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The Common Vein: Clarity in Complexity


The Common Vein (TCV) is a learning process that clarifies the complexities of biology and medicine.


Complexity is the prodigy of the world.

Simplicity is the sensation of the universe.

Behind complexity, there is always simplicity to be revealed.

Inside simplicity, there is always complexity to be discovered

                                                                                                                        Gang Yu

The Common Vein is a tree of knowledge that brings simplicity to the complexity of human biology and medicine.  Its arborized organization enables a stepwise, progressive approach to self learning.  Any student who can read, and who is motivated, will advance through this rich network of material. Most principles begin with a simple word or concept, within which resides encyclopedic complexity.  The root elements of that word can be explained in a sentence, which then progresses in volume and complexity to a paragraph, then a chapter, then a book, and beyond.

Imagine a library with all of its books strewn over the floor.  It would be nearly impossible to navigate the available information. Efficient organization of information is the key to understanding it. This concept holds true in any field of education.

Organizing Information


From a Background of Complexity to an Organized Simplicity 

The above art-piece shows a background of extensive, pixellated, and seemingly inaccessible information. As it organizes into the central, conical figure, it begins to make sense. The word at the bottom of the cone becomes defined into its key elements (the 5 different colors of the circle).  A definition follows, which succinctly describes the essence of those principles. These elements advance to greater complexity at the next level: the paragraph.  Each elemental principle is further expanded in a chapter.  The ladder of organized information progresses, while remaining connected to its source. Roots and branches, origins and growth, are recurring themes in The Common Vein.

As we learn, we acquire new knowledge. At the same time, we modify and enhance preexisting knowledge. Education should therefore be viewed as a process, rather than a collection of facts (Learning Wikipedia). TCV’s cumulative approach reinforces previous knowledge as it advances existing knowledge. With the understanding that memory and its application are so key to the learning process, TCV encourages beginning with the roots (basics) and building to the branches (details) in a logical fashion.

The Tree of Knowledge

Below is a diagram of knowledge in its bare form. From the central trunk extends an arborising framework, from roots to branches, which represents advancement, or growth.


Roots and Branches: Sources and Growth


Roots and Branches: Sources and Growth – Advancing Complexity

The trunk reflects a single idea or concept (tree), which is part of a continuum belonging to something beyond it (branches) and something before it (roots).  The tree’s roots and branches again exemplify the concept of building upon previous knowledge.  The trunk’s extensions, in the form of roots and branches, are complex yet logical in their organization. A tree’s growth is multifaceted, yet progressive. The parts work together for the sake of the single element: the tree. In the tree, complexity and simplicity coexist.


A distinct focus on principles, especially as a starting point, provides a useful framework for learning. The Common Vein’s is founded upon principles that grow in complexity, which helps the student navigate the daunting mass of biological and medical information.

Principles of Human Biology

The image below diagrams human biology in its basic parts:


This diagram of human biology is structurally identical to the diagram above. This diagram shows that the roots of human biology lie in both the structural and functional sciences. Combined, those two sciences enable the miracles of the working body and working mind. This simple diagram captures the entirety of human biology. Beyond these base elements lies magical complexity, which we can never fully grasp.

Principles of Medicine

This diagram, again identical in structure to the two above, explains that the roots of human disease originate in the disorder of the structural and functional sciences. The branches of diagnosis and treatment have evolved in response to the need for order and health of the body and mind.


This tree illustrates The Common Vein’s central theme. Each biological part has both a structure and a function.  When they are in order and work cohesively, there is health.  With disorder, conversely, comes disease. The field of medicine attempts to bring order using two major disciplines: diagnosis and treatment.

Because roots and branches remain connected, a change in one element means a consequence in the others. The disciplines of diagnosis and treatment are founded upon the ability to identify and treat disordered structure and function. For example, an obstructed coronary artery causes a heart attack.  The clot in the artery causes a structural problem, with a the functional consequence (damaged heart muscle).   Coronary arteriography diagnoses the structural abnormality, and a cardiac echocardiogram diagnoses the functional consequence (decreased muscle contraction).  The treatment aims to reverse the structural abnormality by dissolving the clot, as it also aims to reverse the functional abnormality.

