Tag Archives: Thoughts

PARIS IS BURNING: Notre Dame Saved By Fashion?

 

In this image made available on Tuesday April 16, 2019 flames and smoke rise from the blaze at Notre Dame cathedral in Paris, Monday, April 15, 2019. An inferno that raged through Notre Dame Cathedral for more than 12 hours destroyed its spire and its roof but spared its twin medieval bell towers, and a frantic rescue effort saved the monument’s “most precious treasures,” including the Crown of Thorns purportedly worn by Jesus, officials said Tuesday. (AP Photo/Thierry Mallet)

To say it was a shock to glance at the breaking news on April 15 to see Notre Dame engulfed in blazing hellfire. With the world already feeling so hopelessly derelict, seeing this sight was a surreal feeling…what is happening in this world?!

Oddly enough, this event has occurred at the beginning of Holy Week leading to Easter – the most important week for the Christian church, without a doubt. Interestingly, we also have Venus and Lilith meeting at the 23rd mark of Pisces on this day…Venus, the goddess of love, and Lilith, the rebellious first wife of Adam; who refused to be subservient and was cast out of the Garden of Eden.

Notre Dame quite literally means “Our Lady”, and its impossible to ignore the rise of female power in our society- in arts, politics, business, and with the Church imposing its patriarchal grip of society for thousands of years, perhaps this could be some fateful symbol we all may never understand fully.

{Click here for more intriguing astrological interpretation of this fateful event}

On the flip side, it didn’t take long for France’s three richest families to raise money for its restoration post-fire; a whopping $700 million in total.

The three dynasties (LVMH, L’Oreal, and Kering) have an impressive portfolio of high end luxury brans that they own- being pretty much every high end fashion brand you can think of. For instance, LVMH headed by CEO Bernard Arnault has put forward $226 million! For the owner of an endless list of brands such as Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Givenchy, Fendy, Dior, Hennessy, and even Fenty Beauty by Rihanna to name a few, so it surely seems almost like it would be pocket change.

The other large donors were the Betterncourt Meyers family who control L’Oreal, and the Pinaut family who own Kering which control iconic luxury brands such as Gucci, Saint-Laurent, Balenziaga, and Alexander McQueen to name a few…

Surely, they are toasting over a glass of Veuve Cliquot over their charitable efforts, but this kind of thing is exactly what gives fashion a bad name, and doesn’t really help to battle the idea that fashion isn’t vapid, vain, and wasteful.

Granted, Notre Dame wasn’t just a treasure of France, but also the entire world. Paris is the number one tourist destination in the world, and the beautiful Gothic Cathedral with is iconic towers, and flying buttresses reaching out into the Seine, it is (or was) a marvel of human endeavour, engineering, and creativity, no doubt. 856 years, and a bit damage, sure, but its still standing.

With our world in the state of crisis (climate change, increasing poverty, always an imminent war) there couldn’t be more available resources to help those truly in need? A medieval church is one thing, but the fact that certain people in this world have every mean necessary to truly make a difference to people, is shocking and disappointing to say the least. Especially, that these brands uphold and sell a lifestyle that 99% of us could never afford, and only fantasize about being a part of – you begin to realize the illusion of luxury, and the many people whose backs these brands have been built on.

This is all a bit of what led us into what we do. Outrageous prices, bad quality, and who even knows what goes on BTS…for what? Just a knock-off a vintage style or design, when billions of pounds of textiles and clothing are put into landfills every year! If we can’t universally accept the concept of reducing, reusing, and recycling what we already have, the future could be grim.

Amazingly, 16 year old environmental activist, and recent Nobel Peace Prize Nominee, made a poignant statement regarding the fire, and the pledges that are being made to rebuild the monument whilst no changes are being pledged to save our own planet. Greta Thunberg’s thoughts on “cathedral thinking” are truly inspiring…

It seems like this is an event that may have opened up all our eyes a bit, and definitely encourages us to continue our own crusade! If fashion can save Notre Dame, could they switch gears to save the world?

Much to ponder…but,

Until next time,

{theEye}

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The Eye of Faith RULES!!!

