Imagination VS. Knowledge -Albert Einstein [Quote]

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‘IMAGINATION IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN KNOWLEDGE’ – ALBERT EINSTEIN (1879-1955)

At first, this quote sounds a little quaint and assuming; as though a vivid imagination is all that is necessary to succeed. Were this true, it would be welcome relief for all the worried parents of starry eyed oblivious school children. Imagination is valueless without some knowledge; this is self-evident: How can any fancy begin without a place to start, and experienced life to base an idea upon.

Those who have wild imaginations more often than not are also those who ‘know’ many things. Knowledge in it’s base form is simply what you can regurgitate from a book, however couple that with some imagination, and one can cease to walk only the path that has been pre-prescribed for him, and can instead wander at will in the fields of the mind. I would counter that imagination with little knowledge is more valuable than much book learning with no creativity. To couple a wide array of interests with no limitation to where your mind can take you is the true goal.

It was said that there were only two people in the world who could understand ‘General Relativity’ – Einstein….and God.

Ripples In The High Water

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Sad soft ripples forget the hills upon which the snows fell. They run down the valleys into southerly forgetfulness.
When these drops exit the lonely land via the great Mississippi; the journey begins again.
-Ezra

A Clutter-Free Life

Lately I have become obsessed with the idea of a clutter free life; and consequently a clutter free mind.

There is an old saying:

“The more you own; the more what you own, owns you.”

I really have begun to feel that way. it seems that I am simply full of stuff. Little things that take up my time and consideration. Part of this is not so much what I have, but how I have it organized. If I compartmentalize my life I don’t have this problem, I can do what I need to do without the various pieces getting in the way of each-other.

For instance all of my photography equipment, lenses, cases, lighting etc. I don’t feel overwhelmed by any of this because it is all neatly in cases ready to be used whenever I wish. The same with my gadgeteering parts and tools, I have it all catalogued and it is simply there for me to access whenever I have the need to do so. My data archives are getting there, I have been steadily moving and consolidating ten years of writings, photos, and other data into one vast data library, this is some progress, and it is encouraging.

Dreary Winter

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Now in the midst of dreary winter, while the hills wear their white mantles, I sense a withering of will, and a drying up of muscle. When buds burst into leaves, I also break out in motion, powering against the rusted pedals, to rush down that path of leaves; rustling. .

Wintry winds tear at my coat, seek to reach my guarded soul, And follow me into my bungalow to snuff out my little flame. When Summer, oh summer, comes, I shall ride the streets of sun, catch the warm rays upon my back, spreading a glow through my winter shrunken frame.

-Ezra Hilyer

Of Pens And The Subconscious.

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Several years ago, I purchased a yellow Lamy Safari with an EF nib. I used it constantly, and carried it with me just about everywhere. I would fill out my paperwork at work with it, and use it on my Moleskine.
In any case, it went missing last spring, and I had to switch to another daily pen. I missed it, but kept hoping to find it, and so I never replaced it..

Fast forward to last week: I was cleaning out my closet and found a sweatshirt that I hadn’t worn in a while, so I decided to wear it that day. I had it on when I suddenly thought about my missing pen, and decided to order a replacement. I went on Jetpens, and ordered a white Lamy to replace my lost yellow one.

Didn’t think a thing about it until that evening when I went to take the shirt off, and guess what I found in the pocket? My missing yellow pen.

I have been wondering since: if my subconscious was trying to tell me that my pen was in that sweatshirt, and I misunderstood and just took it as a chance to replace it? I mean somewhere deep in my brain I must have known that I left the pen in the pocket, and so that bubbled up into my consciousness somehow….

In any case, I decided to not cancel the order since I really will lose the pen again at some point, and the white looks so good on my iPad after all……..

-Ezra

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Ode To The Composition Book

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The lowly school composition book, the simple tool that has been used by so many.

