…on Theo and others like him; NEVER trivial!

A triumvirate of conspirators has occasioned this exposition: Jerry Coyne’s bobcat, Emerson (admittedly both the former and the latter recalled the reflection!) and Theo.

The other day, I had the favourable — and regular! — occasion to be present whilst Theo projected himself effortlessly from the dining room table onto the kitchen work surface (considerably further than a metre) and announced to Gethyn my stupefaction at the seeming (to him!) passivity of Theo’s transition from A to B.

“These are certain amounts of brute light and heat. But is there no intent of an analogy between man’s life and the seasons? And do the seasons gain no grandeur or pathos from that analogy? The instincts of the ant are very unimportant, considered as the ant’s; but the moment a ray of relation is seen to extend from it to man, and the little drudge is seen to be a monitor, a little body with a mighty heart, then all its habits, even that said to be recently observed, that it never sleeps, become sublime.”

~ Emerson, Nature

Theo’s extraordinary feats are consequences of evolution and apart from a preparatory crouch and visually assessing the expanse, Theo’s leaps are as inconsequential to him as standing or sitting are to me; yet, that Theo can impel himself up or crosswise stretches several times his body length is spectacular to me.

Though a thing, in isolation — and to the performer — appears trivial; when it is viewed through the eyes of man, it becomes wondrous.

And now, the video, Jerry’s bobcat; doing the thing that Theo does:


“Good distance but didn’t stick the landing. 8.5/10.”

~ Jerry Coyne


…even more guest poesy

“All men are in some degree impressed by the face of the world; some men even to delight. The love of beauty is Taste. Others have the same love in such excess, that, not content with admiring, they seek to embody it in new forms. The creation of beauty is Art.”

A leaf, a sunbeam, a landscape, the ocean, make an analogous impression on the mind. What is common to them all – that perfectness and harmony, is beauty.”

~ Emerson, Nature

Emerson asserted that the purpose of Nature’s existence is to be proclaimed through man. David Hockney was uncommonly affected, and drawn to the face of his world; his native Yorkshire; and his discontent with merely admiring brought forth some of his most exquisite masterpieces.

As Nature through man, “Yorkshire Wolds” is nearly reincarnated through the exquisite verse of Bob Oskandy, a man of great intellect, immeasurable knowledge and who composes some utterly dazzling verse. I have posited that art begets art and both Hockney”s painting and Mr Oskandy’s verse conceivably both precede and inspire the other; so existing is their interconnection to me.

I cease my musing and turn the reader over to the mind, pen and inspiration of Mr Oskandy:

Flames flicker the ghost of you
in winter’s silence
as pine trees in dappled snow
reflect a tinsel dawn
arousing light as if by magic.
And if pain could produce you
then you would flame forth
as Solstice Fire
in the mystery of kenosis
seeking another being
to die in.

…at last: guest poesy!

My friend, Doreen Giglio, is intensely talented.  My hero (guess who!) deciphered beauty as that which catches a spontaneous and deep emotion; the experiencer knows not whence; that it can be neither categorised nor defined and one should not attempt definition or categorisation; for to do so, strips said beauty; furthermore, the same is said of art.

“And of poetry, the success is not attained when it lulls and satisfies, but when it astonishes and fires us with new endeavours after the unattainable.”

~ Emerson, Love

My friend both astonishes and fires! Once again, I leave the reader in the skillful hands and gifted pen of Doreen…


“Silence is one of the great arts of conversation.”
~Marcus Tulius Cicero

Growing up as a child in Long Island, New York and currently residing in northern New Jersey, the anticipation was that some summer days would be spent at the beach. Not only was it a source of recreation but it allowed me to recharge and rejuvenate even if my stay was for a brief time. Climbing on a rock and gazing out into the vast Atlantic Ocean served to be tranquil, peaceful and slowly washed away even the slightest sadness or anguish. Waves caressing the shore line were the wonderful accompaniment for the silence -one of the great arts of conversation as Cicero has brilliantly stated. In this reticent banter, communing with oneself leads to clarity for decisions along with contemplating the vision that our souls present to us as our inner voice leads us to insightful thought.

