Monthly Archives: January 2010

A message of healing for Haiti from yoga guru Max Strom

Dear Friends –

We send our prayers and strength to those struggling in the crisis in Haiti and to the loved ones of those who have perished.

Many great teachers tell us that it is in times like these we need to be strong and stay open-hearted, to give our help on the material level as much as we are able, and to give our prayers and courage too. It is also important not to sink into fear and guilt. Those who are in extreme suffering do not need more of these negative emotions, they need our positive energy and courage.

To manage our own feelings when we see fellow humans in a hell-realm it is helpful, as always, to do our practice. Whether it is our prayer, meditation practice, breathing, or posture practice, or better yet – all of them. When we do our practice, we notice that afterwards the world appears a little calmer, and hope begins again.

Breathe into your heart – breathe out from your heart – may we not waste a moment withholding love.

In peace – Max Strom

Buenos Aires – Need a place to stay?

In 2004 I got an awesome birthday present: my friends Kerry and Ann traveled to Buenos Aires with me. We rented a beautiful apartment in Recoleta, and spent 10 days exploring the cosmopolitan city. Kerry literally fell in love with it, and decided to stay for a few extra days, so she could look into purchasing some property there. One thing led to another, and she not only bought a condo, she met her soul mate, Gonza. I was lucky enough to visit the city again for their wedding in 2006.

Between the wedding, and dealing with immigration, it took a while, but now their apartment has been lovingly remodeled and furnished. Kerry is a talented stylist who works with some of the top advertising photographers in NYC. Her unique sense of space and color and amazing taste is evident in every room of this light filled, charming condo.

While Kerry and Gonza spend a good portion of their time living in Brooklyn, NY, their BA apartment is available for weekly or monthly vacation rentals. The apartment is located in San Telmo, the most oldest and most romantic neighborhood in BA.

Whether on your way to an eco adventure in Patagonia, visiting the estancias for grass-fed beef , or just looking to shop and dine (on the cheap) in this world class city, do consider staying at Casa de Kerry and Gonza! If you are interested, please contact their agent.

Scrap


I found this scrapbook at a flea market a while back. It chronicles the survivors of a ship that was torpedoed by the Japanese off Hawaii during the attack on Pearl Harbor. Nineteen sailors including the captain – many from San Francisco – survived at sea in a life boat for a week or so. The scrapbook has some newspaper articles, an letter from a typewriter company (on awesome letterhead), and a telegram (the earliest Twitter?) which simply states “Honolulu Safe”. I am donating it to the San Francisco History Center.

The cinema design of You, the Living

It comes as no surprise that Swedish film director Roy Andersson spent 25 years directing TV commercials. You, the Living (2007), is comprised of 50 loosely connected short vignettes that could easily stand on their own.

The sets are living still-lifes, precisely choreographed and meticulously designed. At the bus stop, commuters  huddle gloomily in downpour, and cars slowly creep in city traffic as a lonely foghorn moans in the distance. Inside, the dull pastels are beautifully highlighted with a splash of orange hair, red cocktail, or shiny brass tuba. The characters are illuminated in “a light without mercy”, and we chuckle at the dark humor of our hero, “Mr. Nobody” in his natural, shadowless habitat. His truth is told in these rooms.

Shot in deep focus and wide angles, Andersson’s humans are composed neatly in a big world that leaves them vulnerable to their expectations, their dreams, and hope for satisfaction. Without any close ups, we can fully empathize with their confusion, irritation and loneliness.

This film held all sorts of associations for me: The plotless meanderings of Linklater’s Slacker, the quiet alienation in the paintings of Edward Hopper, Jacques Tati’s art direction and bumbling humor, and the deadpan comedy and minimalism of Jarmush’s Stranger than Paridise.