Tuesday, April 30, 2013

may - by john updike

 Now children may
Go out of doors,
Without their coats,
To candy stores.
 The apple branches
And the pear
May float their blossoms
Through the air,
 And Daddy may
Get out his hoe
To plant tomatoes
In a row,
 And, afterward,
May lazily
Look at some baseball
On TV.

or go to a game! 
 that's johnny bench on the big screen in the second picture, when he was inducted into the reds' hall of fame.  in the last photo, the gentleman was 100 or 101 and attending - a true baseball fan.  

here's to leisure pursuits - a beautiful part of life.

Monday, April 29, 2013

in beauty may i walk - from the navajo

 In beauty                 may I walk
All day long           may I walk
Through the returning seasons     may I walk
Beautifully will I possess again
Beautifully birds
Beautifully joyful birds
 On the trail marked with pollen    may I walk
With grasshoppers about my feet     may I walk
With beauty before me      may I walk
With beauty behind me      may I walk
With beauty above me     may I walk
With beauty all around me      may I walk
In old age, wandering on a trail of beauty,
lively, may I walk
In old age, wandering on a trail of beauty,
living again, may I walk

It is finished in beauty
It is finished in beauty

translated by Jerome K. Rothenberg

this reminds me so of st. patrick's prayer - substitute "Christ" for beauty, and you have a very close sibling.

peace to you.

Friday, April 26, 2013

abstract with mud

yesterday was pay it forward day.
since we missed it, this weekend is my "pay it forward" time.
what kindness can i do?

a beautiful weekend to you and yours.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

creativity #3, john willshire

remember tina at colour living?  she introduced us to john willshire.  
he's founder of smithery, and devoted to living a creative life.
he likes freedom and inventing a way on the fly, but did categorize his process in three steps -



Assess "look in unexpected corners.  keep looking, soaking things in.  don't just do something, stand there."  Observe.
Build - emphasizes the link between the hand and head.  "making is thinking" - richard sennett
Cultivate - get your work out into the world and see what happens.

in the end he says that it's not really a process, but an anti-process.  "in an age where so much is changing so quickly, perhaps the last thing we need is to tie ourselves down with another set of constraints."

okay.  at the same time, his ABCs work in the classroom!

Assess - always.  in montessori classrooms, we observe.  stand back and watch.  
Build - montessori is all about using the hands to build learning through concrete experiences.  for instance, in our study of invertebrates, we learned about mollusks - snails, clams, slugs, octopi.  friday, after most children had finished their individual and group projects, we ate clams.  
Cultivate - john seems to be saying, allow for change.  that sounds perfect for teachers, as students are completely different by the end of the school year.  taller, more confident, itching to get outside.  flexible structure is needed.  

happy thursday!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

old plants, little river, birds

there's a cliff that drops off and the wind has knocked the old plants over - all pointing to the water.  the birds were under the ledge of the cliff, protected from the wind.  

cold today.
joy to you!

Monday, April 22, 2013

creativity #2, mike abrahams

 remember when i wrote about creativity here?
tina, at colour living, has introduced two other creative people since then.  
both have interesting ideas.  i'll share one today, and another soon.

mike abrahams compares creativity to the disciplined way athletes approach sports.  
in fact, he's a runner, and hired a coach.  he went to the masters world championships and ran for great britain.  (he'd never see the photo above, we're WAY too slow)  
his three things for running and creativity are:

1.  talent - what you have.  it's fixed.
2.  nutrition - what you put in to get your body working efficiently.
3.  training - your program and how you avoid or correct injuries.

in creativity, this looks like:
1.  talent - accepting himself and not comparing.
2.  nutrition - he's "incurably curious".
3.  training - this is what mike does to improve the output.  he creates artist books and has lots of ways to feed his creativity.

for teachers and children this looks like:
1.  talent - each child has different gifts.  a teacher's calling is to find those gifts and shine a light on them.  also help the child recognize what he or she is good at and
  see each other's strengths.

2.  nutrition - this is what school is all about - feeding the social, emotional, spiritual (catholic school), and intellectual development of each child.  
montessori is the method where i teach, and it encourages children's choices and creativity.

