The poetry of hands, 54


Mountain house glow

"But how are you to see into a virtuous Soul & know its loveliness? Withdraw into yourself & look. And if you do not find yourself beautiful yet, act as does the creator of a statue that is to be made beautiful: he cuts away here, he smooths there, he makes this line lighter, this other purer, until a lovely face has grown upon his work.

So do you also: cut away all that is excessive, straighten all that is crooked, bring light to all that is overcast, labour to make all one glow of beauty & never cease chiseling your statue..."
~ an excerpt from Beauty by John O'Donohue (via Mitza)

What they call abstract is what is most realistic

Preying Mantis on the porch one evening

"Work like a slave; command like a king; create like a god."

~ Romanian sculpter Constantin Brancusi who made his career in Paris (he grew up close to the Carpathian Mountains, an area known for its traditional folk crafts like woodcarving; geometric patterns of the region can be seen in his works)


An enhanced design from the Rijksmuseum

“It is not true that people stop pursuing dreams because they grow old, they grow old because they stop pursuing dreams.”

~ Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez

A purposeful art

Blvd-du-palais-paris_1870-1889Image of the Boulevard du Palais in Paris, circa 1870-1889 from the Rijksmuseum

Indeed, the city has a centuries-old tradition of solo exploration, personified by the flâneur, or stroller. Flânerie is, in its purest form, a goal-less pursuit, though for some it evolved into a purposeful art: Walking and observing became a method of understanding a city, an age. Baudelaire described the flâneur as a passionate spectator, one who was fond of “botanizing on the asphalt,” as the essayist Walter Benjamin would later put it.

~ an excerpt from Solo in Paris

Avoid monotony, girls

Rabbit-rabbitRe-creation: water bottles recycled into felt, then cut and stitched into rabbits that are steadied with a recycled wine cork / April 2014

The fact is that we shall not get perfect understanding until we come to realize that beauty and fitness and harmony are not merely things which we like, but which we can do well enough without, but are necessary to health and happiness, since it is being more and more clearly proven that spirit jar and mind irritation and brain disturbance are fruitful sources of nervous diseases, and lead to the shattering of the physical system. Pleasure helps to digest the food, to send the blood properly through time veins, and to keep the brain in equilibrium.

Some hour of the day or evening is usually free to every one. That hour should be given to something which relaxes and stimulates. Entertainment is sometimes spoken of as "childish." That it is childish, that it is something which, for the time being, brushes care aside, and relieves time mind of stress and strain, renders it for the entire mentality that which its name indicates: re-creation.

Avoid monotony, girls, as you would mortal sin. If it does not lead you into mortal sin it leaves you in devastating sadness. "A merry heart doeth good like a medicine."

~ an excerpt from "Occupations for women: a book of practical suggestions for the material advancement, the mental and physical development, and the moral and spiritual uplift of women" by Frances Elizabeth Willard (1897)

The dictum of common sense

The-dictum-of-common-senseMan arrested for "violating the dictum of common sense" / NYTimes Sept. 7, 1926 /

We need only the dictum of common sense to decide that the things which soothe us entertain us satisfy our hearts, are helpful things. Have you not been in rooms where every individual piece of furniture was, in shape and shade, at war with every other piece, and gone away weary, disgusted, belligerent, without perhaps knowing what had caused your soul-ferment? Have you not entered, tired, heated, irritated, into an apartment where every article of furniture was in entire relation of form, and in perfect harmony of tint with every other article, and gone out calmed and refreshed and strengthened?

~ excerpt from "Occupations for women: a book of practical suggestions for the material advancement, the mental and physical development, and the moral and spiritual uplift of women" by Frances Elizabeth Willard (1897)

The poetry of hands, 53

Poetry-of-hands_breadThink about the work of your hands / April 2014

"It is the first day because it has never been before and the last day because it will never be again. Be alive if you can all through this day today of your life. What's to be done? What's to be done?
Follow your feet. Put on the coffee. Start the orange juice, the bacon, the toast. Then go wake up your children and your wife. Think about the work of your hands, the book that of all conceivable things you have chosen to add to the world's pain. Live in the needs of the day."

~ Frederick Buechner