After moving into a new home - packing to leave on a trip (which I do often) is a new experience. Lately I have been forgetting one essential thing each time. Last time my dopp kit (almost killed myself with the cheap razor from the front desk of a fancy hotel), this trip, forgot to pack pants (although I did bring three pairs of shoes for a one day shoot).
Flying to Atlanta - slept halfway, then got my hands dirty with some newsprint...
“Learning to Love Volitility” in WSJ. Nassim Nicholas Taleb comes in through the financial door, which is not the door I generally swing open. He explains “we must learn to benefit from disorder in a world that constantly throws big, unexpected events our way." He writes of “black swans: large events that are both unexpected and highly consequential. We never see black swans coming, but when they do arrive, they profoundly shape our world.”
We come to expect everything to work 24/7. Utilities that never blink. An internet that is constantly pinging. Fuel that is always there with a swipe of a card. Aisles and aisles filled with bounty that spoils us with it’s riches. Try going to Whole Foods just as they are opening in the morning when it is deserted, and walk the aisles alone. The biggest decision when you are there this week seems to be whether to get the organic or heritage turkey. All the shopping madness and the side dishes. Hands digging deep inside the cavities with stuffing. The frozen turkeys are fine.
Then Jane Brody’s piece on JUNK . Our move this last summer allowed us to let go of volumes of stuff with little time to consider anything. The realtor said we did in 3 weeks what takes most people six months. It felt liberating, though a bit foolish looking at all the things we bought and didn't use. We have a smaller kitchen now where there is no room for excess. One bathroom. All those CD’s had to go. Their only purpose had became remembering music I liked - not serving it up. My father used to have a horribly messy office in the back of the house in Pittsburgh. He couldn’t throw anything out. He always told us to just pull a dumpster under the window his second story window when he is gone and TOSS!
In Atlanta for a shoot I can’t discuss for a couple of weeks. It is a big shoot, lots of moving parts. Not to compare at all - but listening to this interview on NPR with Mick Jagger about getting ready to perform rang bells. And at the end of the interview....Jagger says "goodbye" in a way that you instantly appreciate how seductive he is. Earlier in the interview, he talks about all the music you can get out of two notes on the harmonica - and then, he gets even more said with two syllables, "goodbye."
Wrote all of this before landing and getting another update from my friend Jonny Daniels in Tel Aviv. Another friend wrote, "we are a world gone mad." The rockets in Israel are not “black swans” because though being highly consequential, they are not unexpected. Hope seems moot when they are trying to negotiate life and death with missiles and iron domes. We send prayers to the holy land - for peace and understanding. Although I was told too many times when I was over there last year that peace is not an option. I can't imagine a way forward without a path to peace.
and yet....music still gets us through....
listening to a British musician, Ben Howard sing the title to his new EP, "Burgh Island."
listening to "Gimme Shelter" after the NPR clip above
and listening to all these full concerts on You Tube - which is rich with music. Like this one from Bon Iver at Cochella last summer - and it IS magnificent.
The email from Jonny:
At 10am this morning a siren went off where I live, my 3 year old daughter is at kinder-garden, there is nothing more frightening, the fear is no longer what will happen to me, its pure fear for your child's safety. Thank G-d and the Iron dome no-one was hurt.
The situation here is crazy, its an unacceptable situation, we gave away Gaza (Gush Katif) for peace, and got rockets.
These are not people we can make any kind of deal with, these people want our destruction. (read their mandate) Hamas are Al Qaeda. When the world agreed to go after the Al Qaeda they have to understand that these are the same muslim fanatics.
While this is going on, we have arab members of Knesset saying - “Israel is breaking international law in Gaza, all for the sake of Netanyahu’s election campaign,” MK Zoabi charges. and other Members of Knesset Jamal Zahalka and Haneen Zoabi who participated in a moment in silence for the Gazan victims of Operation Pillar of Defense, at a meeting of their party’s leadership in Nazareth on Saturday.
As a father to a beautiful little girl, there is nothing I want more (and we all do) than peace. but its not going to come through talks , its going to come by being strong.
Please now stand for Israel. Stand for whats right.
Am Yisrael Chai - The People of Israel live.