Marginalia: Pictures as Frozen Narratives

Pictures do tell a thousand words, but only when we take the time to thaw their frozen narratives into rivers of our own thoughts and words. Without that, the resounding silence kills not only the story that the photographer was trying to convey, but it also kills, within us, our own finer and natural narrative instincts and impulses.


America and the Open Road – Travel Memoirs

When we think of great American travel memoirs, Jack Kerouac's Road Novels are generally high on the list. So, below, there are some other travelogues that continue to stand well in our times (by no means an exhaustive list — just what I happen to have on my shelves). Let me add one quick note before you dive into the list. There's a reason why travel memoirs are loved over others. I know many people who wouldn't touch memoirs in general, but enjoy this sub-genre. For me, a travel memoir is like going on a journey with a friend. Or, at least, by the end of the journey, discovering that you've made a very good friend. And isn't that one of the pleasures of real-life journeys as well: finding / making unexpected new friends?


Marginalia: Vincent Van Gogh: On Starry Nights

I definitely want to paint a starry sky now. It often seems to me that the night is even more richly colored than the day, colored in the most intense violets, blues and greens. If you look carefully you’ll see that some stars are lemony, others have a pink, green, forget-me-not blue glow. And without laboring the point, it’s clear that to paint a starry sky it’s not nearly enough to put white spots on blue-black……