Wednesday, March 23, 2011

What is the victory of a cat on a hot tin roof?

Just staying on it, I guess, as long as she can.

R.I.P. Elizabeth Taylor, the one and only Martha, the one and only Maggie, the definitive Cleopatra.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Advice to a Friend Who Paints

cezanne.millstonePaul Cezanne (1839-1906), Woods with Millstone, 1898-1900

Paul_Cezanne-_Well,_Millstone_and_Cistern_Under_TreesPaul Cézanne: Well, Millstone and Cistern Under Trees (1892; Oil on canvas, 65 x 81 cm)

Still-Life-With-ApplesPaul Cézanne: Still Life with Apples

Paul_Cezanne_Un_coin_de_tablePaul Cézanne, Un coin de table, 1895-1900

Paul_Cezanne_-_Pyramid_of_SkullsPaul Cézanne, Pyramid of Skulls

Cezanne BathersPaul Cézanne, Bathers

cezanne.grandes-baigneusesPaul Cézanne, Bathers

Paul Cezanne Card PlayersPaul Cézanne, Card Players

Cezanne The-Card-PlayersPaul Cézanne, Card Players

Consider shy Cezanne,
the lay of the land he loved,
its dumbstruck vanity polite and brute.
The bather in his sketchy suit.
The skull upon the mute pull of cloth.
In your taxing and tearing, tugging at art,
consider shy Cezanne.
His blushing apples.
His love of man.

--Kelly Cherry--

Sleeping Beauty

Sleeping beauty

Sleeping Beauty pricked her thumb,
started feeling overcome.
Probably she would have died
as the witch had prophesied,
but the fairies had her blessed
so she just got beauty rest.
For a hundred fifty years
she missed balls and film premieres,
till Prince Charming came along
singing out a cheerful song.
Kneeling down he kissed her cheek
hoping that she'd wake and speak.
Sleeping Beauty raised an arm
reaching for the snooze alarm
and her waking words were these:
"Just need five more minutes please."

--Kenn Nesbitt--

Clara loves poetry.

Friday, March 04, 2011


Few things have as powerful an impact on my mood as music does. Life without it would be worse than perpetual gloomy gray, as far as I’m concerned. 

I am aware, with some fascination, that not everyone hears sound, listens or perceives a melody in quite the same way - individual reactions to music can range from complete apathy to pure ecstasy, from violent physical disgust to spiritual epiphany. Some people see colours when they hear certain musical notes (they have that marvellous gift that is synæsthesia), some get goose bumps and shivers up and down their spines at certain sound combinations, and some just hear noise no matter how hard they try to find any kind of meaning or harmony in what reaches their ears. Most just regard music as the accidental soundtrack to their lifes: whatever is played on the radio fits, especially if it's played often enough.

I am happy to be sensitive to music and I’m glad that I can enjoy it not only per se but also as a powerful form of “auto-medication”: I know exactly what I should listen to for a bit of a morale boost, for some extra energy or for relaxing. There's music to fit almost all of my needs and I'm not afraid to use it! My taste is pretty eccletic, the only thing I really can't stand is techno and death metal.

Wagner’s Liebestod inevitably leads me to the deepest emotional catharsis. I’ve just finished listening to it and my soul feels cleansed.  Now I can sleep.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

A bit of grind

No excuse for having my poor blog stuck in Christmas for so long! Merry Christmas wishes should automatically vanish when they’ve long outstayed their welcome. How neglectful of me! Spring is around the corner, daffodils are blooming, and a recent few days in Lisbon have quenched my thirst for sunshine, warmth, good food, and familial bonding for a while.

I’ve got little time to blog and even less to say, recently life seems to be a succession of mundane concerns and events, not really worth blogging about. Who knows, perhaps this submersion in triviality is really an escape mechanism, a step back from the spiral of pessimism I was being drawn into, where news of what's going on in the world, near and far, got the better of me and made me increasingly apprehensive about the future. For now I’d rather not think about it all too much and just stick to doing what I can and should effectively do. I’ll think about "the big picture" some other time. “After all, tomorrow is another day” and I’ve always rather admired Scarlett O’Hara.

By the way, I’ve watched some good films recently: Mrs. Miniver, Waterloo Bridge, and, of course, The King’s Speech, all excellent stuff.

Had some good reads as well: The Hare with Amber Eyes (couldn’t put it down!), Fry’s Chronicles, Savage Beauty: The Life of Edna St. Vincent Millay, and Suite Française.

São Pedro de Alcantara
Lisbon - Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara

São Pedro de Alcantara
Lisbon - Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara

Lisbon, Belém - River Tagus and 25th April Bridge

Electric dreams
Electric cherry blossoms

Lisbon, Belém

Terreiro do Paço
Lisbon, Terreiro do Paço

Lisbon, Belém

Seagull having lunch
Lisbon, seagull and its lunch

Santo Amaro de Oeiras
Lisbon, Praia de Santo Amaro em Oeiras

Lisbon, Tavares restaurant

Lisbon, Rua António Maria Cardoso, Chiado

Costa da Caparica
Costa da Caparica

Lisbon, Jerónimos

São Carlos
Lisbon, The Opera - São Carlos 

Casa de Fernando Pessoa
Lisbon, building where Fernando Pessoa lived.