A Pearl S. Buck Quote

Pearl_S_Buck
Alexander Calder in his studio
Alexander Calder in his studio.

The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: A human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive. To him…a touch is a blow, a sound is a noise, a misfortune is a tragedy, a joy is an ecstasy, a friend is a lover, a lover is a god, and failure is death. Add to this cruelly delicate organism the overpowering necessity to create, create, and create – so that without the creating of music or poetry or books or buildings or something of meaning, his very breath is cut off from him. He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.

 Pearl S. Buck

Here’s an article about the “inhuman sensitivity”  Buck is talking about, Why So Many Artists Are Highly Sensitive People by Carolyn Gregoire.

Thanks to Meagan Patrick for bringing this to my attention.

A Quote from Antoni Gaudi

Sagrada Familia

Sagrada Familia, the cathedral that has been under construction in Barcelona since 1882, has a special place in my heart. I briefly considered including it in A Life’s Work. (Here’s why I didn’t.) But that’s not what this post is about. This post is about a quote.

When asked to comment on how long the cathedral would take to construct, its architect, Antoni Gaudí said, “My client is not in a hurry.”

If you’re interested, you can head over to Extra Criticum for my review of a new documentary, Sagrada: The Mystery of Creation, directed by Stefan Haupt.

Sagrada: The Mystery of Creation

 

A Quote About Why You’re Here

Here’s a quote from writer Louise Erdrich.

Photo by Peter LaMastro.
Photo by Peter LaMastro.

Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.

Thanks to poet Susan Elbe for bringing the quote to my attention and thanks to photographer Peter LaMastro for letting me use his photograph. You can see more of his work on his website.

A Quote About Exploration from T.S. Eliot

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

from Four Quartets by T.S. Eliot

Earthrise.
Earthrise.

About the photo:

Earthrise
Apollo 8, the first manned mission to the moon, entered lunar orbit on Christmas Eve, Dec. 24, 1968. That evening, the astronauts — commander Frank Borman, Command Module Pilot Jim Lovell, and Lunar Module Pilot William Anders — held a live broadcast from lunar orbit, in which they showed pictures of the Earth and moon as seen from their spacecraft. Said Lovell, “The vast loneliness is awe-inspiring and it makes you realize just what you have back there on Earth.” They ended the broadcast with the crew taking turns reading from the book of Genesis.

Image and Text Credit: NASA

 

Johnny Cash Understood A Life’s Work

Johnny Cash working
Johnny Cash working

What’s the filmmaker reading? Cash, by Johnny Cash, his second autobiography. Here’s a passage where he writes about his grandfather, John L. Rivers. It seemed relevant to this here blog so I thought I’d share it.

… Long after Grandfather Rivers died, I went back to Chesterfield County, South Carolina, where he was born and raised. Though I really didn’t expect to find any trace of him, when I walked in the office of the Rivers Cotton Gin and asked, “Is anyone here any relation to John L. Rivers, who migrated to Arkansas when he was a young man?” everyone there answered, “We all are.” Then they sent me down the road to the local genealogist, Edgar Rivers, and Edgar sat me down on his back porch and told me a story. Several years after he’d been settled in Arkansas, Grandfather Rivers got a letter from back home telling him that the farms in Chesterfield County had been stricken by a blight and the farmers had no seed corn for next year’s crop. If he had any extra, could he get it to them somehow?

He could. He scraped together all the seed corn he could spare, hitched up his wagon, made the trip from southwest Arkansas to South Carolina — a brutally long, hard journey in those days — and delivered the seed in time for spring planting. The farmers of Chesterfield County had had a successful crop that year.

Edgar went into his kitchen when he’d finished the story and came back out onto the porch with a fresh ear of corn in his hand. He’d just picked it that morning, he said, the first corn of the year from his garden. He shucked it and showed it to me. It looked good: a big, long, healthy ear, bright yellow.

“That’s John L. Rivers Yellow” he said, “the same corn your granddaddy brought from Arkansas. We still eat it today.”

That was a good moment.

Thank you, Johnny Cash, for the great story. And yeah, thanks for the great music, too.

Here’s Sunday Morning Coming Down, written by Kris Kristofferson, immortalized by Mr. Cash.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ED5s1-Fe9FA[/youtube]

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What’s A Life’s Work about? It’s a documentary about people engaged in projects they won’t see completed in their lifetimes. You can find out more on this page.

We recently ran a crowdfunding campaign and raised enough to pay an animator and license half of the archival footage the film requires. We need just a bit more to pay for licensing the other half of the archival footage, sound mixing, color correction, E&O insurance and a bunch of smaller things. When that’s done, the film is done! It’s really very VERY close!

So here’s how you can help get this film out to the world. It’s very simple: click the button…

Donate Now!

… and enter the amount you want to contribute (as little as $5, as much as $50,000) and the other specifics. That’s it. No login or registration required. Your contribution does not line my pocket; because the film is fiscally sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts, all money given this way is overseen by them and is guaranteed to go toward the completion of this film. Being fiscally sponsored also means that your contribution is tax-deductible. So why not do it? The amount doesn’t matter as much as the fact that you’re helping to bring a work of art into the world. And that, I think, is really exciting!

