I’m lost and I wish I were found, in the arms of My Darlin’ Hometown…

Alan LeQuire’s bronze and limestone sculpture presides over the Music Row Roundabout in my hometown of Nashville, intended to convey “the importance of music to Nashville”.  If you know much about my beloved South, you will understand that those easily offended (they’re naked!) called for its removal at its installation in 2003.  We all calmed down eventually, or at least got tired of shouting about it, and these days it is a mostly beloved iconic figure representing music in all its forms (we have a wonderful symphony too).  I love music, and many of my posts feature lines from songs I particularly enjoy and/or find relevant.  A case in point would be My Darlin’ Hometown, a song by the great John Prine that speaks to those of us who live far away from home.  My hope is that anyone interested might dig a little deeper, check out the music in question, or even better buy a song or a CD and give it a listen…you waste more money than that driving driving around every day, and music is much more fun!  (30 March, 2010  Nashville, TN)

Eye in the Sky…

I think the Pantheon in Rome might be the most beautiful building in the world.  Built sometime around the first century AD, its dome is still the world’s largest unreinforced concrete dome.  Think about that for a moment.  In two thousand years no one has been able to equal or exceed the engineering and architectural prowess of a bunch of guys wearing bedsheets and doing the math in their heads.  Concrete is made with aggregate (little stones), and the Romans apparently used lighter volcanic stones as they went higher to maintain the strength while reducing the weight.  Technical notions aside, it also possesses for me unequaled simplicity and beauty of lines.  The list of buildings modelled on the Pantheon would run to pages, and includes Jefferson’s Monticello as well as the Wyatt center on the campus of Vanderbilt University in my hometown.  By the way, the “eye in the sky” refers to the oculus in the center of the dome which lets hot air out and daylight in.  Go see it some time.  (18 September, 2006  Rome, Italy)