April 12, 2020
It’s clear it will be difficult to make this Daily Letter daily, but I will strive to do so.
One Year Anniversary
On this day in 2019, we found out Oliver had an ependymoma brain tumor. It was about the size of a mandarin orange and was attached to his brain stem. He had been vomiting for six weeks and we did not know why. Four days later he had a successful nine-hour surgery to completely remove it and endured six weeks of radiation over the following summer. He’s a healthy kid now, but must undergo regular MRIs to watch for the tumor’s possible return. This is the first anniversary of that terrible day. We spent it playing legos and video games in which he repeatedly destroyed me.
This chase scene from the French Connection (1971) is one of my favorite sequences of all time. The camera is shaky, the sound effects are lofi, but the visceral realism of the editing, the cinematography and the lack of music make it less of a fiction, and more an emotional document.
Lost in translation
The Japanese have a word for which we have no direct translation: mono-no-aware. It means appreciating the sadness of existence. You appreciate babies, cherry blossoms, puppies, and then all the people, sounds, smells, moments when you become aware of the profound impermanence of everything.
When I’m working late at night, I often listen to the stream-of-consciousness lectures by Alan Watts which were recorded in the 50s, 60s, and 70s. I think his wisdom, insight, and state of mind are worthy of study. You can listen to hours and hours of his talks at archive.org. Like all of us, he was a deeply flawed human being.
Spaceflight by eFence is stupid, childish, goofy, and perfect. I listen to it all the time.
Daily Art Project: Anachronism
Photoshop something that doesn’t belong into an old painting.
Artist You Should Know
Brandon Bird. Just look.
The present is the point at which time touches eternity.