Sunday, March 02, 2014
My task this week is to describe my studio/creative space.
I don’t have a studio as such, more a bunch of cubby holes where I store materials for when I decide to do that particular activity. Once, I used to do bobbin lace but gave all the boards and bobbins to a local club after the earthquakes as the clean-up then required serious decluttering. Even in the midst of disaster Christchurch people found opportunity for art: we had the bulls on pianos, and poetry boards set up on vacant sites.
Along with them went the detritus of other attempts at creativity, such as ceramic painting although I have kept a couple of plates I finished. Where my old paint box is is a mystery and I suspect it too might have been a victim of the need to dispose of anything not strictly necessary. However, I did have a nostalgia trip when I recovered my box of coloured pencils which was lurking in the bottom of a cupboard, neglected and forlorn!
Many of them come from the Keswick Pencil Company in Cumbria where I was born, and others from an art shop in Newcastle where I was allowed to buy a couple of extra special pencils every week. I’m 68 now so you can see that they are a childhood treasure to me. They are in an ancient Nestle chocolate box; perhaps they deserve better housing?
Other pencils and tools are in the desk, perhaps the coloured pencils should join them!
My sewing, knitting and crochet materials are also tucked away in boxes in the bottom of the guest wardrobe. Alas, the sewing machine is in yet another cupboard. It’s an old, but faithful, Bernina.
Why this neglect of these things? Well, here is the corner that takes up most of my time these days. More specifically, every quarter I write and distribute an electronic family history newsletter. Now this might not strictly meet the criteria for creativity but I have never really liked the term “creative” writing because to some degree all writing is creative. My work with the family magazine involves the imaginative recreation of personalities and events, as well as the more scholarly jobs of research and reporting usually associated with these things. Large sections of the publication are devoted to encouraging personal recollections and impressions for inclusion: I have just received the account my 90 year old English cousin wrote of her visit some years ago to the Gallipoli Peninsula where so many Australian and New Zealand soldiers (the ANZACS) died in 1915. And I’ve been forced to learn about illustrations and layout as the cousin who was going to help me with this has, through no fault of his own, been unable to do very much. So there is the story behind the following photograph. I know it looks like layers of geological material but I do know where everything is!
Friday, February 28, 2014
..... so I walked round the block a couple of times for exercise, like this:
Wednesday, February 26, 2014
We’re gathering for the Spring Term at Hogwarts and I’m about to move into my dorm.
Hinny, my owl, has gone before me to scope the work to be done. As a reward I have begun her own anthology for daytime reading!
There is a place between an owl
and a tall crowd of equal lines,
a wood of wishbone trees.
Half air, half village,
it murmurs, like the mind upon the brain
and people with carrier bags
walking symmetrically between their hands,
they live like that in a poise of pressures.
The neighbours regard each oddity until it goes . . .
At eight o'clock, I opened the window to the woods
and an owl about the size of a vicar
tumbled across in a boned gown
and then a fleet of owls, throwing the hoot between them,
owls with two faces singing Ave and Ouch Ave and Ouch . . .
and you and I - comprehension burst its container
twice, in that the ear
extends through us beyond the ear -
we grew aware of the villagers
in bird clothes afloat among the trees
singing Libera me Domine Deo
and the disseverence of ourselves,
as if we stood, one dead, the other alone.
Extract from Is Life Worth Living?
'When hazel-nuts wax brown and plump,
And apples rosy-red,
And the owlet hoots from hollow stump,
And the dormouse makes its bed.
At twilight they come out.
Like floating paper glide along lanes,
noiselessly dipping over hedges,
or fanning their ghostly way
around the houses, down the avenues,
ears and eyes set for the kill
The owls that roost in the black yew
Along one limb in solemn state,
And with a red eye look you through,
Are eastern gods; they meditate.
No feather stirs on them, not one,
Until that melancholy hour
When night, supplanting the weak sun,
Resumes her interrupted power.
Their attitude instructs the wise
To shun all action, all surprise.
Suppose there passed a lovely face, —
Who even longs to follow it,
Must feel for ever the disgrace
Of having all but moved a bit.
— Edna St. Vincent Millay, Flowers of Evil (NY: Harper and Brothers
Sous les ifs noirs qui les abritent
Les hiboux se tiennent rangés
Ainsi que des dieux étrangers
Dardant leur oeil rouge. Ils méditent.
Sans remuer ils se tiendront
Jusqu'à l'heure mélancolique
Où, poussant le soleil oblique,
Les ténèbres s'établiront.
Leur attitude au sage enseigne
Qu'il faut en ce monde qu'il craigne
Le tumulte et le mouvement;
L'homme ivre d'une ombre qui passe
Porte toujours le châtiment
D'avoir voulu changer de place.
— Charles Baudelaire
Some say goodnight -- at night --
I say goodnight by day --
Good-bye -- the Going utter me --
Goodnight, I still reply --
For parting, that is night,
And presence, simply dawn --
Itself, the purple on the height
Saturday, February 22, 2014
I knew someone trapped in this pancaked building. All during these rescue attempts there were big aftershocks every few minutes.
Get An Email Alert Each Time POPSY190 Posts