29 April 2015

Katmandu and the trench

These little souvenirs came from Nepal. The little rat is a tourist copy from the museum in Patan where the original is quite compelling. I fell in love with it and of course, I wanted a smaller replica so I searched high and low for just the right one with that child-like expression. It must be a popular item because this motif is made by so many craftsman in town, alas, many of them quite sterile, but this one had just the right simple feel to it expression. It sits in my bathroom and stares up at me when I brush my teeth. Its the small rat which offers up food to the giant elephant Ganeesh. 

This is a small figurine (terre cuite) which was made by the tribal artists in the hills all over Nepal. I bought several but gave the rest away as gifts. 

This was painted by a young man who made them in his tiny studio off one of the main squares. I cannot remember which temple but it was a large and very popular one with the tourists. He and his wife lived and worked in this tiny studio/apartment with a makeshift kitchen. In the front were his paintings which he made for the tourists. I bought several, and still have a few. Really lovely (and, lively things) which still move me. They were such a kind, modest and unassuming couple. He was (is, I hope) a very talented painter. It was easy to see. He painted lots of different animals with a great animation which appealed to me, and for each one he made a small wooden frame. I think that all 8 were the price of a meal. I have often thought of them since my visit there. Now, I wonder where they are,.. and if they survived the earthquake? They had so little before, now what?

These last few days as the tragedy unfolded  I was digging a trench (mostly by hand) for electricity and water to be moved to a small studio behind my house. The whole time, I couldn't stop thinking about all that digging going on all over Nepal. 

24 April 2015

Hubble telescope

I love the two skulls in this one

21 April 2015

Emerson on Nature

"All men (and women, I will add) are in some degree impressed by the face of the world; some men even to delight. This love of beauty is Taste. Others have the same love in excess, that, not content with admiring, they seek to embody it in forms. The creation of beauty is Art."

Obviously, a graduate of any Post-Modern Contemporary education would have a difficult time with this, even worse, for the recent graduate would be what follows he Emerson writes:

"The production of a work of art throws a light upon the mystery of humanity. A work of art is an abstract epitome of the world. It is the result or expression of nature, in miniature. For although the works of nature are innumerable and all is different, the result, or the expression of them all is similar and simple.

Nature is a sea of forms radically alike and even unique. A leaf, a sunbeam, a landscape, the ocean, all make an analogous impression on the mind. What is common to them all, that perfectness and harmony, is beauty. The standard of beauty is the entire circuit of natural forms, the totality of nature which the Italians expressed by defining beauty; 'il più nell uno'.

'Nothing is quite beautiful alone'; 'nothing is beautiful nut in the whole'. A single object is only as beautiful as it suggests this universal grace. The poet, the painter, the sculptor, the musician, the architect, all seek each, to concentrate this radiance of the world onto one point, and each in his several works, to satisfy the love of beauty which stimulates him to produce. Thus is Art a Nature passed through the alembic of man. Thus art does Nature work through the will of a man filled with the beauty of her first works."

11 April 2015

Issa (forever)

  not knowing the tree
will be felled- the birds
  build a nest

09 April 2015

Taneda Santōka (1882 -1940)

Taneda Santōka once wrote in his journal:

"Today, I've composed 10 haiku, 
of course they're about as good as broken pieces of tile, 
but they may shine as much as a piece of tile can, and my job is to polish, polish,
polish them until they shine"

leaves fall from the trees-
I keep on walking

no one to meet-
the path worsens

can't do anything else-
I just keep walking

becoming a frog-
and jumping

a bird comes once-
and does not sing

all day in the mountains-
ants are also walking

snow falls on snow-

the sound of drinking saké
is lonely

men and women
alone with their shadows-

when you live alone-
green green are the grasses

03 April 2015

small earth


A new home 
A new roof even
Same old crow!