Embracing Beauty • Day 14 • The Second Week in Review

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We’ve hit the two week mark in our month of beauty, and so as I did at the end of the first week, I want to take a moment to reflect on the last seven days.

Day 8 • More Examples of Beauty in Music

My friend Karina has fantastic taste in music, and so when I asked her to share some of her examples of beautiful songs, it wasn’t a disappointment. On Day 8, we were able to enjoy some wonderful music, as well as a lovely perspective of France.

Her are a few other examples she sent.

Day 9 • Beauty goes Interstellar

On Day 9, we turned our attention to the heavens, and to the wonder and beauty that exists beyond the skies above, courtesy of the Hubble Space Telescope. We saw some amazing images along with a beautiful score by Hans Zimmer from one of my favorite films of 2014, Interstellar.

Along those lines, I think this is a fitting companion piece: video footage from orbit, looking back at our beautiful world, along with the music of Brian Emo.

Day 10 • Unplug

When I realized that all of my examples of beauty were digital, or at least digital representations of real things, I concluded that I needed to encourage some independent unplugged searching for beauty. My challenge on this day was for everyone to put the devices down, take a walk in nature, have a cup of coffee with a friend where you don’t check your messages once.

I’ll extend that challenge again. Turn off your phone or your computer, get up, and go find beauty.

Day 11 • The Beauty of Family

This was one of my favorite days of the month so far. I put out the call to friends to send me favorite pictures of people who either are family by blood or by life experience, and I received dozens of beautiful photos of all kinds of different families. It was fun for me to see the extended relations of my friends, but also a good reminder of one of the most important things we’ve been given in life: community.

Head over to Day 11 and experience the beauty of family.

And since Day 14 of this challenge is actually my birthday, I want to celebrate with one more look at my beautiful family. So, if you will indulge me…

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Day 12 • Monet

On this day, we explored the works of one of the masters. And since Monet loved painting flowers, we also saw some beautiful flower photographs from Heim Studio in Russia. It’s too bad you can’t digitize scents, because flowers – while lovely to look at – are even more beautiful when you can smell them.

Here’s a famous Monet that we missed: Bouquet of Sunflowers (1881). Courtesy of The Met.

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Day 13 • Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber

We ended the week with another contribution from my friend Blythe, who sent in her favorite symphony, Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber. It is a stirring and emotional piece, and a fitting addition to our examination of beauty.

To add to it, I wanted to share a choral version of the piece recommended to me by my friend Genevieve, performed by the King’s College Choir.

Stay tuned for more examples of embracing beauty, and please share this post with your friends! Let’s help spread beauty all over the internet.

Also, if you have an example of beauty that you want to share, drop me a line at info@thimblerigsark.com and I’ll be happy to include it!

Embracing Beauty • The First Week & Some New

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Embracing Beauty • Day 13 • Adagio for Strings by Samuel Barber

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Today, I am pleased to have another contribution from my friend Blythe, who contributed A Teacher’s Story for my second day of embracing beauty.

Blythe wrote:

I found something else to add to your collection of beauty. I LOVE going to the symphony. It’s one of my favorite stress relief activities, and for a few hours, I am transported somewhere else.

Last year the symphony in my city played Adagio for Stings by Samuel Barber. It was stunning and it brought me to tears. I could not tell you why I was crying except that it touched me so deeply in my soul that words would not suffice. It painted pictures in my imagination and for a few minutes I was transported.

I could not find a recording of the symphony in Amarillo playing it but here is a recording of the Chicago Symphony playing it and doing a stunning job.

Stay tuned for more examples of embracing beauty, and please share this post with your friends! Let’s help spread beauty all over the internet.

Also, if you have an example of beauty that you want to share, drop me a line at info@thimblerigsark.com and I’ll be happy to include it!

Embracing Beauty • The First Week & Some New

Embracing Beauty • Day 8 • More Examples of Beauty in Music

Embracing Beauty • Day 9 • Beauty goes Interstellar 

Embracing Beauty • Day 10 • Unplug

Embracing Beauty • Day 11 • The Beauty of Family

Embracing Beauty • Day 12 • Monet

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Embracing Beauty • Day 12 • Monet

1No commentary today.

Only Monet, and flowers.

Just because.

The photos come from Heim Studio, and the Monet from the internet. Thanks, Karina!

Stay tuned for more examples of embracing beauty, and please share this post with your friends! Let’s help spread beauty all over the internet.

Also, if you have an example of beauty that you want to share, drop me a line at info@thimblerigsark.com and I’ll be happy to include it!

Embracing Beauty • The First Week & Some New

Embracing Beauty • Day 8 • More Examples of Beauty in Music

Embracing Beauty • Day 9 • Beauty goes Interstellar 

Embracing Beauty • Day 10 • Unplug

Embracing Beauty • Day 11 • The Beauty of Family

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Embracing Beauty • Day 11 • The Beauty of Family

1When I consider beauty in the world as well as in my own experiences in life, I have to conclude that one of the most beautiful ideas we have is the idea of family.

