January 16, 2010

"When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music."

DSC07218

DSC07217

(Photos from the same place seen here.)

(You can read the larger context of the quote — by Kahlil Gibran — here.)

57 comments:

MPorcius said...

Fast Food Nation? Oh. brother.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

Now what do we have here? Little portals of enlightenment in an otherwise encompassing field of green! That ain't no money-color green either.

Lem said...

Hey.. I have The Prophet..

I have to dig it up..

k*thy said...

Whistle while you work?

The Drill SGT said...

Kahlil Gibran - that guy would be like Rushdie, under a Fatwa if he lived today.


imagine in this day, writing a book called "The Prophet" that isn't about, you know, The Prophet PBUH :)

oh, and an Arab Christian at that

Lem said...

I found it but it appears that The Prophet is one of those books that like Star Treck is all over the intertubes.

The version I have has 12 illustrations reproduced from original drawings by the author.

if that helps

Chip Ahoy said...

Lesson learned: Do not pass out at your friend's party or they'll draw a tree on your head.

No srsly, here's the thing: I know the artist hasn't bothered reading the books depicted because they would be conscious of which ones were thick and which ones were thin. Cien años de soledad thickest of all, and The Song of Songs the most slim.

Come on!

It would have been funnier to make up titles and authors. Uniting the Country in Love George W. Bush Jr., that sort of thing.

But ya know what makes me a little bit sad? No pop-up books. How can one consider the breadth of their reading complete without pop-up books? I do not understand this conceit.

One last thing and please don't think I'm rude. 100 years of Solitude is better in Spanish than it is in English IMHO. I think that is so because it mostly amounts to a stream of consciousness that wanders. One thought leading to the next, a thousand threads, that although interesting and amusing in themselves seem hopelessly disconnected and pointless. The English reader thinks, I did anyway, "Jesus Christ, is there a driving plot here or not?" That wandering somehow makes more sense in Spanish. It's more lovely in Spanish. The imagination shines through more clearly. In English it's annoying. At least it was for me.

Fred4Pres said...

Oh baby Obama!

vbspurs said...

OT: You just KNEW this hand was going to be played!

"Bush was responsible for destroying Haitian democracy"

So the real reason the poor Haitians are so impotent in the face of a natural disaster?

BUSH'S FAULT!!

Cheers,
Victoria

Lem said...

I know the artist hasn't bothered reading the books depicted because they would be conscious of which ones were thick and which ones were thin. Cien años de soledad thickest of all, and The Song of Songs the most slim.

Excellent observation..

I was so busy staring at the obvious (the quote) obsessed trying to raise my stock ;) I missed that.

Lem said...

That wandering somehow makes more sense in Spanish. It's more lovely in Spanish. The imagination shines through more clearly. In English it's annoying. At least it was for me.

The samething happens with Borges.

Lem said...

holy cow - i have a Drudge tab open at all times.. it just went off with a St Lucia add out of nowhere.. it startled me.

You wouldn't like me when I'm startled.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

apropos of nothing:

John Hurt's Monologue
from the most excellent 1996 British movie The Proposition

written and soundtracked by none other than Nick Cave

starring Danny Huston as a bad ass among bad asses

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

oops I meant 2006

Lem said...

apropos of nothing:

Eastern Promises (2007)

Stepan: Anna, how come is it that your boyfriend isn't here to carve?

Anna: I don't live with Oliver anymore, Uncle Stepan. I'm living back here for a bit.

Helen: For as long as you want.

Stepan: I knew he would run away.

Anna: He didn't run away. Christ, you make me sound like a burning building.

Anna: Black men always run away.

Helen: Oh Stepan! Shut up!

Stepan: I am allowed to be honest?

Helen: He was a doctor, Stepan.

Anna: What the hell has that got to do with anything?

Stepan: It's not natural to mix race and race. That's why your baby died inside you
.

Beth said...

Victoria - and Clinton's, too, according to your link.

Lem said...

Anna: Black men always run away.

IMBD made a mistake .. that line was Stepan's, the russian uncle.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

apropos of nothing:

Hey Lem- Have you listened to Stephen Tobolowsky's new podcast? He just started a couple months ago, and it really is a work of art. I really liked the Christmas+LSD story in episode 9 and the story of his role as the KKK leader in Mississippi Burning in episode 7. He was also in Thelma & Louise, Deadwood, and Groundhog Day. Anyway, it's really entertaining-- check it out!

Lem said...

Hey Lem- Have you listened to Stephen Tobolowsky's new podcast?

Cant say as I have..

I remember him from (i'm looking it up)

Lem said...

Single White Female..

He was very good in that.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

He just talked about his role in Single White Female in the the latest episode. Bridget Fonda told him to reach under her shirt, grab her nipple, and twist it to make her angry when they did the rape scene at the end.

I think you'd really like it-- the podcast, I mean, not twisting Bridget Fonda's nipple.

