Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Time

Dali's perception...

I wish I could make time linger when it sprints and sprint when it lingers.

I wish I were a true mistress of time and not just a clumsy juggler trying to keep a lot of hot potatoes in the air.



Written on a day that only comes around every four years. (?!)



Time perception

The physics of ball juggling

Friday, February 24, 2012

Libertango



P-r-e-c-i-s-e-l-y.

Being a few feet away from Piazzolla as he was playing in Lisbon in November 1987 was an unforgettable experience. Right now, in this precise instant, Libertango is one of the tenuous, ember-like-glowing strands of my shambolically tangled feelings. Now is a moment to remember. I know that somewhere along the line I will want to look back to now with a cold and analytical mind.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Credit where it's due

My mother took a photo of this commemorative plaque in the radiology pavilion of the Portuguese Oncology Institute in Lisbon on the 21st of February 2012. We were both glad that the makers and writers of recent history in Portugal let it remain where it belongs.

Placa IPO
Placa IPO 2

English translation:

" The Portuguese Oncology Institute was created by the Public Education Minister, António Sérgio de Sousa, on the 29th of December 1923. In 1927, funds were obtained to purchase land, build two pavilions and acquire a thousand and eight hundred milligrams of radioelement, install four roentgen therapy cabinets and laboratories for scientific research.

The Oncology Institute began functioning in the new buildings, with these materials, on the 29th of December 1927.

The swift progress achieved between 1928 and 1933, the propaganda, the publications, the acquisition of new study materials and the training abroad of medical staff derive, in great measure, from Prof. Dr. Oliveira Salazar’s interest in the fight against cancer.

This pavilion, begun in May 1931, was built according to the principles agreed upon during the 2nd Congress of Radiology (Stockholm, July 1928).

This was the first construction created in Europe with efficient protection against radiation, and its existence is owed, in the greatest measure, to the Minister of Finance, Prof. Dr. Oliveira Salazar."

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

The Sense of an Ending

Looking for a way out

"Later on in life, you expect a bit of a rest, don't you? You think you deserve it. I did, anyway. But then you begin to understand that the reward of merit is not life's business.

Also, when you are young, you think you can predict the likely pains and bleaknesses that age might bring. You imagine yourself being lonely, divorced, widowed; children growing away from you, friends dying. You imagine the loss of status, the loss of desire - of desirability. You may go further and consider your own approaching death, which, despite what company you may muster, can only be faced alone. But all of this is looking ahead. What you fail to do is look ahead, and then imagine yourself looking back from that future point. Learning the new emotions that time brings. Discovering, for example, that as the witnesses to your life diminish, there is less corroboration, and therefore less certainty, as to what you are or have been. Even if you have assiduously kept records - in words, sound, pictures - you may find that you have attended to the wrong kind of record-keeping. What was the line Adrian used to quote? 'History is that certainty produced at the point where the imperfections of memory meet the inadequacies of documentation.'

I still read a lot of history, and of course I've followed all the official history that's happened in my own lifetime - the fall of Communism, Mrs Thatcher, 9/11, global warming - with the normal mixture of fear, anxiety an cautious optimism. But I've never felt the same about it - I've never quite trusted it - as I do events in Greece and Rome, or the British Empire, or the Russian Revolution. Perhaps I just feel safer with the history that's been more or less agreed upon. Or perhaps it's that same paradox again: the history that happens underneath our noses ought to be the clearest and yet it's the most deliquescent. We live in time, it bonds us and defines us, and time is supposed to measure history, isn't it? But if we can't grasp its mysteries of pace and progress, what chance do we have with history - even our own small, personal, largely undocumented piece of it?"

- in The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes

Musee d'Orsay

Still, my memory's persistence...

the persistence of memory by salvador dali

Ascent

Monday, February 20, 2012

Ave Maria

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Ave Maria