3.  training - this is the day-in-day-out work.  
our students know that you have to actually DO something to learn.  making mistakes is a big part of this, because if a child (or adult) is unwilling to make mistakes, he or she is not attempting anything challenging.  challenging work brings learning.  it's not easy.  teachers know how it feels - uncomfortable - but really wonderful when you finally "get it".  

joy to you!

Sunday, April 21, 2013


 veered off the trail to take photos.  

 spring mornings - time to go outside.  

joy to you.

Friday, April 19, 2013

rookwood pottery

from the cincinnati art museum.
aesthetic beauty.

happy weekend to you and yours.

the celestial

in mt. adams for lunch at the rookwood, we took a walk past the celestial,
a four-star, four-diamond steakhouse.
 having an out-of-town guest with us, we walked in.  i wanted to show my relative
the view from the restaurant.
 up the ramp, you see a panoramic cincinnati.
 then you notice that your surroundings are lovely, too.

 the tableware is simple and precise.  
 not open for lunch service, imagine the view at sunset.
here you can see across the river and into kentucky.

time to head out into the sunshine.  
mental note:  come back hungry!

beautiful restaurant, even without the food.
happy friday.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

national poem in your pocket day

 thursday, april 18th is poem in your pocket day.  
if you have children, here's a place to find some fun and beautiful choices - 
caroline kennedy's poems to learn by heart.
 the illustrations by jon j much are soft and energetic.  
 this poem is called "ode to pablo's tennis shoes", by gary soto.
my copy is dog-eared with poems to share in the classroom.  

if you don't have time to find a poem for your pocket, just copy this down, put it in your jacket, and share with everyone you meet.  you just might find others who are celebrating today.

Bee!  I'm expecting you!
Emily Dickinson

Bee!  I'm expecting you!
Was saying Yesterday
To Somebody you know
That you were due--

The Frogs got Home last Week --
Are settled, and at work --
Birds, mostly back --
The Clover warm and thick --

You'll get my Letter by
The seventeenth; Reply
Or better, be with me --
Yours, Fly.

this poem by neal levin is another you might choose - 

Baby Ate a Microchip
Baby ate a microchip,
Then grabbed a bottle, took a sip.
He swallowed it and made a beep,
And now he's thinking pretty deep.

He's downloading his ABCs
And calculating 1-2-3s.
He's memorizing useless facts
While doing Daddy's income tax.

He's processing, and now he thrives
On feeding his internal drives.
He's throwing fits, and now he fights
With ruthless bits and toothless bytes.

He must be feeling very smug.
But hold on, Baby caught a bug.
Attempting to reboot in haste,
He accidentally got erased!

new york city is celebrating, see here, and you will find more information here.

poetic beauty.
if you have a poem in your pocket today, feel free to share it in comments.
joy to you!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

naples art museum

 today's visit to the naples museum will be interesting.  the enormous botero sculpture is gone.  the chihuly that used to hang in the entranceway is now
 next door in the philharmonic.
the entrance is still beautiful, and this
 sculpture replaced the botero nude.
 in the philharmonic, they were installing a new show.  i love the ladder on the receiving end of this woman's admonishments (and how she is holding her skirt).
 here's a surprise - picasso mentioned "everyday life".  
art washes away from the soul
the dust of everyday life.  
 i couldn't agree more.
 not pictured is the "chihuly ceiling" - a glass roof with lots of colorful art glass above it, and lights shining through.  you have to lie down on the floor to really appreciate it.  when they were small, my children brought sketch books and colored pencils and sat under it, enjoying.
 this is one of a trio of huge intimidating creatures.  they used to reside in the garden just past the entrance gate (see first  photo) where my son "watered" a palm tree when he was three or four.  
they are still impressive, but were easier to enjoy outside.  
maybe attendees to the shows enjoy them?  or perhaps they needed protection from the elements?
 here is their view.  
the naples museum was also having an exhibit of "women artists" while we were there - no cameras allowed. 

if you get a chance, check out the naples museum of art.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

picasso - head of a woman

she looks so round and real.  picasso, 1922.

the beauty of art.
joy to you! 

Monday, April 15, 2013

runners unite

 here's to boston's runners, 
 to the sweet and wonderful spectators, 
 the volunteers, 
 family members, 

 race organizers, and all involved.  running is a joy.
it's peaceful and challenging.
have you ever met a mean runner?  

peaceful resistance.

our race is in three weeks.  

thinking of boston.
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