September 6, 2012
"I know the colour of that blood; it is arterial blood. I cannot be deceived in that colour. That drop of blood is my death warrant. I must die."

John Keats, [upon discovering a spot of blood on his bed sheet, caused by tuberculosis] (via oblit-review)

We all see our own death written somewhere. I hope we can all have the good grace to read it so boldly.

(via beneathbixbybridge)

July 14, 2012
Thoughts From Places: Crete

In a world that often values reason and logic over the more spiritual aspects of life, it must be admitted that there is something magical about the Agean Sea. Its color reminds me of hazel eyes, sometimes a deep blue and sometimes a light turquoise in the shallow depths. In the afternoon, the glow of the sun dipping into horizon casts a glittering blanket of gold across it. Of course, no matter how aesthetically pleasing it is, you can’t just look at it. Three hours after my arrival in Iraklion, Crete, I was already stripping clothes and racing towards the beach. The water’s temperature is the kind of cold that is only cold if you fight it. You can’t really walk into the Agean, you have to dive into it. You must be engulfed by it.

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July 11, 2012
"Poets are always taking the weather so personally."

— J. D. Salinger (via fishingboatproceeds)

July 9, 2012
theatlantic:

Today in 1979, Voyager 2 Buzzed Past Jupiter and Snapped This Picture

theatlantic:

Today in 1979, Voyager 2 Buzzed Past Jupiter and Snapped This Picture

July 7, 2012
"This is it, Joel. It’s going to be gone soon.
I know.
What do we do?
Enjoy it."

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

perhaps not the most elegant of attitudes, but it is a strong response to the reality that your life is constantly disappearing

July 2, 2012
"Wisdom tells me I am nothing.
Love tells me I am everything.
And between the two my life flows."

— Nisargadatta Maharaj (via sorakeem)

(Source: human-voices, via margeatlarge)

July 2, 2012
Intriguing Moment: Trapped in the Eternal Library

Aang from the tv series Avatar: The last airbender
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is going to be quick and dirty. I’ve had trouble writing lately, so apologies for my lack of activity on the blog. I’m working on it. Maybe if people think this is interesting, I’ll do more of these type of posts.

Anyway, I’ve been binging on Avatar: The Last Airbender on Netflix. As I discussed in one of my Back Logs, it’s a fantastic show, and the more I watch it, the more impressed with it I become. I’m a little over halfway through Season Two right now, and I was struck by a moment in Episode 10 of Season 2, “The Library.” In this episode, the gaang (trademark pending) journeys into an underground library in search of intelligence to use against the Fire Nation. What they find is a massive complex, full of an eternity’s worth of knowledge, guarded by an ancient knowledge spirit (in the form of an owl, natch).

At the end of the episode, the gaang’s companion to the library, a professor, elects to be trapped in the library, commenting that he could stay there forever. It’s implied that there might be something mystical going on here, that he could actually stay in this library forever, endlessly attaining knowledge. And I got to wondering: is this a valid choice?

People certainly dedicate their lives to the pursuit of knowledge, and I certainly think knowledge should be one of our most prized values. But this professor will never be able to use any of the knowledge he attains. Never will he teach it, or share it in any way, or turn his study into anything that could be useful, either to himself or others. Borges famously commented that he always imagined paradise “as a kind of library,” but is choosing this sort of paradise—or any sort of paradise—over real life a morally tenable choice?

 If you have ideas, let us know.

—JM

June 28, 2012
Playlist

Here at The River’s Tent, music is an important part of our lives, an integral piece of the culture we live in. Every Wednesday we’ll publish a playlist of 5 songs, collected either by some guiding principle or by the simple merits of our personal taste, along with a brief comment on the music selected.

As a general rule, I’m very interested in the effect that physical place can have on art; whether that’s the special kind of Gothic literature that emerged from the Deep South or the special brand of escapism invented in Southern California and then shipped across the nation. Context is key, as it turns out, and it’s always intriguing to trace the influence of setting on creative output. Indie Rock, of course, is a multifaceted and unwieldy beast but, for whatever reason, they seem to grow a particularly potent strain of it up in America’s Hat. This week all the artists featured in the playlist are from the land of The Mounties. Not so subtly titled, O! Canada, it covers a range of style, but I trust you, the discerning listener, to pick up on the similarities, such as they may exist, and to have as much fun as I do speculating on what about Canada makes people awesome indie rockers.

June 28, 2012
slaughterhouse90210:

“I married him against all evidence. I married him believing that marriage doesn’t work, that love dies, that passion fades, and in so doing I became the kind of romantic only a cynic is truly capable of being.” ― Nora Ephron, Heartburn

slaughterhouse90210:

“I married him against all evidence. I married him believing that marriage doesn’t work, that love dies, that passion fades, and in so doing I became the kind of romantic only a cynic is truly capable of being.”
― Nora Ephron, Heartburn

June 28, 2012
theparisreview:


I’m the one who comes on Radio 1 late at nights and plays records made by sulky Belgian art students dying of tuberculosis.

This was how John Peel introduced himself to a family audience, on one of his occasional forays into British television. He can’t always have been graying, or bearded, or balding, but this is how most people continue to visualize him. He seemed, to those of us who listened to him, to have been born avuncular. For nearly four decades, until his death in 2004, Peel shared his musical enthusiasms with the ever-changing audience of his late-night show on BBC Radio 1 and made his personal collection into a truly representative historical document, like a latter-day Alan Lomax. Except that in this case, the field came to him: homemade cassette recordings sent from across Britain, and beyond, to Peel’s door. This didn’t mean that no hard work was involved. Peel listened to them all, working through an avalanche of audio slush, with a heroic commitment to the aesthetically new.
—Jonathan Gharraie, “Peel Sessions”

theparisreview:

I’m the one who comes on Radio 1 late at nights and plays records made by sulky Belgian art students dying of tuberculosis.

This was how John Peel introduced himself to a family audience, on one of his occasional forays into British television. He can’t always have been graying, or bearded, or balding, but this is how most people continue to visualize him. He seemed, to those of us who listened to him, to have been born avuncular. For nearly four decades, until his death in 2004, Peel shared his musical enthusiasms with the ever-changing audience of his late-night show on BBC Radio 1 and made his personal collection into a truly representative historical document, like a latter-day Alan Lomax. Except that in this case, the field came to him: homemade cassette recordings sent from across Britain, and beyond, to Peel’s door. This didn’t mean that no hard work was involved. Peel listened to them all, working through an avalanche of audio slush, with a heroic commitment to the aesthetically new.

Jonathan Gharraie, “Peel Sessions”

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