Posts Tagged ‘Inspiration’
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.
I had picked the two dandelions while walking home in the rain. The seed heads were wet but still intact. They looked like rain-soaked baby chicks, all spiky and glistening. I remember my goal that day was to get the stems home and photograph them before they fell apart. A piece of black slate formed the background. I’ve yet to sort through the photos. I was surprised to see the next day that the seed heads had not disintegrated but had in fact puffed up.
When I showed them to a small friend, who’s big into science these days, I started to describe the dandelion anatomy. But when I tried to talk about the seeds and the “parachutes” that allow them to sail across the sky, my little friend became quite adamant. “No, no, no,” she said. “These are fairies and the white, wispy parts are their wings.” We stared at each other for a while and then I said, “Well, my dear, let’s go set some fairies free then.” She cupped the dandelions in her hands and we went in search of an open window.
I just enhanced the brightness and contrast of a recent picture of Japanese maple branches in foreground and oak tree branches in the background. The original picture was badly out of focus and I almost hit delete but I decided to pause and just play with the pixels a bit.
maybe a blue moon rises
or the black velvet night becomes filled with stars.