The year of 2017 begins with a ‘bang’! The anticipation from the US election in November 2016 became reality on January 20th 2017. A new president was inaugurated. But wait… Listen to the voices of women who moved together to resist, revolt, fight and speak up for social injustice! My daughters and I happened to be in New York City on Saturday, January 21st, when the women all over the country marched together with one purpose to be heard by the new government. We managed to be in the procession many times, because of the length of the march. Hundreds of thousand came and we witnessed a history. In this blog journal I only post the pictures I thought worth to show. The pictures of words upon words and illustrations of protests, disappointment, anger, anguish and fear that were written or drawn on pieces of papers decorating the streets of Manhattan. They were the poetry of a country in distress. Another journal will follow about our experience participating in the Women’s March NYC.
My first thought when I entered this library was that this is Harry Potter’s library,although , it’s not. This marvelous library is Andrew Dickson White Library at Cornell University. But by the time you see the pictures I took and post here, you will agree this library could be Harry Potter’s library (minus the flying books). A.D. White Library is a library within a library, it’s located inside Uris Library. My family and I were visiting Cornell and my friend, Danny and his wife, took us to see several point of interests around campus. Uris Library opened in 1891 and among the oldest and beautiful libraries of American colleges. William Henry Miller was the architect who designed the building. It is a magnificent building with a clock tower attached to it that becomes Cornell’s symbol. The McGraw Tower is another point of interest at Cornell that plays chimes concert daily.
Andrew Dickson White was co-founder and Cornell University first president. When Harold D. Uris Library was established, White wanted to donate his personal collection of 30,000 books to Cornell. But instead of putting the books into the library’s collections, White wanted his books installed in a special library within Uris Library. He asked the architect, William Henry Miller, to design it. A.D. White Library opened as Uris Library opened. The library is also filled with White’s other collections of artworks, furniture and artifacts that he got from Europe when he was the U.S. Ambassador for Germany and Russia. There are paintings, plaster busts and several plaster casts of European coins and medallions that are placed in a glass case. Uris Library is open from Thursday to Sunday for 24 hours for students who want to use the facility. Get that? Open for 24 hours.
A. D. White Library is a small library. Its location is rather secluded. We climbed some steps and reached a big door. My friend opened it and we entered another realm. We were floored! We were amazed! My kids were very enthusiastic and in a hushed voice telling me,”This is like Harry Potter’s Library!” There are 3 tiers in the library that were made from wrought iron. These tiers themselves are a work of art. The sun rays that beamed into the room reflected upon the iron frames, fell on the chairs and leather sofa that are placed in front of the windows. The atmosphere was solemn, peaceful and simply just wonderful. It’s very accommodating for whoever needs a place to study. I think I could really enjoy studying there for as long as I want.
It’s the third month already in 2016 and I realized I haven’t been writing or posting any journal on this blog. I just started Instagram and I enjoy it so much. Through Instagram I know a couple of watercolor artists. I adore their artworks that involve so many details and brilliant colors. These watercolor artists often painting one particular object, such as a flower, and study it meticulously. I was inspired by their watercolor study that I call this journal “the Study of Cyclamens”. Cyclamen is a very unique flower. Its petals open up upward just like a swan lifting its wings. Cyclamens only available during winter and they are among the perfect flowers to lift up your spirit especially when winter feels too long. I got a pot of cyclamens from our market recently and I chose the white ones with frilly petals. I love them a lot and so far the cyclamens keep on blooming and I hope they will thrive for another season (I actually read how to take care of cyclamen after the blooming passes, so let’s see how it’ll turn out).
In secret we met-
In silence I grieve,
That thy heart could forget,
Thy spirit deceive
If I should meet thee
After long years,
How should I greet thee?
With silence and tears.
(George Gordon Byron)
On that early evening, my daughter fussed over her appearance. It was her first Coronation Ball as a high school student and she was nervous. The sun almost set when my daughter’s friend and her mom came to pick her up. As I waved goodbye and told my daughter to have a good time, the sky looked as festive as the event she went to. The vibrant orange and shade of pink, mixed with blue, just stunning. The dramatic backdrop against rows of houses and other buildings created a special ambiance in an urban surrounding and it’s mesmerizing.
“It was the way the autumn day looked into the high windows as it waned; the way the red light, breaking at the close from under a low sombre sky, reached out in a long shaft and played over old wainscots, old tapestry, old gold, old colour”.
– Henry James –
Ecstatic, that’s what I felt when I read an article about the coming lunar eclipse. I’ve never seen one before, even though one happened but it seemed that it never reached where we live or I simply didn’t realize it happened. So, I was anticipating the event and told the kids to be aware around 9 PM, because that’s when the lunar eclipse would start. We were watching TV and by the time I looked at the clock, it was 10 after 9. I looked out our window and there it was, the eclipse has started. We were quite fortunate to be able to watch the whole process of the lunar eclipse, from the beginning until it subsided after midnight. I wanted so much to take some pictures of the eclipse, thinking that that was the perfect time to shape-up my photography technique. At first, I climbed my work table, with one leg on the table and the other on the window ledge (it’s dangerous, I knew that). I tried to maneuver my camera outside the window while not holding unto it. After a while, I moved to our balcony, which is in the front part of our house and lo and behold, the view was just mesmerizing (and I didn’t have to cling on the ledge). While taking some pictures of the eclipse, suddenly I teared up. My son asked me why I was crying and I told him I was so happy to see this spectacular event. The kids and I watched for sometimes , even my son insisted to do his homework on the porch so not to miss the eclipse.
The tittle of this journal was inspired by a nursery rhyme that my kids used to listen to when they were little.
“I see the Moon and the Moon sees me,
And the moon sees the one that I can’t see.
God Bless the Moon and God Bless me,
And God Bless the one that I can’t see.”