Photo by Michael Kinstel

The Silence
By Doreen Giglio

Thoughts roar in my mind randomly like constant droning chatter
Need to quiet this brown noise so that I
Understand the “What” and more importantly the “Why”
Seek transparency in all of my decisions
Extinguish the fury in my soul
Listen rather than just hear
Find peace and comfort
In a singular
Long, deep

…on two memorable quotations

The essay is bounteous with familiar and deep epiphany; that which never ceases to resonate deeply; hence, two offerings:

A deed — you know not why or whence — is concluded before you, and as you have not predicted it, it is forever a revelation. Nothing is inconceivable in the present, by virtue of the fact that a shrouded future will eventually render it feasible.

Nature promises the liver of a life isolation: both past and future existence is concealed; and as neither human design nor intention carry any influence over moments, this yields the certainty of intuition, or primary intellect, and spontaneity.

“In like manner, for practical reasons, there must not be too much design. A man will not be observed in doing that which he can do best. There is a magic about his properest action which stupefies your powers of observation; so that, though it is done before you, you wist not of it. The art of life has a pudence, which will not be exposed. Every man is an impossibility until he is born; everything impossible until we see a success.”

“Life is a series of surprises and would not be worth taking or keeping, if it were not. God delights to isolate us every day and hide us from the past and the future. We would look about us; but, with grand politeness he draws down before us an impenetrable screen of purest sky, and another behind us of purest sky. ‘You will not remember,’ he seems to say, ‘and you will not expect.’ All good conversation, manners and actions come from a spontaneity which forgets usages, and makes the moment great.”

~ Emerson, Experience

Because…who would want to know by how much the Rangers beat the Senators before the game starts anyway?

…on when is the Flavian Amphitheatre not the Colosseum?

Want and enthusiasm yield art. Every order of architecture, transcends its predecessor and the constructions are forthwith sacred to their children — the admirers and condemners — , who, in turn, aggrandised further upon these; thus augmenting their splendour. On want (this is really cool!): the assemblage evolved organically and…

“The amphitheatre of the old Romans, – anyone may see its origin who looks at the crowd running together to see any fight, sickness or odd appearance in the street. The first comers gather round in a circle; those behind stand on tiptoe; and further back they climb on fences or windowsills, and so make a cup of which the object of attention occupies the hollow area. The Architect put benches in this, and enclosed the cup with a wall-and, behold a colosseum!”

~ Emerson

…on today’s memorable quotation

We often speak of morality; for example, religious versus secular; however, the goodness corresponding to great works of art passes unnoticed, and pure and true art may be said to conspire with virtue. To wit:

“These are the countenances of the first born, – the face of man in the morning of the world. No mark is on these lofty features of sloth, or luxury, or meanness and they surprise you with a moral admonition, as they speak of nothing around you; but, remind you of the frequent thoughts on the purist resolutions of your youth.”

~ Emerson

…on talent versus predisposition”

“When each comes forth from his mother’s womb, the gate of gifts closes behind him.”

I was reading some other words by Emerson (quelle surprise!), which recalled this assertion from “Fate.” Now, on art forms; he posits that the words and verse which emanate from the Orator or Poet are not orchestrated by him; rather, these manifestations of the Eternal Mind find him.

“In eloquence, The great triumphs of the art are, when the Orator is lifted above himself; when consciously he makes himself the mere tongue of the occasion and the hour, and says what cannot but be said.”

“Good poetry could not have been otherwise written than it is. The first time you hear it, it sounds rather as if copied out of some invisible tablet in the Eternal Mind, than as if arbitrarily composed by the Poet.”

~ Emerson, “Art”

Emerson distinguished what he called abandonment: self-surrender; a condition in which the Artist releases himself to be unconditionally shepherded by his art. In this circumstance, a thought or idea is the original art, and the physical piece becomes a reproduction of it.

“There is but one reason. The mind that made the world is not one mind but the mind.”

~ Emerson, “Art”

All art is ostensibly the product of Nature, which Emerson conceived advances itself through man; and as such, admiration of art heightens our awareness of Nature.

As an atheist, I chide the concept of fate; and in his essay entitled the same, Emerson offers the means to overcome and circumvent outward fate; and in like vein, Gethyn termed artistic prominence predisposition, and holds that with time and practice, advanced levels of technical ability can be achieved.

My scepticism notwithstanding, I support the position that artistic ability is in some manner inherent, albeit sharpened with practice.