Lem said...

The scene was palpable .. it was very good..

I see his work is prolific.. i guess thats the standard when you are not the lead.

Lem said...

I have an Ipod .. how do i drag a podcast?

I only purchased music on my Ipod.

Lem said...

Btw I have another problem with my Ipod..

I dont know (Itunes does not allow) how to drag the videos I've taken off the Ipod so I can do whatever I want with them.

its frustrating.

HKatz said...

One Gibran quote I remember (not from The Prophet though, but from Sand and Foam) is:

"We shall never understand one another until we reduce the language to seven words."

If this were ever a possibility, which seven words would you reduce your language to?

Lem said...

If this were ever a possibility, which seven words would you reduce your language to?

From English it would have to be the seven words you cant say on TV.

Beth said...

Lem, get a program called Senuti (itunes spelled backwards). It will allow you to move stuff off of your iPod.

Lem said...

its that a freeware? free of bugs..

i wont get punished by apple for using a whatever if something goes wrong?

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

I think Sullivan is jumping the Coakley ship.

He's not going to end up supporting a loser.

Lem said...

Lets see if we can do something with this quote..

"When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music."

Show Me The way - Peter Frampton

HKatz said...

"When you work you are a flute through whose heart the whispering of the hours turns to music."

Something in the rhythm of this sentence reminds me of the rhythm of this Churchill quote:

"Ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put."

(I think it's also the 'through whose heart'... a kind of stutter to it... like "up with which")

Lem said...

I think Sullivan is jumping the Coakley ship.

In the bottom of the ninth he doesn't think Obama can bring her home..

and yet he trumps obama as the second coming.

Julius Ray Hoffman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

The dems cant take their eyes off of Obama..

This is how Coakley put it..

Cant take my eyes off of you - Lauryn Hill

Lem said...

The bluest of the blue has made up its mind..

Paradise by the dashboard light - Meatloaf

Captain Cockup Coakley.. is trying to steal home !!!

wahts it going to be?

Beth said...

Lem, I can't tell you what Apple may or may not do, but I bought that music, and I'll be damned if I won't listen to it whenever I want, on whatever machine will play it.

Senuti works well; I've had no bugs problems with it. It's cheap, but not free.

Lem said...

Thanks Beth..

Julius Ray Hoffman said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

Sullivan is a classic fair weather friend.

Like The Weather - 10000 Maniacs

If Obamas number dont pick up.. its only a matter of time.

wv - sweratio - Sully swearing anew in perpetuity.

Lem said...

But I have feeling that this Tuesday nite, in the bottom of the twelfth, a certain Red Sox dude is gonna be jumping up and down as the ball is in the air, waving it fair... Good God, let it be fair!

No need to Fisk you Julius .. no need.

Lem said...

why did you delete that?

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

@Lem- Because it was fucking stupid and I feel fucking ashamed of myself for using a fucking baseball metaphor... I feel dirty! Used! Violated! If I ever do it again, Lem, I beg you to just take the short drive up here and shoot me! Or have one of your Durdenesque friends do it! I'm in Portsmouth and I'll give you the address...

Lem said...

The Brown camp is riding high..

You Ain't Goin' Nowhere - Bob Dylan

Boots on the ground titus and theo's own threat tells us so.

Lem said...

@Lem- Because it was fucking stupid and I feel fucking ashamed of myself for using a fucking baseball metaphor..

its ok we are past bedtime.. common..

"when you've done something unforgibable, what do you do?

You forgive yourself
.

House of Games - Mamet

Besides.. you are are talking to a baseball fanatic..

Lem said...

telling me a baseball metaphor is like giving a lollipop to a child (of the family ;).. you are not going to get arrested.

Lem said...

Althouse quoted Kennedy earlier .. lets quote him in the Captain Cockup Coakley context.

Victory has a thousand fathers, but defeat is an orphan.

Browns victory will be claimed and savored by people who where told that the earth's savior was a democrat.. so you can understand a little celebration dissuading us of eternal damnation.

Wonderful - Adam Ant

Sweet Victory!

Julius Ray Hoffman said...

Oh, Lem! You are so friendly. Much nicer than Jman or balls on the ground. Is it medication? Or inebriation? Not that I care, really, and certainly not that I judge. It's rather just a... well... a curiosity.

Anyway... The point... oh yes it is here somewhere... yes, the Point: It's destruction, don't you get it? Just fuck it up. Throw the monkey wrench. Who cares of this that or that other thing? Who cares of these silly pathetic little prole whiny teams and their all-encompassing authoritarian agendas? You like Coke or Pepsi? Come on, motherfucker, pick one!!!

And especially not "victory"-- don't be silly! Because as soon as you use the "v" word, that just means that there's more of the game to play.

