On Being Tumblr

On Being Tumblr

On Being with Krista Tippett is a public radio project delving into the human side of news stories + issues. Curated + edited by senior editor Trent Gilliss.

We publish guest contributions. We edit long; we scrapbook. We do big ideas + deep meaning. We answer questions.

We've even won a couple of Webbys + a Peabody Award.

Young Indian Hindu Brahmins training to be priests perform yoga on a ghat on the Ganges River, holy to Hindus, at sunrise in Varanasi, India.
(Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

Young Indian Hindu Brahmins training to be priests perform yoga on a ghat on the Ganges River, holy to Hindus, at sunrise in Varanasi, India.

(Photo by Kevin Frayer/Getty Images)

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On this Valentine’s Day, an appreciation for National Geographic’s offering on love:

"It doesn’t matter who how or what you love…just love it fully. In this case, Ben Masters’ love for Mustangs pulled him to drive a small group of horses from Mexico to Canada to raise awareness for our native wild breed. Happy Valentine’s Day…hoping your love takes you on big adventures."

Photo by Cory Richards

On this Valentine’s Day, an appreciation for National Geographic’s offering on love:

"It doesn’t matter who how or what you love…just love it fully. In this case, Ben Masters’ love for Mustangs pulled him to drive a small group of horses from Mexico to Canada to raise awareness for our native wild breed. Happy Valentine’s Day…hoping your love takes you on big adventures."

Photo by Cory Richards

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One of my favorite Instagrammers is the adventurous photographer Aaron Huey (aka argonautphoto). I awakened to this morning to see this quiet video of Boudhanath Stupa in Kathmandu, Nepal, one of Mr. Huey’s favorite places.

Be sure and subscribe to his feed. He’s always on the road, capturing magical landscapes and people — from the mountains of Asia to the reservations of South Dakota.

~Trent Gilliss, head of content

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This picture is achingly beautiful — and hits much too close to home. Read Jezebel’s post about this touching father/daughter tribute.
(via trentgilliss)

This picture is achingly beautiful — and hits much too close to home. Read Jezebel’s post about this touching father/daughter tribute.

(via trentgilliss)

Comments
We ought to see more photos like this in the news. They are out there.

An Afghan nomad kisses his young daughter while watching his herd in Marjah, Helmand province, on October 20, 2012
AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus

We ought to see more photos like this in the news. They are out there.

An Afghan nomad kisses his young daughter while watching his herd in Marjah, Helmand province, on October 20, 2012

AP Photo/Anja Niedringhaus

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Indian Muslim girls reciting the Qur’an in their classroom at Madrasatur-Rashaad religious school in Hyderabad. (Photo by Noah Seelam)

I just love how the photographer included the variety of backpacks in this photo. It’s what makes it special — and relatable to the Western observer who might easily focus in on the religiosity of the girls studying. I see a young schoolgirl out my front window in Minneapolis who is carrying a similar Hello Kitty bag.

~Trent Gilliss, chief content officer

Indian Muslim girls reciting the Qur’an in their classroom at Madrasatur-Rashaad religious school in Hyderabad. (Photo by Noah Seelam)

I just love how the photographer included the variety of backpacks in this photo. It’s what makes it special — and relatable to the Western observer who might easily focus in on the religiosity of the girls studying. I see a young schoolgirl out my front window in Minneapolis who is carrying a similar Hello Kitty bag.

~Trent Gilliss, chief content officer

Comments
It doesn’t matter what thorns we carry or how we squirm to avoid their pain. We unfold as long as we love, pried into blossom.
~Mark Nepo, “The Art of Facing Things” from Reduced to Joy
Photo by Original Fotografie

It doesn’t matter what thorns we carry
or how we squirm to avoid their pain.
We unfold as long as we love,
pried into blossom.

~Mark Nepo, “The Art of Facing Things” from Reduced to Joy

Photo by Original Fotografie

Comments
goandannouce:

Germany. American soldiers with rifles kneeling to pray amidst bombing rubble in Cologne Cathedral as an Army chaplain holds the first Mass since its bombing on March 2nd, 1945.

