“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.”
— [easyazon_link identifier=”0061148520″ locale=”US” tag=”wells01-20″]Milan Kundera[/easyazon_link]
Seminoles, Braves, Redskins — Indian culture permeates American life from sports teams to table-top advertising.
Upon entering the exhibit, there’s a sign titled Indians are everywhere in American life that reads:
“These images are worth a closer look. What if they are not trivial? What if they are instead symbols of great power? What if the stories they tell reveal a buried history — and a country forever fascinated, conflicted, and shaped by its relationship with American Indians?”
video via Wikimedia Commons
The many variations of Native American flags.
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
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?
In its never-ending endeavor to augment mobile photography and enhance digital art, VSCO added Borders to its app today.
The new feature allows VSCO X users to frame their images with 17 different color options. You can see some of my first efforts above.
Filters aren’t dead. Nor are the wall decorations. Kudos to VSCO for giving its users the tools to create and keep experimenting. Never mundane, always interesting.
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.