Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A good poem for today

August
By George Bilgere
Just when you’d begun to feel
You could rely on the summer,
That each morning would deliver
The same mourning dove singing
From his station on the phone pole,
The same smell of bacon frying
Somewhere in the neighborhood,
The same sun burning off
The coastal fog by noon,
When you could reward yourself
For a good morning’s work
With lunch at the same little seaside café
With its shaded deck and iced tea,
The day’s routine finally down
Like an old song with minor variations,
There comes that morning when the light
Tilts ever so slightly on its track,
A cool gust out of nowhere
Whirlwinds a litter of dead grass
Across the sidewalk, the swimsuits
Are piled on the sale table,
And the back of your hand,
Which you thought you knew,
Has begun to look like an old leaf.
Or the back of someone else’s hand.

I love this painting by Elizabeth Livingston


Wedding Day 
oil on canvas
24” x 34”
2008

That down blanket is perfect. I want to sleep on this painting. 

Monday, August 24, 2015

My favorite church in Rome...

...is the The Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Martyrs (Santa Maria degli Angeli e dei Martiri).


This church was designed by Michelangelo in 1561. It incorporates the ruins of the Baths of Diocletian (which were built on that spot in 306 AD). The entrance of the church seems very modest until you realize that it is the original wall of an ancient Roman ruin. Instead of covering it up, Michelangelo wanted us to see it, which seems like a really modern architectural choice to me (exposed brick?) During the Renaissance people didn't know what these ruins were or how they were made, but were in awe of their size and the skill it took to build them.

In 1702 a meridian line/sundial was built inside the basilica. Pope Clement XI had it built because he wanted to check the accuracy of the Gregorian reformation of the calendar and to produce a tool to predict Easter exactly. 

From Wikipedia:
The sundial was built here because (1) Like other baths in Rome, the building was already naturally southerly oriented, so as to receive unobstructed exposure to the sun; (2) the height of the walls allowed for a long line to measure the sun's progress through the year more precisely; (3) the ancient walls had long since stopped settling into the ground, ensuring that carefully calibrated observational instruments set in them would not move out of place; and (4) because it was set in the former baths of Diocletian, it would symbolically represent a victory of the Christian calendar over the earlier pagan calendar.

Amazing!

Here is a picture of the beautiful oculus at the top of the dome. There are little planets and stars in the stained glass. It really is a thing of wonder:

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Rome


I went to Rome in May. I won't bore you with all of my photos, just some of my favorites.







 Oh my god the churches. They are everywhere and all of them are amazing.
                                                           This wavy marble

This little Bernini statue is above a tomb in a church. That little hand peeking out from the shroud, is, well, touching.

This saint's tomb. I think she's in there or part of her is below this gruesome wax model.


                                And finally, please in the church with the right clothes.