Saturday, October 29, 2011

Gargoyles, Otters, and Sir Isaac Newton

At my recent visit to Busch Gardens I took this picture of some beautiful orange halyconia.  I thought it was bird-of-paradise, but N just came in and says it is halyconia (only he's not sure of the spelling :)



If you click on the above link you will see a short video of three very cute otters and also some cute children who were watching them, enthralled, also from my visit to B.G.
After I uploaded this to YouTube, I was amused to see how many other videos of otters there were, also entitled "Playful Otters".  The word "otters" and the word "playful" just go together!


And here are some old sketches.  I've been going through my old sketchbooks lately.  It's odd how a sketch can bring back the past ... I used to sit in the 4th floor lobby of the university library between classes --- they had a comfortable black leather padded bench there --- and study.  There was a large glass display case in the middle of the lobby, and I used to look up and see this stone gargoyle crouching on a shelf inside.



It was some sort of medieval display; and in a small room leading off one end of the lobby there was an exhibit of medieval manuscripts.  During all the hours I sat there in the lobby I never saw anyone go into that small room to look at them.  One day I went in to see them.  I thought they were pretty amazing, but then I'm the kind of person who is impressed by antiquity.  I just think it's awesome to stand just a few inches away from a fragile thing like a piece of paper or parchment, covered with marks of ink (including some beautifully colored illuminations) and realize those marks were made by a human being who's been dust for centuries.  The man who made those marks is gone from the earth, but the ink and paper remains.  You can't help but wonder if he ever wondered... about time... and connections... In his time there were no cell phones, no planes or rockets or antibiotics or computers or any of the multitude of  gadgets we take for granted.  But the issues of the human heart were the same, and human creativity still uses ink on paper to preserve meaning.
Which brings me to Sir Isaac Newton, but unfortunately this post has taken longer than I thought it would, and I need to go make myself a mushroom omelette for supper now.  So Sir Isaac will have to wait til my next post.  :)PLAYFUL OTTERS

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