Yeah, yeah, I know the title implies writers need readers and I believe it is true, even though writing is mostly a solo career. But why do writers need readers? Why writers cannot live solely in their own small bubble?
En Gedi is the biggest oasis in Israel. It has springs and waterfalls, and flowing brooks at the foot of the cliffs, home to ibexes and rock hyraxes. Situated on the eastern border of the Judean Desert, on theDead Sea shore, Ein Gedi is a real jewel of Israel.
I visited Israel recently, but never got to see it although I was not too far from it. On that day of my pilgrimage I just contemplated the desolate look oh the Dead Sea, after coming from other jewels one can admire in the desert : very old, impressive monasteries, holy places of spiritual life.
While the Ein Gedi Nature Reserve offers over nine different hiking trails, suitable for everyone from family groups to experienced hikers, and ranging in duration from just half an hour in length to a full day, some of the most popular hiking trails are those which head through Wadi David.
Whichever of the hikes you decide to take, you are likely to gaze in awe at the beauty of Ein Gedi Nature Reserve, and be amazed in particular at how it contrasts to its desert surroundings. The springs are a source of beauty today, and have, for thousands of years, been the source upon which life, both human and otherwise, has relied upon for living in the area.
The reserve has two streams which flow year round, and four springs which feed the streams. This hike passes through the David stream and three of the four springs. The David stream has a series of waterfalls and pools and descends 200 meters to the height of the Dead Sea.
Flora in the nature reserve includes the acacia, Sodom apple, Christ-thorn, reeds and cattails. Fauna in the reserve includes foxes, wolves, hyenas, and leopards, as well as the commonly seen ibex and hyrax.
Hoping you will have the occasion to see these great views, I wish you to stay safe and healthy amid this ugly pandemic.
Portrait recreations are fun on their own, but the 10 recreations we’re about to share with you are especially fascinating since the models in these recreations are none other than the great-grandchildren of the famous figures depicted in the original paintings. This incredible concept was conceived and executed by British photographer Drew Gardner, whose intention was to showcase the complicated story of lineage and ancestry by dressing up live descendants of famous people and recreating iconic portraits of these people as accurately as possible. The result is this series of compelling side by side portraits titled “The Descendants”. Learn more about the photographer and his other works on his Website and Instagram Page.
1 The Mona Lisa by Leonardo DaVinci (right) and Irina Guicciardini Strozzi, the 15th great-granddaughter of Lisa del Giocondo, the model of the masterpiece (left)
2 Napoleon in his study, a portrait by Jacques-Louis David, 1812, (right) and Hugo de Salis, Napoleon’s 4th great-grandson (left)
3 Frederick Douglass (left) and Kenneth Morris, Douglass’s 3rd great-grandson (right)
4 Berthe Morisot by Edouard Manet, 1872 (right) and Lucie Rouart, her great-granddaughter (left)
5. William Wordsworth, a portrait by William Shuter, 1798 (right) and Tom Wonter, Wordsworth’s 4th great-grandson (left)
6 Oliver Cromwell, a portrait by Robert Walker, 1653-1654 (right) and Charles Bush, his 9th great-grandson (left)
7 Charles Dickens, a portrait by Herbert Watkins, 1858 (right), and Gerald Charles Dickens, his great, great-grandson (left)
8. Isambard Kingdom Brunel, a portrait by Robert Howlett, 1857 (right), and Isambard Thomas, his 3rd great-grandson (left)
9. Thomas Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale, 1800 (left) and Shannon LaNier, Jefferson’s 6th great-grandson (right)
10. Emeline Pankhurst (right) and Helen Pankhurst, the women’s rights activist’s great-granddaughter (left)
First of all, few know that French painter Henri Matisse was one of the first to capture the beauty of the Romanian traditional blouse simply called IE. Althoughhe painted and draw many sketches of the Romanian IA, his painting called La Blouse Roumaine is the best known one. It’s an oil-on-canvas painting dated 1940. It measures 92 × 73 cm and is held at the Musée National d’Art Moderne in Paris.
It took Matisse few years to show the world his Romanian paintings. There were hundreds trials and sketches before there was a Romanian blouses collection. There are plenty of Romanian symbols used in the traditional IA embroidery.
“Each work of art is a collection of signs invented during the picture’s execution to suit the needs of their position. Taken out of the composition for which they were created, these signs have no further use.” (Henri Matisse)
Henri Matisse, Theodor Pallady and the Romanian IA
Furthermore, even fewer know that Matisse’s Romanian paintings were inspired by a collection of traditional blouses he received as a gift from Theodor Pallady. Pallady was and still is one of most famous Romanian painters of all times. Matisse had been friend with Pallddy for many years when he got this gift. They met around 1892, in Paris, in Gustave Moreau’s studio were they were working along with Georges Rouault and Albert Marquet.
Matisse’s interest in oriental themes first emerged in the 1920s when he began to express an interest in the interplay of ornamental patterns. This fascination with decorative designs is seen in these works and it will remain with Matisse till the end of his life.
Noteworthy is that in 2012 New York Metropolitan Museum of Art opened “Matisse: In Search of True Painting.” Vogue magazine called it “the eye-opening new exhibition”. The star painting of the exhibition was Matisse’s voluptuous called “The Dream” (1940), another portrait of a woman sleeping and wearing a Romanian traditional blouse.
Falling in love with colors …
As one would expect from such a great artist as Matisse, his style evolved throughout time, yet he kept the traditional costume as a source of inspiration and ideas. I’m no art expert, but my feeling is that the generous color palette of the Romanian IAs had something to do with this. Matisse’s own personal beliefs about the use of color are most noteworthy:
“Seek the strongest color effect possible… the content is of no importance.
“The use of expressive colors is felt to be one of the basic elements of the modern mentality, an historical necessity, beyond choice.”
“A certain blue enters your soul. A certain red has an effect on your blood-pressure.”
“Color helps to express light, not the physical phenomenon, but the only light that really exists, that in the artist’s brain.”
“Drawing is of the spirit; color is of the senses.”
In conclusion …
Matisse and Pallady’s friendship lasted a lifetime. What neither one of them imagined is that their admiration for our national blouse will turn years later Romanian IA into a fashion icon… and that’s my next story all about! In the meantime, I do invite you to read read other articles I’ve published about the Romania IAs.
The Irish American teacher’s prose poem on COVID-19 outbreak goes viral.
Kitty O’Meara’s prose poem „And the people stayed home” has struck a chord with all those affected by the Coronavirus pandemic, even Deepak Chopra and Oprah are raving about it.
A retired teacher, Kitty O’Meara, from the city of Madison, in Wisconsin, turned to writing in an effort to curb her own anxiety amid the nerve-wracking news of the COVID-19 pandemic. The result, which she posted to her personal Facebook, has been widely read across the world offering hope that something good can come out of this collective state of „together, apart.”
The poem, „And the people stayed home” reads:
And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.
And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.
And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.
O’Meara’s poem suggests that we view this era of social distancing as a chance to undertake purposeful activities like meditation, exercise, and dancing, and result in a kind of global healing.