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.
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!”
Norman introduced me to Loof Lirpa – April Fool spelled backwards. Rather clever, I thought.
Decades ago, one April First, he called an emergency staff meeting, sharing that due to increased competition from rivals, sales were dipping – the office/warehouse (he was in the beer business) might need to close and staff, furloughed. Understandably, staff were flabbergasted: What would they do? How would they meet their financial obligations? Questions came fast and furious…
Norman had posted an agenda; the heading: LOOF LIRPA. He suggested that staff look at the agenda and see what they might learn from a careful analysis. After a few quiet minutes, someone shouted : APRIL FOOL! Ah yes! The secret was out…and staff, could and did breathe a gigantic sigh of relief. Years later, every April Fool’s Day, they remembered and ribbed him – even after he’d retired – about Loof Lirpa.
I remember in elementary school how much we reveled in playing a joke on classmates …and then we’d convulse in laughter, feeling quite smug that we’d succeeded in besting each other. Our jokes, crazy questions, pranks were never created out of meanness – at least I don’t recall. Just plain old fashioned fun.
I looked up the origin of April Fool’s Day and found an article on History.com: https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/april-fools-day. And this: https://www.goodhousekeeping.com/holidays/g38986579/april-fools-quotes/
It seems that the news industry, including social media, takes April Fool’s Day quite seriously. There are all sorts of Loof Lirpa cartoons, coupons for fast food, gifs, poems, quotes, recipes, stories, tweets, videos, etc…
Gretchen Rubin, prolific author of books on happiness and the very popular podcast: Happier with Gretchen Rubin, shares a story of introducing her older daughter, who was then about 7, to April Fool’s Day…you can read about it here. It’s a delightful story. I imagine a 7-years’-old-soon-to-be-8 young guy I know might enjoy learning more about Loof Lirpa, this way, too.
For me, I don’t have any Loof Lirpa tricks up my sleeve -but Chris, my 7 nearly 8 years old great grand nephew did: He made a bandaid out of toilet paper and pretended that he’d been hurt. Fooled his mother and grandmother and me and aunts, etc…
I’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane and learning more about this fun day, especially on a Friday that began with cloudy skies, now blue; the sun’s out; clouds are for the most part puffy, white- tinged with grey and the temp’s on it’s way to a high of 65 degrees.
What Loof Lirpa stories come to your mind? Whatever and whenever, do enjoy!
I found a new app today; it’s called Twos and its function is to simply help someone remember things … a tall order considering the flow and quantity of “things” one encounters on any given day – a lot to remember and a lot more to forget, either deliberately or due to cognitive overload. The creator, Parker Klein, wrote an article (published in Medium) that caught my attention so of course I looked further, thinking what have I got to lose – beyond my keys? I’m forever looking for my keys …. Twos is free and available from both Apple App Store and Google Play; more info at twosapp.com/home. I haven’t used Twos yet – it seems simple enough but …to be continued.
My today started with a two hour FaceTime conversation with a dear friend; always good to catch up and reminisce along the way. We’ve known one another for 22 years – yeah, impossible…but true. After breakfast, I spent the afternoon reviewing scrapbook albums from 2011 to date, looking at and for stories that are incomplete and need to be finished or forgotten as well as those that were done. I have a project in process that I plan to have completed by 31 December 2022, all things considered. If I finish despite prevailing circumstances, hooray! And if I don’t, doesn’t matter – that’ll just be the way the cookie crumbles.
The sky’s a study: huge, ominous looking, roiling clouds, dark grey and tinted by the sunset, hover above. Dramatically beautiful! The weather forecast for tomorrow: windy and an overnight temperature dip from 45 degrees to 27 degrees in the morning. Why am I surprised? March is known for wild weather…
I read an online article headline, in the New York Times, on commonplace books being like a diary. I have tried to subscribe to the Times’ digital version but for some reason, I cannot. I guess the Times doesn’t want my measly dollar …and of course, they have Saturday afternoons off so I can’t get any help <smile>…. If and When I do, I shall share the gist of the article…If and When .
It is past time to have a bite to eat and call this full day a wrap. I’m looking forward to a quiet evening with a good book – not sure which, yet. Or maybe I’ll play with Twos…
My aim today was to capture whatever and wherever I was around/at 2:26 pm on Z- day, as I’ve dubbed the 26th day of the month. This month, February, I am at home.
About 12:45 pm: I was at an artist’s art/craft supply store, looking at the selection of journals for my Zibaldone. It isn’t that I can’t shop my stash – which is a common reminder to/for scrapbookers, memory keepers, designed to keep us mindful of our ever present/growing collection of whatever the “must have” item is and to pause, take stock and inquire: Do I really NEED this? 10 of 9 times the answer is a RESOUNDING: NO! Rather, the motivation is want – surely the perfect journal is out there waiting for me to find it… and perhaps you wonder, just what does or will make this elusive, to be discovered book , so perfect? Well, I’m not sure I can answer that question and I may not know til I find it…but rest assured, when I do, you’ll be the first to know!
