There are many good online websites, but The Bitter Southerner is a big cut above all the rest. The site has a literary slant and down-home naturalness with a big tip of the hat to the cultural past and the cutting edge present. It pays tribute to the legacy, creativity and energy of the southern US. For the site, go here.
To go right to some good stories go here. Here’s a taste from a current photography essay: Bluegrass legend Bill Monroe and a fan backstage.
What did Van Gogh know and how did he know it? This is the latest picture (sort of) of the beginning of the universe, taken of a patch of sky showing the temperature and polarization of cosmic microwaves from the end of the Big Bang, as reflected by dust swirling in the magnetic field of the Milky Way. The story from The New York Times is here. (Credit European Space Agency)
“Mountains walking is just like humans walking. Do not doubt mountains walking even though it does not look like human walking.” – Dogen, Jan. 19, 1200, Kyoto, Kyoto Prefecture, Japan.
Where else better to take a thoughtful walk than in Kyoto, home to so many worthies who have graced its streets and paths. Ted Taylor and Michael Lambe have put together a paean to walking through Japan’s most intimate city, savouring the ancient temples and today’s artful graffiti. The anthology, Deep Kyoto Walks, includes Pico Iyer and others, and this is one of those books that takes you to where you didn’t know you wanted to go. Sixteen writers who know Kyoto pay tribute to life in the city of “Purple Hills and Crystal Streams,” offering a testament to the art of contemplative city walking.
“I had to acknowledge that I had to come to Japan in order to see that a 7-Eleven here was just as Japanese — as foreign — as any meditation hall, and no less full of wonder…” – Pico Iyer, Into the Tumult
Why do I love the Big Bend in Texas? The people who live there, and the there. This photograph shows a dance held under the stars near Terlingua, on the Mexican border, the setting for most of the opening sequences of Wim Wender’s “Paris, Texas,” which I re-watched recently. Harry Dean Stanton, who was a soft, dark angel back then, and Dean Stockwell, who worked his ass off holding the film together. Wender’s? Who knows… But Sam Shepard wrote the script, which, I think, was really about his father, his lost-father, who dominates Shepard’s muse-land. For more Big Bend photographs, see Robert Hart’s website.