My Cousin Rachel, Ch. IV

The callow young nephew is off to Florence (his first trip to Italy) and this sentence perfectly captures his confusion:

  • Used to the silence of a well-nigh empty house — for the servants slept away in their own quarters beneath the clock tower — where I heard no sound at night but the wind in the trees and the lash of rain when it blew from the southwest, the ceaseless clatter and turmoil of foreign cities came near to stupefying me.

Beautiful sentence, where it starts and where it ends is a complete arc. It is so balanced.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Transmogrify 4: Florence, London, San Francisco

McDonald’s is everywhere, even in Florence. Such a pity:

dscn1414

McDonald’s in Florence

Whitechapel, London

dscn0720

Street Art, Whitechapel, London

Tattoo Parlor: Moth and Dagger, San Francisco

dscn0160

Photo in the Front Window of Tattoo Parlor MOTH AND DAGGER. The words on the man’s chest are the words to the Lord’s Prayer.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

The “I” Is Reborn in an Encounter

When self was with her niece in Florence last November, she stumbled across a conference commemorating the 10th death anniversary of an Italian priest named Monsignor Luigi Giussani.

She had a very nice conversation with one of the organizers, who ended up giving her a pamphlet with excerpts from Giussani’s writings. And self has been carrying it with her ever since. She reads it on airplanes, on trains, on buses, everywhere.

Self has quoted him on this blog before:

LIVE           REALITY           INTENSELY

Here’s another:

WITH EVERY MORNING, JOY REAWAKENS WITHIN ME.

Here’s self’s quote for the day:

Picture yourself being born, coming out of your mother’s womb at the age you are now at this very moment in terms of your development and consciousness. What would be the first, absolutely your initial reaction? If I were to open my eyes for the first time in this instant, emerging from my mother’s womb, I would be overpowered by the wonder and awe of things as a “presence.” I would be bowled over and amazed by the stupefying repercussion of a presence which is expressed in current language by the word “thing,”

Things! That’s “something!” “Thing,” which is a concrete and, if you please, banal version of the word “being.” Being: not as some abstract entity, but as a presence, a presence which I do not myself make, which I find. A presence which imposes itself upon me. At this moment, I am attentive . . .


Is that not, somehow, so philosophical and fascinating?

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Quote of the Day: BRAZILLIONAIRES

Anyone with a little bit of money can buy a Louis Vuitton handbag, of which thousands are manufactured each year. Very few people can buy the new Jeff Koons, even if they do have the tens of millions of dollars required.

Brazillionaires, p. 29

Self’s question is: Why would anyone want to buy a Jeff Koons? A Koons was in front of the Palazzo Vecchio in Florence when self was there with her niece, Irene, last November. It was placed right next to a Michelangelo and it was ugly. Hope it was only a temporary installation.

(Side note: In Florence, on the road to the Santa Maria del Fiori, you will pass a McDonald’s. Which was always packed. Self just could not understand it. When all around were great, really great local restaurants. It must be the convenience.)

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Moments, Florence

Self is still looking for pictures to accord with the Daily Post Photo Challenge this week, RARE.

Back in November 2015, she got a surprise invitation from her niece Irene to go on a trip to Florence.

But of course! Self has decided that she will never say NO when it comes to travel. And she’d never been to Florence.  All the pictures below are from that trip.

First, a picture taken in the Piazza Signoria. Self had spent the day at the Palazzo Vecchio, her niece had gone to the Uffizi. We met up at the square to have dinner. Self took the picture from one of the sidewalk cafés:

DSCN1802

Piazza Signoria, Florence’s Iconic Square: November 2015

On our first morning in Florence, self and Irene were wending our way from our hotel to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore when we passed a library. And though the library was not in any of our guidebooks, self never passed a library she didn’t wish to explore.

So here’s what was inside:

DSCN1718

Self’s ever-curious soul led her to this library, on a street close to the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral.

It turned out to be a library made up entirely of opera librettos. And self thought that was the most fabulous thing.

DSCN1716

The most rare and fabulous thing.

Stay tuned.

Narrow 2: Memories of Tuscany

When I think of a beautiful landscape, the image that usually comes to mind involves an open expanse: a mountain range, a windy meadow, the beach on a sunny (or stormy) afternoon. Every so often, though, I’m reminded of the magic of narrowness: how it forces the eye to focus on details and textures that would’ve been lost in a wide-open panorama.

— Ben Huberman, The Daily Post

Self accompanied her niece Irene on a short trip to Florence last November. Just eight days. Amazing how much you can see in eight days, especially when you’re traveling with someone as organized as Irene.

Irene found a one-day tour of Tuscan hill towns. San Gimignano, Pisa, Siena — self can’t remember the names of all the towns included in the tour.

It was great fun sorting through her picures from the trip, looking for the ones that matched this week’s photo challenge:  NARROW

DSCN1882

DSCN1838

DSCN1885

TRASH: Sylvain Landry Week 32 Photo Challenge

Self is participating in this week’s Sylvain Landry Photo Challenge. The theme is TRASH.

She looked through her thousands of pictures and came up with something she photographed during her November 2015 trip to Florence, her first time in that beautiful city. A picture of a McDonald’s! Which she passed almost every day on her way to some museum or other with her intrepid niece, Irene!

