few more photos of it below. Hopefully, we will get to see it do its stuff this weekend.

So, as I was saying, the light was really cool last night. You really couldn’t see the horizon at one point. Everything was just a mellow shade of blue and the new lens had a chance to show what it can do in the fading light.

Much more to follow. Everyone have a great weekend!

 

http://www.smugmug.com/ria/ShizamSlides-2013072402.swf

The Month Of May / Francis Quarles / Emblemes (1635) /

Artists, D's Writing, History, More Photos, Well-known Quotations

Let all thy joys be as the month of May,
And all thy days be as a marriage day.
~Francis Quarles

It’s very cool out early on this Friday morning. It reminds me of Virginia Beach on a day like the one depicted in this photo. May is one of my favorite months. Like October, it is a mixture of many elements around these parts. And the humidity and bugs have not quite gotten here.

 
So I found this quote about May and see it is something done by an Englishman many years ago. Francis Quarles (Quarles rhymes with Charles).
 
He apparently enjoyed the month of May as well.
 

Francis Quarles was a seventeenth century poet best known for his Emblemes book. Each “emblem” consisted of a paraphrase from a passage of Scripture, expressed in ornate and metaphorical language, followed by passages from the Christian Fathers, and concluding with an epigram of four lines. There were also engravings which he did not do. But he may have modified some of them. So he combined different elements of artistic expression and was very popular with the masses in his time. Better poets. . . Donne, Herbert, Crashaw and others, were impressed, in some sense, by this.

 
What is more impressive to me is that he and his wife, Ursula, had eighteen children together!

So, in our world, Quarles could easily have been a successful blogger, or, he and his wife could have had a reality program like The Duggar’s 19 Kids and Counting! On a more serious note (is any of this serious? I’m not sure) one of Quarles descendants was Langston Hughes, the celebrated author and poet during the Harlem Renaissance.

Clearly this writer practiced what he preached and every day (or, at least, quite a few of them) was a day to celebrate his marriage to Ursula! She wrote a book about him when he died, too. That’s impressive.

So, while Francis Quarles was not the most talented guy in the world he managed to be an artist who is remembered centuries later. How many of us will be remembered and written about in the year 2400? He was popular with the masses and he had a devoted wife.

But he was not happy when he died. He was accused of being a papist. Controversy surrounded him, depressed him, and, in fact, made him refuse the help of a doctor who was a Catholic. So he died. But then, he probably would have died anyway, given the nature of medical practices during that time. And it would have hurt a lot more.

Ravinder Reddy / Hindu Art Meet Pop Culture / Art And Pulling Weeds / PhotoSunday Public Art

Artists, D's Writing, More Photos, Richmond

Ravinder Reddy began making his massive monumental heads in the 80’s. They are like nothing else in contemporary art, modeled with remarkable skill and painted in dazzling colors, Ravinder Reddy fuses the Hindu sculptural tradition with a contemporary pop sensibility mixing a reverence for traditional Indian sculptural forms with an appreciation of Andy Warhol’s portraits. In addition to creating a dialogue between traditional Hindu art and contemporary pop, Ravinder Reddy also reflects the way young Indian women are recreating the feminine image to merge a reverence for tradition with an embrace of the contemporary world. Their elaborate hairstyles are adorned with hundreds of delicately sculpted flowers. Many are gilded, giving them the effect of religious icons. ~ Initial Access

PhotoSunday’s theme this week is Public Art. One of the very fun things to do with a camera is to explore the worlds of artists who have dedicated their lives to art. I was watching a fascinating program last night on the public television channel called Art In The Twenty-First Century. It focuses on several artists each week who are working now to bring their private visions to the public. You have probably seen sometime in your life an artist working somewhere to make something. Here in Richmond we were able to watch and actually participate in the creation of stick art by Patrick Dougherty at the local botanical gardens.

