“What we do see depends mainly on what we look for. … In the same field the farmer will notice the crop, the geologists the fossils, botanists the flowers, artists the colouring, sportmen the cover for the game. Though we may all look at the same things, it does not all follow that we should see them.” 
― John Lubbock, The Beauties of Nature and the Wonders of the World We Live In

“What we do see depends mainly on what we look for. … In the same field the farmer will notice the crop, the geologists the fossils, botanists the flowers, artists the colouring, sportmen the cover for the game. Though we may all look at the same things, it does not all follow that we should see them.”
― John Lubbock, The Beauties of Nature and the Wonders of the World We Live In

“She was almost sixty and she had not been to London, or Paris, or Rome, and there was no going there now. Yes, she was balanced, as she had gotten into the habit of congratulating herself for being. But, she saw, she was balanced on a very narrow perch.” 
― Jane Smiley, Private Life

“She was almost sixty and she had not been to London, or Paris, or Rome, and there was no going there now. Yes, she was balanced, as she had gotten into the habit of congratulating herself for being. But, she saw, she was balanced on a very narrow perch.”
― Jane Smiley, Private Life

“I don’t care about whose DNA has recombined with whose. When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching—they are your family.” 
― Jim Butcher, Proven Guilty

“I don’t care about whose DNA has recombined with whose. When everything goes to hell, the people who stand by you without flinching—they are your family.”
― Jim Butcher, Proven Guilty

SELF-PORTRAIT AT TWENTY

By Gregory Orr


I stood inside myself
like a dead tree or a tower.
I pulled the rope
of braided hair
and high above me
a bell of leaves tolled.

Because my hand
stabbed its brother,
I said: Make it stone.

Because my tongue
spoke harshly, I said:
Make it dust.
                   And yet
it was not death, but
her body in its green dress
I longed for. That’s why
I stood for days in the field
until the grass turned black
and the rain came.

(Laurette in a Green Robe (Black Background), 1916
Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954)
Oil on canvas; 28 3/4 x 21 3/8 in. (73 x 54.3 cm)

SELF-PORTRAIT AT TWENTY

By Gregory Orr


I stood inside myself
like a dead tree or a tower.
I pulled the rope
of braided hair
and high above me
a bell of leaves tolled.

Because my hand
stabbed its brother,
I said: Make it stone.

Because my tongue
spoke harshly, I said:
Make it dust.
And yet
it was not death, but
her body in its green dress
I longed for. That’s why
I stood for days in the field
until the grass turned black
and the rain came.

(Laurette in a Green Robe (Black Background), 1916
Henri Matisse (French, 1869–1954)
Oil on canvas; 28 3/4 x 21 3/8 in. (73 x 54.3 cm)

For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity a human face,
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.

(Excerpt: The Divine Image by William Blake)

(A candle for Jackie; Vaiano, Italy; iphone 5)noonjava66

For Mercy has a human heart,
Pity a human face,
And Love, the human form divine,
And Peace, the human dress.

(Excerpt: The Divine Image by William Blake)

(A candle for Jackie; Vaiano, Italy; iphone 5)
noonjava66

Thank you!

Thank you to all the followers of The Ablest Navigators. Several new folks have come on board recently. Welcome! I hope you dig around the archives and find some things that interest you. Peace

FLY, DRAGONFLY!
(By Joyce Sidman)

Water nymph, you have
climbed from the shallows to don
your dragon-colors.
Perched on a reed stem
all night, shedding your skin, you dry
your wings in moonlight.
Night melts into day.
Swift birds wait to snap you up.
Fly, dragonfly! Fly!

****
I had never seen red dragonflies before today. They looked like darting bits of crimson velvet. 

(Bagno Vignoni; iphone 5)
FLY, DRAGONFLY!
(By Joyce Sidman)

Water nymph, you have
climbed from the shallows to don
your dragon-colors.
Perched on a reed stem
all night, shedding your skin, you dry
your wings in moonlight.

Night melts into day.
Swift birds wait to snap you up.
Fly, dragonfly! Fly!

****
I had never seen red dragonflies before today. They looked like darting bits of crimson velvet.

(Bagno Vignoni; iphone 5)

A Quiet Skin
(by Laurie Sheck)

Thinking has a quiet skin. But I feel the break and fled of things inside it.
    Blue hills most gentle in calm light, then stretches of assail
And ransack. Such tangles of charred wreckage, shrapnel-bitsSingling and singeing where they fall. I feel the stumbling gait of what I am,
The quiet uproar of undone, how to be hidden is a tempting, violent thing—Each thought breaking always in another.

All the unlawful elsewheres rushing in.

(Fog in Montepulciano; iphone 5)

A Quiet Skin
(by Laurie Sheck)

Thinking has a quiet skin. But I feel the break and fled of things inside it.
Blue hills most gentle in calm light, then stretches of assail
And ransack. Such tangles of charred wreckage, shrapnel-bits

Singling and singeing where they fall. I feel the stumbling gait of what I am,
The quiet uproar of undone, how to be hidden is a tempting, violent thing

Each thought breaking always in another.

All the unlawful elsewheres rushing in.

(Fog in Montepulciano; iphone 5)

“I am proud only of those days that pass in
undivided tenderness.” 
― Robert Bly, A Little Book on the Human Shadow

“I am proud only of those days that pass in
undivided tenderness.”
― Robert Bly, A Little Book on the Human Shadow

"Old people, who have felt blows and toil and known the world’s hard hand, need, even more than children do, a woman’s tenderness.” 
― Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop

(Roadside shrine; Umbria; iPhone 5)

"Old people, who have felt blows and toil and known the world’s hard hand, need, even more than children do, a woman’s tenderness.”
― Willa Cather, Death Comes for the Archbishop

(Roadside shrine; Umbria; iPhone 5)

“Life is what you celebrate. All of it.”
― Joanne Harris, Chocolat


(Wedding celebration, Pienza; iPhone 5)

“Life is what you celebrate. All of it.”
― Joanne Harris, Chocolat


(Wedding celebration, Pienza; iPhone 5)

“Reclaiming the sacred in our lives naturally brings us close once more to the wellsprings of poetry.” 
― Robert Bly

(Viano, Italy; Chiesa de Assissi; iPhone 5)

“Reclaiming the sacred in our lives naturally brings us close once more to the wellsprings of poetry.”
― Robert Bly

(Viano, Italy; Chiesa de Assissi; iPhone 5)

“the late afternoon sunlight, warm as oil, sweet as childhood …” 
― Stephen King

(Pienza, Tuscany; iPhone 5)

“the late afternoon sunlight, warm as oil, sweet as childhood …”
― Stephen King

(Pienza, Tuscany; iPhone 5)

“Old empty chairs are not empty in reality; memories always sit there!” 
― Mehmet Murat ildan

(Pienza, Tuscany; iPhone 5)

“Old empty chairs are not empty in reality; memories always sit there!”
― Mehmet Murat ildan

(Pienza, Tuscany; iPhone 5)