The Common Vein

The Common Vein finds clarity in complexity. It navigates the learner through complex information in order to understand, remember, and apply the knowledge.  Two major elements are used:

  1. Basic principles, which are connected and advanced through
  2. An arborised organization.

The “common” in the common vein refers to basic principles, while the “vein” represents the arborised connections creating a tree of knowledge.

Learning starts from the most basic element, and with careful progression, advances in detail.  Learning evolves over time, as it builds upon and enhances previous knowledge. The tree’s roots of knowledge reflect the learner’s existing knowledge. They are connected to the branches, which symbolize the paths of growth.

The Common Vein requires requires the ability to read, and passion for the subject material. With those, the whole field of biology and medicine opens up, and eventually, students learn to apply this network of knowledge as thoughtful thinkers and practitioners.

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Anatomy of Winter Water

Anatomy of  Winter Water 

February 2016 in Boston Massachusetts – Ashley Davidoff MD 


Winter Water changes its size, shape, position and character depending on the temperature, gravity, time and surrounding confines.


Snow Outside in Boston

The winter of 2016 in Boston had not been too bad compared to the unforgettable winter of 2015. We  got 8-12 inches on the day this image was taken just a few days before Valentine’s day.  As always the snow left a trail of beauty particularly when viewed from the inside of a warm house.  Though truthfully, a walk in freshly fallen snow among the trees is also a magical experience. The view from our kitchen window is shown above.

On Valentine’s day 2016, 2 or 3 days after the snowstorm, the lowest temp reached -9 degrees F. This was the coldest Valentine’s day since 1957.  It  was zero degrees Fahrenheit when the photograph was taken.


Frost and Ice on the Window Pane

4 basic layers evolved on the kitchen window.  This is explained diagrammatically in the next image. The real beauty was at the the bottom of the window pane there was a whole bevy of magnificent gems of the winter, hanging on the outside of a double paned kitchen window. The crystals were attached to a large ice droplet.  The result of nature’s work was more beautiful than any man made piece of jewelry.


Frost and Ice on the Window Pane Explained

The relatively warm top part of the window showed a few ice crystals of collected fallen snow (layer 1) which quickly melted to form small droplets of water (layer 2).  Gravity caused these water bubbles to flow downward and get a little larger as they accumulated smaller droplets to form the bigger drops in the frosted background (layer 3).  When they reached the bottom part of the pane the temperature was lowest  resulting in crystallization and formation of beautiful gem-like structures .


Gems of Ice Crystal at the Bottom of the Window Pane

Under given conditions in the winter, snow is formed from the water in the clouds and the water gets transformed into a wide variety of sizes, shapes and character.  The result was breathtaking!


Melted Frost and Ice Gems 

The following day, the temperatures rose and the beautiful forms of crystallized ice, melted into a few nondescript water droplets, still beautiful but in a very rustic way.

 In the Meantime on the Outside Winter Water Creates Miracle Art

As the temperatures rose, I took the dog for a walk in the local park and was greeted by an infinite variety of microcosmic ice formations caused by the rising temperatures.  The puddles of frozen water started to crack, revealing magnificent shapes and a variety of ice and crystal formations in various stages between the solid and liquid form of water. Within a span of 30 minutes, I took over 200 images and here follows the result of the short photographic excursion with my macro lens.


Ice Crystals on Columns of Thin Ice

 The shapes in this small ice pond took the form of columns of thin transparent ice with horizontal needle-like crystals projecting off the columns.


Picasso Flying on Thin Ice

The art piece discovered in an ice pond by a macro lens revealed Picasso the eternal artist of yesteryear from the perspective of winter water.  The Picasso-like face in a boot with wings was perceived by the artist.  The formation of ice crystals require special winter conditions. In this case ice bubbles formed around a structure reminiscent of a face with a peaked hat. Waves of water in the ice form the wing-like structures


Mirror Mirror on The Wall – What Do you See?