Anonymous, 14_ Jhdt

‘Concision in Style, Precision in Thought, Decision in Life”

You may have noticed those immortal words when browsing through our ABOUT US page, although the phrase is more like this:

+ CONCISIONEM STYLO, ACCURATIUS CORDE, IUDICARI VITA +

Since our inception, these words have helped build the foundations for creating The Eye of Faith, and we never forgot them along the way.

Patrick Bateman Loves Les Mis

Wise words from an icon in his own right,  Victor Hugo (and I’m not too sure if he would be one for musicals ) . . . but none the less, his “concision in style, precision in thought, and decision in life”, have made him and his work relevant to this very day!

It’s quite wild how the past comes and goes, and is brought back to life again. Inspiration finds it’s way through the cracks of your mind to infiltrate your thoughts and create something special. This comes into play every time you make your way into your own wardrobe, for example. You stare at your clothes and an idea might come to your mind, and thus a new look, and a new you is born!

The Eye of Faith Boys

While our motto  CONCISIONEM STYLO, ACCURATIUS CORDE, IUDICARI VITA (it just sounds so F***ing good in Latin) has carried us far the past year, most mysterious 2014, we have a few new thoughts for the year ahead, and some new virtues we want to inherit and inspire for 2015.

+KNOWLEDGE+

The chemical preparation of Aurum Portabile (Sadeler II, Kilian, Geiger)

+KNOWLEDGE+ has always been an important piece of the puzzle here at The Eye, and for our frequent followers and visitors, you have come to expect in our approach an appreciation for history and all it’s secrets and quirks. We love to expose the {PAST} and examine where it fits into the {PRESENT} and hopefully, using our age defying wisdom, we can summarize a likely {FUTURE}.

Much like the alchemists and sorcerers of the past, the gaining and collecting of knowledge, every little bit no matter how esoteric, is a vital aspect of one’s true power, for when the time comes and all you are left to is you and you alone, you can count on yourself to follow through! Whether we’re talking life or fashion, no one is ever going to blame you for knowing too much.

We hope to continue in this vein, and bring you more and more vintage memories and musings that can both inspire and inform.

+INTEGRITY+

Blame it on the Gang (from THE EYE OF FAITH rules)

Since we began creating The Eye of Faith, we have been told a million and one things we should be doing instead. Everyone and their mother has had an opinion on our vision, without even asking what that vision may be!

We came into this game knowing full well who we were, and what we intended to accomplish. You don’t see another site quite like The Eye of Faith online, and that is a good thing. We are not trying to fall into place behind other fashion blogs (most of which look the same) who recycle content from site to site, but we wanted to be true innovators on the scene. This dedication to our vision, and always standing by it without changing it to appease naysayers is why we have ruled +INTEGRITY+ as a continuing priority here at The Eye of Faith.

The Eye of Faith was conceived as a portal to the past with many seemingly disparate items, articles, and stories coming together to create a well-rounded vision of how little things have changed, and how cool the past really was! This will continue NOT to change.

We will also not be picking any random articles of vintage clothing to add to the collection. Nothing is arbitrary, and each piece speaks to a certain story or style we are aiming to incorporate into the vision of the collection as a whole. Believe us, it’s not as easy as it sounds! It’s called +INTEGRITY+

+COURAGE+

The Spirit of Contemplation (1901) by Albert Toft {1862 - 1949}
The Spirit of Contemplation (1901) by Albert Toft {1862 – 1949}

+COURAGE+ has always been our silent leader when it came to creating The Eye of Faith. In fact, the whole idea of the The Eye of Faith encapsulates this virtue entirely.

The Eye of Faith is an age old symbol of +COURAGE+, and by the pure belief in matters at hand, and some proper insight, one may be given sight to see the way to get to one’s destiny. It’s a silent pathway, but a strong one, and without proper reinforcement your trail could just wither into the wind before your eyes and you would be left to find your way without the guidance of the fates. . .

The latter is a path many of choose in life, but since we are beings with a choice, we definitely chose to trust that The Eye of Faith will get us where we belong.

It took a lot of +COURAGE+ to stand up and tell those we know and love our belief in it, but it definitely seems to be paying off, with everyday us getting stronger and stronger.

+STRENGTH+

Have Strength Poor Child

+STRENGTH+ comes in many forms. We need it constantly; in the physical sense, to keep up the hustle of getting our pieces from one place to another, and even more so in the emotional and spiritual sense, when it seems like you’ll never figure it all out.

