Thrashing, rolling, everchanging
~ Saturday, July 19 ~


Sleeping beauties

Resting, that is what these old books appear to be doing. And they deserve it. The volumes date from the 17th and 18th centuries and have been on these shelves for several hundreds of years. They are part of York Cathedral Library and occupy a packed room (Pic 5) just adjacent to a larger reading room. When I visited the place, last week, I found myself whispering and walking slowly, so as not to wake them. These images transmit, I hope, some of the magic that hangs in the air: the red and green shine of leather bindings mixed with the distinct musky smell of old books.

Pics (my own): York Minster Library, established precisely 600 years ago this year. More about the library here.

1,064 notes
reblogged via realmedieval
~ Thursday, June 26 ~

Gustav Marx - In the Dusseldorf court Garden


Gustav Marx - In the Dusseldorf court Garden

1,987 notes
reblogged via englishsnow

(Source: rubyetc)

93,972 notes
reblogged via freshboytears
~ Friday, May 30 ~
I’d like to repeat the advice I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give ne peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, Ron, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty. And so, Ron, in short, get out of Salton City and hit the Road. I guarantee you will be very glad you did. But I fear that you will ignore my advice. You think that I am stubborn, but you are even more stubborn than me. You had a wonderful chance on your drive back to see one of the greatest sights on earth, the Grand Canyon, something every American should see at least once in his life. But for some reason incomprehensible to me you wanted nothing but to bolt for home as quickly as possible, right back to the same situation which you see day after day after day. I fear you will follow this same inclination o=in the future and thus fail to discover all the wonderful things that God has placed around us to discover. Don’t settle down and sit in one place. Move around, be nomadic, make each day a new horizon. You are still going to live a long time, Ron, and it would be a shame if you did not take the opportunity to revolutionize your life and move into an entirely new realm of experience.
You are wrong if you think Joy emanates only or principally from human relationships. God has placed it all around us. It is in everything and anything we might experience. We just have to have the courage to turn against our habitual lifestyle and engage in unconventional living.
My point is that you do not need me or anyone else around to bring this new kind of light in your life. It is simply waiting out there for you to grasp it, and all you have to do is reach for it. The only person you are fighting is yourself and your stubbornness to engage in new circumstances.
Ron, I really hope that as soon as you can you will get out of Salton City, put a little camper on the back of your pickup, and start seeing some of the great work that God has done here in the American West. You will see things and meet people and there is much to learn from them. And you must do it economy style, no motels, do your own cooking, as a general rule spend as little as possible and you will enjoy it much more immensely. I hope that the next time I see you, you will be a new man with a vast array of new adventures and experiences behind you. Don’t hesitate or allow yourself to make excuses. Just get out and do it. Just get out and do it. You will be very, very glad that you did.
Take care Ron,

~ Wednesday, May 28 ~


The great events of life often leave one unmoved; they pass out of consciousness, and, when one thinks of them, become unreal. Even the scarlet flowers of passion seem to grow in the same meadow as the poppies of oblivion. We reject the burden of their memory, and have anodynes against them. But the little things, the things of no moment, remain with us. In some tiny ivory cell the brain stores the most delicate, and the most fleeting impressions.
— Oscar Wilde (via fernsandmoss)

236 notes
reblogged via fernsandmoss
~ Thursday, May 22 ~

“It is one of the supreme ironies of history that the blessed birth of an only son should have proved the mortal blow. Even as the saluting cannons boomed and the flags waved, Fate had prepared a terrible story. Along with the lost battles and sunken ships, the bombs, the revolutionaries and their plots, the strikes and revolts, Imperial Russia was toppled by a tiny defect in the body of a little boy. Hidden from public view, veiled in rumor, working from within, this unseen tragedy would change the history of Russia and the world.”