The art piece was discovered in an ice pond by a macro lens and reveals an abstraction of shapes. MIRROR MIRROR ON THE WALL..I see an evil queen – What do you see?   The formation of ice crystals and shapes in the thin ice require special winter conditions. In this case sharp white lines form a variety of shapes. Waves of water in the ice form the corrugated structures.


I See an Evil Witch in the Mirror

What do you see?  The artist’s perception is overlaid in color. The face of the evil witch in the mirror (left) consists  the face with red lips, blue eyes, and a hooked nose.  To the right is a  person with a light green shirt and purple head.

Images of the Architecture of our Ancient Civilization 



Tower of Babel ce Bubbles and Wood Chips

 In this art piece crystalised bubbles  project off pieces of wood chips.  The artist saw the an ill formed Tower of Babel crowned by a beautiful formation of ice bubbles

Images of the Architecture of Our Current Civilization 


One World Trade Center and Ground Zero in Ice

The art piece is centered on a vertical skyscraper representing One World Trade Center. This art piece is a dedication to the great city of New York from the tiny ice ponds of a Boston park.  One World Trade Center is clustered with other skyscrapers in the center surrounding one of the main avenues traversing the city.  At the base of the skyscrapers, the foundation soil that shines through the ice water reflects the ground zero earth on which this magnificent building with its deep seated history, was built. The iced up East river surrounds Manhattan.  To the left there is a structure that represents the Brooklyn bridge and the wave like ice formation is a continuation of the bridge as it is seen lit up at night that extends from Brooklyn to Manhattan. The whole scene reflects a nighttime scene with city lights that abound.


One World Trade Center The Brooklyn Bridge and the East River

Lessons of Biology

Images of the Natural World


pelican, log fish, winter, ice, cold, crystals, ice crystals, temperature, freezing, shapes, ice crystals, frost, temperature, gravity, science, water

Pelican Catching a Log Fish in ice Water

The art piece was discovered in an ice pond using a macro lens and reveals an abstract appreciation of the shapes. To the photographer and artist, a pelican is seen to the left of the image with a wide open beak pursuing one of the two fish swimming in the water.  The shapes of the fish look more like logs.  The small ice ponds in the local park were the source of this photograph.  The macro lens allows the capture of the minute detail, otherwise not appreciated fully by the naked eye.  There has been no electronic alteration to the art of natural form.

Trees and Plants


Winter Trees of Ice Crystals

A walk in the cold of Boston with a macro lens exposed a tiny forest of winter trees beside a big pond under the warming winter sun.  Crystals of ice lined along a horizontal line reminiscent of a small forest, surrounded by the frozen water.  The surrounding ice pond has its own innate and naturally beautiful shapes.  Above the left side of the forest, the bundle of orange vegetation, likely debris from the previous fall,  represents a ball of warming sun to complete the scene.

The scene reminded me of the photograph of the Grove of Cone Shaped Trees below



Cone Shaped Grove of Trees

The other images below of the ice crystals on the kitchen window and the similar morphology in the botanical world


Boston Winter Mediterranean Summer 


Ice Crystals and Arborvitae


Feather Shaped Ice Crystals Grasses and Flowers 


Lessons of Biology

cell, macrophage, nucleus, winter, ice, cold, crystals, ice crystals, temperature, freezing, shapes, ice crystals, frost, temperature, gravity, science, water,

The Marvelous Macrophage – Soldier of the Body

The artist found this brave young macrophage lady in the ice pond of a Boston winter bravely fighting off pathogenic bacteria.  AiA applies the concept of multiple cyst like ice structures to the anatomy of the body, and in this instance to the lysosomes and other organelles in the cell.  The pseudopods of the dendritic cell are presented as the spiculated ice formations emanating from the edge of the white cell.

