I found this via A Cup of Jo and I can't stop watching it. The dreamy French melody, that pale orange lipstick, and her bright smile are enough to make me want to buy every single thing in J. Crew. Lucky for me, I'm about five feet from the beauty closet and approximately ten seconds away from poaching a citrusy lipstick like hers. Full disclosure: I also want to spin around in my underwear with some Charlotte Gainsbourg in the background.
upon the wing of the wind
embraced the will in the scream of the plummeting Peregrine, the Greater Will,
of a beloved brutal and violent predator God --
praised out of silence lord dauphin chevalier and master,
sang flight terror
in the Merlin's glide, saw Christ in the dip of the Kestrel, knew love
in the Gyrfalcon's Sturzkampfflugzeug swoop and Lanner's
wild updraft soaring out of stony nested shade
over tarn and lake -- sensed startled cry of prey, felt hearts
sharp fear music from faroff in the instant of speechless prayer
before the inevitable Kill -- and then the fade
back to mere word language my heart in hiding
from bird augury and violence in the realm
of the parahuman
the gods have always been made.
Merlin (Falco columbarius) pair fighting over prey, Auburn, New York: photo by Bear Golden Retriever, 2010
Merlin (Falco columbarius) pair fighting over prey, Auburn, New York: photo by Bear Golden Retriever, 2010
Merlin (Falco columbrius columbarius) hunting a Northern Blue Jay (Cyanocitta cristata bromia), Mount Auburn Cemetery,
Massachusetts: photo by John Harrison, 2008
Lanner Falcon (Falco biarmicus) in a dive: photo by Steve-B, 2006
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus anatum) in flight, Morro Bay, California: photo by Kevin Cole, 2008
The Persian emperor who had once been defeated in battle by Athens now required an attendant to accompany him at all times, to help him combat fatigue and discouragement and restore his taste for battle by murmuring night and day, "Lord, remember the Athenians." The mere words were enough to awaken the old feeling. This custom of the emperor persisted long after his reasons for going to war with the Athenians had faded from his mind. But his distaste for conflict remained a secret known only to his loyal attendant, who was forever whispering into his ear the prescribed urgings. The emperor seldom slept, the attendant even more rarely.
A new campaign began but the emperor barely noticed, for him things continued as they had been. Even when the fever of battle was sweeping over everyone around him, he felt himself strangely detached, as if standing, fully dressed in his battle armour, his bright war pennants unfurled brilliantly before him, well apart.
Then one night when a ground fog had crept over the camp, the tents were enveloped in silence, and the distant fires of the Athenians could hardly be made out through the mists that cloaked everything -- or, perhaps, it may have been on a night at sea in the Straits that this happened, and it was the distant lights of the enemy ships that were dimmed -- a peaceful moment befell the contending armies -- or fleets.
And the emperor's attendant drifted off to sleep.
It was as if something within the world had shifted, in that moment. There then prevailed a period of peace between the Persians and the Athenians.
Torpedo exploding on USS Wast Virginia at Pearl Harbor, 7 December 1941, seen from attacking Japanese plane: photo by Japanese Navy Ministry
Passing a section house along the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, Encino vicinity, New Mexico, March 1943
The sights and sounds now but memories of their once throbbing rituals
That echo and reflect their death throes
A pall of absence hangs over things
Yet time continues to move forward
Along the rusted tracks and corroded rails
Around blind corners
Through a labyrinth of empty corridors
We will never be back
The tracks go on unscrolling
And we go on following the tracks
These endless parallels endlessly unravelling
A pale glimmering signal light
Against the deep blue of the sky
We move forward as a scroll is unscrolled
There is no turning back
The pale glimmering of a signal
A level crossing
The stark figure of a man
He holds up one arm
As if beckoning
We pass another level crossing
We follow the tracks
Iron rusting under snow
The tracks continue on toward infinity
And a vanishing point
Debris of a past cluttered with activity and use
Oblique lines do bend and may greet but parallels though infinite may never meet
Rust covers everything an iron blight of time oxidizing
We won't be back this way again soon
We were never really here so how can it be we're leaving
The blight of time an irony corroding what we've left behind
Time that is the ghostly material medium in which we think and act
Compelled onward yet never knowing where we're going
