Ancient Peru: who are you, stranger?

Jim spent time in Peru during the 1960s as part of a team of physicians learning about healthcare delivery systems across the Americas. It was a cultural exchange project, meant to open the mind to new ideas. Amid the meetings and tours, Jim (of course) found the time and mental energy to be curious about… Continue reading Ancient Peru: who are you, stranger?

Memorial Day: remembering WW2 with my mom

My techie mom learned how to use a record-recording machine when she was a teenager. In addition to recording herself singing alone in her bedroom, she recorded family parties. It was during World War II and her family was suffering terrible loses, including her brother. And yet there was all this hilarity. In 2005, we… Continue reading Memorial Day: remembering WW2 with my mom

Courage to live on the edge

1953. Climbing team after Hermann Buhl summits Nanga Parbat

I'd be lying if I didn't admit that, for the past month, every time I hear a wave crash against our eroding shore, I flinch. I'm hypervigilante and my brain rushes to worst-case scenarios. Is beauty really worth the agita? Can I take another month of cursing the wicked wind of the west? Hermann Buhl,… Continue reading Courage to live on the edge

The tau tau and storytelling

Everything sooner or later turns into a story. Maybe in God-time the Word becomes Flesh. But in my experience Flesh fades into Word and the Word becomes Story. Yeah. People loved hanging out with my Irish-American parents, because any disaster could be neutralized by turning it into a story and having a good laugh. It… Continue reading The tau tau and storytelling

Japan #1847: drawing, calligraphy, oh my

This is a marvel: a hand-drawn manuscript for a small Japanese book by Utagawa Yashitora, an ukiyo-e print artist who (among other things) published over a hundred books during his active years, 1850-1880. With brush and ink, the artist tells his story of "Revenge at Igaguye" on 5 x 7 in. pages of rice paper.… Continue reading Japan #1847: drawing, calligraphy, oh my

#1850 Japanese Album

About four years ago, when I thought I'd finished inventorying and cataloging Jim's better collections, we opened one last drawer in his study -- the drawer where he kept trinkets and curios he used for gifts. Beneath the parrot brooches and the scuba-diver toys, we found a few "lost" treasures, including this one -- 25… Continue reading #1850 Japanese Album

Thoughts on knives

First thought: guy stuff. Keep it in the man cave. Second thought: useful tool. Where would civilization be without sharp-edged tools for cutting, chopping, slicing, carving, etc.? Third thought: power object. This gallery of Jim's collection shows knives, daggers, and swords that are as beautiful as they are useful. They are the product of centuries… Continue reading Thoughts on knives