Through the Searching Eyes of Mona Lisa

through the eyes of Mona Lisa

Through the searching eyes of Mona Lisa is an attempt at seeing, watching from the perspective of the observed, in this case a portrait in the Louvre.

She was used to the crowd by now. The way it trickled in the morning, growing exponentially in the blink of an eye like the leaves of a vineyard in spring. For although they acted as individuals, they reacted as a whole in the large room that housed her. She had watched them so many days, the visitors, she had lost count. Of the passing time, of their number.

A leaf may flutter in the wind, but all leaves twist under its tease, and turn as one to follow the sun. And like the vineyards of Cesena, and of Florence, the crowd would change appearance, its impetuosity diminish, and wither by night time, but would still move as one around the room. Bound by visiting rules.

But the vineyard grows in strengths by tendrils holding tight even in the death of winter. They, the crowd, would hold only onto their cameras. Even in death, she asked herself.

Through the Searching Eyes of Mona Lisa

Yet with each day’s crowd she was, still, expecting him to return and go on with his job. She was waiting for him. Looking for his unmatched appearance. His wavy locks, that she’d later seen specked with silver, more often spotted with paint. His overflowing beard, the way he’d tuck it, but only with his left hand and, especially of late when he’d pause for thought. For she’d watched him too, like he’d watched her. She’d studied him, like he’d studied her.

His spirited, dark eyes that always locked and held, never allowing her to drop her gaze. Eyes that saw beyond the ordinary, the outer shell of things where ordinary people chose to cease seeing. Like them… Eyes that remembered before the mind did. She had studied his eyes, learning line after line, as they sprouted around. The way they twitched when he chose and mixed colors. The way they rose with the corner of his mouth. How their sparked, flanking his long, straight nose, the sign of the perfectionist he was.

She was searching for their unmatching magnetism within each daily swarm. For their kindness.

She was searching for his bright tunic and hose that only a man with his grace of movement and force of spirit would attempt to wear. For his easel and his artist satchel, the one that held his miraculous silk brushes.

She was searching for his exuberance, his generosity, for the way he would move through a crowd as an individual, as that one leaf of the vineyard that would follow the sun out of her own accord, for the sun itself came out looking for her.

In all the world there wasn’t another like him. For her. For he was her creator. He was Leonardo da Vinci.

And she was waiting for him to finish his work.

Happy to join Becky’s Square – Perspective blog feature 🙂 with a retrospective of our 2018 trip to Paris.

Look Closer, What am I? Green

For this week’s Look Closer, What am I, from details to the big picture, I chose green, or it rather chose me. It is winter here, in South Africa and it feels wrong (to the Northern hemisphere born self) to still see so many green trees around, and roses blooming in our rosebushes, the Bougainvillea with its regal magenta flowers smiling at a clear aquamarine sky – forever depleted of snow.

Yet green it’s good… When I look at this patch of green I can see the veins from my wrist and the lines of my palm, my life and my future are in it.

Look Closer What am I Green

A whisper of wind can make it shiver, yet the leaf does not break; it bends under its strength, pretend to bow at its will. Yes, I hear you, it seems to acknowledge the wind – but does it really?

Leaves are building blocks, nature’s shards of stained glass windows.

Leaves are past and present and future, a memory and a warning.

Leaves are nature’s collection of rare moments.

Leaves are the reminder that the vain will pass and perish and the youth will, eventually, decay.

Leaves are the reminder that all that’s different to the eye is, elementary, similar.

Look Closer What am I Green

Look Closer, What am I, Green…
for nothing is what is seems.
See with your mind,
not with your eyes.

Look Closer What am I Green
Photography Art by Singkham, Pexels

Looks familiar?

I’ll leave you with a short poem:

Three salmon shade hens
Dance.
Feathered feet, ten toes each.
A bright green worm stretched.