Turned aside, derailed, misled, diverted, confused, disoriented, finally lost
Time continues to grind on as long as we keep breathing
The world of time through which we travel which we have made and which has made us
Has only one direction
And one speed
And one destination
Santa Fe Railroad freight train about to leave for the West Coast, Corwith yard, Chicago, Illinois, March 1943
Re-tiring a locomotive drive wheel, Santa Fe Railroad shops, Shopton, Iowa: the tire is heated by means of gas until it can be slipped over the wheel; contraction will hold it firmly in shape, March 1943
Servicing engines at coal and sand chutes at Argentine Yard, Santa Fe Railroad, Kansas City, Kansas, March 1943
Santa Fe Railroad locomotive shops, Topeka, Kansas, March 1943
Yardmaster in Santa Fe Railroad yards, Amarillo, Texas, March 1943
Grain elevators along the route of Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad, Amarillo, Texas, March 1943
A completely overhauled engine on the transfer table at the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Railroad locomotive shops, Albuquerque, New Mexico, March 1943
Santa Fe Railroad train near Melrose, New Mexico, March 1943
Santa Fe Railroad near Melrose, New Mexico, March 1943
Flagman standing at a distance behind a Santa Fe westbound freight train during a stop, Bagdad, California, March 1943
Mojave Desert country, crossed by the Santa Fe Railroad, Cadiz, California
Activity in Santa Fe Railroad yard, Los Angeles, California: all switch lights, head lights and lamps have been shaded from above in accordance with blackout regulations; the heavy light streaks are caused by paths of locomotive headlights and the thin lines by lamps of switchmen working in the yards, March 1943
From the Atchison, Topeka and the Santa Fe
-- Johnny Mercer, 1944
We haven't installed the second sconce yet because Chloe's crib is still in our room...and we have to dismantle it to get it out of the room... and then we can install the sconce... and then we can hang up some art... and then we can take some pictures... and then we can finally reveal the room to you all. Just in case you were wondering.
Dear Rich: I have recently come across a patent filed by my Great Grandfather, and believe that the device may still be in use. How can I find out if I am owed royalties on the sale of this tool. Let's see, we start with the rule that patents granted before June 8, 1995 terminate 17 years from the date of issue; those filed on or after June 8, 1995 terminate 20 years after the filing date.
New mama Adele envisions what her little Mila dreams about and brings it to life in these fanciful scenes. I marvel at Adele's creativity... and am envious that she has a little one that sleeps so soundly.
I'm also blogging about this here. That's my new blog - Little Folk Design - about all things kid - design, parties, rooms, toys. I come across so many lovely images and products for children that I wanted to put them in one place. So rather than put them here (when what you're really looking for are Before & After photos and posts about our latest renovation) I thought I'd put them there. I might be a little crazy, trying to maintain two blogs, we'll see how it goes.
Seed and feed store, Lincoln, Nebraska, 1942
Middle America in the time just before and on into the early years of the War: this is the world into which I was born, in which I spent my childhood. In memory, it remains familiar to me, and has a scale I am able to recognize.
I say that world remains familiar to me in memory. But memory is a notoriously fleeting faculty, requiring, latterly, a bit of prompting. The photos here work for me as prompts. They take me back to that gone world, and perhaps even help to create the memories.
The photographer John Vachon (1914-1975) left his native Minnesota in 1936 to attend college in Washington, D.C., but within a year had dropped out of school and gone to work for the Farm Security Administration. At the time FSA director Roy Stryker was assembling a crew of the finest photographers in the country, their mission to document the lives of common working people and rural poor around a Depression-stricken America. Vachon, with no prior training in photography, began at FSA as a messenger, later became a filing clerk and fell into taking pictures out of a curiosity bred of proximity.
"John came [to Washington] to go to Catholic University," Stryker recalled in a 1963 Smithsonian oral history interview. "Got into some trouble down there because he was curious about the world about him and didn't attend classes. Finally wound up as a messenger in our place. I needed a librarian -- John was out doing filing and messenger work, and I asked him if he'd like to take it. And he took it over and became very successful at it."
