eMusings is my monthly gift to the Web Chair Travelers among you, as I take you to a few sites I think will challenge your brain, warm your heart, or bring you joy. I welcome your suggestions for future issues as well.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City has mounted a lovely exhibition of ancient Peruvian pieces made of feathers. Entitled "Radiance from the Rain Forest: Featherwork in Ancient Peru", each of the images online includes information on the history and anthropology of the region.

In addition to its notorious cover and article about Obama ,The New Yorker magazine reports on the world's oldest cave Art, with drawings from roughly 32,000 years ago. Quite a stunning archival feat, considering that we are struggling to preserve the early digital art of our own time. It is staggering to think of what people/creatures might discover from our lives and think of us after another 32,000 years have passed, or, alternatively, how the artists from those many years ago would respond to life, and art, today. This issue, of how our descendents will view us, was addressed in June, 2002, in a Quill article titled "You Are Fiction, I Am A Lie".

The great author, gestalt psychologist, teacher and film theorist Dr. Rudolph Arnheim taught Psychology of Art at Harvard University and had a tremendous influence on the perception of art and film. Focal Press is about to publish a third edition of Richard Zakia's "Perception and Imaging: Photography, A Way of Seeing" which includes a dedication to Arnheim for his profound influence on the field. Zakia is Emeritus Professor of Photography at the Rochester Institute of Technology where he taught for 34 years. He is the author of many books on photography and the perception of art, and recently conducted a workshop on photographic composition at the Palm Beach Photographic Centre in Florida.

Her name is Kay Ryan and she was raised in the small communities around the Mojave Desert in California. She has been named as the nation's 16th Poet Laureate. Ryan describes her writing process as "'a self-imposed emergency', the artistic equivalent of finding a loved one pinned under a car." You can read her poem Patience here. You might also want to download a free CD offered by the Poet's Forum featuring some of today's major poets reading from their own work.

His only son was killed by a fourteen-year-old boy who had never had a father of his own. The young boy was tried as an adult and sentenced to life in prison. This is the story of how the father of the victim forgave the killer, and founded an institution to "end the cycle of violence". Viewers might also want to visit Giraffe's Site of the Month, a moving tale called "Story of a Girl". Both videos reassure us that there are some admirably decent people around us, in spite of headlines to the contrary. Additionally, NOK, Giraffe's Quill article of November, 2006, reminds us of some of the roots of violence and of our need to defuse it.

And, for you nostalgia buffs, the world's living library has a couple of marvelous recordings. First, from 1928, Paul Robeson sings Ol' Man River. This one's a gem.

Then listen to Marlene Dietrich's classic recording of Lili Marlene.

c.Corinne Whitaker 2008