Saturday, December 8, 2012

Various & Sundry, December 8: Art, Life, Peace

A few quick things before I dash to drop the first of the deposits at the White Elephant Sale...

In art news this week, check out these fabulous trompe l'oiel pieces from John Pugh. For example, these aren't windows:

And that is not a reflection of a truck in the window. Isn't that amazing?

In a similar vein of amazement, check out these beach creatures:

Oh, heck, while we're at it, here's some architecture for dogs.

Speaking of architecture and animals, I loved this obituary for John Heyworth who turned his family estate into a wildlife park. Isn't that picture a kick? How lovely, though, to be remembered thusly: "A kind, modest man, he was a devoted patron of the estate’s living, and served for more than 50 years as a church warden." And had rhinos.

How do you want to be remembered? And how do you want to remember your life? A friend of mine passed along this great article on the Top 5 Regrets of the Dying. It's a beautiful article. Please check it out.

In another deeper turn, an anthropologist wrote this initial reflection on what peace looks like as an empirical reality, exploring in particular the behavior of a town called Le Chambon-sur-Lignon which has a history of welcoming the outsider going back centuries, which made it possible for the whole town to be involved in the work of hiding Jews during WWII. I'll be interested in hearing more about this woman's research. But here's what she says for the moment:
Peace is knowable — in gorgeous, imperfect detail — down to the level of everyday habit and choice. And what are those choices? To walk down streets with unfamiliar faces and to open your own countenance as you do; to buy baskets of fruits from someone whose accents are not your own; to allow the happy, teary scramble as your children figure out how to play with new arrivals to their school; to open the door at the threshold of your home even when storms threaten outside; to hear of the vivid suffering of others even when it weighs down the heart; to invite to the hearth, to break bread, together now. The foot crosses the threshold, the face is open, the habits — discernible to the eye — over time, become fixed (and knowable) and sure. 

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