Archive for the ‘Quotes’ Category

Arrival   Leave a comment

Joy Makeup-2-Edit-2-art-72Arrival — Photo-Artistry by kenne

Arrival

And yet one arrives somehow, 
finds himself loosening the hooks of 
her dress 
in a strange bedroom— 
feels the autumn 
dropping its silk and linen leaves 
about her ankles. 
The tawdry veined body emerges 
twisted upon itself 
like a winter wind . . . !

— William Carlos Williams

Believing In The Importance Of The Struggle — Robert M. Pirsig, Dead At 88   1 comment

pirsig-with-chris-1968_custom-1dfd21fa4918cd9508463228a8dd69566ee06eb0-s800-c85Source: William Morrow/HarperCollins

It’s just a little after midnight in Tucson, and I’m having trouble sleeping. It could be that Joy is having surgery later today. It could be that in this age of hand-held technology it was several hours ago I received news alert on the passage of Robert M. Pirsig at age 88.

In the 1970’s I was interested in motorcycles — own a couple. It was a time in which I loved reading about technology and philosophy. So, in 1974 when I read a review of a recently published book, “Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values,” I went out and bought a copy.

The inside cover jacket begins with a quote from the book:

“ The study of the art of motorcycle maintenance is really a miniature study of the art of rationality itself. Working on a motorcycle, working well, caring, is to become part of a process, to achieve an inner peace of mind. The motorcycle is primarily a mental phenomenon.”

What better way to write about the conflict between science and religion, and the nature of Quality in art than to have it as part of a motorcycle narrative of a trip Pirsig, his eleven-year-old son and two friends took from Minnesota to California? As it turns out, the real trip was not a motorcycle trip, but a philosophic trip that centers on an insane passion for truth.

In February of this year, I posted a blog entitled, The Zen of Visual Imagery – Balancing Passion and Obsession, in which I reference the novel I have worshiped over the years. Whether in my own teaching of educational philosophy or photography, I can’t talk about life without referencing Pirsig for the truth. It is time for a Chautauqua.

–kenne

The Gifts That Keep On Giving   Leave a comment

Two Vessels — Computer Art by kenne

(First posted December 22, 2009)

The things that happen to us in life do so because we act. The more we act, the more opportunities we have upon which to act, the more we connect creating a vessel filled with learning moments. If we don’t act on the moments, each will become an opportunity lost. Even so, it’s important not to think about what may have been left behind.

My vessel is an alchemy of acts from which new opportunities are poured – acts attract acts. Paulo Coelho wrote in his bestseller, The Alchemist, “There is only one way to learn,” the alchemist answered. “It’s through action. Everything you need to know you have learned through your journey.”

It was ten years ago that I first read Coelho’s enchanting fable. It was in preparation for leading a group of four young professionals to the state of Sáo Paulo in Brazil that I learned of Paulo Coelho and his 1988 novel. The book fit well into my own philosophy and set the tone for the trip and remains instrumental to my life.

Again, one act leads to another when at this past Sunday’s Society of the 5th Cave reading club meeting, The Alchemist was selected for the March reading. Once again the concept of alchemy is front stage, this time from a different perspective, which will create many new learning moments.

I’m pleased to be reading this inspiring book ten years out. The Alchemist is the gift that keeps on giving.  Just today I received an email from my brother Tom, reminding me of someone I have also not read in recent years, American poet, Conrad Aiken, which my poem “Solstice Night,” reminded him of the first lines from Aiken’s long poem, “The House of Dust.”

The sun goes down in a cold pale flare of light.
The trees grow dark: the shadows lean to the east:
And lights wink out through the windows, one by one.
A clamor of frosty sirens mourns at the night.
Pale slate-grey clouds whirl up from the sunken sun.

In turn, his reminding me of Conrad Aiken, and the return of The Alchemist, that reminded me of the following from Aiken’s poem, “A Letter from Li Po.”

What’s true in these, or false? which is the ‘I’
of ‘I’s’? Is it the master of the cadence, who
transforms all things to a hoop of flame, where through
tigers of meaning leap? And are these true,
the language never old and never new,
such as the world wears on its wedding day,
the something borrowed with something chicory blue?
In every part we play, we play ourselves;
even the secret doubt to which we come
beneath the changing shapes of self and thing,
yes, even this, at last, if we should call
and dare to name it, we would find
the only voice that answers is our own.
We are once more defrauded by the mind.

Defrauded? No. It is the alchemy by which we grow.
It is the self-becoming word, the word
becoming world. And with each part we play
we add to cosmic Sum and cosmic sum.
Who knows but one day we shall find,
hidden in the prism at the rainbow’s foot,
the square root of the eccentric absolute,
and the concentric absolute to come.

Life has so many gifts that keep on giving. Become a part of the act.

kenne

Thomas Robert Turner, Two Tears Out   3 comments

Lummi & MCLACThomas Robert Turner, May 23, 1942 – November 13, 2014
I love you, Bobby!

On this day as I have many days since his passing,
I read from the many notes, letters and emails
I now cherish as he seems to grow bigger than
life with each passing day, just like children sleeping
his being inside me can’t be dreamed away.
The many words 
he shared can be taken away,
but not the love that 
keeps growing in
the soul of my very being. 

