Of Walking In Ice … from Berlin to Paris via Athens (Ohio)

I’m wading through a dreary winter rain, bound for Paris with Werner Herzog. Today dripped into existence more than dawned. From the cabin window, I watch water course through the diamond-patterned bark of a nearby ash that’s slowly succumbing to boring insects. More distant trees are a jumble of twigs floating in a cloud crowning …

‘An Elephant Sitting Still’

I’ve been dabbling in Chinese cinema recently, with mixed results. I swung and missed with the Flowers of War, ostensibly about the Rape of Nanking, a topic that I’ve read about extensively, but it turned out to be a variation on the hookers-with-a-heart-of-gold film mashed up with an American action picture (though the lone Chinese …

On Reading Rilke: The Delight and Terror of Mortality

And how bewildered is any womb-born creaturethat has to fly. As if terrified and fleeingfrom itself, it zigzags through the air, the waya crack runs through a teacup. So the batquivers across the porcelain of evening. — Marie Rainer Rilke, Duino Elegies, No. 8 I’ve been reading Rilke, driven by a bungled attempt to taunt …

Birdsongs as sweet as the sound of a chainsaw …

I’ve been listening to an audiobook version of “The Bird Way” by Jennifer Ackerman and she was discussing the incredible vocalizations of lyrebirds, prompting me to Google around so I could hear what she was talking about. That’s how I came across this example. Wow. This is the coolest 2 minutes and 54 seconds you’ll …