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five years

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I received a nice notice from Word Press, apparently I have been blogging for five years.

They didn’t actually give me a star, I have missed the mark to post every Monday, but life overtakes our best efforts.

I did get the magnetic poem on the dishwasher.

Here dwell the true magicians,

Nature is our servant,

Man is our pupil.

We change, we conquer, we create.

Written by Anna Letitia Barbauld

An amazing woman who lived in England, in the eighteenth century.

Burial Caves

Burial Caves

She was not just a writer and a poet, she was a political activist. Unfortunately, like so many  she fell out of the history books. Why is that? After her lack of support for the Napoleon Wars in 1812, when hey we were at war here too, she lost her support and never published again. She founded a school for women that taught more than the domestic arts, was opposed to slavery and wrote critical reviews of other books.

I found her quote in a book given to me by a friend, Quotes of Women, but clearly they had a whole lot more to contribute then a mere quote can tell.

For that I do have to thank Wikipedia, and the Internet, what else has made the world  so accessible to us?

Lost in Translation

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Something and nothing produce each other.

A quote from a book I have been reading, well mostly looking at the pictures they are fantastic.

But, the quote is apparently by Lao tzu, it doesn’t sound right to my ears.

Here is an alternative form “Being and non-being produce each other.”

That still sounds wrong. Even if we were talking about black holes and dark matter, which we are not, at least I don’t think so, they are we think a continuum not an the Cloud Unknowingequation, but maybe this is profound, and I have not understood it.

Does anyone have a comment or a theory? I am listening.

Garden Art

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Dwarfs, faeries and flamingos so offended an artist, you know the ones, adorning the lawns of our neighbours that one night he abducted them, the idea to hold them for ransom. When caught, his reasoning was that it offended his artistic sensibilities. The owners should pay for the eyesore they inflicted.

We actually don’t have any control over what is displayed in the public domain, or how it is represented, even if we are the artist. That is something we learned the hard way. Chris’ windows can be freely photographed and reproduced on coffee mugs, tee shirts, note cards with no credit to who made the work, the post cards are copyrighted, but apparently not the source of the postcard. Interesting world, interesting sensibilities that allow the original creator to be unnamed.

But, we do have by-lays as I am learning. Never having had neighbours before it is a new idea for me.

It is an interesting idea, to abduct, hold ransom that which offends our idea of beauty, aesthetics.

I have plans for our back garden. But, I can stand on the back porch and see seven neighbouring houses. Is this a public or private place, it is not street front, do I need their permission?metal sculpture

carpe diem

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A assembled found object sculpture that I made years ago, and moved to our new place.

That is the message engraved in the stone, seize the day.

Smile again!

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Mona Lisa times two

Mona Lisa times two

I really love this photo.

Does anyone know what if feels like to have people close to you say,  smile; it will make you feel better?

Today was a beautiful day, but did I smile? Probably not. But, I do laugh more then most, I figure that is enough.


Is Life Compromise?

I have been reading a booklet, 1001 ways to save the Earth. I think we are a day late and a dollar short, but I live with hope.

I am at item two hundred sixty-three, and have learned one new thing. Apparently, they are now building houses that recycle grey water for other things.

I had friends living in a community were water was scarce; they opened up their drain traps put a bucket underneath to catch the grey water and recycled that water into the garden. An easy solution, but not mentioned in the book. The book talks about a system that is installed to recycle grey water for other home uses. That for me is a new use of technology.

My first year in High School a group of us spent two weekends dredging our local gullies of abandoned waste. It was quite a pile we accumulated. We used some to create a monument in our local park. No one thanked us for our trouble. The community saw it as an eye sore and nothing else. No connection was made.

This was years after Rachel Carson’s book, Silent Spring. A fellow student was studying fungi that year. She was dismayed at their decrease in nature. For her it was like the canary in the coal mines, a portent of things to come.

When fresh out of college I was travelling Canada by bus and train with my own coffee mug. David Suzuki was still studying the life of fruit flies.

For me, the good news is finally people are waking up.

happy families

happy families

I unearthed another list today.

metal sculpture

These were notes I made after a meeting with a Landscape Architect and a Set Designer from Stratford Festival. The three of us united to design a collaborative work for the Stratford Garden Festival. I enjoyed working within a group, sharing ideas and thoughts.

Mercy: syn. Benevolence, benignity, blessing, clemency, compassion, favour, forbearance, forgiveness, gentleness, grace, kindness, leniency, mildness, pardon, pity, tenderness

Language: most direct route to intellectual engagement, emotion, and reflection

Nurturing/healing is more to do with physical reality, environment.

Healing is process – engagement with life. i.e. a burnt forest regenerating into another kind of community.

We eventually decided on a direction. The springboard for it was supplied by the set designer, a rod twelve feet long, eight feet high that emitted a soft fall of water, almost a mist. To that, the landscape architect designed a garden that was to be arid, rock and sand with a few succulents. It reminded me of the wash down a mountainside.

To this, I added three sculptures, one in front of the water bound to earth, one in the fall of water moving toward flight, the third to soar. This illusion was achieved by using clear glass as base supports, the two sculptures then float in space, falling, suspended for flight.

It was a winter’s work to build them. The day I finished the final inlays of tile and seashells the phone rang. The garden never was built, and I have yet to see the three together in the landscape.

A few weeks before we were to move I attended a local party. I said to people who had collected my work in the past that the garden sculpture was on a first come first serve basis, all free.

Well, the next morning at nine Christa turned up with a big truck, a trailer and a backhoe, with three helpers. They had it all moved within an hour.

My garden sculptures are now a meditation garden at a local resort.

Someday I will go see it, just not this day.

A view of the garden done with found objects

wire and mirrors