Wednesday, September 23, 2009

All the single babies

This is bound to be the next viral video, but I just had to post it. Amazing!

I adore babies dancing, period, but you can tell baby Ava has got real talent when you compare her to the original video (which won't allow me to embed it).

Woah, oh, oh,
- L'Editrice

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Our rockstars *are* like your rockstars

Meg Cabot's blog had a link to this news report on her visit to Brazil, and I just had to re-post. It makes me so giddy to see all these readers screaming over her, and the fact that it's in Portuguese, a language which I don't understand at all, makes it even more fun. (Though I did understand the girl saying she was "Twelve. Twelve and three-quarters." so seriously, which I loved.)

She is certainly an author to look up to for inspiration, no? Talk about fairytales coming true . . .

- L'Editrice

P.S. And I'll be honest, it made me tear up a bit, amidst my giggles.

Monday, September 21, 2009

On beauty

I was listening to "Speaking of Faith" on the radio yesterday, and I heard this amazing interview with the late Irish poet and philosopher John O'Donohue. I strongly recommend that you listen to or read the whole thing, but I'll go ahead and pull out some of my favorite quotes, which tie in nicely to yesterday's post as well:

- "I mean, when you think about language and you think about consciousness, it's just incredible to think that we can make any sounds that can reach over across to each other at all. Because I mean, I think we're— I think the beauty of being human is that we're incredibly, intimately near each other. We know about each other, but yet we do not know or never can know what it's like inside another person. And it's amazing, you know, here am I sitting in front of you now, looking at your face, you're looking at mine and yet neither of us have ever seen our own faces. And that in some way, thought is the face that we put on the meaning that we feel and that we struggle with and that the world is always larger and more intense and stranger than our best thought will ever reach. And that's the mystery of poetry, you know, is poetry tries to draw alongside the mystery as it's emerging and somehow bring it into presence and into birth."

(This is something my mom always told me—that no matter what, we can never fully know any person except ourselves—and I've forever found it fascinating and sad at the same time. There is hope in art, though, which I think is what helps us get as close as possible to knowing "what it's like inside another person.")

-"I think it makes a huge difference when you wake in the morning and come out of your house. Whether you believe you are walking into dead geographical location, which is used to get to a destination, or whether you are emerging out into a landscape that is just as much, if not more, alive as you but in a totally different form. And if you go towards it with an open heart and a real watchful reverence, that you will be absolutely amazed at what it will reveal to you. And I think that was one of the recognitions of the Celtic imagination: that landscape wasn't just matter, but that it was actually alive. What amazes me about landscape, landscape recalls you into a mindful mode of stillness, solitude, and silence where you can truly receive time."

-"Music is what language would love to be if it could."

(And the best writing can be described as "musical" or "lyrical," no? This sounds like healthy a challenge for those of us using language as our instrument!)

- "[I]n the book I wrote on beauty, I was trying to say that one of the huge confusions in our times is to mistake glamour for beauty. . . . And we do live in a culture which is very addicted to the image, and I think that there is always an uncanny symmetry between the way you are inward with yourself and the way you are outward. And I feel that there is an evacuation of interiority going on in our times. And that we need to draw back inside ourselves and that we'll find immense resources there. . . . That's why I find the aesthetic things like poetry, fiction, good film, theater, drama, dance, and music actually awaken that inside you, you know? And remind you that there is a huge interiority within you. . . . I think that is the magnificence of beauty, is that even in landscapes of control, corrugated categories that you can be swept off your feet by just beauty. . . . I love Pascal's phrase, you know, that you should always 'keep something beautiful in your mind.' And I have often — like in times when it's been really difficult for me, if you can keep some kind of little contour that you can glimpse sideways at now and again, you can endure great bleakness."

- L'Editrice

Sunday, September 20, 2009

I wish we all could be California girls (and gals)

Trip #2, to Southern California, had me thinking a lot about inspiration. I found myself wondering how anyone could get any work done in such a wonderful place. I mean, when you have the distractions of year-round gorgeous weather and beaches, open-air shopping malls, and Yogurtland, how can a writer be expected to have the discipline to sit down and actually write something, let alone to suffer, as all great artists must?
I exaggerate, of course, but I do wonder if different types of people get inspiration from different types of environments, and/or if the same person might write totally distinct things when placed in these varying worlds. For example, I could definitely see how the Mission Viejo library (see photo above) might inspire one to actually go to the library and work--and stay there--while those of us who live in places where fall is beginning to make its presence known might be inspired by the perennial sense of hope, change, and excitement that a classic fall brings, never mind that it's been years since we were in school. (And let's not forget the new fall clothes--judging by my recent purchases, it seems I still long to be Blair Waldorf. My recent binge on "Gossip Girl," Season 2 episodes may have had a slight influence there.)

For me, last week sadly marked the first time in many months that I had to wear a jacket, as well as shoes with socks--but I'm fighting hard not to break my rule of No Boots, Tights, or Wool Coats Before October. I actually do like fall (the cooler weather reminds me of childhood summers in Belgium, and Christmastime in Houston : P), but I just wish that winter--and Daylight Savings--didn't have to follow it. And for the record, I found myself spontaneously coming up with many creative ideas in SoCal, though maybe my relaxed, vacation state of mind (pun unintended, yet appropriate) was also a big reason for it.

When and where are you most inspired? What are your "back-to-school" goals?


Saturday, September 5, 2009

Notes on a travel (long overdue, due to technical difficulties)

1) Some things are hilariously lost in translation (see above).

2) SkyMall is--hands down--the most entertaining part of any flight.

3) Best quote of my whole trip: "You're the lady!" (Said by an airport employee upon hearing that I had no checked baggage to pick up before going on to the customs agent.)
- L'Editrice