John Dominis, “Woodstock Music & Art Fair” (1969)
Harry Wayne McMahan, “The Television Commercial” (1954)
Warren K. Leffler, “New York Scenes” (1969)
Now therefore, while the youthful hue
Sits on thy skin like morning dew,
And while thy willing soul transpires
At every pore with instant fires,
Now let us sport us while we may…
— Andrew Marvell
cf. Videos by Life On Super 8 via Pexels
cf. Nation’s Business Magazine (1970)
in the room
will not come again
Nationaal Archief, “Butcher in Amsterdam” (ca. 1988)
cf. Cincinnati Magazine (1983)
As Hermes once took to his feathers light,
When lulled Argus, baffled, swoon’d and slept,
So on a Delphic reed, my idle spright
So play’d, so charm’d, so conquer’d, so bereft
The dragon-world of all its hundred eyes;
And seeing it asleep, so fled away,
Not to pure Ida with its snow-cold skies,
Nor unto Tempe where Jove griev’d that day;
But to that second circle of sad Hell,
Where in the gust, the whirlwind, and the flaw
Of rain and hail-stones, lovers need not tell
Their sorrows—pale were the sweet lips I saw,
Pale were the lips I kiss’d, and fair the form
I floated with, about that melancholy storm.
— Keats, On a Dream
State Archives of Florida, “Ski Champs in Action” (ca. 1955)
I got everything you wanted
Give you everything you need
Still you want that sugar daddy over me?
Photograph by Renate Vanaga via Unsplash
YES! hope may with my strong desire keep pace,
And I be undeluded, unbetrayed;
For if of our affections none find grace
In sight of Heaven, then wherefore hath God made
The world which we inhabit? Better plea
Love cannot have, than that in loving thee
Glory to that eternal peace is paid,
Who such divinity to thee imparts
As hallows and makes pure all gentle hearts.
His hope is treacherous only whose love dies
With beauty, which is varying every hour;
But, in chaste hearts uninfluenced by the power
Of outward change, there blooms a deathless flower,
That breathes on earth the air of paradise.
— Michelangelo (Tr. Wordsworth)
I am sharing another inspirational post from one of my favorite blogs, “ARE YOU THERE, ERMA? IT’S ME, SYLVIA.”
Sylvia loved the simplicity and easiness of holding Cam’s hand. More telling for her though than the actual act of holding his hand was the idea that he wanted her. Her hand in his. He desired her touch and invited her into the moment and into a new chapter in her own life.
Like Sylvia, I love holding hands. I giggle at the thought of it. There’s a playful energy and a sense of youthfulness about holding hands. Hold my hand when we cross the street. I’ll hold yours during the scary parts. Take my hand in yours, and let’s make a run for it! Keep me safe. Lovers. Friends. Spouses. Playmates. Parents and children. Anyone and everyone. Anywhere and everywhere.
If I had to choose a universal way of communicating care, empathy, love, friendship, and all that makes my soul burgeon with emotion, it would be by holding hands…
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“You and Your Friends”, Blake (B.K.) Inc.
cf. Photographs via Unsplash and Pexels
Hundreds of open flowers
all come from
the one branch
all their colors
appear in my garden
I open the clattering gate
and in the wind
the spring sunlight
already it has reached
worlds without number
— Musō Soseki (Tr. Merwin & Shigematsu)
Thomas J. O’Halloran, “Medlars – new computer to keep medical information” (1964)
Now I’ve found my heaven
From the neck on up
You’re a perfect eleven
From the neck on up…
cf. Gold Bell Catalog (1963)
“PHILOSOPHICAL” DIALOGUES BETWEEN SOCRATES (S) AND AN IMAGINARY INTERLOCUTOR (ii):
S: Wittgenstein at a restaurant or we can dine at home.
ii: Bertrand, can you Russell up some dinner for me?
S: Francis, Bacon sure smells great when it’s cooking doesn’t it?
ii: That hits Lamarck.
S: I Goethe go.
ii: Rousseau long!
S: Let’s play Heidegger seek!
ii: I Kant find you!
S: Hegel, what’s going on?
ii: We were supposed to go Schopenhauers ago!
S: Don’t put Descartes before the horse! We’ve Spinoza this many times before.
ii: John, Locke the front door and we’ll get going.
S: Foucault? I didn’t hear the phone ring.
ii: Hume are you referring to?
S: Camus come over to visit today?
ii: I’m Newton town so I’m not sure where to go.
S: I’ll Nietzsche in front of my house. Drive Pascal and then take the next left. Husserl can you get here?
ii: Is your house Nietzsche and clean?
S: Rousseau it is. I really Fichte this place up. It looks great. Kierkegaard-en I told you about with lots of flowers.
ii: If that’s Sartre than I’m a Hottentot.
S: Santayana wants me, Lord, I can’t go back there!
ii: Don’t Thoreau your life away!
