Saturday, April 13, 2019

Sheep in our world


This marvelous marble Ram's head is from the 2nd century AD, Roman, now in Chicago at the Art Institute.  Notice the hand above!  (The hand probably belonged to the man about to perform a sacrifice to the god Mars.)

An astonishingly fine book:  Eating Stone; Imagination and the Loss of the Wild by Ellen Meloy.  It's about bighorn sheep,"'wilderness' holdouts" since the late Pleistocene, now living in small enclaves of wild country in the American Southwest and Mexico, on the verge of extinction, again.  Do we intervene? If so, how? Who are these sheep?  We see them through Meloy's deft telling.  She tells us that to see them was a blessing.  The book is a gift.

Sunday, January 6, 2019

Bo

Boshan Xianglu
Western Han, c 200 BC

This incense burner, about the size of a large fist, depicts a world of creatures, plants, paths, and immortals, which, when activated, becomes enshrouded in mist-vapors as if it is a high mountain.  I visit "Bo" whenever I visit the Art Institute in Chicago.  Still, after more than 2,000 years, the small lead-glazed earthenware jar can project an amazing 3-D landscape almost moving, almost burning again for us!
The disk behind Bo is a mirror.