Both inspire me to redouble my efforts. (Much can be achieved despite presidents and governments, don't you think?)
..or my perceived lack of it.
I am reminded in Karen Ruimy's recent posts about energy that if I am open to it, I can tap into the resurgence of energy that is spring.
Imagine, she says, an energy of stillness coming into your body reducing the pressure from the world. This energy is coming to you and going into each part and cell of your physical body. Let that fresh new energy come in.
You are made of sunshine says Thich Naht Hahn.
Maybe that is true..
I make no apology for linking once again to these videos by Hans Rosling who died recently.
He took the long view of the bigger picture. I really admired him and his unique perspective on the world gave me hope, and reason to be optimistic.
See Five Ways The World Is Doing Better Than You Think
Ring out, wild bells, to the wild sky,
The flying cloud, the frosty light:
The year is dying in the night;
Ring out wild bells and let him die.
Ring out the old, ring in the new,
Ring, happy bells across the snow:
The year is going, let him go;
Ring out the false, ring in the true.
Ring out the grief that saps the mind
For those that here we see no more;
Ring out the feud of rich and poor,
Ring in redress to all mankind.
Ring out a slowly dying cause,
And ancient forms of party strife;
Ring in the nobler modes of life,
With sweeter manners, purer laws.
Ring out the want, the care, the sin,
The faithless coldness of the times;
Ring out, ring out my mournful rhymes
But ring the fuller minstrel in.
Ring out false pride in place and blood,
The civic slander and the spite;
Ring in the love of truth and right.
Ring in the common love of good.
Ring out old shapes of foul disease;
Ring out the narrowing lust of gold;
Ring out the thousand wars of old,
ring in the thousand years of peace.
Ring in the valiant man and free,
The larger heart, the kindlier hand;
Ring out the darkness of the land
Ring in the Christ that is to be.
Alfred, Lord Tennyson 1850
I watched this (scroll down to Smiling Face) and gained a different perspective on everything.
I found it very moving, and it left me thinking you might as well be happy!
What do you think?
Thank you to my sister Doreen who put it on her Facebook page.
..by the many women I know and read about who live fulfilling and interesting lives and live alone.
I have decided to live not so much by myself, or for myself, but as myself....
'That is very profound.' said Frances.
I thought so too when I came up with it!
Excuse me while I take a few days to figure out exactly what I mean....
Have a good weekend.
I love white. It lifts my sprits. Maybe that is why I love snow.
I have always painted the walls of my rooms white and when I walk into a 'white cube' style art gallery - the bigger the better - I feel as if I am floating a couple of inches off the ground!
Reading Spark Joy, I was prompted to dig out a simple quilted white bedspread and put it over the dark leather sofa - immediate spark of joy...(photographed in the evening - even sparkier in daylight!)
The books I mentioned yesterday are At Home With White by Atlanta Bartlett and Sensual Home by Ilse Crawford which has thoughtful text, beautiful photographs and these chapter headings -
These rwo books are keepers for me, but we change, and our tastes change, and one of the lovely things about clearing is we make room for the new....
Is there a colour which inspires you?
And is there a book about it?
We are back to rainy weather here, but I think I'll keep my snowy header photograph for a few days more....
I have reached the final words of Peter Ackroyd's Venice Pure City -
..vivacity, gaity, radiance, extravagance, energy, buoyancy, spontaneity, urgency, facility, exuberance, impetuosity. Oh! Venezia!
Who wouldn't be excited?
Here is another Fortuny garment I'd love to wear, and if you scroll down you will see the most dazzling selection of Fortuny gowns.
Have you heard of this artist and his Chandeliers Over Venice project? (This is for you Lotta!) There are lots of videos on Dale Chihuly and the full story here. Allow yourself an hour or three if you really love glass!
The weather has changed since I took this shot, it is wet and wild and the leaves are falling fast..
I guess it's winter.
A beautiful power station?
Is that possible?
Apparently so. See here.
It certainly looks beautiful compared to any I've ever seen. Of course there will be problems and an environmental cost, nevertheless I find this pretty impressive and hopeful. As is the website..
What do you think?
Japanese Rain on Canvas by David Hockney 1972. I've always loved this.
(sorry only in black and white - though interesting!)
But enough of rain for now. Perhaps you have seen this brilliant video by my only statistician hero Professor Hans Rosling, which I first posted a few years ago? Here is a new one by the self same man, and his son....fascinating, inspirational, clever and funny. How Not To Be Ignorant About The World.
....every day, and grow your soul. I hope you like the ideas in this 4 minute video!
And I hope you might like to browse the site while I take a blog break.
Have a good week.
A few more shots of the interior of The Reid Building at Glasgow School of Art today - animated by having the students in it. Official opening day looms and there are still cranes and scaffolding and men in hard hats all over the place. Tricky work environment for all of them at the moment..but I for one am still getting good vibes from it....
See 3 more posts on this subject under Simply Inspirational (Categories sidebar)
There is a 2 minute video of the exhibition I mentioned yesterday here
Architecture was a compulsory subject when I was at GSA. I'm so glad I studied it - it led to a lifelong interest, and later to study in Landscape Architecture.
Architect Steven Holl gets up at 6.30 am to do these tiny watercolours (another 'lark'). It's quite exciting to look at them then walk across the road and see the huge real thing!
You can click on the images to enlarge and there is lots more at www.stevenholl.com
Yesterday I was shown round the Reid Building at Glasgow School of Art.
