Ancient Chinese Woman
Beauty and Virtue

I am the lover of beauty and virtue. I cannot know one without the other. It is virtue that gives character to beauty's face. But is not an artificial virtue I speak of. Is but the natural spirit of innocence retained.

We all know the ugly face: devoid of virtue, lacking the smile of verisimilitude. The ugly face lives in pretense. Is maintained by social convention, by the farce of invidious judgment.

The face of beauty cannot hate, cannot condemn. Nor can it be ridiculed.


My Passion for Painting

Painting involves the mind, the eye, and the soul. The eye senses, the mind beholds, and the soul breathes. We are inspired to see and to create the immediate world around us, to make it pretty and soft.

But first we must compose the scene--this is the vision inside or the appreciation of nature, or its rearrangement. Then there is the selection of the colors, pretty in themselves. And then the movement of the brush, the dipping and the strokes so calm or frenzied, all express the emotion, and the passion.

The Beauty of the Mind

Intelligence is the source of lasting beauty. We find beauty in thinking, in discovery. Nothing is better than to have time to think and to write. Now, I have no angry thoughts. This is the best time, the best way to be. One can only be frustrated out of a lack of understanding. There are so many things to do. How can one be bored? Only, if one does not know how to think or to feel.

People Are as They Work

To work, to be busy, this is the way we come to view ourselves, as what we do. Or maybe it is by our friends, what we do together.

A mother lives for and through her children. Sometimes a mother is angry and frustrated. Raising children is very tiresome. Think about everything, and feel the world all around. We must suffer a mother too. We are as we work.

Study Contemporaries' Histories

History is an interpretation, an interpretation that changes with time. So always go back to the historical contemporaries when you read history. Now, you are different from last year, so write down your thoughts today. Read your thoughts last year and the year before. How impermanent is our consciousness. It is necessary to go back and reread the contemporaries so that we do not lose them.

Detail of my Reproduction of Renoir: A Girl Wiping Her Feet

How to Look at People

Look at a person with curiosity. You will like to know another outlook, another life. Be not driven by purpose, by task, or by category. You make a mistake living only by means and ends, purposes and judgments. Don't fantasize or romanticize the people you meet, or you will never know them.

The Primitive

Now we are safe from predators, but in the primitive, we would always be afraid. That Egret looking at me would be terrifying were I but ten times smaller.

Yet some still live in the primitive, the land of dangerous creatures big and small. How terrified they are! It is a different world for them, a world of hustle and bustle, of every day survival: not a moment for contemplation.

The primitive is feeling without thinking, emotion without reflection. Thus it allures the modern mind: in search of the primitive. Nice to fancy, to visit briefly, but not to be imprisoned there. The only reprive is to bring what lies hidden up to consciousness. Here it can compete fairly in the realm of values and ideals, in the land of appreciated beauty and freely chosen virtues.

But beware the Boojum! You may write (or think) your way out of existence, in which unfortunate circumstance you will softly and quitely vanish away.

Three Gorges, Yangtze River China by Tom Lacey 1998

Of Foreign Lands

What do I know of foreign lands? Of cultures born of different tongues, of different foods and different looks. Faces to be taken at their value -- words to be absorbed -- meanings to decipher.

Yet, I cannot understand myself in my own country. I must go abroad to see myself clearly, to see myself as "a foreigner." Then it is not that place which seems strange, but myself.

Live not in the same locale lifelong. Or, as D.H. Lawrence said, chose not a person of exactly the same prejudices and local disposition. You cannot be be fully aware of yourselves coming from the same quarter.

The familiar is comfortable. But the Hobbit is just a Hobbit. The objectivist is just an objectivist. And so forth.


The Great Wall of China

Looking out over the Great Wall by Tom Lacey

I love the Great Wall of China -- I have been there. Everyone is so happy to be on it. What a festive atmosphere, crowded with people from all over China and the world. Even though you are tired, you feel great! The wind cools your exhausted body as you sit in a tower portal looking out over the mountains, at the rest of the road you know you could never have the energy to finish. The wall appears infinite in relation to your own small tired footsteps. So you just sit there and contemplate the moment.


Polymath Society International

Web Pages by Tom Lacey

Lonny D's Pizza and Restaurant
polyzine.com
Polymath Society International
Clearwater Chinese School
West Pinellas NOW
Boater's Dream
Lacey Computer Co.
Free Florida


Email: TomLacey@polyzine.com