Invisible but Positive

Day 88: Tuesday

Good morning Zak,

Today I share with you one of Emily Dickinson’s famous poems:

This world is not conclusion
a sequel stands beyond
Invisible, as music.
But positive. As sound.

What the heck, Dickinson?!  Why should the rest of us even try?

Until tomorrow,

Tim

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Spacing Out

Day 71: Wednesday

Good morning Zak,

It’s beautiful outside this afternoon in Milan.  The sky is pure blue.  It’s really stunning.

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See this mess?  This means I’m in the middle of a very good piece.  Whenever that happens, other things become harder.  Like cleaning.

You asked me some kind of philosophical question the other day.  Something about moral responsibility, I think.  Normally I’d be all up in it, but philosophizing is a bit like cleaning and today I have a truant disposition.  I’d rather just sit and stare at the miraculously blue sky.

Seriously, how is it so freaking blue?  It’s ridiculous.  There’s just nothing there.  It’s like one of those contemporary monochromatic paintings.

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I’ve been listening to a lot of Morton Feldman recently.  His music has that kind of sensibility—monochromatic, I mean.  It’s just exquisitely singular.

Usually when I look at the sky I’m used to seeing it with all kinds of nasty clouds blotted all over it.  But the thing that’s so appealing about this particular sky is the way it contrasts with all that.  Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the clouds when they’re there, but at the moment they would be a nuisance.  It would be a shame to splotch up something that’s just so perfectly blue.

There goes an airplane.

I guess what I’m saying is, it’s not like it’s Wednesday Afternoon’s fault that I find her so appealing.  It’s just ’cause I’ve seen a lot of other days—perfectly fine ones mind you—and Wednesday Afternoon stands out.  I mean, I probably wouldn’t feel this way if I’d never seen the likes of Saturday at Eleven.

If Morton Feldman composed a perfectly blue sky, would he be at fault for how heinously gorgeous it is?

But I said I wasn’t going to philosophize today.  I should really clean this room up, but I’m probably not going to.

Until tomorrow,

Tim

Properly Curating Cats

Day 17: Tuesday

Good morning Zak,

I don’t have much to write today.  In the space of this entry, I think I’ll just curate a few quotations.  I guess I’ll also write a little bit about love, just ’cause… what else is there to write about?

Quotation 1

Just like us here at Thily Fin, Tim Urban also has a strong interest in the weather.  He’s specifically interested in rain.  Here’s a quotation from his instructions on How to Pick Your Life Partner:

“I’ll leave the butterflies and the kisses in the rain […] to you […] and spend this post trying to figure out the best way to make Forgettable Wednesday as happy as possible.”

Hmm… kisses in the rain… what’s the best way to curate kisses in the rain?

Urban seems to think that relationships might be most interesting if romance plays only a peripheral role.  The mundanity of Forgettable Wednesday is beautiful if you curate it alongside a healthy relationship.  Conceptually, this may be a little bit different from curating a committed relationship next to rat intestines, but accidents happen sometimes.

Anyway, that’s one perspective on love, but I got more quotes to show you all…

Quotation 2

A lot of life is mostly about enjoying mundane conversations about the weather.  There was some beautiful weather on a beach somewhere recently.  Rarasaur happened to get a picture of it as the sun set.  She was careful not to look directly at the sun, since that’s bad for your eyes.  The picture is curated on her blog.

“There’s so much that happens just out of sight, so much in our peripherals.”

-Ra

Quotations 3 & 4

So I kind of have a bit of a thing for writing songs sometimes.  Right now I’m writing one based on some of Dante’s love poetry, and it has this very strange line in it:

“And often times it happens as I think on death

That there comes to me so gentle a desire

As to change the color of my visage.”

Sometimes I think that Dante was really a better curator than a poet.  The theme of longing for death due to unrequited love is not his original idea; it’s just something he happened to come across in the mundane (worldly) poetry of the troubadours.  But in this beautiful poem of his, Dante curates this element of secular love poetry right alongside elements of religious poetry, which makes us think of another meaning that the same theme might have…

“I long to bear the death of Christ / Let me take part in his passion / And remember his wounds. […] And when my body dies / Let my soul be given to the Glory of paradise.” -Stabat Mater

I have to admit, it’s really a clever “miscommunication.”

Item 5

Some artists make a point of never doing more than curating pre-existing objects:

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Marcel Duchamp, Bicycle Wheel

Installing a bicycle wheel on top of a stool might be one approach to finding beauty in mundane objects.  Maybe blogging could be another.  I mean spoons, shoelaces, conversations about weather, and swordfishes are all very interesting objects.  They just need to be properly curated.  You might feel like there’s nothing inherently interesting about a ten second video of some guy not catching a fish, but when you curate it as a documentary on Sword(fish) fighting, it takes on a new meaning.

Today’s unusual use for a spoon: escaping from Alcatraz.  At Thily Fin we are committed to providing you with reliable, scooping-edge spoon scholarship.  That’s why every publication of unusual uses for spoons is subject to a rigorous peer review process.

Thank you, Zak, for your wonderful picture of cats.  It was very well curated alongside the rigorous prune-juice scholarship and carefully chosen cross-references.

Until tomorrow,

Tim