In an ideal world, words would be kept like miniature jewels in tiny boxes of sandalwood or silvered glass, and one would take them out for the happiest and most celebratory of occasions, dances and commemorations, and wear them in one's hair or tucked in a turquoise sash ...
"51. Difference between painting and sculpture. I do not find any difference between painting and sculpture except that the sculptor pursues his work with greater physical fatigue than the painter, and the painter pursues his work with greater mental fatigue.
"This is proved to be true, for the sculptor in producing his work does so by the force of his arm, striking the marble or other stone to remove the covering beyond the figure enclosed within it. This is a most mechanical exercise accompanied many times with a great deal of sweat, which combines with dust and turns into mud. The sculptor's face is covered with paste and all powdered with marble dust, so that he looks like a baker, and he is covered with minute chips, so that he looks as though he had been out in the snow. His house is dirty and filled with chips and dust of stones.
"In speaking of excellent painters and sculptors we may say that just the opposite happens to the painter, since the well-dressed painter sits at great ease in front of his work, and moves a very light brush, which bears attractive colours, and he is adorned with such garments as he pleases. His dwelling is full of fine paintings and is clean and often filled with music, or the sound of different beautiful works being read, which are often heard with great pleasure, unmixed with the pounding of hammers or other noises."
- Leonardo da Vinci, Treatise on Painting
I used to, without really knowing it, hum the little ditties he sang on his voicemail.
I don't remember how they go anymore.
I walked along the shelves of cloth, running my hand across the bolts. Linen, cotton, polyester silk, fleece, felt, denim.
I was looking for printed flannel, so a slipcover could be fashioned for my much-loved duvet. My search was specifically for something with lithe cowboys and dancing lassos and bucking broncos, but true to the spirit of my home country, all I could manage to find were bulky hockey players of brutal expression.
November winds have, with a rude and violent lack of ceremony, stripped the trees of their colours. Having once stood and swayed with brimless vanity, they look now lonely and pathetic, like little bald old ladies cowering on the spot, their golden yellow and red delicious locks eaten away by worms, time, or heartache.
The man sitting behind me on the streetcar had been chatting with his companion for a little while. Feeling gloomy, I listened attentively, not to his words but to his voice; it reminded me of sleek velvet.
I was gazing out of the window when the streetcar sailed by a woman idling on the spot with half her hands down the back of her low riding jeans, exposing her ample white flesh to the afternoon sun.
"Gadzooks," uttered the voice the colour of soft caramels, and I was immediately cheered.
I have a sudden urge to find and meet someone named Harry.
2. As "Americana" defines itself as artefacts of American culture, "Gloriana" consists of the artefacts of my culture.
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