Sunday, April 11, 2010

Ne plus ultra...

In keeping with the title....the above.  Cy Twombly.  For me, the apotheosis of the phrase "ne plus ultra".

There is little in life that surpasses the sensation of encountering something---a human, an object, an idea--that instantaneously bestows a certainty that you are in the presence of your ideal, your superlative, the Great Inner "Yes!".   Not inclined to suffer fools and being particular to a fault, I live to be seduced by whatever is excellent. In such fortunate moments, I gush, I rhapsodize. 

Here are some recently discovered examples. 

beauty every day...
A lovely record of the power of aesthetics, Mady Dooijes' blog, Abundance, nearly bursts with astonishing visuals.  Her eye never fails her and I never fail to be inspired by her discoveries.  Via Abundance, I was led here.  This video record of Yohji Yamamoto's Spring 1999 show left me speechless.  It's perfection.

the beauty and the rite of passage...

  Patrick Demarchelier's lyrical, sensual photographs in combination with Gisele Bundchen's refreshing attitude of common sense and positivity,  achieved something rarely seen in mainstream, American media: a portrait of pregnancy and childbirth as an experience both transformative and absolutely normal.  American Vogue was the last place I expected to find an unapologetic endorsement for home birth as a sane, intimate, safe choice, but find it I did.  Well done.  (This issue is particularly dear to my heart because, in a previous incarnation, I was a home birth midwife, and have experienced the power of home birth with my own children.)  As you might have guessed, I love babies!  And I was besotted with this.

the beauty of devotion...

With her most recent series of photographs, Proud Flesh, a powerful nude study of her husband, Larry Mann, with whom she has spent the last forty years, Sally Mann marks and instructs us once again with her formidable talent.   As literate as she is visual, her essay about this work is a testament to the power of deep trust honed over time.  I was especially moved by this paragraph:

And so it was with fire and ice, the studio woodstove too far away from the light to do him any good on a cold winter afternoon, that Larry and I began this work of exploring what it means to grow older, to let the sunshine fall voluptuously on a still-beautiful form, and to spend quiet afternoons together again. No phone, no kids, two fingers of bourbon, the smell of the ether, the two of us—still in love, still at work.

Something to be said for long term relationships?  Yes, indeed.

Read the rest of this essay here. (thank you, Kellen, for pointing me in this direction)

bonus beauty!
Take a vicarious journey through the American south by reading the journal of the Silt & Sediment project!'s Sunday.  Stay in bed and read the paper.

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