Truth is, you’re never going to figure it all out, so best stop wasting your energy on that one . . .

Having +STRENGTH+ of mind is more powerful than any fist when it comes to life. Creeping deep down into oneself and building +STRENGTH+ from within is your best start. From there, everything else will seem like a cinch!

+IMAGINATION+

Imagination Psychedellia

I once read somewhere that +IMAGINATION+ is more important than +KNOWLEDGE+

But I don’t think that is quite true, as much as learning to utilize both to one’s advantage can be the most powerful tool of all.

+IMAGINATION+ is quite literally the God-Sense in all of us. If you seek the divine in the everyday all you need do is open a pad of paper and sketch, or write for an hour about any old thing, even messing about your wardrobe will suffice. It is simply that beautiful magical moment where your brain has decided to create something new, and completely you.

You are a well of ideas and inspirations, and once you are able to tap into that spring, you might find your true self overflowing!

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So there you have it!

Our five newly anointed principles that can be used not just for your style sensibilities, but use them in life, as well. If you use them right, the transformations will happen almost immediately.

Feel free to adapt our Rules to fit your own life, or simply come up with a few of your own.

What means most to you? In the end, that’s all that matters. We know what we need to do to survive, and we’re going to definitely be making it happen! So hopefully some of our words of wisdom have rubbed off a bit, and we can all make things happen together!

Take The Oath of The Eye

From the bottom of my cool blazing heart,

{theEye}

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{STYLE-WISE} Do it Right! Vintage Dress the Part – Kurt Cobain’s “Heart Shaped Box”

She eyes me like a Pisces when I am weak . . . 

This past September marked the 20th Anniversary of Nirvana’s stellar, and ultimately last, music video “Heart Shaped Box”. Directed by Anton Corbijn, the video is a surreal and disturbing vision of death and disease. It is a colourful combination of the familiar and the insane which make this video a great one.

Dress the Part- Kurt Cobain- Heart Shaped Box- Eye of Faith Vintage 2

  • KURT COBAIN: “Actually, “Heart-Shaped Box’ might’ve been one of my pieces of poems. I know a lot of the words to that song are from poems. It’s just another of those songs that are pretty much wordplay. I didn’t have any specific idea.”

  • Melody Maker: So they’re not intended to mean anything?

  • KURT COBAIN: “No. And the pieces of poetry are taken from poems that don’t usually have meaning in the first place. They were cut-ups themselves. And often I’ll have to obscure the pieces I take to make them fit in the song, so they’re not even true pieces of poem. But this is the first record where I’ve written at least a couple of songs thematically. Scentless Apprentice’ is one, and ‘Frances Farmer Will Have Her Revenge On Seattle’ is about her, (Frances Farmer) about the way she was exploited in her life.”

  • So there ya have it kids. I know Courtney wants the world to think “Heart Shaped Box” was about her vag but according to Kurt Cobain, it wasn’t.

[source]

Not only are the visuals striking (same goes to the enchanting lyrics), so is the fashion, which represents the epitome of Grunge style at its most wild and excessive.

While we often think of Kurt Cobain in his signature wooly cardigans, and almost Grandpa gone bad style; here Cobain has embraced his rockstar qualities and ventures to a more glam version of the Grunge style that even veers into the world of high fashion.

Dress the Part- Kurt Cobain- Heart Shaped Box- Eye of Faith Vintage 6

His iconic metallic silver button down shirt he wears throughout the video (overtop a signature Cobain black and white stripe shirt) was in fact provided by the equally iconic Jean Paul Gaultier, who dressed the band for the video. Gaultier was at the height of his unique take of Grunge style that was overtaking the industry throughout the late 80s and early 90s, so this combination of the two (Gaultier & Cobain) is nothing except magical.

montreal-jean-paul-gaultier-ph-16

Since this tidbit had been revealed to us during the Jean Paul Gaultier exhibit a few years ago in Montreal, the idea of this sort of piece has been branded in our memory as a must-have stand out piece for our closet. It took many years, but we found one, and every time it is adorned within an outfit it is a bonafide hit.

