29 September 2010

Keep the dreams alive ...

“Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.

27 September 2010

I'm a stranger in this town ...

Letting the cables sleep by Bush

You in the dark
You in the pain
You on the run
Living a hell
Living your ghost
Living your end
Never seem to get in the place that I belong
Don't wanna lose the time
Lose the time to come

Whatever you say it's alright
Whatever you do it's all good
Whatever you say it's alright
Silence is not the way
We need to talk about it
If heaven is on the way
If heaven is on the way

You in the sea
On a decline
Breaking the waves
Watching the lights go down
Letting the cables sleep

Whatever you say it's alright
Whatever you do it's all good
Whatever you say it's alright
Silence is not the way
We need to talk about it
If heaven is on the way
We'll wrap the world around it
If heaven is on the way
If heaven is on the way

I'm a stranger in this town
I'm a stranger in this town
I'm a stranger in this town

If heaven is on the way
If heaven is on the way
I'm a stranger in this town
I'm a stranger in this town

26 September 2010

It is your choice ...

“When I had nothing more to lose, I was given everything. When I ceased to be someone who I am I found myself. When I was humilated and yet I kept on walking, I realised I was free to choose my own destiny”

 Paulo Coelho

Breaking free ...

“You do not need to be loved, not at the cost of yourself. The single relationship that is truly central and crucial in a life is the relationship to the self. Of all the people you will know in a lifetime, you are the only one you will never lose.”

24 September 2010

The friends we lose were never friends ...

"I was never one to patiently pick up broken fragments and glue them together again and tell myself that the mended whole was as good as new. What is broken is broken -- and I'd rather remember it as it was at its best than mend it and see the broken places as long as I lived."

The Doors - The End

22 September 2010

Some poems don't rhyme ...

I wanted a perfect ending. Now I've learned, the hard way, that some poems don't rhyme, and some stories don't have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what's going to happen next.

20 September 2010

Trapped ...

“What we don't let out traps us. We think, No one else feels this way, I must be crazy. So we don't say anything. And we become enveloped by a deep loneliness, not knowing where our feelings come from or what to do with them. ”

 Sabrina Ward Harrison 

19 September 2010

Sometimes we don't know the answer ...

"Have patience with everything that remains unsolved in your heart. Try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books written in a foreign language. Do not now look for the answers. They cannot now be given to you because you could not live them. It is a question of experiencing everything. At present you need to live the question. Perhaps you will gradually, without even noticing it, find yourself experiencing the answer, some distant day."

16 September 2010

Art of Renewal ...

“We need quiet time to examine our lives openly and honestly. . . spending quiet time alone gives your mind an opportunity to renew itself and create order.”

 Susan Taylor 

The Phoenix Myth 

A phoenix is a mythical bird that is a fire spirit with a colorful plumage and a tail of gold and scarlet (or purple, blue, and green according to some legends). It has a 500 to 1000 year life-cycle, near the end of which it builds itself a nest of twigs that then ignites; both nest and bird burn fiercely and are reduced to ashes, from which a new, young phoenix or phoenix egg arises, reborn anew to live again. The new phoenix is destined to live as long as its old self.

15 September 2010

People change and forget to tell each other ...

 “People are like stained-glass windows. They sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in, their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light from within.”

 Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

13 September 2010

That's the way it is ...

"Sometimes, when one person is missing, the whole world seems depopulated. "

12 September 2010

Tomb of Giuliano de'Medici by Michelangelo

The Medici dynasty is a fascinating subject, I have been studying the Medici family for the last few weeks and I just can't get enough of it. 

The Medici Chapel, Tomb of Giuliano de'Medici (1519 - 1534)

Michelangelo was commissioned to created these tombs at the age of 45. This was a dark period in his life. The political turmoil in Florence, which eventually forced him to leave the city, was painful for Michelangelo. 

The death of his mentor, his father and his brother during this time add to the melancholy expressed in the work produced for these tombs.

Two figures, the statues of Night and Day, are seated on top of the sarcophagus of Giuliano de' Medici.

Day is a powerful man in his prime. His reclining muscular body is twisted into a pose that shows tension and energy. Compared to the male figure of Twilight on the tomb of Lorenzo, he seems full of energy and ready to overcome any enemy, even death. Yet his unfinished face shows sockets that suggest blindness. The debate among art historians concerning this issue fills volumes.

Did Michelangelo simply leave this statue unfinished in a rush to escape from Florence? Is there hidden meaning in the dominant male figure, ready to face any physical attack, but blinded to the one attacker that no man can vanquish? No one will ever know if this a work in progress or a representation of the vanity and futility of life.

