Traditions Home has an extensive collection of artwork. Each one tells a story.
Speculum mentis est facies et taciti oculi cordis fatentur arcana. St. Jerome letter to Furia 394
In a letter dated 394 AD to Furia, a recent Roman widow, St. Jerome advises her to not remarry and instead devote her life to her children and aging father. He goes on to say, “The face is the mirror of the mind and a woman’s eyes without a word betray the secrets of her heart,” which has come down to us as general advice to both sexes. Perhaps that is why eyelids are painted, closed, or hidden by bangs.
And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places.
Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it. -Roald Dahl
Wishing you the Merriest of Christmases, the Happiest of Hanukkahs, the sweetest of holidays. Wherever you are and however you celebrate the season, remember that no act of kindness, however small, is wasted or lost, and know this that kindness is the greatest magic of all, for it blesses two.
There is hope in honest error; none in the icy perfectionism of the pure stylist. Charles Rene Mackintosh
He died in London in 1928 after a short illness. Perhaps homesick at his death, he might have recalled the words of Robert Burns: “Flow gently, sweet Afton! amang thy green braes, Flow gently, I’ll sing thee a song in thy praise.” Youtube video.
Charles Rennie Mackintosh was born in 1868 in Glasgow, Scotland. His work there, alongside that of his equally talented wife Margaret Macdonald, influenced the fin de siècle Art Nouveau movement.
Stickley Furniture has redesigned Mackintosh’s Ingram Street Tea Room chair, and created its distinctive Highlands trestle table in the Mackintosh style. Solid oak or cherry, a natural wood for the bonnie banks of Loch Lomand. Then again, MacGregors and MacDonalds living lakeside in Kansas will enjoy it as well.
What memories of home does this recall to mind?
Good times and bad, lovers separated, lives forever parted. If I close my eyes and remember, I can still hear your words as we parted.
Oh! Ye’ll take the high road, and I’ll take the low road,
And I’ll be in Scotland afore ye,
But me and my true love will never meet again,
On the bonnie, bonnie banks of Loch Lomond.
‘Twas then that we parted, In yon shady glen,
On the steep, steep side of Ben Lomond,
Where, in purple hue, The highland hills we view,
And the moon coming out in the gloaming.
The wee birdies sing, And the wild flowers spring,
And in sunshine the waters sleeping.
But the broken heart it kens, Nae second spring again,
Though the waeful may cease frae their greeting.
The story of Paris sitting in judgment, offering an apple to the fairest is a story we have all heard. But why not a pear?
“A pear wouldn’t have worked.”
Wretched captured Hecuba,
after she saw dead her [youngest daughter] Polyxena
and found on the beach her [youngest son] Polydorus,
was driven mad by grief
and began barking like a dog…
Once upon a time, long ago, Queen Hecuba of Troy had a dream.
Pregnant and awaiting the birth of her first child, she dreamed one night she gave birth to a fiery torch. Her husband, King Priam, worried and called his eldest son, Aesacus, son of his first wife, a seer, to divine the dream’s meaning.
“Your newborn son will be the downfall of Troy,” Aesacus said. “He must be killed.”
And so, when the baby boy, Paris, was born, King Priam called upon his chief herdsman, Agelaus, to do the deed and kill him, for neither father nor mother could do the deed.
Agelaus took the child to cold Mount Ida, windswept and bare, and left the infant on the mountainside, certain to perish. But a she-bear, taking pity, kept the child safe and warm and suckled it with milk. When Agelaus returned after nine days, he found the boy child alive and took this as a sign by the gods that he was meant to live.
In secret, Agelaus reared Paris as his own son, returning to Priam bearing a dog’s tongue as evidence of the deed’s completion.
Paris grew up beautiful, intelligent and wise, beloved by women and men alike. Like Agelaus, Paris became a herdsman and pitted his prize bull against the bulls of other herdsmen. One day, he proposed a challenge: His bull would fight anyone’s bull to a battle. The winner would receive a golden crown.
Ares, the god of war, heard this and transformed himself into a bull, accepted the challenge, and easily won. Paris, in fairness, awarded Ares the crown. Thus, the gods of Olympus accepted Paris as one man who kept his word.
