M.E. Rothwell publishes Cosmographia which hits the sweet spot for me, and for many, being focused on “history, myth, and the arts”. He often publishes old maps, as well as telling stories about faraway places.

In a new series which he calls Venus' Notebook, Rothwell is juxtaposing imagery and quotations. This particular coupling jumped out at me, and so I wanted to pass it on. The quotation is from Joan Didion, and the image is The Eye, Like a Strange Balloon, Mounts toward Infinity by Odilon Redon (1882).

This image depicts an artwork featuring an eye-shaped hot air balloon floating above a flat horizon. The balloon's envelope is the iris and pupil, complete with detailed lines to represent the eye's texture, and the basket hangs directly below, appearing as the eye's reflection. The sky is hazy and indistinct, giving the impression of a sketch or etching with soft, undefined clouds. Below is a dark landscape, likely a field, with the suggestion of grass or crops. The piece has an eerie quality, combining elements of the everyday with the surreal, drawing a direct visual parallel between the act of observation and the concept of flight.

We tell ourselves stories in order to live.

Source: Cosmographia