We didn’t have to be creatures of community, but we are. Imagine, we could have been like moles, solitary animals destined for a life of digging in the dirt all alone. We could have been like skunks, wandering around by ourselves in the forest, scaring off everyone else with our stench, only coming together when we’re desperate for each other’s warmth in the frozen winter.

Maybe those animals do paint a picture of the way we are sometimes. But we aren’t our best in those pictures of the solitary life, are we?

We’re at our best when we’re not facing the world alone.

Even the most introverted among us have to admit to be the case. We have to confess that even though occasional solitude is a gift, a bigger and better gift are the people who genuinely care about us, and who are always there for us, and who love us and accept us in spite of who we are, not because of who we are.

And we call this gift family.

What does this word mean to you?

I asked my friends on FB to send in favorite pictures of their families, and I’ve assembled quite a collection of beautiful people. While most of these pictures are people with their blood relatives, or their spouses and kids, there are also pictures of people connected to others by a different bond – a bond that is no less family than the pictures of people connected by DNA.

As my friend Sarah put it, “…family is not just those who share the same blood, but those who have been with you through thick and thin, who love you no matter your faults (and sometimes because of them), and have no problem making themselves silly to join in the fun.”

Well said, Sarah.

So, for today’s beauty embrace, I give you a gallery of beautiful families from all over my world. And if you’d like to add your family, please send me a pic at info@thimblerigark.com, and I’ll grow the gallery.

Stay tuned for more examples of embracing beauty, and please share this post with your friends! Let’s help spread beauty all over the internet.

Also, if you have an example of beauty that you want to share, drop me a line at info@thimblerigsark.com and I’ll be happy to include it!

Embracing Beauty • The First Week & Some New

Embracing Beauty • Day 8 • More Examples of Beauty in Music

Embracing Beauty • Day 9 • Beauty goes Interstellar 

Embracing Beauty • Day 10 • Unplug

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Embracing Beauty • Day 10 • Unplug

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It occurred to me yesterday that for my 31 Days of Embracing Beauty, I’ve been encouraging everyone to continue staring at a screen, looking at 2D and digitized examples of beauty.

Meanwhile, on the other side of your screen, beauty is most evident in reality.

And so, for today’s example of beauty, I challenge you to not look at a screen for a couple of hours. Take a walk, have a conversation face to face with another human being, play with your kids (or your parents). In short, unplug.

To help encourage you in this, I invite you to watch this video, Can We Auto-Correct Humanity? by Richard Williams, better known by his stage name Prince EA. Williams is an American rapper, spoken word artist, music video director and rights activist from St Louis, Missouri.

Stay tuned for more examples of embracing beauty, and please share this post with your friends! Let’s help spread beauty all over the internet.

Also, if you have an example of beauty that you want to share, drop me a line at info@thimblerigsark.com and I’ll be happy to include it!

Embracing Beauty • The First Week & Some New

Embracing Beauty • Day 8 • More Examples of Beauty in Music

Embracing Beauty • Day 9 • Beauty goes Interstellar 

Embracing Beauty • Day 9 • Beauty goes Interstellar

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Circling the earth in a low orbit since 1990, the Hubble Space Telescope has returned some of the most stunning images of the universe ever taken. The telescope, a joint operation between NASA and the European Space Agency, was placed in position to take advantage of being outside the earth’s atmosphere, allowing it to take images five times sharper than the strongest earth-bound telescope.

Today’s example of embracing beauty is a gallery of some of the galaxy’s most visually stunning images. All of the images, as well as more information about Hubble, can be found at the NASA Hubble page, HubbleSite, and the Hubble Space Telescope website.

Also, to enhance your experience, I would recommend listening to Hans Zimmer’s Interstellar soundtrack while working your way through the images. Zimmer’s soundtrack is also pretty stunning, and a perfect companion piece to these images. Also, make sure to expand the pictures out of the gallery to enjoy them in their full glory!

All of the following images were taken from the Hubble Space Telescope website. If you go look through the image gallery on that site you can read all about the objects in the pictures.

Stay tuned for more examples of embracing beauty, and please share this post with your friends! Let’s help spread beauty all over the internet.

Also, if you have an example of beauty that you want to share, drop me a line at info@thimblerigsark.com and I’ll be happy to include it!

Embracing Beauty • The First Week & Some New

Embracing Beauty • Day 8 • More Examples of Beauty in Music

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Embracing Beauty • Day 8 • More Examples of Beauty in Music

1As we begin week two in our 31 day search for beauty, I want to remind my readers why we are doing this by glancing at some of today’s headlines.