The ravages of war sometimes bring men and women together in the most elevated ways. This photo is one of those enduring moments that reminds us of our most elemental, interior lives.

goandannouce:

Germany. American soldiers with rifles kneeling to pray amidst bombing rubble in Cologne Cathedral as an Army chaplain holds the first Mass since its bombing on March 2nd, 1945.

The ravages of war sometimes bring men and women together in the most elevated ways. This photo is one of those enduring moments that reminds us of our most elemental, interior lives.

Comments
My Modern Met has posted Kamil Tamiola’s mystical series of images of a frozen waterfall on Italy’s Cascate di Lillaz. The photographer puts it so poignantly:

“Vertical ice formations are something truly special, emanating with great power and provoking deep emotions.”

Be sure and check out the rest of Tamiola’s photos.
~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

My Modern Met has posted Kamil Tamiola’s mystical series of images of a frozen waterfall on Italy’s Cascate di Lillaz. The photographer puts it so poignantly:

“Vertical ice formations are something truly special, emanating with great power and provoking deep emotions.”

Be sure and check out the rest of Tamiola’s photos.

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Comments
I chose this photograph to lead A.E. Lefton’s commentary, "A Dark Privilege: Bearing Witness to Victims and Prisoners of Conscience in Iran." The image captures a rally in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the seven Bahá’í leaders in Iran, known as the Yaran (“Friends in Iran”), who were incarcerated by the Iranian government in 2008. It’s visually interesting and also hints at the solidarity of the global Baha’i community.
(Credit: Comunidade Bahá’í do Brasil/Flickr, cc by 2.0)

I chose this photograph to lead A.E. Lefton’s commentary, "A Dark Privilege: Bearing Witness to Victims and Prisoners of Conscience in Iran." The image captures a rally in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, for the seven Bahá’í leaders in Iran, known as the Yaran (“Friends in Iran”), who were incarcerated by the Iranian government in 2008. It’s visually interesting and also hints at the solidarity of the global Baha’i community.

(Credit: Comunidade Bahá’í do Brasil/Flickr, cc by 2.0)

Comments
crashinglybeautiful:

Grace M. Ballentine (American, 1881-1978), Morning Mist, ca. 1948. Gelatin silver print. Smithsonian American Art Museum. Thank you arsvitaest.

crashinglybeautiful:

Grace M. Ballentine (American, 1881-1978), Morning Mist, ca. 1948. Gelatin silver print. Smithsonian American Art Museum. Thank you arsvitaest.

Comments
Life, June 19, 1944 [American soldiers landing on Omaha Beach, D-Day, Normandy, France], June 6, 1944 ©International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos [American soldiers landing on Omaha Beach, D-Day, Normandy, France], June 6, 1944 ©International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos [American soldiers landing on Omaha Beach, D-Day, Normandy, France], June 6, 1944 ©International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos [American soldiers landing on Omaha Beach, D-Day, Normandy, France], June 6, 1944 ©International Center of Photography/Magnum Photos

icphoto:

The Story Behind Robert Capa’s Pictures of D-Day

Today is the 69th anniversary of D-Day, the beginning of the massive Allied invasion of western Europe to confront Hitler’s forces during World War II. Robert Capa famously made some of the only surviving pictures of the invasion on Omaha beach, which was chaotic, in part due to wind and current. The beach rockets intended to stun the Germans arrived too early and the aerial bombs landed too far inland. Many infantrymen deemed it suicidal to attempt to cross the open beach, so the waterline was soon mobbed with crouching, pinned-down men without officers to lead them forward. Capa, who had crossed the Channel with the soldiers, remained photographing on the beach for about an hour and a half that morning until his film was used up. He then boarded a ship to take him off the beach, which subsequently was hit and sank, and then made it back on another boat, where medics were treating the wounded. He arrived back in Weymouth, England, on the morning on June 7, handed his film to the Army courier, and returned to France.

