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The Elements of Typographic Style

Patagonia Synchilla Snap-T Pullover




Nothing Behind Your Masks

Graffiti noted on a wall along one of the backstreets in the historical center of Venice. Maybe referring to the practice of wearing masks during the Carnival of Venice to hide the identity of the person? Or maybe not. I thought it a wonderful desktop, and have uploaded a high-resoution copy of the image here.  



Took a while to find it (thx, Elysa), but had a wonderful visit with Michele (shown above) at Veneziastampa. He and his partner Luca have been operating a print shop in the historical center of Venice for over 25 years. He has a gorgeous and meticulously maintained 1950 Original Heidelberg Offset oder Letterset press. His shop is in an old building–Venice old–a few steps from Rialto, and he tells a great story of how they had to knock out the front wall to move the press in. I bought some exquisite book plates and a few cards and had a hard time leaving. Truly a magical place. 


Bellagio Backstreet

My writing fellowship ends on Monday, and it will be hard to leave this enchanting place. The villa, the people, the food, the quiet, the food – and, I am overjoyed to say, I have finished writing all thirteen chapters of Managing the Wild. Thank you, Rockefeller Foundation.

So now, I can just close the computer, and Elysa and I can start our holiday in Italy. Among othe venues, four days in Venice


Study at Villa No. 3

Still here, but just not posting. I am spending a lot of time in the room shown above, the study attached to room V (Villa) No. 3, writing Managing the Wild: Stories of People and Plants and Tropical Forests. The work is going well, and I am on Chapter 7. I still have two more weeks, but I have already started to get sad about leaving this beautiful – and extremely quiet – environment.  What a place.


Lake Como

Well, I made it to Bellagio, and this is the view of one of the arms of Lake Como visible from the balcony of my study at the Villa Serbelloni. Not my room, my study. I can't think of a more beautiful place to write a book.


Hmong Blouse

Another incredibly beautiful hand-loomed and vegetable-dyed textile from the Vietnam Museum of Ethnology in Hanoi (see Textiles). I especially like the necklace that goes with the blouse.  [NOTE: Heading to Italy, but missing Vietnam].



Sunday morning of sesshin at the Garrison Institute (see Fall Sesshin, among others). You spend hours sitting, reflecting, observing moment after moment. And then, there are always those times, frequently at the end of sesshin, when your thoughts turn toward "what happens next?"

That's kind of where I am today. Everything is pretty much together for my trip to Italy (see Bellagio) this weekend. And I pause to reflect on the writing project that I will be immersed in over the next six weeks. Not knowing is, indeed, most intimate. [NOTE: Photo by G. DeBrocky (thx, Glynn)]. 


Dendrology/Silviculture Section

Image above shows part of the Dendrology (e.g. Tree Flora of Malaya, The Bamboos of Sabah, Standard Nomenclature of Forest Plants in Burma) and Silviculture (e.g. Forest Stand Dynamics, Silvicultural Systems, Principles of Silviculture) section of the bookcase in my office. Notice the Wilhelm/Baynes (1950) translation of the I Ching sitting on top of the Tree Flora of Malaya. Always helps to bring as much information and insight as possible to every situation.

After taking the picture, I decided to throw the I Ching and post the hexagram that resulted. Didn't really have a question, but the I Ching always gives you something useful (and unexpected) to reflect on. My  six coin tosses produced hexagram 4, or Mêng (蒙)/Youthful Folly. The upper trigram is Kên/Keeping Still, Mountain; the bottom trigram is K'an/The Abysmal, Water.

From the commentaries: "The two trigrams show the way of overcoming the follies of youth. Water is something that of necessity flows on. When the spring gushes forth, it does not know at first where it will go. But its steady flow fills up the deep place blocking in progress, and success is atained". Not surprised that  youthful folly is playing a key role at this stage in my life. [NOTE: The really observant will notice that Red Pine's lovely translation of Guide to Capturing a Plum Blossom by Sung Po-jin also, for some reason, has a place in the Dendrology/Silviculture section (far left. second shelf)].  



Everyone should have one of these in their basement. A (more or less) fully-stocked workbench where you fix things that need mending (see Pre-Columbian Statue), make new stuff, e.g. a standing desk for Elysa's office or a couple of knife handles (see Knife Handles), or just have a seat, sip some tea, and look at all of your cool tools while your clothes are spinning in the dryer. [NOTE: I mean, really, look at that beautiful yellow DeWalt circular saw (lower left)].


AWVFTS+Nils Frahm at Royal Albert Hall


Something sublime for Friday. Nils Frahm (see Nils Frahm) and A Winged Victory for the Sullen (see Steep Hill of Vicodan Tears) join forces at Royal Albert Hall for BBC Proms 2015. Nice.

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