Posts Tagged ‘Graham Greene’

To live on a day-to-day basis is insufficient for human beings; we need to transcend, transport, escape; we need meaning, understanding, and explanation; we need to see over-all patterns in our lives. We need hope, the sense of a future. And we need freedom (or, at least, the illusion of freedom) to get beyond ourselves, whether with telescopes and microscopes and our ever-burgeoning technology, or in states of mind that allow us to travel to other worlds, to rise above our immediate surroundings.

We may seek, too, a relaxing of inhibitions that makes it easier to bond with each other, or transports that make our consciousness of time and mortality easier to bear. We seek a holiday from our inner and outer restrictions, a more intense sense of the here and now, the beauty and value of the world we live in.

― Oliver Sacks. New Yorker article 2012

I was thinking this morning about how I would describe the painting at the top, Steady As She Goes. It is included in the Little Gems show at the West End Gallery which opens today. 

At first, I was thinking about sailing but I really don’t much about that subject. I can try to imagine the thrill of the open water, the feeling of untiy with the natural world, but I’m pretty sure it’s not the same as the real experience.

I began to wonder what was the underlying appeal of sailing, of open water. All that came to me was the word escape.

That made sense. You’re free from the ties that bind out there, subject, of course, to the whims of Mother Nature. We can never free ourselves from her her apron strings.

Yes, escape. And that representation of escape might be the appeal of these boat paintings even for us non-sailors. 

I searched for  a few words from others to describe that and came across the excerpt from a 2012 article in the New Yorker from the late Oliver Sacks, who wrote about how we need some form of escape from the day-to-day, an outlet where we are free from the restrictions set upon us by others. 

I was torn between the Sacks excerpt and these words from the great Graham Greene:

Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose, or paint can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.

It seemed a little more pointed at creative types but made great sense to me. My work certainly does provide me with an escape route from the stresses and pains of the real world. 

I wasn’t sure which quote to use but, in the end, I guess I opted for using both.  After all, this is my blog and I can do what I want. I make the rules.

Maybe this is, in itself, a form of escape?

Maybe I should take up sailing. Since it’s about 8° this morning, that seems unlikely anytime soon. So, let’s listen to a favorite song from Lyle Lovett. It’s If I Had a Boat from his epic 1988 album Pontiac. I listened to this album over and over back then and it was a means of escape at times. It still holds up beautifully to this day.

Hope you find your own escape route and have a good day.

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Crazy Rockers- Indorock Band circa 1962One of my favorite movies is The Third Man, which was filmed in post-World War II Vienna and stars Joseph Cotten, Orson Welles and Trevor Howard— three of my favorite actors.  With a screenplay by Graham Greene and great black and white cinematography, it’s just a great film.  But the thing that holds it all together and makes it memorable is the theme song that runs through the whole film, a haunting yet lively tune played on a zither by Anton Karas, who wrote and performed the song.  It was so catchy that it topped music charts around the world in 1950.

A number of people have recorded the song over the years but one of my favorites was from a group called the The Crazy Rockers from the early 60’s.  They were part of the Indorock scene in Holland at the time which was guitar-driven rock music played by Indonesians who were living in Holland.  It’s not a genre that many of us here in the states are familiar with but it was pretty big in that part of the world.   Still is from what I understand– the Crazy Rockers and the Tielman Brothers, who are the best known Indorock band, are still performing with over 50 years in the business.

I loved their version of The Third Man Theme with their choreographed movements and gyrations and matching sparkly costumes.  It was sort of kitschy but in a very authentic way.  I featured it here in a post back in 2008 but unfortunately can  no longer locate that version online.  So I will show a song from the same time frame, Carioca.  I’m also showing the original The Third Man credits  with the theme from Anton Karas playing over it  just to give those who aren’t familiar with it a chance to hear it.  If you get a chance, definitely catch the whole film.

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