VMFA’s monumental female head Krishnaveni I by Ravinder Reddy is over six feet tall. It just stopped me in my tracks when I discovered it downtown.  The colors are brilliant and it takes us for a marvelous ride in the imagination.

Thank God for art that can break up the monotonous logic of our lives. That’s what I say. Not to say that monotony is always such a bad thing.

Many gardeners will agree that hand-weeding is not the terrible drudgery that it is often made out to be. Some people find in it a kind of soothing monotony. It leaves their minds free to develop the plot for their next novel or to perfect the brilliant repartee with which they should have encountered a relative’s latest example of unreasonableness. ~Christopher Lloyd, The Well-Tempered Garden, 1973

I can see that happening too. Here’s a photo of the blogger after he had been pulling weeds in the backyard for just fifteen minutes or so.

Tools Of Williamsburg Virginia Carpentry / Photo Theme For Thursday

Artists, Blogs or Posts, D's Writing, More Photos

 

 

 

 

 

It’s Thursday already.  Where did the week go?  It seems like just yesterday I was trying to find my way out of DC. and heading north on the George Washington Parkway.  The only problem being that we live south of Washington in Richmond, Virginia.

But we must have made it home because I can see the back yard out the window.  The birds have nested around the air conditioner and they continue to make a racket.  And the woodworking shop is out there.  The theme this week at Photo Theme for Thursday is Tools and here we have a craftsman making a wagon wheel down there in Williamsburg, Virginia. The tool is hanging on the wall and it helps to bring various elements of the photo together in my view.

Here is a work by William Blake that has a divider in it. Blake was not fond of Newton or science in general as this article points out.  

 
 

There’s this whole belief system that associates science with the Devil and I guess Blake would be one of its proponents. Anyway, our carpenter friend is trying to make a wagon wheel out of wood which cannot be any easy thing. It must stand up to a lot of stress and pounding on unpaved roads. No GPS either. My God, how did they manage?

Photo Theme For Thursday / Spring / Charles Dickens / Mark Twain / Percy Bysshe Shelley

Artists, Blogs or Posts, More Photos, Well-known Poetry, Well-known Quotations

It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade. ~Charles Dickens

It’s spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you’ve got it, you want – oh, you don’t quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so! ~Mark Twain

And Spring arose on the garden fair,
Like the Spirit of Love felt everywhere;
And each flower and herb on Earth’s dark breast
rose from the dreams of its wintry rest.
~Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Sensitive Plant”

Library Of Congress/ Playing Baseball And Football In The Buff / Thomas Dekker

Artists, Blogs or Posts, D's Writing, East Coast Travels, Favorites, Sports, Word!

In the buff

Meaning

N*ked.

Origin

A buff-coat was a light leather tunic which was worn by English soldiers up until the 17th century. The original meaning of ‘in the buff’ was simply to be wearing such a coat. Shakespeare makes reference to this in The Comedy of Errors, 1590 – employing a play on two meanings of the word suit, i.e. a suit (of clothes) and suit (authorization):

ADRIANA: What, is he arrested? Tell me at whose suit.

DROMIO OF SYRACUSE: I know not at whose suit he is arrested well;
But he’s in a suit of buff which ‘rested him, that can I tell.

The later meaning of in the buff meaning naked is an allusion to the colour of the skin, which is somewhat like the colour buff (a light browny yellow). This was first recorded by Thomas Dekker, in his work Satiro-mastix or the untrussing of the humorous poet, 1602. In this he likens ‘in buff’ to ‘in stag’, which was a commonly used term for naked in the 17th century.

“No, come my little Cub, doe not scorne mee because I goe in Stag, in Buffe, heer’s veluet too.”

All of this from a lovely little site called  The Phrase Finder

Earlier in the year we were up in DC and having a nice tour of the Library of Congress when our friend Kurt started telling us about these two paintings way up there on the ceiling.

These are representations of our national pastimes of football and baseball. But, of course, there is a major Greek influence going on here with all the statues and large columns. Just having a picture of Brett Favre up there (and a reference to There’s Something About Mary) would not be cool.