A few days ago I picked up a $1 marbled composition book to record the progress of a current project, and upon picking it up, I was flooded with memories, it brought me back to my school days.
That black and white marbled cover and familiar size, the single signature of pages, and the cheap, but sturdy construction is unchanged in the 15 years since I last held one.

I have been into the whole ‘Moleskine thing’ for about 7 or 8 years now, and have looked down on the cheaper notebooks as inferior, but perhaps that is just pride, after all it is what is inside that counts.

I chose this one specifically because it was cheap, I wanted to use it to record notes on a messy experiment, and knew it would get wet, and smudged, so I didn’t want to put one of my precious Moles through that, but I wonder if that desire to keep my notes clear and clean and precise is a downfall?
When I first started to use the Moleskines, I only had one size: the pocket size, and I carried it with me everywhere. I put it in my back pocket, and sat on it, I had it with me every day I was working in dirty wet conditions, and the edges would get wet, and the ink would run. Just about the time I filled one up, it would start to come apart. Those first 3 or 4 Moleskines are ragged and torn, the covers are stuck on with gorilla tape, and the markers are frayed.

Now I have a bit more sedate life, and more of a clean work environment, I also don’t carry my moles in my pocket, but rather in my bag (which is always with me) and so they are in much better shape when I am done with them.
Conversely, I don’t use them as much; having them closer to my hand makes me more likely to use them in the few moments I have standing in line, than if I have to unzip my bag, and then open my pen case. Now I tend to use my notebooks for longer stretches, but the tendency to just fill them with instant inspiration is gone.
Now when I am waiting in line, I reach for my iPhone instead.

These lowly composition books are really jewels in a way that Moleskines can never be. Because they are cheap and readily available, the bar is set low, and there is no hesitation to use them.
I won’t stop using my Moleskines, as they are a wonderful tool that I have grown quote attached to, but I intend to get a few more of these ordinary cheap little books, and I intend to use them.

-Ezra Hilyer

R.L Allan Bibles: Oh The Choices…….

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Above is a color edited photo of the Allan Longprimer 53br (bottom) and the Allan Brevier Clarendon 6C (top)

I ordered both of these bibles looking for a lifelong investment, but am having terrible trouble deciding between them. I cant really justify keeping both of them (because together they cost more than $300) and besides I like having only one, to keep everything together, and not be wasteful.

Needless to say they are amazing pieces of hand-worked art. Gold Gilt, and Goatskin Leather. They are almost fluid, and you really have to pick one up to understand.

In any case, I have had them for about a week now, and I am still at a loss as to which one to keep. Size vs. Readability….

Such a conundrum to be in…..
-Ezra

5 Day Trip (Packing List)

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This Mind-Map is a list of everything I took with me on a 5 day trip to Portland.
As you can see I went light and minimal.
The one thing I decided to take regardless of need, is my classic Voigtlander Vito II camera. Yes it is 60 years old and l could easily just take photos with my iPhone, but there is something special about that camera. I love it.
I also took along a Weston Master III light meter. Again old: it was made in the late 40s, but in conjunction with the Vito, it is like stepping back in time.

This is the first trip I have made that I have decided to leave my MacBook at home, and take my iPad instead. I debated this decision for a while, but in the end decided that if there was anything I really needed a full fledged computer for, I would just VNC back to my Mac at home. This trip is for pleasure anyway, I am going to try and avoid any ‘real work’ if I can.

-Ezra

Poetic Coffee

Poetic Coffee by Ezra Hilyer
Poetic Coffee, a photo by Ezra Hilyer on Flickr.

There is something deeply poetic about coffee. The grinder pulverizing the beans, the ritual tamping of the fresh grounds, and that beautiful smell when the first coal-black drops of liquid cascade into the cup.

When the steamer sings its song; and the union of sound, sight, and savor meet in that moment -such is the stuff of perfection.

