three Angel Cards

Angel Cards by Kathy Tyles & Joy Drake. To select a random Angel Card, Click here.

Inspiration gives skill that polish which is art

This is why the attainment of proficiency, the pushing of your skill with attention to the most delicate shades of excellence, is a matter of vital concern. Efficiency of a practically flawless kind may be reached naturally in the struggle for bread. But there is something beyond—
a higher point, a subtle and unmistakable touch of love and pride beyond mere skill; almost an inspiration which gives to all work that finish which is almost art— which IS art.

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924)
Mirror of the Sea, Ch. VII "The Fine Art" (1907)

Miro's Kerosene Lamp

Joan Miró (1893-1983)
The Kerosene Lamp (1924)
Black & white chalk with
touches of pastel & red pencil
81 x 100.3 cm
The Art Institute of Chicago.

Brancusi's Bird in Space

Constantin Brancusi (1876-1957)
Bird in Space (1928)
Bronze, 54 in. (137.2 cm) high
Museum of Modern Art, New York
1999 Artists Rights Society (ARS),
New York / ADAGP, Paris

“Brancusi seemed to me a saint.
He is first on my scale of values.”

— Ezra Pound

swoosh of evanescence

A Route of Evanescence
With a revolving Wheel—
A resonance of emerald—
A rush of cochineal—
And every Blossom on the Bush
Adjusts its tumbled head,—
The mail from Tunis, probably,
An easy Morning's Ride—

Emily Dickinson (1830-1886)
Poem 1463 (about a hummingbird), Complete Poems

Van Gogh's Starry Night

Vincent Van Gogh (1853-1890)
The Starry Night (1889)
Saint-Rémy, France: June, 1889
Oil on canvas
29" x 36.25" (73.7 x 92.1 cm)
Museum of Modern Art, New York

swirling clouds in violet haze

Starry, starry night.
Flaming flowers that brightly blaze,
Swirling clouds in violet haze,
Reflect in Vincent's eyes of China blue.
Colors changing hue, morning field of amber grain,
Weathered faces lined in pain,
Are soothed beneath the artist's loving hand.

Don McLean, "Vincent" from American Pie album (1971)

soaring to Venus, the morning star

one arm of the giant cypress curves up around and touches Venus

then to Aries, the constellation of his birth

Van Gogh was born on March 30, 1853 in Groot-Zundert, Holland.
His birth sign is Aries (March 21 to April 20). Kirk Varnedoe notes
that the cypress tree is known as the tree of death and quotes Van Gogh:
“looking at the stars always makes me dream... Why, I ask myself,
shouldn't the shining dots of the sky be as accessible as the black dots
on the map of France? Just as we take the train to get to Tarascon
or Rouen, we take death to reach a star.”

It's interesting that the tip of Van Gogh's cypress tree in his Starry Night
painted a year before his death, touches Aries, the constellation of his birth.
Perhaps Van Gogh is portraying Plato's vision in the Timaeus that our soul
returns to the star from whence we came.

this cosmos is born in joy

Brahman is joy: for from joy all beings have come,
by joy they all live, and unto joy they all return...
Oh, the wonder of joy!
I am the first-born of the world of truth,
born before the gods,
born in the center of immortality.

Taittiriya Upanishads, III.6 (circa 600 BC)
(translated by Juan Mascaró Penguin Books, 1965)

the stars laugh

In one of the stars I shall be living.
In one of them I shall be laughing.
And so it will be as if all the stars were laughing,
when you look at the sky at night...
You— only you— will have stars that can laugh!

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (1900-1944)
The Little Prince, XXVI (1943)

Peter Y. Chou
Mountain View, Nov. 22, 2000

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© Peter Y. Chou,
P.O. Box 390707, Mountain View, CA 94039
email: (11-22-2000)