Encouraged by one of most famous of the FSA photographers, Ben Shahn, Vachon borrowed a Leica and on weekends began snapping shots around the Potomac River valley. "I came back from vacation once -- I'[d] never had an assistant down there, but I came back and John had taken to loading one of our cameras," Stryker remembered. "He'd gone off on a walking tour and came back with some surprisingly good pictures. Later on it became apparent that John should quit the filing and become a photographer, and he turned [out] to be a superbly good one. He's what I have said many times is the only 'congenital photographer' that I ever realized we had."
With the loan of equipment from Stryker and under the tutelage of FSA photographers Arthur Rothstein and Walker Evans, Vachon took on his first solo traveling assignments for the agency in the fall of 1937 in Nebraska.
In a 1973 interview Vachon looked back on this period as the time of his true birth in the art he would practice for the FSA until its dissolution in 1943 and later as a photojournalist at Life and Look (where he would work for for 25 years, until its demise in 1971). He had been sent to work in Omaha, but given no list of specific subjects. He was on his own.
I spent a cold November week in Omaha and walked a hundred miles. Was it Kearney Street where unemployed men sat all day on the steps of cheap hotels? A tattoo parlor, and the city mission with its soup kitchen. Men hanging around the stockyards. One morning I photographed a grain elevator: pure sun-brushed silo columns of cement rising from behind CB&Q freight car. The genius of Walker Evans and Charles Sheeler welded into one supreme photographic statement, I told myself. Then it occurred to me that it was I who was looking at the grain elevator. For the past year I had been sedulously aping the masters. And in Omaha I realized that I had developed my own style with the camera. I knew that I would photograph only what pleased me or astonished my eye, and only in the way I saw it.
He quickly developed that style of his own. And over the next several years ranged afield across the interior of the country, working out of various FSA regional offices at the standard $5-a-day salary also drawn by his more experienced colleagues Shahn, Evans, Rothstein, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, Jack Delano, Marion Post Wolcott, Carl Mydans, et al.
Samples of the photos that resulted from Vachon's odyssey can be seen here and in the two preceding posts. They capture the image of an America that is, for all intents and purposes, lost.
And that element perhaps accounts for the paradoxical intimacy of scale, which brilliantly solicits the historical imagination.
Grand Grocery Co., Lincoln, Nebraska, 1942
Children playing by road near school house, Kansas (?), c. 1942
Road out of Romney, West Virginia,1942/3
When you played hide and seek there was a secret excitement hidden within the game, the private knowledge that, should you be lost, it was he who lay in waiting, he who would find you.
Worker at carbon black plant, Sunray, Texas, 1942
Behind every tree in the immediate vicinity of the confused child was concealed another bewildering uncertainty. Branching off in several directions from the point where he stood a labyrinth of conflicting paths beckoned equivocally. And so it seemed to the child he had no choice but to hold perfectly still and remain completely silent. It is at this point that from behind the nearest tree emerges the waiting figure.
Landscape, Northeast Utah, April 1942
Dear Rich: I am writing a children's book based on the imaginary and not so imaginary friends my children had growing up...my daughter's imaginary friend and my son's stuffed dog. The stuffed dog had a name embroidered on it but my son never referred to the dog by that name. He gave it a different name. So in my book I refer to the dog using the name my son used. I had drawn a picture of the dog years ago and had it framed in my son's room when he was young (he's 38 now). I want to give the illustrator that picture so he can use it as a guide for drawing this dog in the book. Would that be any kind of copyright infringement? I wondered if I could have the name tag show the name my son used for his dog rather than the real one. Actually this stuffed dog looked pretty much like Snoopy but in different colors. I assume there was no copyright or patent problem since both of these stuffed animals are sold in stores. The one I'm using was not sold for many years but has recently been re-introduced online. I would not be using a photo of this stuffed dog. The illustration in the book will be modeled after my drawing of this dog. You can probably go ahead with your plans. You might run into a problem if you copied Snoopy and Snoopy's owner saw your book and thought your dog drawings were rip-offs. But that presumes a lot of things, including the fact that the stuffed dog is Snoopy or whether it is instead one of hundreds of other stuffed dogs that may or may not be copyrightable. In any case, whatever you can do to distinguish your drawings from the stuffed dog will help -- remember not every cartoon beagle is Snoopy and not every cartoon mouse is Mickey. As for swapping the names, that's more of a trademark than a copyright issue, but it depends on a similar question -- are consumers likely to be confused between the two dogs?
