Bonnie Johnson's Post“One of the greatest gifts we can give to another generation is our experience, our wisdom.” Desmond Tutu

I bought myself a gift.  It is a book entitled “Wisdom” by Andrew Zuckerman.  Oh, and what a great gift it is.  I know that I will go to it often and learn something new from it each time I pick it up.  I won’t pick it up easily mind you.   It’s a large (12” by 12”) heavy coffee table style hard cover with a wonderful picture of Clint Eastwood squinting on the cover.  I’ll share the inside leaf because I think it describes the book best:

Inspired by the idea that one of the greatest gifts one generation can give to another is the wisdom it has gained from experience, multi-award-winning photographer and film maker Andrew Zuckerman has recorded the thoughts and ideas of fifty of the world’s most prominent writers, artists, designers, actors, politicians, musicians, and religious and business leaders – all over sixty-five years old.  To create profound, honest, and truly revealing portraits of these luminaries, Zuckerman has captured their voices, their physical presence, and the written word.  The resulting book and film – included here on a DVD – provide an extraordinary legacy for the generations that follow, and a timeless portrait of the common experiences that unite us all.

I’ve just watched the DVD and I look forward to watching it again.  It is wonderful to observe and listen to these people speak on screen because it allows you the opportunity to hear certain things in their voices and see a sparkle in their eyes that the still photos and words on paper would not be able to translate.  I’m so glad it was included with the book.

Zuckerman used a white screen behind each person he filmed and photographed explaining that “It creates an environment for the subjects that is entirely democratic and stripped of context.  We’re not seeing the author in front of his great wall of books or the artist in the studio surrounded by his paintings.  None of that is really about the person, but about how the environment and that person relate to each other.  In my past work and most of the work I do, I’m most interested in how you can get closest to the actual subject rather than the subject in relationship to its environment….I take everything out that is not essential information. I also knew that I wanted to create an absolutely even aesthetic across the board: for the design of the book and for the film.  I love the purity of white.  I love aesthetic neutrality.”

And boy does a white background make those scruffy long eyebrows pop out!  Love it!

The themes discussed for this project were creativity, self, environment, love, tradition, diplomacy and the idea of wisdom itself.  I’m thinking that this could be done on a small scale by all of us.  You don’t have to ask a famous person over sixty-five these things.  Why not put the same questions to the elders in your own family or community?  You may be surprised by their answers and possibly even gain a little of their wisdom.

P.S. One other very surprising thing I learned from this book is that Nick Nolte can actually be pretty wise.   Who’d a thunk?


Music Lyrics…

I love listening to the Lyrics of my favorite artists. Lyrics make us question our lives, relive a moment, inspire and lift us up, allow us to lose our inhibitions or simply make us smile.  Here are a few that do just that for me.  You’ll see why.

This Time…Jonathon Rhys Meyers (August Rush)

I’ve been sitting watching life pass from the sidelines
Been waiting for a dream to seep in through my blinds
I wondered what might happen if I left this all behind
Would the wind be at my back ? Could I get you off my mind
This time

(You Want to) Make a Memory…Jon Bon Jovi

Hello again, it’s you and me
Kinda always like it used to be
Sippin’ wine, killing time
Trying to solve life’s mysteries

How’s your life, it’s been awhile?
God it’s good to see you smile
I see you reaching for your keys
Looking for a reason not to leave

If you don’t know if you should stay
If you don’t say what’s on your mind
Baby just breathe
there’s nowhere else tonight we should be

You wanna make a memory?

And my all time favourite!

Better When Were Together…Jack Johnson

There’s no combination of words
I could put on the back of a postcard
No song that I could sing
But I can try for your heart,
our dreams, and they are made out of real things
like a shoebox of photographs
with sepia-toned loving
Love is the answer
at least for most of the questions in my heart,
Why are we here? And where do we go?
And how come it’s so hard?
It’s not always easy and
sometimes life can be deceiving
I’ll tell you one thing, it’s always better when we’re together