Monday, February 25, 2008


I've often wondered what it would be like to do something new every day of my life. It seems that if one were to try to live fully, one's intention would be to create new challenges, be it mental, physical or spiritual.
I recently picked up the book A Joseph Campbell Companion, Reflections on the Art of Living (edited by Diane Osbon) and was so struck by the quote, "The privilege of a lifetime is being who you are." It seems to me that the quest of a lifetime is to try to get closer and closer to that core.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Deep Freeze in the Natural World

Another deep freeze. Woke up to 7 degree weather but the cardinals were singing in the back yard. The sun is shining. Thought I would share some work I did years ago with ice and water. How endlessly fascinating the natural world is.

Friday, February 15, 2008

We All Need Mending

This essay was shared with me by my friend, Ingrid, after discussing the state of the world.
It was written by Susan Cooke Kittredge, senior minister at the Old Meeting House in East Montpelier Center, Vt. Her father was journalist and broadcaster Alistair Cooke.

"Like most women of her generation, my grandmother, whom I called Nonie, was an excellent seamstress. Born in 1879 in Galveston, Texas, she made most of her own clothes. Widowed at 43 and forced to count every penny, she sewed her three daughters' clothes and some of their children's, as well.

I can knit but I cannot sew new creations from tissue-paper patterns. Whenever I try, I break out in a sweat and tear the paper. It clearly requires more patience, more math, more exactitude than I seem willing or capable of giving.

Recently, though, I have come to relish the moments when I sit down and, somewhat clumsily, repair a torn shirt, hem a skirt, patch a pair of jeans, and I realize that I believe in mending. The solace and comfort I feel when I pick up my needle and thread clearly exceeds the mere rescue of a piece of clothing. It is a time to stop, a time to quit running around trying to make figurative ends meet; it is a chance to sew actual rips together. I can't stop the war in Iraq, I can't reverse global warming, I can't solve the problems of my community or the world, but I can mend things at hand. I can darn a pair of socks.

Accomplishing small tasks, in this case saving something that might otherwise have been thrown away, is satisfying and, perhaps, even inspiring.

Mending something is different from fixing it. Fixing it suggests that evidence of the problem will disappear. I see mending as a preservation of history and a proclamation of hope. When we mend broken relationships, we realize that we're better together than apart, and perhaps even stronger for the rip and the repair.

When Nonie was 78 and living alone in a small apartment in New Jersey, a man smashed the window of her bedroom where she lay sleeping and raped her. It was so horrific, as any rape is, that even in our pretty open, highly verbal family, no one mentioned it. I didn't learn about it for almost five years. What I did notice, though, was that Nonie stopped sewing new clothes. All she did was to mend anything she could get her hands on as though she could somehow soothe the wound, piece back together her broken heart, soul and body by making sure that nothing appeared unraveled or undone as she had been.

Mending doesn't say, "This never happened." It says instead, as I believe the Christian cross does, "Something or someone was surely broken here, but with God's grace it will rise to new life." So too my old pajamas, the fence around the garden, the friendship torn by misunderstanding, a country being ripped apart by economic and social inequity and a global divide of enormous proportions — they all need mending.

I'm starting with the pajamas."

Independently produced for Weekend Edition Sunday by Jay Allison and Dan Gediman with John Gregory and Viki Merrick.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Peter Callesen - Paper Cutouts

I have received 2 emails from friends with exquisite white paper cutouts with no name attached. I was finally able to track down the creator of the amazing works of art, Peter Callesen. Check out his website. Hope you enjoy his work as much as I have.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Eleven Minutes of Sunshine

Did you know that there were only 11 minutes of sunshine in Chicago for the first 8 days in February?
We had a slight reprieve yesterday only to return to grey and snow tonight. Thought I would share a photograph
from my new body of work, The Treatment Room. For those of you suffering from SAD (seasonal affect disorder), you might consider getting a light box!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

The Next Day

Went back down to the city and was within walking distance of Halloran's Ice sculpture.
After the blizzard, I couldn't resist checking out how the wall of ice responded to the
changing weather conditions....

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Color in a Black and White World

I had a really wonderful time yesterday in downtown Chicago viewing "Paintings Below Zero by Gordon Halloran at Millennium Park.
It was such a thrill to see the work up close. I can only imagine the transformations the artwork will go through as the temperatures rise and dip in Chicago.
If you haven't gotten there, please go before the end of the month. It was truly awe inspiring and a great antidote to the black, white and grey world we in inhabiting during the winter months. It is also a great reminder of how wonderful and breathtaking the natural world is.

Monday, February 04, 2008

10:02 pm on Monday, February 4th

How great is it when the weather conditions reflect one's inner state? Doesn't get much easier than that!
The soupy, mild evening is a much enjoyed respite from the winter storm
that is anticipated tomorrow...which by the way, is SUPER FAT TUESDAY.
Don't forget to vote and celebrate Mardi Gras!

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Leaf Studies

"To see a world in a grain of sand,
And a heaven in a wild flower,
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand,
An eternity in an hour."
William Blake