Questions? Email me at d a v i d ( aT } b l o o d o r a n g e f i l m s {d o t] c o m[/color-box]

Meet Mountaineer W. H. Murray: A quote and then some

Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation) there is one elementary truth, the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would not otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no man would have dreamed would come his way. I have learned a deep respect for one of Goethe’s couplets: “Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it. Begin it now.”

W. H. Murray, The Scottish Himalayan Expedition

From Wikipedia

W.H. Murray“At the outbreak of World War II, he (W. H. Murray) joined the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders and was posted to the Middle East and North Africa. He was captured south of Mersa Matruh during the Western Desert Campaign in a retreat to El Alamein in June 1942 by a tank commander from the 15th Panzer Division who was armed with a machine-pistol. A passage in Mountain magazine (#67, 1979) describes the moments after his capture:

To my astonishment, he [the German tank commander] forced a wry smile and asked in English, ‘Aren’t you feeling the cold?’ … I replied ‘cold as a mountain top’. He looked at me, and his eyes brightened. ‘Do you mean – you climb mountains?’ He was a mountaineer. We both relaxed. He stuffed his gun away. After a few quick words – the Alps, Scotland, rock and ice – he could not do enough for me.

Murray then spent three years in prisoner of war camps in Italy (Chieti), Germany (Moosberg, Brunswick) and Czechoslovakia (Marisch Trubeau Oflag VIII-F). While imprisoned, Murray wrote a book entitled Mountaineering in Scotland. The first draft of the work was written on the only paper available to him — rough toilet paper. The manuscript was found and destroyed by the Gestapo. To the incredulity of his fellow prisoners, Murray’s response to the loss was to start again, despite the risk of its loss and that his physical condition was so poor from the near starvation diet that he believed he would never climb again. The rewritten work was finally published in 1947 and was followed by the sequel, Undiscovered Scotland, in 1951. Both concentrate on Scottish winter climbing and were widely credited with helping to inspire the post-war renaissance in the sport. Though written in an evocative, rather pantheistic, style, somewhat too romantic for modern tastes, they are of significant literary value.”

 

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What’s A Life’s Work about? It’s a documentary about people engaged in projects they won’t see completed in their lifetimes. You can find out more on this page.

We recently ran a crowdfunding campaign and raised enough to pay an animator and license half of the archival footage the film requires. We need just a bit more to pay for licensing the other half of the archival footage, sound mixing, color correction, E&O insurance and a bunch of smaller things. When that’s done, the film is done! It’s really very VERY close!

So here’s how you can help get this film out to the world. It’s very simple: click the button…

Donate Now!

… and enter the amount you want to contribute (as little as $5, as much as $50,000) and the other specifics. That’s it. No login or registration required. Your contribution does not line my pocket; because the film is fiscally sponsored by the New York Foundation for the Arts, all money given this way is overseen by them and is guaranteed to go toward the completion of this film. Being fiscally sponsored also means that your contribution is tax-deductible. So why not do it? The amount doesn’t matter as much as the fact that you’re helping to bring a work of art into the world. And that, I think, is really exciting!

Questions? Email me at d a v i d ( aT } b l o o d o r a n g e f i l m s {d o t] c o m[/color-box]

Trees as Monuments: A Quote

Trees at Sweet Briar College
Five beautiful trees on the Sweet Briar College campus.

Trees are the best monuments that a man can erect to his own memory. They speak his praises without flattery, and they are blessings to children yet unborn. ~ Lord Orrery

Thanks to​ Mary Akers for bringing this quote to my attention.​

Related post: Mr Pete’s Tree

Success: A Georgia O’Keeffe Quote

Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing. ~ Georgia O’Keeffe

Georgia O'Keeffe: A Portrait, by Alfred Stieglitz
Georgia O’Keeffe: A Portrait, by Alfred Stieglitz

Thanks to friend and poet Susan Elbe for bringing this quote to my attention.

The Getty Museum (NOT Getty Images) has made more than 4,000 digital images available “free to use, modify, and publish for any purpose.” This portrait is one of them. Use their search engine to find your next screen saver!

It’s All True: The Baseball Platitudes Post

Sometimes when you’re discouraged you need a good baseball platitude. Sometimes you need ten good baseball platitudes. These were all culled from columns published in the last few days, hence the omission of some of the classics.

keith_hernandez“I feel more and more comfortable every day here. It’s a great clubhouse and a great team, and I just want to do my part.”

“I feel good with where I’m at the last couple starts. I feel like I’ve thrown the ball a lot better. I just try to build off that.”

“We made some really good pitches. It just didn’t work out for us.”

“We know he’s strong. He’s got all the skills. We’re going to have some ups and downs and be a little patient with him.”

“I could tell in the first inning that I had good stuff and was able to throw strikes when I needed to.”

“There’s still a lot of games left, but to come out and get this final game, I think, is big.”

“We’ve been swinging the bats well and it was just one of those adjustment periods we had to go through and get back after it the next day.”

“I feel pretty good. I’ve just been throwing a lot of strikes, trying to control the walks and just pound the strike zone and that helped me a lot.”

“You look at the skill sets, and the skill sets will tell you he has an opportunity to be successful.”

“Every game matters, and the more we can continue to have big at-bats like we did today… we’ll get on a nice roll and win more than we’re going to lose.”