I remember when my romance with Coffee started; it was on my first visit to Starbucks, in Portland Oregon in 2002. Before this; coffee was something that only came in luke-warm pots, and had to be dosed heavily with sugar, and then mixed with milk.
It was a part of the day, but never the hightlight.

Upon that first visit; I entered a new world. I remember how the entire building was drowning in the heavy scent of the sacred bean, and the sounds of the drinks being prepaired was an alien music.

Throughout the rest of that 2 week visit, I took the chance to return there many times, and it started what has become a lifelong love.

When I returned home, there were no local coffee shops nearby, at the time the nearest Starbucks was over 100 miles away.
So, over the next few years; the only time I would get to visit Portland would be heavily filled with visits to coffee shops. I would wander the city always with a cup in my hand.

Eventually, a small shop opened up in Warren, (20 miles from where I then lived) and I could then expirence good coffe regularly, and would sometimes make the trip into town just for a sip of that heavenly liquid.

I even took my future wife Ami, on our fist date to that small local coffee shop; and not long after that, she started to work as a Barista there. Many of my memories of our dating life are laced with the scent of coffee, and the whirr of the machines.

Last year Ami bought me a Breville Espresso machine for my birthday, and from her expirence as a Barista; she taught me to prepare all of my favorite drinks. The world has come full-circle, now I can re-live those memories, and moments whenever I take the time to start the ritual process, and turn those dark roasted beans into sacred powder.

-Ezra

Walking To Live.

Walking To Live. by Ezra Hilyer
Walking To Live., a photo by Ezra Hilyer on Flickr.

So what do you do when there is no time in the day left to be human? No second free in the daily routine to simply be a man under the open sky?

You walk. Early in the morning, you walk to work, and when the day is done, and the sun is falling again; you walk home.
It is my reprieve from the demands of the day, and the pressures of life.

I can not adequately explain to you how important it is do take the time away from the city lights, and to walk under the stars like one of their long-lost children.

There are moments that can not be captured by word, or photograph, those moments of beauty that rush upon the senses, and drown out the worries, and cares of this petty existence.
Walking under the dark canopy of night, and likewise; to see the sun rise over the hills -gives a sense of place to life on this earth.

-Ezra

The Amateur Writers Guild

 

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On a whim; I went searching for traces of my old website ‘The Amateur Writers Guild’.

Keep in mind, that is has been about 10 years since I last visited the site, and I assumed that it was long gone. But thanks to the Internet archive site archive.org I was able to go back in time and see some of it as it was in 1999, and 2000 (the height of its popularity) and was even able to find an old logo from that era (not my final revision to be sure) I put it at the top of this post. This was at a special time in the history of the Internet, (when I started the site in 1996) where it seemed that users were starved for content, and there really were not that many sites online. I had tons of interest, and had submissions all the time.

I should have been better at keeping up the site over the years, but after about 3 or 4 years, I let it die, and everyone just faded away. I went to the URL (it was hosted on a free host, as I was a poor kid) and it is still there. There is really nothing other than the entrance page left, but oddly it is at the top of the Google search for the title of the site (even though there are others with the same name) This makes me desire to re-start the venture, ( with a new name perhaps) and get it back on its feet again. I have the experience, and the know-how, I just don’t know if I have the time.. Last: here are a few category buttons from the old site:

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This is VERY Web 1.0!

-Ezra Hilyer

A Light

There is a light in your eyes; I can not explain its source.

Perhaps you can; has there ever been a moment that held you in sway? When you scarce could bear to move lest you break the sweet spell of silence. What ever it was that triggered that spark of thought/feeling I do not know for it will be different to each soul, but it must be there.

Have you ever stopped in sorrow for a sight that passed something that triggered one small buried memory perhaps? Has ever your heart jumped a beat for one second of pure joy? Sometimes upon waking from a sweet dream of peace I ponder what the future may hold.

Can the hope and joy of being content and whole that seems so close within a sleeping dream come into reality? And could the whole of your existence be worth that short sweet moment?

-EJH