If I could write the beauty of your eyes
And in fresh numbers number all your graces,
The age to come would say “This poet lies…”
— Sonnet XVII
Camden Public Library, “The 6-masted schooner George W. Wells…” (detail) (ca. 1900)
a closed book
just for an instant
ionized and incandescent
split the sky
then was lost
cf. The Finnish Museum of Photography, “Osuustukkukaupan osasto Elintarvikemessuilla Messuhallissa.” (1950) (edited detail)
cf. American Mutoscope and Biograph Co., “Foxy Grandpa and Polly in a little hilarity” (1902)
Toni Frissell, “A couple walking along the Seine River in Paris” (detail) (between 1940 and 1969)
Fred G. Korth, “A Good Time In The Office” (ca. 1936)
Curtail far hopes to fit short destiny.
Even while we speak time, grudging time, has fled.
Seize eagerly each day, and trust the morrow’s grace as little as may be.
Photograph by Les Anderson via Unsplash
April is the cruellest month, breeding
Lilacs out of the dead land, mixing
Memory and desire…
—T.S. Eliot, The Waste Land
O My Luve’s like a red, red rose
That’s newly sprung in June…
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be…
—Robert Browning, Rabbi Ben Ezra
The thought of her
in that darkest winter
but your eternal summer
will not fade
You did not know me
but I was always listening
and when I lost you
I pulled my car over to the side of the road
As Spender said of Eliot,
A wonderful poet disguised as a businessman.
Just ask Clavdia.
(F. Scott Fitzgerald)
A romantic resting against a mantelpiece clock.
You were right, Scott—
the past is forever.
I saw you singing that song again
and I thought of art
burning like a flame
through time and tide
and I was driving with the radio on
(Arland D. Williams Jr.)
When you boarded the plane
Did the other passengers recognize you?
Put her letters in the fire
Striven back onto yourself
A place you’ve been before
When you listened to the aria in New Orleans
Did it unravel and fathom your heart?
Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division, “Playing baseball…” (ca. 1910)
Photograph by Morre Christophe via Unsplash
There is a Gull that rolls alone
over billows loud;
the Nightingale at night will moan
under her soft shroud.
—Allen Ginsberg, “A Very Dove” (excerpt)
Harry Wayne McMahan, “The Television Commercial” (1954)
cf. John Smibert, “Francis Brinley” (1729)
Photograph by mvp via Unsplash
…since that philosopher took not the slightest notice of Alexander, and continued to enjoy his leisure in the suburb Craneion, Alexander went in person to see him; and he found him lying in the sun. Diogenes raised himself up a little when he saw so many persons coming towards him, and fixed his eyes upon Alexander. And when that monarch addressed him with greetings, and asked if he wanted anything, “Yes,” said Diogenes, “stand a little out of my sun.”
Wil Blanche, “Springtime Scene…” (1973)
Gold Bell Catalog, 1963
William B., “Interborough Rapid Transit (IRT) Construction…” (detail) (1900)
Grego, Street Musician (2014)
“Soli Deo Gloria”: Grand Central, December, 1982
onrushing out into the
42nd street passage
huddled in the corner
frayed and fallen
drifted from the street
in pieces and broken-down
Yamaha nylon string guitar
the third Brandenburg
reverberated, echoed, re-echoed
transfixed and transfigured
I put all my money in his well-worn open case
It was almost Christmas
Tom Hubbard, August Brings the “D’aug Days” to Fountain Square… (1973)
And that was the end of the attempt by the flatlands to reclaim Hans Castorp. The young man admitted quite openly to himself that such total failure, which he had seen coming, was of decisive importance for his relationship to the people down there. For the flatlands it meant a final shrug, the abandonment of any claim; for him, however, it meant freedom finally won, and by now his heart no longer fluttered at the thought.
–Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain
Your mother named you. You and she just saw
Each other in passing in the room upstairs,
One coming this way into life, and one
Going the other out of life—you know?
So you can’t have much recollection of her.
She had been having a long look at you.
She put her finger in your cheek so hard
It must have made your dimple there, and said,
‘Maple.’ I said it too: ‘Yes, for her name.’
She nodded. So we’re sure there’s no mistake.
I don’t know what she wanted it to mean,
But it seems like some word she left to bid you
Be a good girl—be like a maple tree.
How like a maple tree’s for us to guess…
–Robert Frost, Maple (excerpt)
Eastman Kodak Company, “How to make good movies…” (1938)
“Have you noticed a change in Steve?
Boy, I have!
Oh, It’s wonderful, I’ll tell ya!”
–Entry from girl’s diary (ca. 1961) quoted in Thomas Mallon, A Book of One’s Own: People and Their Diaries
Terry Eiler, Walkers in Dust Storm (ca. 1972)
In my native country, in the bosom of my religion, family, and friends, I should have passed a calm and peaceful life in the uniformity of a pleasing occupation, and among connections dear to my heart…
Instead of this — what a picture am I about to draw! — Alas! why should I anticipate the miseries I have endured? The reader will have but too much of the melancholy subject.
