Sunday, July 17, 2016

troll bridge

'There are no roads where we are going.'


and some thoughts from Richard Feynman as we negotiate our way:

“Fall in love with some activity, and do it! Nobody ever figures out what life is all about, and it doesn't matter. Explore the world. Nearly everything is really interesting if you go into it deeply enough. Work as hard and as much as you want to on the things you like to do the best. Don't think about what you want to be, but what you want to do. Keep up some kind of a minimum with other things so that society doesn't stop you from doing anything at all.”

"I have a friend who's an artist and has sometimes taken a view which I don't agree with very well. He'll hold up a flower and say "look how beautiful it is," and I'll agree. Then he says "I as an artist can see how beautiful this is but you as a scientist take this all apart and it becomes a dull thing," and I think that he's kind of nutty. First of all, the beauty that he sees is available to other people and to me too, I believe. Although I may not be quite as refined aesthetically as he is ... I can appreciate the beauty of a flower. At the same time, I see much more about the flower than he sees. I could imagine the cells in there, the complicated actions inside, which also have a beauty. I mean it's not just beauty at this dimension, at one centimeter; there's also beauty at smaller dimensions, the inner structure, also the processes. The fact that the colors in the flower evolved in order to attract insects to pollinate it is interesting; it means that insects can see the color. It adds a question: does this aesthetic sense also exist in the lower forms? Why is it aesthetic? All kinds of interesting questions which the science knowledge only adds to the excitement, the mystery and the awe of a flower. It only adds. I don't understand how it subtracts.”

“I... a universe of atoms, an atom in the universe.”

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself and you are the easiest person to fool.”

“I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong. I have approximate answers and possible beliefs and different degrees of uncertainty about different things, but I am not absolutely sure of anything and there are many things I don't know anything about, such as whether it means anything to ask why we're here. I don't have to know an answer. I don't feel frightened not knowing things, by being lost in a mysterious universe without any purpose, which is the way it really is as far as I can tell.”

“The highest forms of understanding we can achieve are laughter and human compassion.”


Timeless wisdom always seems best when the outside world becomes incomprehensible. I hope you're enjoying the peace and tranquility of soft summer days.


  1. Is it just me, or is that voluptuous lady walking on an elephant?

    1. Perhaps this is what a Scandinavian elephant looks like, Tom. :)

      (From the OED: Trolls were originally a part of the Norse mythology (as a negative synonym for jötunn, "giants") and Scandinavian folklore (as ugly, large creatures of remote wildlife areas).)

  2. Your mischievous-looking girls always remind me of my youngest Emily, now approaching middle age. The same smile that seems to show they know a scooch more than you do, and you'd better watch your step.
    Great watercolor, as always.

    1. We figured out a long time ago that the average parent is 24 hours behind their youngest child. Does that sound right, Mike?
      Glad you like the picture. :)

  3. Lovely art work with a story... hello troll!

    And thanks for the great and wise words from Feynman!

    1. Thanks, Marja-Leena! It's always nice to know you like them.. and yes, Richard Feynman was one of our recent greats.

  4. Hi Susan,
    Another quote I like is: “There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers.”
    ― Richard Feynman
    What a wonderful character and philosopher he is to go with your marvellous colourful illustration which adds a sense of artistic mystery. I thought it may be a picture of a Troll masquerading as an elephant?
    Best wishes

    1. He was a very wise man who delighted in a very wry sense of humor.

      I'm delighted you like the picture - no, just a simple troll who preferred sleeping :)

  5. i adore your painting, my dear friend ... i am sorry i've been absent from here for awhile. as always i fight my old body and it's complaints. i adore your plump beauty negotiating that sweet bridge with the girl in pigtails squealing in delight(at least in my mind!! :)

    it's good to see your work again. i have missed it.... xx

    1. Hi Linda! I'm so glad you like this one as it's a real favorite of mine too. I'm hoping to do a couple more when it's cool (and dry) enough to spend more time at my table. I'm glad to say we've been having a gorgeous summer and have been outside a lot.
      I'm sorry to hear you've been slowed down by continued illness. It turns out I've outlived my implants. sigh..
      We'll keep in touch.