It was a delight to receive an email from graphic design artist and photographer Cindy Dyer earlier this year. I had “liked” a post on her beautiful blog and she had visited mine in response. She liked enough of what she saw to invite me to include my essay, Seeds, in the Spring 2013 issue of her digital magazine, Celebrate Home. The issue is on newsstands now, so to speak, free to download and print issues can be purchased. Seeds can be found on page 95 but I encourage to check out all of the writing, imagery, and recipes to found in this lovely publication. And you can check out Cindy’s blogs via the following links: http://www.cindydyer.wordpress.com/ and http://www.gardenmuse.wordpress.com/
I’m a lucky person. Adults tell me stories. Children like to give me art. Or sell it to me for good causes. I don’t only accept the art to make the child feel good. I accept the art because it is unpretentious and celebrates a freedom of expression. The child artists in this post are between the ages of three and ten years old, live in different parts of the country and do not know each other. They are different ethnicities. Some are related by blood, and others I’ve come to know through friends. I encourage them to send (or sell) me more images. Maybe one day they’ll send me their words.
A few flowers along a city path in Somerville. Have a good Friday, folks.
I have learned that my brother and I have been independently dreaming of front porches. We live in homes now that have porches of a sort but not the porch of our childhood. Each of us is feeling that call that comes at this time of year to make ready the porch. Paint and put out the chairs. Hope the maple tree next door will provide enough shade. Try to grow some potted plants. And so on. In honor of those memories, I share this link to an essay I wrote not long after moving up north from down south: Sitting on the Front Porch.
By the way, when I wrote this essay, my brother still lived in the house. He now rents it to an older lady who likes to grow tomato plants in all available space including along the front porch. And the elderly lady who appears near the end of the essay is still alive. I visited her during a trip back to Virginia. She was very welcoming from her front porch and even took us inside to sit for a bit where her children had to remind her at some point, “Mama, you are 99 not 89.” Her response was “Is that right?” And so it goes.
I hope my five-year old friend doesn’t stop seeing the fairies in the dandelions after she starts school. Maybe, in part, it was that thought that made the following article catch my attention: In Your Mind Was Once a Cathedral by Michael Michalko. I am a generalist and so I have been privileged to work with people across many different fields of interest. One thing many have in common is a concern that young people entering the workforce seem to have an increasing inability to think outside the box. They are extremely facile with social media tools and especially texting and yet at the same time seem less capable of using their hands. If answers can’t be found in a printed manual or Wikipedia, they don’t know how to take out a blank piece of paper (or lined yellow pad) and sketch out alternative ideas. Or even how to ask questions. Perhaps an oversimplification but I’ve seen enough examples firsthand for Michalko’s article at the Creativity Portal to resonate and make me want to share. Many other interesting articles there as well. Enjoy.