“We pray best before beauty.” ~ St. Francis de Sales
I have always found glass blowing absolutely fascinating.
Ancient Greek Poem on Glassblowing
This fragmentary poem was written in Greek on a papyrus scroll found in Egypt. It dates to the 3rd century CE.
First he heated the very point of the blowpipe, then snatched from nearby a chunk of bright glass and placed it skillfully within the hollow furnace. And the crystal as it tasted the heat of the fire was softened by the strokes of Hephaistos like…He blew in from his mouth a quick breath…like a man essaying the most delightful art of the flute. The glass received the force of his breath and became swollen out around itself like a sphere before it. It would receive another onslaught of the divine breath, for often, swinging it like an ox-herd his crook he would breathe into…
I don’t know if this next video techniquely counts as glass blowing, but I have to admit my mouth dropped open a couple of times while watching this guy work.
“By nature I am tragic and taciturn. In my youth I passed through periods of profound sadness.
“The thing I consciously seek is tension in spirit. But in my opinion it is essential not to provoke this tension by chemical means, such as drink or drugs.
“The atmosphere propitious to this tension, I find in poetry, music, architecture — Gaudi, for example, is terrific —, in my daily walk, in certain [sounds]: the [sound] of horses in the country, the creaking of wooden cartwheels, footsteps, cries in the night, crickets.”
Read more about him and by him here.
When I was in Rome a few years ago, I fell in love with the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere for a number of reasons, among them the brilliant mosaics.
But the floor also worth a look.
I thought of that floor when I came across this photography project Sebastian Erras. Sometimes you can find beauty beneath your feet if you look for it.
You can view more here.
Nothing like the sound of church bells ringing . . .