“The days aren’t discarded or collected, they are bees
that burned with sweetness or maddened
the sting: the struggle continues,
the journeys go and come between honey and pain.
No, the net of years doesn’t unweave: there is no net.
They don’t fall drop by drop from a river: there is no river.
Sleep doesn’t divide life into halves,
or action, or silence, or honor:
life is like a stone, a single motion,
a lonesome bonfire reflected on the leaves,
an arrow, only one, slow or swift, a metal
that climbs or descends burning in your bones.” - Pablo Neruda
“..Etienne Charles exhibits both an authentic preservation of the music of his native culture of Trinidad as a composer and band leader, while broadening our scope of understanding through the collaborative sound of American jazz as it meets new colours, new textures, and new motifs across the world. It will certainly bring more of our public into the jazz audience” – Marcus Roberts
“An amazing Trumpet player, and Steel Drum player, and Cuatro player…young Trinidadian who has held onto his heritage” – Monty Alexander
“A daring improviser, Charles also delivers with heart-wrenching lyricism” – Jazz Times
“…had strength and a clear, almost classical sense of thematic organization.” – New York Times
“People observe the colours of a day only at its beginnings and its ends, but to me it’s quite clear that a day merges through a multitude of shades and intonations, with each passing moment. A single hour can consist of thousands of different colours. Waxy yellows, cloud-spat blues. Murky darknesses. In my line of work, I make it a point to notice them. ”
“The slow arrow of beauty. The most noble kind of beauty is that which does not carry us away suddenly, whose attacks are not violent or intoxicating (this kind easily awakens disgust), but rather the kind of beauty which infiltrates slowly, which we carry along with us almost unnoticed, and meet up with again in dreams; finally, after it has for a long time lain modestly in our heart, it takes complete possession of us, filling our eyes with tears, our hearts with longing. What do we long for when we see beauty? To be beautiful. We think much happiness must be connected with it. But that is an error.”
“I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it’s a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life’s realities.” – Dr. Seuss
This journey might have ended but a new one already started and by the time I’m done , hell will have frozen over and I will ice skate with the devil !
Grand Canyon, 2013
Oceanside, CA – 2013
The coffins of lead were lying sound asleep,
And the lead flowers and the funeral clothes -
I stood alone in the vault … and there was wind …
And the wreaths of lead creaked.
Upturned my lead beloved lay asleep
On the lead flower … and I began to call -
I stood alone by the corpse … and it was cold …
And the wings of lead drooped.
poem by George Bacovia
This is me…just another guy who took a photo of himself. A pretty mediocre human being, not really excelling at something in particular and without any extraordinary talent. Probably just the talent of managing to pass by unobserved and easily forgotten (a pretty good thing if you ask me). I smoke and I love coffee. I have two real fears , or decently mild phobias, one is the fear of dark and the other one is the fear I can not see things through to completion (pretty wired huh?!). I really have no idea if I want something from this short and miserable life and I am not sure I should. Recently I realized how tired I am for not having faith (talking about religion or superstitions here). It is so easy to just have someone else to blame for all rather than take responsibility. Now I really do understand the pious ones.
I am not perfect and I don’t follow the advices I give. It’s a nice feeling though when I learn that what I say it is actually helpful to some. I talk too much, too often just a nonsensical jumble of words, and I am too often amazed that people listen (quite polite of them I might add). I complicate everything even though I want to keep it simple.
This is me (ok…maybe there is a lot more but it’s too late in the night to continue ). I know somebody ( a person quite close to my heart) that will disagree with me writing this and, given the chance, will give me a hard time about it. I say to this person that what I wrote doesn’t put me down in any way, but just makes me even more aware of what is good. Let’s call it a reality check needed from time to time. Like a self slap to wake me up to now, to chase away the crazy thoughts rushing through my mind and help me focus.
I do believe in me and in my dreams. I believe in the power of love and I am crazy about Jazz and comedy. I try to be a good person, even if sometimes things out of my control make me look like I’m not. I am cheerful and smiling (honestly smiling) at the world. I take on every challenge that life throws at me with enthusiasm.
My ultimate sin is my passion !
That’s it for now ! Looks like I am Human after all !… (Almost forgot…I do wear an earring for no particular reason and I love it ! )
I didn’t write this to get some attention or to seek approval. I wrote it because I firmly believe we all should share more of what and how we feel so we know we are not alone and to learn from one another. People don’t talk about themselves anymore because they fear judgement.
