Herbal Household Remedies: Home

Home is where the heart is.

Among all the news about Covid 19 and the recent developments in Italy, the tidbit that struck me the most was that having to stay home purportedly took the joy right out of life for many Italians.

It makes me wonder.  How common is it that people do not actually like to be home?  Do people not like their families, significant others or pets, for that matter, well enough to actually spend time with them?  What’s wrong with staying home that it would deprive people of what makes life worth living?

I guess the thrust of my health-considerations for today is clear by now:  How healthy can it be to call a place ‘home’ that you don’t actually like to be at?  Where do people prefer to spend their time that being home is experienced as such a burden?

Here is something to consider:  Many people even of our grandparent’s generation still spent most of their life living in the same area, and most of their days in or around the house or homestead.  In fact, for by far the larger chunk of human history, spending time with your family or clan was the normal, traditional way of life.  Neither extensive circles of friends, nor many hours spent shopping or being entertained otherwise, nor extensive travel were part of people’s lives, surely not on a regular basis.  Consequently, people were a lot less concerned about other people’s business and a lot more concerned with their own, and put a good bit of effort into making their living place a home indeed.

Every crisis is also an opportunity.  Maybe we can use this pandemic to reconsider our lifestyles and turn our houses into homes again, places where we love to spend time rather than places that we flee.  It’s the way our ancestors lived.

Home is where the heart is.  If you do not have a home, where, pray tell, is your heart?

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Happy puppy

Poesie: Remembering Rome Burned

On 19 July 64 A.D., Rome burned.  We thought it a worthy occasion to ponder something Mr. Longfellow wrote.

Michael Angelo: A Fragment


Michel piu che mortal, Angel divino.

Similamente operando all’ artista
Ch’ a l’ abito dell’ arte e man che trema.
~ DANTE, Par. xiii. st. 77.


NOTHING that is shall perish utterly,
But perish only to revive again
In other forms, as clouds restore in rain
The exhalations of the land and sea.

Men build their houses from the masonry
Of ruined tombs; the passion and the pain
Of hearts, that long have ceased to beat, remain
To throb in hearts that are, or are to be.

So from old chronicles, where sleep in dust
Names that once filled the world with trumpet tones,
I build this verse; and flowers of song have thrust

Their roots among the loose disjointed stones,
Which to this end I fashion as I must.
Quickened are they that touch the Prophet’s bones.

~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–1882)

Tacitus’ account of the event can be found on THE HISTORICAL DIARIES.  I got the featured image from that blog as well.

Classical Sunday: Classical Mandolin

The mando!

Romantic Mandolin Classical Music – Venetian Serenade | Moonlight Magician

Sergio Zigiotti, Marina Ferrari, Maria Cleofe Miotti, Ugo Orlandi, Alessandro Bono, Annalisa Segni

00:00 Au fil de l’eau, barcarolle pour mandoline et guitare
02:42 Chants des gondoliers, sérénade pour mandoline et piano
05:57 Valzer: Il gondoliere
11:33 Gondolata per mandolino, clarinetto e pianoforte
16:08 Barcarola Veneziana di Mendellsohn
19:05 Gondola Veneziana
23:32 Barcarola per chitarra
26:45 Barcarola per liuto
30:47 In gondola – Serenata Veneziana & Ai mandolinisti di Venezia
35:44 2 Romances, Op. 9: No. 1, Venice at Night. Barcarolle
37:36 2 Romances, Op. 9: No. 2, Serenata
39:38 Notturno Veneziano per quartetto romantico
43:45 In Venice Water for Mandolin
44:12 Barcarola per mandolino
48:40 Le chant du gondolier, barcarolle pour mandoline et piano
52:36 Serenata veneziana
55:22 Il carnevale di Venezia


Cultured Wednesday: Jacob More

Jacob More’s special quality was a strong sense of formal design that he combined with nature observations. 

Jacob More was a Scottish landscape painter who started out painting stage scenery at the New Theater in his hometown Edinburgh.  It appears as though his special quality was a strong sense of formal design, maybe acquired while he worked for the theater, that he combined with nature observations.

the eruption of mt vesuvius
The Eruption of Mount Vesuvius

Jacob More was born in Edinburg in 1740, but lived most of his adult life in Italy, from around 1773 until his death on 1 October 1793.  While he was living in Rome and only 4 years before his death, a then relatively young Johann Wolfgang von Goethe visited him, acclaiming More’s paintings as being ‘admirably thought out’.  How can a painter to whom formal style matters and who manages to incorporate it into his landscape compositions fail to please Goethe, himself very keenly aware of formal design, and how nature keeps falling back on it?

What Goethe was looking for in his own nature studies, and suggested others should look for rather than amassing disconnected data about the natural world, were the ideas, maybe even archetypes behind specific natural phenomena like the spiral tendency, for example.  In order to find such natural and lawful ideas in nature, one needed to immerse oneself in a living interaction with a natural phenomenon, with all available senses.  Looking at Jacob More’s paintings might very well have told Goethe that here, he had met a kindred soul.

If you are interested in Goethe’s approach, the Wiki entry about Goethian Science might provide a quick glance into his ideas, and what came of them.  When I read Goethe’s nature studies back in the day, I found them fascinating and rewarding.

jacob more

Back to Jacob More:  His most famous painting is probably The Falls of Clyde (Corra Linn) from his Clyde Falls series that was exhibited in London in 1771, and which the founder and first president of the Royal Academy of Arts, Sir Joshua Reynolds, himself a portrait painter, bought in that same year:

Cora Lynn
Corra Linn, from the Clyde Falls series (around 1771)

One last painting I would like to share today.  It shows Roman Ruins, and appears to be a sketch more than a painting.  Can you see the formal design spoken of above?

Roman Ruins by Jacob More circa 1740-1793
Roman Ruins

Featured is a slightly cropped version of More’s “The Eruption of Etna”.

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