mindfulness

Thanksgiving Day

“As the years pass, I am coming more and more to understand that it is the common, everyday blessings of our common everyday lives for which we should be particularly grateful. They are the things that fill our lives with comfort and our hearts with gladness:
just the pure air to breathe and the strength to breath it,
just warmth and shelter and home folks,
just plain food that gives us strength,
the bright sunshine on a cold day,
and a cool breeze when the day is warm.”

Laura Ingalls Wilder


blog

Frog Falls, British Columbia

Laura Ingalls Wilder was just 15, when she become a teacher in order to support her struggling family. She had a blind sister, a paralyzed husband, and lost her home in a fire.  Her second child died at very young age.

In light of that, her attitude and writings are remarkable.

Today, tomorrow, and thereafter I am grateful for a priviliged life.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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mindfulness

The Essence of Things

Many moons ago I was fascinated by the adventures of Everett Ruess, a young man, who traveled isolated deserts and canyons of the West about hundred years ago and then disappeared. Much has been written about him, including some biographies by W. L. Rusho and David Roberts and more recently a more fictional account of the young man by Robert Louis DeMayo: “Pledge to the Wind, the Legend of Everett Ruess”. That one is high on my “to read” list.


I have seen almost more beauty
than I can bear.”

Everett Ruess


Everett was an artist and he managed to support his journeys in part by painting. He also wrote a daily letter to his parents and kept a diary. I have not seen any of his watercolor work, but I have seen reproductions of his woodcuts. They are amazing. Woodcuts are a god’s end for minimalists. They capture the essence of a scene with a minimum of detail. Everett was a master at that.

I became interested in the technique. Since we are living in the 21st century, I decided to make my first woodcut on a computer. That’s not art, you say? You are right. It’s just a fun way to concentrate on the essence of an object. There is a wonderful tutorial by Cheryl Graham on the web and the robin in it has been treated and mistreated hundreds of times. Here is my version.

Robin_Woodcut

Since the nights here are getting shorter by around 6 minutes every day, there will be less chance for working on my woodcut skills, but the prints remind me to focus on the essence of things.

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