best animated video ever!!!!!

best animated video ever!!!!!

Zhuge Liang

I have loved Hong Kong films since the early 1990s when I saw John Woo’s  “Hard Boiled” with Chow Yun Fat and Tony Leung.  I love the epic historical film, as well.  I recently saw John Woo’s “Red Cliff” – the international release, not the “short” American release.  Red Cliff is spoken in Chinese and is well delivered by the wonderfully outstanding cast.  the english subtitles are beautifully written.  I totally enjoyed this film.

One of the historical main characters of the “Battle of Red Cliffs” is Zhuge Liang, a chancellor of Shu Han.  He lived 181–234, and is variously known as Kongming, aka Crouching Dragon.  The actor who is him totally brings this man to life –  I am enchanted with Zhuge Liang.

I am currently reading Thomas Cleary’s translation of Zhuge’s commentary on Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”.°  From his introduction are some quotes I especially like.  To his nephew he wrote:

“Aspirations should remain lofty and far-sighted. Look to the precedents of the wise. Detach from emotions and desires; get rid of any fixations. Elevate subtle feelings to presence of mind and sympathetic sense. Be patient in tight situations as well as easy situations; eliminate all pettiness.”

“Seek knowledge; be questioning widely; set aside aversion and reluctance. What loss is there in dignity, what worry is there of failure?”

“If your will is not strong, if your thought does not oppose injustice, you will fritter away your life stuck in the commonplace, silently submitting to the bonds of emotion, forever cowering before mediocrities, never escaping the downward flow.”

To his son:

“The practice of a cultivated man is to refine himself by quietude and develop virtue by frugality. With out detachment, there is no way to clarify the will; without serenity, there is no way to get far.”

“Study requires calm, talent requires study. Without study there is no way to expand talent; without calm there is no way to accomplish study.”

“If you are lazy, you cannot do thorough research; if you are impulsive, you cannot govern your nature.”

“The years run off with the hours, aspirations flee with the years. Eventually one ages and collapses. What good will lamenting over poverty do?”

It certainly sounds like he read both the Dao De Jing and the Nei-yeh.  In the movie, his character says, “To know a trifle about everything adds color to life,” which caused me to pause the film so I could write than down.  We are lucky to have what we do have about Zhuge Liang – I am glad to know such a man exists.

° technically, as far as i can discern, takeshi kaneshiro is the reincarnated zhuge liang, who at the time of the biounit known as zhuge liang’s occurance, zhuge liang was the reincarnated sunzi; which means that takeshi kaneshiro is the reincarnated Sun Tzu as well as the previously mentioned reincarnated zhuge liang, who is also known as KONGMING and crouching dragon.

Powers of Ten by Charles and Ray Eames

Check this out!  It is a film that in about 10 minutes takes you to the farthest outreaches of space and down to our smallest level of understanding.  Totally worth 10 minutes of your time.

 

John

There is nothing I can say to offset the tragedy of that day.  I am no less over him now than I was 30 years ago.  Although, I understand the world a little better than I did as a 13 year old.  Well, maybe understand is the wrong word.  I am less emotional in my 40s than I was when I was a teenager.

I heard the news via radio as I did my homework.  As word of his death sunk into my mind, I found myself weeping.   Even now, I can’t help but cry.  The voice that gave us “Imagine” should not have been unnaturally silenced.  John‘s music has influenced me throughout my life.  Born in 1967, I am part of a culture that, for  me, never didn’t have The Beatles.  My dad used to sing “Michelle” to me.  We heard them on the radio, a lot.

I remember being in the backseat of our neighbor’s Cadillac and hearing “Imagine” as we went for ice cream.  I think it was 1976; I know it was Summer; we were all in swimsuits.  Everyone was quiet, eating and listening to the music.  I was just nine years old, but those words had a big impact on me.  With that song, John planted a seed in me that has grown into my practice of Daoism.

I started today listening to the single “Watching The Wheels” and its B-side “Yes, I’m Your Angel”:

 

 

Don Gato and The Underdog

I am still thinking about a post on the 3 treasures, but in the mean time, these 2 songs occurred to me this week.

Don Gato is a song from my childhood.  Someone on Facebook called their cat Don Gato and the song popped into my mind.  All I could remember was the first line, “On a roof Don Gato sat,”  but that was all Google needed.

I heard Spoon’s “The Underdog” on the college radio station.  Saturday night I found it for Eben – I was hoping he would like it.  He did.  He started playing it and had 3 of the chords down before he asked me to google the actual chords.  We sat there and he was playing trying to keep time with the song.  He told me to start singing.  I did.  We had a lot of fun with this.  It made us both happy.

Total blogger’s block for me.   It has been so long since I wrote anything for my blogs.  I did just complete a post for Misha’s Needle about a quilt I finished in August.  Sigh.  I spent the summer socializing and reconnecting with friends and making new friends.  Even now, I am having trouble figuring out what I want to say.

The last new to me song I found was a few weeks ago.  I heard it in my car, from start to finish, but missed any info about it.  All I could remember was, “She asks are you cursed?”  Google found it, of course.  Yay!  Called “The Curse,” it has a charming little video to go with the song, which still, I find enchanting:

There are a few blog posts I have in mind, but my writing time has gone to socializing.  Last week, I got a very nice comment on this blog and that got me thinking about giving this blog more attention.  I am in the middle of making a quilt and am somewhat obsessed with that right now.  It is for a friend who may be moving to Chicago and I am on a deadline with it.

I have also been having a very important to me conversation with Cloudwalking Owl, whose Diary I recommend you read.   We are thinking of publishing this conversation, perhaps as a book, or a blog.  He and I have lately been writing about the 3 Daoist’s Treasures.  I will share my take on these in another post.

I have for the past couple of months been “baby sitting” a friend’s 11 year old so that she and her boyfriend can have a date night.  This summer I hung out with other children a few times.  I had not really talked to a child in like 6 years.  The kids have helped me be a better Daoist, and have awakened a sleeping sense of fun I had forgotten.

I guess I should try to make writing for this blog and the other one more of a priority now.  I need to figure out how much time per week can I regularly devote and make writing for them part of my routine.  I think I want to do that, because if I don’t schedule it, it won’t happen.

I will try to make more time for writing and thinking as soon as I get to a point with my quilt that gives me a break.  Right now I am fully focused on getting the block sewn together.  Once that happens I like to try different layouts and that will give me some time for writing, hopefully about the three treasures.

We had a loverly autumn here in Saint Louis, but winter seems to be coming now.  I really enjoyed the warm days we have had.  I love the seasonal changes of the mid-west.   Well, onto my quilting!

 

Mrs. Vandebilt with Variation

Hi, y’all!  I know it has been awhile since I posted anything.  I have been busy doing summer things.   Lately, when I am on the computer, I have been listening to Mrs. Vandebilt by Wings and various covers of it.  I can’t stop, especially the original version from Band On The Run.  It was released in 1974, but not as a single in the US.  This is one I discovered in the 80s.  I always loved it, and it has really got me right now.  The music is so fantastic – that bass is sooo freakin’ awesome, and the melody is really good too.

I am glad there were some covers available.  I like hearing varied renditions of songs.  This one is from somewhere in Paris, I think.  Here is another charming version.  Both of those are strummed and acoustic.  Here is an electric cover from a band.  If you are looking for a demo of the bass, you have a choice.  This one is good, but short.  Here is the complete bass played out to the song – really amazing bass playing, very worth watching.  I don’t play bass, but I was mesmerized.  Here is Paul in Quebec playing live.  And this one is acoustic and fingerpicked – really awesome!

Eight versions – all of them good.  Have fun.

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