Archive for June, 2010

Poor Man’s Acid

June 24, 2010
Venus and Mars - Botticelli

Venus and Mars - Botticelli

To the art world it’s a moment similar to when you first realised the Magic Roundabout was all about a bunch of stoner hippies (just what was in those sugar cubes, Dougal?). Art historian David Bellingham has claimed that one of history’s most revered masterpieces, Botticelli’s Venus and Mars may not really have been a scene of uplifting godly piety and pure Christian-compatible romantic love – but more the scene of a comedown after an all out mind-bending blowout on drugs.

detail

detail


It seems that all previous scholars who have studied the painting have ignored a small plant depicted in one corner, probably more interested in the devilish imp figure pictured resting his hand on it. New research suggests that the plant in question is likely datura stramonium – a narcotic known for centuries and more recently called ‘poor man’s acid’.

Bellingham claims it has effects similar to ‘opium mixed with alcohol’, causing hallucinations, thirst and and even ‘speedy chattering’. As a datura high is wearing off, the user eventually ‘swoons and falls asleep’ – much like Botticelli’s Mars. Other minor details also point to the psychedelic interpretation. Far out.

Critics trying to deny this will line up alongside those who still believe that Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds was about a child’s painting …

Originally posted by SchNEWS.

Is this what is meant by ‘high culture’?

Also see

High Art: Were Botticelli’s Venus And Mars Stoned?

The Soul of the Earth is Hurting

June 24, 2010
structure of the planet Earth

structure of the planet Earth

comparison of planets Earth and Gliese 581 c

comparison of planets Earth and Gliese 581 c

The Earth is hurting there are more earth-quakes happening frequently, why is this?

The Earth is hurting the temperatures are getting hotter and hotter as the years pass by

The earth is hurting there are more wars (war on nature, war on man) and children being injured mentally and physically.

Where are we heading as a human race?

Are we hoping to make it to Gliese 581 c when we wake up and realize that our e-a-r-t-h is in crumbles and human extinction?

From a Facebook note by Nika Marie Parham. Also posted on her blog.

Also see

A hole in the world

‘I want my life back’

Narcissus and the lake

June 23, 2010
Narcissus and the lake - Caravaggio

Narcissus and the lake - Caravaggio

The Alchemist picked up a book that someone in the caravan had brought. Leafing through the pages, he found a story about Narcissus.

The Alchemist knew the legend of Narcissus, a youth who daily knelt beside a lake to contemplate his own beauty. He was so fascinated by himself that, one morning, he fell into the lake and drowned.

At the spot where he fell, a flower was born, which was called the narcissus.

But this was not how the author of the book ended the story. He said that when Narcissus died, the Goddesses of the Forest appeared and found the lake, which had been fresh water, transformed into a lake of salty tears.

“Why do you weep?” the Goddesses asked.

“I weep for Narcissus,” the lake replied.

“Ah, it is no surprise that you weep for Narcissus,” they said, “for though we always pursued him in the forest, you alone could contemplate his beauty close at hand.”

“But….. was Narcissus beautiful?” the lake asked.

“Who better than you to know that?” the Goddesses said in wonder, “After all, it was by your banks that he knelt each day to contemplate himself!”

The lake was silent for some time. Finally it said:

“I weep for Narcissus, but I never noticed that Narcissus was beautiful. I weep because, each time he knelt beside my banks, I could see, in the depths of his eyes, my own beauty reflected.”

“What a lovely story,” the Alchemist thought.

From the Prologue of The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho, celebrating this week FIVE years in USA Today best sellers, that includes fiction and not fiction in the same list!

Note: There are two versions of The Alchemist in English, but with same ISBN!

Summer Solstice at Stonehenge

June 23, 2010
Sunrise on Summer Solstice at Stonehenge

Sunrise on Summer Solstice at Stonehenge

Summer Solstice at Stonehenge marks the longest day. It is when the sun reaches its most northerly point in the sky. It occurs on 21st of June.

Love

June 23, 2010

Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.

— Rumi

Only the dance

June 23, 2010
Within – Ruth Bernhard (1969)

Within – Ruth Bernhard (1969)

At the still point of the turning world.
Neither flesh nor fleshless;
Neither from nor towards;
At the still point, there the dance is,
But neither arrest nor movement.
And do not call it fixity.
Where past and future are gathered.
Neither movement from nor towards,
Neither ascent nor decline.
Except for the point, the still point,
There would be no dance,
And there is only the dance.

— T S Eliot

Posted by Luke Storms on his blog.

At university we had four colleges: Keynes, Eliot, Rutherford and Darwin.

Playing on the seashore

June 23, 2010
Brighton beach

Brighton beach

Brighton beach

Brighton beach

I do not know what
I may appear to the world,
but to myself
I seem to have been
only like a boy
playing on the seashore,
and diverting myself
in now and then finding
a smoother pebble
or a prettier shell
than ordinary,
whilst the great
ocean of truth
lay all undiscovered
before me.

— Sir Isaac Newton

For Iva who loves Brighton and Brighton beach.

Reason and Passion

June 22, 2010

Khalil Gibran (1883-1931), Lebanese-American artist, poet and writer.

Thanks Rosa!

For Sian.

Prayer is something that happens to you

June 22, 2010

From Silence in Heaven, a book of monastic life from the 1950s

From Silence in Heaven, a book of monastic life from the 1950s

Prayer is something that happens to you (Romans 8:26-27), much more than anything you privately do. It is an allowing of the Big Self more than an assertion of the small self. Eventually you will find yourself preferring to say, “Prayer happened, and I was there” more than “I prayed today.” All you know is that you are being led, being guided, being loved, being used, being prayed through—and you are no longer in the driver’s seat.

God stops being an object of attention like any other object in the world, and becomes at some level your own “I am.” You start knowing through, with, and in Somebody Else. Your little “I Am” becomes “We Are.” Please trust me on this. It might be the most important thing I could tell you.

— Fr. Richard Rohr, from The Naked Now, pp. 102-103

This text is from the remarkable blog, Louie Louie that explores contemplative awareness in daily life, drawing its inspiration from the writings of Thomas Merton. The photograph is from “Silence in Heaven,” a book of monastic life from the 1950s that I found on the extraordinary Tumblr, Sacred Graffiti which is another place I have been spending a great deal of time lately.

Posted by Luke Storms on his blog. Thanks Nika!

For Sian.

Socos Duo

June 21, 2010

Socos Duo consists of César Martín on marimba and Ciro Hernández on violincello. Their music is a fusion of Latin American music and their own compositions.

Influences include Jimi Hendrix, Kronos Quartet, Astor Piazzolla, Heitor Villa-Lobos, J S Bach.

Socos Duo gave an amazing performance in El Castillo de San Felipe, an old colonial fort en Puerto de la Cruz en Tenerife. For ‘Libertango’ by Astor Piazzolla they were joined by Jeremias Martin on accordion. Equally amazing was the Aria from Bachianas brasileiras No 5 by Heitor Villa-Lobos, the haunting cello captured the mood of the piece. The acoustics in El Castillo de San Felipe could not have been better and it is unfortunate that their performance was not recorded to be released as a live album.