Three years (1095 days) ago today the first posting appeared on this blog. Since then, 1084 additional postings have appeared, today being #1086. I'm grateful to the readers and commenters that have helped make My Minnesota worth doing. Thank you for reading, commenting and following.
Something that's concerned me as I've done my best daily to post thoughts, feelings, rants, raves, plus related photos and poems, is that there's rarely opportunity to write a first draft, let it sit for awhile, and then do a rewrite. Future posts may be less frequent in the interest of being better crafted. It's entirely too easy to fall into the trap of focusing on quantity over quality. I've found my photography more satisfying as my craftsmanship improves. I want to follow a similar path with my writing and, on a good day, my thinking. If you're a frequent reader, you may have noticed that the relationship among craftsmanship, local foods, economies and sustainable living (bioregionalism) has become of increasing interest to me. I've just started reading the current issue of Trim Tab magazine and am really heartened to note that its theme is crafts and crafts(wo)men. If you're not careful, this is interest in historic preservation, local foods, baking your own bread and such can do to you. I highly recommend it.
I'm grateful to still have in my possession a wooden bowl that, as I recall, I inherited from my mother. I think she may even have inherited it from her mother. (Or, maybe it came through my Better Half's mother and grandmother.) In any case, every so often, I contemplate the pleasures of using something even older than I am. Unlike smart phones, vehicles, computers and many of the other accoutrements of modern life, newer isn't always better. (There's a reason to never be among the first to try a dot zero version of software.) I still treasure a hand-knitted wool hat my friend and landlady at the time made for me as a Christmas present almost 50 years ago. If you're interested in preservation and craftsmanship and restoration and such, and haven't yet read it, I suggest you see if your local library system or independent book store can get you a copy of The Same Ax Twice. Here's a sampling from the New York Times. As I look about and note what our corporate and political leaders have sold us as "progress," I see restoration as a growth craft.
inherited wooden bowl, ~100 years old
Photo by J. Harrington
Monet Refuses the Operation
Doctor, you say there are no haloesaround the streetlights in Parisand what I see is an aberrationcaused by old age, an affliction.I tell you it has taken me all my lifeto arrive at the vision of gas lamps as angels,to soften and blur and finally banishthe edges you regret I don’t see,to learn that the line I called the horizondoes not exist and sky and water,so long apart, are the same state of being.Fifty-four years before I could seeRouen cathedral is builtof parallel shafts of sun,and now you want to restoremy youthful errors: fixednotions of top and bottom,the illusion of three-dimensional space,wisteria separatefrom the bridge it covers.What can I say to convince youthe Houses of Parliament dissolvenight after night to becomethe fluid dream of the Thames?I will not return to a universeof objects that don’t know each other,as if islands were not the lost childrenof one great continent. The worldis flux, and light becomes what it touches,becomes water, lilies on water,above and below water,becomes lilac and mauve and yellowand white and cerulean lamps,small fists passing sunlightso quickly to one anotherthat it would take long, streaming hairinside my brush to catch it.To paint the speed of light!Our weighted shapes, these verticals,burn to mix with airand change our bones, skin, clothesto gases. Doctor,if only you could seehow heaven pulls earth into its armsand how infinitely the heart expandsto claim this world, blue vapor without end.
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