"Ancora Imparo" - I am still learning ~ Michelangelo
I am a 60-something, 'career-graduate' librarian. One of the items on my life list has been to learn quilting, especially to explore the arena of journal and art quilting. I see that quilting, art journaling, blogging and scrapbooking are all facets of creativity and learning in this phase of my life.
My former Virtual Assistant and Forever Friend sent me a package that arrived today… its contents, in the photo, are perfect. Laura’s husband, Jeff, made the word. The wood is red cedar, oiled with lemon oil and is signed by both. The inscription reads “what a great word, Honore.” To which I reply: “What a great rendition, Jeff and Laura. A Zillion Thanks! Love it! ” The book is by Natalie Goldberg – her name is obscured by the word.
Laura painted the rocks; the other side of the grey rock with the words ancora imparo has the translation: “I am still learning,” attributed to Leonardo da Vinci and was my first one little word from 2010, I believe. Over these past 12 years, I have acquired quite a dictionary of words made by Jeff…they are a treasure and remind me of so many moments of learning and growing I’ve experienced ~ thanks to the word and its visible and physical presence in my life.
Perhaps you are like me: Autumn/Fall is my absolutest favorite time of the year…and has been since I started school at age 4 years, 10 months. I remember telling my mother (whom I called Lilly – that’s what her close friends called her, not Mama) on my 3rd day of school: “You don’t have to walk me to school today, Lilly. I’m a big girl now and I can go by myself.” Years later, my mother shared that a) her heart sank and b) even tho’ she let me venture on my own, she discreetly followed me to school. When I think about that, I have to smile …tho’ I never caught sight of her, I fully appreciate what she did!
Each year there after, “back to school” meant a new plaid dress and shoes – oxfords, usually burgandy in color to which my father gave the first-class United States Army shine – and, drum roll: a new box of crayons and a ream of newsprint. Nirvana! My heart still quickens at the memory. Of course, as I matriculated to higher grades, 3, 4, 5, plaid book bags were also a part of back-to-school regalia (backpacks came well after I was out of high school, if not college).
Now that my school days are loooong gone, my excitement, plans (wishes?) for the season include the completion of my AMAZE – About ME A-Z – project: telling my life stories. I began this project six years ago and it has been off/on. In February of this year, I resumed it in earnest; I am now at the point where I’m ready for the next phase: Determining the final project format/s – it will be a book, either a scrapbook album or printed photo book or both.
I am also developing a slight itch to stitch: knit, quilt, and learn to embroider. And, of course, my TBR list continues to grow – which is a good thing and content for the next blog post. Stay tuned…
*Despite the very summery looking photo ~ the subject of another post – someday…
On my walk today, I noted more leaves, in various stages of turning color, on the ground. Autumn, according to the meterological calendar is September 1 – just 16 days away! I feel the excitement building in my mind – despite the fact that I have no special plans on the agenda.
Thus far, weather this week has been ideal and is much appreciated! Today, since Sunday past, I’ve been able to go for a walk to and through the park, just 3 – 4 blocks from my house. Round trip, my walks are at least a mile long, take about 35 minutes and include a few hills to “climb.” Weekdays are especially fun for the littles – children from a couple local day care centers are in the park: playing on the jungle gyms, swinging; toddlers, practicing their walking and the older ones, learning how to “get along.” “Oh no, you can’t snatch that toy from someone ‘just ’cause you want it,” or push someone out of the way, just ’cause you can, etc… I smile as I observe these interactions. Ah life!
I arrive home and note just how lovely is the crepe myrtle – another treat of the summer-to-fall season’s glory. I am ever grateful for these morning walks.
Earlier this morning, at the end of The Writers’ Hour, 8:59 am, ESDST, I wrote: “Time for the monthly blog wrap up/weigh in … I have an idea to share and best get busy with the post … it’s the 26th, after all… just not feeling it … too many distractions. Too many! Not supposed to rain til the afternoon … so, I think I’ll get dressed, rewrap my foot – it looks less swollen and go for a stroll in the park.” And that I did.
T’was nice to resume this AM practice after having been away for two weeks – on my trip to Sisters OR, my favorite place on the planet (of all the places I’ve visited over my lifetime, Aruba, Hawaii, and Austria come in 2nd, 3rd and 4th, respectively).
I hadn’t been to Sisters since the Fall of 2017. I’d not planned to stay away that long but as we all know, life took a totally – can’t even think of a proper word – unanticipated turn the Spring of 2020. The world shut down!
July 9! The day of the 49th annual Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show finally arrived. Over 1200 quilts from around the world had arrived and were hung on the outsides and insides of buildings, from trees, in parks, etc.
These were three of quilts made by instructors. The butterfly quilt was designed and stitched by Tula Pink. I tried to register for the two day class but hah! T’was sold out within the first five minutes of registration in February! Classes were limited to 20 people! Covid, you know… I did not take any classes.
But, I had a wonderful visit with my friends, was treated like royalty and made some new friends, too. The next best feature of my trip was having my desire to resume quilting, specifically mark making using bits and pieces of fabric and primarily hand – stitching, nothing as elaborate as the butterfly, rekindled. I’ve been away too long.
