Saturday, June 24, 2017

Letting go of imperfection

Thouigh I measured the width of candles, and then used a calculator to figure shrinkage, then tried to make the cups the right size, they were too large! So I tried to sell this nice candlestand this way, using various things to hold the candles in place...but if it's not perfect, why keep apologizing?

So it had the hammer treatment today.  Time to let go of a nice idea which I spent hours on, and it actually looked pretty nice...but why keep it around if it's not that useable?  Indeed.  There are more things waiting to be made, to be used, to be treasured.  This isn't what I intended, so it is destroyed.

Today's quote:

An optimist isn't necessarily a blithe, sappy whistler in the dark. To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic... If we remember those times and places where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction.
Howard Zinn

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Camping out

A camping trip is:


  • a chance to get back to nature

High Falls, GA

  • an opportunity to live out-doors
Blog posted in April about ropes to hold canvas up

  • a way to re-establish your skills dealing with the unknown (man vs. nature!)

  • a chance to relax (how many times did you bring a book? and read it?)
Pisgah National Forest, NC

  • a different view of the world
  •  connect to the lives of your ancestors who lived a lot rougher life

  • a way to cook over a tiny stove or an open fire

  • an opportunity to have a campfire
Lake Tomahawk, NC
  • a place where exercise is available

  • a place where there will be less distractions between family/friends and better communication
a way young people can frolic around without many restraints

  • a place where there is limited cooking/eating/clothing/bedding as well as the way to care for them

  • a way to set limits on the luxuries that we're used to

  • a place to stay that's less expensive than motels/hotels/restaurants

My sculpted Model of camper on blog in 2012

  • hot/wet/muggy/cold/dry/uncomfortable in some way

 Camping Sucks And You Know It - MyCityGossip - MyCityGossip

  • full of bugs and nasty creatures

  • a way to look for new creatures on nature walks/hunting?

  • an opportunity to meet other campers/hikers

  • and a great way to appreciate coming home! 

I'm sharing these photos (a mix of mine and the internet's) for Sepia Saturday this week.

a way young people can frolic around without many restraints

a way young people can frolic around without many restraints

appologies for the awful formatting which blogger gave me when I tried to put bullet points into it! Argh!

More inspiration and art.

Great design work by Escher.

I thought, briefly, of doing something like this on my pottery.  Well,  I did think about it!  Stop laughing at the absurdity of me being able to paint with glazes anything like this.  I am still considering it.  Mainly I'm thinking of how shape, form, depth of coloration, line, mass and so on make something happen that is beyond the simple design.

Large bowl with bee and flower, an order that's late being delivered!

Quote for today:

Because we instinctively know that nature is good for us on many levels, it's not unusual to feel powerfully drawn to it.   
Madisyn Taylor - Daily Om

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Summer Solstice 2017

There's all kinds of talk about the August eclipse...plans are being made.
I don't do that.
I figure it will be raining or cloudy and we'll just notice a dimming of the light.

I used to figure out where would be a good place to see celestial events.  A week ago I even walked into the parking lot and found a place between street lights to look for the International Space Station as it flew overhead.  I saw only scattered clouds, and not a single star, either stationary or zooming along with people inside it.

But the sun will come up on June 21, somewhere.  So I can honor the longest day of the year, which is considered the official beginning of summer these days.

I have a new ritual.  I take the cat in my arms, which she only allows me to do when she is hungry when I first wake in the morning.  We then talk and walk to kitchen and open the door which faces east, and will share a view of the earliest peek at sunshine.  Of course it's coming through tree branches, but it's still bright enough to blind my poor sensitive eyes.

The purr from my friend makes up for the lack of chants by a choir of pagans or others.  Birds may chirp, but seldom will fly by to entice the interest of my friend.  She's found they do live outside our windows in the bushes, and may sit for hours watching their lives. At times a feral cat may wander along, and she may rush from one window to another to get a better view, but doesn't ever call out to the other.  We have our fish tank still, and she may watch the Nature Shows on PBS with me, especially when a small cat or fox is hunting. Such is nature in my neighborhood.