Night is a pensive woman. Her attitude seems to convey a mixture of grief and acceptance. The statue of Night folds upon itself with the right arm crossing the updrawn left leg. The right leg is extended downward and the left arm is pulled back. There is a conflict of protest and resignation here. Picture a young child fighting sleep with all every mental resource, while the tired body welcomes the rest.

There is also something protective in the circle formed by the arm-torso-leg position. The owl sitting in the shadow of the bent knee closes the space that would permit access. Michelangelo chose his symbols carefully. In the medieval world the owl was seen as a symbol of doom, magic and death. Throughout Europe, the owl was identified with Lilith and witchcraft. Why is this symbol placed in the position of protection offered by the leg? Is death being protected by Night or are they paired and protecting each other?

Another symbol which Night leans against is a mask. The Florentines were famed for the masks they produced even during Michelangelo's time. Used both in festivals and on ordinary days, the mask often hid the wearer's identity during immoral activities. In pagan roots of this symbol, Death and rebirth are frequently given visual form in the mask. In a primitive rite of passage, an earlier identity ceases to exist, and is symbolically replaced with a new and entirely different identity. A complex symbol, this can be interpreted as a hope for renewal or a casting off of youth and life.

The statue of Giuliano de' Medici is so highly idealized that it bears little resemblance to the person. This statue probably represents the life of activity - political and physical - in contrast to the contemplative life represented by the Lorenzo statue. Michelangelo saw these as two distinct characteristics of the human spirit. The perfect features and the muscular pose of the young man are a counterpoint to the limp hands laying across the scepter in his lap. The impossible angle of the neck turns the head to gaze with blank eyes at some distant point. These traits are representative of the young Giuliano whose weak grasp of power saw the end of the Medici dynasty in Florence. The only fierceness in the ensemble is in the decoration covering the heart of the young man. This wizened, bearded face may have been an attempt to connect the grandson with his illustrious grandfather.

When Michelangelo finally left Florence in 1534, many figures were unfinished. The work continued, but without the master's hand. Many of the carvings were haphazardly arranged in the work area and were not assembled in their present positions until Vasari's arrangement in 1563.

11 September 2010

Games people play ...

“Sometimes you put walls up not to keep people out, but to see who cares enough to break them down.”

10 September 2010

Some people just don't know how to love ...

“A sad thing in life is that sometimes you meet someone who means a lot to you only to find out in the end that it was never bound to be and you just have to let go.”

09 September 2010

Moments ...

“Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.”

 Martin Luther King Jr.

07 September 2010

The Nightwatch by Rembrandt

The Nightwatch is one of the most famous works by Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn. It was painted in 1642. It is on prominent display in the Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam, Holland, being the most famous painting in their collection.

Painting's commission

The painting is said to have been commissioned by the Captain and 17 members of his Kloveniers (civic militia guards), and although 18 names appear on a shield in the centre right background, the drummer was hired, and so was allowed in the painting for free. A total of 34 characters appear in the painting. Rembrandt was paid 1,600 guilders for the painting (each person paid one hundred), a large sum at the time. 

This is the bronze representation of the Nightwatch, created 400 years after Rembrandt's masterpiece was completed. It was transported from Moscow to Holland. This project was conceived and realized by two friends; Mikhail Dronov and Alexander Taratynov.
Here I am ... Amsterdam 2008 ... joining the guards!

06 September 2010

The carnival is over ...

The Carnival is Over by Dead Can Dance 

The storm clouds gathering,
Moved silently along the dusty boulevard.
Where flowers turning crane their fragile necks
So they can in turn
Reach up and kiss the sky.

They are driven by a strange desire
Unseen by the human eye
Someone is calling.

I remember when you held my hand
In the park we would play when the circus came to town.
Look! Over here.

The circus gathering
Moved silently along the rainswept boulevard.
The procession moved on the shouting is over
The fabulous freaks are leaving town.

They are driven by a strange desire
Unseen by the human eye.
The carinval is over.

We sat and watched
As the moon rose again
For the very first time.

05 September 2010

Happiness is a butterfly ...

“Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued, is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you”

 Nathaniel Hawthorne

03 September 2010

Meaning does not lie in things ...

“Love is what we are born with. Fear is what we learn. The spiritual journey is the unlearning of fear and prejudices and the acceptance of love back in our hearts. Love is the essential reality and our purpose on earth. To be consciously aware of it, to experience love in ourselves and others, is the meaning of life. Meaning does not lie in things. Meaning lies in us.”

 Marianne Williamson 

02 September 2010

Dying Slave by Michelangelo

"I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free."


I took this picture at the Louvre in 2008. This sculpture was created between 1513 and 1516, it was to serve with another figure, the Rebellious Slave, at the tomb of Pope Julius II. Here I am, 500 years later admiring it ... this is the power of art.