Dress the Part- Kurt Cobain- Heart Shaped Box- Eye of Faith Vintage 1 Dress the Part- Kurt Cobain- Heart Shaped Box- Eye of Faith Vintage 4

We thought we might never find another one, but alas, our luck has been on high as of late, and we found perhaps even a better representation of this high fashion glam grunge ideal of a metallic silver foil shirt in a remarkable piece by Marc Alan that is straight out of the period and looking for a new home!

Check it out, and maybe it’s for you. The right one will come along. They always do . . .

MEASUREMENTS

PIT TO PIT: 21″
LENGTH: 26″
SHOULDER TO SLEEVE: 31″

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SMALL / MEDIUM (best measure up!)

BUY IT NOW

+

Sincerely,

{theEye}

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The Eye of Faith Gets “Lost in the Memory Palace: Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller”

 

portrait_cardiff_miller_2012

[Photo: Zev Tiefenbach]

The world of Canadian artists Janet Cardiff and Geroge Bures Miller exist somewhere between reality and the vortex of our imaginations. . . 

The artist duo are known for their of-this-world out-of-this-world creations that combine objects, sound, images, mechanics, lighting, construction, and cinema to create one-of-kind experiments and showcases in the transcendental quality and nature of art.

As one of the world’s most internationally respected artist partnerships, we were lucky to get a chance to enjoy a retrospective of their work, in an exhibit appropriately title “Lost in the Memory Palace”, which runs from April 6 until August 18, 2013 at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

From the beginning of their partnership in 1995 to their work today, the artist duo have expertly managed to create evocative and multi-textural and dimensional works that transport its viewers to other worlds and often exotic states of mind.

portrait-janet cardiff and george miller_Bodtlaender

The duo has cited cinema as a major driving force in their work, bringing the immersive technology of the cinema to life in a gallery setting,  allowing the viewers an accessibility and availability that is mostly foreign to other works in the art gallery setting. While we are often encouraged to keep a distance in the world of art, Cardiff-Miller’s pieces are encouragingly tactile and require a closer look.

This is not a show that you can skim through and really “get” immediately. Going into it with this frame of mind would be disaster.

Like a film, the pieces require a dose of commitment, and an ability to get lost in the world being offered to you by the artists. The worlds are often slightly disturbing as you notice odd-looking effigies, or are startled by an abrupt sound; the element of mystery is definitely in the air, forcing you to question your own reality.

Such is the case with “Dark Pool”, the couple’s first installation created in 1995.

Cardiff Miller- Dark Pool

darkpool_4

I like that the technology is so popular it is almost invisible so that people can become intimate with it. At the same time the recorded voice is removed and has a sense of past that a real voice doesn’t, so it can actually get closer to the audience through that removal. They feel safe being intimate with a removed voice.

-Janet Cardiff

You are invited to open a paint chipped antiquated door to enter a long, dark, small room filled to the brim with boxes, books, furniture, rolling racks, and antique objects. You might want to, at first, turn back in fear of what could be lurking in the shadows, but very quickly you find yourself exhilarated by curiosity. As you walk through the room, you hear voices and whispers from the past (children, an elderly woman, a young couple), and begin to notice the clues all around you:

darkpool_3

darkpool_5e

darkpool_5c

[Photos: Cardiff/Miller]

An opened book on reading tea leaves sits behind a tray full of dirty empty tea cups. Two viewfinders, side by side, show a man and woman in a passionate embrace, the other shows a couple with signs of stagnant disdain. You see a collection of porcelain hands. A half-eaten biscuit on a plate. You hear the sound of Judy Garland launch from the radio singing her tragic anthem, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow”. You notice a book that dictates the signs of mental instability.

Often times, as in the case of “Storm Room” (2009), the imagined world is created so thoroughly, you really do question whether the artists have perhaps maneuvered a time slip or some sort of trans-continental teleportation device to get you to the empty Dentist’s office near Tokamachi, Japan, that was recreated for the piece.

Storm Room 1

[Photo: N.M. Hutcgubson]

An elaborate system of pipes, lighting, and speakers provide an uber realistic rendition of finding yourself unsure, even whilst in the comfort of “safety”. You can hear the coughing of a neighbour in the next “room”, and while you wait for the storm to “end”, you find yourself wondering where exactly you might have landed.