“Trump bragged on hot mic about being able to grope women”

“Fox News anchor Shep Smith says of Hurricane Matthew: ‘Your kids will die'”

“Rentboy.com CEO pleads guilty to promoting prostitution”

Yep. A typical Saturday on the internet.

Now, turning our attention back to some beauty, I’d like to share some musical contributions sent by my good friend, Karina Ivanova.

Karina is studying in France, and she also sent this amazing timelapse video of Paris, which I’d also offer as an examination of beauty.

It’s interesting how France keeps coming up this month, isn’t it?

 

Stay tuned for more examples of embracing beauty, and please share this post with your friends! Let’s help spread beauty all over the internet.

Also, if you have an example of beauty that you want to share, drop me a line at info@thimblerigsark.com and I’ll be happy to include it!

Embracing Beauty • The First Week & Some New

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Embracing Beauty • The First Week & Some New

embracing-beautyToday marks the end of the first week of my month of embracing beauty, my experiment to attempt to offer counter-programming to all of the ugliness that the world throws at us every time we turn on our laptops or devices. The week has been refreshing for me, and for my blog’s readers as well, I hope.

Rather than simply charging forward, I decided to take a day to catch my breath and review the beauty we focused upon this past week, highlighting my favorite bits, and adding a few new things for good measure.

By the way, I’ve noticed that not many people are sharing these examples of beauty with their friends. If you are at all inspired by what I’m doing, make sure to share, so that we can pass on the beauty! It’s amazing how people will share an ugly tweet by Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, but not a bit of beauty.

And again, I want to reemphasize that I make nothing from this blog, and so this is not a plea to gain me hits for financial gain. It’s simply a plea to help me spread beauty. So what are you waiting for? Share these stories right now!

Day 1 • Hyeonseo Lee’s Escape from North Korea

ar-ak101_nkstor_jv_20150624092709It might seem strange that I began this month of beauty with the story of a North Korean defector, but if you took the time to watch Hyeonseo Lee tell her story, it should be pretty obvious why I made that decision.

Lee’s dedication to her family, her bravery to speak in public about North Korea, her optimism, and her indomitable spirit all add up to one of the most refreshing and beautiful personal stories that I’ve seen in a long time.

Especially in this time of the daily histrionics of the U.S. presidential election.

If you haven’t watched Lee’s Ted Talk, then go to Day 1 and give her fifteen minutes of your time. You won’t regret it.

Also, I do want to also point out that Lee has told her story in the New York Times bestseller, The Girl with Seven Names: A North Korean Defector’s Story.”  Click on the book cover image to go to Amazon and see more details.

Day 2 • A Teacher’s Story

14466880_10100829653395510_1911851069_oOn the second day, we switched gears and I posted the story of a resilient educator working with a child who faces huge challenges in his learning. It was a beautiful story, and should inspire anyone who faces challenges in any kind of work.

I do want to point out that this story, told by a friend, is the sort of story that is repeated in classrooms of dedicated teachers all over the world every day. But you don’t hear those stories, because positive stories don’t get the clicks. No, unfortunately, it is the nature of the world that our focus will always be more on the classroom failures or setbacks than on the classroom successes. It’s a pity, isn’t it?

So, make sure to take the time to thank your children’s teacher, especially if they are doing a good job.

Day 3 • The Photography of Samuel Zeller

photo-1469274423782-912bd4d2dccbA week before I started this 31 Days of Embracing Beauty, I put the word out that anyone should feel free to share examples of beauty, and I would include them. This call is what brought me the teacher’s story from Day 2, and it also brought me the photography of Samuel Zeller on Day 3.

I appreciate that Zeller focuses his lens on atypical beauty – streets and metal fences and lines of architecture. As the quote of Day 3 said, and I paraphrase, beauty is everywhere, but not everyone can see it.

Zeller sees it.

If you haven’t take the time to explore Zeller’s work beyond the small gallery I posted, make sure you do so. You can see some amazing photography on his unsplash page.

Also, don’t forget to send me your own examples of beauty to share with the readers of the Thimblerig’s Ark blog! Email me at info@thimblerigsark.com with your examples.

Day 4 • The Top 100 Most Beautiful Songs According to Reddit

If you haven’t already, make sure you run over to Day 4, and let that Spotify list play in the background as you go about your day. The music selected by the users of Reddit have the potential to make even the worst day seem a little bit better.

But before you do that, make sure to listen to a song that should have been on that list, but because the average Reddit user is between 18 and 24, it was probably just too far out of their wheelhouse.

Peter Gabriel’s In Your Eyes. One of the most beautiful songs of my lifetime.

Day 5 • The Animation of Glen Keane

If you watched Duet on Day 5, then you’ll agree that Glen Keane has an eye for beauty. Another place you can see Keane’s fingerprints is in the 2012 Academy Award winning short, Paperman. Keane helped with the character design on the character of Meg in this magical and beautiful short.