(Patricia Furstenberg)

Books by Patricia Furstenberg on Amazon

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5 Incredible Animals Friendships Now as Story Books

animals friendsip books

If we needed more proof that animals feel empathy, these five incredible friendships between animals are the living proof and sure to melt your heart, do enjoy their story books with your child.

Human beings may be the most intelligent of all the species, but nothing beats a child’s emotional connection with a pet. So, where do animals stand when it comes to emotional intelligence?

Do animals experience emotions, do they show this by spontaneous changes in their behavior? And, as a result of the emotions they experience, do they have feelings?

The Incredible Friendship Between a BEAR, a LION and a TIGER

It was the beginning of the 21st century when three cubs were rescued from the home of a drug dealer where they were kept illegally as pets. Severely malnourished and scared, the salvation for an American Black bear cub, an African lion cub and a Bengal tiger cub came through Noah’s Ark Animal sanctuary.

This is when the cubs’ true friendship revealed itself. As the bear required an emergency operation, the lion and tiger cubs became agitated while their friend was gone. They refused food, paced their enclosure, vocalized and only stopped when the bear was safely returned to them. After this, the three cubs spent their entire time close together, clinging to one another for comfort and safety. They were named Baloo, Leo, and Shere Khan.

The bear, the lion and the tiger soon matured, yet they continued sharing the same habitat, playing, eating together and grooming one another. And they did so for 17 years. Sadly, Leo and Shere Khan passed away in 2016 and 2018 respectively, and Baloo was there for them in their final hours.

In the wild, Asian black bears and tigers do share the same territory in the Far East, but when they do meet, one of them is sure to be badly injured.

The Heartwarming Friendship Between a CHIMPANZEE and a DOG

There are quite a few cute chimps that struck lovely friendship with dogs, an undeniable proof that social connections between animals do mimic those between humans and their pets.

Often, when a chimp and a dog became friends it was the puppy who came to the baby chimp’s emotional rescue. Too many chimps are slaves of the illegal pet trade, and when they are finally rescued are found to be orphans.

What would happen, I asked myself, if a dog and a chimp met in the wild? Would they still play? Would they play fetch, perhaps? Pull faces at each other? Share naps?

The Unbelievable Friendship Between a CHEETAH and a DOG

Yes, cats and dogs can be friends. What about a wild cat and a canine? One such incredible pair were Kasi the cheetah and Mtani the Labrador. Mtani means “close friend” in Swahili.

What if the cheetah and the dog would meet in the wild, on the African planes? Would the mama-cheetah allow? Would the dog have human friends who would interfere with their unusual friendship?

The Amazing Friendship Between a LION and a DOG

A cute, brown Dachshund dog called Milo struck a remarkable friendship with a massive lion named Bonedigger when the latter became disabled due to illness. Somehow, the canine made its way to the sad lion’s heart and took the beast under his wing and the two remained the best of friends, even five years later. None of them cared that one weighs 11 pounds, while the other 500 pounds.

5 Incredible Animals Friendships Now as Story Books, the lion and the dog

Enjoy their beautiful friendship evolving throughout the seasons:

The Loving Friendship Between an ELEPHANT and a SHEEP

Albert the sheep and Themba the elephant live in Shamwari Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre in South Africa. Sadly, the elephant calf became an orphan after his mother died falling down a cliff. After a rocky start… the pair’s relationship blossomed, and they became the best of friends and Themba the elephant calf blossomed.

You can follow and enjoy their adventures in this book:

hope readers books Furstenberg
Find all my books on Amazon.

Green Are… Poem and Photography from my Garden

Green Are... Poem and Photography from my Garden - Thoughts on green and why green is good, but only if it comes in a bunch

Green Are, Poem and Photography from my Garden

Green are the leaves that grow between birds
Outside my window, playing hide and seek with the sky.
And green are the last of my vineyard’s hopes too,
Among rusty leaves, the last of a summer of grapes.

Green are my thoughts, the ones you see through my eyes –
Is my soul green? I surely hope it still is.
And green are the thoughts I keep in my heart,
For they are not ripe-green yet.

