30 June 2011

Xavier by Dead Can Dance

"In the space between yes and no, there's a lifetime. It's the difference between the path you walk and the one you leave behind; it's the gap between who you thought you could be and who you really are; its the legroom for the lies you'll tell yourself in the future."

Jodi Picoult

29 June 2011

The Grape Path by Ann James Massey

"Long since, the desert wind wiped away our footprints in the sand. But at every second of my existence, I remember what happened, and you still walk in my dreams and in my reality. Thank you for having crossed my path." 

Paulo Coelho (The Fifth Mountain)

28 June 2011

The Departure Platform, Victoria Station by Tissot

"The reason it hurts so much to separate is because our souls are connected. Maybe they always have been and will be. Maybe we've lived a thousand lives before this one and in each of them we've found each other. And maybe each time, we've been forced apart for the same reasons. That means that this goodbye is both a goodbye for the past ten thousand years and a prelude to what will come."   

Nicholas Sparks (The Notebook)

27 June 2011

The Soap Bubbles by Charles Chaplin

"Maybe it meant something. Maybe not, in the long run, but no explanation, no mix of words or music or memories can touch that sense of knowing that you were there and alive in that corner of time and the world. Whatever it meant." 

Hunter S. Thompson

26 June 2011

Pebbles of rain ...

"You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting ...
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
call to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting –
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things."

Mary Oliver

23 June 2011

An Arrow From The Sun by Therion

"I don't know myself, what to do, where to go... I lie in the crack of a book for my comfort... it's what the world offers... please leave me alone to dream as I fancy." 

                                                                  William H. Gass 

22 June 2011

The Farewell by Tissot

"So that’s how we live our lives. No matter how deep and fatal the loss, no matter how important the thing that's stolen from us - that's snatched right out of our hands - even if we are left completely changed, with only the outer layer of skin from before, we continue to play out our lives this way, in silence. We draw ever nearer to the end of our allotted span of time, bidding it farewell as it trails off behind. Repeating, often adroitly, the endless deeds of the everyday. Leaving behind a feeling of insurmountable emptiness... Maybe, in some distant place, everything is already, quietly, lost. Or at least there exists a silent place where everything can disappear, melting together in a single, overlapping figure. And as we live our lives we discover - drawing toward us the thin threads attached to each - what has been lost. I closed my eyes and tried to bring to mind as many beautiful lost things as I could. Drawing them closer, holding on to them. Knowing all the while that their lives are fleeting."

Haruki Murakami

About Tissot 

Tissot is famous for his exquisite paintings of beautiful English women and most people think he was English. In fact Jacques-Joseph Tissot was born in Nantes (1836), then a thriving port on the Loire estuary in western France. He adopted the name James as an anglicised form when living in England. 

His friends were Manet and Degas, with whom he shared a teacher in the painting school in Paris. Not a lot is known of his personal life except that around 1876 a mysterious attractive lady begins to appear in his pictures. Her identity remained a mystery until well into this century. Her name was Kathleen Newton, Kelly. Her father, an Irish army officer, arranged the marriage of his convent-educated daughter when she was only 17, sending her off to India to marry a certain Isaac Newton, a surgeon in the Indian Civil Service. On the ship, however, she fell in love with a Captain Palliser, but only confessed this to Newton after their wedding on 3rd of January 1871. Newton's response was to divorce her immediately.

Decree nisi was granted on the 20th December the same year. Kathleen had returned to England by then and on the same day gave birth to her daughter by Captain Palliser. It is  not known exactly when or where Tissot met and fell in love with her, but it is knwon that in March 1871 she gave birth to another child, believed to be Tissot's son. This was regarded as scandalous behaviour in those days and was kept secret by Kathleen's family. 

In 1876 Kathleen Newton and her two children moved into Tissot's house and remained there until her death from consumption in 1882. She was only 28. For Tissot, the time spent with Kathleen was the happiest period in his life, and one which he was to look back on longingly for the rest of his days.

