Friday, 31 August 2018

Whales Weep Not!

They say the sea is cold, but the sea contains
the hottest blood of all, and the wildest, the most urgent.

All the whales in the wider deeps, hot are they, as they urge
on and on, and dive beneath the icebergs.
The right whales, the sperm-whales, the hammer-heads, the killers
there they blow, there they blow, hot wild white breath out of the sea!

And they rock, and they rock, through the sensual ageless ages
on the depths of the seven seas,
and through the salt they reel with drunk delight
and in the tropics tremble they with love
and roll with massive, strong desire, like gods.
Then the great bull lies up against his bride
in the blue deep of the sea

as mountain pressing on mountain, in the zest of life:
and out of the inward roaring of the inner red ocean of whale blood
the long tip reaches strong, intense, like the maelstrom-tip, and comes to rest
in the clasp and the soft, wild clutch of a she-whale's fathomless body.

And over the bridge of the whale's strong phallus, linking the wonder of whales
the burning archangels under the sea keep passing, back and forth,
keep passing archangels of bliss
from him to her, from her to him, great Cherubim
that wait on whales in mid-ocean, suspended in the waves of the sea
great heaven of whales in the waters, old hierarchies.
And enormous mother whales lie dreaming suckling their whale-tender young
and dreaming with strange whale eyes wide open in the waters of the beginning and the end.

And bull-whales gather their women and whale-calves in a ring
when danger threatens, on the surface of the ceaseless flood
and range themselves like great fierce Seraphim facing the threat
encircling their huddled monsters of love.
and all this happiness in the sea, in the salt
where God is also love, but without words:
and Aphrodite is the wife of whales
most happy, happy she!

and Venus among the fishes skips and is a she-dolphin
she is the gay, delighted porpoise sporting with love and the sea
she is the female tunny-fish, round and happy among the males
and dense with happy blood, dark rainbow bliss in the sea. 

From The Complete Poems of D. H. Lawrence, edited by V. De Sola Pinto & F. W. Roberts. Copyright © 1964, 1971 by Angela Ravagli and C. M. Weekly, Executors of the Estate of Frieda Lawrence Ravagli. Used by permission of Viking Penguin, a division of Penguin Books USA Inc.

D. H. Lawrence

D. H. Lawrence

David Herbert Lawrence, novelist, short-story writer, poet, and essayist, was born in Eastwood, Nottinghamshire, England, on September 11, 1885. Though better known as a novelist, Lawrence’s first-published works (in 1909) were poems, and his poetry, especially his evocations of the natural world, have since had a significant influence on many poets on both sides of the Atlantic.

This Chart Will Tell You Exactly How Old Your Dog Is in Human Years

We've all heard the old rule of thumb that one dog year equals seven human years. But in reality, the situation is more complicated. Small dogs live much longer than larger breeds, making this old saying only approximately true. Is there a more accurate way to understand the life stage of your dog?

The New Rules of Dog Years

Yes, answers Jesse Grady, a clinical instructor of veterinary medicine at Mississippi State University, in a recent article on The Conversation that is basically the answer to every obsessive dog parent's prayers. In the piece, Grady explains exactly what's wrong with the usual way of calculating the life stage of our pets and offers a more scientifically accurate replacement.
"There's a bit of logic behind" the old one-dog-year-equals-seven-human-years rule, admits Grady in the article. "People observed that with optimal healthcare, an average-sized, medium dog would, on average, live one-seventh as long as its human owner."
But, he goes on to note, "not every dog is 'average-sized'... think a Chihuahua versus a Great Dane." What both anxious pet owners and veterinarians need is a way to take a specific dog's size into account when calculating life expectancy. Handily, the doggie doctors have developed just such a tool in the form of the chart below.

Every Dog Is Different

Simply by assessing your dog's size and following the corresponding line, you can figure out if your fur baby is the equivalent of an active 50-something or an aged 80-year-old. (Cat lovers can click through to Grady's original post for a corresponding chart for their feline friends.) But, Grady cautions, just like humans, dogs can age more or less quickly based on lifestyle factors. Fifty feels a lot different if the only exercise you do is opening the door at McDonald's than if you've been running marathons and eating quinoa for decades. The equivalent is true for fitter and fatter dogs too.
For this reason, the most accurate assessment of your pet's life stage will come from a professional who can assess the overall health of the animal. "As is the case for people, your pet's overall health status can influence their 'real age' for better or for worse. So next time you take your pet to the veterinarian, talk about your animal's life stage and find out what health recommendations come with it," Grady recommends.
In the meantime, the chart above will give you a much more precise sense of how many more years you'll get to spend with Spot or Rex than the old, outdated seven-year rule.
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To learn more about man's best friend, check out "The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter Than You Think" by Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods. We handpick reading recommendations we think you may like. If you choose to make a purchase, Curiosity will get a share of the sale.