She walks her tempting figure through the shadow of the moment waking lust in the souls of the mortals. Her beauty plays with the impossible and challenges the imagination of the weak. Her smell spreads a gust of desire and temptation and her cracking shell tingles the senses. In her life, this is just a passing moment. Once the shell breaks apart, it reveals nothing. All that existed once is gone ; there is no essence . Nothing…just the temptation of that moment in time when she walked her ghostly body to be admired and desired. Her superficiality disappears without trace in the ever-changing complexity of existence.
Another great night of Jazz at Lincoln Centre in Doha with Richard Johnson Quartet and Brianna Thomas !
This is a hard question. I really don’t know where to start ! It is harder to find an answer when it comes to the material world just because we are in a continuous change. We are changing our minds too often to pin point what we want. And that is normal, it should be this way. What do we want from the material world should be nothing more than we need to make our dreams come true and to make us truly happy. And if that requires to change our minds often, we should. We need to put in the effort of really reflecting on this for it is easy to mistake what we think we want with what we feel we truly want. It isn’t very difficult to find arguments for something to swing in the totally wrong direction if we put our minds into it. But the truth lays deep within us and comes out just a split of a second in that first moment. Is like when you meet somebody for the first time and as soon as you lay your eyes on that person, you just know you don’t like them. They don’t really have to tell you much, they just have to be around you , many times just minutes, for you to feel that something is not quite right . An yet, if given the time to think, we fight this feeling, this instinct, and too often our feelings are proved right. It is the same when you see something or someone you like and you mind kills that feeling with superficial arguments. (I say that is what self confidence is all about….when you don’t let the fear of making a mistake control you into questioning that first moment when you feel something is right or wrong )
I can not deny I want some of the luxuries and comforts of the 21st century life. We all (at least those who are aware they exist) want them and there is not doubt about. But without trying to be modest, I want just enough of them to help me in my quest of making my dreams come true. I want to earn more so I can travel more. I want to buy a new camera and some more equipment so I can take better photos, more creative, more inspiring and unique. I want a car so I don’t waste more time than I need with my daily commute but rather do something more interesting . I want nothing different than any of you though my reasons might be questionable in certain cases , to say the least.(and I will leave it here)
To bring up the non-material ( which one may call dreams or ideals), first that comes to mind is wanting not to be bored. Sure that isn’t too special and it can be easily considered just a small day to day desire, but at times it is rather hard to achieve it, especially in the company of boring people. I do enjoy a good conversation, possibly with a drink or two only to enhance the moment as I sincerely dislike letting alcohol blur my mind to the point where I can not appreciate more than the horrible drunkenness.
I want people to really contemplate on the fact that they are dying.The final destination of our journey from birth is death. If we really give death a serious thought, and I mean really deep thought, we will find it will put life quite well into perspective.(As an example, very often the people that barely missed “passing through to the other side” have changed their outlook on life). You suddenly appreciate every moment more, you love more and hate less, you stop worrying for what you can’t control, you live a more fulfilling life and every second becomes more valuable as that might be your last. So I want people to consider spending some time and contemplate on this inevitable passing into nonexistance.
I want to have somebody to say “good evening” to as I enter through the door in the evenings.
We are social beings and we can not live alone. Even the loneliest person has a friend, being that real or imaginary. If you lack this desire it is widely accepted you are sick, but yet I seriously doubt there is any human being without having, at the very list, his imagination as a friend to share his happiness and sorrows with. And finding that friend in the one you share profound feelings of uncontrolled and unconditioned love with is worth more than anything else you could ever dream/
And the last but not at all the least, to cite Horace Mann’s injunction “until you have done something for humanity you should be ashamed to die”, I want to do something even if that is the last thing that I could do which is to become an organ donor .Though I like to brag without modesty that I can consider I’ve already done something in that direction, I would really be ashamed to die without doing it for as many times as I possible can.
To close this poorly structured post, I wish to tell you that I do not stretch and embarrass myself here with my writing skills just to look for some recognition or just to look interesting. I do it as I see that people stopped talking about themselves. Maybe if we will express what we really feel and want more often we will find that most of us, regardless of all other sociological differences ,are not so different after all. Maybe we will show more compassion,maybe we will fear less, love more and why not, on a personal level, have more self confidence and closer and more intimate relations. And if ever all of this will just make one and only one person think about it, without necesarly agreeing, it means that I achieved more than I have hoped to achieve. (I will stop here as I just realized ,re-reading , that I definitely lack inspiration and imagination. Hopefully the idea is clear and makes some sort of sense)
What do you want?
