Thanks so much, willow (Life at Willow Manor), for being the first to sign up in response to my comical pitch for followers for this new blog. As a token of my appreciation, apart from emblazoning your name on the 'honor roll of discerning geniuses in the kindness of strangers category', I got in touch with jazz guitarist Stanley Jordan and asked him to kindly strum "willow weep for me" in your honor. You can see the results below — about as happy, boisterous and virtuosic a version of this standard as I could ever hope to find, just the right thing to shake off some of the chill from yesterday's icy poem.
One of my favorite renditions of this ballad is by the great tenor sax raconteur Dexter Gordon. I looked for a video of Dexter's version without luck, but I trust you will enjoy Mr. Jordan's rendering of the old classic.
And the alchemist will be touched to find gold on our pillow, specifically, Joan Gold, who has also joined in. Joan is a Brooklyn-born artist, who lived for more than 20 years in Venezuela and has for many years now resided in northern California (in Eureka, to be exact, a name that in an alchemist's imagination rhymes with gold). She uses her blog as venue for showing "the small, very personal paintings" she does not exhibit on her website, which has many of her recent paintings, a biography and video interview.
About Beauty, includes some quotes on the topic. One I particularly like is from Anaïs Nin: "We don't see things as they are, we see things as we are". It reminds me of one of the central points Roger Scruton makes in his recent book Beauty that whenever we discuss a thing of beauty, more than describing the object of our attention, what we are really describing is our encounter, our experience of it.
I enthusiastically recommend both her blog and website.
Full disclosure: apart from being a talented artist, a courageous and beautiful spirit and wonderful person, Joan Gold is also my aunt and someone I love and admire very much.
Art work: Above, Piante Promise 2009. Here, Joan Gold before her work TimeOff.