One Word, Two Ways: Tender

Each week we choose a word and each base a post off that word.  This week, the word is Tender.

One of my best friends loves Al Green’s Try a Little Tenderness.  Actually, he almost carries the vibe and mantra with him everywhere he goes.  Recently, I was on a bus from Hanoi to Halong Bay, when I closed my eyes, took a deep breath in, and let it out.  In that moment, I felt a tingle in my nose and a chill at my neck.  My whole body released and I heard, “try a little tenderness” whisper in the back of my mind.

What a great anthem to have.  It’s really  not much to ask.  Just try a little.

Did you know that the title of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night was taken from a line in John Keats “Ode to a Nightingale?”

(Portrait of John Keats by Joesph Severn)

Ode to a Nightingale” is one of six odes that Keats wrote, all in the year 1819.  The painter Joesph Severn, a friend of Keats’, painted and sketched the poet many times but only once (the portrait above) while Keats was still alive.

Thirty years before Keats wrote his odes, Saussure created the cyanometer, an instrument to measure the sky’s blueness.

(© BIBLIOTÈQUE DE GENEVE, SWITZERLAND)

I love the way these two images look together, the combination of stillness and depth that they each hold.  But perhaps the two are even better suited to be tied together with Keats’ “Ode to Autumn.”

From tender is the night, to twitter in the skies.

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