Frida Kahlo Accident

On September 17th of 1925 Frida Kahlo suffers near-fatal injuries in a bus accident in Mexico, causing her to abandon her medical studies and take up art.

Her taking up art was fortuitous, as she became one of the greatest artists of our time and a personal favorite. But she had a rough life, with her painful injuries and repeated (botched) surgeries combined with her husband’s (Diego Rivera) infidelities. She died at only 47. A Kahlo painting, “Self portrait with thorn necklace and hummingbird” [1940]

A bit surprising the U.S. government issued a stamp of her in 2001 even though she was an avowed communist and personal friend of Leon Trotsky.

Atlas Holding Up the Celestial Globe (1646) – Guercino

Atlas was the son of Iapetus and Clymene. He was the leader of the Titans in their battle against the Olympian Gods. The Titans were defeated and all but Atlas were confined to Tartarus, a section of the Underworld. Atlas’s punishment was to carry the sky upon his shoulders throughout eternity. During one of his 12 famous labors, the great hero Heracles took the burden from the shoulders of Atlas so that the Titan could fetch for him the golden apples of the Hesperides. When Atlas returned, Heracles tricked him into taking back the weight of the heavens.

The Birth of Minerva [Athena] (1688) – René-Antoine Houasse

Athena, often given the epithet Pallas, is the goddess of wisdom, courage, inspiration, civilization, law and justice, strategic war, mathematics, strength, war strategy, the arts, crafts, and skill in ancient Greek religion and mythology. Minerva is the Roman goddess identified with Athena.

There are many different stories about the birth and parentage of Athena. In the most familiar story, she sprang fully armed from the head of Zeus when Hephaestus split it open with an ax. Zeus had previously swallowed his consort, Metis, on learning that she would soon bear a child who would rule the gods.

Neferneferuaten Nefertiti (1370 – 1330 BC)

Neferneferuaten Nefertiti (1370 – 1330 BC)

“Beautiful are the Beauties of Aten, the Beautiful one has come”

Egyptian queen and the Great Royal Wife (chief consort) of Akhenaten, an Egyptian Pharaoh. Nefertiti and her husband were known for a religious revolution, in which they worshiped one god only, Aten, or the sun disc. Akhenaten and Nefertiti were responsible for the creation of a whole new religion which changed the ways of religion within Egypt. With her husband, she reigned at what was arguably the wealthiest period of Ancient Egyptian history.

Some scholars believe that Nefertiti ruled briefly as Neferneferuaten after her husband’s death and before the accession of Tutankhamun, although this is still an ongoing debate.

Cluny Museum: The Lady and the Unicorn Tapestries

Touch, taste, smell, hearing and sight. These six tapestries, woven in around 1500, represent the five senses against a detailed red background.

The remaining sixth sense, explained only by the inscription “À mon seul désir” (To my only desire), has inspired countless theories. Without excluding a possible meaning in the register of courtly love, it could be a reference to free will: the woman with her decorative headdress and refined clothing, renouncing temporal pleasures.

These “millefleurs” (“thousand flowers”) tapestries are characterized by an abundance of flora, including flowers, orange trees, pines, hollies and oaks, and are inhabited by a peaceable bestiary (a monkey, dogs, rabbits and a heron).  In this idyllic natural setting conducive to contemplation, the unicorn by turns a participant and a simple spectator. Accompanied by a lion, it sports the coat of arms of the Le Viste family in every scene.

The Lady and the Unicorn wall-hanging was acquired in 1882. It is now considered one of the great masterpieces of Western art.

Arles: A Van Gogh Getaway

On the cusp of the Camargue National Park in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur region, Arles is a heady blast of Van Gogh nostalgia – the artist painted in excess of 200 works around this lovely Roman town. The stately amphitheatre, one of the largest in Roman times, is part of the reason for Arles’ Unesco World Heritage Site status. The twisting aluminium tower designed by Frank Gehry brings the city’s architecture bang up to date.

