Friday, September 09, 2011

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

I go to the library.  It seems such a long time since I've been there, - the summer has not been conducive to long lazy spells with a book in my hand,and not much else on my mind but the enjoyment of a leisurely summer afternoon.

I come home with Wendell Berry's Essay, 'Life is a Miracle' and I can hardly wait to put everything aside and take it to bed with me......

Wendell Berry is a good antidote to Marvin Minsky.

He is of the opinion that "the most radical influence of reductive science has been the virtually universal adoption of the idea that the world, its creatures, and all the parts of its creatures are machines - that is, that there is no difference between creature and artifice, birth and manufacture, thought and computation.  Our language, wherever it is used, is now almost invariably conditioned by the assumption that fleshly bodies are machines full of mechanisms, fully compatible with the mechanisms of medicine, industry, and commerce, and that minds are computers fully compatible with electronic technology"

Berry contends that we must go beyond empirical knowledge to imaginative knowledge, - to knowing things "intimately, particularly, precisely, gratefully, reverently, and with affection."

There, that makes me feel much better, - I really didn't like the idea of being a machine and giving up my old traditional ideas and the faith which supposes that life is full of unpredictable mysteries.

This evening there was a pale moon rising as the sun turned the western sky a lovely apricot colour, and as I dug a nice moist spot for the lavender and astilbe plants I brought down from the garden-on-the-hill.

Of course  no matter how I aimed the camera there were still wires to remind me that the moon shines with equal elegance on town and country.

and the Cawston hills still glow with the setting sun.

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

ABC Wednesday

H is the letter for this sunny week

H is for Vilhelm Hammershoi.

Of an exhibition of this celebrated Danish painter's work
entitled, " The Poetry of Silence"
it is said
"Hammershoi\s most compelling works are his quiet, haunting interiors, their emptiness disturbed only occasionally by the presence of a solitary, graceful figure, often the artist's wife.
Painted within a small tonal range of implied greys, these sparsely-furnished rooms exude an almost hypnotic quietude and sense of melancholic introspection.
In addition to the interiors, the exhibition also includes Hammershoi's arresting portraits, landscapes and his evocative city views, notably the deserted streets of London on a misty winter morning.  The magical quietness of Hammershoi's work can be seen in the context of international Symbolist movements of the turn of the last century but the containment and originality of his art makes it unique."

Besides the quiet greys and blues Hammershoi occasionally used subdued yellows in his paintings.

Follow the open doors into the heart of Hammershoi's magical paintings, and click here for more wonderful interpretations of the letter H, with thanks to Mrs. Nesbitt and her helpers.