Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Only Connect

"Only connect! That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect...and human love will be seen at its height. "

~ E. M. Forster, "Howards End"

The circle is an unbroken connection, the purest shape in nature. Mathematicians consider it a perfect symbol of infinity. Philosophers, artists, and religious leaders believe it to be a metaphor for love and the idealization of unity.

This past Saturday, my son and his best friend begged me to take them to Target and buy them the new cult accessory for Hollywood second-graders, colorful rubber bands shaped like animals, food and other objects.
They each grabbed an assortment of packs.

"Do you really need that many?" I asked. "Mom, yessss," Luca insisted. "Because then we can trade them with our friends. That's the whole point."

Only connect.

Later that day, I noticed that the climbing rose I've been endlessly cajoling to wrap itself around my guest room window has finally succeeded in embracing itself.

Only connect.

Halos of meaning popped up everywhere. In my dining room, my new terrarium became a thriving example of Emersonian self-reliance.

In my guest room curtains, the ever-widening circles on Martyn Lawrence Bullard's "Marrakech" fabric were an homage to beauty expanding outward.
(Martyn Lawrence Bullard "Marrakech" fabric)

Reading an article on artist Ann Carrington in The Guardian, a vintage sculpture in her fireplace became a powerful talisman for the connection between heart and hearth.

In the book "Bright Young Things: London" an antique convex mirror provided a glimpse of infinity echoed in circles of patterned wallpaper.
(Photograph by Jonathan Becker)

Leafing through an old House and Garden magazine yielded multiple treasures: a spread on Oberto Gili's house in Tuscany with this heavenly window frame....
(Photo by Oberto Gili)

...the simple honesty of a bowl of fruit on his kitchen table...
(Photo by Oberto Gili)

...and a crown of plumage around a turkey in his garden.
(Photo by Oberto Gili)

Everywhere I looked in the sphere of domesticity, I found sacred circles of human connection.
(via "Hollywood Style" by Diane Dorrans Saeks)

(via Peter Dunham's website)

(via Ruthie Chapman Sommers website)

(via Peter Dunham's website)

(Suzanne Lalique, "Ronds de Serviette", 1938, via here)

"Only connect! Live in fragments no longer."

~ E. M. Forster


Unknown said...

Only connect, I reach out and we across the blog world form a large connecting circle of communication, exchange, friendship and support! Yes, we can!
Love the spirit of this post...and yes the arms of my boy (and most of the kids in the neighborhood of a certain age)are covered with these bracelets as well....

bluehydrangea said...

Love this post! And thank you for giving Silly Bandz some meaning...even my 2 year old is wearing them! Keeping up with the big kids starts early...

Yoli said...

You know I discovered your blog through Maryam's and I feel like I like you so much because the same qualities she has you posses. Beautiful post, I had to laugh when I saw the bands, my 5 year old daughter dragged me to Target to get them for her as well. Indeed connections...

Purple Flowers said...

A very profound post. Thank you for sharing.

Vava (aka Virginia) said...

Doesn't even the word "BLOG" seem roundish? As in a circle? I've made great CONNECTIONS in blogging. Those dern bands are everywhere! GREAT post!

Ivy Lane said...

Great post! I think I am gonna call my parents and pop over and "connect" with them today! Have a Great Day All!

Miss Cavendish said...

Have you read Zadie Smith's take on "only connect," in "On Beauty"? More connections: my grade 2 daughter loves those bands, and "BYT: London" is one of my touchstones. Love Rita in her top hat.

pve design said...

cool. calm. collected. circles.
round and round our wrists, our decor, our rings, and our family trees.
lovely post - so mindful.

Anonymous said...

A thought provoking post. And how fitting that your brilliant journey began at the retailer with the circular logo.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Victoria Art: Lovely insight -- I so treasure my "virtual" circles!

bluehydrangea: I love that everyone's kids have those funny.

Yoli: Oh, what a compliment to be compared to the divine Maryam's blog. Thank you. My night at her house in Marrakech over Christmas was magical -- she has created a wonderful life for her family.

