Sunday, February 21, 2010

Sunday Sitar - beauty and imagination

Being that Sunday is the first day of the week, I'd like to shift my observations to gratitude and giving thanks for what is beautiful.  What better way to honor the first day of a new week?  Who knows what the week will bring?  My thoughts tend to drift to such a negative space in time I forget who I am and I get lost.
Job 17:15 And where is now my hope? as for my hope, who shall see it? 

I recently had a conversation with A, a person whom is simply grateful.  She resides in a mental place of gratitude, auspiciously with intent.  It impacted my spirit like a shoulder shake.  I must actively make the effort to be as auspicious, with intent, daily.  I'll start with a few things.
Acts 24:3 [paraphrased] - in every way and everywhere we accept this with all gratitude. 
First, I am grateful for my exchange with A.  The beauty of exchange is that someone doesn't have to know you well or be close to you to be impact your thoughts.  If you are reading this A, thank you for shaking my shoulders with your kind words.

Second I am grateful that I have limbs.  Although my left side is weak, I have a left hand, fingers, a wrist, a leg, & toes.  A few weeks ago I wiggled my left ankle for the first time in 3.5 years and that feeling was indescribable but I didn't blog about it until now - the auspicious occasion.  Yesterday I moved my left thumb woo hoo! the fingers are next.  Someone somewhere in the world is reading this post right now and cannot say that.  I love my limbs and I thank God for them.

Third I'm grateful for creativity and imagination.  We all pass trees every day.  Something as plentiful as wood can bring about speechless beauty.  Have you ever thought about that?  This might sound strange because it's uncommon but I know someone who spends time in parks hugging trees.  When he shared his practice with me I thought, "now here's someone that is "too koo koo for cocoa puffs."  Fortunately for me, my thoughts did not give birth to words which might have injured his feelings.  Social filters - I do have them.

Since I am spending today in a spirit of gratitude I thought about his tree hugging practice.  Every living thing needs love.  Why not hug a tree?  We talk to our plants right?  It's cute to see children doing it but is strange when adults do it?
BLP0032123 - Girl and boy hugging tree
Incorrect thinking on my part.  There is beauty in the gesture and [although it sounds strange and I may even feel uncomfortable to observe an adult doing it. ] I choose to see beauty in his practice.
PHP2130047 -
I have posted photos of wood instruments that were once trees. I wonder how broad the imaginations were of the creators.  Did they imagine something more beautiful and could not figure out a way to turn the picture in their mind into an object?  Or do the photos below represent exactly what each creator imagined?  I think about the sharp tools used, the cuts and abrasions that the crafters have gotten.  Injured hands, fingers, maybe even feet and eyes.  Regardless of the pain.  This beauty was imprinted in them so deeply the blood and sweat were minor sacrifices.  They had to just know that to achieve the end result the current pain was a 'no brainer.'  They have probably gone through dozens of prototypes and have given up 100 times before they figured out a way to finally piece together an instrument with a sound so perfect in pitch and tone and an aesthetic so detailed that the slightest alteration would ruin it.  Evidentially giving up was not an option for these craftsmen.

Take a look at the end results.  Aren't you glad that they did not take their imagination the the grave?

This is what a crafter FROM INDIA thought a gourd could be if it coupled with a teak tree.

The SITAR is one of the most beautiful looking instruments made from gourds and teak.  The Sitar is often said to have been developed in the thirteenth century AD by "Amir Khusro" from a member of the veena family of Indian musical instruments called the tritantri veena and to have been named by him after the Persian setar.  

However it is not the only beautiful wood instrument...

...because there is the STRATAVARIOUS.  Just take a moment to notice the classic/vintage details.  Fine craftsmanship.

Antonio Stradivari was born in 1644, and died in 1737, and in his 93 years, he established himself as the greatest violin maker in the history of mankind.

The reason why the Stradivarius violins are so expensive and famous, is because of the quality of their sound. Just look at how this violin age aged beautifully.

Even though no one really knows how exactly he formed his violins, or what methods he used, it can definitely be said that he incorporated advanced geometry and mathematics into his craftsmanship. He built over 1,100 instruments, but approximately 650 of them survive today.

A crafter FROM CHINA thought this is what a tree looks like
File:Koto (sou)-overview.jpeg
The KOTO is a thirteen-stringed zither with a harp-like sound made of a hollow piece of paulownia wood.  This instrument originated in China and was brought to Japan around the 7th century and used as a court instrument until the late 12th century. 

A crafter FROM CHINA thought a bamboo and gourd coupling would look like this

The The HULUSI or CUCURBIT FLUTE a free reed wind instrument from China. It is held vertically and has three bamboo pipes which pass through a gourd wind chest.  The instrument's name comes from the Chinese words hulu, meaning "gourd," and si, meaning "silk"

A craftsman FROM AFRICA thought now there's a tree stump!

West Africa is home to the DJEMBÉ (DJ) drum, where it's played in such countries as Mali, Guinea, Senegal, Ivory Coast and Burkino Faso for a wide array of events and celebrations, both secular and sacred.
This professional grade DJEMBÉ is carefully hand-crafted from one tree trunk.  I would love to watch a craftsman create one of these drums.

And on and on.

The CHITARRA BATTENTE (Italian: lit. "beating guitar") is a musical instrument, a chordophone of the lute family. At a casual glance, it is similar to the everyday classical guitar, but larger and typically strung with four steel strings.

 Nowadays it is typical of folk music mainly in Calabria,PugliaBasilicata and Campania, as well as in other areas of southern Italy; in previous centuries was common in most of central and southern Italy.

Just gorgeous.  Wouldn't you say?

BAROQUE music describes a style of European classical music approximately extending from 1600 to 1750. This era is said to begin in music after the Renaissance and was followed by the Classical era. The word "baroque" came from the Portuguese word barroco, meaning "misshapen pearl."  Music described as Baroque is a broad range of styles from a wide geographic region, mostly in Europe, composed during a period of approximately 160 years. The systematic application of the term "baroque" to music of this period is a relatively recent development.

This is unbelievable detail.

The designs are so intricate and breathtaking.  How loved was the tree that gave us this instrument?

Indri Brincat with his traditional Maltese handmade guitar
Apparently this gentleman is THE elder that manufactures these unusual looking instruments on the entire isle of Indri Brincat (South of Italy) or il-Pupa as it is commonly known.  I searched the internet seeking beauty photos of this instrument however, the elder appears in every one of them.  So I guess for the purposes of this post we can call him il-Pupa. :-)

Since the grave is filled with unrealized potential. Lastly, today, I am grateful that I get another day to reset. To utilize my potential to do any thing that I imagine.

Psalm 31:24 Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD. 

[Photos courtesy of Google and]


  1. This blog was filled with things I think of as groovitude. What? That's a word!!!!

    You have such a great command of the English language, Dale. I wonder if you can appreciate the beauty of phrases like "auspiciously with intent"? )I also wonder if I should have placed a question mark or a period at the end of that last sentence.)

    I walk away with a sense of inspiration and gratitude.

    I leave you with the thought that those artists who made beauty out of trees began with the tree and, in the case of the sitar, for example, carved away everything that wasn't the sitar. That's how strong their artistic visions are. I stand in awe of that.

  2. An attitude of gratitude! We all need to have that!

    What wonderful news to hear that you have some feeling returning on your left side! May it be only the beginning of more to come!




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