When his film arrived in the Life London office that evening, there were four rolls of 35mm film (one of them probably unexposed) and half a dozen rolls of 2 1/4 film. Capa included a note with his films saying that the action was all on the 35mm rolls. Picture editor John Morris told photographer Hans Wild and the young lab assistant, Dennis Banks, to rush the prints. When the film came out of the developing solution, Wild looked at it wet and told Morris that although the 35mm negatives were grainy, the pictures were fabulous. A few minutes later, Banks burst into Morris’s office, blurting out hysterically, “They’re ruined! Ruined! Capa’s films are all ruined!” Because of the necessary rush to get prints on the flight to New York for the next edition of Life, he had put the 35mm negatives in the drying cabinet with the heat on high and closed the door. With no air circulating, the film emulsion had melted. Although the first three rolls had nothing on the film, there were images on the fourth. The film Capa had shot with his Rollei before and after the actual landings had not been put into the drying cabinet and so survived intact.

Although ten of the 35mm negatives were usable, the emulsion on them had melted just enough so that it slid a bit over the surface of the film. Consequently, sprocket holes—which would normally punctuate the unexposed margin of the film—cut into the lower portion of the images themselves. Ironically, the blurring of the surviving images may actually have strengthened their dramatic impact, for it imbues them with an almost tangible sense of urgency and explosive reverberation.

Written by Cynthia Young, ICP Curator of the Capa Archives

The backstory to history is as interesting as the photos themselves.

Tagged: #war #photography
Comments
Happened upon this great photo and back story while perusing Danya Bateman’s Flickr account:

I love this unremarkable image for a couple of reasons: The central figure is a ceiba tree, the world tree in Mayan cosmology, which stands in the center of the Four Directions and is believed to lift up the sky. Its celestial correlate is the Milky Way, the Mayan highway to the heavens.
The power pole next to it is pure happenstance, of course, but it’s in the shape of the cross – a symbol that the ancient Mayan long used to represent the world tree (decorating it, as they still do in Chamula, with the flowering blossoms of the ceiba and the needles of the pine) – long before the Spanish arrived and introduced their cross, carrying the crucified Christ. They use it still today, in Catholic churches, where ancient Mayan belief and colonial religion come together in a fascinating amalgam.
While we were traveling in Guatemala we had the good fortune to see a ceiba flowering in Mixtec Viejo, a remarkable highland site about two hours outside Guatemala City. I didn’t realize how remarkable the flowering was until I went digging for some background material on the ceiba as World Tree, and found this afterword by Linda Schele in Maya Cosmos, the book she co-authored with David Friedel and Joy Parker:

“‘It’s a ceiba,’ I chirped and began looking for a branch low enough to see one of the blossoms up close.…”What I saw stunned me, for in her hand [where she held a ceiba blossom] lay a perfect replica of the earflares worn by the Classic Maya kings. Suddenly I understood the full symbolism of so many of the things I had been studying for years. The kings dressed themselves as the Wakah-Chan Tree, although at the time I didn’t know it was also the Milky Way. The tzuk head on the trunk of the tree covered their loins, the branches with their white flowers bent down along their thighs, the double-headed elliptic snake rested in their arms, and the great bird Itzam-Yeh stood on their head.
"I already knew as I stood under that young tree in Tikal that the kings were the human embodiment of the ceiba as the central axis of the world. As I stood there gazing at the flowers in Joyce’s hand, I also learned that the kings embodied the ceiba at the moment it flowers to yield the sak-nik-nal, the “white flowers,” that are the soul of human beings. As the tree flowers to reproduce itself, so the kings flowered to reproduce their world.
"When I returned to Austin, I went to the Plant Resources Center of the University of Texas Herbarium and spoke to Dr. Carol Todzia about what I had seen. She helped me find out about the life cycle and natural history of the ceiba and exactly how unusual the little encounter was. Not only are ceibas so high that you usually can’t see the blossoms, I learned that they do not necessarily bloom every year. In fact, it can be as much as ten years between such flowerings. … The ceiba flowers in January through the first week or so of February. … The tree blossoms in the month just before Creation day on February 5, so that it was in flower when First Father raised it into the sky."
From Maya Cosmos: Three Thousand Years on the Shaman’s Path

One more reason I love this image: the faint impression of the volcano Atitlan in the far distance. Shortly after I took this shot we would hike up a hill to the pilgrimage site of the Dios Mundo, where new year offerings lay smoldering, and the ancient stone head to which they were presented stood in alignment with the mountain and the ceiba in the distance.

