visits and reading blogs

Our quasi-periodic bloggers' lunch on Monday was a real treat. Lynn reflected, "Our blogging lunch was fun yesterday, catching up on personal lives and work as well. Our blogs keep us somewhat up-to-date with each others' lives, but there's nothing like actual visiting, imho." I'm thankful for all the ways we have to share of ourselves. Without blogs, we'd know quite a bit less about each other. But without seeing each other, we would know little about how we each are as embodied beings, flesh and blood creatures.

I treasure digital representations we each offer up. This evening, I realized how much richness is to be found in the writings and images we have created over time. Too much to take in at times. Wouldn't it be great to collect Chris' table art and make our own arrangement of the art to ponder the pices? As I looked today at a few of the tables, I realized that I would need to take more time than I feel I have at this moment to give it the type of attention the art deserved.

I also want to read the blogs of my friends more closely. I'm not sure exactly how I'll do so. The method of skimming really hasn't worked frankly. And deeply reading everything that everyone blogs will surely exhaust my energy.

Maybe I can learn from the way I visit with some friends IRL. There are a lot of people I am terribly fond of that I don't get to see too often. But when I with them, I pay close attention, delight in their presence, and soak up their words. Such infrequent but "quality" visits do more than dozens of superficial conversations ever would.

What is the attraction of TV?

Tonight, after a wonderful evening spent at the house dining and coversing with my friends -- a young married couple with their two lovely kids -- I wandered downstairs to do what I've grown accustomed to doing on a Wednesday evening: turning on the TV to watch The West Wing and Law and Order. I usually pay close attention to the former but have the latter act as background noise while I answer email or surf the Web.

Unfortunately -- or fortunately -- the reception tonight was so terrible that Channel 11 was just a noisy mess. I turned off the TV, cursed the cabling in the house, and found my way to my computer in the quiet of my room. Ah -- this is so much more conducive to concentration, peace, and productive reflection.

So why void does the TV fill -- or seems to fill -- that gets me to turn it on in the first place?

Who will step up to bat to make peace?

From an article in today's SF Chronicle about the latest slew of partisan political books from the right and the left:

"These books capitalize on polarization," says Susan Rasky, senior lecturer at the University of California at Berkeley's Graduate School of Journalism. "They play to an audience that's pissed off at the other. These are not books that ask, 'How do we bring ourselves together?' "

Anyone writing books to answer that last question?

Ozu, Bach, and the universal

I'm in the middle of a new craze -- one for the Japanese director Yasujiro Ozu. The Pacific Film Archives is hosting a retrospective of Ozu's work right now. In the two weeks, I've seen three of his films but am aching to see more of the 36 that are being shown at the PFA.

Since I've not been blogging regularly, I want to return to blogging by writing as pointedly as I can. But it's late alas -- so right now, I just want to leave a tidbit to seed what I plan to write tomorrow and to whet the appetite of the several loyal readers I have out there.

I've been thinking about the issue of universality and the art of Ozu. I throw in Bach -- well, because I like Bach -- but also because I've pondered the use of the adjective to describe Bach. Are all these things related? I don't know.

Let me just sign off for the evening by throwing in a quote for me to sleep on:

Hasegawa also offers his view as to why Ozu's films are still loved by so many people: "Ozu consistently portrayed the universal theme of family issues common to all human beings. Wim Wenders hit the nail on the head about Ozu's films in stating: 'As thoroughly Japanese as they are, these films are, at the same time, universal. In them, I've been able to recognize all families, in all the countries of the world, as well as my parents, my brother, and myself.' However many times I watch Ozu's movies, after viewing, the films inspire me to contemplate the meaning of life, families, and parent-child relationships." Hasegawa's desire is to "introduce even one more person to Ozu's films, particularly the next generation of youth." That is undoubtedly also the hope of every person who loves Ozu and his work.