Finding the thought of life in London intolerable without her, he decided to leave at once. Within only five days of her death he abandoned the house, leaving his paints, brushes and some unfinished canvases behind him, and returned to Paris. 

21 June 2011

Inside the snow globe ...

"Inside the snow globe on my father's desk, there was a penguin wearing a red-and-white-striped scarf. When I was little my father would pull me into his lap and reach for the snow globe. He would turn it over, letting all the snow collect on the top, then quickly invert it. The two of us watched the snow fall gently around the penguin. The penguin was alone in there, I thought, and I worried for him. When I told my father this, he said, "Don't worry, Susie; he has a nice life. He's trapped in a perfect world." 

Alice Sebold (The Lovely Bones)

Kelvingrove Art Gallery & Museum - Glasgow

20 June 2011

Half by Oswaldo Montenegro

May the strength of this fear that I have not be able to stop me from seeing what I aim for
May the death of everything I believe in not be able cover my ears and my mouth
Because half of me is what I scream
But the other half is the words I don't say.

May the music I hear from far away be always beautiful - despite the sadness
May the woman I love be always loved - despite the distance
Because half of me is departure
But the other half is yearning.

May the words I speak not be heard as prayers nor repeated with fervour - only respected
Like the only thing that is left for a man sank in feelings
Because half of me is what I hear
But the other half is silence.

May this will of leaving this planet be transformed into the quiet and peace that I deserve
May this tension that eats me inside be rewarded one day
Because half of me is what I think
But the other half is a vulcano.

May this fear of loneliness disappear, so living with myself will become bearable at least.
May this mirror be able to reflect a sweet smile in my face
The same smile I remember seeing in my childhood
Because half of me is the rest of what I used to be
The other half I don't know.

I hope nothing more than a simple moment of joy will be enough
 to calm down my spirit
May your silence speak to me more and more ...
Because half of me is shelter
But the other half is weariness.

May art be able to point us to an answer
Even if it doesn't know what the answer is
May no one be able to twist it,  simplicity is necessary to make it bloom
Because half of me is audience
The other half is song.

May my madness be forgiven
Because half of me is love, and so is the other half.

“I am Half­sick of Shadows,” said the Lady of Shalott by
John William Waterhouse (1849-1917)

19 June 2011

A song silenced by Charles Chaplin

"The human heart has hidden treasures, in secret kept, in silence sealed;
 The thoughts, the hopes, the dreams, the pleasures, 
Whose charms were broken if revealed." 

Charlotte Brontë

About Charles Joshua Chaplin 

Charles Joshua Chaplin (8 June 1825–30 January 1891) was a French painter and engraver. At the age of fourteen he became a pupil of the painter Drolling in Paris, and settled in Auvergne to become a landscape painter. But the figure had an irresistible attraction for him, and like Kray, who also commenced by painting landscapes, he gradually abandoned his first choice of pursuit for the nobler and more enticing one. His success as a painter of portraits, and especially of portraits of women, continued until his death. Meanwhile he painted many imaginative compositions, in the coquettish and seductive style of Boucher, to which class "The Lyre" belongs, and executed decorative work for great mansions and palaces, especially for the Tuileries and the Elysee.

17 June 2011

The Vampire's teather

I have always needed a little bit of attention
I think I don't know who I am
I only know the things I don't like
And from these really strange days, the dust keeps hiding away in the corners ...
This is our world ...
What is too much ... is never enough
And the first time is always the last chance ...
Nobody knows where we got to: 
The assassin's are free, but we are not ...

Let's got out ... but we haven't got any money 
All my friends are looking for a job 
We are back living like we used to ten years ago 
And every hour that goes by ...  we age ten weeks ...

Let's go, it is OK. I just want to have some fun 
And forget this night ... just have a nice place to go 

We delivered the target and the artillery
We compare our lives
And hopefully one day
Our lives will meet again

When I saw myself scared of living with me and the world
You came to my life as good dream ... 
I am not perfect 
I never forget ...