And the amazing hand-drawn/CGI animation is lifted up by the wonderful score by one of my favorite film composers, Christophe Beck. Look for more about Beck in the coming days of 31 Days of Embracing Beauty.

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Day 6 • The Art of the Musée d’Orsay

And this brings us to Day 6, the amazing artwork found in the Musée d’Orsay in Paris. Make sure to go and give it a gander, and be floored that such examples of artistic beauty and genius are found under one stunning roof.

By Daniel Vorndran / DXR, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=31953569

By Daniel Vorndran / DXR, CC BY-SA 3.0

Did you know that the museum, which was originally a train station, was nearly demolished in the 1970’s to make way for a hotel complex? The station had become obsolete for trains in the 1930’s because the trains had become too long, was used as a mailing center during World War 2 for sending packages to troops, was the set for an Orson Welles movie, was the home of a theater company, and served as a massive storage unit for years.

In 1970, permission was given for the station to be demolished to make way for a hotel, but those efforts were fortunately stopped by Jacques Duhamel, Minister for Cultural Affairs, who put the space on a supplementary list of historical monuments. Not long after, the idea of turning the station into a museum was pitched, and by the mid 1980’s, the Musée d’Orsay was officially opened.


Stay tuned for more examples of embracing beauty, and please share this post with your friends! Let’s help spread beauty all over the internet.

Also, if you have an example of beauty that you want to share, drop me a line at info@thimblerigsark.com and I’ll be happy to include it!

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Embracing Beauty • Day 6 • The Art of the Musée d’Orsay

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The Musée d’Orsay in Paris houses some of the world’s masterpieces, with paintings by Monet, Van Gogh, Degas, Cézanne, and many others. The museum itself, originally built as a train station, is a work of art in and of itself.

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For today’s example of beauty, we’ll be looking at some of the classic works that you can see if you visit the Musée d’Orsay. Also, if you follow the link below the gallery, you can find out more of the fascinating history of the museum, as well as see many more examples of beautiful works of art that are housed there.

To see more, visit the website for the Musée d’Orsay.


Stay tuned for more examples of embracing beauty, and please share this post with your friends! Let’s help spread beauty all over the internet.

Also, if you have an example of beauty that you want to share, drop me a line at info@thimblerigsark.com and I’ll be happy to include it!

Past days of Embracing Beauty:

Embracing Beauty • Day 1 • Hyeonseo Lee’s Escape from North Korea

Embracing Beauty • Day 2 • A Teacher’s Story

Embracing Beauty • Day 3 • The Photography of Samuel Zeller

Embracing Beauty • Day 4 • The Top 100 Most Beautiful Songs According to Reddit

Embracing Beauty • Day 5 • The Animation of Glen Keane

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Embracing Beauty • Day 5 • The Animation of Glen Keane

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You know the work of animator Glen Keane, even if you aren’t familiar with his name. Having worked with Disney for many years, Keane’s character animation contribution is a virtual who’s who of the pre-Pixar Disney canon. From his last feature animated position as animation supervisor, character designer, and the directing animator in the hit Disney film, Tangled, to his first job as character animator on The Rescuers, Keane’s fingerprints are found all over some of our favorite Disney films.

But for today’s embrace of beauty, I want to focus on Keane’s most recent contribution to the world of animation, his 2014 animated short, Duet.

If you are a fan of animation, I’d invite you to take a look at more Keane’s work on the various Tumbler accounts dedicated to his art. Here are some beautiful examples taken from theartofkeane.blogspot.com.


You can find another example of beauty in Keane’s work in a video he made with the Opéra national de Paris, called Nephtali, which “uses both film and drawing in order to depict the journey of a ballerina that is drawn towards a higher power.”

Lastly, while not necessarily fitting with our exploration of beauty, Glen Keane talks about the past and future of visual storytelling in this fascinating video, Step into the Page.

Follow Glen Keane on Twitter here, and on Facebook, here.

Stay tuned for more examples of embracing beauty, and please share these posts with your friends each day this month! Remember, this blog doesn’t have any advertising, and I make no money off of getting hits on stories. I just want to counteract the ugliness we see each day with small and huge examples of the beauty that exists in this world!

Also, if you have an example of beauty that you want to share, drop me a line at info@thimblerigsark.com and I’ll be happy to include it!

Past days of Embracing Beauty:

Embracing Beauty • Day 1 • Hyeonseo Lee’s Escape from North Korea

Embracing Beauty • Day 2 • A Teacher’s Story

Embracing Beauty • Day 3 • The Photography of Samuel Zeller

Embracing Beauty • Day 4 • The Top 100 Most Beautiful Songs According to Reddit

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