Sunday, August 29, 2010


“Hope is the feeling we have that the feeling we have is not permanent.” Mignon McLaughlin

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

meet the planets...

"My work is a way for me to go to the planets without the physical trip, and to meet myself when I get there." Paula Rice

This collection hails from a planetary art exhibit at Lowell Observatory during the summer of 2009, in Flagstaff, Arizona. Entitled "The Planet Series: Figurative Interpretations of the Planets Around the Sun -- A Sculpture Project" by artist and professor Paula Rice, evoking the human sense of the mysterious and desire to grasp the universe surrounding us.

The newspaper of Northern Arizona University (NAU) describes her work as:

Rice’s humanlike planets not only set out to capture her experience of the universe as “loving, intelligent and harmonious,” they also incorporate the empirical evidence of planet surfaces provided through photos from the Hubble Telescope.

“My new work is a way for me to imagine a reality incomprehensively vast and bring it down to human size,” Rice explained. “The series is about us here on Earth. For the first time in human history, our sense of place and the size of our imaginations have to stretch to include new information about these worlds.”

She said each ceramic planet features new landscape and surface information from the space photography.

I visited this art exhibit and fell in love with the Greek-like forms of planets as human figures. The text below each photo was taken from the exhibit itself.

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Ceramic; oxidation-fired and smoked

Mercury is the closest planet to the sun and the smallest of all the planets in our Solar System. Its surface is pocked with impact craters. Mercury is a world of fire and ice, with temperatures reaching 750 degrees Fahrenheit (400 degrees Celsius) during the daytime, and dropping down to -200 degrees Fahrenheit (-129 degrees Celsius) during the planet's long nights.

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with Asteroid

Ceramic and cast iron; oxidation-fired and smoked

Known as Earth's sister planet, Venus compares with our home planet only in size and mass. Our closest planetary neighbor is shrouded in a dense cloud cover containing sulfuric acid droplets and an atmosphere that consists almost entirely of unbreathable carbon dioxide. These clouds produce a greenhouse effect that drives temperatures to an average of 900 degrees Fahrenheit (483 degrees Celsius).

Most features on Venus are named for real and mythical women; examples are craters Eve, Sacagawea and Cleopatra.
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Ceramic with glazes; metal; oxidation-fired and smoked

The third planet from the Sun is the only body in the Solar System where water exists in all three phases: solid, liquid and gas. Two-thirds of the Earth is covered with water, but even the driest deserts on our home planet harbor life.

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Ceramic with glaze; oxidation-fired and smoked

The most-studied planet in the Solar System, Mars is both familiar to us and mysterious. Streaky markings and dusky patches change with the Martian seasons; dust storms occasionally cover the entire planet. Water was once abundant on the Red Planet, as indicated by ancient shorelines, channels and lakebeds.

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Ceramic with slips and glazes; oxidation-fired and smoked

This giant among the planets is eleven times the diameter of Earth. Its hydrogen and helium composition, in combination with other elements, lends vivid colors to Jupiter's dense clouds. The Great Red Spot, a huge whirling cloud system, has been in existence for at least several hundred years. The four largest of Jupiter's 63 known moons (called the Galilean moons) can be seen with binoculars from Earth.

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Ceramic with lusters; fiberglass (by Ivan Bronston); oxidation-fired

Like Jupiter, Uranus and Neptune, Saturn is gaseous with no solid surface. It is characterized by its brilliant rings, a complex system comprised of billions of chunks of ice, each in its own orbit around the planet. Its average density is less than that of water; in a large enough ocean, Saturn would float.

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Ceramic; fiberglass (by Ivan Bronston)

The first planet discovered with a telescope, Uranus is twice as far from the Sun as Saturn and four times larger than Earth. Methane gas imparts a greenish-blue color to an almost featureless globe. Uranus and its ring system are "tipped over," likely the result of a cosmic collision billions of years ago.

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Ceramic with underglazes and glazes; fiberglass (by Ivan Bronston); oxidation fired

Although similar in size and composition to Uranus, Neptune reveals unique features. High winds drive prominent cloud belts and blue storm systems around the planet. Like the other gas giants, Neptune has a ring system and many moons.

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with Kuiper Belt Objects

Stoneware with underglazes and glazes

Pluto was discovered in 1930 at Lowell Observatory by Clyde Tombaugh, a young research assistant. It was officially reclassified as a dwarf planet in 2006. Small, cold, and icy, Pluto orbits the Sun on the fringes of the Solar System along with thousands of Kuiper Belt Objects.

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More information about Paula Rice's planetary series -->

Sometimes courage is the quiet voice...

I took this at Fort Ebey, Whidbey Island, Washington State, 2009
Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow.”

