bellasemplicita

Regaining a lost love for beauty and simplicity.

Tag: Photography

Several Books

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Unfortunately college is busy!  And so I have read very few books on my own this past semester.  But as they are so few, they are only more important to me.  A quote from each of these books:

“He wanted to cry quietly but not for himself: for the words, so beautiful and sad, like music.” – A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, James Joyce

“Being against evil doesn’t make you good. Tonight I was against it and then I was evil myself. I could feel it coming just like a tide… I just want to destroy them. But when you start taking pleasure in it you are awfully close to the thing you’re fighting.” – Islands In the Stream, Ernest Hemingway

“I need you, the reader, to imagine us, for we don’t really exist if you don’t.” – Lolita, Nabokov

“When people talk listen completely. Don’t be thinking what you’re going to say. Most people never listen. Nor do they observe. You should be able to go into a room and when you come out know everything that you saw there and not only that. If that room gave you any feeling you should know exactly what it was that gave you that feeling.” – Across the River Into the Trees, Ernest Hemingway

“People to whom sin is just a matter of words, to them salvation is just words too.” – As I Lay Dying, William Faulkner

“Listen, nothing’s better than being useful. Tell me how, at the present moment, I can be most of of use. I know it’s not for you to decide that, but I’m only asking for your opinion. You tell me, and what you say I swear I’ll do! Well, what is the great thought?”

“Well, to turn stones into bread. That’s a great thought.”

“The greatest? Yes, really, you have suggested quite a new path. Tell me, is it the greatest?”

“It’s very great, my dear boy, very great, but it’s not the greatest. It’s great but secondary, and only great at the present time. Man will be satisfied and forget; he will say: ‘I’ve eaten it and what am I to do now?’ The question will remain open for all time.” – The Adolescent, Fyodor Dostoevsky

 

‘This Is Just To Say’

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I have eaten
the plums
that were in
the icebox

and which
you were probably
saving
for breakfast

Forgive me
they were delicious
so sweet
and so cold

This Is Just To Say, William Carlos Williams

The words in this poem so remind me of the summer: ‘the plums in the icebox’; ‘they were delicious’;  ‘so cold’.  Like a drink of cold water.

What poems remind you of the summer?

Irony

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‘Leto and Niobe were deeply loving friends.’

– Sappho (no. 85)

When I first read this remnant of one of Sappho’s poems, I took it as a statement of fact.  Although, I knew the myth I was unable to detect a sense of irony.  It seemed to add an interesting quirk to the story.  Perhaps I took it as fact because I was more interested in it being so.

Leto and Niobe were deeply loving friends.’

However, when I now read this fragment I can not help but wonder what Sappho meant.  Perhaps it is only cruel irony.

Photo by Mario Giacomelli

A Few Updates

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Since I have been so long absent, I hope it is alright if I share a few of the things happening in my life.

– I am enjoying my summer – immensely!  I am trying to really soak in the beauty of the smells of rain and dirt, the brilliance of green, the warmth of the sun, the smell of roses.  I run through a small forest preserve nearly every morning and I love that I am able to follow the change of the seasons in this place.  At the moment there are myriads of birds and in the morning their singing is so calming.

– I am attending Wheaton College in the fall.  I am so excited about this!  My good friend and I will be rooming together so we are busy planning our room and discussing the new excitements of college life in general.  I am entering as a Mathematics major (and no, I do not want to teach) and an Art History minor.

– Now for me, this is really big news: I am running Cross Country in college!!  This is huge because about eight months ago I absolutely hated to run.  However, after forcing myself to ‘do it’ nearly every morning, I realized I had fallen in love.  I am excited to begin training with a team and I hope I will be able to greatly improve my speed.

– Yes, there are many other important things happening in my life – perhaps I will share them at a later time.  But for now, I will end with an extract from a poem by William Blake.

‘And we are put on this earth a little space

that we may learn to bear the beams of love.’

I’m Back

Hello again!  After a very long hiatus I am back to blogging!  (My absence was mostly the result of technical difficulties, so hopefully I will be back here for good.)

In celebration, allow me to share one of my very favorite poems.

 

“Glory be to God for dappled things –

For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;

For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;

Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;

Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;

And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;

Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)

With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;

He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:

Praise him.”

 

Pied Beauty, Gerard Manley Hopkins

An Ordinary Life

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“do not ask your children
to strive for extraordinary lives.
such striving may seem admirable,
but it is the way of foolishness.
help them instead to find the wonder
and the marvel of an ordinary life.
show them the joy of tasting
tomatoes, apples and pears.
show them how to cry
when pets and people die.
show them the infinite pleasure
in the touch of a hand.
and make the ordinary come alive for them.
the extraordinary will take care of itself.”