Break On Through (To the Other Side) – The Doors

You know the day destroys the night
Night divides the day
Tried to run
Tried to hide
Break on through to the other side
Break on through to the other side
Break on through to the other side

We chased our pleasures here
Dug our treasures there
Can you still recall
The time we cried?
Break on through to the other side
Break on through to the other side
Break on through to the other side

Everybody loves my baby
Everybody loves my baby

She get high, she get high
She get high, she get high

I found an island in your arms
A country in your eyes
Arms that chain
Eyes that lied
Break on through to the other side

Break on through to the other side
Break on through to the other side

Made the scene from week to week
Day to day, hour to hour
The gate is straight
Deep and wide
Break on through to the other side
Break on through to the other side
Break on through, break on through
Break on through, break on through

Box of Rain – Grateful Dead

First performance: October 9, 1972, at the Winterland Arena in San Francisco. Disappeared from the repertoire less than a year later, brought back on March 20, 1986, at the Coliseum in Hampton, Virginia. It remained in the repertoire thereafter—often sung in response to the chant “We Want Phil,” from Deadheads—and was the final song ever performed by the Grateful Dead, on July 9, 1995, at Soldier Field in Chicago, given as a second encore, following “Black Muddy River.”

Words by Robert Hunter
Music by Phil Lesh

Look out of any window
Any morning, any evening, any day
Maybe the sun is shining
Birds are winging, no rain is falling from a heavy sky
What do you want me to do
To do for you to see you through?
For this is all a dream we dreamed one afternoon long ago

Walk out of any doorway
Feel your way like the day before
Maybe you’ll find direction
Around some corner where it’s been waiting to meet you
What do you want me to do
To watch for you while you’re sleeping?
Then please don’t be surprised when you find me dreaming too

Look into any eyes
You find by you; you can see clear to another day
Maybe been seen before
Through other eyes on other days while going home
What do you want me to do
To do for you to see you through?
It’s all a dream we dreamed one afternoon long ago

Walk into splintered sunlight
Inch your way through dead dreams to another land
Maybe you’re tired and broken
Your tongue is twisted with words half spoken and thoughts unclear
What do you want me to do
To do for you, to see you through?
A box of rain will ease the pain and love will see you through

Just a box of rain, wind and water
Believe it if you need it, if you don’t just pass it on
Sun and shower, wind and rain
In and out the window like a moth before a flame

And it’s just a box of rain, I don’t know who put it there
Believe it if you need it or leave it if you dare
And it’s just a box of rain, or a ribbon for your hair
Such a long, long time to be gone and a short time to be there

Pictures Of You – The Cure

The song was written in response to Robert Smith’s nostalgia, when he found a photo of his wife after a fire at his house. That photo was used for the cover of the song’s single.

Robert Smith explained this track in a 1989 interview with Music Box TV, “The idea you hold of someone isn’t really what that person is like. Sometimes you completely lose touch with what a person has turned into. You just want to hold onto what they were.”

I’ve been looking so long at these pictures of you
That I almost believe that they’re real
I’ve been living so long with my pictures of you
That I almost believe that the pictures are
All I can feel

Remembering you
Standing quiet in the rain
As I ran to your heart to be near
And we kissed as the sky fell in
Holding you close
How I always held close in your fear
Remembering you
Running soft through the night
You were bigger and brighter and wider than snow
And screamed at the make-believe
Screamed at the sky
And you finally found all your courage
To let it all go

Remembering you
Fallen into my arms
Crying for the death of your heart
You were stone white
So delicate
Lost in the cold
You were always so lost in the dark
Remembering you
How you used to be
Slow drowned
You were angels
So much more than everything
Hold for the last time then slip away quietly
Open my eyes
But I never see anything

If only I’d thought of the right words
I could have held on to your heart
If only I’d thought of the right words
I wouldn’t be breaking apart
All my pictures of you

Looking so long at these pictures of you
But I never hold on to your heart
Looking so long for the words to be true
But always just breaking apart
My pictures of you

There was nothing in the world
That I ever wanted more
Than to feel you deep in my heart
There was nothing in the world
That I ever wanted more
Than to never feel the breaking apart
All my pictures of you