Glass Houses

Happy March, or should I say, what happened to spring?

A few weeks ago, I created this piece of stained glass digital artwork. My art projects often remind me to stay in touch with all of you. Lately, I’ve been neglectful of that. This picture also reminded me of my late father, Gordon Lincoln Hislop, a wonderful guy.

My dad used to quote the phrase, “People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” He was always careful not to judge people. Experts believe this idiom originated from Chaucer’s epic poem, “Troilus and Criseyde” from the year 1385—a long time ago.

Written in Middle English, it’s hard to make sense of today.

[…] who that hath a head of verre, From cast of stones ware him in the werre.

But, the internet assures me that idioms morph and change as the language changes.  

Like, “The pot calling the kettle black,” from a translation of Don Quixote written in 1620 — the glass houses phrase is used to remind us that we are often guilty of the same thing we’re accusing another person of. 

Both these idioms are cliche, and writers dread cliches, but I recently read an article about Toni Morrison. She reportedly advised that we should not avoid cliches, but write into them. I think that idea has a clever, underlying truth. Cliches depict situations as believable, and working with them, and exploring all their nuances, you might steer your stories down a new road with a unique sort of creative clarity. 

Live well,


PS: Other topics occupying my head these days: 

Malcolm Gladwell’s podcast, “Revisionist History.” It’s fantastically interesting. You should check it out wherever you listen to your podcasts. 

Stephen Fry has done a fabulous piece for the Rijks Museum in Amsterdam on the life and work of Johannes Vermeer. Remember the “Girl with the Pearl Earring?” Make sure you have a bit of time set aside when you open this link, but do have a look. Stephen Fry is brilliant and his take on Vermeer’s life and work will put you under a spell. 

Closer to Johannes



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