Morning Coffee Maneuvers

Photography: Unknown

Photography: Unknown

I remember, as a child, watching my mother ritualistically fill her brass coffee grinder full of beans and churn. It was part of her solemn morning coffee ceremony. I would watch in amusement as it seemed like at the time a lot of effort for one cup of Turkish coffee. The process appeared labourious to me, yet what I didn’t realize was that to her it was probably the only time she had to herself, that morning coffee ritual, still connecting to her ancestors, while raising two kids and holding down the fort.

I now have that brass coffee grinder, it sits in ornamentation. It was one thing I was adamant on having. To this day, she still makes her Turkish coffee, although with pre-ground beans, and at times exchanges the ritual for the easier one of the Nespresso.

And even though I have tried my hand at making a cup or two myself, it never turns out quite as good as my mother’s. Sometimes I think it’s because she has so much love and respect for the process, and other times I think maybe, just maybe she is in all actual fact, the coffee whisperer. -tM

*NB for those interested click on the Source link below for a little history on Turkish Kahve.

Stories of Old

As simple and as delicious as it is, it has never been straightforward. Bread has always been a direct reflection of economics. To look at bread, is to look at taxation, revolts, and subsidies. It tells the story of life, its struggle and its triumphs; bread is endless in what it can represent. It’s good to critically think about our food beyond our initial consumption from time to time. There is often a narrative there worth understanding. -tM

Photography: Unknown

Ordinary Life

Photography: Stanley Kurbrick | New York, 1948

Photography: Stanley Kurbrick | New York, 1948

Before Stanley Kubrick was a famous director, he was a youthful unknown observing the world around him through a photographic lens.

This particular photograph is a reminder that there have always been people young and old who have been bold enough to live life the way it suited them. -tM

Sunday Ease

Cinematography: Sayombhu Mukdeeprom |  Call Me By Your Name

Cinematography: Sayombhu Mukdeeprom | Call Me By Your Name

Even though we have become a secular society where Sunday’s are no longer “God’s” day of rest, where businesses are forced to remain closed and family time is a requirement (boy do I remember how boring a Sunday could be as a child, quoting Morrissey as an appropriate reference “Everyday is like Sunday, everyday is silent and grey” because that is exactly how it felt, dull, grey, and boring; lazing around all day trying to amuse oneself with play and fascination). Anyway, I digress…

As an adult, I find that I still hold onto those lazy Sunday’s as a way of life, a space for letting go, and connecting to what matters and to those I love. I consciously take it slow on a Sunday. It’s become a way of life. It is a day that I reserve solely for myself and for things that matter to me. It is my day of rest.

How about you, how do you spend your Sunday? -tM

Gathering Around the Art

Photography: Unknown

Photography: Unknown

The hearth used to be a symbol of ones home which provided a space for a collective congregation of people for practical reasons. However, now a days, with central heating, the practicality of its use has changed. It has now become more form then function.

However, I firmly believe that a fireplace does not need to be functional to bring warmth and design interest into a space. I personally like faux mantles that bring texture, art, and visual interest into a room. Its structure offers many display opportunities for pieces that bring one joy.

You can still bring intimacy to its purpose through art, making it yet another informal place in your home to just be. -tM

The Power of One

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If you are able to believe in a higher source of power, with faith being at the core of that trust, then why not believe in yourself? There is evidence of your existence, and the proof also lies in your very ability to have moved through life thus far, so why not believe in your own potential? -tM

Water and Persian Rugs

The Water and Persian Rug series by self taught photographer Jalal Sepehr is an interesting sequence of photographs that merges both the traditional and contemporary way of life and being.

Of his series, Water and Persian Rugs (2004), Jalal Sepehr says ‘I take unexpected environments to create new moments, contrasts and diversity – the rugs float and dance.’ 

There is always something beautiful about the unanticipated. I believe it inspires and calls on all of us to think outside of the box. -tM

 

The Three Accent Pillars

The three pillars of every religion have found their artistic expression in these three accent pillars/walls which can be seen from every room and vantage point in this modern Mongolian apartment. What a brilliant and artistic way to add sculptural allure and modernist sheen to a space.

Ancient allure meets modern aesthetic. -tM

Photography: Ha Da | Yatzer

Fin des Jours

Photography: Michael Marker | End of Day

Photography: Michael Marker | End of Day

"Finish every day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense."

- Ralph Waldo Emerson

Don't forget to exhale. -tM

 

Street Snaps

Social documentation.

I have always appreciated the raw capture of life, style, and culture that street photography seems to conquer in one fell swoop. Who could ask for a better backdrop, or for more interesting participants.

A palimpsest of detail, it's life, unabashedly staring you in the face. -tM

Photography: Jamel Shabazz | 1980's, NYC

The Smallest Eye

Possibilities,

that is what I see when I look at this sketch of a needle and thread. The entire garment industry rests on the smallest eye of creation. There is no substitute for what the human hand, eye, and creative spirit can accomplish. There is more here then meets the eye. Pun intended. -tM

Artist: Man Ray | Needle and Thread, c. 1965

Tapping Palm

Fresh,

tapped sap from coconut spathe is used as a refreshing drink, and fermented sap is consumed as an alcoholic beverage. It is not an easy feat, on average one would tap 50 trees, twice a day proving to be much more labour intensive then tapping maple trees for syrup. There is so much beauty and bounty in passing down tradition and artisanal crafts that respect the delicate ecology of our surroundings. -tM

Photography: Kyle Weeks | Himbia People, Namibia

The Next Level

Photography: Unknown | A simple, beautiful, and utilitarian way to display such treasures.

I have always found that simplicity in architecture, design, make-up, fashion, food, and in thought is hard to do well, especially when you want it to be beautiful and functional.

Leonardo da Vinci once said that "simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." This is easier said then done in our North American culture where more is more, and consumption is king. There is no room for less in our society.  We need to fill our lives up with stuff so that the stuff in our lives can take the place of our lives.

As I grow older, simplicities of all kinds, especially thought, has become remarkably important to me. Eliminating the unnecessary in order to give the necessary room to speak. These days I really appreciate Steve Job's point of view on the whole process of simplification: "Simple can be harder then complex:  You have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it is worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains."

My conscious internal shift is also reflected in the design of my home, the clothes I choose to wear, as well as in the rest of my aesthetics. The external is reflective of the internal and vice versa. It helps to keep me in balance and on the path I believe to be right for me.

How about you? Is less is more your personal philosophy or do you abide by the there can never be enough of this good stuff kind of rule? -tM

 

 

 

Love Letters

Ahhh, the almost forgotten and long gone romantic gesture of the art of writing; the love letter.

As everything else in our world changes and evolves the loss of what once was is inevitable.

I suppose distances are no longer an issue with all the modes of communication available to us. We can whip off a love email, or text, in matter of minutes. Love letters came to evolve over distances, as soldier's went off to war, there was no other way of professing the longing, desire, and love they had for those they left behind.

Great letters brought about by great loves.

I suppose that is why I am a sucker for anything written by hand, you need to make room and time to sit down, to think about what you mean to express. There is no such thing as a delete button when writing by hand. It is a completely different kind of engagement and process, both physically and mentally.

I still have all of my love letters, neatly tied and scattered throughout the pages of some of my favourite books, only to be discovered when the book is uncovered once again.

How about you, where do you keep your old love letters? -tM