Last night, fairly late, much still needing finishing in a fading day. An e-mail arrives, sent by Tra Thu To, first from Vietnam, once one of my students at Hobart and William Smith Colleges, now a treasured friend living in New York City. The above her message, the Ruskin quote from this site’s last posting in much lovelier format! Tra (pronounced “Cha”) tells me that she was inspired by the quote and wanted to place it in more eye-arresting format. This surely is that! Even better, it is the product of a much more sophisticated knowledge than mine of how to use our current technology to good ends!
It’s a fine choice of image, too: Ruskin’s self-portrait of 1861. He did few such and, after this, those he completed depicted him in considerably darker mien, reflections of the sadder turns his life had taken. But this one is great! Tra tells me that she wouldn’t mind at all if some of you wished to copy it and, after printing, put it in some place where you could see it whenever you liked–that last being the purpose of art and great thoughts anyway: to get us thinking about the most important things in life by stimulating our thoughtful responses to the images an artist has created for us. In this case, Tra’s creation! So: many thanks to her!! Which, of course, leads me to a final thought: namely, that if any of you out there have creative ideas like Tra’s which might help illuminate our Ruskin journey, send them along!!
May your–and, indeed, all of our–coming days be happy and bright!