The mind fills a silent GIF with sound.
The flags flickering in the wind, the lightbulb dancing at a Mexico City bar, to the whistle of leaves swinging outside your window.
But the calmer it becomes, the more you hear.
Silence deafens the external stimuli. In nature, it rings with the the highest volume.
TuRn it up!
One day we’re going to miss the powerful silence of the natural world, the way it smells and begs for an inquisition. That’s because “most people are on the world, not in it,” wrote the father of national parks John Muir.
In putting a “fence around nature,” we lock ourselves into a secluded wall of emotional current.
Nature nurtures, it humbles our deepest desires. Because we can’t control the skies, nor the mercurial blob of ourselves, we must give in to nature’s fickleness and beauty.
We’re going to be shocked when we wake up from digital’s second life and realize that becoming also means embracing the evolving whims of those things around us. We are overpowered by the Earth’s forces.
Perhaps naturalist Bernd Heinrich said it best:
“We all want to be associated with something greater and more beautiful than ourselves, and nature is the ultimate. I just think it is the one thing we can all agree on.”
The weathered we address: What kind of weathered is it?
It contains multitudes.
All photos by Wells Baum
The leaves grow sideways, unimpeded from the downward force of nature.
The car with a dragon tattoo also roars its way into the future.
Revisiting the roots, 2018 promises to bend into unusual shape.
I spent a few days in Mexico City last week. One of our stops included The Museo Soumaya building in the upscale Miguel Hidalgo district.
Designed by Mexican architect Fernando Romero, the curvy-shaped building contains five floors of European art, including the sculptures of Auguste Rodin.
From the masks of Mexico City’s cheeky lucha libra wrestlers to the walls of art in dive bars and parks, to the boyhood fervor of an old man in his special puppet, Mexico City is very much a lived experience. To quote Edward Burnett Tylor:
“Taking it as a whole, Mexico is a grand city, and, as Cortes truly said, its situation is marvellous.”
Transformation can be exciting, but it can also be retrograde.
Change doesn’t mean better. Boredom with the status quo can sometimes beget darkness.
The function of play, a style of art, a kind of government, are meant to be noisy but unrestricted.
The stimulation of calm and collected still leaves space for the unimaginable and disruptive. However, going back seems to be an evil obsession at the present and the unfortunate direction of the future.
Transformation opposes progress?
What’s interesting about distortion is that ordinary photos or videos can instantly become more interesting. VSCO has some excellent filters for converting your photos into different looks.
While my favorite is still the Nike Sportswear Mars-like filter, I love the pink, blue, and orange effects as part of the VSCO D-series.
Standing in Grand Central Station reminds us of the temporariness of life, that what’s here now can be gone in a flash.
Better to find our feet in the urban wilderness rather than orbit around a flock of sheep. In the hierarchy of happiness, stillness plays the long game by persisting through noisy places.
The ‘e’ in leaf stands for effortless; its intuition accepts the will of the wind and the serenity of landing on terra firma. Those that remain appear vivid under the flash of light. The season’s cycle into GIF loops.
The original Jumpman wasn’t Michael Jordan; it was Mario! But the name didn’t stick because it wasn’t marketable enough according to Minoru Arakawa, Nintendo’s American boss in the early 1980s. Luckily, he got some outside inspiration.
From the Economist:
“His name was an afterthought. Top billing on the game was always going to go to the gorilla. (“Kong”, in the context, was more or less a given; “Donkey” was found by consulting a Japanese-English dictionary for a word meaning silly or stupid.) The protagonist was simply called “Jumpman” for the one thing he was good at. But Minoru Arakawa, the boss of Nintendo in America, wanted a more marketable name. Around that time, writes David Sheff in “Game Over”, an authoritative account of Nintendo’s rise, Mr Arakawa was visited at Nintendo’s warehouse outside Seattle by an irate landlord demanding prompt payment. He was called Mario Segale, and he had a moustache. Thus does destiny call.”
By 1990, the pudgy plumber who gained energy from mushroom fluff became more recognizable than Mickey Mouse. And if the lost hat from a Halloween costume I found on the street yesterday morning is any proof, Mario is still king!