Van Gogh said, "The way to know life is to love many things."
In my half-century or so of life thus far I do know and love many things.
And I want to know and love so much more!
One of my favorite places to feed my appetite for knowing more is the Milwaukee Art Museum...a treasure trove of fascinating and beautiful things just waiting to be discovered anew...again and again. I have spent many hours there walking the galleries and thought I had explored it pretty thoroughly. But the last time I was there, in December with my brother, we wandered in to an area that I had surprisingly not seen before.
And oh, the entrance to this area was very curious indeed so in we went. In to the Loca Miraculi...Rooms of Wonder.
And the wonders that awaited us were mostly these amazing looking white cabinets filled with an eclectic mix of things. Each cabinet was a little different, some were tall, some were wide and at first look I thought, "Oh, these are nice. Some interesting artifacts to peruse." I settled in to just sort of wander through the exhibit, but then my brother, who is older than me and thus slightly wiser, said, "Did you look in the drawers?"
Drawers? What drawers? Oh, those drawers that suddenly became obvious to me. Each cabinet had one or more drawers. How did I miss these?
"And we can open the drawers? Really?" Oooh. Cool! Fun! Of course I then had to open each and every one...just to see, with my own eyes.
My days are fueled by this kind of curiosity. It's what gets me out of bed in the morning. It's what keeps me going and moving along in the world. It's what makes life endlessly interesting, gathering more things to know and love.
What I loved about the Loca Miraculi exhibit was how it was designed to both entice the curious mind and reward our artistic sensibilities at the same time. Sure, we are drawn in by the unique ephemera on display. But then there is also something beautiful overall. I always stand back in galleries and take in the whole of what has been created...to see how the dance of lighting and layout has created a perfect ambience. In this exhibit the designer/artist, Madison-based Martha Glowacki, did not disappoint. Even the cabinets themselves are works of art with fine, timeless finishes. The drawers open and close with ease, something I imagine any kitchen remodeler would covet. And inside each drawer is a creative feast that satisfies.
If your curious mind needs to know more here's a link to the Milwaukee Art Museum's blog post on this exhibit. Let me know if you go and what you see.
"Somewhere, something incredible is waiting to be known."
These words are attributed to Carl Sagan, astronomer and astrophysicist and grand explorer/teacher of the wonders of our vast universe. I can hear his distinctive voice say these words. And oh, I do miss him being in the world with us, but his wisdom remains and continues to inspire many of us.
With an explorer's eye, I look up at the sky and out at nature and all around me at the things that make up our world today, seeking what is unknown to me, to learn and discover and expand my own knowledge.
On a recent trip to the Museum of Science and Industry in Chicago I came upon a cabinet of curious things.
Some things looked familiar, microscopes, telescopes, cameras, but this one thing caught my eye, perhaps because it was blue and seemed to kind of glow. I took a closer look at the orb-machine-like thing and wondered...what might this be used for? I noted the number and found the item's description:
Hmm...well, how interesting. What a cool thing. A little research and I know now that it was invented by John Francis Campbell in 1853 and modified in 1879 by Sir George Gabriel Stokes, so this design is actually called the Campbell-Stokes recorder or sometimes called a Stokes Sphere, according to Wikipedia.
And a little more research led me to an amazing blog post from a guy who's curiosity led him to delve quite deeply in to this topic. Perhaps more than you ever wanted to know, but it's worth clicking on the link when you're finished reading my post. His post is filled with really cool photos and detailed explanations and thoughts about sunshine recorders.
And of course we need something like this in the world. Sunshine is our energy source...it's what keeps us all alive and thriving. It's what inspires my day when it begins with a beautiful sunrise...like on this day in September....
...when something incredible is waiting to be known.
Happy New Year! It's October 1st! The beginning of my personal new year. It's the time of year when I find myself wanting to turn over a new leaf. And I usually do. Most of the big changes in my life have occurred in the Fall. This year feels no different. Today I began a new way of being. More on that in future posts...for today I just want to celebrate my new year and celebrate Fall.
I love Fall. It's the time of year I most connect to and feel the most alive in. Summer is nice...but it's often too hot for my taste...especially this year. Spring is my second favorite season, but sometimes we get short-changed and jump from Winter in April to Summer in May. We did have a lovely Spring though this year, so no complaints there. And Winter, well, I really only like snow in December...the rest of the months I tend to just hibernate.
Give me a crisp, Fall-sweater day...sun shining, bright blue sky, trees blazing with color and I'm in heaven. Like on the day I took the photo below when I was up north at Fay Lake Resort. We had a near perfect week of weather. And the colors changed right before our eyes. Glad we were there to see it.
A short walk from my front door there is an inviting path that winds its way through a small forest. My dog, Star and I love to take walks there.
We enter from the road, via a small, dark opening that looks like we're passing through a secret door in to a magical place.
And we are, because the moment we enter everything changes.
Amazingly cooler air envelops us immediately.
Filtered sunlight dapples and dances through the green leaves. Our eyes need a moment to adjust to the new hues.
The well-worn path beckons us onward and so we go.
As we do snaps, crackles, and pops perk our ears. Chirps and whistles and rustling and scurrying sounds get our attention and for a few moments we feel alert and cautious...but soon we tune in to Mother Nature's music channel and we are relaxed and at ease and begin our meander.
Every turn on the path brings us something new to explore.
For Star, it's nose to the ground where there is a never-ending supply of fascinating smells.
She's a good companion on these walks. Stays on the path for the most part and keeps a good pace, not rushing about or pulling too much.
I think she enjoys just checking things out like I do.
Just being there and seeing what we see.
Like wildflowers peeking out from a log.
Or shadows that create natural art.
Or an alien-looking mushroom.
All part of the beauty.
The magic that awaits us at any moment in the forest.
Gum Vendors A really cool vintage photo blog by my brother Jerry. He finds the most amazing and interesting stuff. Be sure to check out his Wow Box.
Moving Consciously My friend Jill's blog space about her (and my) passion in life...Nia! She writes beautiful and thoughtful posts that invite us to explore living life in a body with awareness and joy.
Seth Godin's Blog I've been following Seth's blog since early in 2011 (thanks to my brother.) I'm inspired both by what he says and how often he says it.