It's not just mindless fun... I mean, it is mindless fun, but it is also more. Like burning billboards on New Mexico highways. What I think your little hamster might not understand is that the Queen is playing the same game.

OK, I'm taking a Xanax or two or three. We'll see what happens tomorrow. G'nite!

Lem said...

I know some of us dont subscribe to the idea of karma and such.. but i think of karma as a prayer for justice maybe.

The Amiraults case.

Instant Karma

Lem said...

good nite Julius.. dont go over too much.. it comes to you in the end anyway.

Lem said...

Earlier tonight we watched the Haiti coverage of a dominican journalist Nuria that went to puerto principe the very day after the quake..

She went around with a camera man and other men helping and finding and asking and documenting.. (when i say helping i mean sending injured children in a helicopter back to santo domingo and bringing the copter back for more)

the program went on for a couple of hours of this. she stayed there documenting day after day..

a big contrast from the US media coverage.

Lem said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Lem said...

I understand the texting idea.. but it seems as if on the ground we are also (our military our goverment) is texting it too.

Se nos rompió el amor - Rocio Jurado

Becuse of the history of this country we are passive in the face of a catastrophe.

we close our eyes and we think..

vbspurs said...

Beth wrote:

and Clinton's, too, according to your link.

Robinson was complaining about Clinton's economic initiatives for Haiti, which he said brings "sweatshops". Globalisation is far more down in the blame scale than Bush's stated crime of "destroying Haitian democracy".

vbspurs said...

HEADS UP TO ALTHOUSE READERS

President GW Bush will be appearing on all 5 Sunday morning shows today (this is called "The Full Ginsburg" apparently, named after Lewinsky's lawyer who first did it), speaking specifically about Haitian relief efforts. He will be joined by President Clinton.

Cheers,
Victoria

ricpic said...

Titus Does Kahlil

Without work the hours drag.

God's a flute to a fag.

Theo Boehm said...

As a flutemaker, I'd like to personalize Khalil Gibran's affected prose:

"When I work, I am the hands through whose hours the brilliance of the flutes turns to a paycheck."

Flutes, of course, have always had a "spiritual" association.

Because I am responsible, among other things, for my company's line of wooden flutes, the bodies and headjoints of which I usually make completely myself, I occasionally get questions about what goes through my head or what spiritual preparation I undertake before making such wonderful works of art. These usually come from Japan, where we sell a large number of instruments, although the odd American or European New Ager has been known to ask about my loving relationship with wood, etc.

I'd give you a link to my company, and even show you some of the instruments I'm responsible for, but I've signed non-disclosures prohibiting me from breathing a word about who I work for on the internet. They want to control the message, for which I frankly don't blame them. Let's just call it, "Famous Boston Flute Company."

I'm mainly Mr. Piccolo at the Famous Flute Company, although I do a surprising amount of work personally on our wooden flutes. These are fully modern instruments, but made of wood, as was done a lot in the 19th century. A fashion for updated versions of 19th century wooden instruments started about 20 years ago, and reached a peak when Jacques Zoon, the amazing Dutch flutist who usually plays on a wooden instrument, was appointed principal in the Boston Symphony Orchestra. The instruments we make are not period pieces or reproduction antiques, but fully modern, professional flutes. They start at about $14,000, so we're not talking about something you get from a latter-day hippie at a craft faire.

Making these instruments is a weird mix of art and manufacturing. I have to be very, very careful managing our wood supply and selecting the pieces for each instrument. It takes painfully-derived experience to NOT make an instrument that will fall apart 6 months later in the hands of Mr. or Ms. Famous Flutist, thereby inserting me into a world of hurt.

Now we get to the "spiritual" part. Most of what goes through my head is "Don't screw it up. Don't screw it up. Don't screw it up...." Other thoughts include, "How in the hell am I going to get this to Rob by Wednesday morning?" or, "Shit! Looks like it'll take another hour to get this headjoint playing right, and I've got to pick up my kids at Karate in 45 minutes. Gotta call my wife and tell her to get them. She'll be pissed!"

I can claim as much "spirituality" in my work as anyone. But those who talk about work in transcendental or lofty terms, whether Ralph Waldo Emerson, Kahlil Gibran, or the internet cracker-barrel philosopher who regales you with thoughts that occurred to him while sweeping the shop floor, are full of it. What occurs to me while I'm sweeping the floor are, "Why in the hell did the cleaners miss this?" or, "Gotta clean this crap up and go home!"

Writing words on a computer beats real work every time. That's the reason I'm sitting here doing it now.

But it's Sunday morning, and my youngest needs to get to church where he's a choirboy. After that, we'll come back and play with the computers some more.

Really does beat working.

Kev said...

When I saw the title of this post, the first thought that came to me was "Theo would have a nice, thoughtful post on the subject." And Theo, you didn't disappoint. (Also, I had no idea that people were still making wooden flutes to professional standards today, much less that it was a part of your gig.)