1. Jimi Hendrix: Purple Haze
“The flame that burns Twice as bright burns half as long.” ― Lao Tzu, Te Tao Ching
Jimi Hendrix was one of the greatest guitar players of all time and forty-two years ago, he was tragically found dead at the age of 27. Here’s a video of him ripping through “Purple Haze” at Woodstock. The stuff of legends.
2. Thomas Sprat on Self-reflection
“What you dislike in another take care to correct in yourself.” – Thomas Sprat
The behavior of others can be a great source for self improvement.
3. Emerson on Persistence
The more you work you put in the better you get and the easier that thing gets.
“That which we persist in doing becomes easier, not that the task itself has become easier, but that our ability to perform it has improved.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
It’s hard to establish a new normal, but once you do it becomes quite normal.
4. Eddy Merckx on Betterment
“It doesn’t get easier, you just go faster.” – Eddy Merckx
To play off number 3, when it comes to everything from continuing education to road cycling you never reach the peak, there is always something more to learn or another improvement you can make.
5. Piet Mondrian, Broadway Boogie Woogie
Mondrian, who had escaped to New York from Europe after the outbreak of World War II, delighted in the city’s architecture. He was also fascinated by American jazz, particularly boogie-woogie, finding its syncopated beat, irreverent approach to melody, and improvisational aesthetic akin to what he called, in his own work, the “destruction of natural appearance; and construction through continuous opposition of pure means—dynamic rhythm.” In this painting, his penultimate, Mondrian replaced the black grid that had long governed his canvases with predominantly yellow lines that intersect at points marked by squares of blue and red. These atomized bands of stuttering chromatic pulses, interrupted by light gray, create paths across the canvas suggesting the city’s grid, the movement of traffic, and blinking electric lights, as well as the rhythms of jazz.
This painting that seems very alive to me and given the title I think that’s what the painter intended.