Good Things for "Still Winter"

Good Things for "Still Winter"

Thing To Listen To: Meet Me At The Edge Of The World

For several recent years, I’ve had the pleasure of learning songwriting for music and life partners Linford Detweiler and Karin Bergquist, better known as Over The Rhine. At least, better known in some parts of the world. Somehow after nearly three decades of making beautiful noise OTR remains criminally undiscovered in most of the circles I travel here in Canada.

The best part of that unjust obscurity is that I often get to introduce people to Over The Rhine for the first time. Perhaps people like yourself. Right now.

It’s hard to top whatever album first drew you to a band and that remains true for me with their double-disc masterpiece, Meet Me At The End Of The World. This is music full of an outside itch for something wild and wonder-full. Whether you find yourself stuck indoors this week or exploring the sunlit snowscape, I think this soundtrack will do nicely.

The album’s title track is fantastic, but my personal favourite remains “All Over Ohio”. Turn it up and wait for it. I still get shivers.

Thing to See: Images With the “Same Energy”

I was told about “Same.Energy” in this week’s edition of the excellent Recommendo newsletter(if you like Good Things, you’ll love it). This is a new type of image search that lets you start with an word or an image and finds images with the “same energy”. You can then click on any of those and find more images like it.

sample search results from Same.Energy

It worked well in my own limited use and brought me into a wonderland of enchanted winter trees. Another journey revealed a screen full of stained glass. I had the most fun starting with some not-so-great-art and arriving at whatever thisis.

According to the site’s creator“image search should be visual, using only a minimum of words. And we believe it should integrate a rich visual understanding, capturing the artistic style and overall mood of an image, not just the objects in it.”

I can imagine using this site at the beginning of a creative project to find connections, inspirations and even strange juxtapositions that draw out the muse.

Start your own visual adventure and

Thing to Do: Make Friends With Snow

It seems it’s winter all over this week – even in Texas.

Here in Edmonton, we’ve emerged from a “polar vortex” of extreme chill into bright sunlight that promises spring, indeed, always comes.

I’m not a winter person. I hate the cold. I often hibernate, but I’ve been doing less of that these past few weeks, including a trip to a little cabin in the woods out on Gregg Lake, where my wife and I saw a lot of beautiful things including the barely-there feather prints of a predatory bird who touched down in the snow to punctuate the end of some little animal’s story.

We snowshoed. Then snow-angeled. Finally, we lay silent enough to hear the creaking of trees and the rustling of our winter coats and snow pants. There’s no quiet like a snow-muffled quiet.

Wherever you are, can I encourage you (and myself) to make friends with the snow before it leaves us for another year?

If you are in Edmonton, you might want to visit one of CTV’s ‘top tobogganing hills around Edmonton’. If you don’t have a sled I can tell you from experience that an old chloroplast campaign sign just flies 😉

What are your favourite ways to make friends with the snow?