We are so rich 
But nobody can see it ...
And thinking about it all, me, a grown up man  ...
Was so afraid that I could not sleep

We compare our lives
and I don't feel sorry for anyone

Renato Russo

16 June 2011

Life is short ... the wait is long ...

"When you don't fit in, you become superhuman. You can feel everyone else's eyes on you, stuck like Velcro. You can hear a whisper about you from a mile away. You can disappear, even when it looks like you're still standing right there. You can scream, and nobody hears a sound.  You become the mutant who fell into the vat of acid, the joker who can't remove his mask, the bionic man who's missing all his limbs and none of his heart.  You are the thing that used to be normal, but that was so long ago, you can't even remember what it was like. "  

Jodi Picoult

Dead Can Dance - Spirit

15 June 2011

The ancient law of life ...

"For me, trees have always been the most penetrating preachers. I revere them when they live in tribes and families, in forests and groves. And even more I revere them when they stand alone. They are like lonely persons. Not like hermits who have stolen away out of some weakness, but like great, solitary men, like Beethoven and Nietzsche. In their highest boughs the world rustles, their roots rest in infinity; but they do not lose themselves there, they struggle with all the force of their lives for one thing only: to fulfil themselves according to their own laws, to build up their own form, to represent themselves. Nothing is holier, nothing is more exemplary than a beautiful, strong tree. When a tree is cut down and reveals its naked death-wound to the sun, one can read its whole history in the luminous, inscribed disk of its trunk: in the rings of its years, its scars, all the struggle, all the suffering, all the sickness, all the happiness and prosperity stand truly written, the narrow years and the luxurious years, the attacks withstood, the storms endured. And every young farm boy knows that the hardest and noblest wood has the narrowest rings, that high on the mountains and in continuing danger the most indestructible, the strongest, the ideal trees grow. 

Trees are sanctuaries. Whoever knows how to speak to them, whoever knows how to listen to them, can learn the truth. They do not preach learning and precepts, they preach, undeterred by particulars, the ancient law of life. 

A tree says: A kernel is hidden in me, a spark, a thought, I am life from eternal life. The attempt and the risk that the eternal mother took with me is unique, unique the form and veins of my skin, unique the smallest play of leaves in my branches and the smallest scar on my bark. I was made to form and reveal the eternal in my smallest special detail. 

A tree says: My strength is trust. I know nothing about my fathers, I know nothing about the thousand children that every year spring out of me. I live out the secret of my seed to the very end, and I care for nothing else. I trust that God is in me. I trust that my labor is holy. Out of this trust I live. 

When we are stricken and cannot bear our lives any longer, then a tree has something to say to us: Be still! Be still! Look at me! Life is not easy, life is not difficult. Those are childish thoughts. Let God speak within you, and your thoughts will grow silent. You are anxious because your path leads away from mother and home. But every step and every day lead you back again to the mother. Home is neither here nor there. Home is within you, or home is nowhere at all. 

A longing to wander tears my heart when I hear trees rustling in the wind at evening. If one listens to them silently for a long time, this longing reveals its kernel, its meaning. It is not so much a matter of escaping from one's suffering, though it may seem to be so. It is a longing for home, for a memory of the mother, for new metaphors for life. It leads home. Every path leads homeward, every step is birth, every step is death, every grave is mother. 

So the tree rustles in the evening, when we stand uneasy before our own childish thoughts: Trees have long thoughts, long-breathing and restful, just as they have longer lives than ours. They are wiser than we are, as long as we do not listen to them. But when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy. Whoever has learned how to listen to trees no longer wants to be a tree. He wants to be nothing except what he is. That is home. That is happiness." 

Hermann Hesse

14 June 2011

Lemuria by Therion

"Words can never fully say what we want them to say, for they fumble, stammer, and break the best porcelain. The best one can hope for, is to find along the way someone to share the path, content to walk in silence, for the heart communes best when it does not try to speak." 