—Rousseau, Confessions (Tr. by W. Conyngham Mallory)
cf. Samuel H. Gottscho, New York World’s Fair, Entrance to Perisphere (1939)
cf. Bill Roughen, “Night Life” (Cincinnati Magazine, 1977)
Cervantes—a patient gentleman who wrote a book—has been sitting in the Elysian fields for three centuries and gazing sadly around, awaiting the birth of a grandson capable of understanding him.
—José Ortega y Gasset, Meditations on Quixote
Who could it be?
Believe it or not it’s just me…
Library and Information Services Metropolitan State University, Star Wars Party (2015)
Tom Rogowski, “Springing Out All Over” (Cincinnati Magazine, 1978)
Alan Fisher, Lou Ambers tips his hat as he accepts a sandwich from a hand reaching out of a doorway (1935)
Drop, drop—in our sleep, upon the heart
sorrow falls, memory’s pain,
and to us, though against our very will,
even in our own despite,
–Aeschylus, Agamemnon (Edith Hamilton, trans., “Three Greek Plays”)
cf. photograph by Paul Green via Unsplash
“Adieu, my Carnival Prince! I can predict that you’ll see a nasty rise in your fever chart this evening.”
Then she glided out of her chair, glided across the carpet to the door, where she stopped and turned halfway back to him, one bare arm raised, a hand on the hinge. Over her shoulder she said softly, “Don’t forget to return my pencil.”
And she left.
—Thomas Mann, The Magic Mountain
cf. LIFE, 1966
and John Singer Sargent, Madame X (1883–84)
and Jean-Antoine Watteau, Pierrot, formerly known as Gilles (ca. 1718-19)
Esther Bubley, A geometry teacher…using a model to explain a figure (1943)
…she at last blushed, adjusted her dress, got up, and, without saying a word, went and seated herself at the window. I went to sit by her side, but she moved, sat down on a couch, got up immediately afterwards, and fanning herself as she walked about the chamber, said to me in a cold and disdainful tone of voice, “Zanetto, lascia le donne, e studia la matematica.” (“Johnny, give up women and study mathematics.”)
incandescent light burns
down frayed wires—
I move my finger across the frost
on the window.
cf. Esther Bubley, “After school…” (detail) (1943) and photo by Jakob Owens via Unsplash
Photograph by Clark Young via Unsplash and Northeastern University Bulletin, 1982-83
Artist: Arris Grace Hodge
Arris Grace Hodge, “Young John” (Oil on Canvas, 18 H x 24 W x 2 in)
cf. U.S. National Archives, Photograph of Guests at Refreshment Table… (detail) (1963)
Jack: You really love me, Gwendolen?
Jack: Darling! You don’t know how happy you’ve made me.
Gwendolen: My own Ernest!
Jack: But you don’t really mean to say that you couldn’t love me if my name wasn’t Ernest?
Gwendolen: But your name is Ernest.
Jack: Yes, I know it is. But supposing it was something else? Do you mean to say you couldn’t love me then?
Gwendolen: [Glibly.] Ah! that is clearly a metaphysical speculation, and like most metaphysical speculations has very little reference at all to the actual facts of real life, as we know them.
Jack: Personally, darling, to speak quite candidly, I don’t much care about the name of Ernest… I don’t think the name suits me at all.
Gwendolen: It suits you perfectly. It is a divine name. It has a music of its own. It produces vibrations.
Jack: Well, really, Gwendolen, I must say that I think there are lots of other much nicer names. I think Jack, for instance, a charming name.
Gwendolen: Jack?… No, there is very little music in the name Jack, if any at all, indeed. It does not thrill. It produces absolutely no vibrations… I have known several Jacks, and they all, without exception, were more than usually plain. Besides, Jack is a notorious domesticity for John! And I pity any woman who is married to a man called John. She would probably never be allowed to know the entrancing pleasure of a single moment’s solitude. The only really safe name is Ernest.
Jack: Gwendolen, I must get christened at once—I mean we must get married at once. There is no time to be lost…
–Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest
cf. Jakub Schikaneder, Company on the Terrace (1887)
Left: Helen D. Van Eaton, “My First Glimpse…From A Pennsylvania Ferry-Boat” (ca. 1910)
Right: Arthur Tress, “View of Upper New York Bay from the Staten Island Ferry” (1973)
Others will enter the gates of the ferry and cross from shore to shore,
Others will watch the run of the flood-tide,
Others will see the shipping of Manhattan north and west, and
the heights of Brooklyn to the south and east,
Others will see the islands large and small;
Fifty years hence, others will see them as they cross, the sun half
an hour high,
A hundred years hence, or ever so many hundred years hence,
others will see them,
Will enjoy the sunset, the pouring-in of the flood-tide, the falling-
back to the sea of the ebb-tide.
It avails not, time nor place—distance avails not,
I am with you, you men and women of a generation, or ever so
many generations hence…
—Walt Whitman, Crossing Brooklyn Ferry
I’ll be waiting
Time after time…