Blocks Of Granite Towering Over the City

“Build your house on granite. By granite I mean your nature that you are torturing to death, the love in your child’s body, your wife’s dream of love, your own dream of life when you were sixteen. Exchange your illusions for a bit of truth. Throw out your politicians and diplomats! Take your destiny into your own hands and build your life on rock.

Don’t try to improve on nature. Learn to understand it and protect it. Go to the library instead of the prize fight, go to foreign countries rather than to Coney Island. And first and foremost, think straight, trust the quiet inner voice inside you that tells you what to do. You hold your life in your hands, don’t entrust it to anyone else, least of all to your chosen leaders. BE YOURSELF! Any number of great men have told you that.”
—-Wilhelm Reich, Listen, Little Man!

Fountain Columns

Irving Arts Center, Irving, Texas

Jesús Bautista Moroles
Fountain Columns, 1998
Dakota Mahogany Granite

Jesús Bautista Moroles Fountain Columns (click to enlarge)

Jesús Bautista Moroles
Fountain Columns
(click to enlarge)

“Elmore Leonard’s Ten Rules of Writing

1. Never open a book with weather.
2. Avoid prologues.
3. Never use a verb other than “said” to carry dialogue.
4. Never use an adverb to modify the verb “said”…he admonished gravely.
5. Keep your exclamation points under control. You are allowed no more than two or three per 100,000 words of prose.
6. Never use the words “suddenly” or “all hell broke loose.”
7. Use regional dialect, patois, sparingly.
8. Avoid detailed descriptions of characters.
9. Don’t go into great detail describing places and things.
10. Try to leave out the part that readers tend to skip.

My most important rule is one that sums up the 10.

If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.”
― Elmore Leonard

Jesús Bautista Moroles Fountain Columns (click to enlarge)

Jesús Bautista Moroles
Fountain Columns
(click to enlarge)

Study in the Sculpture Garden

Woman studying on a nice day in the Besthoff Sculpture Garden, New Orleans

Besthoff Sculpture Garden, New Orleans

(Click for a larger and more detailed version on Flickr)

A sculpture garden is a wonderful place… a well-done sculpture garden on a nice day is the best of all possible places – one where the blue sky, crystal humming air, and moving spectators become part of the exhibit and integral to the pure joy of hanging out in such a spot.

A woman sits barefoot, shoes and drink nearby with her backpack not far away, and quietly studies her notebooks in the sun. How is she not as exquisite a work of art as the famous bronzes? The curve of her back, the spherical bun of hair on top of her head, and the sun gleaming from her ankles and toes – these are the simple pleasures the great artists strive for lifetimes to come close to duplicating and have to settle for a second-rate imitation, the best they can do.

The granite chair behind her is Settee, by Scott Burton. His works blur the distinction between furniture and sculpture. I’ve always enjoyed his piece at the Nasher, here in Dallas, Schist Furniture Group (Settee with Two Chairs). I’m never really comfortable sitting on his work – it seems wrong to wear the art like that, even though that’s exactly what he intended.

What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to the soul.
—-Joseph Addison

When a finished work of 20th century sculpture is placed in an 18th century garden, it is absorbed by the ideal representation of the past, thus reinforcing political and social values that are no longer with us.
—-Robert Smithson

Sculpture is the art of the hole and the lump.
—-Auguste Rodin

Sculpture occupies real space like we do… you walk around it and relate to it almost as another person or another object.
—-Chuck Close

There is no substitute for feeling the stone, the metal, the plaster, or the wood in the hand; to feel its weight; to feel its texture; to struggle with it in the world rather than in the mind alone.
—-William M. Dupree

Granite

Stupidity is something unshakable; nothing attacks it without breaking itself against it; it is of the nature of granite, hard and resistant.
—-Gustave Flaubert

I was down in the Dallas Arts District. In front of the Symphony Hall the Bald Cypress trees have been growing for decades now, they are huge and beautiful. Their knees are coming up now and pushing through the little blocks of granite that pave the ground between the sidewalk and the street.

The small granite paving blocks.

I set my camera down on the ground and took these pictures – mostly to remind myself of the spot. I’ve always liked the stretch of shaded sidewalk along there, and the rough displacement of the carefully set granite pavestones… the bits of goldbrown cypress needles falling into and filling the gaps… I like that even better.

The block of granite which was an obstacle in the pathway of the weak, became a stepping-stone in the pathway of the strong.
—-Thomas Carlyle

“For me chemistry represented an indefinite cloud of future potentialities which enveloped my life to come in black volutes torn by fiery flashes, like those which had hidden Mount Sinai. Like Moses, from that cloud I expected my law, the principle of order in me, around me, and in the world. I would watch the buds swell in spring, the mica glint in the granite, my own hands, and I would say to myself: ”I will understand this, too, I will understand everything.””
—-Primo Levi