“Dimineaţa e abia presimţită şi totuşi sunt destui călători care vin şi călători care pleacă. De ce vin? De ce pleacă? Dar e prea devreme să întreb. Filosofii, istoricii, profeţii şi toti ceilalţi care se ocupă cu sensul existenţei dorm încă. Au citit până noaptea târziu şi nu pot să-i trezesc la o oră atât de nepotrivită. Există şi călători care stau şi aşteaptă, bineinţeles în sala de aşteptare, cuminţi, dar şi pe peroane. Ce aşteaptă? Dorm însă şi psihologii sau cum se mai cheamă cei care ştiu câte lucruri poate să aştepte un om şi, în general, ce rol are aşteptarea în lume. Nici pe ei nu pot să-i trezesc. Sunt obosiţi, extenuaţi de probleme serioase, nu se cade să-i deranjez pentru un fleac, fiindcă eu în gara aceasta, în dimineaţa aceasta, care nu e încă dimineaţă, e jumătate noapte, nu ştiu de ce stau oamenii prin salile de aşteptare ale veacului. Unii au renunţat să aştepte. Au aţipit, pur şi simplu, între doua ţipete de locomotivă. Au uitat de veniri, au uitat de plecări, au uitat de vacarmul din gară. E bine? E rău? Nu ştiu.Cei care explică astfel de lucruri complicate dorm şi ei. E normal.
Sunt din ce în ce mai multe întrebări şi ei trebuie să dea din ce în ce mai multe explicaţii în timp ce inexplicabilul creşte ca o noapte imensă sau ca o dimineaţă imensă, încât, stau mai departe în această jumatate de mirare şi jumatate de spaimă, prudent, să nu fac vreo gafă care să atragă atenţia celorlalţi asupra mea. Ar intoarce toţi capul. Ce caută ăsta aici, intr-o gară, cu întrebările lui? Aici nu e oracolul din Delfi. Aici oamenii vin şi pleacă, aşteaptă sau moţăie, dar nimeni, absolut nimeni nu-şi permite să pună întrebari. Deci, mă strecor din gară tiptil şi plec să umblu pe străzi. E mai bine. Singurul lucru care mă-ncurcă e că nu ştiu la ce oră se scoală filosofii, istoricii, profeţii, psihologii şi cei care ne explică lucrurile complicate, prin urmare nu ştiu cât ar trebui să umblu fără noimă pe străzi. Şi nici nu pot să întreb trecătorii. Risc să nimeresc vreunul dispus să mă ia peste picior şi să rădă: “Nu ştiai? Ne-am hotărăt să venim, să plecăm, să aşteptăm şi chiar să murim fără să ne mai punem întrebarea de ce. Lumea s-a transformat într-o gară, nu vezi?” Mai bine nu întreb. Tac şi mă uit la ferestre. ”
Intr-o Gara, Octavian Paler
(cred ca e cea mai buna descriere a ceea ce gandim cateodata…sau cel putin eu !) Enjoy the images …they are older…but still…hope you enjoy them !
My old Foe ! Yes it is True . And even though I should be wiser and maybe, while trying to make a living (just trying for now) somewhere where one should think of being more self contained when it comes to such affirmations , it looks like I am even more twisted than I thought, and the self-destructing instinct is kicking in to stand up for my believes, and against what I believe to be a major force of harm to humanity , morality and the contemporary society as a whole. And so, I pledge to stay honest to myself and bare the criticism of some of the people I most care for and some appreciation from others of the same…and hope for that to be the only worry and no other authorities will take notice of my humble writing and my modest attempt at big ideas. (an here I say to the one that I started to care for a great deal, maybe more than expected, that now I am trying to do my small part and hope will make even the slightest change in the bigger picture )
Just so you won’t be in a shadow of unsatisfied curiosity, my old Foe is RELIGION. We have and ongoing battle for quite a while now. I know I shouldn’t probably personalize religion as this gives it more importance that it deserves, and just looks rather stupid, but I do take this as being kind of a personal matter. You see, as a young man I found myself in situations were often I called for the one up there to just blow a bit of hope my way and in the way of the innocent around me falling pray to nature’s worst flesh and soul eating horrors. And still, every single week, way ahead of their time, souls were perishing into the abyss, and mothers’s tears were ever flowing on the white sheets were once lay their unfortunate children and you could almost hear their hearts screaming , you could almost smell the dreadful suffering and emptiness that was left behind in their worn out bodies.
I always believed that in that suffering I found the strength to fight against the most optimist predictions, and be here today to lay these words down, never forgetting what it took for me to be here. As a result , I can’t help it but feel deeply disturbed at how morality and human behaviour can be distorted by my sworn enemy – religion.
