• Upcoming trips

    September 7 to 15 Tony and Jo will visit us from the UK

    13-23 January, 2018 Cruise out of New York around the Caribbean on the Norwegian Gem

    October 31st - 11 November Caribbean cruise to break up the winter.
  • theatre and Concerrts

    August 2  I lined up on the geriatrics bench to get tickets for Christine and me at the Delacorte Theatre in Central Park last week. I set out early and reached the bench  before 9.30 in the morning thinking that I would be among the first–I did not want a repeat of the great disappointment of the previous week when the last ticket to be given out at noon went to the man immediately in front of Susan and myself! But I was wrong again; the bench was already two thirds full of aggressive oldies and I was once again on tenterhooks until the noon distribution. I was joined by Christine’s friend, Barbara, who , with her husband, were to make a foursome for the event. Both couples brought a bottle of wine to enhance the evening.

    And what an evening it was! Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Nights Dream” has never been done better in my view. Absolutely suited to the outdoor theatre. The set included a fairy forest with changing colored lights which added mystery to the actors who passed in and out of it. The cast included a nightclub singer. The costumes, not confined to one era, included a modern suit and gown.

    The mechanicals were a child’s delight. Part fairy tale, part pantomime the action was played at a spanking pace and was continuously amusing. What is more, Shakespeare’s words came across wonderfully well.


  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

    Join 50 other followers

  • Follow Thompson's Travels on WordPress.com

The Potter’s hand (detail)

I had been pleased with myself since I fired the clay of my “The Potter’s Hand” piece. Not that the work stood out in any way from that of the other students except that, what advantage they had in artistic sense, I made up for in superior engineering–a legacy of my woodworking days before apartment dwelling. The reference in the title is to Fitzgerald’s translation of Omar Khayyam. Here are the relevant verses:

And, strange to tell, among that Earthen Lot
Some could articulate, while others not :
And suddenly one more impatient cried—
‘ Who is the Potter, pray and who the Pot ?’

Then said another—‘Surely not in vain
“ My substance from the common Earth was ta’en,
‘That He who subtly wrought me into Shape
‘ Should stamp me back to common Earth again.’

None answer’d this ; but after Silence spake
A vessel of a more ungainly Make :
‘ They sneer at me for leaning all awry ;
‘What ! did the Hand then of the Potter shake ?’

Here are three views of the Hand (I used my own as a model) working on the rough clay without evident support:

However. My smugness disappeared the moment I first saw the incredible sculptures of Carl Milles in Sweden. He has engineered gravity-defying works beyond belief. Here is one of them in his sculpture garden in Stockholm: 




One Response

  1. Your work is simply breathtaking, Ben. In my book, you’re just as brilliant as Carl Milles! Much love to you and Ethel, as you prepare for your next adventure. Have a wonderful trip! Bonnie

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s