Thursday, April 16, 2009

Quotes, kids.

At Teavana, in addition to a bevy of tea stuffs, we also sell coffee table books to promote a zen lifestyle. I was flipping through one I'd dismissed the entire time I worked there, due to it's horrifying layout. (read: generic awe-inspiring images on the page facing quotations in gigantic print with key words emboldened and in photo-coordinated colors) 

Much to my surprise, the quotation editor was a much more clever man than the photo editor. The quotes were lovely, and thus, this book was how I spent my (slow, rainy, no-one-in-the-store) day.  

(Photo Credit: Tallkev's flicker photostream) 

I also learned I'm a sucker for quotes with the word genius in them (transparent). 

Without further ado, the quotes I've gleaned from Coffee Table Book - 

Genius is formed in quiet. Character in the stream of life. 
      - Goethe

Vitality shows not only in the ability to persist, but in the ability to start over 
      - F. Scott Fitzgerald

You shall be free indeed when your days are not without a care nor your nights without a want and a grief. But rather when these things girdle your life and yet you rise above them, naked and unbound.
      - Kahlil Gibran

Whatever you can do, or believe you can do, begin it, for boldness has genius, power and magic in it. 
      - Goethe

Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities because it is the quality which guarantees all others. 
      - Winston Churchill

And the last one, the grande finale, the firework moment : 

The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play,
his labor and his love, his mind and his body, his education and his recreation, his love and his religion, he hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence in whatever he does, leaving others to decide wether he is working or playing.  To him he is always doing both. 
       - Zen Buddhist Text

That's it. All the knowledge I can impart before I've gotten out of bed for the day.

Let me know which is your favorite. :) 
Do you have any quotes you love?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Loves it! Loves it!

I just bought these wonderful earrings from in tekaandzoe's shop. 

You can visit her shop here

She makes a lot of beautiful enameled jewelry, and her shop site has a lot of interesting information about her processes.  

Etsy (for those of you that don't already know, etsy dot com) is a website where you can post handmade goods and one of a kind items online. It's like an indie ebay. 

The long and short of it? Totally rad. I get a lot of my earrings from different user shops and the people (generally) are really helpful and willing to work with you. You can also make requests for custom ordered things, and most sellers are more than happy to oblige. 

It makes our gigantic world feel a heck of a lot more quaint, no? 

Monday, April 6, 2009

Haikus for You's!

There's something to be said for (good) haiku. 

Lucien Stryk says this of (GOOD!) haiku poetry, 
"The effect is one of sparseness, yet the reader is aware of a microcosm related to transcendent unity. A moment, crystallized, distilled, snatched from time's flow, and that is enough." 
It's from the introduction of Basho's "On Love and Barley - Haiku of Basho". 

Haiku poetry gets to me because of it's moment-crystallizing capabilities. It's a whole feeling, a whole moment, encapsulated in a tiny phrase. It's at once surface level and emotionally all encompassing - making it one of the forms most capable of honestly describing a moment. There's no fluff, no grandiose displays, only genuine observation - and blunt emotion. 

These are some of my favorite Basho poems : 

Behind the virgins' 
one blossoming plum.

Sparrow, spare
the horsefly
dallying in flowers.

Has it returned,
the snow 
we viewed together?

Cicada - did it
chirp till it
knew nothing else?

Girl cat, so
thin on love
and barley.

Then there's Suzuki Masajo, a female poet born in 1906 and died in 2003. 
She was a kick-ass lady, and her life is well worth researching, full of torrid love affairs, and feisty feminine independence.   She takes a more modern approach to poetry, while still paying homage to those who came before her. Her poetry focuses more on the emotional side of the art form, while still maintaining that famous almost clinical haiku tone. 

Some Suzuki Masajo poems: 

light silk kimono - 
having an affair that makes
someone else unhappy

to a field of violets
coming like sinful persons
two of us

longing for my beloved - 
I warm a green berry 
in the palm of my hand

wishing to fall in love,
I pop a strawberry 
into my mouth.

pouring each other beer, 
these men with whom I shall never
make love

not a word for me
he just continues to watch
the winter waves.

There's a lot of good haiku out there. It doesn't naturally fit into our usual western forms of expression. It's unfamiliarity is what gives it the potential to be so cutting, so exacting, so effective. 

See kids, haiku is pretty rad!  

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Hello Internet!!!

This is a psuedo-mission statement. 
        I want to collect my favorite things off the internet and compile them. I want to share poems I like, and books I've read and movies that have made me weep or flail in delight, or both, and I want to share this with the world. I will post poems I'm working on, and pictures I've taken and gossip I've started (or am starting).

I guess this is the jumping off point. 
Here I go.