Self isn’t all that down on McDonald’s, but every time she sees one, especially if it’s in an awesomely beautiful place like Florence, she gets somewhat discouraged. Because why would anyone want to eat in McDonald’s when there’s so much (good) local food available?

So the McDonald’s in Florence is her metaphorical image of TRASH.

DSCN1414

Florence, Italy: November 2015

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

Vibrant 4: 2016 Daily Post Photo Challenge # 5

The past week’s Daily Post Photo Challenge is VIBRANT. Self has been having so much fun with it. In the past week, she’s posted pictures of Mendocino and Venice. Now, she’s posting photographs she took during an exhibit of Chinese artists that she and her niece, Irene, saw when we were in Florence, November 2015.

The weather was glorious: it never rained. And Florence, self doesn’t need to tell dear blog readers, is enchanting.

We got ourselves a Museum Card (Would you believe, there are 64 museums in Florence?).

As we were walking towards the Duomo on one of our earliest days in Florence, we noticed this museum and went inside.

Now, self can no longer remember which museum it was, but there was an exhibition of Chinese paintings which totally blew self away: International Tour of the Works of the Twelfth China National Exhibition of Fine Arts.

The oil painting below is called “Scenery with Six-Tusked Elephant.” The artist is Lin Jianfeng.

DSCN1684

Lin Jianfeng, Artist From China: Seen on the International Tour of Chinese National Artists, November 2015, Florence

The second painting, self has featured on this blog before. It is by Liu Kongxi: “Hello, Birch Forest: The Records of Youth (No. 18):

DSCN1682

“Hello, Birch Forest: The Records of Youth (No. 18)” by Liu Kongxi

And the last painting: Wang Ke’s “Passing on Lamp”

DSCN1676

Wang Ke’s “Passing on Lamp”

As Jen H. says on The Daily Post, “Let’s wash the web with a rainbow of colors to keep the winter gloom at bay.”

Self thinks these three paintings do fit the bill.

Stay tuned.

Optimistic 2: 2016 WordPress Daily Post Photo Challenge # 4

From Krista on The Daily Post:

To stay optimistic at -30 degrees, I try to imagine spring in full detail: tiny perfect oak leaves sprouting, bird radio increasing in volume, water lapping on red granite as the ice rots and recedes . . .

So, here are three more examples of Optimistic:

David is about to slay Goliath. Self would say that’s being VERY optimistic.

DSCN1626

Michelangelo’s David: Saw it for the first time, November 2015. (Look at the tracery of veins on the man’s ARMS, OMG you can almost feel them!)

Sign sprouting above self’s head. Indicates the direction she is headed.

Florence was a trip that called on self’s low supply of OPTIMISM and increased it 10-fold (Yes, dear blog readers, it IS possible to begin a trip with low energy and end it with energy to the nth power)

DSCN1489

Florence, November 2015: Niece and self, armed with 3-day museum pass, are determined to hit all of Florence’s 64 museums, in 3 days. Nuts!

Finally, Csilla Toldy hosted self in Rostrevor, Northern Ireland, July 2015. Csilla is a poet, novelist, and documentary filmmaker. We first met at the Tyrone Guthrie Centre in Annaghmakerrig, 2014. She has written a novel and a collection of poetry, as well as filmed a documentary on the celebration of Bloomsday (June 14) in Dublin and Hungary.

DSCN0634

Csilla Toldy went over the Green Wall when she was just 18. Here we are celebrating in her current home, Rostrevor, Northern Ireland, July 2015.

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

 

Circle 2: 1st 2016 WordPress Photo Challenge

This week’s WordPress Photo Challenge is CIRCLE.

Here are a few circles self encountered in the latter half of Year 2015:

Thanks to Niece Irene L, who invited self to come along on a trip to Florence in early November!

DSCN1863

The Cathedral at Siena: November 2015

Self had a wisdom tooth pulled in October; a friend made her this malted milk drink for after:

DSCN1321

When self had a wisdom tooth pulled in October, she couldn’t have solid food for a day. A friend made this malted milk drink for her.

Self collects buttons; she pins them on her jackets and blazers. Here’s one she bought in the new Whitney Museum on Gansevoort Street, Chelsea, New York City:

DSCN1242

Button Humor!

Stay tuned, dear blog readers. Stay tuned.

« Older entries

Ohm Sweet Ohm

Adventures in life from the Sunshine State to the Golden Gate

nancy merrill photography

capturing memories one moment at a time

Asian Cultural Experience

Preserving the history and legacy of Salinas Chinatown

Rantings Of A Third Kind

The Blog about everything and nothing and it's all done in the best possible taste!

Sauce Box

Never get lost in the Sauce

GK Dutta

Be One... Make One...

Cee's Photo Challenges

Teaching the art of composition for photography.

Fashion Not Fear

Fueling fearlessness through style and inspiration.

Wanderlust and Wonderment

My writing and photo journey of inspiration and discovery

transcribingmemory

Decades of her words.

John Oliver Mason

Observations about my life and the world around me.

Insanity at its best!

Yousuf Bawany's Blog

litadoolan

Any old world uncovered by new writing

unbolt me

the literary asylum

the contemporary small press

A site for small presses, writers, poets & readers

The 100 Greatest Books Challenge

A journey from one end of the bookshelf to the other

Random Storyteller

A crazy quilt of poems, stories, and humor