Storm Room 2

[Photo: N.M. Hutcgubson]

As water streams down the windows, and the rolling sound of thunder rattles the floor, you notice a roll of Japanese dental floss, buckets filling with water, a telephone, some old Japanese calendars, and a floor fan that only helps instil the uncomfortable quality of a 1960s Hiroshi Teshigahara film.

The Killing Machine- Cardiff Miller

[Photo: Seber Ugarte & Lorena Lopez]

Another unsettling piece, 2007’s  “The Killing Machine”, transports to a world unexpected and unknown. Forcing the viewer to imagine the violence and pain of being held on its soft pink fur chair at the will of two  elegantly choreographed, rotating stabbing wands, the piece is equally unsettling as it is beautiful.

Cardiff Miller- the killing machine - 2007

[Photo: Seber Ugarte & Lorena Lopez]

A statement on the nature of capital punishment, as well as a riff off Franz Kafka’s “In the Penal Colony”, the piece works on the level that it blends these horrors with a beautiful array of coloured lights, a disco ball (who doesn’t love a disco ball?), and almost triumphant orchestration for a bizarrely amusing and eerie imagining of our society’s indifference to killing.

The most impacting piece, had to be the first piece ventured to in the gallery – “Opera for a Small Room” which the couple created in 2005. The piece is a 20 minute long immersion into the tale of a sad and mysterious man (“R DENNEHY”) who speaks throughout the piece about his sad tale of lost love, and a seemingly lost sense of self.

Cardiff Miller - Opera for a Small Room

[Photo: Cardiff/Miller]

Contained in a small shed-like space filled to the brim with nearly 2,000 individual records, eight record players, and twenty-four antique loudspeakers; the piece encapsulate a mysterious, melancholy, and mildly sinister mood, all while telling the story of the strange man who embodies the space between the sounds of various arias, sounds, songs, and pop music. The entire story is aligned with the change of synchronized light and colour.

cardiff miller- opera for a small room- detail

cardiff miller- opera for a small room- detail 2

[Photo: Cardiff/Miller]

As the piece progresses you are enticed to circle the “room” to peer through the wall’s various cut-outs and doorways in hopes of gaining new perspectives on the world inside. As your eyes begin to wander you notice bowling trophies, suitcases, and other objects that add to this strange simulated reality. Its an opus of emotion, and another testament to the artists’ unique craft.

opera for a small room- cardiff miller- room

[Photo: Kunsthaus Bregenz]

   Writing is like a 3-Dimensional process for me. The words and sentences have to work with a physical space, resonate with that space. One thing works on the page but it’s a different thing when they are juxtaposed with a physical environment.

Janet Cardiff

Like a movie in real time playing before your eyes, the works of Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller are remarkable and exciting works of contemporary Canadian art that we are lucky enough to have gotten the chance to enjoy so closely and thoroughly.

The artists’ cinematic tendencies and unusual combination of various sound and media point to a world where the disparate worlds of various arts and industry can coincide and exist together, for engaging and elevating works of art that not only provide an aesthetic experience, but delve deep into the psyche to penetrate the world of dream, nightmare, and emotion.

To put it plainly, “Lost in the Memory Palace” is as close to Utopia as we’ve seen in this world yet. There are plenty of other pieces by the couple to enjoy at the exhibit, so be sure not to miss out on this incredibly poignant and realized showing on now at the AGO.

“Lost in the Memory Palace: Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller” at the Art Gallery of Ontario {April 6, 2013 – August 18, 2013}, for more info click here.

Until we meet again,

{theEye}

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Racism or Reality? Suck it Up, 21st Century!

Django Uncahined- Leo, Samuel L Jackson, Christoph Waltz, Jamie foxx

A slew of scandal has shaken the entertainment industry this year with release of Quentin Tarantino’s much anticipated new film “Django Unchained”, which tells of a newly freed slave and his journey with a bounty hunter to free his wife from the grip of a brutal plantation owner.

Tarantino, who is no stranger to controversy, is receiving criticism for his screenplay which uses the “N-word” (you know the one all the rappers throw out like Mardi-Gras beads from a parade float) over 100 times throughout the film, which is set in 1858, amidst the horrors of slavery in the Antebellum South.

