You can take the bull by the horns but he slips out of your grasp.

Swing into action but the band’s out on break.

Go for the gold but the trophy room’s closed.

Ramp it up but the hydraulics break down.

It ain’t easy…but I’m tryin’….

The-Book-BuyerThe Book Buyer
Nigel Van Wieck, artist

wittgenstein quote 4

van goghMan with his head in his hands
pencil on paper
Vincent van Gogh, 1882

…and time to turn some pages. Books are collecting on my night stand, coffee table, and dining room. Some started, some remain in wait.

A simple list, in no particular order, for you to decipher:

Foxcatcher, by Mark Schultz (with David Thomas) – Reading this to get the background on the film, which I’ve seen several times. Simply, almost naively written (I blame the ghost writer), an intriguing look into wrestling champion Mark Schultz, his brother Dave, and the odd, and eventually deadly, relationship with John du Pont at Foxcatcher Farm.

Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees, by Lawrence Weschler – the life of contemporary artist Robert Irwin, his philosophy, and his approach to artistic creation.

The Book of Life, by J. Krishnamurti – the book that had a tremendous impact on Mark Shultz in both his professional and personal life. Further research…

Notes for a Memoir: On Isaac Asimov, Life, and Writing, by Janet Jeppson Asimov – a personal and insightful memoir of Asimov written by his wife. Taken in doses of only a few pages at a time leaving some thinking room for myself…

Portrait of an Artist by Laurie Lisle – a biography of Georgia O’Keeffe whose life and artwork have always held a fascination for me. This one was bookmarked about a quarter of the way thru when I packed it away for our move. Just rediscovered…

Pain Erasure, by Bonnie Prudden – Trigger point therapy for back and neck problems. This one has been my go-to for many years. Need it again…working on a self-help tool…

What can I say…about as eclectic as my eating habits…

reading_kopylov(old woman reading – title unverified)
Boris Ivanovich Kopylov, artist

[h/t to Alex Belth over at Bronx Banter for the lead-in to the artwork…]

From an interview with painter John Redmond:

Light is the focus of my work and the “subject” is just a foil for it. I am mostly interested in how we view the world around us and light is what we see, not things, so light is my main focus.

I like to paint places that feel familiar to me so I usually paint very near where I grew up in Chester County Pa. Landscapes are paintings where I want to describe the feeling of light in a space and somehow capture the feeling of that place. It is not so much about how beautiful the landscape is to begin with but more how I can find beauty in something that is part of my everyday life.

More over at The Art Room

redmondJohn Redmond, artist

 [h/t to Alex Belth at Bronx Banter for the lead in to the artwork…]

Passing Through a Small Town
by David Shumate

Here the highways cross. One heads north. One heads east
and west. On the comer of the square adjacent to the
courthouse a bronze plaque marks the place where two Civil
War generals faced one another and the weaker surrendered.
A few pedestrians pass. A beauty parlor sign blinks. As I tum
to head west, I become the schoolteacher living above the
barber shop. Polishing my shoes each evening. Gazing at the
square below. In time I befriend the waitress at the cafe and
she winks as she pours my coffee. Soon people begin to
talk. And for good reason. I become so distracted I teach my
students that Cleopatra lost her head during the French
Revolution and that Leonardo perfected the railroad at the
height of the Renaissance. One day her former lover returns
from the army and creates a scene at the school. That evening
she confesses she cannot decide between us. But still we spend
one last night together. By the time I pass the grain elevators
on the edge of town I am myself again. The deep scars of love
already beginning to heal.

[from Shumate’s book, High Water Mark: Prose Poems, University of Pittsburgh Press, 2004]

hopper_morning sunMorning Sun
Edward Hopper, 1952

sendak_listenIllustration by Maurice Sendak
from Open House for Butterflies by Ruth Krauss

[via Brain Pickings…]

From the 2014 film, Whiplash:

An obsessed and driven student. An obsessed and driven teacher. And jazz.

Watch what comes before, then this pivotal scene, then the hypnotic rollout at the end…

Watch it more than once. Then ask yourself that question…where is that line?



Jessica Hagy at indexed…often humorous, generally insightful, this time spot on…

It’s not always just about the data…

…the absolute truth of it all….mostly lately…

dilbert 8_11_15Dilbert
by Scott Adams

My daily read…skip the politics…

…and those minor skirmishes and small victories should be savored and enjoyed…


© Jim Benton

Benton’s full site is here

© Bill Israel

What I'm reading now...

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