Hoffman Why?

Photo derived from original by Murray Close: Hoffman as Plutarch Heavensbee in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 (2014) © 2014 – Lionsgate.

Recently Jennifer Heart posted a comment on my Google+ post, Hoffman Heightens Hanks, linking to an old blog post where I expressed my appreciation for the work of the great actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, who died at 46 on February 2, 2014.  I had also written another post elsewhere, now revised and updated here as my reply to Ms. Heart.


Philip Seymour Hoffman’s creativity was magical, his death horrible.  Both were solely, distinctively his own, and both delivered with stunning effect.

When Pete Seeger died a week earlier at 94 on January 27, 2014, I felt deep gratitude for what he gave us. When Philip Seymour Hoffman, who masterfully fused his inflammatory soul with that of every character he played, died Sunday, February 2, at 46, I felt deep pain.

As he sailed away at the end of a great journey, to Seeger I waved g’bye. As he blew overboard to drown, for Hoffman I wanted to know why. It’s a futile question, so I just cried. This is a loss I feel too much, the world probably not enough.  But I am as grateful for Hoffman as for Seeger. Continue reading “Hoffman Why?”

Vive le président Emmanuel Macron!

Emmanuel Macron, the youngest president of France since Napoleon, sworn in on May 14, 2016


I am happy to see that France yet retains the health to avoid contracting the debilitating Trumprexit Fever.

Ponder This 5/8/17

Michael J. Fox – Will Rogers – Emma Curtis Hopkins – Luis Sierra – St. Augustine – Jon Kabat-Zinn – Shakespeare

First post of a new feature in the dkhometree blog: occasional posts of quotations I stumbled across and liked.  Up to a dozen quotes in each post.  Not more than two posts per month.  None promised.  There is a menu item where you can get a list of all “Ponder This” posts.  You can get a list of all the posts for a particular person by clicking on their names in the tags on each post.  Got one you want to share?


“My happiness goes in direct proportion to my acceptance [of matters], and in inverse proportion to my expectations.” – Michael J. Fox, AARP Magazine, April-May 2017

“Never miss a good chance to shut up.” – Will Rogers

“Complaints increase conditions.” – Emma Curtis Hopkins, Scientific Christian Mental Practice

“Unexpected things happen now and then; mostly now.” – Luis Sierra, ADK Yoga, Plattsburgh, NY, from a teacher of his.

“If the past and the future exist, where are they?” – St. Augustine

“We can’t stop the waves, but we can learn to surf.” – Attributed to Jon Kabat-Zinn.

And this our life,
Exempt from public haunt,
Finds tongues in trees,
Books in the running brooks,
Sermons in stones,
And good in everything.
– William Shakespeare, As You Like It
– A motto/mantra of TheBalsamean


I find that things improve when I lower my expectations, including people.  I can improve them beyond my expectations!

I like the angle Sylvia Plath gave it.  “If you expect nothing from somebody you are never disappointed.”

See the source of this image: Inspirational Sylvia Plath Quotes (LogicalQuotes.com) for many more Sylvia Plath quotes.  I recommend LogicalQuotes.com, one of only two quotations blogs I follow, and I’ve seen scads.  Great stuff from all the greats.  Nicely curated.  (Unbiased review.)

Nature’s Troubled Rights

Yay New Zealand, Ecuador (first country to grant constitutional rights to nature), Bolivia and India.  Continue reading below the video for another look at the matter.



Thank you, Lisa Brunetti of Zeebra Designs and Destinations, whose “artist’s eyes never rest,” not only for art’s sake, but for goodness, truth and beauty in everything and everyone, amplified by her various art media, including her writing and photography.  Thank you for sharing these links, giving us a broader perspective on the environmental situation in Ecuador …

Continue reading “Nature’s Troubled Rights”

Organized Lovelessness

Huxley: too much on his mind

In his 1945 book, The Perennial Philosophy, Aldous Huxley wrote, “Our present economic, social and international arrangements are based, in large measure, upon organized lovelessness.”

Some things just never change.  And some get worse.

The good news?  Some kinds of organized lovelessness have dwindled since 1945, albeit too slowly, such as institutional racism and sexism.  (Sectarianism overall yet thrives.)

In the end, money is, always has been, and hopefully won’t always be the most organized way to conduct lovelessness.  I even use it to be loveless toward myself.  It is such an efficient means.

Just contemplating things from a little light reading in some old notes taken several years ago during the study of an old book.

Related reading (I think so):


Hoffman Heightens Hanks

This cover picture (from IMDb.com) does severe injustice to the vastly greater and more important role played by Hoffman over the minor one by Roberts.
This cover picture (from IMDb.com) does injustice to the vastly greater and more important role played by Hoffman (rear) over the minor one by Roberts — as if she were the leading lady in a romance story with Hanks.  Not so at all.

In every movie where Philip Seymour Hoffman held a major role, his performance raised the bar for the entire cast.  He made them shine.  He did it for many of the most famous actors of our time.

I saw it happen as usual recently in a favorite movie, Charlie Wilson’s War, where Hoffman elevated Tom Hanks from his usual excellence to His Holy Starness.  The exchanges between their two characters — Hanks’ Congressman Charlie Wilson and Hoffman’s CIA task force chief Gust Avrakotos — put the movie over the top for me.  The incredible true story had me riveted, but Hanks and Hoffman made it more than memorable as enduring art, and would have done so even if they didn’t have two other perennial favorites filling the number three and four slots in the billing, Julia Roberts and Amy Adams.