Thursday, June 7, 2012

Ideale (and translation)

I really like this.

The lyrics and translation (from "The Lied, Art Song and Choral Texts Archive")


Io ti seguii come iride di pace
Lungo le vie del cielo:
Io ti seguii come un'amica face
De la notte nel velo.
E ti sentii ne la luce, ne l'aria,
Nel profumo dei fiori;
E fu piena la stanza solitaria
Di te, dei tuoi splendori.

In te rapito, al suon de la tua voce,
Lungamente sognai;
E de la terra ogni affanno, ogni croce,
In quel [sogno]1 scordai.
Torna, caro ideal, torna un istante
A sorridermi ancora,
E a me risplenderà, nel tuo sembiante,
Una novella aurora.


I followed you like a rainbow of peace
along the paths of heaven;
I followed you like a friendly torch
in the veil of darkness,
and I sensed you in the light, in the air,
in the perfume of flowers,
and the solitary room was full
of you and of your radiance.

Absorbed by you, I dreamed a long time
of the sound of your voice,
and earth's every anxiety, every torment
I forgot in that dream.
Come back, dear ideal, for an instant
to smile at me again,
and in your face will shine for me
a new dawn.

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Realist/Absurdist Jokes

Knock knock.
Who's there?
Robert who?
Robert Michaelson-Brown.

What time was it when the elephant sat on the clock?
6:43 AM, GMT.

How many kings does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A book never written: "Bleeding Chickens using Leeches" by Franklin McAdams.

What's the different between George W. Bush and a flower?
A flower has brightly-colored petals which help to attract bees.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Spring Thoughts

Some thoughts and excerpts that I like to return to from time to time. (Painting by Monet.)

"My hope has returned! My heart pounds at the thought of standing up; at the thought of breathing and speaking. It's like a light has come bursting on in my chest, forcing me to spread my arms to the world. For a while, I thought that it never would. I wept and couldn't eat. I became angry easily and destroyed things I cared about to make myself feel worse. But a vision came to me. A stone building, surrounded by lawns and hedges. People stood outside of it and talked softly and thoughtfully. There was a small marketplace nearby. Some of the vendors sold bread and fruit, and others sold antiques, books and wine. The sea was not far away, just beyond the edge of the building I could see it on the horizon – the soft wind smelled faintly like salt and sand. I could hear music in the distance: a violin, a guitar and a stand-up bass, playing a quiet song that complemented the air and the pinkish edges of the sky. Happiness is verdant and bright. The past has left me."

The sun set and the doomed man stared at the blank wall, thinking on death. It would be soon, he thought. There must be something before then, things they should remember after he passed. What was important? What would they need? He clicked out a list on his typewriter.

To think quietly.
To seek simplicity.
To love openly and without regret.
To speak clearly and with feeling.
To paint what came naturally to the hand.
To hear revealing melodies without distraction.
To smile and laugh at the patterns of mortality.
To see the sunrise with an uncluttered mind.

He remembered falling in love in a shady park, in the afternoon when the light was beginning to yellow -- they held hands. It was beyond sex, attraction. It was a feeling of momentary, absolute peace, solidified in time. She glowed in her white dress and he in his dark jacket. They gazed at each other through the grass and they could hear the waves rolling into the beach down below.

Think seek love speak, paint hear smile see.

They lowered the casket and their heads. And the sun rose again.

(This is unrelated to the text, but also hopeful somehow.)

Thursday, March 15, 2012

A Blob Painting

I made this using a free vector graphics editor called Inkscape. It has tons of features and I'm only starting to figure out how to use everything.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


And so the jolly beggarman came tripping o'er the plain
He came unto a farmer's door, a lodging for to gain
The farmer's daughter, she came down and viewed him cheek and chin
She says, "He is a handsome man, I pray you take him in."

We'll go no more a-roving, a-roving in the night
We'll go no more a-roving, let the moon shine so bright
We'll go no more a-roving

He would not lie within the barn nor yet within the byre
But he would in the corner lie, down by the kitchen fire
Oh, then the beggar's bed was made of good clean sheets and hay
And down beside the kitchen fire the jolly beggar lay

The farmer's daughter she got up to bolt the kitchen door
And there she saw the beggar standing naked on the floor
He took the daughter in his arms and to the bed he ran
"Kind sir," she says, "Be easy now, you'll waken our good man."

"Now you are no beggar, you are some gentleman,
For you have stole my maidenhead and I am quite undone."
"I am no lord, I am no squire, of beggar's I be one,
and beggars they are robbers all, so you are quite undone."

She took the bed in both her hands and threw it at the wall
Says "Go you with the beggarman, my maidenhead and all."