Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Water Molecule

This is a diagram of what a water molecule looks like. I find it so beautiful because water is such a simplistic molecule, but its function is crucial for human existence.

DMB quote

"Do you believe that we might last a thousand years or more if not for this our flesh and blood? It ties you and me right up tight. Celebrate, we will, 'cause life is short, but sweet for certain. Hey, we climb on two by two to be sure these days continue." - from Two Step by Dave Matthews Band

I've always loved this quote because I think it is a beautiful metaphor for the cycle of life and how fulfilling it is to share it with someone, even though we are bound to death by mortality. Although it is our "flesh and blood" that make us human, and therefore doomed to die, our "flesh and blood" is what allows us to bond to each other through marriage and children and the continuation of life.

Stone Forest of Madagascar

I find this photograph stunning because of the angle at which it is taken and how strong, but somehow fragile, this climber looks against the jagged landscape. It reminds me of how extraordinary the world is to have something as unique as this stone forest.

Wat Rong Khun

This is an image of Wat Rong Khun, a Hindu and Buddhist temple in Chiang Rai, Thailand designed by Chalermchai Kositpipat. What I find beautiful about this temple is its complete abandonment of color and fiercely ornate structural arrangement. I'm also very intrigued by the amalgamation of East and West, ancient and modern-- while some paintings and bridges display traditional Buddhist symbols, other images throughout the interior of the temple curiously exhibit depictions of such characters as Spiderman and Batman.

The Truman Show

"We accept the reality of the world with which we are presented."

This is a quote around which the 1998 film The Truman Show is centered. I find it beautiful because it presents a challenge to the audience. The movie asks us to question every aspect of the 'reality' that makes up our lives. This is provocative and unsettling, but also beautiful.

Eternity in an Hour

"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
And eternity in an hour."
-William Blake

I took a Romantic Period British Literature class last semester, and when we were going over Blake this quote really stuck with me. It's actually hard for me to say what exactly is so beautiful about this quote, it might be the theological implications (from what I gleaned, Blake had very interesting conclusions and ideas about religion that didn't always fit the standard teachings), or just the vastness that Blake is able to convey with such few words. The meaning is a challenge to wrap your head around, but it is an excellent exercise in your imagination to try. Perhaps it is because this quote appeals to my imagination so much that I find it so beautiful. There is just this aura around all fruits of the imagination, the purely imaginary that makes it seem beautiful and unique.

Worn-out shoes

“So, my children live with my mother and so far they do not have worn-out shoes. But what kind of men will they be? I mean, what kind of shoes will they have when they are men?”

This quote is from Natalia Ginzburg’s book The Little Virtues. I appreciate how simply she states such a heavy and powerful notion. The way that the passage moves from the broad question of what kind of people her sons will become to the narrow answer lying in the symbol of their shoes as a status of class as well as character is beautiful.

Sunrise over Lake Michigan.

Yes, it's absolutely cliche. Regardless, the sunrise is one of the very few things making my two hour morning commute to campus this week worth it. I especially thought it was fitting that today's sunrise was painted with many colors yet the sun itself remained hidden behind clouds; perhaps this scene is another example of something being beautiful even when a key element is absent (like in Rilke's poem).

The Battle of Panipat

The name of this image is The Battle of Panipat. I don't know anything about this image except that it is colorful and mysterious (to me). Orange is my favorite color because it is bold and unmistakable. Elephants are my favorite animal, so I am thrilled to see one so beautifully (ha!) decorated. Also, the horses look more like the sea variety. More than any of the vivid colors and actions of the image, however, I am mesmerized by the two hugging trees -- one fragile and flowery, the other sturdy and part of a natural wall between the foreground and the background.

Time After Time

What kind of appeal does this video make? Is it emotional or ethical or what? It seems to demand a response, but to restrict our access to its content. I think the discomfort I feel is what's beautiful.


This is a fragment from a translation of a poem:

"What I have towards him is childhood,
you know,
Childhood- there is no cure for that." - V. Polozkova

This fragment finishes a longer piece. I really like the double meaning of the lines. At first glance, the meaning is simple- the connection between the two people is based solely on the fact that they have known each other for a long time. However, by using "have towards," the author hints at other qualities of childhood (immaturity, blind faith, simplicity). Thus, what connects the author to the subject of the poem is not only time, but also the inexplicable, unjustified, unconditional blind love that can only exist in childhood. The conversational tone (with "you know") attempts to hide the deepness of the author's thought, just like the connection of childhood to immaturity hides the deepness of the feeling she tries to explain.

The Fonz Knee Socks

I keep a folder on my desktop of images I come across on the internet and want to keep.

I think that what I find beautiful from this image is this indescribably honest quality that seems to come from wearing Henry Winkler socks on, judging from her sibling's(?) suit, what appears to be an important occasion.

Frank Gehry's Serpentine Gallery Pavilion

Here are two views of the structure:

I'm really drawn to the seemingly chaotic yet very ordered construction; the way the ribbed panels interact with one another, creating even more lattice work depending on one's vantage point; and how the structure, by being an indoor-outdoor space, is replicated in shadow due to its inevitable interaction with nature (or specifically the sun).

Postcard Fragment

This is from a postcard I have in my office.  I find the colors soothing, but also powerful.