Robert K. Massie, Nicholas & Alexandra


It is one of the supreme ironies of history that the blessed birth of an only son should have proved the mortal blow. Even as the saluting cannons boomed and the flags waved, Fate had prepared a terrible story. Along with the lost battles and sunken ships, the bombs, the revolutionaries and their plots, the strikes and revolts, Imperial Russia was toppled by a tiny defect in the body of a little boy. Hidden from public view, veiled in rumor, working from within, this unseen tragedy would change the history of Russia and the world.”

Robert K. Massie, Nicholas & Alexandra

134 notes
reblogged via historyofromanovs
Everything is God’s. When I bend over the ant, inside his black, shiny eye I see the face of God.
— Nikos Kazantzakis, The Last Temptation of Christ
Tags: nikos kazantzakis the last temptation of christ


Realizing how selfish human nature is, because I sense it in myself. Especially in times like this. Selfishness truly stems from fear and things that have yet to be resolved. 

Another realization of selfishness—the thought that every experience was made specifically for me to ‘learn from.’ As if the whole world is revolving so that I can become more wise. No. Every experience gives us a chance to learn something about ourselves simply because we are part of that experience. We exist in the universe, we are apart of it; we learn from it not because it was made for us, but because it we exist within it and it exists within us. But we should not go into experiences with the only thought being, “how will this help me learn something?” as if they are a separate entity, as if their entire purpose relies on our understanding.  

My generation believes the cure to all is “staying positive”. Some experiences teach us about sadness, guilt, fear. Those are good too. Embrace them without judgement. I’m finding that forcing optimism only breeds more contempt and judgement. 

Life breeds so many experiences. Humanity is so much more frail than we trick ourselves into thinking. We place those thoughts only in artwork, and are afraid once they come out and bite us in the ass. We always try to hide from the horrifying and vicious truths. ‘Death is beautiful,’ but there is nothing beautiful in the dying. There is nothing beautiful in disease, in sickness, in the humility of the decrepit and aged. I’m starting to think this generations’ obsession with optimism is the same kind of selfishness that prevents us from visiting the dying—simple fear. True experience is surrounding yourself with that spectrum of humanity that is seeped in pain and revolting decay and loving anyways. Not ‘fighting’ it, not escaping, simply experiencing, accepting. and loving anyway. 

I can’t help but think of Camus’ The Plague, cannot help but think of the fight between abstractions and reality. Cannot help but think of the meditative desire to be fully present, ‘clear’, and then of my periods of dissociation and terror: ‘is this nirvana?’ 

Can’t help but think of my Granmunner, 68 lbs and dying, asking me what I will be wearing to my new job: how’s that for abstraction? 

Can’t help but think of my mother, running around a tower of metal, freeing our house from evil spirits and communing directly with God: how’s that for reality?

Can’t help but be grateful for all of my suffering, selfishly, simply because it allows me a great capacity for understanding the world around me, decay and death and hope and love, which exist? Both only in separate realms, yet fully encompassed by every individual. Flesh and bones and spirit and Christ.  How’s that for positivity? 

~ Saturday, May 17 ~



about 300 people, known as the samosely, or selfsettlers, live illegally within the zone of exclusion that surrounds the most heavily contaminated areas near the chernobyl nuclear power plant. defying government ban, they evaded guards and secretly resettled in their villages shortly after the 1986 evacuation. about 80 percent are elderly women, known as babushkas, who, having outlived their husbands (and often children), live alone in a village populated with only one or two dozen others.

despite estimates that the area will not be safe for another 900 years, they nevertheless live off the fertile but highly radioactive land, harvesting (contaminated) wheat, mushrooms, onions, and beetroot. they also make their own vodka home brew, samahonka. as one samosely woman put it, “you can’t take me from my motherland. motherland is motherland.” said another, “we survived starvation and hitler and starvation and stalin, and now you tell us something invisible will kill us? we will die here.”

