Category Archives: Books and Writing

Quote from “KAFKA ON THE SHORE” by Haruki Murakami

Lost opportunities, lost possibilities, feelings we can never get back. That’s part of what it means to be alive. But inside our heads – at least that’s where I imagine it – there’s a little room where we store those memories. A room like the stacks in this library. And to understand the workings of our own heart we have to keep on making new reference cards. We have to dust things off every once in awhile, let in fresh air, change the water in the flower vases. In other words, you’ll live forever in your own private library.” 
-Haruki Murakami, Kafka on the Shore
-Drawing by Artist Micah Lidberg.

Quote from “The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America”

“The unwinding brings freedom, more than the world has ever granted, and to more kinds of people than ever before—freedom to go away, freedom to return, freedom to change your story, get your facts, get hired, get fired, get high, marry, divorce, go broke, begin again, start a business, have it both ways, take it to the limit, walk away from the ruins, succeed beyond your dreams and boast about it, fail abjectly and try again.”

-George Packer

Quote from “Dubliners”

“A few light taps upon the pane made him turn to the window. It had begun to snow again. He watched sleepily the flakes, silver and dark, falling obliquely against the lamplight. The time had come for him to set out on his journey westward. Yes, the newspapers were right: snow was general all over Ireland. It was falling on every part of the dark central plain, on the treeless hills, falling softly upon the Bog of Allen and, farther westward, softly falling into the dark mutinous Shannon waves. It was falling, too, upon every part of the lonely churchyard on the hill where Michael Furey lay buried. It lay thickly drifted on the crooked crosses and headstones, on the spears of the little gate, on the barren thorns. His soul swooned slowly as he heard the snow falling faintly through the universe and faintly falling, like the descent of their last end, upon all the living and the dead.”

– James Joyce

Paper-cut illustration by Julie Paschkis


Lydia Courteille Jewelry

 Lydia Courteille is located on the famous Rue Saint Honoré in Paris and turns out magical pieces of jewelry. Lydia takes inspiration from the world around her to create these colorful and whimsical delights. With a focus on colored gemstones, her jewelry is luscious and breaks through traditional forms.

 “I have always been interested in everything around me –  textiles, geology, butterflies, stamps…” 

She creates with women who like their fashion imbued with emotion. Continue reading Lydia Courteille Jewelry

Quote from “Huckleberry Finn”

The gems from this Mark Twain book are too many to count but there is one that stayed with me. The following passage is Huckleberry’s internal battle  over whether or not to turn Jim, his traveling companion and friend who is also a runaway slave, over to the authorities.

“It made me shiver. And I about made up my mind to pray, and see if I couldn’t try to quit being the kind of a boy I was and be better. So I kneeled down. But the words wouldn’t come. Why wouldn’t they? It warn’t no use to try and hide it from Him. Nor from ME, neither. I knowed very well why they wouldn’t come. It was because my heart warn’t right; it was because I warn’t square; it was because I was playing double. I was letting ON to give up sin, but away inside of me I was holding on to the biggest one of all. I was trying to make my mouth SAY I would do the right thing and the clean thing, and go and write to that nigger’s owner and tell where he was; but deep down in me I knowed it was a lie, and He knowed it. You can’t pray a lie–I found that out.”

I think this passage is a powerful illustration of Huck’s (and children in general) innocence and purity regarding a complex issue.

This is one of those books that most of us were required to read in grade school or high school but deserves a revisit as an adult. If you like to listen to great storytellers (and I think writing like Twain’s lends itself to oration), the audiobook narrated by Tom Parker is a MUST. Thank you to my brother for seeking out the best one- it is an absolute pleasure to listen to Parker’s oral interpretation of exceptional text.

Illustration by Achille Sirouy from “Huckelberry Finn”

Opals in October

In honor of October’s colorful birthstone, I offer these incredible photographs by Danny J. Sanchez. They perfectly capture the mystery and exceptional nature of this gemstone.  One hardly knows if they are peering into an aquarium or viewing the birth of a star through the Hubble telescope.  Notice the depth of this naturally occurring mineraloid that, depending on the conditions under which it was formed, deffracts light to create what is called a “play of color” within. Enjoy these scrumptious photographs!

Photo courtesy of Danny J. Sanchez
Photo courtesy of Danny J. Sanchez


Photo courtesy of Danny J. Sanchez
Photo courtesy of Danny J. Sanchez

Featured photo from The Handbook of Gemmology.