The city of Sophronia is made up of two half-cities. In one there is the great roller coaster with its steep humps, the carousel with its chain spokes, the Ferris wheel of spinning cages, the death ride with its crouched motorcyclists, the big top with the clump of trapezes hanging in the middle. The other half city is of stone and marble and cement, with the bank, the factories, the places, the slaughterhouse, the school, and all the rest. One of the half-cities is permanent, the other is temporary, and when the period of its sojourn is over, they uproot it, dismantle it, and take it off, transplanting it to the vacant lots of another half-city.
And so every year the day comes when the workmen remove the marble pediments, lower the stone walls, the cement pylons, take down the ministry, the monument, the docks, the petroleum refinery, the hospital, load them on trailers, to follow from stand to stand their annual itinerary. Here remains the half-Sophronia of the shooting galleries and the carousels, the shout suspended from the cart of the headlong roller coaster, and it begins to count the months, the days it must wait before the caravan returns and a complete life can begin again.
– Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
I recently had the privilege of studying some of Andrea Palladio’s seminal work in Vicenza. The father of the neoclassical style, Palladio mastered the art of symmetry and classical orders, simple proportions, and elegant design that was functional and very pleasing to the eye.
Sometimes one reaches a point when experiences are far too much to process and express, in those cases, it is often best to execute a “memory dump” either writing or drawing (or whatever one’s preferred method of self expression) whatever random things are cluttering the mind, essentially clearing space for the experiences to be thoroughly processed. To some it may seem like gibberish, but it is an important step in the process, and for those who are looking, it can hold some secrete beauty.
The Beauty of wax is its power to yield
To the finger’s skillful touch;
Thus taught, it can shape the god of War,
Chaste Wisdom or Love or her son.
The secret springs quench a flame,
Or gladden the flowers and fields;
So the mind of man, through the gentle arts
Is taught the wisdom of change.
— Pliny the Younger, Letter to Fuscus Salinator on the virtues of intellectual exercise through writing, extolling poetry as a means of exercising the mind.
Gardino di Boboli – Contrast, Light, Time, Revealing
Gardino di Boboli, at Palazzo Pitti – An afternoon of framing perspective