Art

Sun Dance

image

Walking on Sunshine, by JF, 2013

Beamin like mornin
sun on cherry blossoms, you
danced into my heart

Advertisements
Categories: Art, Literature, Love, Nature, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Hargreaves Haiku

220px-a_young_hare_albrect_durer.jpg.jpeg

Feldhase (Field Hare), painted by Albrecht Durer in 1502

The hare jumps to hide
within the creekside thicket –
I sit on a stone

Waiting here alone
the icy wind blows my hair –
without her I’m lost

Zipping up my coat
I hike on through Burgess Field –
too damn cold for tears

Categories: Art, England, Exploration, Literature, Love, Nature, Poetry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Of the Wearing of Rings in Ancient Times

1

Prehistoric Native American Rings

Rings are interesting things.  Although I have gone through certain phases of my life wearing rings or not wearing any rings at all, the reasons folks have had for wearing rings throughout prehistory and history is a fairly new interest.  I suppose it started when I noticed that a Canadian couple I met in England wear their wedding rings on the ring fingers of their right hands, instead of the more common American practice of wearing them on the ring fingers of the left hand.  An interesting discussion of such things can be found on this blog : https://humanpast.wordpress.com/2013/10/30/rings-and-things/

Shopping in an Atlanta charity shop recently, this lately dormant interest was reawakened by a serendipitous find.  What is evidently one of the classic works on rings is now happily in my possession, and is an amazing introduction to the history of rings up to that time.  Rings for the Finger: From the Earliest Known Times to the Present, with Full Descriptions of the Origin, Early Making, Materials, the Archaeology,  History, For Affection,  For Love, For Engagement, For Wedding, Commemorative, Mourning, Etc. (1917) by George Frederick Kunz is nothing if not an in depth treatise on the myriad mysteries of rings!

2

Early Finger Rings

It seems that among the men of ancient Rome only senators were allowed to wear gold rings until later in the Empire when the cohesion holding together the social fabric began to melt and it became all the rage among all classes.  Also, prehistoric peoples of the  southwestern Native American tribes wore rings made of shell, some being incised with natural images like lightning and clouds.  Pre-columbian copper rings have also been unearthed in Indian mounds in Ohio, and a few stone rings, which I must presume were made of soapstone (steatite) have also been excavated in Kentucky, Tennessee, and other states.

4

 

Kunz thought that the custom of wearing rings in the Occidental world derived ultimately from the Orient or from the  Egyptians, who reduced seals of rank worn about the neck or arm to rings for the finger.  From Egypt the practice spread to Greece and to the Etruscans, from whom the Romans adopted it.  There are even mythological tales of ring-wearing, such as the one in which Zeus freed Prometheus but commanded him to wear a ring made of one of the links of his Caucasian chain set with a tiny piece of the rock to which he had been chained.  In this manner his 30,000 year punishment could continue in a manner more healthy to his liver.  Yes, Prometheus had his own beast of burden, and it had nothing to do with alcohol!

3

“Three Rings for the Elven-kings under the sky,
Seven for the Dwarf-lords in their halls of stone,
Nine for Mortal Men doomed to die,
One for the Dark Lord on his dark throne
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.
One Ring to rule them all, One Ring to find them,
One Ring to bring them all, and in the darkness bind them,
In the Land of Mordor where the Shadows lie.”

J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit, 1937

Categories: Archaeology, Art, Artifacts, Cemeteries, Love, Museums | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Besieging Van Gogh in New York City

The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

The Starry Night by Vincent Van Gogh

It is humorous that the Dutch, the British, and the Americans all pronounce Van Gogh’s surname differently. Evidently, since he was Dutch himself, Vincent pronounced it “Van Gokkkkkggggghhhh.” Very Germanic and harsher than harsh. Folks from the UK say “Van Goff.” No idea where that comes from, but then the English (in particular) make a habit of mispronouncing every French word they possibly can, just to annoy les francais. Maybe they have decided to extend this courtesy to the Netherlands, too. Americans pronounce it “Van Go” – much softer and easier to say, but evidently also incorrect!

Regardless of pronunciations, this is the busiest room at New York City’s Museum of Modern Art, and the space in front of this one painting is nearly always packed with besieging admirers. What is it they are thinking about as they look at it? The brush strokes? The texture? The colors? The brilliance of the artist? Perhaps they are thinking of their own joy at actually seeing this masterpiece in person. Then again, maybe it’s not so much about the art or the painter, but merely about the bragging rights of having “been there and done that.” I think most people are drawn to Vincent’s tragic life story, perhaps more than to his art. I always think of the sad, lovely ballad by singer-songwriter Don MacLean when I think of VVG. Wisely, Don just stuck to “Vincent.”

“Starry, starry night
Paint your palette blue and gray
Look out on a summer’s day
With eyes that know the darkness in my soul

Shadows on the hills
Sketch the trees and the daffodils
Catch the breeze and the winter chills
In colors on the snowy linen land

Now I understand
What you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free

They would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps they’ll listen now

Starry, starry night
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze
Swirling clouds in violet haze
Reflect in Vincent’s eyes of china blue

Colors changing hue
Morning fields of amber grain
Weathered faces lined in pain
Are soothed beneath the artist’s loving hand

Now I understand
What you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free

They would not listen, they did not know how
Perhaps they’ll listen now

For they could not love you
But still your love was true
And when no hope was left in sight
On that starry, starry night

You took your life, as lovers often do
But I could’ve told you Vincent
This world was never meant for
One as beautiful as you

Starry, starry night
Portraits hung in empty halls
Frame-less heads on nameless walls
With eyes that watch the world and can’t forget

Like the strangers that you’ve met
The ragged men in ragged clothes
The silver thorn of bloody rose
Lie crushed and broken on the virgin snow

Now I think I know
What you tried to say to me
And how you suffered for your sanity
And how you tried to set them free

They would not listen, they’re not listening still
Perhaps they never will

Don MacLean, Vincent, 1971

Categories: Art | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

Blog at WordPress.com.

Manufactured Bodies

The Impact of Industrialisation on Health in London

Ontario Camper

Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Klint Janulis: Stone Age Student

Wild Food, Photography and Stone Age Archaeology

The human past

archaeology, history, humans, science

leslinetmd

Psychiatry, Child Psychiatry, Parental Alienation

Public Lies

Parental Alienation Blog, supported by Parental Rights Preservation NJ

Southeast Native Food

Sharing Traditional Knowledge of Southeast Native American Food

wildchow

CHASING DOWN LIFE IN THE WOODS...ONE CRITTER AT A TIME!

One Man's Meat

Multi-award winning food blog, written in Dublin, Ireland.

Ruination Scotland

Derelict Mansions from the Borders to the Highlands

Bespoke Traveler

Immersive Tales for the Curious Traveler

Zygoma

Adventures in natural history collections

Better Know A Child Ballad

A 305 part series

lateglacial

Exploring Late Glacial Archaeology

Adventures in Cemetery Hopping

A blog by Traci Rylands

Bones Don't Lie

Current News in Mortuary Archaeology and Bioarchaeology

Archaeodeath

The Archaeology and Heritage of Death and Memory

The Byron Herbert Reece Society

Devoted to the legacy of the Appalachian poet Byron Herbert Reece

Visions Of The Past

Irish history, Irish ruins, Ireland history, Ireland ruins, Abandoned Ireland

%d bloggers like this: