Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Strange futures and good humor

The future is already here.  It's just not evenly distributed.  -William Gibson

The work of the eyes is done.
Go now and do the heartwork
On the images imprisoned within you.  -Rainer Maria Rilke

The future enters into us, in order to transform itself in us, long before it happens. -Rilke

He reproduced himself with so much humble objectivity, with the unquestioning, matter of fact interest of a dog who sees himself in a mirror and thinks:  there is another dog. -Rilke

Who has not sat before his own heart's curtain?  It lifts: and the scenery is falling apart.  -Rilke

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Lewis CS & Norman

It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird:  it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg.  We are like eggs at present.  And you cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary decent egg.  We must be hatched or go bad. -C.S. Lewis

We all want progress, but if you are on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road;  in that case the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive. -Lewis


Experience:  that most brutal of teachers.  But you learn, my God do you learn. -Lewis

Literature adds to reality, it does not simply describe it.  -it irrigates the deserts that our lives have already become.  -Lewis

I'm looking for the people who have always been there and belong to the places they live.  The others I do not wish to see. -Norman Lewis

Saturday, July 26, 2014


My son spent all day at Delmark records doing recording of a song his band has.  It's a cool place in a sort of unannounced spot on Rockwell.  Been there since 1953.

Original Hammond B3...they got it from Chess Records...and how cool is that!

Some 8 track recording gear, also courtesy of Chess...

 My son and Steve who's putting the touches on the recording...

Monday, July 21, 2014

James McNeill Whistler

We were in DC for a couples of days and me and the boys walked down a couple of miles to the Freer  Gallery to see the Peacock room.  First time for them.  And I was amazed once again at this fabulous work by James Whistler.

The room is now covered with Charles Freer's magnificent collection of pottery, which seems to me to be every bit as fitting as the blue and white of Leyton.  The gold peacocks stare out in their magnificent setting, and at the opposite end of this room is one of the most beautiful pieces of long narrow white pottery I have ever seen.  It is apparently a very very old piece of Chinese work.

When we regretfully left that room we wandered through a lovely exhibit of his early work, with pencil drawings and etchings holding their own next to searingly  beautiful paintings.

The next day we were at Utrecht's and I met a guy who works at the Phillips Collection.  And of course we had to go there.  My favorite Museum I've ever seen.  And it didn't disappoint me, in fact I was shocked at how much better it looked.  Everyone there, Paul Klee, Kandinsky,  Arthur Dove, Augustus Tack and Albert Ryder looked more amazing, more personal than any reproduction I've seen.

And now they have a nice cafe downstairs and we were able to rest there for about a half hour before heading to the guitar store on Connecticut, the only one left in the city.

Now we are home in my clutter of papers and books, endless scraps I find in the house, either delivered by the post office or brought in from the grocery store, and I am humbled in my work, as I am filled with admiration of those painters, especially as I don't think of them as often as I would wish to.

Thank god my wife allows me to fill the tables with all this trash.  I hope to clear it out, if it would only stop arriving.  It comes in on apples, bananas, as envelopes, stamps, loud advertising, sincere pleas for money, as cardboard around books, tags off clothing.  I feel its hold and have to use it all.


She packed all his manuscripts (and carbon copies) and set off only to have the suitcase stolen at the train station.

Hemingway comforted his wife over the loss, yet decades later he recalled the pain and utter heartbreak of losing hid early writings.  It was so severe, he said, that he had to "put it out of mind almost with surgery."

When I am traveling by carriage, or walking after a good meal, or during the night when I cannot sleep;  it is on such occasions that ideas flow best and most abundantly. -Wolfgang Mozart

A picture is finished when all trace of the means used to bring about the end has disappeared.  -James Whistler

To say to †he painter nature is to be taken as she is, is to say to the piano player that he may sit on the piano. -James Whistler

Wednesday, July 9, 2014


I'm still working on the bigger ones, but then these sneak in there...and they drive me crazy.  First writing anything can always take forever, and writing about your father is never easy...

I believe that what we become depends on what our fathers teach us at odd moments, when they aren't trying to teach us.  We are formed by scraps of wisdom.  -Umberto eco

The father who would taste the essence of fatherhood must turn back from the plane of his experience, take with him the fruits of his journey and begin again beside his child, marching step by step over the same old road. -Angelo Patri

My father gave me the greatest gift anyone could give another person, he believed in me. -Jim Valvano

When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around.  But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.  -Mark Twain