Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Reading...

Books...two-point perspective drawing
The air is cooling down and the time is ripe for reading. I read first thing in the morning while I enjoy my cup of java...it puts my brain in a receiving mode and lifts my spirits. I plow through all kinds of books, mostly non-fiction. Recently, I returned a biography of Thomas Jefferson after two renewals, yet remaining largely unread....I tried and tried, but just couldn't do it. The author reveled in minutia, writing chapter upon chapter detailing all of the books in Jefferson's library. Lots of lists. Very little interpersonal stuff. My brain craves distillation....that which is sifted and sieved into importance. I felt a sense of defeat. I started thinking about the books that are so very spiritual to me that I have them in my library and return to them time and time again.

Letters to a Young Poet by Ranier Maria Rilke is a series of 10 letters written over a period of 5 years to a young soldier named Franz Kappas with the intent of critiquing this man's poems. Rilke was 27 at the time. Rilke's intimate words reveal what it is to be an artist.....and what it is to be a person.

The Art Spirit by Robert Henri is a collection of Henri's words, taken from the notes of his students. Lucky for us....his students were paying attention. This work is based on his in-depth considerations of their paintings. "Art, when really understood, is the province of every human being".

The Alphabet versus the Goddess: Conflict Between Word and Image by Leonard Shlain considers the paradigm shift that occurred as a result of literacy and considers the differences between left-brain-knowing and right-brain-knowing. It is provocative, disturbing and and inspiring. (Shlain also wrote Art and Physics).

Words are a concoction of the L-brain but the powerful feelings that remain are processed in the R-brain, the intuitive brain. These three books are close to my heart. Also close to my heart is Laura, my wonderful daughter-in-law.

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