Monday, February 07, 2011

We spent some time splashing along the creek this weekend, as well as digging fingers into the leafy duff of a nearby hillside. Sure, the latter was done in a failed attempt to find a letterbox, but the thing about letterboxing is that even a failure is a success. We found fungi and salamanders instead. We also found blossom-scented air, seemingly imported from some other part of the world, somewhere in the Southern Hemisphere where it isn't Winter.

Afterward, at a park, a pair of guitarists played and sang beautifully in the tree shade, small children squawked and careened about, a lone crow sailed by overhead, and we smeared our faces with gelato.

Right now, a hummingbird, looking like a tiny bird-shaped speck, rests on a branch outside my window. Bright sun pours in and paints the table gold. It makes me wonder if it will snow in July.

I recently finished reading Annie Dillard's "Pilgrim at Tinker Creek", which put me in an observational frame of mind while simultaneously revitalizing my spirit. I want to sit still by the water. I want to breathe abundance. I want to burst forth.

Currently listening to: Murder by Death, "like the Exorcist, but More Breakdancing" Lp

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

I'm in the middle of re-watching Bela Tarr's more recent films at the moment, and hoping that his most recent, The Turin Horse, sees the light of day (or, more appropriately, the rainy half-light of day) sometime this year. I am struck anew by his bleak landscapes, rain-drenched, mud-spattered, and crumbling into a monochrome background of fog, and the ridiculous, hopeless specimens of humanity moving through them in a kind of social determinist haze, as if the sharp focuses of their younger selves have been muddied and diluted by life and the endless rain and crumbling brickwork that surrounds them. I'm not sure why I find comfort in these films. Perhaps it is because they are edited at a human pace, and all of the characters are full of human weaknesses. There is a freedom in showing weakness - a freedom that comes from breaking down the walls protecting who we are. I've always been drawn to desolate landscapes too,and every location I've ever seen in one of Tarr's films looks like a ghost town, abandoned yet not abandoned. It doesn't hurt that the cinematography is profoundly beautiful too.

The last time I spent any real time with Bela Tarr's films, I entered into a period of personal creativity that lasted at least a year. Maybe it will happen again.

Currently listening to: Murder by Death "Who Will Survive, and What Will Be Left of Them?" double 10", and looking forward to seeing them play in a couple of weeks.