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List of Billboard number-one R&B albums of 1972

“There’s A Riot Goin’ On” SLY & THE FAMILY STONE #2 weeks

“Black Moses” ISAAC HAYES #7 

“Solid Rock” The Temptations #2 

“Let’s Stay Together” AL GREEN #10 

“First Take” ROBERTA FLACK #2 

“A Lonely Man” THE CHI LITES #5 

“Still Bill” BILL WITHERS #6


“All Directions” THE TEMPTATIONS #1 

“I’m Still In Love With You” AL GREEN #5


September 19th 1952, Born on this day, Nile Rodgers, Chic, (1978 US No.1 & UK No.7 single ‘Le Freak’), Produced Diana Ross, Sister Sledge, David Bowie, (Let’s Dance album.)


The Want for Wonders

In an upcoming novel by Richard Payment, a young boy sees something he does not understand. That memory stays with him for years, awakening in him a desire for truth and meaning: “The Want for Wonders.”

I am remembering something.

At first it comes to me as a feeling. It is comforting. It is a place I want to be. It is home.

Then it comes back all at once: a woman on a beach, a tree, a wind that is calm, a rain that cleanses, but does not wet. 

My memories are nothing but looped reruns I cannot change. But this one memory is different. There is no regret, no disappointment. I do not want to adjust it, fix the focus or rewrite the script. I return to its shores because this one memory is my comfort. It is not the past. It is not the future. It is my home beyond my home. It will always be the present.

Stop me if you have heard this all before. It might sound familiar. It might have happened to you.

Remember this: my name. It is Vishesh. Vishesh Darshane. Can you remember that? You can call me Vishesh or Vijay, Raj or even Jimmy if you wish, if it is easier. I have been many things, but none had anything to do my name. And, if I am to admit the truth, none of it had anything to do with me as a person. 

Be still. Remember my name. It is the label that is attached to me. It is the one thread that is sewn through this entire story. Your story or my story — it is only the stitching that changes. The want is the thing that drives us.

Trust me: I have a story to tell.

I would have been ten. It was in the Spring or early Summer  of 1970. I was near the beach in my hometown, Nargol in southern Gujarat, near the border with Maharashtra, on the west coast of India. 

"Oh, Earth," I thought, "if the ball rolls this way, use all your grains to stop it. You are so many. The ball is only one." It was a prayer more than a thought.

I know now and I knew then. There was nothing either special or unusual about me. There were five million or more other boys my age in India, every one of them as cricket-mad as the next. I was average — in height, in schoolwork, in talent and temperament. The only way to get ahead, I was told, was to work and work hard. I didn’t listen.

I was in the middle — in Gujarat, in Nargol, in my school and in my family — five children, boys and girls, with me in the middle. In all of India, I was only one grain of sand, a speck. I was in the middle of the pack, neither losing ground or gaining. The world was another place — beyond my contemplation, a place beyond and beyond again.

My crystal memory of that day is this: the game soon ending, the boys tired but not dispersed, the balls still occasionally knocking through the air. I see a woman in a white sari and a red shawl. At first it is the colour that catches my eye, then it is her grace and movement. She is at the shoreline, the very edge of the water. 

I follow her. At a distance. Compelled. The cracking bat and shouts recede, erased by the waves, the continuous roll of water. My distance from her is respectful.

She turns from the shore and towards a grove of small trees and bushes. She sits under one tree, much like the others, windbent and weathered. She closes her eyes. It seems like meditation, not sleep. It is silence. Deep.

My attention is sharp and focused. I am closer than the actual distance between us.

She is beauty. And she is peace. She reminds me of no one. Do I know her? Is she from Nepal. Is she Gujarati? Her age is beyond determination.  My math does not work. The moment is complete to itself. It is both new and familiar. It is real and vibrant. There is a gentle power and a perfection.

Then it came. Out of a clear sky, a rain, torrential. Not water so much as light and energy — vibration. She does not move. Shelter is not needed.

If you have this feeling as I did, you might also never forget. It was magnificent and grand. If you had this experience, you might want to run and tell the world. But after the running, the words fail. Language is limited. But my awareness did not fail. My awareness, my attitude and understanding did not change. They opened. Like a door. Like a curtain. Like a current of electricity that reaches a bulb. The filament glows in the glassed vacuum. It glows. And then, all at once, it fills the darkened room with light, a rich and bathing light.

