1. Listening: Something in the Way She Moves by James Taylor
Oh James! Thank you for this. It's such a classic. The definitive tribute to the restorative presence and power of a woman.
2. Listening: Crazy Love by Van Morrison (live version 1970)
"She got a fine sense of humor when I'm feeling lowdown ..."
3. Listening: And She Was by Talking Heads
"And she was looking at herself / And things were looking like a movie / She had a pleasant elevation / She's moving out in all directions ..."
4. Reading: Hold Still by Sally Mann
I blazed through it in two days. The themes of her work -- landscape, family, death -- speak to me, always have. I woke up the morning after I finished the book and gave myself a fierce talking to. It went something like: protect your time, protect your artistic vision, get back to the land, death and time and aging are yours even now so keep 'em close, get back to and lost in the work.
From Hold Still: "Certain moments in the creative process, moments when I am really seeing, are weirdly expansive, and I develop a hyperattuned visual awareness, like the aura-ringed optical field before a migraine. Radiance coalesces about the landscape, rich in possibility, supercharged with something electric, insistent. Time slows down, becomes ecstatic" (212).