He left for me many literary and philosophical
examples 
to live by, probably not knowing they
would continue to shape my very being as I
continue my journey in other people’s reality.
One was a quote by Paul Lafargue:

Healthy in body and mind, I end my life before pitiless old age
which has taken from me my pleasures and joys one after another;
and which has been stripping me of my physical and mental powers,
can paralyse my energy and break my will,
making me a burden to myself and to others.
For some years I had promised myself not to live beyond 70;
and I fixed the exact year for my departure from life.”


He was 72.

kenne

Posted November 13, 2016 by kenneturner in Information, Philosophizing, Quotes

Tagged with , , ,

This Old Liberal Has Not Faded Away   4 comments

kenne-profile-4672-blogSelf-Portrait” — Image by kenne

This week’s Presidential election has reminded me of Marshall McLuhan’s trademark, “The Medium In the Message.” From it, I recall his belief that we go through life looking through the rear-view mirror, and becoming aware of our environment only after we have left it and that what is communicated doesn’t count as much as how it is communicated. 

Of course, the medium that exists today is much different than that of the sixties, they still alter our sensory life, therefore what we know. As a result, our society is like the driver who sees neither ahead to the future nor outside the side window to the present but looks only to the past in the rear-view mirror — “Make America great again.”

McLuhan believed that education must serve as a defense to the media fallout. He likened our society to the mariner in Edgar Allan Poe’s story, “A Descent Into the Maelstrom.” The mariner is caught in a whirlpool, but he figures out the relative velocities of currents and saves himself. The question remains whether, as a society, we are educated enough to save ourselves.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“TIME FOR MORE ACTION”
January 17, 2003, Peace Demonstration In Houston, Texas — Photo by Joy

In some ways, I feel as if I may have been in a trance these past eight years, kind of a passive free feeling. It’s now time to stand. Social justice, like art, requires an effort. It’s time for those who have half a heart for poetry, half for life to stand for truth. Those who have continued learning and have been sharpening our weapons by night to clear their throats and stand, becoming the voices of truth. 

kenne

Bryce Canyon Snapshots   2 comments

Geological fact: Bryce Canyon isn’t actually a canyon.
It’s actually a natural amphitheater.

(Click on any of the tiled images for a larger view in a slideshow format.)

Bryce Canyon Snapshots by kenne
This beautiful land of hoodoos is best view at sunrise or sunset. 
Unfortunately
these images were taken around mid-day — still a beautiful National Park to visit.
Named after pioneer and cattleman Ebenezer Bryce, who once said of the canyon,
“One hell of a place to loose a cow.”

“Paiute Indian history says the colorful,
wildly-shaped hoodoos were ‘Legend People’ 
who were turned into stone by the trickster god Coyote.”

. . . and I thought the roadrunner was the trickster!

 

What Price Human Dignity   4 comments

“The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure and the intelligent are full of doubt.”

— Bertrand Russell

This Old Porch Lincoln (1 of 1)-3 b-w blog“This Old Porch” — Image by kenne

At What Price Human Dignity

Our world is complex and confusing, actually, it’s a crazy world out there. Part of the craziness is the tendency to label and patronize groups in ways lacking of human dignity.  Such acts toward others deprive them of their dignity, the one thing that belongs to us.

“When we are really honest with ourselves we must admit that our lives are all that really belong to us. So it is how we use our lives that determines what kind of men we are. It is my deepest belief that only by giving our lives do we find life. I am convinced that the truest act of courage, the strongest act of manliness is to sacrifice ourselves for others in totally nonviolent struggle for justice. To be a man is to suffer for others. God help us to be men!” Ceasar Chaves at the end of a fast and a Mass of Thanksgiving

Being a child of rural Alabama in the 1940’s, I was nurtured by a southern environment still recovering from the Great Depression.  To this day I possess images of poor working people who own little more than their dignity, each day a struggle not to lose.

Later, in my twenties, I saw some photos of tenant farmer families and immediately identified with the people in the images.  Walker Evans, who alone with James Agee were assigned by Fortune magazine in 1936 to document the lives of tenant farmers in Alabama, took the photos.   When Fortune declined to publish their work, Agee and Evens published a book entitled “Let Us Now Praise Famous Men” in 1941.  Although the original edition only sold about 600 copies, today it is considered a classic in American art and many credit their work, alone with Roosevelt’s New Deal, for helping  address the depression era issues of social responsibility and human dignity.  Like so much art, especially that which affectively captures life’s anguish, this recognition came only after death.

“Conversation” — Image by kenne

Agee and Evans tried to distinguish between what was real and what was actual by avoiding judgment by a commitment to interaction — doing as they would be done by. 

It’s not always easy to make sense of what we may see while trying to learn what we believe and where our ethical concerns might require us to go. In doing so, we are drawn not to an explanation, but to the profound compliment dependence and use.

“Hope is both the earliest and the most indispensable virtue inherent in the state of being alive. If life is to be sustained hope must remain, even where confidence is wounded, trust impaired.”

— Erik H. Erikson

kenne

Alabama2006-11-13-25Lincoln b-w blog“Rural Alabama” — Image by kenne

(First Posted October 8, 2008)

 

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