a slender thread

“Art is an ascending or descending scale, the spirit of its joy reaches us in unexpected ways. It travels on slender threads but it is within the grasp of all who care enough to want to see and understand.” —our founder Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, who was born today in 1875.

[Robert Henri (1865–1929), Gertrude Vanderbilt Whitney, 1916. Oil on canvas, 50 × 72 in. (127 × 182.9 cm). Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; gift of Flora Whitney Miller 86.70.3 © Estate of Robert Henri]

A Familiar Nightmare


A young boy walked around all over the known parts of the Underground; he had been calling out the same name for a while now. He feared not capture, despite being in a ‘Pre-Pacifist Timeline’, as the local Undyne had already deemed his soul redundant to the goal of breaking the Barrier.

“Aurey, where are you?” He had his hands cupped around his mouth like a megaphone. “I wanna talk to you about a few things!”

The soul that is attached to anything however much good there may be in it, will not arrive at the liberty of divine union.  For whether it be a strong wire rope or a slender and delicate thread that holds the bird, it matters not, if it really holds it fast; for, until the cord be broken the bird cannot fly.
—  St. John of the Cross
The war is still raging, but the race to rebuild Aleppo has already begun

Mamoun Fansa sits at the desk of his Berlin flat, scanning maps of his native Aleppo, summoning up whatever slender threads of optimism he can.

The fighting may still be raging, the city half destroyed, but Fansa has his eye on the future, as he attempts to organise a postwar plan for the reconstruction of its devastated centre, home to many of the country’s most cherished historic sites.

“Some may call me naive,” he says, “but to do nothing would be utterly cynical. To sit on my hands while war is raging there is not an option.”

He lists the extent of the destruction that has befallen one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities since the battle for Aleppo began: at least 24,000 people have died and half its 2.5 million inhabitants have been forced to flee. Read more.

We are secrets to each other

  Each one’s a life a novel

  No one else has read

Even joined in bonds of love

We’re linked to one another

By such slender threads

     Just between us

I think it’s times for us to recognize

The differences we sometimes fear to show

     Just between us

I think it’s time for us to realize

The spaces in between

Leave room for you and I to grow

We are islands to each other

Building hopeful bridges

   On a troubled sea

Some are burned or swept away

Some we would not choose

But we’re not always free