PARIS, FRANCE Pep's Maison

One of the last umbrella repair shops in Paris upholds the nostalgic art of umbrella making. 

An estimated 15 million umbrellas are tossed away each year in France, but 58-year-old Parisian, Thierry Millet, and his shop, Pep’s Maison, are setting out to repair them. 

Tucked away on the colorful Rue Saint-Martin in Paris sits a humble umbrella repair shop painted in the quintessential Paris green and shrouded by potted plants. Above the green door, hovers a bright yellow umbrella and a sign that simply reads: Pep’s. Welcome to one of Paris’ only umbrella repair shops. 
Pep’s—a French slang word for umbrellas or “pepin”—repairs 10,000 umbrellas a year. The upstairs of Pep’s Maison is a graveyard of broken umbrellas and replacement parts, but downstairs the shop features rows of finely made umbrellas for sale. 
According to Millet, umbrellas date back more than 6,000 years ago to China making the art—and it trulyis an art—of repairing them one of the oldest jobs on earth. While Millet’s mission is to counter the wave of discarded umbrellas—many of which are not recycled—his shop is oft-celebrated for its nostalgia of a bygone era instead. 
The French government has classified Pep’s Maison as a Living Heritage Company, while the shop itself has started to gain something of a cult following from locals and tourists alike. 
At the end of the day, Millet’s hope is to give umbrellas a second life, seeing these everyday objects as something of sentiment. Rather than absentmindedly opting for a cheap umbrella at the local convenience store, Pep’s Maison reminds us all that there is a beauty to be had in our rainy day companions.
Know Before You Go
Pep's Maison is located at 223 Rue Saint-Martin in Paris. The umbrella shop is open Monday through Thursday between 1:30 pm to 7 pm, and from September through May on Saturdays between 9:30 am and 12:30 pm. 

To reach Pep's Maison, you can take the Paris subway to the √Čtienne Marcel stop. From √Čtienne Marcel, Pep's Maison is a short five-minute walk. For sightseers, Pep's Maison is just a 20-minute walk from Notre-Dame de Paris and the Seine River. 

Thursday, 30 August 2018

10 Lessons to Learn from Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo 2
“Feet, what do I need you for when I have wings to fly?” ~ Frida Kahlo

Frida Kahlo was a Mexican painter, who is best known for her self-portraits.

The ones who personally knew her, described her as “one of history’s grand divas, a tequila heavy drinker, dirty joke-telling smoker, a bohemian who threw festive dinner parties for the likes of Leon Trotsky, poet Pablo Neruda and her husband, muralist Diego Rivera.”
If I were to introduce her, I would say she is an icon of strength, a victim of love and a genius in art. Frida Kahlo changed the standards of beauty with her unibrow, her right leg—that was thinner than the left one and her indigenous Tehuana dresses.
Being my great inspiration in life, I regard Frida Kahlo as a school of lessons. She should be the role model of every woman because she indirectly showed the world what a woman is capable of, both physically and emotionally.

After many years of admiration for Frida Kahlo, I can finally put on paper what this woman taught me:

Love is forgiveness.
“I had two big accidents in my life: The trolley and Diego; Diego is by far the worse.” ~ Frida Kahlo
Frida was the wife of Diego Rivera, the muralist who was best known for his endless love affairs with women. He was a womanizer who had serious problems with infidelity.
Although none of Frida’s friends nor parents approved of this awkward union, Frida still married Diego. She kept on loving him despite all the pain he caused her.
Frida teaches us that love is forgiveness.
She might not have said it out loud, but staying with him throughout her life, shows us that she did forgive him every time he cheated on her.
Love is unexplainable.
“…the marriage of Frida and Diego is like the union between an elephant and a dove.”
~ Frida’s mother, Matilde Calderon
Whenever I have a discussion about Frida’s life with someone, I always get the same question: “Why did she love him?”
Frida loved Diego for reasons no one understood and she remained faithful in her love for him up until the day she died.
Sometimes people think we fall for the wrong person, but in our own eyes, they’re always right for us. Diego was 42-years-old and 300 pounds while Frida was 22 and 98 pounds. He cheated on her, had little time for her and yet she loved him.
If each one of us looks back at our own experiences, we can understand Frida’s love for Diego. We can never explain the love we had (and maybe still have) for people who hurt us or left us but we can definitely feel it. Frida simply taught me that love is unexplainable.
Love yourself.
“The only thing I know is that I paint because I need to.” ~ Frida Kahlo
To love yourself means to remember yourself, no matter what the circumstances are.
Frida married a man who had little time for her, due to the busy life he lead. She married a man who cheated on her and left her in agony. She suffered from polio, underwent three abortions and had an accident that tucked her away in bed for numerous years.
We live in a time where we’re instantly bedridden if we have a tiny headache. Frida had a broken spine, wore a corset most of her life, had an amputated leg and still she managed to paint.
With all this emotional and physical pain, Frida never forgot herself. She loved herself immensely that she always kept herself busy with painting. Although she loved Diego, she didn’t accept being a doormat who waited for him at home crying. In retaliation, she loved herself enough to go out, make affairs and pleasure herself just the way Diego pleased himself.
Know when to quit.
“I am not sick… I am broken.” ~ Frida Kahlo
Diego had many affairs with many women. But one affair finally pushed Frida to quit. In 1934, after having her third abortion, Frida learned that Diego cheated on her with her younger sister, Cristina.
Afterward, they separated for almost four years and Frida led a life away from Diego.
Frida teaches us that it’s okay not to let go too soon but one must know when it’s time to quit.
Suffering is consciousness in disguise.
“I drank to drown my sorrows, but the bastards learnt how to swim.” ~ Frida Kahlo
Frida Kahlo was plagued by illness starting at a young age. At 18 she went through a tough accident that left her with a broken spine, a fractured vaginal structure. She had hundreds of injuries and died critically ill with pneumonia.
Mentally, emotionally and physically, Frida Kahlo went through intense suffering. And though we don’t realize it, Frida was more conscious than many of us are today.
Her pain was her gate to higher realizations—realizations that we only find through books nowadays. Frida found them through pain.
Keeping a diary is healthy.
“I never paint dreams or nightmares; I paint my own reality.” ~ Frida Kahlo
People usually underestimate the importance of keeping a diary. I bet Frida wouldn’t have been able to live as long if she didn’t let out her pain.
There is only one thing that can truly kill us and it’s called “sadness.” If sadness isn’t expressed, it has the capability of ending a body’s life faster than any disease.
Frida Kahlo is the first in history to write a diary with a brush on canvas. She also kept written diaries with drawings for the last 10 years of her life.
Frida teaches us to express, to paint, to write, to do anything to let out our anger and sadness. She teaches us to make something out of our pain—something beautiful.
Don’t be ashamed of your style.
Frida was regarded as an icon of beauty in Mexico. She was known for her extensive style with her colorful clothes and extraordinary hair braids.
The unibrow and the mustache that people make fun of today, are the very elements that made Frida unique. She left her armpits untouched and decorated her shoulders with fantastic Tehuana dresses.
Frida was best known for her red lipstick, red nail polish and the beautiful smell of perfume that she wore. Kids in her neighborhood used to know she was passing by when they started smelling roses.
Frida taught us to be unique in our style and comfortable in our own skin. She taught us to simply be ourselves.
frida tattoo
Don’t get attached to your plans.
“Nothing is absolute. Everything changes, everything moves, everything revolves, everything flies and goes away.”
~ Frida Kahlo
Frida never planned to become an artist. Until she was 18, she was planning to become a doctor and attended a prestigious school that only had 35 girls out of 2,000 students—Frida was among them.
The accident she had at the age of 18 changed the course of her life forever. As a result of being bedridden with a corset, her father gave her his brushes and paint and constructed an easel for her so she can paint while she was in bed.
Just like Frida says, “everything changes, everything moves.” We never know how or when our life can change. Hence, never plan and get attached to your plans.
Women have an abundance strength inside.
“At the end of the day we can endure much more than we think we can.” ~ Frida Kahlo
I highly believe that women are stronger than men in many aspects and Frida Kahlo stands out today to prove this notion for us.
She is an example of how much a woman can undergo and still be able to stand on her two feet.
With a man who sucked the energy out of her system and an accident that left her with hundreds of injuries and deadly illnesses, Frida teaches us that women are a pile of strength.
Let go.
“I hope the exit is joyful and I hope never to return.” ~ Frida Kahlo
Frida was an outgoing person who used wise words in her conversations. She loved to smoke, drink tequila and sing off-color songs to guests at the many parties she hosted.
Despite the fact that the doctors tests on her revealed a severe kidney infection, anemia, exhaustion and alcoholism, Frida remained a person who drank, smoked and had fun.
The bottle of tequila and cigarettes never quit her hand.
She held them until her last breath. She just didn’t care much about the consequences. She went through a lot and lost a lot that there was nothing more to lose—she let go, and this is what made her the great Frida.