Human Biology Romance and Reproduction in Ice

garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, breasts, breast, body, torso, winter, water, crystals, ice,

Adam, Eve and the Snake


A  Female Torso of Ice Floating On a Film of Cold Water

breasts, winter, ice, cold, crystals, ice crystals, temperature, freezing, shapes, ice crystals, frost, temperature, gravity, science, water

Woman Looking at Black Ice

In this art piece a woman is portrayed.  She admires the black ice through the cleft of her breasts.  The solid thick ice has assumed the rounded shapes of a woman’s breasts.  The sheets of black ice is seen in contrast to the white ice that dominate the image.

testes, penis, vas deferens, vasa deferentia, sperm, flagella, spermatozoa, winter, ice, cold, crystals, ice crystals, temperature, freezing, shapes, ice crystals, frost, temperature, gravity, science, water, bubbles,

Abstract of Male Organs and Reproductive Cells

The testes are in the bottom right hand corner filled with reproductive cells (sperm).  At the appropriate time during ejaculation they take a trip via the vas deferentia.  The vasa deferentia are depicted as tubular structures travelling from the testes to the base of the penis down the prostatic urethra where they collect the prostatic secretion. They then travel down the urethra and out into the female geniutal tract.  The race is on as they all seek to win the hand of the queen – the ovum de jour.


Single Celled Flagellated Cells Looking for a Single Celled Partner

 The shapes that manifest in this instance were small microbubbles with waves of icy water.  The small bubbles are reminiscent of sperm cells and the waves of transparent ice reminiscent of the tail of the sperm.   The race is on!

winter, ice, cold, crystals, ice crystals, temperature, freezing, shapes, ice crystals, frost, temperature, gravity, science, water, ovary, follicles, cysts

Ovary and Follicles in Ice

AiA applies the concept of multiple cyst like ice structures to the anatomy of the body and in this instance to the ovary.  Ice bubbles form around air and other small structures of the earth and create follicular shaped structures of varying size on the ovarian like structure. The formation of ice crystals requires special winter conditions.  Freezing cold and water are basic ingredients. 

winter, ice, cold, crystals, ice crystals, temperature, freezing, shapes, ice crystals, frost, temperature, gravity, science, water, breasts, pregnancy, pregnant, woman, nude

Pregnancy in Ice

In this art piece a pregnancy is portrayed.  The cracked thin ice has assumed the rounded shapes of a woman with a rotund abdomen reminiscent of pregnancy.  The grass of the earth is magnified and illuminated in the pregnant abdomen, and a fetal structure is suggested in the expected location of the uterus.

Lessons of Life 

Time, Natural Disaster, Religion, Love, Sorrow, Fulfillment



Time Passes – A Cold Reality

The AiA rendering shows a fallen dead life still with beautiful colors of a Fall and a time gone by,  trapped by the ice and cold of the present tense. The message pertains to a yearning for the warmer, richer and mellow days of the autumn.  These are but sweet memories which are confronted by the harsh reality of the present and a cold, and sometimes unforgiving winter.  Though sweet memories are always sweet, one has to be realistic and deal with the present, knowing full well that the future will spring new realities.  Below the ice you may sense just a hint of green of the grass which will be part of the future of this vista.  The life lesson  – time passes.

Natural Disaster, 

winter, ice, cold, crystals, ice crystals, temperature, freezing, shapes, ice crystals, frost, temperature, gravity, science, water, snow, cracked


A natural disaster

Sorrow and Winter Water

eyes, tears, crying, nose, winter, ice, cold, crystals, ice crystals, temperature, freezing, shapes, ice crystals, frost, temperature, gravity, science, water,

Black Eyes, A Shiny Nose and Odd Looking Tears

The art piece reveals a different perspective of ice on the grate of a manhole cover in a Boston winter.  Two square black holes represent the two dark eyes, while the ice on the vertical limb with cracked ice of the manhole cover represents the shiny nose.  Two drops of water on the eyes in odd positions represent the odd looking tears providing the intrigue of the art piece.  What does the artist infer regarding the sadness in the eyes – that is up to you to think about!  Hidden messages abound

Pursuit of Fulfillment with Winter Water

bird, triangle, winter, ice, cold, crystals, ice crystals, temperature, freezing, shapes, ice crystals, frost, temperature, gravity, science, water,

Said the Ice Bird to the Triangle

In this art piece a bird who appears fulfilled in every beautiful way and is trying in a motherly way to teach the triangle a life lesson.  She pleads with the triangle not to lose its roots and foundation, because without the foundation it loses its identity as a triangle.  She then pleads with the triangle to remain true to itself and in that way it will grow and become something more profound – and in this case the artist draws attention to the triangular shape of the bird’s beak that plays a highly important function in the bird’s life. Finally she tells the degenerating triangle that “..if you don’t pull yourself together, you will end up like all the other sticks in my nest!”

Religion Love, Broken Love, Sorrow and Winter Water


Broken Heart at the Crux of the Cross

taken in the local park after the Boston Valentine’s day freeze.A teardrop is seen at bottom right. The image has a religious feel of course and I also love the way the heart of ice illuminates the oxidized green on the steel grate of the manhole cover. Hidden messages abound.

And that is Boston February 2016 folks- and fun with anatomy of the winter ice water



References for Winter Water

Water Wiki

Window Frost Wiki

Frost Wiki

Formation of Ice Crystals and Snow 5 star

Guide to Frost

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Heart Symbolisms – Cultural Anatomy


Heaven’s Heart 

Heart symbolisms abound in almost every culture.  The heart has been the center of almost every civilization, and assigned the epicentre of physical emotional and spiritual life. In ancient cultures the brain was mostly ignored and its many functions were attributed to the heart.  Despite new knowledge,  many of the ancient cultural concepts remain ingrained in the religion, the psyche, language, literature, poetry, and art of modern civilization.

In the West, the heart has evolved as a symbol of love, in both romantic and religious spheres.  In the East, it is seen as a symbol of wisdom and spirituality.

Heart Symbolisms in History

Ancient belief in almost every major culture put the heart and heart symbolisms at the centre of the body and soul . Life with all its emotions, thoughts and beliefs centered around the heart.

The iconic heart symbol was identified in the culture of the Cro Magnon hunters of Europe before the last Ice Age (10,000-8000 BCE). The inference of the icon to the hunters remains a mystery.

The ancient Egyptians (3500BC-1000 BC) believed the heart controlled the mind and soul, and that it was the center of morality. It was also considered the source of memory, emotions, and personality. They believed that God spoke to individuals through the heart.  There was concern among Egyptians that after death, that the heart might testify against the deceased; to prevent this, the ancient Egyptians often wrapped a heart scarab within the bandages to prevent the heart from speaking. They also preserved the heart during mummification so it would not be weighed during judgement after death.

The 5000 year old ancient Chinese culture believes that the heart is the root of the body, mind and soul of life.  Additionally it controls joy, reflects facial expression, and has important roles in the psyche.

The Jewish culture goes back 5000 years as well. The Old testament, originated around 1500 BC, and references to the heart abound . It is viewed as the organ of conscience, the origin of human action, imagination, determination, emotion, love, virtue and vice, good and evil, humility and pride. The  heart is revealed as the “inner” person:

“the Lord seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart” [Samuel 16:7].

Also among many other references

“it grieved him (God) at his heart.”  

Genesis 6:6 

The word “heart” appears 725 times in the  Old testament,


Art in the Clouds, Love, and Prayer

Love and Prayer …… a cloud in the sky that says it all… or at least some of it…  The art piece is a collection of different modes of prayer with the same goal in mind ie to connect with a higher power. An idea of a central God may not necessarily fit with all religions,.  The central “God” therefore in this piece relates to a central focus of core beliefs.

In Hinduism, a culture that started around 1750 BCE, teaches that the heart is the center of life, action, emotion, consciousness, and the soul. The belief is that it nourishes the organs and supplies  energy for the formation of semen. Similar to Egyptian belief, it has importance in connecting heaven and earth.  It also is the organ where the love of God is experienced.

In ancient Greece, Aristotle, who lived in the 4th century B.C., described  the heart as the most important organ of the body. He considered it the seat of intelligence, motion, sensation and vitality.

In Christianity the heart reflects love, piety, and charity.  In the art of the middle ages and thereafter, the flaming heart reflects religious passionate fervor.  A flaming heart pierced by an arrow symbolizes faith despite trial, and repentance.  The New Testament started in the middle of the 1st century AD. Jesus repeatedly uses “pure of heart”

Paul prays

“that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith;” [Ephesians 3:3].

The word “heart” appears 105 times in the New Testament.

In the 1st millennium AD in ancient Mexico, the Teotihuacan culture believed that the the teyolia – the spiritual force of the heart, was responsible for life.

Galen who lived in the second century A. D., reaffirmed the Greek concepts of  the heart and promoted it as the organ most closely related to the soul.


The Heart of Galen – Creator of the Vital Spirit

The AiA rendering shows the body according to Galen. Heat plays a central role in his theory.  He believed the heart was closely related to the soul and the source of the body’s heat . The liver, he taught was the primary source of the humors that controlled the body, and that the heart played a subordinate role.

At the beginning of the eleventh century, the Persian, Avicenna (980-1037 AD), authored  “The Book of Healing” that included medical and philosophical content.  Avicenna describes the heart as the source of life.

The Aztecs a nomadic tribe of northern Mexico, arrived in Mesoamerica in the 13th century and reached their pinnacle in the 15th century. They believed that the heart, or the yollotli, was the seat of life and the soul. Before cremation a green jewel was placed in the mouth of the dead person to represent the heart.  The culture also believed that human sacrifice for the offering of the heart to the Gods was required for ongoing prosperity.  It was a ritual performed at the highest level and required to  honour the gods.  Interestingly the yollotli was also a standard of measurement from the mid chest to the tip of the outstretched arm, equivalent to about 3 feet.

In summary the heart was central to the body mind of soul in so many cultures that it pervaded day to day life,  and therefore became central to the emotional aspects of most, if not all cultures. The innate need to represent these emotions in all facets of life including religion, philosophy, literature, poetry, music,  and art was a natural outcome.

The History of the Icon

heart, history, symbol, Jesus Christ, anatomy, heraldry, Valentine's day, sacred heart, heraldry, mood, emotion, Christianity, symbol, icon

History of the Shape of the Heart Icon

 The collage reveals the symbols that contributed to the shape of the heart icon as we know it.  The shape of the heart became familiar to cultures who hunted or sacrificed animals (image top left).  The heart shaped leaves and seeds had parallel emotional connections.  The silphium seed for example (seen as golden heart shaped structure above) , was used by ancient Greeks for contraception and was reproduced on their coins.  Organs relating to the nitty gritty of romance including breasts, mons pubis, buttocks and scrotum have rotund shape that has parallels in the icon of the heart .  It is no wonder that the the shape gained popularity and application to the romantic elements of life.   
This art piece was adapted and modified from public domain photograph by Frank Eugene, taken 1898, called Adam and Eve and published in Camera Work no. 30,1910 

Art and the Heart – A History

heart, history, symbol, Jesus Christ, anatomy, heraldry, Valentine's day, sacred heart, heraldry, mood, emotion, Christianity, symbol, icon

History of Heart Symbolism

The earliest use of the heart as a symbol of love is found in an art piece in the middle of the 13th century.  The collage depicts, romantic, religious, devotion, emotion, bravery, heraldry, mathematics, geometry, botany, card games, Valentine’s day, and finally and central in the art piece – the traditional emoticon.  

Literature and the Heart 


Shakespeare and the Heart

From the late Middle Ages onward, literature and poetry romanticize the heart.  The above art piece used information  from the Oxford Shakespeare Concordance and identifies the frequency of the word heart and heart related words  (eg heartless and heartily).  More than 1100 instances were found. 

