“Andersen’s life was a tragic one in many ways; and yet, like a character from one of his own tales, he had the gift of turning straw into gold: transforming the sorrows and joys of his life’s journey into stories we still love…”
From Terri Windling, “Hans Christian Andersen, Father of the Modern Fairytale.”
Art – Hans Christian Andersen’s Dreams by Anne and Janet Grahame Johnstone
“Do you need a prod? Do you need a little darkness to get you going?”
– Mary Oliver on the Measure of a Life Well Lived and How to Maximize Our Aliveness by brainpickings.org:
www.brainpickings.org is a trailblazing castle of knowledge located in the enchanted forest where ideas dance and glimmer like so many fern flowers.
Donating = Loving
“He was a dream, as all works of art are. All works of art are the physical manifestation of a desire, a hope, and you can’t hope for something more beautiful and entertaining and nice than Cary Grant.” – Katharine Hepburn on Cary Grant
Happy Birthday, Mr. Grant.
“ ‘But what are they?’ asked the Snow Man.
‘They are lovers,’ replied the yard dog. ‘They will go and live in the same kennel by-and-by, and gnaw at the same bone…’ ”
From “The Snowman,” Hans Christian Andersen, 1861.
Illustrated by Rie Cramer, 1925.
The Moon and the Yew Tree by Sylvia Plath
The yew tree points up. It has a Gothic shape.
The eyes lift after it and find the moon.
The moon is my mother. She is not sweet like Mary.
Her blue garments unloose small bats and owls.
How I would like to believe in tenderness—
the face of the effigy gentled by candles,
Bending, on me in particular, its mild eyes. I have fallen a long way. Clouds are flowering,
Blue and mystical over the face of the stars.
Inside the church, the saints will be all blue,
Floating on their delicate feet over the cold pews,
Their hands and faces stiff with holiness.
The moon sees nothing of this. She is bald and wild.
And the message of the yew tree is blackness—blackness and silence.
Art by Caspar David Friedrich.
“The work is full of threatening silences. It is beautiful and severe and very cold. It is surrealistic, with surrealism’s menace and refusal to explain itself.” – Janet Malcolm, The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes
“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
Art – The Forest of Lothlorien in Spring by J.R.R. Tolkien.
“Browns seek knowledge, Blues meddle in causes, and Whites consider the questions of truth with implacable logic. We all do some of it all, of course. But to be Green means to stand ready.
― Robert Jordan
“Remember we really don’t know anything. Keep your baby eyes (which are the eyes of genius) on what we don’t know. That is your playground, bare and graveled, safe and unbreakable.”
– Lincoln Steffens
Art – Queen Mab’s Cave by William Turner
“And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
– Anaïs Nin
In photo – Anais Nin, 1930s
“There are several attitudes towards Christmas, some of which we may disregard: The social, the torpid, the patently commercial…” – T.S. Eliot
In a rare gem of trailblazing vision from Brainpickings.org: