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☆ Sparrow ☆
So they opened a little shop close to my house, which sells all kinds of beady jewelery...lookie what I bought today:

I love this earring/necklace combo! It's so cute and summery! ^_^ It seems that my taste in jewelry hasn't changed much since I was five: I still go crazy over plastic jewels much more than I do over gold and silver ones! :-D
Current Mood: pleasedpleased
☆ Sparrow ☆
Ok, here we go again! The last time I addressed the subject I was wondering whether the three ideograms below were linked in some way, possibly through the trope of light/vision:

--> sun  月--> moon  星 --> star--> eye

So, why are the ideograms representing the celestial bodies so similar to the ideogram for "eye"? I received a comment from a_priori, who thinks that "perhaps it's just a coincidental result of orthography. I guess if you're turning a circle with a dot at the center (a sun drawing) and a circle with a smaller circle at the center (an eye with its pupil) into box-shapes, then you end up with things that look rather similar". This could very well be, but maybe there's another aspect to be considered. Yesterday afternoon a wise person (to whom I bow with closed palms :-D) reminded me that, in ancient times, "the sun, the moon and the other stars were considered the Eyes of God", that looked down to the world through the light they irradiated. Not only that, human vision was likewise regarded as an irradiation of light: it was thought that the eye produced a ray of light that was shed onto things in order to see them. Every pair of eyes was therefore seen (and seeing! :-D) like a little sun...so maybe my initial interpretation of the ideogram isn't all that wrong after all! :-D

☆ Sparrow ☆
Ok, since I apparently didn't manage to recognize the correct etymology of the ideogram "to see" (until a_priori explained it to me...thanks! :-D) I went on line and found this gorgeous site: Chinese Etymology. Check it out! It gives you the iconic history of almost any ideogram and it also has an interesting section on the evolution of Chinese written characters.

Here is what it gave me for "to see".

I am SO putting this site in my links. Ok...enough of this: back to John Donne!
Current Mood: amusedamused
☆ Sparrow ☆
03 May 2008 @ 12:50 am
This ideogram seems to unite in itself the ideogram of the sun () - but it could also be the moon (月) - and that for "person" (), so that the act of seeing is represented as a penetration of the light....

☆ Sparrow ☆
28 April 2008 @ 08:35 am
So yesterday afternoon I had to work. It was quite a bummer to have a lesson on Sunday, but on the bright side on my way home I spotted this cute little ducky. He was standing on one leg with his beak tuck in his wings....so cute! ( ^)>

☆ Sparrow ☆
22 April 2008 @ 10:13 am
Hi...! Yes, it's been a while...I've been a bit sick during the past few days and had a lot on my mind (I still do...). Anyhoo...today is Earth Day, and I believe we should all stop and seriously think about what we can do to end the era of environmental catastrophes our planet is going through (well, we should do this evey day of the year...). Here are a couple of useful sites in which you can find some great tips to help make this world a better place! Just click HERE and HERE!

Current Mood: restlessrestless
☆ Sparrow ☆
14 April 2008 @ 09:59 am
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
☆ Sparrow ☆
12 April 2008 @ 06:16 pm
So me and FedeZik finally went to the contemporary art museum to see the exhibition of the paintings by Chinese artist Yan Pei-Ming. As many of you may have realized by now, I'm not a big fan of contemporary art...but I must admit that I rather liked Yan Pei-Ming's works: the thing I liked about them (and I believe the following is true for most of contemporary Chinese art) is their profound dialogue with their tradition (but also with ours: one of the paintings was an amazing artistic quotation of Mantegna...), something that I feel most western art has lost. I loved the way his paintings somewhat echoed traditional Chinese paintings and calligraphic art. Another fascinating detail is the fact Yan Pei-Ming only used three colours to paint his pictures, the three traditional, symbolic colours of Chinese culture: black, white and red.

We also checked out another exhibition with several other western contemporary artists, but I didn't find them very interesting...only totally hilarious! :-D

Ok, here are some pics: the quality is HORRIBLE, partly because the light inside the museum really sucked, but mostly because taking pictures of the artworks WAS FORBIDDEN, so I just took them quickly whenever the museum attendants weren't watching (FedeZik looked out for them and I took the pics...el crimen perfecto!!) :-D! In our defence I can say that the museum didn't have postcards and stuff you could buy...we were quite pissed off by this, so we just went ahead and did our own! :-D

Current Mood: amusedamused
☆ Sparrow ☆
12 April 2008 @ 01:49 am
Another gray day in Sparowville...

☆ Sparrow ☆
10 April 2008 @ 11:08 pm
Humpf....it has been raining on and off for the last two days and it doesn't seem it's going to stop any time soon. Maybe I'm just being slightly meteoropathic, but I have fallen in quite a state of melancholy...it's not really sadness, but rather a weird mixture of downheartedness, apathy and ennui. I just didn't want to get out of bed this morning: I just felt like wrapping myself in the covers and lethargize, until a better day comes along.  Oh well....I eventually found a way to cheer myself up by printing some great articles on Chinese art and philosophy from JSTOR. I started reading them in the office: I was quite elated with them...Walking home from the Uni I almost enjoyed this dreadful weather: the fresh air, filled with the soothing smell of rain, and leaves, and flowers, the pleasant whisper of a million little drops in the half deserted town, the calm and quietness. Life is good...I guess.

Ok....rain pics, anyone?

Current Mood: blahIl pleure dans mon coeur....
☆ Sparrow ☆
07 April 2008 @ 09:22 am
Look through the window at the falling rain...

☆ Sparrow ☆
04 April 2008 @ 11:16 pm
Nothing more, nothing less.

Current Music: Me singing "London calling" to myself... :-D
☆ Sparrow ☆
01 April 2008 @ 06:46 pm
Today I took some pictures of a GORGEOUS apple tree that has just bloomed! It was truly wonderful...I love the Spring (ok, enough of this soppy ramble!! :-D).

For the rest I'm still rather tired and worn out. I've truly been dispersing my attention and concentration on too many things (I'm a sparrow of a thousand interests and a million curiosities....) and I really think I need to take some time to focus exclusively on my doctoral work and leave other projects for the future; there will be a time for them too, a fitter time, perhaps.

Ohhh...I'm so freaking sleepy it's hard to believe....anyhow, here are the pics! ( ^)>

Current Mood: sleepysooo sleepy...
☆ Sparrow ☆
30 March 2008 @ 11:55 am
Sometimes I wish I could take pictures of the landscapes I see in my dreams...until I find a way, I'll just have to settle for regular park pics..!

Current Music: Chopin - Fantasie Impromptu, Op. 66
☆ Sparrow ☆
27 March 2008 @ 07:13 pm
I wanted to write this post earlier but I really was sooo tired yesterday evening and today I have been rather busy with Ph.D. matters...then, this evening, I had a couple of cocktails with a good friend and now, between the even greater tiredness and the alcohol, it's a little past 7 pm and I just want to go to bed!!!

Yesterday afternoon I assisted to FedeZik's discussion of her MA dissertation, which of course went excellently, and I just wanted to say once more: congrats, congrats, congrats and welcome to the club! :-D

Oh my, I can't even type...I'll have to close this post here! Let me just post today's picture...

Current Mood: peacefulbetween mind and heart....
☆ Sparrow ☆
23 March 2008 @ 10:58 am

Happy Easter!!!

☆ Sparrow ☆
22 March 2008 @ 03:19 pm
I wanted to write a post for the first day of Spring yesterday...but unfortunately, the official first day of Spring, March 21st, was chosen for the "no post, no comments, no content" strike on Live Journal, to which I adhered, so I guess this leaves me with a "second-day-of Spring" post! :-D Oooh...I was out all morning today and it's just the most wonderful, warm, luminous spring day...

So tomorrow is Easter day. I have been told that Easter falling in March is quite a rare event and not only that: it seems that the resurrection of Christ had occurred in a similar period, during the spring equinox or right after it...

Here are some more magnolia pics: I'm just obsessed with spring flowers....have a great day!

☆ Sparrow ☆
19 March 2008 @ 09:49 pm
Taken some days ago...yep, it suits my mood....

Current Mood: blankblue....
☆ Sparrow ☆
18 March 2008 @ 04:06 pm
What?? Has the world turned upside down? Is Sparrow actually going to write a post exalting the beauty of contemporary art?? Apparently, yes....because although I remain deeply persuaded that 99% of art nowadays is junk, there is still a 1% that is...sublime. Ok, enough rambling; just go and check out Xu Bing...

...Birds don’t like that we have used this mark to represent them...

...Chinese is fascinating in that drawing, painting and writing can be one and the same...

...Birds don’t have an opportunity to refuse their human explanation...
Current Mood: contemplativeutterly fascinated....
☆ Sparrow ☆
I was reading some sections of this fascinating work of the Mahayana tradition and I really liked the part on the Bodhisattva...here are some excerpts! ( ^)>

Also, next, the Bodhisattva, for Dharma, slices off his own body and makes it into a lamp. He rolls his skin and flesh in a woolen cloth, puts butter oil on it, burns it and makes it into a wick. [...] For the sake of Dharma, he indeed gives away to beings all his head, eyes, marrow, hands and feet, blood and flesh. He strikes nails into his body, thows himself onto the rocks, and steps into fire. The Bodhisattva at that time suffers such innumerable pains. His mind does not draw back, does not move about, and does not shift.
Also, next, the Bodhisattva, in the days of an epidemic, sees those who are suffering and thinks: "This is as in the case of a big medicine tree, and the sick come and take the roots, the stem, the branches, the leaves, the flowers, the fruit, and the bark, and they make away with their illness. I pray that my body, too, will serve in this way. Anyone who suffers from illness may hear [my] voice, touch [my] body, or partake of [my] blood and flesh, or the marrow of [my] bones, and their illness will depart. I pray that when all beings partake of my flesh, they will not gain evil thoughts and will feel as though they were partaking of the flesh of their own child. After curing their illness, I shall always speak of Dharma. I pray that they will believe, meditate, and then teach others."
Also, next, O good man! The Bodhisattva-mahasattva has pity where there is nothing to have pity on. Truth to tell, he owes nothing, and yet he always does favours [to beings]. Bestowing favours, he yet does not expect any return. For this reason, we say that he is inconceivable. "Also, next, O good man! There are beings who practise various penances for their own good. The Bodhisattva-mahasattva practises penances so as to benefit others. This is "benefiting one's own self." This is also what is difficult to conceive.
Also, next, the Bodhisattva knows the virtue of the Buddha, when the Buddha appears in the world. For the sake of beings he gains birth even in remote places, where the Buddha is not. He is like a blind, deaf, lame, or crippled person. This is why we say that the Bodhisattva is inconceivable.
Also, next, the Bodhisattva knows very well all the sins of beings, and for the sake of Emancipation, he always accompanies them. Although he follows the way of their mind, he does not get contaminated by sin and defilement. For this reason, we say inconceivable.
Current Mood: contemplativecontemplative
☆ Sparrow ☆
17 March 2008 @ 11:45 am
Look at the sun rising at the horizon...! ( ^)>

Current Mood: curiouscurious
☆ Sparrow ☆
14 March 2008 @ 07:38 pm
Well, I really guess I can say winter is definitely over: everything is in bloom and bursting with life and colour...here are some pics I took today: Spring's first blossoms!  Oh, how I just loooove flowers! ( ^)>

Current Mood: amusedamused
☆ Sparrow ☆
09 March 2008 @ 11:32 pm
Just a quick post, since I haven't been writing on here for a while...I am currently working on several sermons by John Donne, which focus on the theme of Light. Useless to say, they are stunning, with their amazing images and overwhelming rhetoric...but still as I read them I cannot help feeling a (wonderful) sense of déjà vu. It's fascinating how the path of every great religion leads straight to a celestial, primogenial Light, how every creed speaks about illumination, vision and enlightened souls. The greatest reflections on (and OF) Light seem to have so much in common: the Light of the Bible and that of Christian mysticism, the Light of the Bhagavad Gita and that of the Sufi or of the Buddhist, or of the Pre-socratic tradition. Metaphors regarding light almost seem to reach beyond cultural, historical and spatial contexts (just as the speed of light itself annuls both time and space...), and this comes from a sparrow who has always valued an accurate contextualization as the first step of any sound critical study...

So here's my little Donne quotation of the evening:

In all Philosophy there is not a darker thing as light; As the sunne, which is fons lucis naturalis, the beginning of all naturall light, is the most evident thing to be seen, and yet the hardest to be looked upon, so is naturall light to our reason and understanding. Nothing clearer, for it is clearnesse it selfe, nothing darker, it is enwrapped in so many scruples. Nothing nearer, for it is round about us, nothing more remote, for wee know neither the entrance, nor limits of it. Nothing more easie, for a child discerns it, nothing more hard, for no man understands it. It is apprehensible by sense, and not comprehensible by reason...

Good night (full of Light...).
Current Mood: pensivepensive
☆ Sparrow ☆
02 March 2008 @ 09:35 pm
Ok....wyrmwwd recently wrote on her journal about her scaredy kitties and how they seem to be afraid of everything. Well, among many things (storm, strangers, unknown places...the sound of aluminum foil :-D...), my younger cat is afraid of....the wind. When it's windy she will hide under my bedspread and won't get out until it feels "secure" for her to do so. In the picture below you can actually see her face, but usually all you see is a lump under the covers of the bed....it's kind of cute/funny, really. My elder kitty sleeps through storms and doesn't mind the wind, unless it bothers her in some way; maybe it's the wisdom of age? Or maybe it's just her character...my younger kitty is an  extremely sweet, sensitive and vulnerable creature and after all I love her that way!

Current Mood: drainedmeow...
☆ Sparrow ☆
25 February 2008 @ 09:28 am
The theology of the Cross...Truth manifests itself through the experience of sufferance and the contemplation of the mystery of death, which oblige man to face his own misery and frailty...the despair in one's own ability to do or to be anything good opens the door to the omnipotent power of God, which alone can redeem the world beyond the vanity of human action...God himself is revealed to mankind through the agony of the Cross alone...

This is a pic of one of the lateral doors of a beautiful gothic church I walk by almost every day to go to the Uni. The entire church is awesome, but I find this particular detail of it especially fascinating. I took this picture some time ago; I'm posting it now because, well, I feel my research project has simply reached this point of the journey...and besides, I luuuv gothic stuff!

Current Mood: contemplativelutheranesque...