Monday, January 4, 2010

Slowly Getting Back Off The Dime

On New Year’s Day, we took down the Christmas tree. This year’s tree was a balsam, thinned from a sustainable plantation, and bought at Urban Earth. Urban Earth is a cooperative florist and garden shop in Minneapolis’ Uptown Neighborhood. We had a good time with the woman who was staffing the store, tying it to the top of the car, and liked it’s spare, nineteenth century look. It reminded us of the tree on Spode Christmas china, and we decorated it less opulently than usual -- fewer lights, and only smaller, more old fashioned ornaments. I was in house slippers, and the snow was deep and cold, so I heaved the tree unceremoniously out the door to await further attention...

...thinking, as I did so, of Kakuzo’s comments about master flower arrangers in The Book of Tea. Flowers that have acquitted themselves as nobly as our tree shouldn’t be discarded casually. A master will cremate wilted flowers, or cast them upon the current of a clear brook. We prune our old trees. The needles mulch strawberries, and the trunks become trellises for clematis or beans. Until then, the poor bastard’s gonna have to freeze in the snow.

The blog has been on hold over the holidays. I’ve mentioned before that I’ve become less sure of my opinions about the course the world is on, and what kind of strategy we need to go forward. The world has enough naive idiots who are adamant about some complicated theory or other. I think I’d go to hell if I joined that army.

Besides contributing labor to Barbara and Jason’s booming cottage industry, I spent recent days cranking out fifty-plus unique, drawn and collaged holiday cards. I scanned one for a recent post, and here are three more. The colored paper is standard copy paper -- three cards per sheet --and the art paper is a 500 pound hot-pressed watercolor paper. It’s all held together with glue-stick glue, so it’s hardly archival, but these cards are the largest -- maybe the only -- actual series I’ve ever done, in which I’ve tried to see how many variations I could get from limited materials and imagery.

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