Purple Flowers: So glad you liked it. xx

Vava: I love your visualization of 'blog.' Genius.

Ivy Lane: What a wonderful idea and so happy this post helped to inspire that! xx

Miss Cavendish: I loved "On Beauty", such a brilliant and poetic novel, and such a loving homage to EM Forster. Also adored "White Teeth." You are a kindred soul -- that photo of Rita is one of my all-time favorites!

pve design: You just wrote a poem, right there. xx

Coco and Emma: That's fabulous, I never thought of that! Love all the connections people are making... ! xxx

katiedid said...

My 14 year old introduced me to the bracelets via Disnyland during this last weekend....somehow kids young and older "connect" in ways and at speeds we never imagined when we were younger.

I am glad we are connected.

Dandy said...

What a lovely post. My dad died recently, on Father's Day actually, and I have been thinking a lot about how my connection to him influenced my life.

Anonymous said...

I love blog.

modernhaus said...

Funny, this is the book I most connect with the idea and meaning of home, and the cultural and social significance of interiors.

jules @ The Diversion Project said...

fabulous post. a great read and a visual feast. can't ask for more than that!

louise said...

The merging of the symbol of infinity, eternity with creative uses of form, the Truth of our connectedness, is, to me, divinely inspired...taking us to the upper echelons of the blogosphere. A respite from materialism.

Mommy Mayhem said...

So true, love the post! You even managed to give silly bandz a meaning!

Ren- Lady Of The Arts said...

My monkeys are a little into these-They actually only wanted one pack and then ended up giving them all away during swim lessons-

I love the photo of the vines around the window- I am not there with mine yet but I aspire to be.

Lovely to 'meet' you- I am enjoying your blog.

Lexa said...

I loved this post. Silly bandz, gorgeous interiors and literary quotes. I also love Emerson's essay "Circles."

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

katiedid: I am so glad we are "connected" too!

Dandy: I'm so sorry about your father...what a lovely sentiment about him.

modernhaus: It IS a supremely domestic book, isn't it? Loved your comment.

jules@ diversion project: Thank you!


"The merging of the symbol of infinity, eternity with creative uses of form, the Truth of our connectedness, is, to me, divinely inspired..." Love that. xx

Mommy Mayhem: Interpreting those bands through the lens of giving children a social and cultural identity, I suddenly DO like them more. :)

Lady Ren; I got the idea of the vines from Vogue's "Houses, Gardens, People". Mine is the mini, mini version!

Lexa: Must read that...I have a book of Emerson's Essays from my father that I begged him to give me. It's going on the nightstand tonight. Thank you!

Julie Anne Rhodes said...

Do you have to be a kid to wear those bracelets? I think they are almost as much fun as this post.

Nick Heywood said...

There is no book I find more affirming than "Howards End." Why is this? I honestly don't think I could say why, but it puts me at peace as surely as a gently rocking train.

Lisa Borgnes Giramonti said...

Julie Anne Rhodes: I will get you some! xx

Nick Heywood: As long as it's not a gently rocking bookshelf. :)

Katie Rob said...

Silly Bandz... the bane of my vacuum cleaner's existance.

The irises and pupils of our eyes are the most primal circles of perception. Thanks for the thoughtful post and images!

24 Corners said...

Those bracelets haven't hit Seattle yet...I will prepare myself! Circles have new meaning for me now, I'll be noticing them with new eyes from here on out. So well done...

Have a wonderful weekend! xo

Karena said...

Lisa the Circle of Life.... we see it everywhere!

Come and visit for a Designer Giveaway from Pillow Mint!

Art by Karena

Angie Muresan said...

My kids love those rubber bands shaped as animals, too. Love all your posts, Lisa.

Acanthus and Acorn said...

These fun bands of various shapes have made their way to highschool!
My daughter asked for "beach" themed set this past week...

Truly loved how you took the latest trend and connected it to so many beautiful round objects.

Shannon Fricke said...

lovely post. thank you.

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