She sat there for some time. I also sat. For how long, I am unsure. Meditation does not know the hand of the clock.

© Richard Payment 2014

Find out when The Want for Wonders is published:

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New York - Autumn in the City


Today was an absolutely perfect autumn day in New York City. The air was crisp, and the sun exuded a cool warmth.

This time of year always makes me incredibly nostalgic. It was the autumn of 2009 that I found my passion for photography. I would walk as far as my legs would take me with my little point and shoot camera which was severely limited in its capacity. I was too poor for a smartphone at the time and remember hoping that the no-frills point and shoot that I bought on sale for $79 could help me capture the city I love in photographs.

I went through quite a few of those early photos today for a client who found one of the photos on my Flickr account and requested it for an upcoming ad campaign. I keep all of my work on my Flickr account, even the early work. It’s amazing how far some of those early photos have gone in terms of usage. Not all of my early work is what I would consider good. In fact, most of my early work is fairly rough in terms of execution of what I was attempting to do with the limited tools I had at the time.

However, I keep them online because I believe it’s important to keep a record of where we have been in life. It helps to put everything in perspective. Most importantly, it helps to track growth and learning.

I wanted to share a few of my photos from that magical autumn of 2009.

I can still feel every aspect of each moment I captured with my camera when I look at these…

The way the leaves gathered at the curb…
Early Halloween decorations…
Quiet moments where the past and present co-mingled…
Horses and Central Park’s autumn foliage…
As holiday scenes tugged at the heart…
And glowing orange lights warmed up chilly afternoons..
Central Park’s landscapes in their last hurrah before winter…
As the first intrepid ice-skaters took to the ice…
While the Upper East Side’s architecture framed a perfect hint of orange…
As townhouses…
And grand architecture uptown stoically waited to hibernate…
Brooklyn reveled in Autumn’s warmth…
Modern love enjoyed a moment in an abandoned East Village lot…
And New York City passionately declared its love for autumn.


Looking for these photos to view larger? Here you go (click or tap on each photo to view larger):

New York Autumn - A Look Back


Information about my New York City photography book which is releasing in stores and online in the autumn of 2014 (including where to order it):

NY Through The Lens: A New York Coffee Table Book


View: My photography portfolio, My Travel Blog, On G+,email me, or ask for help.


Death on a Pale Horse, 1830

William Turner

(via allthingsromanticism)

Muddy Waters is a coffee shop in Vermont!

Last night, at our Monday meditation class in Kingsbridge Library in the Bronx, a young woman was wearing a T shirt which had the lettering Muddy Waters. When I complimented her on it, she was Muddy Waters was a coffee shop in Vermont, and it came as a considerable surprise to her to learn that there was a celebrated American blues guitarist of that name.

The only other person in the room who knew of this was a Dutch woman called Angela.

Some years ago, my wife and I stayed overnight in Vicksburg, Mississippi, and  I met no one there who’d every heard of Robert Johnson, the greatest of the Delta blues guitarists who’d certainly played there.

And at a concert in University Heights campus in the Bronx, a young jazz trumpeter asked the audience if they’d every heard of the blues, and when the answer was no, of the Great American Songbook. These were young people, supposedly educated and he was shocked at their negative responses, but more so, by their indifference to their ignorance.

I’m sure if you went to Dublin, it might just be possible to meet someone who’d never heard of James Joyce or Samuel Beckett, but probably not of U2, and in Belfast, it could also be that you’d meet someone who’d never heard of Van Morrison - it would be most unlikely to come across such a person in East Belfast though.

Was I meeting the wrong people, or has America done a poor job of educating its youth in matters such as 20th century history? 




1. having the power to save or redeem; the ability to rescue.

2. leading to salvation.

Etymology: from Late Latin salvificus, from Latin salvus “safe”.

[Evelyn De Morgan - Save Our Souls]


September 16th 1925, Born on this day, B.B.King


Memphis Slim & Sonny Boy Williamson

Blues Legends Live In Europe


Sleepy John Estes - Mailman Blues (1966)

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