WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: GLOW

A glow catches my eye as I walk along Shearshop Road in the historic district of Milton.

It’s a marbled orb weaver spider.  One look at the ornate coloration and patterns on the abdomen of this spider leave no doubt about how this beauty got its name.  For a more intimate look, click here.

Araneus marmoreus, one of nature’s showiest orbweavers.

Toni 10/22/17

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: SCALE

Erica V. says to make use of sizing, placement, and scale in this week’s photo. Photography, and any visual art, is all about perspective. Where and how you place other objects in the frame can completely change how another part of the picture looks.  This figure in Vigo dwarfs the dramatic landscape of the wild and rocky northwest coast of Spain.

 

 

Vigo in Galicia, Spain’s northwestern province, my favorite fishing port filled with art.

Toni 10/15/17

WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE: PEDESTRIAN

Scholars date the word ‘pedestrian‘ to the early 18th century, its origin from the French pédestre or Latin pedester (going on foot). But it was also used to mean ‘written in prose’.

The 2017 Nobel Prize for Literature was awarded a few days ago.  You might remember last year’s winner, singer-songwriter Bob Dylan.  A controversial pick, his quirky long-delayed response annoyed academy members.  (It was rumored that he used SparkNotes to write his lecture. Really?)

 

Every year I hope the academy chooses perennial contender Haruki Murakami.  (Alas, this year, one of Murakami’s favorite writers, Kazuo Ishiguro, took home the prize.)  Murakami was born in the same month and year as I was but that’s where the similarities end, even though he thinks of himself as an ordinary guy.

 I see myself as a kind of ordinary guy. I don’t think of myself as an artist, mostly. I guess I’m just engineering something. I like to write. I like to choose the right word, I like to write the right sentence. It’s just like gardening or something. You put the seed into the soil at the right time, in the right place.

 

His prose is intricately fashioned, whether fiction, non-fiction, or a personal essay.   What I Talk About When I Talk About Running is a collection of gems.  It’s by turns memoir and diary, a laceratingly beautiful (and educational) narrative. Murakami writes the stories we all need to get through life, confront the past, understand the present, and move on to the future.

 

Unresolved mysteries, tales-within-tales, maybe-dreams, everyday worlds, and supernatural realms ~ in Murakami’s hands, his stories fascinate and confound.  An accomplished writer and translator, he knows how to tell a tale circuitously.  He is the kind of professor I yearned for in college, learned and challenging in equal measure.

Haruki Murakami poses questions and tenders ideas you will think about, and then think again. Exactly what Alfred Nobel had in mind.

And once the storm is over, you won’t remember how you made it through, how you managed to survive.  And you may not even be sure, whether the storm is really over.  But one thing is certain.  When you come out of the storm, you won’t be the same person who walked in.  That’s what this storm is all about.”

Stresa, Italy

Toni 10/8/17