Tag: Beauty

Desire

 

Desire quickens the heart, tickles the mind, fires up the imagination. The object of our desire which is (at least in all the ways our instruments can measure) “merely” physical somehow engages with and attracts the soul. We want to revel in the experience, immersing in the object of our desire, through every sense we possess: sight, sound, taste, smell and touch.

A 2×4 piece of wood is a static thing; it was made impersonally. That same piece of wood, worked over a lathe, lovingly handled by an artist, and crafted into a sculpture, is no longer a mere piece of wood. It is more.

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The English language offers many synonyms for feminine good looks; this reflects the numerous categories of beauty we see. I’ve examined beautiful and lovely, pretty and cute. Next up: handsome, attractive, striking.  Handsome: I first heard the word “handsome” in regards to a woman’s looks while watching a movie as a child. It was Little Lord Fauntleroy, and none of us kids […]

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Where Beauty Moves and Wit Delights

 

I like bass voices. Basso profundo is even better. Singers like Paul Robeson and Thurl Ravenscroft get my attention. I tend to listen to a passel of Russian choral music, because the men’s choirs tend to be heavy on the bass. For higher voices to catch my ear, they have to be pretty stunning.

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Group Writing produces a lot of Recommended posts on Ricochet. Even in a light month like last month (19 posts as of this writing, not a few of those marked “private”), Group Writing produced several Recommended posts (again, as of this writing. And these are links, even if they don’t look like links): Preview Open

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This is the Pledge Drive for August Group Writing.  Unlike a traditional pledge drive, we’re not asking for money.  Only your time and the expression of your soul to be immortalized on the Internet.  And possibly not much of that: in this part of the pledge drive, I wish to remind everyone that even though […]

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p6VG_aOvLDs Follow this link to sign up for Group Writing in August.  The theme is Beauty.  N.B.: there are some spaces in the July Group Writing schedule coming up, and I’m ready to go full pledge drive on y’all.  Maybe not 400 minutes’ worth, and I can’t promise to be as salty about it as […]

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Locally we’ve been having some crazy weather, but in the northern hemisphere, this is the season that produces days that people other than myself would call “a beautiful day.” This should help put you in the right frame of mind for August’s Group Writing theme, Beauty. In Group Writing, Ricochet members claim one day of […]

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Here is your long-awaited second installment on my analysis of womanly beauty. I’ve got this figured out: the synonyms for beauty–lovely, pretty, attractive, handsome, cute–all have different meanings. I started with definitions of beauty and loveliness here. The gist of my post was this:  [T]he world is teeming with nice-looking people–I’ll concentrate on women for this post. But there are […]

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J.L. Gerome, A Roman Slave Market

 

Gerome was one of the famous Academic painters in nineteenth century France. He painted slave markets, ancient and modern, more than a few times, but this is the only one that, by its unusual choices, captures something insightful and morally inquisitive. This painting is an education on the meaning of love of beauty, psychologically, artistically, and politically.

Let’s start thinking through the painting with what’s obvious. The title tells us, this is a Roman slave market. There are two slaves on a platform, whom the slave trader is trying to sell to the crowd. In all, some two dozen people make up the scene. This is utterly ordinary for Rome, just as it would have been shocking in turn of the century France, or nowadays. The painter’s choices, his use of perspective and detail, try to put together what’s shocking and what’s ordinary to educate us about important things for human beings.

The terrible predicament of love of beauty

Quote of the Day: Ambassadorial Wisdom

 

James Day Hodgson (1915-2012) was a politician and diplomat who served during the administrations of Richard M. Nixon and Gerald R. Ford, first as Secretary of Labor (1970-73) and later as Ambassador to Japan (1974-77). Many years after his retirement, Hodgson published a book titled American Senryu, a collection of senryū poetry written by Hodgson himself. Here is one of my favorite poems (in italics) from that book, including a bit of commentary by the author:

The exciting thought
That beauty is possible
Sustains us all.

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Due to the clamoring of thousands of you, I’ve written this post on the topic of Beauty and modeling. Well okay it wasn’t thousands of you. Okay it was Titus. And actually he didn’t exactly clamor (@titustechera). But when did I ever turn down an opportunity to post pictures of myself? Anyway in the PIT, […]

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Next Friday, November 25th, my parents will celebrate their 50th anniversary.  In those 50 years, they have been rewarded with 3 children, 8 grandkids, and 4 great-grandkids.   Next week, for the first time in a very long time, our entire family will come together to celebrate my parents.  So let me tell you a […]

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While other Ricochet members have been banging their heads against a wall, making that monotonous trumping sound, I’ve been blissfully aloof in Far Cry 4. The game is two years old now. But the dynamic open worlds of Elder Scrolls and Far Cry games are always fun to return to… not least for their beauty.  Preview […]

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Macro photography could just as sensibly be called micro photography because it involves the magnification of tiny objects. There is beauty and wonder to be found by multiple perspectives; peering up close or seeing a thing framed by its environment. When we can scale bugs to the size of lions, many surprises emerge.  (Most of […]

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The Things We Own

 

imageA solo cellist once explained what it’s like to own and play an 18th-century instrument: “Many hands have played this instrument before I was born, and others, I hope, will play it centuries after I’m gone. You don’t really own it; you hold it in trust, and care for it during your lifetime.”

Great works of art are known by their artists, not their owners. A Van Gogh will always be a Van Gogh, no matter where it hangs. Lesser works, too: Tiffany jewelry will always be Tiffany. Nonetheless, although some of us are content to admire beautiful objects, many (most?) of us can be so struck by beauty that we desire to possess it, even if only for a brief moment.

Some years ago, I considered investing a modest sum in diamonds. But it seemed a shame to have them sit in a dark safe somewhere. I offered to my wife: Would she like some expensive jewelry? She said no. Investments are bought and sold; she would be loath to part with it later. Most of us are not like the actresses who borrow fancy clothes and sparkly rocks to walk the red carpet, returning the costume after the show.

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In the wake of Justice Scalia’s death, the next week is bound to be full of trepidation and anger. So here’s something frivolous and upbeat to at least begin the week from a kinder frame of mind.  Artistry in video games can take many forms. Occasionally, a game is made that emphasizes beauty, joy, and […]

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Hello, everyone, the poe.pod series on Ezra Pound’s poetic art continues with a discussion of his comic sense of the relation between beauty & shame. My friend Felix & I are trying to bring out his allusions to love poetry in the Western tradition & his attempt to show how poetry emerges from the conflict of […]

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I am a terribly boring person. For me, there might be no greater earthly joy than simply wandering along my favorite beach, alone, and browsing what small treasures the tide has brought to men. A thousand shells of endless variety, tossed haphazardly onto the fleeting hoard. Some lie still in dry sand. Others dance in the last waves, flitting from notice and […]

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