The Crumbling Theodosian

Every day
Another brick falls.
Every day
The vines creep closer.
The statues are ground to dust.
The words are fading.
The blood is covered with earth and forgotten.
The happy heart decays
Until only beasts once more remain

Some of the Greatest Scene’s In Film – Spoiler Alerts

 

Tears In Rain – Blade Runner

I Love You – True Romance

Tango de Roxanne – Moulin Rouge

Only God Forgives Trailer – Ok so the trailer was better than the film. Had to put it in here.

Creation Sequence – The Tree of Life

Reconciliation – The Mission
Rodrigo Mendoza who was once a slaver and conquistador, carries his armor up to the Jesuit Mission in the Guarani’s jungle as penance for his sins.

Revenge – Unforgiven

I’ve Wasted My Whole Life – Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon
Li MuBai a Monk who has spent his life in pursuit of enlightenment faces his death and looks back on his life.

Mexican Standoff – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Portrait of YuXuanji – 鱼玄机

YuXuanji - 鱼玄机

(Translation)

Melancholy Thoughts (For Zi’an)

Falling leaves fill the evening, mingling with the rain;
I stroke vermilion strings alone, sing a pure song.
I let go my resentment at having no soulmate;
I cultivate my character, leave the bitter sea’s waves.
Wealthy people’s carriages pass outside the dark gate;
piles of Daoist books lie stacked before my pillow.
Commonly clad once, now a traveller of the sky,
at times still I pass green waters, verdant hills.

Only The Bright Moon Shines Upon Me

Deep in the woods Only the bright moon Shines upon me -Wang Wei

Translation:
No one knows I am
Deep in the woods
Only the bright moon
Shines upon me
-Wang Wei

 

The full poem by Wang Wei

In a Retreat Among the Bamboos

Sitting alone among
the dim bamboos,
I play my lute and
Whistle long notes.
No one knows I am
deep in the woods.
Only the bright moon,
shines upon me.

Painting – Feelings At The End Of Spring – 鱼玄机

Poem by Yu XuanJi

暮春有感寄友人 Poem by Yu XuanJi 鱼玄机

Painting I did this week.
Translation by Leonard Ng:

Feelings At The End of Spring Sent To A Friend
暮春有感寄友人
The voices of orioles wake me from sad dreams;
light makeup hides the tear-stains on my face.
The bamboo grove is shadowy in the moon’s faint light;
the River lies silent beneath the night’s thick mist.
Swallows are wet-beaked from carrying mud;
bees are sweet-whiskered from gathering pollen.
I alone am pitiful, in my endless longing.
I’ll sing no more of pines with laden limbs.
– Yu XuanJi 鱼玄机

The Art of Utagawa Hiroshige

Been digging on Utagawa Hiroshige since I saw one of his prints hanging on a friends wall, and considering the amount of Japanese and Chinese poetry I have been reading lately I felt instantly drawn to it. Anyway I hope you all enjoy these as much as I did. The first print is the one I saw at my friends house. The others are ones I have found and liked since.

Click on to Enlarge

Sudden Shower at Atake

Sudden Shower at Atake

Shono from the Fifty three Stations on Tokaido Highway

Shono from the Fifty three Stations on Tokaido Highway

People sheltering from the rain

People sheltering from the rain

Dangerous Surf below the Satta Pass near Yui

Dangerous Surf below the Satta Pass near Yui

Snow on the Kiso Gorge

Snow on the Kiso Gorge

Hakone

Hakone

Numazu Tasogare Zunumazu Dusk

Numazu Tasogare Zunumazu Dusk

Fukagawa Hachiman Yamabiraki

Fukagawa Hachiman Yamabiraki

Bokashi

Bokashi

Under Maple Trees By a Stream

Under Maple Trees By a Stream

Japanese Poetess Marichiko

Marichiko As I Imagine Her

Marichiko

I waited all night.
By midnight I was on fire.
In the dawn, hoping
To find a dream of you,
I laid my weary head
On my folded arms,
But the songs of the waking
Birds tormented me.

-Marichiko

Ballpoint Pen and Photoshop
2 Hours

More Poems by Her:
Nothing Else
Untitled

The Wilderness: Living Life Deliberately

The wilderness, the mountains, the rivers, and streams, they are etched into a man’s soul. He cannot escape, only ignore them. A man needs the wilderness as much as he might need love. The wilderness and nature are the other things that balance out his heart. Men run around in a frenzy all their lives because they have suppressed the wild that beckons at every waking minute of his life. It beckons, but many men do not recognize the call and are frustrated because they cannot understand why they no longer feel like men, why they are not content with their careers, why they can’t find a single minute of peace or rest. To be beneath the trees atop some mountain and to look out on the land, is like no other feeling in the world other than the feeling one might get from a beautiful woman, or rediscovering some deep truth from long ago and long forgotten. Every man needs solace, not just merely being alone, but being at peace amidst the beauty of the world. Every man, whether he knows it or not, needs to sit beneath the stars, far from the light of any city, and observe the dust of the Milky Way. Some men don’t even know what I am talking about or that it is even possible to see the Milky Way from Earth for they have never ventured out, for fear, for lack of knowledge, or because of their busy schedule… the same schedule that sucks the life out of them, and steals their time before they’re dying and wondering what their life was all about.

Thoreau famously said in Walden, “I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear […] I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan like as to put to rout all that was not life […]”

While I do not share his universalist and humanist sentiments, I do resound with his burning passion and desire to live deliberately and seek truth so as to not waste what life I have. I also resonate with his love of being in the woods or by the river. One of my favorite poems is by Thoreau, and it is only four simple lines he wrote while sitting by a river. It is almost a love poem,

I was born upon thy bank, river
My blood flows in thy stream,
And thou meanderest forever,
At the bottom of my dream.

