Friday, October 01, 2004

John Ruskin

MelbournePhilosopher

Just a short one today! I noticed this philosopher in Alain de Botton's book, "The Art Of Travel." I thought we could all use a break, and this might encorouge us to cast our minds to our simple surroundings.

Name : John Ruskin. Born: London 1819.

"I could pass my days contentedly in tracing the squares and comparing the colours of my carpet - examining the knots in the wood on the floor, or counting the bricks in the opposite houses with rapturous intervals of excitement."

"A vermilion morning, all waves of soft scarlet, sharp at the edge, and gradated to purple. Grey scud moving slowly beneath it from the south-west, heaps of grey cumuli - between scud and cirrus - at horizon. It issues in an exquisit day ... All purple and blue in distance, and misty sunshine near on the trees, and green fields ... Note the exquisite effect of the golden leaves scattered on the blue sky, and the horse-chestnut, thin and small, dark against them in stars".

Ruskin believed that in order to "own" an experience we need to describe it. He advocated drawing, photography (although later rescinded this in reaction to the mindless holiday snapping of tourists) and "word-painting".

My word-painting for this afternoon:
"Slow-moving day, sunny but not over-warm. Sounds of the street include a truck, a yelling man, the passing of cars and my neighbour opening his door several times. The air is not moving much, rather it is staying heavily put, refusing to be blown about by the pushy winds that may try to visit from other parts."

Cheers,
-MP

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