Walking induces a trance like state that allows the mind freedom and ease and encourages exploration of odd possibilities and improbable connections.
-Annie Proulx, from Bird Cloud pg 194-95
[found on my walk, Feb 22, 2012]
[polka dot leaf, unaltered, found on my walk, Feb 19 2012]
A child raised to believe that a mountain is the abode of a protective spirit will be a profoundly different human being from a youth brought up to believe that a mountain is simply a pile of inert ore ready to be mined. A child raised to revere the coastal rainforest as the realm of the divine will be a different person from a child taught to believe that such forests are destined to be logged.
-Wade Davis, from his 2009 Massey Lecture, The Wayfinders:Why Ancient Wisdom Matters in the Modern World
[pencil eraser print]
O imagination, you who have the power to impose yourself on our faculties and our wills, stealing us away from the outer world and carrying us off into an inner one, so that even if a thousand trumpets were to sound we would not hear them, what is the source of the visual messages that you receive, if they are not formed from sensations deposited in the memory?
The Utopian founders were seers; they understood the hidden but pre-established language of the world; they had no need to create a second language, it was enough to be receptive to the language that was.
-Carlos Fuentes, from the introduction to 100 Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez (Modern Library edition)
“Magician” was used to describe anyone who possessed any kind of occult knowledge, by occult I mean “hidden”, unknown to the common people. Thanks to such hidden knowledge the magician can make extraordinary things happen. The spirit of magic is about cracking nature’s secret codes. In order to use them for the benefit of the largest number of people.
I have so much going on.
It is all so wonderful that I have to force myself to sit back and let it all sink in. I have some exciting things for you too dear reader, but as usual I cannot talk about them even though I am bursting at the seams. It’s hard when publishing is such a long process, at least a year in advance.
But I am digressing here. What I wanted to talk about is how having two small children has turned my life into a whirlwind of chaos. Of the best and most challenging kind. It is often so very challenging. But as I wrote to my editor last night, it is making me into a better person and artist. My life shrinks and expands to the degree to which I throw myself into the chaos.
Two days ago my living room was turned into a “house”, the floor full of mattresses and pillows (walls), the couches offered different levels (attic and basement). There were two secret portals that gave you access to underground tunnels leading to the house, but “you need a flashlight to see because it is so dark”. One of the tunnels leads to a different “room” each time you enter it.
Today my living room is a hospital full of sick patients which all require constant care. There is a pink cat, a sasquatch, a zebra, and an elephant.
It is fantastic. *If* you let yourself forget about the need to have your house “in order”. What is order anyway? A temporary feeling that all is in control. Fleeting. Really everything is in a state of constant flux. Except we don’t really contemplate that too much because it forces us to acknowledge that we too are always changing and on that road to “the end”. That place that we don’t really know much about and don’t want to contemplate.
Tangent #2 (or is this #3?)
I watched the film “Microcosmos” with my son yesterday and it made me think about all of the worlds, microscopic, underground, in space, down the street, in every house, underfoot, in the corner of my room, in my body, under the sea, in Manhattan, that are all occurring all the time without my being aware of it. This is really a big thought to take in. Perhaps too big for a sleepy monday morning. But anyway, I got very excited about that (I can get very excited about a lot of things, have you noticed that?)
The world is an exciting place. There is always something going on that you want to be looking at and thinking about.
in other news, my Resident Thinker posting for Nowhere Island will be live the week of February 5th. I think it’s worth a visit. I had a lot of fun creating it!
I am incredibly honored and flattered to have been asked to participate in the Nowhere Island Project created by artist Alex Hartley as a part of the next Olympic Games. Alex has created a new nomadic nation which we are invited to join, and asks us the question: “If we were to create a new nation, how might we begin?” I have been asked to be one of the 52 Resident Thinkers, among a very impressive list of artists (including one of my heroes Yoko Ono!). Here are a few words about it…
Nowhereisland has already come to represent the possibilities for thinking about our values and beliefs as citizens. 52 Resident Thinkers from around the world are contributing to a year-long programme of Letters to Nowhereisland. Over 4000 people have already signed up to become citizens of Nowhereisland and will begin collectively writing the island’s constitution from January 2012.
This is a real place on the move. But it belongs to nowhere. It is an island nation that has come from a place that is deeply implicated by global decisions. It offers us the chance to reflect on where we belong and what nationhood means, and, in a time of global crisis, it opens up an opportunity to debate and consider important global questions that affect us all.
You can go read more about this incredible project. And while you are there you might want to become a citizen!
This is a game created by Bruno Munari found in his book Flight of Fancy.
“Let’s imagine a land flat as a sheet of paper, in fact let’s take a sheet of paper and a black felt-tipped pen with a large round tip and mark some dots at random on the paper, skipping about with the pen held upright.
Let’s look at [the dots] as reference points around which and with which we will establish clusters – connections – formal relationships – using straight lines, curved lines or lines of dots, or whatever. The game consists in inventing lots of different ways of connecting, linking, grouping together these dots.
Let’s get some copies done of this group of dots right away (twenty? twenty-seven? eighteen? thirty-five?…) Here’s the pack of copies which I’m about to place on the table. I take my pen out of the right-hand pocket of my jacket and I start connecting the dots.”
Do you see why I love him so?
note: in this game you do not have to literally “connect” the dots, you can group them, enclose them or link them somehow.
Playing with Bruno Munari’s book/game. I picked up a few things from Corraini, all Bruno Munari things that I didn’t have. The big hit with my son is the Plus and Minus game, it’s truly genius. Upon receiving the box I sat down and excitedly went through it and found myself red faced and buzzing. This is how it is with me, when I get inspired by something I get fired up, literally. Like the ideas are sending little heatwaves to my face and it radiates outward. I feel like I am vibrating. I find with particular authors who are my favorites I have to force myself to read slowly so as not to get too charged up.