Just watch the news….Bangladesh, Egypt, India, Palestine (though it is widely publicised as being a terrorism issue, it takes only couple of clicks from a mouse to find that in Palestine is actually a religious conflict were Jews just want their promised land trough means that make the most genocidal maniac feel like an innocent child ), not too long ago England, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Burma. Couple of days back 9 people were killed in Egypt during sectarian violence (you see…the word religious violence is not used… because for convenience, Major religions become sects when it comes to unwanted publicity). The Religious leaders were keen in condemning the acts committed by their followers, but aren’t they the ones preaching the word of god to the same mobs that now find it suited to kill each other in the name of the god they so blindly believe in ? The leaders keep on claiming that the scriptures are widely misunderstood and therefore whatever it is written down in holy books is still to be followed, just that it is a bit harder to comprehend for some. Why not make it simple? why not make it clear? Easy to understand , easy to follow?
I wasn’t surprised when, during the many debates I had on this issue, I was given the excuse that god the all mighty made us, but he also gave us the power of free will, so therefore it is our choice to do good or evil, to go up to havens or go down in hell, though he watches over us, he forgives our sins, he can do miracles and save lives , but only when he wants to. And after all the lives of those poor bastards dying in such violence, or maybe the few millions children starving across the globe, or all those women and men mutilated through the cruel practice of circumcision are not worth the effort of a small miracle.(I know the argument for circumcision…and it just doesn’t hold up even for believers.It is and will always be mutilation. It just contradicts the religious view of us being made in the image of god. So circumcising somebody for religious purpose is admitting we are not perfect , therefore god is not perfect…and so on..)
I wrote this before… a wise man said that ” a bad man will do bad things, a good man will do good things. To make a good man do bad things you need religion”. And you have the example in today’s Egypt and Bangladesh. Neighbours, people of the same blood, that share the everyday struggle of living in a country ravished by a revolution, having the same fears of not having food to put on the table for their families, murder each other because of their gods. It is the perfect example on how religion can make good people do bad things.
So my dear friends, brothers and sisters, it doesn’t take much to be good…you just need to find it in you to stop believing in fairy tales, and as the child grows up from Santa Clause and Easter Bunny, maybe we should all grow up from this sick and twisted, gravely immoral Religion and move on to be better human beings, kinder, gentler , wiser. Lets love and be love, without categorising individuals on religion, colour, status and ranks in society. After all we are fighting a lost fight….and we all end up in the same dirt from were nature gives birth to its beauty. The journey we inevitably take to our ends doesn’t have to me marked by such cruel and immoral judgement. This journey can be beautiful !!! In essence that is all that life is…the beauty of the journey from birth to death.
Maybe I got carried away …but you surely get what I mean. As usual, I hope nobody will find my opinion offensive and I invite any valid and educated argument against it. Ignore this if you find it erratic and nonsensical ,or criticise it if you wish to…as long as you put some thought into it.
“The spirit of jazz is the spirit of openness” – Herbie Hancock
“Black and white are the colors of photography. To me they symbolize the alternatives of hope and despair to which mankind is forever subjected” – Robert Frank
I am tired. I sometimes just wish to sleep well…that kind of deep sleep that let’s you wake up rested, fresh, hungry for a new day… eager to take the morning light that paints the world deep in your soul and be happy. It’s simple but yet so hard to make this wish come true. I just can’t seem to be able to find what it takes. Probably too many thoughts, some wired, some crazy…but most of them ridiculously regular and unpretentious, that run through my mind and make my poorly energized grey matter overheat and my little skinny neurons cook. An so… I wake up and try to put all I have in a new day, a new beginning of an expected end where I find me still looking for those little things that makes our entire being smile. And I wake again, tired, and take on a new beginning….
I crawl forward…through time and space…doing all I can to find that back wind to put me back on my feet so I can once again walk my way through and tackle all that life throws at me with all my strength. I am aware that, if I try hard enough and I hold on long enough, that gush of wind will come…but I can not help asking when !
As contradicting as it may seem, I am an optimist, maybe to naive in my optimism at times, maybe to much of a dreamer at times, but I am an incurable optimist. I believe in me and I believe in human kind. I know we will all find what we are looking for…we just need to figure out what is it that we want to find just so we can happily wake up one morning and know that we have it.
As they are just thoughts…they don’t really need to make sense to you. If they are crazy…hope you enjoy the images (images, as usual, don’t match the writing )
The sparkling of your heart and soul lights my way through this dark and mean world !