April 29, 2011
April 28, 2011
April 27, 2011
April 26, 2011
April 25, 2011
In the Art of Dreaming Don Juan tells Carlos, "… most of our energy goes into upholding our importance… if we were capable of losing some of that importance, two extraordinary things would happen to us. One, we would free our energy from trying to maintain the illusory idea of our grandeur; and two we would provide ourselves with enough energy to ... catch a glimpse of the actual grandeur of the universe."
The spirit listens only when the speaker speaks in gestures. And gestures do not mean signs or body movements, but acts of true abandon, acts of largesse, of humor. As a gesture to the spirit, warriors bring out the best of themselves and silently offer it to the abstract.
For me there is only the traveling on the paths that have heart, on any path that may have heart.There I travel, and the only worthwhile challenge for me is to traverse its full length.And there I travel—looking, looking, breathlessly.
The third point of reference is freedom of perception; it is intent; it is spirit; the somersault of thought into the miraculous; the act of reaching beyond our boundaries and touching the inconceivable.
The trick is in what one emphasizes. We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.
"I am already given to the power that rules my fate. And I cling to nothing, so I will have nothing to defend. I have no thoughts, so I will see. I fear nothing, so I will remember myself." - Don Juan
(from Carlos Castaneda readings)
April 23, 2011
April 22, 2011
April 20, 2011
April 19, 2011
If we could see the miracle of a single flower clearly, our whole life would change.
When you have only two pennies left in the world, buy a loaf of bread with one,
and a lily with the other.
April 18, 2011
April 17, 2011
April 15, 2011
April 14, 2011
Nobody, I think, ought to read poetry, or look at pictures or statues, who cannot find a great deal more in them than the poet or artist has actually expressed.
Their highest merit is suggestiveness.
April 13, 2011
|Empire State Building|
|General Motors Building. Fifth Ave|
April 12, 2011
|From Battery Park|
The Staten Island Ferry is a passenger ferry service operated by the New York City Department of Transportation that runs between the boroughs of Manhattan and Staten Island.
April 11, 2011
|The Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis Reservoir|
|Central Park. New York|
April 9, 2011
April 8, 2011
April 7, 2011
April 6, 2011
April 5, 2011
The Birdmans of Mexico
The Voladores of Papantla
Ask anyone who's been to Papantla what most impressed them, and they'll probably say, "The Voladores." Many people who've never been to the Gulf Coast -- or even to Mexico - will light up in recognition at the mention of the Voladores. They perform regularly throughout Mexico, Central and South America. They've performed in several cities in the United States, and even in Paris and Madrid. So, who are the Voladores, and why are they famous?
Volador means flyer - he who flies. It is breathtaking to watch the spectacle of four men gracefully "flying" upside down from a 75 foot pole secured only by a rope tied around their waists.
Even more amazing is the musician, called the caporal. Balanced on a narrow wooden platform without a rope or safety net, the caporal plays a drum and flute and invokes an ancient spiritual offering in the form of a spectacular dance.
As he turns to face the four cardinal directions, he will bend his head back to his feet, balance on one foot then lean precariously forward, and perform intricate footwork, all the time playing the flute and drum! No matter how many times you see this beautiful performance, it will continue to astonish you, and the plaintive tune of the flute and drum will remain with you long after you have returned home.
The early history of the ceremonial flight of the Voladores is shrouded in the mists of antiquity. Information about the original ritual was partially lost when the invading conquerors from Spain destroyed so many of the documents and codices of the indigenous cultures. Fortunately, enough survived through legend and oral history and in materials written by early visitors to New Spain, that anthropologists and historians have been able to document at least part of the story of this ancient religious practice and how it has evolved through time.
A Totonaca myth tells of a time when there was a great drought, and food and water grew scarce throughout the land. Five young men decided that they must send a message to Xipe Totec, God of fertility so that the rains would return and nurture the soil, and their crops would again flourish. So they went into the forest and searched for the tallest, straightest tree they could find.
When they came upon the perfect tree, they stayed with it overnight, fasting and praying for the tree's spirit to help them in their quest. The next day they blessed the tree, then felled it and carried it back to their village, never allowing it to touch the ground. Only when they decided upon the perfect location for their ritual, did they set the tree down.
The men stripped the tree of its leaves and branches, dug a hole to stand it upright, then blessed the site with ritual offerings. The men adorned their bodies with feathers so that they would appear like birds to Xipe Totec, in hope of attracting the god's attention to their important request. With vines wrapped around their waists, they secured themselves to the pole and made their plea through their flight and the haunting sound of the flute and drum.