Wednesday, December 31, 2008

I wish you all a lot of travels in 2009!

To awaken quite alone in a strange town is one of the pleasantest sensations in the world.
Freya Stark

Saturday, December 27, 2008

The Essence

What is real is not the external form, but the essence of things...
it is impossible for anyone to express anything essentially real by imitating its exterior surface.
Constantin Brancusi

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas!

It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty Founder was a child Himself.
Charles Dickens

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

To obey in silence

Anybody can rebel. But to obey in silence, an inner calling to search lifelong without impatience for the means of expression adequate to us... that is much more difficult."
Georges Rouault

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Au pays qui te ressemble, In a country you remind me of

Les soleils mouillés
De ces ciels brouillés
Pour mon esprit ont les charmes
Si mystérieux
De tes traîtres yeux,
Brillant à travers leurs larmes.

Charming in the dawn
There, the half-withdrawn
Drenched, mysterious sun appears
In the curdled skies,
Treacherous as your eyes
Shining from behind their tears.

Charles Baudelaire, from L'invitation au voyage
(lovely and brave translation by Edna St. Vincent Millay)


Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Aim for the impossible

If you can do it then why do it?
Gertrude Stein

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

From a poem..

The wet dawn inks are doing their blue dissolve.
On their blotter of fog the trees
Seem a botanical drawing.
Memories growing, ring on ring,
A series of weddings.

Sylvia Plath, from Winter trees

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A bit of spring in these cold days...

The Amen of nature is always a flower.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

...and a bit of summer

by Hilda Doolittle

O wind, rend open the heat,
cut apart the heat,
rend it to tatters.

Fruit cannot drop
through this thick air--
fruit cannot fall into heat
that presses up and blunts
the points of pears
and rounds the grapes.

Cut the heat--
plough through it,
turning it on either side
of your path.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Charming decay

Autumn wins you best by this, its mute appeal to sympathy for its decay.
Robert Browning

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A painting and a poem

Landscape With The Fall Of Icarus
by William Carlos Williams

According to Brueghel
when Icarus fell
it was spring

a farmer was ploughing
his field
the whole pageantry

of the year was
awake tingling

the edge of the sea
with itself

sweating in the sun
that melted
the wings' wax

off the coast
there was

a splash quite unnoticed
this was
Icarus drowning

Monday, December 8, 2008

Silence painted over

A painter paints his pictures on canvas. But musicians paint pictures on silence.
Leopold Stokowski

Friday, December 5, 2008

The river We cannot cross

Promised Land
by Samuel Menashe

At the edge
Of a world
Beyond my eyes
I know Exile
Is always
Green with hope —
The river
We cannot cross
Flows forever


If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I would not pass it round. Trouble creates a capacity to handle it. I don't embrace trouble; that's as bad as treating it as an enemy. But I do say meet it as a friend, for you'll see a lot of it and had better be on speaking terms with it.
Oliver Wendell Holmes

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The benefit of seeing

This benefit of seeing... can come only if you pause a while, extricate yourself from the maddening mob of quick impressions ceaselessly battering our lives, and look thoughtfully at a quiet image... the viewer must be willing to pause, to look again, to meditate.
Dorothea Lange