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Monthly Archives: January 2014
The Rhythm and the Algorithm
“No Smoking in Workshop.” I laughed.
“There’s nobody in it, ergo they all smoke.”
“Quod erat demonstrandum – not – mathematician. They could’ve been abducted by aliens.”
“Bigfoot?” Continue reading
I’ve written already about why my word for 2014 is Mindfulness and that one of the tools I’d be using for this would be to start journaling again on a daily basis, something I’d let drop in 2013, with, I believed, disastrous results. So I’ve been doing my Morning Pages (á la Julia Cameron’s creativity recovery course The Artist’s Way). Continue reading
This is an excerpt from the 1996 film version of Jane Austen’s Emma, with Emma (Gwyneth Paltrow) duetting charmingly with Frank Churchill (Ewan McGregor). The song is an English version of a Handel aria, Non Lo Diro Col Labbro. The English song wasn’t created, however, until 100 years after Jane Austen wrote Emma. Ah, well, poetic licence … Continue reading
The Amber Lake
This week’s word to contemplate from Hone Life, is yellow. (Do check out Hone Life for the complete collection of reflections on the word of the week).
Though yellow conjures up sunshine and spring – warmth, growth, abundance, renewal – for me it’s a difficult colour to work with as an artist – it’s a bullying colour – and I can’t go near the yellow of a rapeseed crop in full bloom; that’s a yellow that plunges hot pokers into my eyes. I was pondering how to write sympathetically about yellow while working on a little mixed media collage/assemblage. The penny dropped when coating the substrate with shellac. I was using amber shellac. I thought immediately of heavy water.
This is the heavy water Gaston Bachelard writes about in Water and Dreams: An Essay on the Imagination of Matter. It’s in reference to the poems of Edgar Allen Poe and Bachelard admits in his observations to drawing on the analysis of Poe’s works by Freud enthusiast and benefactor Marie Bonaparte.
Amber is fossilised pine tree resin, secreted in response to injury, to seal and sterilise. It is probably observation of this which led to medicinal uses of amber, which date back to the time of Hippocrates, and forward to the early 20th century. One could say then of amber that it is a yellow which heals. Continue reading
If you’ve been reading my blog since the turn of the year you’ll know I’ve been busy with my goals plans and timetables for the upcoming year, that I want to consolidate a lot of work in progress, and in order to do that, realised I need to be more focused. Mindfulness, therefore, is my chosen word for 2014. Continue reading
Conscious with the sense of having lain watching a sun rising through mists. Cold I saw I was naked amongst bracken. Rising to walk I clothed myself in fern feather twig and herb plucked from the forest floor. Hungry I foraged with other forest creatures. Years passed in deprivation. Continue reading
The given word to ponder for the week from Hone Life was Comfort. What makes me comfortable? Surprisingly, what has persisted in my mind is a paradox. It seems that what makes me most comfortable is being uncomfortable. Does this make me a masochist? No, not really, because it’s about the place in which I most like to be. Continue reading
I returned this morning to my singing lessons after the Christmas break. It was bad. This song is magnificent and I magnificently massacred it.
The Lord’s Prayer is a composition by Albert Hay Malotte. Malotte was born in Philadelphia in 1895 and died in Los Angeles in 1964. He was a boy scout and choir boy and when he grew up he became an organist, starting his career playing for silent movies in Chicago, then later on the US and European concert circuit. Continue reading
I once wrote a poem in which I came up with the unforgettable alliteration: “A palimpsest of paths …” It was a battle to convince myself that it had to go! In the end, palimpsest became, “… layering …”
We like layers in nature. While layers signify impermanence, they also represent continuity and bestow character. I walk in nature – for spiritual, emotional and physical health. And as a walker I’ve become aware that less than a hand’s depth down into a dirt path is evidence of those who have walked it afore me. Continue reading