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Posts from March 2007

Dancing in the late-day sun


Study: Girl with Swan on the Fountain of the Three Rivers / Philadelphia, PA / March 2007

Back in November I posted a night-time picture of this fountain on Logan Circle. The water is turned off for the winter and hasn't yet been turned back on, allowing for a better study of the figures. (When the fountain is on, water spouts from the swan's mouth.) The girl was basking in the late-day sun. Look how her hands seem to melt into the swan's feathers. And look at the position of her arms and hands -- I think that she is dancing out there on the parkway.

Anything is possible


Peacocks on Indian-print Fabric / March 2007

"In America, anything is possible." That's what an immigrant father from India tells his son in the movie The Namesake (based on the novel by Jhumpa Lahiri and directed by Mira Nair). The movie is full of vivid images and sounds of India and America and we were riveted to our seats the whole time -- all the way through the credits. When we got up to leave, an Indian couple came into the theater so we asked about some of the things we had seen in the movie and had a wonderful chat about India and America (both of their sons were married here in Indian ceremonies -- one in Atlanta -- that included the tradition of the groom arriving on a horse). Another couple came in and the woman announced that her granddaughter had been an intern on the movie (I told her to sit through the credits to see her grandaughter's name). In America, anything is possible: you can you go to a movie about an Indian immigrant couple in America and meet an Indian immigrant couple in the movie theater and the grandmother of an intern on the movie and then go for lunch at a Jewish Deli and have the best "Reuben Sandwich" that you've ever had (made with pastrami).

Change your perspective


Crocus-eye Perspective / March 2007

Try looking at things from a different visual perspective. How does it feel? Does what you see surprise you?

Try looking at things with a different cognitive perspective, i.e., point-of-view (a context for opinions, beliefs, and experiences). What do you think?

To know beauty


One week 3 inches of freezing sleet covered the ground, and the next week the new life of blooming crocuses had pushed their way into the world / March 2007


I did not have to ask my heart
what it wanted, because of all the desires
I have ever known just one did I cling to
for it was the essence of all desire:

        to know beauty.

~ St. John of the Cross (a mystical poet)

Go beyond Z


Letter Z from “Alphabet after Serlio” (Brown, Frank Chouteau: “Letters & Lettering: A Treatise With 200 Examples,” 1921) [image via]

My alphabet starts with this letter called yuzz.
It's the letter I use to spell yuzz-a-ma-tuzz.
You'll be sort of surprised what there is to be found once you go beyond 'Z' and start poking around!
   ~ Dr. Seuss



Ornamental Calligraphy Alphabet; 8th and 9th Centuries; Anglo-Saxon (Delamotte, F.: “Ornamental Alphabets, Ancient and Mediæval,” 1879) [image via]

I am tired, Beloved,
of chafing my heart against
the want of you;
of squeezing it into little inkdrops,
And posting it.
    ~ Amy Lowell, "The Letter"

To obtain a more pleasant effect


Width Proportions of Modern Roman Capitals [Fig. 3] (Source: Brown, Frank Chouteau: “Letters & Lettering: A Treatise With 200 Examples,” 1921)

Typography is the art and technique of type design. Each letter and character in a font is drawn in a very precise way and the designer thinks about how the letters will interact with each other. The outlines -- the shapes, curves, and dimensions -- of each character make them come to life. Look at the tail of the three "R" letters in the figure -- each gives a different feeling. No matter what the words say, the letters themselves are beautiful and convey something on their own.

“Width proportions, which may be found useful in laying out lettering for lines of a given length, are shown in [Fig. 3] in a more modern style of the Roman capital. In the classic Roman letter the cross-bar is usually in the exact center of the letter height, but in 3 the center line has been used as the bottom of the cross-bar in b, e, h, p, and r, and as the top of the cross-bar in a; and in letters like k, y and x the “waist lines,” as the meeting-points of the sloping lines are sometimes called, have been slightly raised to obtain a more pleasant effect.” (p. 6) -- Letters & Lettering, 1921

One word that brings peace


Light a candle for all the lives destroyed by war / Light a candle to stamp out the causes of war -- power, greed, stupidity / Light a candle for peace (on the 4th anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq)  [Nativity B.V.M. Church, Allegheny Ave., Phila. PA, March 2007]

Better than a thousand hollow words
is one word that brings peace.

    -- Buddha (560-483 B.C.)