January 17, 2008

Henri Cartier-Bresson on Creativity

At this blog, A portal into the mind of a writer

I found this quote:
The creative act lasts but a brief moment, a lightning instant of give-and-take, just long enough for you to level the camera and to trap the fleeting prey in your little box. Henri Cartier-Bresson (1908-2004)
And I responded:
As a writer, I think I fully agree. It hits on the quickness of perfect beauty, and the need to notice all of it, but we cannot.

That tragedy we can only endure, and try to seek the obvious beauty around us daily, and record what we can.

January 12, 2008

What Coffee Is: Romance and Comfort

As I posted in Orangette this afternoon:

Coffee is among the great elixers of mankind. Sugar, cream lift it, wraps it like a blanket surrounds a child on a coolish day. Freshly ground beans, water perfectly heated, and in a mug that fingers clasp as a lover clasps her mate... what coffee is.

She starts her post:
I’ve never been a big one for hot beverages. Oh, I do like a cup of coffee every now and then, as well as the occasional mug of hot water with a slice of lemon on top, but aside from that, meh, I could take it or leave it. Part of the problem, I think, is that I’m forever burning my tongue. It’s a tender little bugger. Having burned it so many times, I hardly even want hot drinks anymore. If I’m going to burn the darned thing, I figure, it should be for something more substantial, more filling, than just a dinky cup of coffee or tea. (No offense, of course, to you coffee and tea aficionados. Anyway, this means more for you! Hooray!)

Bag of Buttons Helps Mend Shirts and Remember Love: review Bag of Buttons 4 oz White

Bag of Buttons Helps Mend Shirts and Remember Love
We counted buttons. Six, or so, per shirt worn by my grandfather, long now passed. Gramma Nevely asked me to help, and we did, counting shirt by shirt, taking notes all the while. One morning, while Gram sipped coffee from a mug labeled, "World's Best Grampa," we counted 134.

Blues, whites (now, not as white, but saved just the same), and the occasional striped. Not many colors, but many styles of the same look. Grampa had his work look (the blue shirts), church look (the white shirts), and going to the country look (red and dark blue). The country meant the farm where my great aunt Nicelle lived, and so Grampa would don his flannels.

There were times a button would be missing. A spare was required, to be sewed with solemnly pleasure gingering by my Gramma, as if Grampa sat on the porch, reading Ellery Queen. Whatever color the original, the new one was white. Ironed, replaced in the closet, positioned perfectly on hangers, his shirt would be presented, waiting, wishing the man who owned them could once again.

One button fewer than you'll need in this life? Whether counting buttons, or sewing them on in the sweet memory of a long lover lost, you need a bag at the ready. When one is missing, try a bag of these basic white buttons. It'll sew what needs mending.

100th post

January 07, 2008

Ramekin Captures for Toads and Hearts: Review: Progressive International CLR-4 10-Ounce Porcelain Ramekins with Plastic Lids, Set of 4

Progressive International CLR-4 10-Ounce Porcelain Ramekins with Plastic Lids, Set of 4Nancy stood next to me, gaped-mouthed and grimacing. My newest catch, a baby toad, as small as a thumbnail, hopped frivolously in his temporary home, a ramekin. What she saw was grotesqueness-cum-animate, not seeing the vital pond world captured into a pure white ceramic zoo.

At six years old, beauty knew no limit with Nancy. Blonde, with curls that were strewn through fields and meadows, as lovely as wild, yet, playful as any spring-born fauna. Her joy enlivened me, as her smile kindly lifted first grade angst from all trouble. Bright, well-read... she knew all her letters, and her mother had read to her the entire "Mrs. Piggle Wiggle" series. What heart would not be endeared to a soul ever so sweet as Nancy's?

But, there I stood, rejected, as my newest friend--my amphibious patriot and I--saw Nancy's flirtatious smile diminish.

Our summer-long romance eked closely toward its brutal end, the playground days with Miss Audrey's Daycare now into its final dwindle. Mourn, I could not--not now as she turned her head from me.

As my heart soared into the empty memory of bliss gone by, Nancy whispered, "Look, there's another. We can catch it if we try."

And so we tried, with the ramekin ready on the draw. And we caught, with the ramekin in ready hand. And she smiled, with toads in a ramekin. Together we smiled for hours, sometimes looking at the toads, sometimes looking into each other's eyes, and sometimes nowhere in particular, and then, set them free.

Consider the Progressive International CLR-4 10-Ounce Porcelain Ramekins with Plastic Lids, Set of 4. Your creme brulee will be better enjoyed, and the love of Nancy may be secured.


January 02, 2008

You Say You Want a Revolution: 2008 Resolutions in Question

Top 10 New Year’s Resolutions?

Most resolutions are about relationships.

Spend More Time with Family & Friends
This should not be a resolution, but a fact. If not, why not?

Fit in Fitness
Aside for those with real disabilities, this should be easy. Got an hour for lunch? Walk for 40 minutes with a friend.

Slim the Bulge
Fat has a few things going on. You know the health benefits, but, if you are out of shape, there are other concerns. A little lack of fitness is one thing, but sloppy fat sometimes creates an undisciplined appearance. Right or wrong, the out of shape person might be seen as unfocused and lazy. Hard to be friends with someone such as that.

Quit Smoking
Illinois law says no smoking in most public places. It has gotten to the point that only smokers enjoy the company of those smoking, not counting the issue of cancer. Foster friends by cutting the tobacco weed in your life.

Enjoy Life More
Crabby people aren't fun, now are they? Be joyful.

Quit Drinking
This is not for the occasional glass of wine crowd, but the cheap six pack crowd. Nothing wrong with cheap beer. There's everything wrong with that being a modus operandi of life.

Get Out of Debt
Better financial management means more freedom. Short-term pain, long-term fun with friends. Besides, if you quit smoking and drinking, you'll have enough cashola to attend to debt.

Learn Something New
I recommend Bits of Nonsense Come in Threes as your source of new thought.

Help Others
Funny how this needs to be a resolution. Not doing so is selfish.

Get Organized
Microsoft Excel. Yes, the dreaded Microsoft. By becoming organized, you will find time for friends and family, that goal above. With no debt, and a cleaner, fitter lifestyle, you'll be able to encourage them to join you in helping others. Enjoying life, then, becomes much easier.

While not on nearly enough New Year's Resolutions lists, reading Brockeim.com regularly is important. And, if ideas come along, posting responses here are invited.