(stalin instigated a massive genocide-by-famine in the thirties, known as the holodomor, in order to subjugate ukraine and move peasant farmers on to state farming collectives or into factories. an estimated five million ukrainians died of starvation during this period, many of whom were the fathers of these women)

findings about the long term health effects of chernobyl on humans are controversial and contradictory. but the world health organization now considers the psychological impact of the disaster to be at least as detrimental as the physical. the samosely do not suffer from the anxiety and depression common amongst those who did not return. though they must travel by foot, they do enjoy each others company and joke about moving into one house for better heating. but of course they would never actually leave their homes.

photos by daniel berehulak. click pic for their names and ages.

Babushkas of steel

2,819 notes
reblogged via joachimmurat

Shame and ego have taken over my life. I preemptively hate people for their wrong doings, all of my compassion comes from observance of their insecurities instead of true appreciation of their gifts. I see it in everyone, I think after years of being hurt—I see the causes of their pain, but more than that, I see their reaction to it. 

So it is never with love or kindness that I view the world, that I view people. It is with pity and perhaps bitterness. I had surrounded myself with negative people for so long that I can only see negativity wherever I go. I notice only the hurt in other people, and the way they hurt others, and I make myself feel like the better person by saying “oh, I understand your hurt. I can empathize with you. I can excuse you for your meanness, for your greed, for your jealousy.”

Not to say I don’t see those things in myself, they are all that I see anymore. I had such a huge ego check that I thought my whole being should gravitate towards humility. But I let it become self-hatred. I set up rules for myself to try and harness compassion and understanding, to try and not let my ego get out of check, but they’ve become the exact opposite so that now I am defensive of my humility, embarrassed of it, and so connected to it that it has become more shame than anything else. I let it dictate my life, I let myself become consumed with trying to negate all of the harm that I had done previously, and it is only now that I have found it to be only a pampered form of self-punishment.

 There are too many reminders here and elsewhere of my struggle to prove myself to people who are unwilling to reach any sort of sense of awareness, unable to see themselves and much less me. If my time is spent trying to gather empathy and understanding, trying to ‘excuse’ actions, trying to forgive in my own heart for things that I must constantly remind myself can only stem from other’s insecurities, reminding myself of those insecurities, and viewing every harm they do to me and others only as their own pain being realized… Well, it is hard to realize that sometimes forgiveness takes the form of a release. If, as an individual, I am unable to overcome my own pain, and yes bitterness, then perhaps it is more kind to myself and to those around me to simply let go with love and move on. 

I feel as if I am unable to write this clearly as it is still with pain that I think about it. A great sense of loss and an emptiness when I am still with these thoughts. But hopefully the beginning of acceptance, and the ability to stop placing myself as the center of everyone else’s projected egos. 

I will say that I have started to feel that underlying peace that had once permeated every aspect of my life. I think it comes only it times of personal chaos. At the very lowest of depression, there are simple choices. Survival or not. Can your life go on this way, and if not, stop. So many teachings—self reliance, action, acceptance. I won’t go on. Things have been harder still, but there is a sense of consciousness and purpose in every moment. Wouldn’t claim ‘happiness,’  but that small seed of peace is back, and for that I am grateful

1 note
~ Friday, May 16 ~
Hiking - I don’t like either the word or the thing. People ought to saunter in the mountains - not hike! Do you know the origin of that word ‘saunter?’ It’s a beautiful word. Away back in the Middle Ages people used to go on pilgrimages to the Holy Land, and when people in the villages through which they passed asked where they were going, they would reply, “A la sainte terre,’ ‘To the Holy Land.’ And so they became known as sainte-terre-ers or saunterers. Now these mountains are our Holy Land, and we ought to saunter through them reverently, not ‘hike’ through them.
— John Muir (via awelltraveledwoman)

(Source: debbie-thornberry)

5,735 notes
reblogged via wildhobbitjam






nine photographs portraying quotes said to sexual assault survivors by police officers, attorneys, and other authority figures

more info about project unbreakable here

original tumblr here

previously: nine photographs portraying quotes said to sexual assault survivors by their friends/family

285,424 notes
reblogged via humanrightswatch