For green is good, I think,
As long as aplenty green things there are.
The singular green frightens me, envious and cold,
Therefore green is good in a bunch.

For green were the seas of my childhood tales
Of maidens who could and princes who dared, a tad.
And green were my teen years,
When I thought I could do it all, like them.

Green are the spines on my bookshelves now,
And a magic green pencil lays on my desk
For the times inspiration fails me,
I pick it and its energy handwrites me new tales.

Green Are Poem Photography

Green are my hopes that end one more decade,
And I think that’s pretty cool too.
For green speaks of more springs to come,
Of harvests of hopes, and a future in green.

Green Are Poem Photography

If you enjoyed ‘Green Are… Poem and Photography from my Garden’ you might also like to read:

Poets, Poetry and a Pandemic
As Good as Gold – Why, Hedgehog?

You can discover all my books with Amazon and even read them for free with Kindle Unlimited.

Look Closer. From Details to the Big Picture. What am I? Red

what am I look look closer, red

I seem to have painted myself in a corner with this look closer from details to the big picture, what am I, red. Because red is not one of my favorite colors; too much energy abundant, eye-catching assertiveness for my introvert self.

Let’s see if I can get myself out of it since I chose red because of the final image, without thinking of the implications it will have on the step by step process . Now don’t scroll to peek at it 🙂

I am thinking of those times we acted first, only to realize later that the wave has not passed. We are still to deal with the emotions our action stirred; with the physicality that, perhaps, it followed; with the energy stirred by what we did or said. That’s a face of red I see.

So, what do you see?

Look Closer From Details to the Big Picture What am I Red

Textured red, would be my first answer. Shimmering water over an agitated surface. Cardinal red that holds power. Heart braking poppy red.

A warning and questions too. Questioning myself. Self-doubt and the imperative need to take action, to prove myself to myself. Seeing red and physical need to remove myself from the situation.

Or I’d think of strawberries, if I’m hungry 🙂 Strawberries still link my mind to my childhood. A fruit of happy summer, carefree days. Heaps of them at the market. Now we get them all year round and their magic is gone.

So, I tell myself, red is not that bad after all… Post office red makes me thing of letters and of Christmas and I find this shade of bright red to be energizing.

I scroll further as I feel I’ve been staring too long at this ruby rectangle; it becomes overbearing and it pains my eyes.

Dare I zoom out?

Look Closer From Details to the Big Picture What am I Red

One extra piece of information and the image has a whole new meaning.

Red is playful now. And the illusion of shade implies light. Light is always good. Light holds answers.

I’m thinking now of bright red nail polish that carries a festive atmosphere and it always puts me in a frisky mood. Because le rouge va bien aux brunes, red suits brunettes. The one I stopped wearing long time ago.

Red’s looking better.

Perhaps the picture is that of an acorn all dressed up? I laugh and feel myself going red.

I zoom out some more.

Look Closer From Details to the Big Picture What am I Red

Oh, so it is an acorn, after all!

An acorn knitted hat.

How else would you call a beanie? A benny?

Knitted cap is too self explanatory and yet stiff. Like the set-up instructions that accompany a hammock. (Ever seen those? It goes like this: ‘insert the non-loop end into the loop on the opposite end’ – drains all the joy out of it). It should say find two trees you want to grab hold of at the same time but you can’t. Use the hammock to bridge the gap.

Same with above bonnet – too boring.

Perhaps beret, taking the French way and with a dash of WWII French Resistance…

And I am calling it a beret to lift y spirits too for I could never knit something like this. Not even the pointy bit. I can only knit in strait lines.

I did wrote a concentric letter once, though…

So we started with a textured red that looked threatening, brought in a dash of shadows and light, and a story to shake off the initial overbearing feeling.

Was it worth it?

I’ve told you I started with the final image.

Isn’t this what we always do, start with the end dream and knit our way towards it?

a cute black dog wearing a red beanie

It is always worth it, isn’t it?