Song From The Moors

Song From The Moors
They were both so young
When they met for the first time
Loving was easy
Though there were dark clouds
They only saw blue skies
Words filled with passion
Souls became entwined
But she grew up proud
He wasn't good enough
She wanted him gone
He ran off into the dusk
Far away from her
Far away from me
She wanted a gentleman
So married that kind of man
He offered his heart
So she gave him a part
Of her, but her heart was torn
And in thoughts strayed to the one
Heathcliffe my darling
He'd lie awake at night
Feel her whisper his name
Hoping she just might
Come home,
Please come home
Haunting love haunting love
Do not leave my weary side
Touch my face through the wind
Feel the rain, the tears I cry
Drive me mad drive me crazy
Just don't ever let me go
You are mine and I am yours
Kindred soul
Rachel Bronte
Art Robert McGinnis

Wednesday, 29 August 2018

The Ballad Of Rum

The Ballad Of Rum
A dog wandered into our garden one day,
A friendly old mutt, didn't look like a stray.
We never discovered whence he had come,
But we brushed him and fed him and the kids called him Rum.
Now as family members, even dogs must work hard,
So we put Rum on duty next door in our yard,
Bright eyed and watchful by night and by day,
But not much of a guard dog, I'm sorry to say.
He barked at the cats and he'd bark at a toad,
He barked at the cattle outside on the road,
He barked at the horses - so where did he fail?
You see, Rum liked people, and he just wagged his tail.
He liked the yard labour, an amiable bunch.
They fed our dog tidbits and scraps from their lunch.
Rum wolfed it all down, but to our dismay
He seemed to get fatter with each passing day.
Then one night when Rum was laid at his ease,
A burglar crept in just as quiet as you please.
He saw no alarms, heard no siren howling,
No guard dog for sure, there'd be barking and growling.
But Rum was awake and he'd seen him alright,
Delighted with company this time of the night,
He flew through the yard, his new friend to greet,
And his weight bowled the burglar right off of his feet.
The intruder got up and ran off with a wail
And Rum right behind him still wagging his tail.
He departed the yard he'd come in to burgle
Like a champion athlete clearing a hurdle.
But Rum couldn't jump gates, so sadly instead
He picked up the thief's wallet and went back to bed.
Next morning the evidence everyone viewed,
When Rum brought it to us, (just a little bit chewed).
Once given the wallet, the police didn't fail
To capture the burglar and put him in jail.
His confession like wildfire spread through the town,
How a big vicious guard dog had knocked the thief down.
We all howled with laughter when we heard the story,
And Rum was our hero, he was basking in glory.
There's been no attempts since to burgle our yard,
For everyone knows now that Rum is on guard.
© Peter Wolveridge
Art Stephan Hanson

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Cry Of The Wolves

Cry Of The Wolves
Rulers of the night, the wilderness is your home,
Man in his ignorance won't leave you alone,
Strong together you hunt for survival,
Man and his gun your only rival.
Mistress of the moon, shadows dancing on Northern skies,
I hear your torment and mournful cries,
Running, hunting, surviving, dying,
From frozen mountain tops I hear your crying.
Great warriors of the night,
I wish you strength and stamina,
Courage in your plight.
You are the heart of the wilderness,
Cool air and mountain snow,
You are part of this land but man is your foe.
So once again the dark night becomes black,
And howling is heard as wolves gather and pack,
With spirit and fight, stamina and charm,
Let no man destroy you, you mean them no harm.
Brave warriors of the night,
In the wilderness be,
Wise and cunning hunters,
Forever be free.
Let your howling join the earth,
May you hunt with no fear,
Let the mountains echo out,
The howl of wolves that fills the mountain air.
© Shelagh Bullman
Art Wolf portrait 2008 by on @DeviantArt