31 July 2012

Divine presence ...

“There are no random acts...
We are all connected...
You can no more separate one's life from another than you can separate a breeze from the wind...” 

Mitch Albom

27 July 2012

Time is coming ...

“Suddenness," he says. " You do not prepare, you do not explain, you do not apologize. Suddenly, you go. And with you, you take all contemplation, all consideration of your own departure. All the suffering that would have come from knowing comes after you are gone, and you are not a part of it.”

Téa Obreht

23 July 2012

Calumny of Apelles by Sandro Botticelli

The Calumny of Apelles was painted by Sandro Botticelli around 1494–1495. The theme subject was drawn from a painting by the Greek artist Apelle. The dramatic court scene is of an innocent man who is dragged before the king. Various human figures representing emotions are scattered around the canvas.

Though Apelles' works have not survived, Lucian recorded details of one in his On Calumny:

 “On the right of it sits a man with very large ears, almost like those of Midas, extending his hand to Slander while she is still at some distance from him. Near him, on one side, stand two women—Ignorance, I think, and Suspicion. On the other side, Slander is coming up, a woman beautiful beyond measure, but full of passion and excitement, evincing as she does fury and wrath by carrying in her left hand a blazing torch and with the other dragging by the hair a young man who stretches out his hands to heaven and calls the gods to witness his innocence
. She is conducted by a pale ugly man who has piercing eye and looks as if he had wasted away in long illness; he may be supposed to be Envy. Besides, there are two women in attendance on Slander, egging her on, tiring [dressing] her and tricking her out. According to the interpretation of them given me by the guide of the picture, one was Treachery and the other Deceit. They were followed by a woman dressed in deep mourning, with black clothes all in tatters—Repentance, I think her name was. At all events, she was turning back with tears in her eyes and casting a stealthy glance, full of shame, at Truth, who was approaching.”

18 July 2012

Golden days ...

“Let us record the atoms as they fall upon the mind in the order in which they fall, let us trace the pattern, however disconnected and incoherent in appearance, which each sight or incident scores upon the consciousness. Let us not take it for granted that life exists more fully in what is commonly thought big than in what is commonly thought small.” 

Virginia Woolf

Vanity by Frank Cadogan Cowper - 1907

15 July 2012

Borderliners ...

“Once you have realised that there is no objective external world to be found; that what you know is only a filtered and processed version, then it is a short step to the thought that, in that case, other people too are nothing but a processed shadow, and but a short step more to the belief that every person must somehow be shut away, isolated behind their own unreliable sensory apparatus. And then the thought springs easily to mind that man is, fundamentally, alone. That the world is made up of disconnected consciousnesses, each isolated within the illusion created by its own senses, floating in a featureless vacuum.
He does not put it so bluntly, but the idea is not far away. That, fundamentally, man is alone.” 

Peter Høeg 

11 July 2012

The winter girl ...

“You know how to call me, although such a noise now would only confuse the air ...

Neither of us can forget the steps we danced, the words you stretched to call me out of dust ...

Yes I long for you, not just as a leaf for weather or vase for hands ... but with a narrow human longing that makes a man refuse any fields but his own ...

I wait for you at an unexpected place in your journey like the rusted key or the feather you do not pick up. I will never find the faces for all goodbyes I've made ...

Leonard Cohen

09 July 2012

The you that you left sleeping ...

“I looked around me. Luminous points glowed in the darkness. Cigarettes punctuated the humble meditations of worn old clerks. I heard them talking to one another in murmurs and whispers. They talked about illness, money, shabby domestic cares. And suddenly I had a vision of the face of destiny. Old bureaucrat, my comrade, it is not you who are to blame. No one ever helped you to escape. You, like a termite, built your peace by blocking up with cement every chink and cranny through which the light might pierce. You rolled yourself up into a ball in your genteel security, in routine, in the stifling conventions of provincial life, raising a modest rampart against the winds and the tides and the stars. You have chosen not to be perturbed by great problems, having trouble enough to forget your own fate as a man. You are not the dweller upon an errant planet and do not ask yourself questions to which there are no answers. Nobody grasped you by the shoulder while there was still time. Now the clay of which you were shaped has dried and hardened, and naught in you will ever awaken the sleeping musician, the poet, the astronomer that possibly inhabited you in the beginning.”

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

06 July 2012

Infinities ...

“The stars know everything,
So we try to read their minds.
As distant as they are,
We choose to whisper in their presence.” 

Charles Simic

04 July 2012

In prison ...

“Anger is just anger. It isn't good. It isn't bad. It just is. What you do with it is what matters. It's like anything else. You can use it to build or to destroy. You just have to make the choice."

Constructive anger," the demon said, her voice dripping sarcasm.

Also known as passion," I said quietly. "Passion has overthrown tyrants and freed prisoners and slaves. Passion has brought justice where there was savagery. Passion has created freedom where there was nothing but fear. Passion has helped souls rise from the ashes of their horrible lives and build something better, stronger, more beautiful.”  

Jim Butcher

Salome in prison by Gustave Moreau 1873

01 July 2012

Woman's Head by Leonardo da Vinci - 1473

“Nothing of me is original. I am the combined effort of everyone I've ever known.” 

Chuck Palahniuk