 – William Martin

In Honor of Spring

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Nothing is so beautiful as spring –

When weeds, in wheels, shoot long and lovely and lush;

Thrush’s eggs look little low heavens, and thrush

Through the echoing timber does so rinse and wring

The ear, it strikes like lightnings to hear him sing;

The glassy peartree leaves and blooms, they brush

The descending blue; that blue is all in a rush

With richness; the racing lambs too have fair their fling.

What is all this juice and all this joy?

A strain of the earth’s sweet being in the beginning

In Eden garden. – have, get, before it cloy,

Before it cloud, Christ, lord, and sour with sinning,

Innocent mind and Mayday in girl and boy,

Most, O maid’s child, thy choice and worthy the winning.

– Gerard Manley Hopkins, Spring, (1918)

A Day in London

My Mom and I spent nearly a day in London last spring on a layover during our flight to Italy.  It was a wonderful experience.  The weather was incredible; we just missed some very grey and rainy days.  We had day passes for the tube and raced around seeing as much as we could.

We first stopped at Buckingham Palace and were just in time to see the changing of the guard.  We also visited Trafalgar Square, Westminster Cathedral and Abbey, the British Museum for the Rosetta Stone, St. Paul’s Cathedral, the Tower of London and the crown jewels,  Piccadilly, and the House of Parliament to name a few. We also visited a beautiful small church – Southwark Cathedral – near the Borough Market.

So for throwback Thursday, here are a few pictures.

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And One More Poem

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“Gathering leaves
Spades take up leaves
No better than spoons,
And bags full of leaves
Are light as balloons.
I make a great noise
Of rustling all day
Like rabbit and deer
Running away.
But the mountains I raise
Elude my embrace,
Flowing over my arms
And into my face.
I may load and unload
Again and again
Till I fill the whole shed,
And what have I then?
Next to nothing for weight,
And since they grew duller
From contact with earth,
Next to nothing for color.
Next to nothing for use.
But a crop is a crop,
And who’s to say where
The harvest shall stop?” 

– Robert Frost

Some Current Obsessions

Some current food obsessions:

 

1.  LÄRABAR:  Especially their sugar free bars.  My favorites: Cappuccino, Chocolate Coconut Chew, Key Lime Pie, Cherry Pie, Lemon Bar, Peanut Butter Cookie, Jocalat Chocolate Mint. Go try them.

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2.  The Pure Bar, Fruit & Nut Bars:  Again, I prefer their sugar free bars.  My favorites: Dark Chocolate Berry, Chocolate Brownie.  

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3.  Clemmy’s Ice Cream:  Now this is seriously the best.  Sugar free ice cream does not sound amazing,  but Clemmy’s is so amazing.  I am in love!  I do not have a favorite so go try them all.

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4.  Quinoa:  I find myself eating this in some form for lunch everyday.  I normally mix it with roasted heirloom cherry tomatoes, melted feta, herbs such as mint, basil, cilantro, chives, diced pepper, onion, cucumbers, and whatever leftover veggies and meats we have sitting around.  It is so delicious, clean, and filling!  Here is a recipe if you are too nervous to improvise.

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Strawberry quinoa & feta salad
Yield: serves 2 as a full meal, 3-4 as a side

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 c cooked quinoa (3/4 c uncooked, plus 1 1/2 c water)
  • 3/4 c sliced strawberries (about 5-6 large strawberries)
  • 1/2 c chopped or crumbled feta
  • 1/4 c chopped mint
  • 1/4 c chopped scallions (green and white parts)
  • 1/3 c chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 2 c baby salad greens
  • 1/4 c sprouts (optional)
  • Lemon Honey Vinaigrette:
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (plus a little more to drizzle on at the end)
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (plus a little more to squeeze on at the end)
  • 1 tbsp champagne vinegar
  • 1/2 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp honey
  • salt & pepper

Instructions

  1. Cook your quinoa. I like this method.
  2. In a small bowl whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients.
  3. Toss all salad ingredients together and pour on the dressing. Taste and adjust seasonings to your liking. I added a final squeeze of lemon juice and a drizzle of olive oil on top.
  4. This is the kind of salad that gets better as it sits and the flavors mesh together… so if you have the patience, let it chill for 15-20 minutes before serving. Make extra if you want leftovers for lunch the next day.

Found it here.

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