keedy

It's Hardly Noticeable - John William Keedy
It’s Hardly Noticeable – John William Keedy

We all have days like this, and Keedy’s series, It’s Hardly Noticeable, gives us visual pause for thought on humanity’s mental health issues.

Is it possible for a society to have a commonly held idea of what is normal, when few individuals in that society actually meet the criteria for normalcy?

John William Keedy

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march of the queen bee

bomluc27884
Lady terrestris flew past me this morning in all her fluffy majesty, hunting for a place to call home no doubt; the first bumble bee I’ve seen this year. Heralds of spring & summer, pollinator of many, producer of a delicious delicacy, and major player in nature’s hierarchy; the bee is a species we should all be ensuring the life of.

For more information on bumble bees head here

love potion no. 9

Life isn’t all serious, and my well documented passion for the VW Type 2 is just one example of this. It’s time though for the dub to shuffle sideways a tiny bit (because honestly not much room is needed!) and make room for a sibling.

From the very first wooden framed, single-cylinder Otto-cycle engined, gas powered motorcyle built by Gottlieb Daimler in 1884-85, motorcycling has enthused 2-wheel addicts all over the world; and the Honda Dax is no exception.

                 CT70_brochure          ct70_ad5

As usual of course, I’m not craving one of the newer, more polished versions; instead the original 1969 ST70 is the one that holds me. There has to be some history folks..it’s an unwritten rule!

I’m sure some of those who know me will think I’m mad, but those who know me best will just nod knowingly and smile. I think I’ve fallen the smallest bit in love with this slightly eccentric, Summer-loving machine, and I make no apologies.

Oh, and the post title? Ah, well after my SO showing me a video of a definitively mad Frenchman’s uncondonable street ride; the Nicolas Jaar remix of The Searchers’ original has stuck with me. Although, again as usual, I still prefer the original!

down and under

1920s New South Wales Police Department, Australia: Criminal Mugshots.

I came across a couple of these photos the other day, and they intrigued me.
How nonchalantly the accused men pose; perhaps reflecting on a colonial 18thC ancestry as they accept their probable punishment; and just how far removed from the clinical, accountable records of today’s justice system these important historical records are.
In 1925 as the British government made the choice to put the pound sterling back onto the Gold Standard at the pre-war 1913 level, the ball of the Great Depression truly started rolling. Whilst the effects are not widely noted until the early 1930s, I find myself wondering if this lady, pictured here in the fur coat, in trying to survive the desperation during the years of growing poverty, simply needed to keep warm. Her crime: theft of the fur coat.
Every picture has a story and I think it is important to remember that all history is open to interpretation, even where written documents support ‘the truth’.

pretty. powerful. words.

pretty.

Undulatus asperatus, NZ | Witta Priester
Undulatus asperatus, NZ | Witta Priester

powerful.

Tornado cloud, Bermuda | Unknown credit
Tornado cloud, Bermuda | Unknown credit

words.

Consider yourself.
I want you to imagine a scene from your childhood.
Pick something evocative…
Something you can remember clearly, something you can see, feel, maybe even smell, as if you were really there.
After all, you really were there at the time, weren’t you? How else would you remember it?
But here is the bombshell: you weren’t there.
Not a single atom that is in your body today was there when that event took place. Every bit of you has been replaced many times over…
The point is that you are like a cloud: something that persists over long periods, whilst simultaneously being in flux. Matter flows from place to place and momentarily comes together to be you. Whatever you are, therefore, you are not the stuff of which you are made.
Steve Grand

