In early September a colleague handed out plant bulbs to the full library faculty with words about soil, watering and waiting for growth. I put the bulb in the fridge as instructed and forgot about it until looking for the saffron hidden away on the refridgerator door. It was Christmas break and according to the directions, a good time to plant this bulb. Last week I looked to see a shoot sprouting.
Practicing the ritual of having tea with your friends or family is one way to move more deeply into living. This habit, and others like it: reading poetry aloud, holding hands while walking, bowing a head in prayer, washing someone’s hands, or extending a cup of tea brings us into the real by pulling us out of time and the tasks that push at us to be completed. Once in this moment, simple gestures lends themselves to creation – to the making of one small world that connects with many other worlds in bonds one has to be still enough to see.
Tea break for the Lynch sisters, Queensland, Australia, State Library of Queensland
The International Arts Movement is a movement. It’s task is to inspire artists and others to create so that the beauty they build can help re-humanize the world. Not an onerous task but one that requires a belief in the power of beauty. For some, this is a call, a vocation that rests within. It is something that artists cannot not do – they are impelled by a force deeper than one can name.
Making a phone call, 1952, Queensland, Australia. “Barbara Quinn wearing a gorgeous black evening dress,” State Library of Queensland.
Henry Fitch Taylor was remembered for experimenting with modernistic painting. An artist who does not practice their craft is not being true to the work that calls him or her to behave differently than others. This isolated time is necessary. This time alone is needed to play into the sound that taps lightly in the heart or on the hand when holding the pen or brush.
Henry Fitch Taylor, circa 1900, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institutions photostream
Dr. Seuss, Mavis Gallant, Robert Frost, Leo Tolstoy, Flannery O’Connor and other storytelling writers bring joy. What could be better than a rainy afternoon and a good book?
Student reading to two little girls. Photographed for 1920 home economics catalog by Troy. Cornell University Library, Human Ecology Historical Photographs
It’s as though all droplets of rain decided to fall together: the alto’s here, the sopranos pitch coming in ’round the tenors clear tone, catching up with the bass that came on their own from somewhere else. If there wasn’t any sound the rains motion alone might be drama enough.
Music Visualizations, Synchoric Orchestra dancing Shubert’s Unfinished Symphony, Arthur Kales photographer, 1919, New York Public Library Denishawn Collection, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, Jerome Robbins Dance Division
Kumquats are not baby oranges and the jury is still out on whether or not they’re even a citrus fruit. Perhaps they are a reverse citrus as the peels themselves are sweet and the fruit is tart. Ours came to us from an Aunt in Montebello whose tree was too full. So instead of marmalade, I took my half and made a chutney with mango, red onions, cilantro, parsley and a dash of sugar.
When I was eight, Papa brought home a wooden slingshot for my siblings and I to practice shooting cans in our backyard. It was a simple slingshot made of wood with ridges in the top V where the flat rubber band wrapped. We practiced and like all toys, grew tired of it when the rubber band broke or when it snapped us in the face.
The new wrist-rockets are more advanced and built for serious shooters – something my siblings and I never became – at least not yet.
Wooden slingshot with rubber made in Mexico(by Zoofari)