That was the beginning of the troubles of Paris and the end of Troy.
On Olympus, Zeus planned a wedding feast for Thetis, the sea nymph, and her beloved, Peleus, a mortal. Thetis, it is told, was a goddess of prophecy and Zeus had once sued for her hand, but she prophesied that she would produce a child greater than the father, and so Zeus wisely let Peleus be her mate. At the wedding feast, Zeus invited all the gods and goddesses but one, Eris, the goddess of discord, chaos and misery, for obvious reasons. But Eris learned of the wedding feast and was furious. In the midst of the gaiety, she stormed into the great hall and flung into the crowd a golden apple inscribed with the word “kallisti,” meaning “to the fairest.”
Naturally, every goddess claimed the fruit, and soon they were arguing and fighting, but by the end of the day only three goddesses still made their claim – Aphrodite, goddess of beauty; Athena, of wisdom and war; and Hera, of women and marriage, and, forebodingly, Zeus’ wife. The three turned to Zeus and said,
“You must choose – who is fairest of all?”
Zeus understood that no matter who he selected, the other two would cause him grief. And so, he decreed:
“The shepherd Paris of Troy will select the fairest.”
The decision was made at Mount Ida with Paris alone with the tree goddesses.The goddesses being women began to offer him bribes.
“I will make you king of Europe and Asia,” Hera said. “Select me and give you power to rule over men and women.”
Athena came next. “I offer wisdom, and strength and courage, and make you a warrior to be feared.”
Last was Aphrodite, who with flowers in her hair and smelling of perfume, said, “I offer you love, no more. Take Helen, Queen of Sparta, acknowledged by all as the loveliest of mortals.”
There on snowy Mount Ida, perhaps overcome with the emotion of his own abanonment as a child, Paris could not resist Aphrodite and exchanged Eris’ golden apple for love.
That is how love caused the downfall of Troy.
And Aphrodite, in repentance for what she had done, made the pear. For the pear, dear friends, does not roll to far, and keeps discord in its place, near the giver and not the taker.
Love is friendship on fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through times good and bad. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses. Ann Landers
It is not my advice, but it is good advice, given by Ann Landers in her syndicated newspaper column, Ask Ann Landers, which ran for 56 years.
Ann was ahead of her times on many issues. That is why we read her column.
I loved reading Ask Ann Landers. Millions of Americans loved reading and taking the advice and did so for 56 years until the column ended. Ann was about forgiveness and compassion, and about love – the only emotion that gets us through all times.
Is there a shelf life on good advice?
Does it expire after 50 years, or after one is out of earshot? Like Ann said, you have to work at it, nourish it like a plant, give it a little TLC to make it grow.
Now, it seems like mother earth is due for a little love. Then, maybe love is not the answer to a world that has grown sullen and desperate, but it is sure worth a try.
Far away there in the sunshine are my highest aspirations. I may not reach them, but I can look up and see their beauty, believe in them, and try to follow where they lead.
Louisa May Alcott from Elbert Hubbard’s Scrap Book: Containing the Inspired and Inspiring Selections, Gathered During a Lifetime of Discriminating Reading for His Own Use
Elbert Hubbard, like most of us, was a gatherer. He gathered up the spoken thoughts of other men and women as one gathers a beautiful wildflower. This quest lead him far and wide. It was the quest he enjoyed, but the sayings we remember.
My French teacher reminded me that words can be good or bad depending on how they are used, “les mots sont des choses, bonnes ou mauvaises.”
Words are twice translated, my French instructor would say to me, first by the author in putting words to paper, and twice by the translator who interprets the subtlety of thought into a foreign language. Context, the instructor continues, gives meaning to the words.
Loin dans le soleil sont mes aspirations plus grand. Je ne peut pas les atteindre, mais je peux les regarder et de voir leur beauté, croire en eux, et essayez de suivre où ils me emportent.
There is, I reply, a third translation. That is, by the reader who applies their own emotions and feelings to the words. We all seek truth and understanding, but the path is a solitary one, one for which we are thankful if we are given some direction.