la vie

Early on a Sunday morning and the coffee shop was devoid of life. A man walked in slowly, old brown leather suitcase in his left hand. Fulfilling the usual rite of passage at the counter, he turned and walked steadily toward my table. I realised he had spoken only as I realised he had stopped by the vacant chair opposite me. I looked up apologising for making him repeat himself, as I took my headphones out of my ears. He asked if he might sit down at my table. I found it a strange request bearing in mind every other table in the room was unoccupied; but he seemed polite, unremarkable, bland even, so I gestured toward the chair, inclined my head in permission and replaced my headphones.
A minute later, I realised his lips were moving, he was talking to me. I was not going to get peace, so the headphones were once more detached. I smiled uncertainly, he was asking me a question. “Are you a civilian in this army town?” My reply was guarded, but given. “I spent a bit of time in the legion he said” I nodded and smiled; this person in front of me, the legion, my thoughts and my reaction to his statement were at odds. He went quiet again, took a sip of his coffee and then reached down to the suitcase standing firmly by his feet. A little unsure I sat back a touch, he caught my movement and offered a nervous smile. The suitcase, now open on the chair, was full of the detritus of a traveller. This is someone who barely touches ground at home I thought.
He reached in to a pile of photographs, took just the very top one and placed it on the table in front of me. ‘That’s me’ he said as I looked down and saw a well worn snap of four men in full FFL uniform, standing with their weapons against a backdrop of pure sand. I looked up at him, trying to find similarities between the lined face before me and the image on the table. It was impossible, it could have been anyone. I smiled, and I think he knew my doubt. He reached back into the suitcase and placed a second photo on the table; ‘I don’t know how to live my life now’ he said as I found myself staring at a photo that was clearly this man sat at my table, standing shoulder to shoulder with a fellow legionnaire and smiling the smile of someone with a deep happiness.
I didn’t know what to say, but it didn’t matter. The photos kept coming. He talked to me for more than three hours, of his life and the loss of his sense of belonging.
He was only passing through; he doesn’t settle, he doesn’t know how to.
He is possibly the most interesting person I have met in a very long time.
The point? Never judge a book by its cover.

world war tea

World War II | Unknown
World War II | Unknown

A picture speaks a thousand words; this one speaks an entire story in one frame.

And to sit beside it, a tale of true selfless spirit…

“Suddenly along the street, in the middle of the maelstrom, a middle-aged woman – a real East-Ender, the people London was to learn to be proud of – carrying a large wash-stand jug. Beside her was a little kiddie, she can’t have been more than four or five, clutching a handful of tin mugs.
“She came up to us firemen and said ‘Would you chaps like some tea?’ Yes please, we all replied, suddenly we realised how dry were our throats in the gasping heat and smoke.
“Putting the jug down amid the debris, she took the cups from the child and wiped them in her apron, oblivious to the hell around, and then poured the tea. Never did tea taste better…
“But why are you out with your child in the middle of a blitz? She shrugged her shoulders – ‘I thought the men would like a drink. They must be thirsty with all that heat.’
“She took the cups and, with the child at her side, set off towards the dock gates to offer her tea to any man she saw.”
When Jeff got back home he told me he said to his wife, “Where the hell did she get the water and heat the kettle?”

Excerpt taken from:
Are you 17? Vivid real-life story of every-day men and women, who became the fire-fighting saviours of Britain from the World War Two Blitz by Alan G. Sandall (out of print)

I dislike conflict but it is something we all have to deal with, to some degree, at some point in our lives. I do believe that there is usually room to take a better path though; and we should all try to look for it.

one photo. one poem.

Mirror | Geir Magne Sætre
Mirror | Geir Magne Sætre

I stumbled across these captivating words today.

The Invitation by Oriah

It doesn’t interest me
what you do for a living.
I want to know
what you ache for
and if you dare to dream
of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me
how old you are.
I want to know
if you will risk
looking like a fool
for love
for your dream
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me
what planets are
squaring your moon…
I want to know
if you have touched
the centre of your own sorrow
if you have been opened
by life’s betrayals
or have become shrivelled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know
if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know
if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you
to the tips of your fingers and toes
without cautioning us
to be careful
to be realistic
to remember the limitations
of being human.

It doesn’t interest me
if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.
If you can bear
the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know
if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand at the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live
or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after the night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me
who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the centre of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me
where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know
what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know
if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like
the company you keep
in the empty moments.

By Oriah ,
from the book The Invitation
published by HarperONE, San Francisco,
1999 All rights reserved