Because every color has a silver lining. Red’s is unconditional love.

The Look Closer. From Details to the Big Picture. What am I? Yellow was great fun to write and sparked some discussions, in case you want to have a look.

As always, my books (all of whom have a dog knitted in the story line) are available through Amazon.

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The Rose at the End of my Garden, a poem

The Rose at the End of the Garden

The Rose at the End of my Garden, a poem

If you walk through the garden and follow the path,
Past the spot where the dogs love to nap,
Past the corner and up a step,
Past the grass that’s half sun, half shade…

If you step where the grass grows, escaping the cut
And watch your step for the ‘bombs’ planted by dogs,
And through the pool’s gate you go –
If the vineyard guarding the padlock will allow…

If you stop and listen, hear the grass call,
And past the wild garlic you stroll,
You could stop by the old branch or you could go on,
It is up to you. But you’re near the end, so push on…

Past the place where the fairies come out at night,
See, they left an umbrella behind,
Got caught in the Pinkhead Knotweed,
The sweet scented snowballs that blush with ease…

Hold your breath for a second, then take a bow,
Introduce yourself to the Rose, the aim of your stroll
And eight years King at the End of my Garden –
Past the brick path
And the grass half shade and half sun,
Over the dog bombs,
Through the gate,
Past the wild garlic,
Along the old log,
And the fairies’ umbrella,
At the end of each day’s stroll.

Rose End Garden poem
The Rose at the End of my Garden, a poem

© Patricia Furstenberg

Find all my novels and volumes of poetry on Amazon worldwide, in kindle and paperback.

Look Closer. From Details to the Big Picture. What am I? Yellow

See the big picture, they say. No, better be detail oriented. Actually no, details weigh us down, considering the overall situation is the way forward, the perspective.

So which way is best?

I think that details are just as important as the big picture. Details are the little steps that lead us to the whole tableau. The specifics of a plan may be tedious brush strokes, but without them we would have nothing to frame.

What do you see?

Look Closer. What am I? From Details to the Big Picture, something yellow.

Yes, yellow, but what else? What do you think this is? Shh, if you do guess right, keep it to yourself.

Let’s zoom out a little.

I think we get a better idea now of what we are looking at.

But do we, really?

More details appear in the enlarged the image. It doesn’t look like blobs of glass anymore. Well, it looked to me – or drops of custard 🙂

But where is leading us?

Yes!

Now we know what are we talking about.

More details make for a more insightful approach.

Still, what do you imagine the big picture is, if you close your eyes?

We know what the image is, but the big picture is so much more then that.

When I dream of something, and work towards it, I hold more than an image in my mind.

I hold feelings too, joy and apprehension.

Excitement too.

Whatever I work towards, the image I hold in my mind – and my heart – is big.

Is large.

It takes up space.

But let’s return to Look Closer. What am I? Yellow 🙂

Here is some excitement – or apprehension.

Depends how you feel about flying insects 🙂

Details Big Picture Yellow

Look Closer. From Details to the Big Picture, yellow. What am I?

What are your thoughts now?

Details are comparable to our past.

We wouldn’t be the people we are today without our past experiences.

And the big picture is equivalent to our future.

A myriad of small details, like pixels, form the grand tableau. We rely on the knowledge we accumulate each day to achieve, tomorrow, whatever we dream of.

No overall image would be possible without the specifics, yet without a big picture in mind we couldn’t do anything with the small daily chores. They would be just that, chores.

The big picture, achieving what we dreamed of, makes all the details that went into it (meaningless if taken separately) worth while.

Imagine building a puzzle without the final picture in front of your eyes. Could you do it?

Remember where we started?

It was yellow.

Look where our journey took us.

Details Big Picture Yellow

I hope that, today, you will be on step closer to your dreams. 🙂 Enjoy the journey and the small details.

~ You might also enjoy: Autumnal Sepia and a Letter from a Squid or Autumn and a Cat with Gamboge Eyes.

My novels and poetry is available through Amazon.

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