Initially, I’d planned to go to Washington but had to revise those plans. My intention is to return soon – in the not too distant future – all things considered. In the meantime, I have several ideas for stitchin’.
Today has been frustrating … Internet connection issues. Heat. Making Decisions about what to do next … or not! This, on top of the dreadful SCOTUS ruling on Roe vs Wade. I haven’t had much to say ’cause I just don’t know what to say! Because nothing I say is going to make an iota of a difference. I’ve lived through times when there was no Roe vs Wade, when there was and now, we’re back to the future or I guess more appropriately described as back to the past. What I want to understand is why women have this burden to carry?
So, I’ve decided that my challenge, chore, task, is to seek answers to my questions, to try to understand. And I’m sure this quest is going to take me back to the beginning, perhaps to places and thoughts and attitudes that I had once encountered as I read Greek and Roman myths, history, the different worldwide religions (ways of life), watched salacious movies – remember Peyton Place? Had friends, accquaintances who found themselves pregnant and nowhere to turn. Visited young teenage girls in homes for unwed mothers.
In the early ’90s, I wrote a grant proposal for women in the county detention center. Most were in jail for possession of marijuana – then illegal. Now, very much legal as states have discovered the wealth they can amass from legalizing and selling cannabis. The proposal – directed to these women, separated from their children, age 5 and younger – gave those mothers, while incarcerated, skills and resources to “parent” and read stories to their children. Many of these mothers were still very much children, themselves.
I remember how women have been ridiculed – and still are – for being on welfare; accused of “beating the system…” Hah!
Well, son, I’ll tell you: Life for me ain’t been no crystal stair. It’s had tacks in it, And splinters, And boards torn up, And places with no carpet on the floor— Bare; But all the time I’se been a’climbin’ on, And reachin’ landin’s, And turnin’ corners, And sometimes goin’ in the dark, Where there ain’t been no light. So boy, don’t you turn back; Don’t you sit down on the steps, ’Cause you finds it’s kinder hard; Don’t you fall now— For I’se still goin’, honey, I’se still climbin’, And life for me ain’t been no crystal stair.
The news this week, in addition to the Russian-Ukraine war; the continued Covid- 19 variants; and now Monkey Pod – has been overlaid with yet again a tragedy: the mass shooting of 19 elementary school aged children and two teachers in Texas!Totally innocent people going about their lives; for sure this event was not on their agenda. And of course, the law makers and so called law keepers are appropriately remorseful and angered … Sadly,in a few days, “normal” life will resume until the next time… rest assured there will be a “next time.” We must also be cognizant of the atrocities that take place daily in life…In the meantime, the Republican Senatorial response, according to the Washington Post: “our thoughts and prayers are with you.”
I sit here, at the table the spot where one can find me most mornings, looking out at the vista:
the sky’s overcast, grey;
birds and squirrels forage;
a slight breeze, barely perceptible via the slow movement of leaves on the trees;
grass needs cutting…badly;
my tea needs replenishing.I can’t cut the grass but the tea, I can replenish.
Writers’ Hour. I’m currently engaged in Writers’ Hour, 50 focused minutes of writing, a free Zoom event, offered four times a day – in the world’s different time zones. We set and share our intentions and write together, in our “little Zoom boxes” on/off the screen.I joined the 8AM EST Writers’ Hour on March 9 of this year and for the past two months since, have written in DayONE,65 consecutive days daily – a streak – and counting…Go ME!
Cybrary … a what?Recently, while driving through the University of Maryland’s campus, I sawa building with this sign… naturally, being a retired librarian – public- my curiosity was piqued. And so what does one do but a ‘google’ search…Go here: https://www.cybrary.it/about/ for the answer to my and your question.
And that’s a snippet or two of my May… Have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.
Also known as a commonplace book, Zibaldone, the word/concept seem to be gaining in popularity and mention in the digital/print world, most commonly known as the Internet news, information sites.
Over the years, I’ve kept my own and several versions of a commonplace book, or a Zibaldone: “ a strange melange of diary, ledger, doodle pad, and scrapbook …” three volumes along with similar “hodgepodge’s” and “commonplace books” – served as a pattern for interior life from the 14th C onward, bringing comfort and inspiration to everyone from Thomas Jefferson to Lewis Carroll.”
In this, the 21st Century, we have the contemporary version, the Internet and “Zs” – in the form of blogs, tweets, Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, bullet journals – both paper and digital, etc. All are curiosities. Medium Daily Digest, a website that is a forum for new, upcoming writers to share their takes on the various and numerous apps, along with tips for maximizing one’s productivity (there are as many as ten such links on any given day) usually has several articles a week about Zibaldone and/or commonplace books.
Over the past waning winter months and these, promising spring, I’ve created any number of Z-style records and/or journal entries, ranging from mind maps to photos to quotes: “this is it” to “no it ain’t” to, to, to ??? These exclamations and questions leave my brain and travel down my arms to write words, draw doodles on a piece of paper or occasionally type on my iPad:
I rarely documented a quote or idea that hadn’t sparked another idea …
Life presents too many invitations and opportunities – promising nirvana for the taker and all designed to earn some ducats for the offerer…
I (may) have too much idle time on my hands, increased for sure by months of Covid…
I’m just undisciplined — or perhaps, creatively curious? I rather like creativelycurious. I see something, I like and think: “hmmm, let me try this.” In many ways I do and I may even go so far as to purchase the ingredients for a bigger project … tho’ sadly, move onto the next bright shiny object before I even give the current one a whirl. I’m thinking that perhaps I’ll break that habit if I play/experiment … If I do, great or if I don’t, perhaps even better. Whichever, I can include the outcome in my Zibaldone and these two quotes are going in:
“But the practice of commonplacing has something to offer that current practices of creating a Pinterest board or blog post do not: it allows us not only to find and arrange information, but also encourages us to remember what has inspired us. I think this has to do with the tangible nature of assembling a commonplace book.” Source: https://verilymag.com/2021/02/keeping-a-commonplace-how-to-bullet-journal-hobby
This I know to be true: I know myself well enough that I don’t always say NO to a bright shiny object. Better that I flirt a bit, in my Zibaldone/Commonplace book and see just how enamored I am. If I am, then I continue and if not, I don’t. Everyday, life is an experiment. Some days are good, others not so. The sun shines and then it rains…the rain stops, clouds move on, flowers bloom.
I’m currently in the “let’s see if the flowers indeed do bloom.” Ideas, Inspiration and “YES! This is It!”
Spring! This day, Friday and Good Friday at that, has lived up to its name and thanks to Mother Nature’s benevolence, has been exquisite. Astronomical Spring arrived March 21, not quite a month ago. Since, Mother Nature has treated us with all the perks and joys of SPRING (including itchy eyes … not a complaint, just a statement of fact). Today has been no exception. I took the above photo of the Spring Full Pink Moon last night – not quite full…tomorrow.
I began the day as I have for nearly three decades – that fact astonishes even me – writing in various paper journals and the DayONE app on my iPad. The former I do out of habit and for the sensory experience: feeling the pen as it glides over the paper; making and forming letters in both cursive and printed fonts; inserting a doodle or punctuation symbol or even a spot of color from a drawing pencil or a bit of washi tape. The writing is as natural as breathing and the words flow, often times surprising me when a phrase or just the right word pops in my mind and appears on the page. With handwriting, I don’t have to worry about if I do this will/does that happen? I just know for I’ve had many decades of experience.
Writing on my iPad is a different ball game. For starters, as I’ve shared before, I don’t do QWERTY (type) tho’ I must admit the more I use the keyboard, the more I am doing QWERTY …but ne’er enough for it to become my method of choice. I either use DayONE or the Word Press app for the inherent ability to save, move paragraphs around, add photos, take a word count, assign categories, play with fonts and insert links, etc. For example, at this point in this post, I’d typed 350+ words and 1515 characters, give or take, twice. Why twice one might wonder? Simply because for some reason, Word Press on my iPad isn’t saving! Wonderful! So, I moved to my Mac and retyped the 350+ words and more than 1500 characters… and remember, I don’t do QWERTY….
So, the sun is setting on what has been a day filled with many gorgeous Spring moments.
I leave you with this photo of #blueskyblooms taken on my morning walk. Enjoy and have a beautiful weekend.
I first read Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project book, published in 2009. I’ve read all her Happiness Project books and listen to her and sister Liz’ weekly podcast Happier with Gretchen Rubin and now More Happier, which airs twice a month…and I’ve been to see Gretchen and Liz both times when they came to Washington DC. Am I a fan? Yeah, I think one could safely say so.
Gretchen also has a blog which she religiously keeps up to date. Today, I’m borrowing her “5 things Making Me Happy” prompt to share here on Morning Glory Studio.blog.
Spring has arrived! The colors of the flowers are just delightfully uplifting – seeing them – especially the yellow tulips – adds bounce to my step on my nearly (weather permitting) daily walks …
These days, I have been focusing on my AmaZe project, compiling, writing, editing stories of my life. Over the years, I’ve shared these stories both current and past on my blog/s. My aim is to end 2022 with a finished product/project. What that looks like is still a mystery… but I’m enjoying the ride …
I’m feeling the urge to pick up needles – for all sorts of stitching projects – again. One of the side effects I experienced during Covid* was a loss of the desire to spend significant time in my sewing studio…slowly, that desire is changing to positive territory. New to my list to try: cross stitch. I have several patterns/kits and eventually, I’ll get roun’ to it.
Clearing the garage of stuff that is labeled for the dump or recycling, such as electronics, medications, etc. is another major category on my list: Just the idea of completing this task makes me happy!
Engaging in more creative art journaling play… watercoloring; acryllic stamping; drawing the sky and clouds. – Oh the clouds – today they’ve been a study and I’d like to be able to capture them in other ways beyond photgraphy.
What’s making you happier these days?
P. S. One other thing that has made me happy: I got my second Covid booster shot yesterday!