Thursday, September 19, 2019

Dream Balloons

The view across the immensity of Tiananmen Square here is extraordinary...All of the history of China is symbolically focused here, at this very point, and it is hard, as you stand there, not to be transfixed by the power of it.
~Douglas Adams

Poets from a Hong Kong-based journal today, Cha: An Asian Literary Journal. These are from the "Tiananmen Thirty Years On" issue.

An excerpt of JUNE
by Xi Xi, translated from the Chinese by Jennifer Feeley

...Every June we dreamed
of far-off lands, of seeing a few
sights, buying a few books
visiting old friends. June
comes again, the colour of the sky
unearthly, where you are
there are sudden avalanches
the fluorescent screen starkly bares
a square ghostly pale, the capital
shrouded in thick frost, a cold front
advancing, everyone
in shock

What a grim June
So how are things with you? Not much to tell
except the temperature is falling, it’s so cold
so very cold, distant scenes
our dream balloons
pop one by one. We unfold
a map, unsure
if our feet still have the right to choose
where they’re heading

July 4, 1989


by Ming Di, translated from the Chinese by the author

after Ezra Pound

The aspirations of these young faces in the crowd—
plums crushed by a rust-bloody tower.

Author’s Note:
I see a gigantic tank, the Tiananmen Tower
with Mao’s picture, rolling along
the Tiananmen Square. Heavenly Peace,
that’s what the name is.
I hear people cry out, in peace, aspiring
for light from darkness.
An ocean of voices.
An ocean of gasping when the tank moves over.
An ocean of faces—
petals of plum blossoms—smashed
as the tank rolls down
the Avenue of Eternal Peace.


To My Grandfather by Liu Xiaobo
6/4 by Anthony Tao

TeacherDance has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Linda!

Ornamental Design

I believe the right question to ask, respecting all ornament, is simply this; was it done with enjoyment, was the carver happy while he was about it?
~John Ruskin

I had trouble narrowing down which pages to show from the 1900 book Handbook of ornament; a grammar of art, industrial and architectural designing in all its branches, for practical as well as theoretical use by Franz Sales Meyer because I wanted to show the breadth of its images.

A second quote:
I belong in chrysanthemum time, sharp in calla lily elongations. God made my soul into an ornamental thing.
~Fernando Pessoa

Wednesday, September 18, 2019


I think the most interesting way for me to approach anyone is to assume that they have all sorts of gems and treasures hidden inside of them.
~Elizabeth Gilbert

Featuring Ariana's favorite podcasts today. She says:

1. Ear Hustle: my #1 favorite! a unique and consistently amazing podcast produced in San Quentin prison in California by prisoners about all aspect of prison life. It will change your perspective, warm your heart, and stay with you
2. This is Love: a charming podcast where love is interpreted very broadly— an artist in love with the color blue, snail reproductive habits, etc.
3. Twenty Thousand Hertz: a podcast all about sound. Alarm clocks, sonic branding, bird song... each 20-30 min episode is informative and fascinating

4. Aria Code: a great podcast for opera lovers (or opera newbies!). each episode discusses a famous aria, making it more beautiful and more relatable at the same time
5. Five Things: on this podcast, artists, musicians, comedians, and other interesting people tell the stories of their lives through 5 objects that are important to them. A cool premise that leads to lovely interviews

6. Kind World: If you need your faith in humanity restored, these short episodes of storytelling will do it! Warning: you may need tissues
7. The Slowdown: Our poet laureate Tracy K Smith reads a poem every day in her lovely, soothing reading voice and includes comments, personal anecdotes, and analysis. You don’t have to be a poet or feel comfortable reading poetry to adore this podcast
8. Personal Best: it’s hard to describe this podcast in a way that does it justice... a light-hearted Canadian parody of self-help culture? Two guys trying incredibly hard to help people with mundane problems and almost always failing? It’s a delight, trust me.

Monday, September 16, 2019


Муу хүний дуу чанга
A bad person’s voice is loud
~Mongolian proverb

For Music Monday, Mongolian singer Daichin Tana:

Thursday, September 12, 2019

You are quite a beauty

Your hearts are like my hands,
some days all they do is tremble.
I am like you.
~Anis Mojgani

A poem from Muzzle Magazine to welcome autumn. It's also a poem to inspire you to think outside the box with your imagery!

All those gold leaves
by Anis Mojgani

My piano coat unbuttoned
and all my pianos fell into the leaves.
I was picking up pianos for hours
when you walked past
your skin glowed like a loud dog.
In your smile this dog had a fence
to push his face up against.
What happiness he barked.
With pianos filling my arms...

read the rest here


Come Closer by Anis Mojgani:


Writing the World for Kids has the Poetry Friday round-up. Thanks, Laura!


The aim of every artist is to arrest motion, which is life, by artificial means and hold it fixed so that a hundred years later, when a stranger looks at it, it moves again.
~William Faulkner

Sgraffito today. Sgraffito is a form of decoration made by scratching through a surface to reveal a lower layer of a contrasting color (on walls or pottery).

photo by Maryele

House covered with sgraffito
photo by Kostisl

Carved and Incised Vessel with Deity Heads, A.D. 600-900

Portrait of Aristotle, 1500-1550
shared by MicheleLovesArt

Maison Cauchie, architecte Paul Cauchie, 1905

Kraków - Prelates House
photo by Andrzej Otrębski

Movie theater

How to do it yourself:

Wednesday, September 11, 2019


Here's a rule of life: You don't get to pick what bad things happen to you.
~Rory Miller

On the 9/11 Day site, you can look up volunteer projects in your area so you can do a day (or more) of service.

September is also National Preparedness Month. I like being prepared, although I'm not organized enough to do all the things. What about you?

From Week 2 (Sept 8-14): Make a Plan

Make an Emergency Plan
Sign up for alerts and warnings in your area
Learn your evacuation zone and have an evacuation plan

This isn't part of making a plan, but it sort of is...what do you plan on doing as a bystander in an emergency? You Are the Help Until Help Arrives, designed by FEMA, are trainings that can be taken online or in-person. The program encourages the public to take these five steps when there is an emergency:
Call 9-1-1;
Protect the injured from harm;
Stop bleeding;
Position the injured so they can breathe; and
Provide comfort.

One last thought: