Monday, February 9, 2015

Demology and Drifting

I am dedicating today's post to the letter "D" for ABC Wednesday.  Thank you to Mrs. Nesbitt, for starting this dandy meme over seven years ago, and to Roger, Reader Wil, Gattina and Trubes, distinguished volunteers who devote their time each week to ensuring it continues to thrive.

Claude Debussy's "Reflets dans L'Eau" is a delightful depiction of water reflections .  However, the performer is Richard Buhlig and not Debussy himself, as the title "Debussy Plays Debussy" mistakenly indicates.  I think the music really suits..

this next photo as well.  I took it several days ago, after Bill and I cycled (with Black Jack in her basket) to English Bay.  It was colder than it has been for a while, and the day seemed a bit dismal at first, but there was something mystical about the way the fog fell over certain areas and not others.  The details of our regular view could barely be distinguished..
across the water, but behind us, the sun had detected places.. 
to break through the droplets of moisture.
The scene deviated from one second to the next, bursts of light subdued at times,
but breaking through at others to deflect and displace shafts of moisture.

The beach was pretty much deserted except for this young couple. 
 Now that would be my kind of date :)  The gentleman was doing a disciplined drill that..
I saw as a dance.  His companion's support.. 
denoted an easy bond between them.
Her decision to stay by him as he improved his fitness and dexterity..
probably added extra drive to his workoutI can't deny, though, that I'm a bit concerned for his knees.  I hope he allowed them some downtime later.
Below, the contours of the Burrard Bridge and Granville Bridge behind it are delineated,
but seconds later, both bridges had all but disappeared.
I wonder, if you are listening to the Debussy, whether you can feel the sparkles as the sun hits the water.   There is a delicacy and lightness to the sound that evokes mist and fog as well.  Though many feel art and the private life/personality of its creator should be kept separate, I've never been able to make that distinction.  Claude Debussy was a very troubled man and that had a devastating affect on the people closest to him.  At the Wikipedia site, I found this quote by Mary Gardener, a star in his opera, Pelléas et Mélisande: "I honestly don’t know if Debussy ever loved anybody really. He loved his music – and perhaps himself. I think he was wrapped up in his genius... He was a very, very strange man."
The word "demology" was found at the phrontistery site and  is defined as the study of human behavior.  The above quote described Debussy as wrapped up in his own "genius" and that triggered more thoughts about the question deliberated some weeks ago, concerning whether genius excuses poor behaviour. Several of you kindly responded to it (many thanks!) and I've been thinking about those fascinating comments quite a lot.   Here are some of them:
  1. Bethany Carson said, "I kind of think of it as a given that geniuses are a bit eccentric. Disney's "The Absent-Minded Professor" missed his own wedding 3 times, but was a very nice person at heart--and invented an awesome substance called Flubber. I would probably not want to be family with a genius like that, but I'm sure he made a pretty cool friend."
  2. Cranberry Morning said, "I think that even geniuses have to be held responsible for their behavior, but it is an interesting thought to ponder. I'll have to find that movie. Sounds so interesting!
  3.  Phyllis (Bill's sister) said, "This is an interesting conundrum! I have never forgiven Scott Fitzgerald for plagiarizing Zelda's (his wife) writing after he put her in a mental institution. I cannot read "The Great Gatsby" again because of this. It seems to me that artists who seek truth through art should also be held to a high standard of ethics in their personal lives.
  4.  ChrisJ said, " I do think that geniuses are always a little bit eccentric. They are by nature more sensitive to the world and people around them and are often irritated by the fact that people can't see and understand the world like they do. Often they are misunderstood and feel different from others,-- which they are. It's an interesting study to see how many of our greatest artists, musicians, inventors, mathematicians and scientists were/are tormented by mental health problems.
  5. Linda said, "Geniuses should be kind regardless. However, their ability to focus on their work to the point of being obsessive can lead to mistreatment of those around them. It's the flip side of "genius" -- which is often a misnomer. People who are brilliant but well balanced probably don't appear to be geniuses. 
  6. Mascha said, "peoples with an big talent have often a deficit in other sides. This is of course no excuse, but reality. And sometimes people are just a little different, but they find no tolerance for their nature, are not understood and rejected and then evil developed later. Thus, it may be.
  7. Jean said, "I think that anyone whose focus is dedicated to one narrow area tends to run the risk of being 'eccentric', 'rude' or anti-social. Genius is no different, in my mind, than the workaholic except the genius may have a more brilliant and unique talent. Still, it behooves both genius and workaholic to find balance in their lives or at least to find ways to live in their own world without mistreating those around them."
It seemed to me that there was general agreement that while eccentricity is to be expected in someone with a huge talent in one field, that should not excuse unkind and/or immoral behavior.  Bethany's thought that she would prefer a genius to be her friend rather than part of her family made me smile, and ChrisJ's suggestion that there may be a higher incidence of mental illness in geniuses gave me pause for thought for sure.  That idea, and also Linda's thought that the term "genius" is a misnomer caused some flashing of light bulbs in my mind.  In the end, it seems best not to judge too harshly.  If an unusual ability takes over in one area, perhaps another could be deficient. Though I have in the past been disappointed to learn that an extraordinary talent did not always add up to a "nice" person, your combined thoughts have brought me to a realization that a "genius" in one field may actually need some guidance in his/her interactions in other areas.  Thanks, everyone!   

Well, I don't know if this happens to others, I added the rest of the photos here days ago, but somehow, the time and the words to describe them have run out.  This was taken the day after the fog had been so impressive.  Perhaps, it dignified a sad anniversary, but..
I thought it also added a distinct splash of color..
to decorate the landscape..
and place a human touch within the (seemingly) random distribution of rocks.

There were other reminders of humanity in the placement of driftwood around the beach.
The dominant question for the piece below was  how and why the grass was placed just so.
Oh, to have had a little discourse about the process..
of placement.
and design.
Dear, dear Bill and Black Jack.. always alongside my thoughts and steps.

I referred to the story of Clark Terry a couple of posts ago, and to his story as told in the documentary, "Keep On Keeping On."  Clark Terry was so driven to play the trumpet, he built his own.  His drive to make a difference, though, extends far beyond the world of music. This link takes you to Clark Terry's blog.  It will be well worth your time if you can find a way to stop by for a visit.   
More driftwood seen this past week.  We saw an obvious form in this but perhaps, 
I'll leave the commentary and let you enjoy or skip over these as time dictates.

Bill and I pored over an art book at Harrison Galleries, a week of so ago.  We were really intrigued by the work of Don Stewart.  Another subject worthy of much more time, but here's his web site for those who choose to investigate further.  
Just to draw your attention to the oreo cookie, the waffle and the lifesaver, all part of the workings of the motorcycle. The more you look at his work, the more there is to discover.
Here's the link to ABC Wednesday to see lots of delectable "D" representations!  Thank you so much for stopping by!


  1. i see a scottish terrier in the driftwood - jumping upwards. :) the steampunk art at the end is interesting. i liked your 'drismal' day - another blogger uses that word and i like it. :)

  2. Hello Carol, we have had similar dismal days lately.. I enjoyed the post, the Wigeons are awesome and I love the artwork at the end. Very cool pieces.. Thanks for sharing, have a happy week ahead!

  3. Another delightful blog! The discussion of genius was very interesting and definitely made me think. As usual, some darn fine photos! Hugs, Phyllis