Vickery Creek Vickery CreekVickery Creek

This poem hits me directly and deeply in my spirit for I know of this affection that he expresses. If every man truly looked for it, he would find a place… a place that is forever tied to his heart, whether it be a river, or mountain, or valley, or ocean. For me it is the Chattahoochee river, and its small tributary Vickery Creek. I have spent hours and hours in solitude beside these beautiful bodies of water. One is able to connect with God anywhere, but I connect most clearly with the Creator, when I am surrounded by His most beautiful creation. If it be a calm peaceful current, or a raging torrent, the river speaks to me. It speaks to me of something greater than myself, some mystery, it hints at the meaning of the universe. All is not random, all is not hopeless, all is not purposeless, but rather designed, composed, painted, drawn, and written on the divine canvas that is life by a perfect artist, who really truly loves His art. To paraphrase C.S. Lewis, all of reality is but a shadow of a truer reality. All of creation is but a shadow of eternity. My river is one of those shadows. I urge all men who might read this to open their eyes to all the shadows, I urge them to take some time, maybe only a day or two a month, and find that place of solitude. I also urge you to open your eyes to the fact that nature is a work of art, and that it was composed by an Artist out of love for us and a love for beauty… Nature will not give us any absolute truth, but it will reveal to us that truth does in fact exist. Once you see it for what it truly is, it will enrich your life. I promise.

ChattahoocheeChattahoocheeChattahoochee

A Word From G.K. Chesterton

Walking through the coffee shops and art galleries of Atlanta and the surrounding area You may see a lot of different art. Some of it good, some of it strange, and some of it you aren’t quite sure what to think, is it art or not? If you go to one of the hipster art shows in midtown, you hear a lot of talk. While some artists are honest and paint or draw or create, with whatever medium they specialize in, from the heart; others make it more about an image, like most of the people of our generation. It is all about “raising awareness” or even stoops as low as to just be a means to get laid. It is especially obvious in the music industry, but visual art suffers from this bane as well. When I hear an artist talking incessantly about all kinds irrelevancies I can’t help but think about what Chesterton said about the wannabe hipsters and artists of his day, the so called “cultured” elite.

“A man who thinks a great deal about himself will try to be many sided, attempt a theatrical excellence at all points, will try to be an encyclopedia of culture, and his own real personality will be lost in that false universalism.”

He goes on to talk of the modern man’s adoption of Nietzsche’s cynicism, which I believe carries over into today’s art and music world, and then he goes on to point out how draining it is on the soul,

“Nietzsche, who represents most prominently this pretentious claim of the fastidious has a description somewhere – a very powerful description in a purely literal sense – of the disgust and disdain which consume him at the sight of the common people with their common faces, their common voices, and their common minds. As I have said this attitude is almost beautiful if we may regard it as pathetic. Nietzsche’s aristocracy has about it all the sacred-ness that belongs to the weak. When he makes us feel that he cannot endure the innumerable faces, the incessant voices, the overwhelming omnipresence which belongs to the mob, he will have the sympathy of anyone who has ever been sick on a steamer or tired on a crowded omnibus. Everyone has hated mankind when he was less than a man. Every man has had humanity in his eyes like a burning fog, humanity in his nostrils like a suffocating smell. But when Nietzsche has the incredible lack of humor and lack of imagination to ask us to believe that his aristocracy is an aristocracy of strong muscles or an aristocracy of strong wills, it is necessary to point out the truth. It is an aristocracy of weak nerves.”

“Any man with a vital knowledge of the human psychology ought to have the most profound suspicion of anybody who claims to be an artist, and talks a great deal about art. Art is a right and human thing, like walking or saying ones prayers; but the moment it begins to be talked about very solemnly, A man may be fairly certain that the thing has come into a congestion and a kind of difficulty.

The artistic temperament is a disease that afflicts amateurs. It is a disease which arises from men not having sufficient power of expression to utter and get rid of the element of art in their being. It is healthy for every sane man to utter the art within him; it is essential to every sane man to get rid of the art within him at all costs. Artists of large and wholesome vitality get rid of their art easily, as they breathe easily, or perspire easily. But in artists of less force, the thing becomes the pressure, and produces a definite pain, which is called the artistic temperament. “

Chesterton goes on elsewhere to say that art comes from the deep places of the soul. The same place that faith and love come from, and that when it starts to get bogged down and made into a “profession” rather than an expression of depths of your being. That is when art dies. He uses the example of ballet that a skeptic of his time talked about, and how ballet, though beautiful, shouldn’t be considered the only way in which people dance. He insists that dance should be expressed by everyone, not just “professionals.” That being said, there is nothing wrong with the perfection of an art, but the intentions behind it are important.

“But let us ask ourselves… what are the ballets of Alhambra? The ballets of Alhambra are institutions in which a particular selected row of persons in pink go through an operation known as dancing. Now, in all commonwealths dominated by religion – in the Christian common wealths of the middle ages and in many rude societies – this habit of dancing was a common habit with everybody, and was not necessarily confined to a professional class. A person could dance without being a specialist; a person could dance without being pink. And in proportion as Mr. McCabe’s scientific civilization advances – that is in proportion as religious civilization (or real civilization) decays – the more and more “well trained,” the more and more pink, become the people who dance, and the more and more numerous become the people who don’t… If Mr McCabe were really religious he would be happy. If Mr McCabe were really happy he would dance.”