Example of Scythian Gold Work Excavated from Southern Russia
I’ve always had an interest – actually more of an intense fascination for far-away exotic peoples from long-ago. One of those peoples exerting a draw to my curiosity are the so-called Scythians, an ancient wildly nomadic peoples located roughly north of the Persians in that vast expanse of land from the Danube river across the north shores of the Black Sea to the River Don in present day Russia. A huge land expanse. Continue Reading
And a marathon it was running from 12:00 noon until 10:00pm; I didn’t get there at the absolute beginning and didn’t stay until the absolute end, but did manage to get in about 8 hours of quality time with some very fine musicians playing a varied and interesting fare of post-modern music. Continue Reading
woodblocks designed by Giorgio Liberale and cut by Wolfgang Meyerpeck pinterest.com
“The Decline of the Woodcut” is the title of Chapter 6 of The Art of Botanical Illustration; but the woodcut, as used in botanical illustration, is still going strong in Chapter 6 as we shall see. Continue Reading
A truly good man is not aware of his goodness,
And is therefore good. Continue Reading
Eugene Onegin, the book, was written by the Russian poet Alexander Pushkin (1799-1837) and tells the story, all in poetic verse, of a certain Eugene Onegin – a self-centered, superficial, arrogant, worldly, cynical, selfish, aristocratic jerk from Saint Petersberg who inherits a farm out on the Steppes from a dying uncle. Continue Reading
Sunday night was a night of miraculous musical performance – a revival and revelation of Franz Schreker’s Kammersymphonie in einem Satz (Chamber Symphony in One Movement) and the premier of Unexpected Affinities a Concerto Grosso for Reed Quintet and String Orchestra, by the young composer Graham Cohen. Continue Reading
The sheets were frozen hard, and they cut the naked hand;
The decks were like a slide, where a seamen scarce could stand;
The wind was a nor'wester, blowing squally off the sea;
And cliffs and spouting breakers were the only things a-lee.
They heard the surf a-roaring before the break of day;
But 'twas only with the peep of light we saw how ill we lay.
We tumbled every hand on deck instanter, with a shout,
And we gave her the maintops'l, and stood by to go about.
All day we tacked and tacked between the South Head and the North;
All day we hauled the frozen sheets, and got no further forth;
All day as cold as charity, in bitter pain and dread,
For very life and nature we tacked from head to head.
We gave the South a wider berth, for there the tide-race roared;
But every tack we made we brought the North Head close aboard:
So's we saw the cliffs and houses, and the breakers running high,
And the coastguard in his garden, with his glass against his eye.
The frost was on the village roofs as white as ocean foam;
The good red fires were burning bright in every 'long-shore home;
The windows sparkled clear, and the chimneys volleyed out;
And I vow we sniffed the victuals as the vessel went about.
The bells upon the church were rung with a mighty jovial cheer;
For it's just that I should tell you how (of all days in the year)
This day of our adversity was blessed Christmas morn,
And the house above the coastguard's was the house where I was born.
O well I saw the pleasant room, the pleasant faces there,
My mother's silver spectacles, my father's silver hair;
And well I saw the firelight, like a flight of homely elves,
Go dancing round the china-plates that stand upon the shelves.
And well I knew the talk they had, the talk that was of me,
Of the shadow on the household and the son that went to sea;
And O the wicked fool I seemed, in every kind of way,
To be here and hauling frozen ropes on blessed Christmas Day.
They lit the high sea-light, and the dark began to fall.
"All hands to loose topgallant sails," I heard the captain call.
"By the Lord, she'll never stand it," our first mate Jackson, cried.
..."It's the one way or the other, Mr. Jackson," he replied.
She staggered to her bearings, but the sails were new and good,
And the ship smelt up to windward just as though she understood.
As the winter's day was ending, in the entry of the night,
We cleared the weary headland, and passed below the light.
And they heaved a mighty breath, every soul on board but me,
As they saw her nose again pointing handsome out to sea;
But all that I could think of, in the darkness and the cold,
Was just that I was leaving home and my folks were growing old.
Robert Louis Stevenson