Thursday, March 25, 2010

Trick or Treat

Today we get a history lesson. "All Souls' Eve" has its origins in ancient Europe. Culture to culture, eventually to England where "good-hearted celebrators dressed as ghouls or ghosts went "a-souling" door to door... to beg food for the poor."

Sadly, yet another communal celebration bastardized by capitalism.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Dad's Indiscretion

Today's miniature is best read in context. Buy the book and read it from the beginning. Once you get to page 190, you'll be caught up with this post.

I have not had any encounters in my life that could have lead to "... children and their innumerable children and their innumerable children and innumerable, innumerable cousins ..." So far I've escaped fatherhood. This is an odd source of pride for me.

For the wood design enthusiast. Elbert Hubbard was the mover behind Roycroft. His implementation of the Arts and Craft ethos lives on today. There is a lot to be learned here including an hour long video produced by PBS.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

The Patriot

Today I learned a new word, jingoistic. Jingoism is defined in the Oxford English Dictionary as "extreme patriotism in the form of aggressive foreign policy".

Robert Aitken is quite the story teller. 

My father was proud of his prowess at scratch off lottery tickets. Winning a few dollars made his day in a way that I never could understand. From time to time he  would ask me to send him scratch off lottery tickets from Idaho because we have different games. He told me once that those who play the Powerball type lotteries were fools easily separated from their money. He hoped to win big by scratching.

He never did.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Mother's Inability

Robert Aitken's mother was a talented and engaged woman who raised two sons. She was troubled in her relationship with her mother.  Aitken confesses, "This karma affected her marriage, and ultimately me, I'm sure, though I lack the insight to say just how."

"I lack the insight to say just how." Thank you roshi for this teaching. The rains don't come and the wind blows hard. I eat my dinner alone. Knowing or not knowing is not the trouble. Want one or the other and the road to hell is paved with questions. 

Sycamore spoons, roughed out and ready for finishing.
carving by Will Simpson
From Spoonery

Listen to an NHPR 2004 recorded interview with ... "Dan Dustin is a wood artisan and spoon maker from Contoocook, New Hampshire. He's been using his own unique method of making wooden spoons for 30 years. He begins by going into the woods, and "finding" the spoons within the branches of trees. He says the trees make the spoons, he just discovers them. His spoons cost as much as $100."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Impressing Mom and Dad

"They were of the earth, earthy, and were not easily impressed."
With this we see our own limits of expression. What sweeps away our grounding, points out to us where we are moored? Comfortable in a skin of nature, of art, of literature, of technology. What brings us to this 'impressed'? The lightness of 'impressed' sings in the heart of this little boy.

Lunch time walkabout, Honey Bees working the plum blossoms, I left my smile there for you to find.