How do you define—and use—your “15-Minutes”?

Sometime in the future, we’ll have 15-minutes of fame. Attributed to Pop Artist, Andy Warhol.

 

Fifteen: __seconds is a quarter of a minute; __minutes is a quarter of an hour; __miles is 24 kilometers; __kilometers is 9 miles. I think the most “famous” of 15s is the one attributed to Warhol. He may not have actually phrased it, but it’s certainly part of his cultural brand.

Fifteen Minutes of Fame is also a music project created by composer-producer, Robert Voisey. That, in and of itself, is a fascinating enterprise.

Sir Richard Branson defines his 15-minutes as “me time,” time he finds in each day exclusively for himself in order to reconnect, re-energize, refocus, etc.

What can you do with 15-minutes all to yourself?  Some suggestions:

  • Write: in a journal [or start one]; a letter [to yourself, to someone that means the world to you, to someone who can influence positive changes, e.g.]; 15 words that bring a smile to your face
  • Learn and/or try: a new language [or improve on one that you last used in school or college]; to play an instrument; the practice of Yoga, meditation or Tai Chi; something, anything that you’ve wanted to explore, but it’s just out of your comfort zone
  • Turn your electronics off: and go outside and listen, engage your other senses of smell, touch, taste and sight

Reward yourself with a good thought, whatever that might be, and dwell on its possibilities…

 

Totalitarian Sentiments

 

Creating confluence, understanding & compromise 101. Photo: C. Centeno

We have met the enemy and they are us.  Circa 1960s: Walt Kelly from his comic strip, Pogo, in reference to the US involvement in Vietnam. The phrase is a variation from Naval Commander Oliver Hazard Perry whom, in the late 1790s said, “We have met the enemy and they are ours.”

Our sociological positions on culture, tolerance, honest communication, integrity, decorum and humility have fallen to new lows. Some of us—in particular those with the loudest and most obstinate of postures and voices—have created as well as promoted an intractable reality that has altered our ability and willingness to freely express our thoughts and feelings across many subjects.

Fueled by emotion, group think, individual perceptions and more, it’s become de rigueur to put someone down [shouting, shaming, name calling, e.g.] just to make a point. What concerns me is while someone can possibly make a point, the counterpoint is summarily dismissed. Its dismissal is total, a product of a scorched earth mentality that leaves no room for perspective, for critical thinking and even a chance, however small, to understand the meaning of the counterpoint let alone the person or persons expressing the counterpoint.

We not only agree to disagree, but we do so in disagreeable fashion. We create diatribe instead of discussion, insults in lieu of perspectives, bombast as proper elocution.

I leave you to ponder on William Faulkner:

“I believe that humankind will not merely endure: we will prevail. We are immortal, not because we alone among creatures have an inexhaustible voice, but because we possess a soul, a spirit capable of compassion and sacrifice and endurance.”

Wanderings 3

When I explore the innumerable streets that span New York City, I give credit to serendipity for many encounters. When the camera comes up, or when my pen touches a page in my journal, often the actions are fueled by some gut feeling or a touch to one of my senses.

Case in point: this festival of color had a prequel in music. The rthymic sounds of drums, a bass, a trumpet and the chimes of triangles caught my attention. The music sounded Indian. At any rate, a parade of vibrant hues and colors that were part of a very large wedding suddenly appeared from behind a gate.

Certainly this wouldn’t be New York if we didn’t have any juxtaposition to further entertain us. This mural by “Boxhead” channels Rene Magritte, but its appearance in the first photo makes for an intriguing study in contrasts.

“Darkness and Light”

All photographs are accurate. None of them is truth.

Richard Avedon

The title to this post is part of an original from a documentary about photographer, Richard Avedon. In the early ’90s, Helen Whitney directed a film for American Masters [the PBS TV series celebrating artists from a variety of disciplines], “Richard Avedon: Darkness and Light.”

 There are moments behind the lens/viewfinder where I get into a ying-yang state-of-mind. Specifically, I look to minimize technical aspects of taking a photograph and think, “Is the light seeking to take over the dark, or is the dark attempting to consume the light?”

As Fen Shui is to objects, why then can’t we do the same when trying to harmonize light and dark?