I've been thinking of it since, and went back today for a closer look at the exhibition Drawing on Holl from where the above image comes. This exhibition (free admission and on till Mar 23) is worth seeing and the fact that it is on display inside Charles Rennie Mackintosh's Art School building gives you, if you don't know the building, a useful little experience of Mackintosh's articulation of space and light which influenced Steven Holl in his design.
The entire effort here is an homage to Mackintosh says Holl.
I was lucky enough to spend four years studying at GSA, two of them in the Mackintosh building which I know and love, so, like most alumni I imagine, I was not a little wary of what I would find, and sceptical of what seemed a possibly overly concept-led approach. See this post for further links, photographs, and a (rather waspish) review.
I am still processing the experience of being inside the building (which is quite different and ultimately much more important than merely looking at it) but my first impressions are of a quite poetic and elegant manipulation of space and light, of beautifully generous proportions.
It's dynamic and exciting and, sticking my neck out here, I'm going to predict that it will (in time) become a much loved building.....Yay for GSA!
And for Alan and Sarah! Thank you.
..for any architect is to build across the road from an iconic building such as the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Glasgow School of Art.
I'm a graduate of GSA and can't wait to see the new Reid building properly and to judge for myself whether, as architect Steven Holl put it, the new building works 'in a symbiotic relationship' with the old.
There are some good photographs here.
You will be hearing more of this....
Watch this space!
Artist Bruce Munro has been commissioned to make a light installation in the lovely St Andrew's Square in Edinburgh. I'll be planning a special trip to see this - it looks magical. (It is there until April.)
I think this is my favourite image from his folio. It is Checkwood Gardens Tennessee. Enjoy the one in Ohio Julia!
I'm remembering that winter is an excuse to listen to music more, and to read and browse on the internet - why ever not?
The story of how Philip Glass (see yesterday's post) came to write the Songs and Poems for Solo Cello for cellist Wendy Sutter is a romantic one. She calls them 'love letters' and said that when they first met to talk about the music she did not realise that he had any romantic feeling for her. They became a couple for five years. Read more about this brilliant duo here. I had always viewed the work of Glass as an adjunct or background to something, and would not have called myself a fan but these works stand alone and have such authority and beauty that I could (and will - have just sent for the CD) listen to them for hours.
UCTV University of California Television have an amazing series of lectures, documentaries, interviews (one with Wendy Sutter), symposia and performances, all available online. Fantastic.
And to really make my day - this article, Demolishing Three Myths About World Poverty, by Bill and Melinda Gates from the Wall Street Journal - is the most hopeful and positive thing I have read in any newspaper for a long time. Don't miss it if you are in need of some good news!
Isn't it exciting when you find a new-to-you author and you know that he/she is going to be a favourite for ever.
I was attracted by the cover in a bookshop while on holiday, read a page or two, and bought it on impulse. Happy find!
I know I am going to read and re-read this book of essays, lend it, recommend it, seek out other things she has written....but all in good time. This is not a book to be hurried. I read one essay, think about it for a day, maybe two, then read the next, and I am saving 'Three Ways of Looking at St Kilda' for when I am in Harris in September (as near as I will probably get to St Kilda).
Beautiful writing by a wonderful storyteller who takes you to wonderful places.
Have you read this, or Findings?
Lucille's comment on yesterday's post reminded me to recommend to you Andrea Jones' book The Garden Source.
With hundreds of inspirational photographs from all around the world, it is a fascinating browse (or saunter!).
It is organised into sections headed Connect, Divide, Space and Style and has eg several pages of gates, or sheds, or sitting areas....including ours we're delighted to say.
It's bound to spark off a few ideas for your garden..and makes a great gift for a friend.
We dashed across the country yesterday to catch the last day of the exhibition of Joan Eardley's work at The Scottish Gallery in Edinburgh.
Joan Eardley is one of my all time favourite artists.
Honest, passionate, compassionate and totally committed. Unflinching, unafraid of her materials, a wonderful draughtsman....I could go on, but her work speaks for itself.
I knew the Glasgow she depicts so well and find her work moves me deeply.
The exhibition was busy with others who had left it till the last day, and some who were visiting for the second or third time. The paintings and drawings were all for sale and will never again be shown together as almost all have sold. The catalogue was sold out.
I'm sorry to recommend it only when the show is over, but for high quality reproductions of all the works click on the thumbnails here.
One word for 2013?
I think I first heard of choosing a word for each year from Gretchen Rubin's The Happiness Project.
In 2011 I chose fitter, and I did indeed get fitter that year. Not super-fit, but fitter than I had been.
2012's word was lighter - I have tried to be lighter of heart, take things more lightly, generally lighten up, choose lighter when it comes to both food and drink, and in the decoration of my home, and to keep off the two or three pounds by which my weight tends to fluctuate (not a lot I know, but I feel and see the difference!) 2012 has been lighter and brighter because of my word for the year.
Will you choose a word which sums up your hopes and goals for 2013?
I'm coming round to energy - thinking of creating it, (we are selling electricity to the national grid from our solar panels!), husbanding it - old fashioned word - expending it only on useful and worthwhile things. Considering mental and physical energy....there is plenty of scope in this small word.
When I began my blog I got into the habit of asking myself when trying to make a decision Will this simplify or complicate my life?
I might try to get into the habit of asking Will this give me energy, or drain me of energy?
But I'm still thinking for a day or two more - I've not quite decided yet. Joy is a contender....and friendship..
A postscript to yesterday's post....another tip for a sweet smelling bathroom is to put a couple of drops of essential oil onto the cardboard tube inside the toilet roll - the scent last about as long as the paper.... I love Napier's Relaxing Essential Oil Blend.
An artist seeking a simpler life - (but not too simple!)