Margaret Weis (Dragons of a Lost Star)

Lemuria, also known as Mu, is the lost continent of the Pacific believed to have been destroyed approximately twelve thousand years ago by the collapse of the gas chambers beneath the continent.

13 June 2011

The way out ...

"We all get lost once in a while, sometimes by choice, sometimes due to forces beyond our control. When we learn what it is our soul needs to learn, the path presents itself. Sometimes we see the way out but wander further and deeper despite ourselves; the fear, the anger or the sadness preventing us returning. Sometimes we prefer to be lost and wandering, sometimes it's easier. Sometimes we find our own way out. But regardless, always, we are found." 

Cecelia Ahern (Thanks for the Memories)

12 June 2011

Tromp L'oil by Juliette Aristides

"Something still exists as long as there's someone around to remember it." 

Jodi Picoult 

09 June 2011

Don't Go Far Off by Pablo Neruda

Don't go far off, not even for a day, because - because - I don't know how to say it: a day is long and I will be waiting for you, as in an empty station when the trains are parked off somewhere else, asleep. Don't leave me, even for an hour, because then the little drops of anguish will all run together, the smoke that roams looking for a home will drift into me, choking my lost heart. Oh, may your silhouette never dissolve on the beach; may your eyelids never flutter into the empty distance. Don't leave me for a second, my dearest, because in that moment you'll have gone so far I'll wander mazily over all the earth, asking, Will you come back? Or will you leave me here, dying? 

08 June 2011

Unintelligible answers to insoluble problems ...

"I know well what I am fleeing from, but not what I am in search of. "

Michel de Montaigne

Age of Loneliness - Enigma

07 June 2011

Maestà by Duccio (tempera on wood)

Front side
One of the greatest Italian painters of the Middle Ages, Duccio di Buoninsegna was the founder of the Sienese school.
In Duccio’s art the formality of the Italo-Byzantine tradition, strengthened by a clearer understanding of its evolution from classical roots, is fused with the new spirituality of the Gothic style. Greatest of all his works is the Maestà painted between 1308 and 1311, the altarpiece of the Siena cathedral.
Duccio's Maestà was commissioned by the Siena Cathedral. Today most of this elaborate double-sided altarpiece is located at the cathedral museum but several of the predella (footer) panels are scattered outside Italy in various museums. It is probably the most important panel ever painted in Italy; it is certainly among the most beautiful. Compressed within the compass of an altarpiece is the equivalent of an entire programme for the fresco painting of a church.

The whole of the front of the main panel is occupied by a scene of the Virgin and Child in majesty surrounded by angels and saints, and corresponding to this on the back there are twenty-six scenes from Christ's Passion. Originally there were subsidiary scenes from Christ's life above and below the main panel. The whole work is a superb standard of craftsmanship, and the exquisite colouring and supple draughtsmanship create effects of great beauty. 

It is interesting to note the different function of the scenes represented on the two sides of the Maestà. The front side was a devotional image destined for the community of the faithful (which explains its size, clearly visible from every corner of the church), while the back was essentially a narrative cycle intended for the closer observation of the clergy in the sanctuary.
Back side
On 1 August 1771 the altarpiece was dismembered. In order to separate the two painted surfaces it was roughly sawn into seven parts and split up in correspondence with the single panels, sparing neither the predella nor the crowning section. The poplar boards, glued together and tightened with nails, proved very hard to cut away and the result was ruinous; the figures of the Virgin and Child on the front were damaged by the blade striking through. The panels were carelessly deposited "in some mezzanines on the third floor of the house of the Opera del Duomo . . . in a low, dark place" and were then reassembled and placed in the Cathedral again, in the chapels of Sant'Ansano and the Sacrament. As a consequence of all this, not only was the carpentry destroyed (frames, pinnacles, dividing elements) but several compartments of the predella and crowning section were lost - eight of these turned up in foreign museums and collections. In 1878 those parts still in Siena were brought together again in the Museum of the Opera del Duomo, where they have remained to the present day.

Except for the Entry into Jerusalem and the Crucifixion, each panel contains two episodes. The central part of the lower row with the Agony in the Garden and Christ taken Prisoner is twice as wide as the other compartments (but the same as the Crucifixion panel) because the events portrayed are composed of different narrative units.
Numerous contrasting theories have been advanced by critics for the order of interpretation, rendered problematical by the variety of New Testament sources drawn on by Duccio. It is certain that the cycle began at the bottom left and ended at the top right, proceeding from left to right first on the lower row and then on the upper.

Reconstruction of the original work, some of the footer panels and pinnacle have never been found

06 June 2011

There's never a forever thing ...

"The selfishness must be discovered and understood before it can be removed. It is powerless to remove itself, neither will it pass away of itself. Darkness ceases only when light is introduced; so ignorance can only be dispersed by knowledge; selfishness by love."

James Allen 

There is never a forever thing - Aha

05 June 2011

The mind acts like an enemy for those who do not control it ...

"There has never been a time when you and I have not existed, nor will there be a time when we will cease to exist. As the same person inhabits the body through childhood, youth, and old age, so too at the time of death they attain another body. The wise are not deluded by these changes."

Bhagavad Gita 

About Bhagavad Gita

The Bhagavad , Song of God, also known as Gita, is a Sanatana Dharma or Hindu scripture produced from the colloquy given by Sri Krishna to Arjuna during the Kurukshetra War. Its philosophies and insights are intended to reach beyond the scope of religion and to humanity as a whole. It is at times referred to as the "manual for mankind" and has been highly praised by not only prominent Indians such as Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi but also Aldous Huxley, Albert Einstein, J. Robert Oppenheimer, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Carl Jung and Herman Hesse. It is considered among the most important texts in the history of literature and philosophy. The Bhagavad Gita comprises exactly 700 verses, and is a part of the Mahabharata. 

04 June 2011

Over Your Head by Shaman

“God is the name by which I designate all things which cross my path violently and recklessly, all things which alter my plans and intentions, and change the course of my life, for better or for worse.”

Carl Gustav Jung

03 June 2011

The Puppet by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

If for a moment God would forget that I am a rag doll and give me a scrap of life, possibly I would not say everything that I think, but I would definitely think everything that I say.

I would value things not for how much they are worth but rather for what they mean.

I would sleep little, dream more. I know that for each minute that we close our eyes we lose sixty seconds of light.

I would walk when the others loiter; I would awaken when the others sleep.

I would listen when the others speak, and how I would enjoy a good chocolate ice cream.

If God would bestow on me a scrap of life, I would dress simply, I would throw myself flat under the sun, exposing not only my body but also my soul.

My God, if I had a heart, I would write my hatred on ice and wait for the sun to come out. With a dream of Van Gogh I would paint on the stars a poem by Benedetti, and a song by Serrat would be my serenade to the moon.

With my tears I would water the roses, to feel the pain of their thorns and the incarnated kiss of their petals...My God, if I only had a scrap of life...

I wouldn't let a single day go by without saying to people I love, that I love them.

I would convince each woman or man that they are my favourites and I would live in love with love.

I would prove to the men how mistaken they are in thinking that they no longer fall in love when they grow old--not knowing that they grow old when they stop falling in love. To a child I would give wings, but I would let him learn how to fly by himself. To the old I would teach that death comes not with old age but with forgetting. I have learned so much from you men....

I have learned that everybody wants to live at the top of the mountain without realizing that true happiness lies in the way we climb the slope.

I have learned that when a newborn first squeezes his father's finger in his tiny fist, he has caught him forever.

I have learned that a man only has the right to look down on another man when it is to help him to stand up. I have learned so many things from you, but in the end most of it will be no use because when they put me inside that suitcase, unfortunately I will be dying.

01 June 2011

In A Lifetime by Clannad & Bono

“The past is a scene from which the light is slowly fading.”