Tracks left by a visiting rabbit:
I am thankful for two snow days used to rest, let my mind wander and do a little cooking before tomorrow’s difficult day.
We lost two more students this week. It had been a while since a similar tragedy had struck our school but all the sour, painful, deep emotions came back quickly as if they had never left.
Years ago during a summer break I took a pewtersmithing class. It seemed interesting and pewter was a material with which I had no experience. One of the pieces I felt I had to make was a box to hold leaves. That fall I collected some brightly colored leaves that faded, shriveled or broke into fragile bits so they were eventually thrown out. It wasn’t a very practical box but it was one of my favorite pieces so I carefully wrapped it in fabric and stored it away.
I met my future-husband a couple of years later. A year after that I was helping him clean out the room he rented in a house shared with friends. Most of the furniture had been moved out, the floor was swept clean and we went upstairs for one final check. There were a few dried leaves left on a small shelf which he picked up and considered. “These things are so old I guess I should just get rid of them…” but he hesitated. I suggested he keep them if they are important and asked what they were. He explained that the leaves came from a Bodhi tree, and were given to him by his mom as he left his home country over 20 years ago. The leaves had survived a move to California, then Oregon, DC, Florida and a return move to DC. I told him I could find a safe place for the leaves.
I took the leaves carefully to the car and held on to them as he drove to my mostly-packed-up condo. I was able to find the empty leaf box, show him what I had felt the need to make years ago and we decided it was a good place for the well-traveled leaves to rest.
2014: Year of the Horse
I shared the following excerpt on perfection with some of my advanced students. I asked them to highlight the most important ideas within the three short pages and we would discuss their thoughts the next day. One of the first comments was from an eager young woman who struggles with idea development. She said,
“I really liked reading this because I have never thought about not trying to be perfect“.
Bayles, David and Ted Orlando. Art & Fear: Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking. Santa Barbara: Capra, 1997. 29-31. Print.