~Mary Anne Radmacher

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A book is good company, by Henry Ward Beecher

“A book is good company. It is full of conversation without loquacity. It comes to your longing with full instruction, but pursues you never.” Henry Ward Beecher

Monday, August 16, 2010

“It seems to me we can never give up longing..."

Stump of petrified wood (stone, now, in the shape of a stump), Petrified Forest on a cloudy day. Before I visited here (this was taken in 2009), I thought I might see some standing trees too, but not so much.

“It seems to me we can never give up longing and wishing while we are thoroughly alive. There are certain things we feel to be beautiful and good, and we must hunger after them.”
~ George Eliot

Friday, August 13, 2010

All changes have their melancholy, by Anatole France

"All changes, even the most longed for, have their melancholy, for what we leave behind us is a part of ourselves; we must die to one life before we can enter another."

~ Anatole France

Saturday, August 7, 2010

The trouble is, if you don't risk anything...

Sunrise in the Everglades
Photo by Richard Frear, National Park Service
Credit: NOAA Image Library

"Do you want me to tell you something really subversive? Love is everything it's cracked up to be. That's why people are so cynical about it. . . . It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don't risk anything, you risk even more."

~ Erica Jong

Friday, August 6, 2010

"There is heat in freezing..." (How to Be Alone poem)

How to Be Alone
Tanya Davis

If you are at first lonely, be patient.

If you’ve not been alone much, or if when you were, you weren’t okay with it, then just wait. You’ll find its fine to be alone once you’re embracing it.

We can start with the acceptable places, the bathroom, the coffee shop, the library, where you can stall and read the paper, where you can get your caffeine fix and sit and stay there. Where you can browse the stacks and smell the books, your not suppose to talk much anyway so its safe there.

There is also the gym, if your shy, you can hang out with yourself and mirrors, you can put headphones in.

Then there’s public transportation, because we all gotta go places.

And there’s prayer and mediation, no one will think less if your hanging with your breath seeking peace and salvation.

Start simple. Things you may have previously avoided based on your avoid being alone principles.

The lunch counter, where you will be surrounded by “chow downers”, employees who only have an hour and their spouses work across town, and they, like you, will be alone.

Resist the urge to hang out with your cell phone.

When you are comfortable with “eat lunch and run”, take yourself out for dinner; a restaurant with linen and silver wear. You’re no less an intriguing a person when you are eating solo desert and cleaning the whip cream from the dish with your finger. In fact, some people at full tables will wish they were where you were.

Go to the movies. Where it’s dark and soothing, alone in your seat amidst a fleeting community.

And then take yourself out dancing, to a club where no one knows you, stand on the outside of the floor until the lights convince you more and more and the music shows you. Dance like no ones watching because they’re probably not. And if they are, assume it is with best human intentions. The way bodies move genuinely to beats, is after-all, gorgeous and affecting. Dance until you’re sweating. And beads of perspiration remind you of life’s best things. Down your back, like a book of blessings.
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Go to the woods alone, and the trees and squirrels will watch for you. Go to an unfamiliar city, roam the streets, they are always statues to talk to, and benches made for sitting gives strangers a shared existence if only for a minute, and these moments can be so uplifting and the conversation you get in by sitting alone on benches, might of never happened had you not been there by yourself. SOURCE: Copyrights: Tanya Davis

Society is afraid of alone though. Like lonely hearts are wasting away in basements. Like people must have problems if after awhile nobody is dating them.

But lonely is a freedom that breaths easy and weightless, and lonely is healing if you make it.

You can stand swaffed by groups and mobs or hands with your partner, look both further and farther in the endless quest for company.

But no one is in your head. And by the time you translate your thoughts an essence of them maybe lost or perhaps it is just kept. Perhaps in the interest of loving oneself, perhaps all those sappy slogans from pre-school over to high school groaning, we’re tokens for holding the lonely at bay.

Cause if you’re happy in your head, then solitude is blessed, and alone is okay.

It’s okay if no one believes like you, all experiences unique, no one has the same synapses, can’t think like you, for this be relived, keeps things interesting, life’s magic brings much, and it doesn’t mean you aren’t connected, and the community is not present, just take the perspective you get from being one person in one head and feel the effects of it.

Take silence and respect it.

If you have an art that needs a practice, stop neglecting it, if your family doesn’t get you or a religious sect is not meant for you, don’t obsess about it.

You could be in an instant surrounded if you need it.

If your heart is bleeding, make the best of it.

There is heat in freezing, be a testimate.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Many of us spend our whole lives...

I took this photo of yellow flowers in Arizona last August
(and applied a watercolor effect).

"Many of us spend our whole lives running from feeling with the mistaken belief that you cannot bear the pain. But you have already borne the pain. What you have not done is feel all you are beyond the pain."

~ St. Bartholomew

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