While the film is visually stunning, and has received accolades, including 5 Academy Award nominations (Best Picture, Supporting Actor – Christoph Waltz, Original Screenplay, Cinematography, and Sound Editting), and a Golden Globe for Best Original Screenplay, many nay-sayers, including high-profile names such as director Spike Lee, are completely opposed to the film, claiming “It’d be disrespectful to my ancestors to see that film. That’s the only thing I’m going to say. I can’t disrespect my ancestors”.

And while the film is Tarantino’s most successful to date ( $186.76 million worldwide, topping his last effort, the WWII action flick “Inglourious Basterds”), the film can’t seem to get a break.

eof- django unchained toys deemed offensive and removed from shelves

Most recently, a line of “Django Unchained” action figures were pulled from shelves, due to controversy over the “slave” and “slave owner” characters being depicted. Perhaps it’s not the film itself that has everyone’s emotions going out of whack.

What it comes down to is that the past was a very scary place. One that to this day conjures deep and unsettling emotions.

artist Kara Walker

On a similar note, contemporary American artist Kara Walker (best known for her silhouetted figures of Blacks and Whites living in dystopian disharmony in the romance of the Antebellum South) has also come under fire (once again) for another politically, racially, and sexually charged depiction of the horrors many African Americans faced prior to the Civil War that included a depiction of a black woman performing oral sex on a white man.

The drawing entitled “The moral arc of history ideally bends towards justice but just as soon as not curves back around toward barbarism, sadism, and unrestrained chaos” (2010), features bold and brash figures, in Walker’s signature drawing style, and are hurried across the picture, which has the community of Newark divided, after the drawing was covered by a cloth after its hanging on Thanksgiving in the Newark Public Library.

KARA WALKER- The moral arc of history ideally bends towards justice but just as soon as not curves back around toward barbarism, sadism, and unrestrained chaos (2010

Just days ago, the drawing was reinstated to the walls of the New Jersey library, on the grounds that “The library should be a safe harbor for controversies of all types, and those controversies can be dealt with in the context of what is known about art, about literature, democracy and freedom,” according to Library trustee, and history professor at Rutgers University, Clement A. Price.

Granted, the African American experience is a sensitive issue, but as Price notes “”Should we be depicted sentimentally, romantically?” or “Should some of the grotesque realities be depicted in art or movies?” Kara Walker has also been invited for a presentation at the Library on the topic of artistic freedom and her role as a black artist to society.

karawalkerinstallview1_600_600

kara walker - you do

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Rather than shy from the harsh realities of this atrocious period in history, Walker’s work attacks it head on, and has gained respect worldwide as an artist who is unafraid of the truth of the matter. In fact, it is the “N-word” that started off the young artists’ career, adapting the persona of the “Negress” and exploring the racism, sex, violence, and mythos associated with African Americans throughout the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, when slavery was at its height in both Canada and the US.

Through careful research, imagination, and pure fearlessness, Walker is able to uncover the hidden truths of the society we live in. On her own work, Walker says “I think my work sort of minimcs the past, but it’s all about the present. Oh, some great artist in the past, Courbet or somebody, said there’s no historical art that isn’t about present…” and “The work is two parts research and one part paranoid hysteria.”

Django Uncahined - bloody violence

Much like Walker, Tarantino’s vision of pre-Civil War America is based on a history that has been amplified, as so our 21st Century eyes and ears can hear and see the past in a clear light. In our world today, racism is no way condoned by anybody, but to forget about such a turbulent aspect of our society on the grounds that it is racist is completely naive. This controversy might be a sure sign that our society is in deep denial and conflict over the world we live in.

By shying away from the past, we do ourselves a complete disservice, and deny ourselves the chance to experience the present in its true form. Context is everything, and when dealing with the Antebellum south, the context is not going to be pretty. We should not try to make a romance of the tragedies that have preceded us. To do so could be the most racist thing of all. And we should not try to hide from younger generations the truth, when it has taken so long for us to uncover it.

DU-AC-000119.JPG

Django Unchained- light my candle

2013 has been called a year of forgiveness, where past wounds can heal, and new dreams can be achieved. My dream would be to see a society that can own up to its past, and be OK with it – can that change the past? No. But it can allow for healing and forgiveness to those who are up in arms about it.

As for Tarantino in the matter, he brags to the L.A. times “Even for the movie’s biggest black detractors, I think their children will grow up and love this movie. I think it could become a rite of passage for young, black males.” Not only this, but think of Django as a hero who can represent overcoming the most difficult of challenges, and to give power to anyone in the world who feels they have been under the strains of any sort of oppression.

We can rise above. So, suck it up, 21st Century! It’s time to grow a pair!

Jamie Foxx- Blue Boy Costume- Django Unchained

What are your thoughts? Let us know below!

Until next time,

{theEye}

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“The Old Man on the Corner” by Waldo Tomosky

Waldo Tomosky is one of our regular visitors here at The Eye of Faith, and wished to share this short story with us, citing it as both unique and divine – two very important words we hold close to us here at The Eye.

We couldn’t agree more, and decided we’d share it with you all here at The Eye of Faith.

This story entitled “The Old Man on the Corner” plays off Waldo’s own memory as a boy living in a small town, and how the simplest things in the world can come to be the most profound in the end….

+ THE OLD MAN ON THE CORNER +

by Waldo Tomosky

There is a state that is not what it used to be. There is a village within that state that falls into the same category. Families have an obligation to prepare the next generation for a better life. Political regions apparently do not have that same obligation.

The village has a city name; Johnson City. From the period of my first memories of village life, until the time when I entered the army, I always remember one specific street corner.

At one time a large store was located there. If my memory serves me correctly it was a hardware store. I do clearly remember, I am sure, that to enter the store you had to climb three massive concrete stairs that wrapped around the entire front.

The store no longer exists, due to a fire. A silvery aluminum diner was finally placed on the site. It has always been called the “Red Robin Diner.” But this story is not about inanimate objects; it is about people, or, more succinctly, it is about one man. This man was one of several that were, and are, always located on that corner. Their faces change and their manner changes but they are the same men.

They are retirees, older men living off a pension, a government dole, or off their savings. When I was young they sat on an old wooden bench that was painted red. It probably belonged to the village. The men smoked, and talked about something that I was never privileged to hear. They also had a bottle of something or other that was wrapped in a brown paper sack. In between cigarettes, or cigars, they would pass the sack around and each man had a swig of whatever was hidden in it.

They were nice friendly men. There were no loud voices or harsh words. They simply enjoyed each others company and nodded “hello” to the folks that passed them by. A nice toothy (or toothless) grin usually accompanied the “hello.”

I previously stated that the story is about one man. Possibly my memory has played some tricks on me over the years and this one man is a composite of all the old men that have located themselves on that corner. It makes no difference. This singular or composite soul was friendly, cheerful, unshaven, had a hole in his pants, and his shoes (that were once meant for work) were never polished. Yes; that is a good analogy. His shoes were like he was, unpolished but substantial, faithful, ready to serve.

This man smoked a pipe (in between nips). It was not a beautiful meerschaum pipe. It appeared to be made of briarwood and had a plain shape. He lit his pipe with what us youngsters called “farmer matches.” They were not your modern safety matches. They were more functional for a pipe smoker. The matches were singular (not in a pack) and had a hefty piece of wood (not the cheap paper stick that we now use). The heads had a section to burn and a section to strike. The striking portion was on the end and was typically white in color. Once struck, the burning section would be ignited which in turn would set the hefty wooden stick aflame.

Once again we are not here to compare the old with the new but rather to set into motion the details about this old man and his wooden matches. Keep in mind the attributes of this old man. He was wise, somewhat the worse for wear (as we all would be if we had completed the tasks that he had), a little unkempt, but most importantly he loved the people around him. In fact he loved them almost as much as he loved lighting his pipe. I really believe he enjoyed lighting those farmer matches. He was constantly at it.