Do you ever come across a photo of a bookcase styled so perfectly, with every object existing in perfect harmony with all others that you wonder 'how did they do that'? I do, often. Styling objects and creating beautiful vignettes doesn't come easy to me. I'm not a good collector, I'm too impulsive to accumulate a nice collection of depression glassware or ceramic animals or vintage plates so my accessories drawer is filled with ones and twos of things - things that don't go with other things.
I had to give it a go though and create a vignette atop the dresser in the master bedroom. (Yes, the bedroom that we started redecorating months ago. Its almost done and I'll reveal soon). So I walked about the house and gathered bits and bobs, pieces and props. And this is what I came up with:
Wisdom, Montana, April 1942
Triumph of the Will
over the contingent
and the incidental
everything we could view
and nearly empty
John Vachon's vision
of an arid
Cemetery at edge of Romney, West Virginia, 1942
Lincoln, Nebraska, 1942
Photos by John Vachon for the Farm Security Administration (Farm Security Administration/Office of War Information Collection, Library of Congress)
Saying grace before the barbecue at the Pie Town, New Mexico Fair: photo by Russell Lee, October 1940 (Farm Security Administration/Library of Congress)
Those who hunger shall be fed, and drink shall come to the thirsty, he said. Here no woman or man stands above another woman or man. The head of the lowest child here brushes against the sky.
From the crest the spine of the land runs out from peak to peak as, unflagging, through the passes, under the huge stars, a grey wolf moves, in pursuit of an exhausted isolated sheep.
Past and present run down and away on both sides. Just before sunrise the world seems to wobble slightly on its axis. The declining clauses in the personal stories -- lost trust and belief, home, job, farm -- mercifully escape under cover of darkness, as fugitive parts from a collapsing sentence. Scrambling down the western slope through scrub juniper and pine, dislodged rocks clattering ahead, while behind to the East, over the top of the ridge, there returns the light.
A timepiece on a chain in a city lawyer's coat pocket. The days go by. Things were lost, we were broken apart and separated. The names of the places where we had once lived stopped bringing back memories. Then again it seemed our own names too were past recollection. Still we found one another, or were found. With nothing left to speak of as our own we were welcomed and accepted. There was something to eat and drink for everyone at the fair.
Serving pinto beans at the Pie Town, New Mexico Fair barbecue: photo by Russell Lee, October 1940 (Farm Security Administration/Library of Congress)
There are men of a valley who are that valley, he said. Down there below the children shall be taken.
But we did not wish to hark back. Our original homes were not so pleasant as to make us wish to remember them. The names of the places are but vacant sounds to us now. There is not time for remembering, we can but attend to this day.
Homesteader and his children eating barbecue at the Pie Town, New Mexico Fair: photo by Russell Lee, October 1940 (Farm Security Administration/Library of Congress)
Grey wolves move in the hills above our homesteads at night. We hear their songs. The New World is already old.
The piñon, sage and juniper. The scrub stands of ponderosa pine, the sharp aromatic air of the Divide, so high above the world.
The hours before dawn when time is a sprung clock, stuck on the instant of concluding the execution of an unremitting contract.
Jack Whinery, homesteader, and his family, Pie Town, New Mexico : photo by Russell Lee, October 1940 (Farm Security Administration/Library of Congress)
There are men whose words are as natural sounds without location, lost,
Garden adjacent to the dugout home of Jack Whinery, homesteader, Pie Town, New Mexico : photo by Russell Lee, September 1940 (Farm Security Administration/Library of Congress)
but the natural sounds of the women and their children
School is held at Farm Bureau Building, Pie Town, New Mexico: photo by Russell Lee, October 1940 (Farm Security Administration/Library of Congress)
Those who have been here a while, though, lingering, seem to wear expressions of concern. Perhaps it's that they fear nothing has actually been promised us. We might not be able to stay on here after all.
Still they walk the roads in the evening, bare headed, hands now and then touching, saying little to one another, as the clouds gather, with the sun going down.
Main Street, Pie Town, New Mexico: photo by Russell Lee, October 1940 (Farm Security Administration/Library of Congress)