Movies (a sampling): Age of the Medici, Cabaret, the Lady Eve, Nashville, Ninotchka (with Garbo), North by Northwest, Rules of the Game, Sullivan's Travels, Ways in the Night (Zanussi), Wings of Desire (Wenders)
Past TV shows: The Wire; Rocky and Bullwinkle
Music: these are a few of my favorite things: in jazz, Coltrane ("My favorite things"/"Naima"); Sonny Rollins (Road Show albums); Lester Young (always makes me smile); Clifford Brown; Miles Davis (esp. with Gil Evans); Booker Little; Red Rodney; Bill Evans (with LaFaro/Motian); John Hicks; Cecil Taylor ("This nearly was mine"); Betty Carter ("Something wonderful"), Ella Fitzgerald (esp. singing Cole Porter), Shirley Horn (most anything), Abbey Lincoln, (the divine) Sarah Vaughan, Cassandra Wilson (New Moon Daughter); Jim Hall, Concierto de Aranjuez; and the great composers - Ellington, Mingus, Monk
in opera: Fidelio; Mozart (Marriage of Figaro, Don Giovanni, Magic Flute); Alban Berg, Lulu; those Italian guys, such as Rossini, Bellini, Verdi, Puccini (in Turandot, my heart goes out to Liu, especially if she’s Leontyne Price); Golijov (and Dawn Upshaw) ; various singers
in classical, blues, rock, folk, roots, pop, .... [to be continued ... preferably live]
food: I'm open to most offerings
John Berger (1926-2017) a wondrous precious sensibility
a worthy catechism:
"My holy of holies is the human body, health, intelligence, talent, inspiration, love, and absolute freedom--freedom from violence and falsehood, no matter how the last two manifest themselves" Anton Chekhov
Let's grasp the import of this and then talk politics --
We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we can't have both (Louis Brandeis, 1933)
The greatest beauty grows at the greatest distance from the ego - Heschel
The riches of gratitude:
Let your last thinks all be thanks (Auden)
And the blessings of uncertainty:
I see narrow orders, limited tightness, but will
not run to that easy victory:
still around the looser, wider forces work:
I will try
to fasten into order enlarging grasps of disorder, widening
scope, but enjoying the freedom that
Scope eludes my grasp, that there is no finality of vision,
that I have perceived nothing completely,
that tomorrow a new walk is a new walk.
(from AR Ammons, Corsons Inlet)
and the reach of the forces of the heart -- "the first criterion of success in any human activity, the necessary preliminary, whether to scientific discovery or to artistic vision, is intensity of attention or, less pompously, love" (Auden, again !)
into those uncertainties:
The tongue cannot live up to the heart:
Raise the eyes of your affection to its affection
And let its equivalents
ripen in your body.
Love what you don't understand yet, and bring it to you.
(from Charles Wright, December Journal)
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