The match would appear from nowhere. He would be inspecting it before the casual observer even knew he had one in his hand. The old man would test the wooden section for sturdiness. Then he would spin it between his fingers and inspect the white striking end. This would be followed by an inspection of the secondary lighting section (which was usually red but sometimes blue). Once he was satisfied, the match would be struck against some hard surface. The striking end would burst open into a star like pattern with other minor star patterns being created from the original one; then additional star patterns were created from the secondary ones. You could never tell how many star patterns were created due to the fact that it happened so fast. Yet, you knew that several patterns existed before they died out. At that same moment the secondary fire (blue or red; it makes no difference) would occur. This would create yet another burst of energy that exceeded what was necessary to light the pipe. The old man would keep the creation at a safe distance until the wooden section was on fire. Only at that time would he light his pipe.

I must repeat that he appeared to enjoy lighting the matches as much as smoking the pipe. I say this because he would always use about five matches for every pipe-full of tobacco. Additionally, his eyes would gleam with joy whenever he lit a match. It was not the gleam of a pyromaniac but rather the gleam of someone who created something. He appeared proud like a new father, or, had that “ah-ha!” moment of someone who had a new insight. It was something that I never understood but always was amazed at observing. How could an old man on a corner get such satisfaction out of lighting his pipe?

It was only when I had my own “ah-ha!” moment (years later) that I understood the old man on the corner. The ceremony of the pipe was his creation yet every time he accomplished that act he knew exactly what would occur. Oh, I don’t mean that he knew how many star patterns there would be, and he sure didn’t know what was located on those minute cinders that resulted from the burnt out star patterns. He only knew that he could create them and that the results would take care of themselves. It was only natural that there would be star-cinders, flame energy and gases, and finally the wooden stick that would serve as the means to the end.

Therefore I believe that somewhere beyond all the galaxies, their stars, the gases, the unbridled energy, the cinder-like asteroids, the unknown black holes, there is an old man standing on a corner lighting his pipe. There is, most likely, a hole in his pants. There may be some friends that he shares nectar with; although I can not quite picture it being hidden in a brown paper sack. He is friendly and benevolent but does not care to guide our every move. He simply likes to create a stir with his farmer matches. He loves the explosive star patterns, likes to watch the flames and gasses that are created by the red and blue sections, and is somewhat disappointed when the wooden section finally burns out.

He knows that he will need to re-light his pipe in a few minutes and also knows that the residue of the last match will have to take care of itself. He doesn’t know that we are riding on one of the smallest cinders and that we treat the last burning ember of the striking ember as the center of our system. Time to him is irrelevant. Time to us is in light-years.

We have made such a big thing out of someone lighting a pipe. It is really very simple. We do not know (and will never know) where the beginning and end is. It is not really our beginning or our end; they are His matches and His pipe. So therefore the creative act of lighting farmer matches goes on. The center of the sphere of sparks is everywhere yet nowhere. The length of time for a match to exhaust itself is both future and past (of which neither really exist). Yet we continue to attempt to identify the past through something we call history and the future through something we call science.

It is just an old man lighting his pipe.

© Copyright – Waldo Tomosky

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Waldo has a lot more where the came from over at his blog, so please check it out!

Sincerely,

{theEye}

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Photo blast: Playing with the Shadows.

Perhaps it’s hidden in the shroud of nightfall. Tucked behind us where we sleep. Easy to play with, but we’d never want to temper with our shadows, or do anything to risk loosing it completely. Perhaps just a circumstance of light, there is a darkness always behind us. We may resist, but we can never escape a round of shadow play.

“I thought the most beautiful thing in the world must be shadow.”
Sylvia Plath

A human being is only breath and shadow.
Sophocles

Everything that we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Never alone, we walk through the day with a constant companion by our side. We enjoy manipulation of the light in the night. But what would we do if we couldn’t find our shadow? Would you miss it, where would it go? Would you even notice that it had left at all? A shadow is a reflection of the life we live, running parallel with our souls. Without life, would a shadow need to exist?

The Eye.
xo

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Almodovar’s “The Skin I Live In”

Almodovar’s newest film, The Skin I Live In looks intense. to say the least. Couldn’t shy from posting the beautiful poster by Paul Gatti, Almodovar’s long-time collaborator. Naturally, we love he reference to 18th and 19th Century naturalism, and the beautiful illustrations that captured the imagination of the public at the time.

The Guardian has a great article about the life and work of this great contributor. Thanks to Burken Bag for posting the mysterious trailer.


Can’t wait to see it! How about you? Leave a comment!


The Eye.

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