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[Orchid] [Tidbits] Nodo Erculeo
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Benjamin Mark Saturday, July 27, 2013
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    Some folks like to see other folks flounder. If any of you are out
    there you are going to enjoy today's tale. I need to tell you this as
    part of my story. French is my mother tongue and I speak it almost as
    well as I speak English. That said. I walked into an Italian store
    and asked the owner--in English-- if he had any interesting books on
    Italian jewelry. He stared at me. I stared back and then asked if he
    spoke French. He grinned. I asked the same question. he said "uno
    minuto" and left and returned with a book. It was all in Italian. But
    I speak French I thought. And they're both Latin languages. I should
    have no problem. 

    Hah! Masterpiece of English understatement. It is here that I want to
    let you all know that I have now elevated stupid thinking to an art
    form. That said. I struggled with this article --written entirely in
    Italian--which is now forthcoming. I may be a hair off. but I think I
    have the essence of it. So. Nodo Erculo either means Herculean Knot.
    or Square Knot. Perhaps a bit of both. You will look. you will judge.
    And if any of you speak Italian. I have no doubt you will let me know
    which it is. or if it even is what I think it is. 

    The motif of this knot seems to have come into usage with the 4th
    century jewelers in Taranta, Italy. It is part of a golden tiara. The
    knot and the imagery connected to it is said to have magical
    properties which keep away pain and misfortune. Its filigree design
    presumably emulates roses and palms and is constructed with an intent
    toward extreme delicacy. In addition to the magical properties used to
    ward off evil. the pattern is also supposed to depict a degree of
    humor. Though I must say. when I look at it I get nary a chuckle. or
    even a smile. or even the slightest rib tickling sensation. 

    I suspect this is in part due to the fact that I am thoroughly
    Americanized and I tend to find hysterical humor when watching people
    ice-skating and floundering. arms flailing. then falling flat on
    their collective asses rather than looking at an antique bit of
    jewelry. But that's me. 

    And as far as interesting goes. the jewelry holds higher ground. So.
    you want to see? You know where. Home 

And there ya have it. That's it for this week folks.
Catch you all next week.
Benjamin Mark

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