In the Divine Comedy,  Dante (1265-1321) refers to

Love, which is quickly kindled in the gentle heart,
seized this man for the fair form that was
taken from me, and the manner still hurts me.


Pride, Envy, and Avarice are
the three sparks that have set these hearts on fire.

Valentine’s day itself first became associated with romance during the time of Geoffrey Chaucer (1343–1400).

Literature in which the word “heart” appears in the title from the late 18th, 19th and early 20th century include among many; Heart of the Midlothian – Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832), The Tell Tale Heart by  Edgar Allen Poe (1809-1849,  Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (1857-1924), The Heart of Man by Erich Fromm (1900-1980),  Heartbreak House by George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950), The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers (1917-1967), Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West by Dee Brown (1908 – 2002)

Poetry and the Heart 

The association of the heart and love abound in poetry.

Charles d’Orlean was a member of the French Royal family who lived in the 15th century. While captive in England he wrote love poems such as the one translated below

Because I cannot see you,
My heart complains day and night,
Lovely lady, peerless one of France,
And has charged me to write you
That he does not have all he desires
In the Prison of Discontent.

 by Charles d’Orlean and translated by David A. Fein 

Some famous poems of the the late 19th and early 20th century which include the word heart in the title; My Heart and I  by  Elizabeth Barrett Browning (1806-1861), If I Can Stop One Heart From Breaking, Emily Dickinson (1830-1886), Never Give All The Heart, William Butler Yeats (1865-1939), Flame Heart Claude McKay (1889-1948),  The Trusting Heart, Dorithy Parker (1893 -1967),  I Carry Your Heart with Me – EE Cummings  (1894-1962),  The Laughing Heart Charles Bukowski (1920-1994)  

Music and the Heart


Middle Ages Music, Heart and Love

AiA combined two art pieces that are in the public domain; Heart shaped musical score of Baude Cordier is an offering of love to a lady.  Christian and Muslim playing Lutes from the Canticles of Holy Mary during the reign of Alfonso X El Sabio (1221–1284) 

Recent Music and the Heart


The Heart in Modern Song

Song ..another emotional outlet for the expression of love romance, and spirituality in culture. Between 1956 and 1978, 15 artists used the word “HEART” in the title of their song and each sold more than a million copy of their records.

Evolving Use of Heart Symbolisms

Valentines Day is a classical example of the persistent use of the symbol of the heart as a symbol of love and romance and it appears on all types of commercial products.  The icon of the heart for communication on the web, in emails, electronic messaging, graffiti, in all sorts of arts and crafts abound almost adnauseum.

We seem to be returning to the world of hieroglyphics – and the icon of the heart almost always sends a positive message – and so … that is always good!


Jager Eric  – Reading the Book of the heart from the Middle Ages to the twenty First Century; University of Chicago Press

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Art, Hand Movement, And Season’s Lights

Christmas, lights, Channukah, menorah, nativity scene,

The Nativity Scene, Menorah and Surrounding Lights with still hands

Winter brings a dark chill.  Humans respond to this discomfort by creating ways to alleviate the stress. This post focuses on one way to counter the gloom.  Across the Judeo-Christian world, light is used to brighten and warm the spirits.

Art in Anatomy found a family home in Westwood, Massachusetts who illuminated their home and garden with Judeo-Christian scenes.  They combined a nativity scene with a Chanukah menorah among colorful lights that adorned their house, trees, and barn.

By sleight of hand, Davidoff altered this scene by moving the camera in various directions to create different effects:


Up and Down Motion of the hands on the camera


Wave Like Motion of the hands on the camera


Looping Motion of the hands on the camera


Horizontal Motion of the hands on the camera


A Single Slow Back and Forth Sweep of the hands on the camera

The lesson: The same scene can be viewed from many perspectives.  Similarly, the same God can be viewed by many different religions.  The difference between the monotheistic religions is merely a difference in pathway; they all arrive at the same end point.  Why kill each other if we’re all headed to the same final destination?