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Happened upon this great photo and back story while perusing Danya Bateman’s Flickr account:

I love this unremarkable image for a couple of reasons: The central figure is a ceiba tree, the world tree in Mayan cosmology, which stands in the center of the Four Directions and is believed to lift up the sky. Its celestial correlate is the Milky Way, the Mayan highway to the heavens.

The power pole next to it is pure happenstance, of course, but it’s in the shape of the cross – a symbol that the ancient Mayan long used to represent the world tree (decorating it, as they still do in Chamula, with the flowering blossoms of the ceiba and the needles of the pine) – long before the Spanish arrived and introduced their cross, carrying the crucified Christ. They use it still today, in Catholic churches, where ancient Mayan belief and colonial religion come together in a fascinating amalgam.

While we were traveling in Guatemala we had the good fortune to see a ceiba flowering in Mixtec Viejo, a remarkable highland site about two hours outside Guatemala City. I didn’t realize how remarkable the flowering was until I went digging for some background material on the ceiba as World Tree, and found this afterword by Linda Schele in Maya Cosmos, the book she co-authored with David Friedel and Joy Parker:

“‘It’s a ceiba,’ I chirped and began looking for a branch low enough to see one of the blossoms up close.…”What I saw stunned me, for in her hand [where she held a ceiba blossom] lay a perfect replica of the earflares worn by the Classic Maya kings. Suddenly I understood the full symbolism of so many of the things I had been studying for years. The kings dressed themselves as the Wakah-Chan Tree, although at the time I didn’t know it was also the Milky Way. The tzuk head on the trunk of the tree covered their loins, the branches with their white flowers bent down along their thighs, the double-headed elliptic snake rested in their arms, and the great bird Itzam-Yeh stood on their head.

"I already knew as I stood under that young tree in Tikal that the kings were the human embodiment of the ceiba as the central axis of the world. As I stood there gazing at the flowers in Joyce’s hand, I also learned that the kings embodied the ceiba at the moment it flowers to yield the sak-nik-nal, the “white flowers,” that are the soul of human beings. As the tree flowers to reproduce itself, so the kings flowered to reproduce their world.

"When I returned to Austin, I went to the Plant Resources Center of the University of Texas Herbarium and spoke to Dr. Carol Todzia about what I had seen. She helped me find out about the life cycle and natural history of the ceiba and exactly how unusual the little encounter was. Not only are ceibas so high that you usually can’t see the blossoms, I learned that they do not necessarily bloom every year. In fact, it can be as much as ten years between such flowerings. … The ceiba flowers in January through the first week or so of February. … The tree blossoms in the month just before Creation day on February 5, so that it was in flower when First Father raised it into the sky."

From Maya Cosmos: Three Thousand Years on the Shaman’s Path

One more reason I love this image: the faint impression of the volcano Atitlan in the far distance. Shortly after I took this shot we would hike up a hill to the pilgrimage site of the Dios Mundo, where new year offerings lay smoldering, and the ancient stone head to which they were presented stood in alignment with the mountain and the ceiba in the distance.

~Trent Gilliss, senior editor

Comments
Crosses, crescents, and stars on the National Mall in Washington, DC to commemorate victims of gun violence since Newtown.
(h/t to Tiffany Stanley)

Crosses, crescents, and stars on the National Mall in Washington, DC to commemorate victims of gun violence since Newtown.

(h/t to Tiffany Stanley)

Comments
kthread:




Shinichi Maruyama‘s previous photographic works captured the momentary stances of water, using a high speed camera to freeze images of fluid in motion. For his new series, NUDE, Maruyama teamed up with choreographer Jessica Lang to create photos that encapsulate every granular moment of a nude dancer’s motion. Each image is composed of 10,000 photos of a brief instance.


Wow. Link.



Gorgeous in its dervish-ness.

kthread:

Shinichi Maruyama‘s previous photographic works captured the momentary stances of water, using a high speed camera to freeze images of fluid in motion. For his new series, NUDE, Maruyama teamed up with choreographer Jessica Lang to create photos that encapsulate every granular moment of a nude dancer’s motion. Each image is composed of 10,000 photos of a brief instance.

Wow. Link.

Gorgeous in its dervish-ness.

Comments