I love driving out into the lanes and parkways nearby, and often sit in woodsy areas to absorb the setting, the air, the breeze, the sounds.

So no matter what the weather may bring, I celebrate my connection to all life, to the Source of all, the sun without which we'd never have come into being.  Pretty awesome.

Quote for today:

"Isn't it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?"  - L.M. Montgomery (author of Anne of Green Gables)

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Inspired words and nature and pottery choices

President John F. Kennedy: Remarks at Amherst College, October 26, 1963 - Transcript

Our national strength matters, but the spirit which informs and controls our strength matters just as much. This was the special significance of Robert Frost. He brought an unsparing instinct for reality to bear on the platitudes and pieties of society. His sense of the human tragedy fortified him against self-deception and easy consolation. "I have been" he wrote, "one acquainted with the night." And because he knew the midnight as well as the high noon, because he understood the ordeal as well as the triumph of the human spirit, he gave his age strength with which to overcome despair. At bottom, he held a deep faith in the spirit of man, and it is hardly an accident that Robert Frost coupled poetry and power, for he saw poetry as the means of saving power from itself. When power leads men towards arrogance, poetry reminds him of his limitations. When power narrows the areas of man's concern, poetry reminds him of the richness and diversity of his existence. When power corrupts, poetry cleanses. For art establishes the basic human truth which must serve as the touchstone of our judgment.
The artist, however faithful to his personal vision of reality, becomes the last champion of the individual mind and sensibility against an intrusive society and an officious state. The great artist is thus a solitary figure. He has, as Frost said, a lover's quarrel with the world. In pursuing his perceptions of reality, he must often sail against the currents of his time. This is not a popular role. If Robert Frost was much honored in his lifetime, it was because a good many preferred to ignore his darker truths. Yet in retrospect, we see how the artist's fidelity has strengthened the fibre of our national life.
If sometimes our great artists have been the most critical of our society, it is because their sensitivity and their concern for justice, which must motivate any true artist, makes him aware that our Nation falls short of its highest potential. I see little of more importance to the future of our country and our civilization than full recognition of the place of the artist.
If art is to nourish the roots of our culture, society must set the artist free to follow his vision wherever it takes him. We must never forget that art is not a form of propaganda; it is a form of truth. And as Mr. MacLeish once remarked of poets, there is nothing worse for our trade than to be in style. In free society art is not a weapon and it does not belong to the spheres of polemic and ideology. Artists are not engineers of the soul. It may be different elsewhere. But democratic society--in it, the highest duty of the writer, the composer, the artist is to remain true to himself and to let the chips fall where they may. In serving his vision of the truth, the artist best serves his nation. And the nation which disdains the mission of art invites the fate of Robert Frost's hired man, the fate of having "nothing to look backward to with pride, and nothing to look forward to with hope."
I look forward to a great future for America, a future in which our country will match its military strength with our moral restraint, its wealth with our wisdom, its power with our purpose. I look forward to an America which will not be afraid of grace and beauty, which will protect the beauty of our natural environment, which will preserve the great old American houses and squares and parks of our national past, and which will build handsome and balanced cities for our future.
I look forward to an America which will reward achievement in the arts as we reward achievement in business or statecraft. I look forward to an America which will steadily raise the standards of artistic accomplishment and which will steadily enlarge cultural opportunities for all of our citizens. And I look forward to an America which commands respect throughout the world not only for its strength but for its civilization as well. And I look forward to a world which will be safe not only for democracy and diversity but also for personal distinction.
Robert Frost was often skeptical about projects for human improvement, yet I do not think he would disdain this hope. As he wrote during the uncertain days of the Second War:
Take human nature altogether since time began . . .
And it must be a little more in favor of man,
Say a fraction of one percent at the very least . . .
Our hold on this planet wouldn't have so increased.
Because of Mr. Frost's life and work, because of the life and work of this college, our hold on this planet has increased.
Text and recording courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Library and the U.S. National Archives.