What to do? I know! Let’s undress em all and Play Ball!

So this is my Sunday afternoon post. Basically I’m sitting here alone because Beth went out for awhile to do some shopping. And I already did some shopping this morning on Amazon.com. Last evening when we went to dinner our waitress was telling us about the upcoming Black Friday shopping day. Her eyes became wide with animation as she talked about waiting in line at five am to be the first one in Walmut’s. She was pretty cute about it. Apparently last year there was a large crowd around the mountain of stuff that was unbelievably discounted.

Televisions for ninety nine cents. That sort of sale and when they’re gone they are definitely gone. So the guy was throwing the stuff to people who couldn’t get near the pile. And our poor waitress got hit in the head by a small box.

I think it was a radio or an alarm clock.   Because she got clocked.   So they had to call the ambulance. . .

Just kidding. She had fun and went out to breakfast with her buds after it was over.  And she had an adventure.  Plus!  She was not watching television.  She was enjoying her life.

But why am I not convinced that I or anybody I love should do this. . .I guess it’s a sport. And like any sport you have to understand the finer points. And love it.

Like n*ked football. Or even better. . . n*ked baseball!

Batter Up!

If you enjoy it please SU it so more folks will see it. And just to be perfectly clear SU means Stumble it on StumbleUpon. There’s no telling what might have been running through your mind a few seconds ago.

After reading all these edge dwelling posts.

Have a wonderful Sunday afternoon.  Maybe I will go for a walk.  Evita would approve of that.

Beth too for that matter.

Families / The Good, The Bad And The Ugly/ My Dreams Of Jennifer Lopez/ Emily Dickinson/ Edgar Allen Poe

American Idol, Artists, Blogs or Posts, D's Writing, More Photos, Well-known Poetry

To make a prairie it takes a clover and one bee,
One clover, and a bee,
And revery.
The revery alone will do,
If bees are few.
~Emily Dickinson, Poems

The strongest nation on earth is your imagi-nation. ~Matt Furey

They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night. ~Edgar Allan Poe, “Eleonora”

 
 
Here is a photo I took some time ago over at the botanical gardens. It’s all about a busy bee doing what bees do best. . . being a bee. And I admire the little guy for simply going about his business without worrying about anything at all. When I walk I try to do the same thing. Just walk. Forget about the world. Forget about all the things going on in our lives, Betsy and myself. We are surrounded by many people who are doing the best they can to deal with this world. Only a few resort to treachery and causing others pain.
But I seldom think about them. I’m mostly at peace with life and for some reason have a great deal of time to use my imagination. I never have bad dreams or nightmares. Last night, for example, I dreamed about [[wiki:Jennifer Lopez]]. For some reason, once again inexplicable, she had the hots for me. I used to dream about Charlize Theron but apparently she has moved on. No problem. It’s fun having Jennifer around. In some ways it’s even nicer because she has a softer personality. I’m still amazed at how the singer on American Idol who was finally kicked off last week worked her to last as long as he did. He was a blubbering mass of insecurities and she was very protective of him. But then, America voted him off and they made her tell him he had to go.

Life can be cruel, can’t it Jen? But it goes on and we go on too. And we do better if we imagine a better place where  serious mischief makers do not go. It actually is better to be robbed or manipulated than to do either of these things. It’s better to be at peace with yourself. It’s better to be hated than to hate someone if you have tried to make amends. And it’s not like you have to wait to pass away in order to find “heaven”. It’s right here. Maybe it becomes more visible at a later date. Maybe heavenly architecture does exist somewhere but it’s not really very important. Because the true peace arrives more quickly and it is invisible to those who cannot see.

It’s in our hearts and souls. It animates the imagination with delightful dreams both day and night.  We can go here now!  And it sorts out our families and takes us all where we will fit in most perfectly and BE the most happy in the end as well.