Archive for the ‘Quote-o-Matic’ Category

When ‘normal seemed precious’

June 28, 2010

A videographer finds natural rhythms in the mountains again and asks for no other heaven than that.

Eric Rorer's 'I Ask No Other Heaven' captures springtime in northern California.

My friend Eric Rorer lives in northern California, and he’s an incredibly talented photographer, not to mention travel writer. He created a video this spring about the rains returning to Mt. Tamalpais after a drought, and I thought of it again this weekend during a storm here in Tennessee. He talks about how normal things like rain floating in off the ocean can feel precious during uncertain times — and how the return of those natural rhythms makes you want to remember them.

So if you happen to, you know, enjoy nature and stuff, you might want to spend a few minutes watching his video, “I Ask No Other Heaven.” Connecting to the natural world feels so important in our increasingly complicated society, so I was happy to look through Eric’s eyes for a few minutes at wildflowers and mountainsides and waterfalls and mist and the wind rippling through tall grass.

I love that he captures how the mountain’s pace can vary so widely, from moments full of stillness to those that feel quick and eager. And, of course, it makes me think of John Muir, who once wrote:

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.

Watch Eric’s video
See his other work

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A videographer finds natural rhythms in the mountains again and asks for no other heaven than that.

My friend Eric Rorer lives in northern California, and he’s an incredibly talented photographer, not to mention travel writer. He created a video this spring about the rains returning to Mt. Tamalpais after a drought, and I thought of it again this weekend during a storm here in Nashville. He talks about how normal things like rain floating in off the ocean can feel precious during uncertain times.

So just in case you, you know, like nature and stuff, I’m pointing you toward his video, “I Ask No Other Heaven.” I don’t think we can really overstate the importance of connecting to the natural world in our increasingly complicated society, so I was happy to look through Eric’s eyes for a few minutes at wildflowers and mountainsides and waterfalls and mist and the wind rippling through tall grass.

I love that he captures how the pace of mountainside can vary so widely. And, of course, it makes me think of John Muir, who once wrote:

Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into trees. The winds will blow their own freshness into

you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.

http://www.ericrorer.com/

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On zombies and vampires and French philosophy and burger commercials

October 26, 2009

In honor of Halloween and the zombies and vampires dotting our pop-culture landscape nowadays, I’m kicking off an occasional Quote-o-Matic series.

Simone Weil; Frolicking zombies from Quirk Book's 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies'

Simone Weil seems pensive, while zombies frolic on the pages of Quirk Book's 'Pride and Prejudice and Zombies.'

I love a rollicking vampire soap opera as much as the next person, not to mention an enthralling, brain-eating rendition of Pride and Prejudice … but I also like to remember what Simone Weil wrote in Gravity and Grace:

“Imaginary evil is romantic and varied; real evil is gloomy, monotonous, barren, boring. Imaginary good is boring; real good is always new, marvelous, intoxicating.”

So true, yes? Simone Weil, the famous French philosopher, writer and social activist, struggled to find the kind of faith that would sustain her considerable, complex intellectual life. Robert Coles admired her as “a thoroughly distinctive person, one to some extent scientifically sophisticated, and yet one with a decidedly mystical and reverently spiritual side.”

It’s probably a similar yearning for supernatural mystery that draws so many of us to zombie and vampire lore. But instead of presenting an insightful analysis of this phenomenon, I’m busy thinking about a vintage hamburger commercial.

Remember that old McDLT commercial from the ’80s with Jason Alexander? “Keep the hot, hot – keep the cool, cool!” sang the eager carnivores as they danced down the street. Right, so let’s “Keep the evil, imaginary – keep the good, real!” You may need watch the commercial again and then sing it aloud with the new words to feel where I’m going here. Imagine if I had staged a musical number with subtle allusions to “Thriller” and the McDLT and French philosophy as a commentary about the illusory, tempting nature of fictional evil. Noone would have seen that coming. Not even the most charming of savvy, Louisiana-based vampires.

Illustration from Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Quirk Books