Tunes for a Monday Morning

Today, Maya Beiser, whose gorgeous music Ellen Kushner (my host and writing partner here in NYC) introduced me to some years ago. I've loved it ever since. Raised on a kibbutz in Israel by a French mother and Argentinean father, Beiser studied at the Yale University Music School and now lives in New York.

Above: Beiser's version of Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir," from her album Provenance.

Below: Beiser performs "Mariel," composed by Osvaldo Golijov.

What we need, what we remember, what we are

Light on the Central Park Reservoir...

“After nourishment, shelter and companionship, stories are the thing we need most in the world.”   - Philip Pullman

...and a Pointillist flotilla of ducks.

"Stories you read when you’re the right age never quite leave you. You may forget who wrote them or what the story was called. Sometimes you’ll forget precisely what happened, but if a story touches you it will stay with you, haunting the places in your mind that you rarely ever visit."    - 

Neil Gaiman


The Ugly Duckling by Wm Heath Robinson

Images above: Ducks on the Reservoir in Central Park, Manhattan; and "The Ugly Duckling" by William Heath Robinson (1872-1944)

Autumn in New York City

Autumn leaves on Riverside Drive, Manhattan.

I'm in New York now, working on a collaborative writing project that will involve much walking and talking and plotting and scheming, and cups of coffee in tiny cafes, and the clatter of keyboards against an '80s pop soundtrack and the drum beat at the heart of Manhattan.

Riverside Park, NYC

Here, as in Devon, I start my days early, with a cup of coffee underneath the trees or at the water's edge in Riverside Park. I miss my faithful canine companion -- but Tilly is where she should be now, wandering our beloved hills back home, while I stalk the Muse down city streets...and will soon return, new stories in hand. the hills of Devon.

"Writing is an exploration. You start from nothing and learn as you go."  - E.L. Doctorow

Shinran Shonin 1

“From now on I hope always to stay alert, to educate myself as best I can. But lacking this, in future I will relaxedly turn back to my secret mind to see what it has observed when I thought I was sitting this one out. We never sit anything out. We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.” ― Ray Bradbury

Shinran Shonin 2

The Shinran Shonin statue at the Buddhist temple on Riverside Drive (between W. 105th and 106th), NYC. This remarkable statue survived the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, was brought to New York in 1955, and stands as  "a testimonial to the atomic bomb devastation and a symbol of lasting hope for world peace.”

The Great God Pan by George Gray BarnardThe Great God Pan by George Grey Barnard, at Columbia University (Broadway & W. 116th)

Spring arrives in New York City

Trees in bloom, Riverside ParkTrees in bloom, Riverside Park

Daffodils Cherry blossoms and daffodils, Riverside Park

Water's edge, Riverside ParkWater's edge, early morning, Riverside Park

West 97th Street, NYCTree and sky on Broadway &  W. 97th

The Bear Cat, NYCThe Bear Cat sculpture by Peter Woytuk on Broadway & W. 67th

West 103rd Street, NYCA canopy of blossoms, Amsterdam & W. 103rd

"Everything is blooming most recklessly; if it were voices instead of colors, there would be an unbelievable shrieking into the heart of the night."   - Rainer Maria Rilke

"It's spring fever.  That is what the name of it is.  And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!"  - Mark Twain