No luck in finding a new journal – I’ll use what I have- but I did find some fun stickers and managed to spend $25, give or take a penny…
About 1:50 pm: Before heading home, I decided to go in search of a latte… remembered – a coffee shop several blocks away from the Arts & Crafts store, actually near the building where I first worked for the library system, 1974… a long time ago. Originally, the building was a firehouse, then it was turned into a library branch that also housed my office and now, it houses loft apartments.
I found a metered parking lot – 50 cents an hour, all automated. Punch in your license plate number, insert a credit card and presto, you’ve paid for at least one hour. Your receipt is texted, if you wish. The coffee shop – super busy. Coffee is served in cups that are 100% biodegradable * compost-able… Beans are roasted on site and the coffee was good tho’ expensive. C’est la vie…
2:35 PM… Just arrived home
2:56 PM … My coffee is all gone. I’m debating about taking a walk – it’s sunny tho’ a tad chilly. Well, I just checked my daily Health activity stats and I’m a tad beyond the 50% mark from closing all 3 rings – so, that decision is made! Out and Off I go! To be continued…
Just as I stepped out the door, my sister called…so, she joined me on my walk …. I was delighted by signs of Spring: crocus; a flowering tree; warmer temps… My outing and walk were envigorating ( I had to make a quick trip around a couple blocks in order to close the Exercise ring!) but I’m not ready to abandon my mask, just yet…
I think the biggest lesson/connection to Zibaldone this first time out is the role contemporary technology has played in my life on this day, even tho’ I was on a quest to find a paper journal…and that I can/do comfortably transition between analog and digital platforms. To be continued …
Earlier this month, I shared my word Zibaldone, 14th Century Italian for “commonplace book,” a journal or diary, etc, about “a heap of things.” This definition brings to mind today’s tools and resources : diaries, journals, sketch books, random note catchers -think sticky notes or any available piece of paper < my bad habit – waiting to be scribbled on or quick digital notes made on one’s smart phone via both text and voice. If you’re like me, you have a bright idea or vague memory of something seen, heard – bits and pieces of your daily life that have made their way into your brain, that vast storage tool – and if you’re also like me, you also can’t remember where you placed your pen that you just had in your hand a minute ago or your keys (hopefully not in the refrigerator <remember that commercial of the lady who absent-mindedly did so?). In many ways, the Internet, is a humongus Zibaldone. On a more conservative level, think diary; your planner; doodle pad; drawings; scrapbook; photos on your smart phone tagged place/time/date and subject; sketches …
My goal/plan this year, 2022, using the tools mentioned in the preceding paragraph, is to document and create my own Zibaldone: an artistic record of each 24 hours, each week, month, quarter, season. Some may call the resource I create a scrapbook; planner; diary; journal; word, photo collage, and they are all correct descriptors.
In my 2022 Zibaldone, I will combine: words, pictures, art explorations; connections with friends and family; desires; wishes, grace notes, thoughts, inspirations, experiences, learnings, “22 in 22 lists,” books read, to be read or not; STORY- about me, family, friends, things, places, pictures, artistic and creative expressions, feelings, practices, wins, etc…and tools I use at the beginning, during and end of my days; memory keeping; collage and my own art play expressions.
I don’t have a vision of a final product other than it will be a Zibaldone of 2022 as lived, learned, experienced. Stay tuned. To be continued…
Snow: Today we have S-N-O-W! Easily 5 inches, maybe more.The snow has now stopped; the sun shines; the sky is blue and it’s a tad cold : 28 degrees. All lovely – a welcome surprise on this 3rd day of the new year! Perhaps this is Mother Nature’s way to curtail the spread of Omicron, at least for a bit here on the east coast. T’is a nice thought…
Words: My one little word for 2022 is Zibaldone, Italian for occasional thoughts, notes, quotations, lists, etc ~ all the things we manage to capture in notebooks, journals, on index cards, bits and pieces of whatever piece of paper might be in an arm’s reach or a note, jotted on our smart phones, via type or verbally or photo. All designed to capture a moment, a fleeting thought, idea, quote, task, memory, weather event such as S-N-O-W…
Zibaldone:Why? I like the word – it has often intrigued me and has been on my bucket list to explore since 2018. The choice came to me out of the blue, about December 15, 2021. I’d recently ordered and received the book – a mean 2502 pages of tissue thin paper. As I picked up the book and examined some of those 2502 pages, the thought went off like fireworks: “This is it! My word for 2022!”
I have absolutely no idea, preconceived thoughts or expectations as to how the word will show up, shout out, over these next 362 days of 2022… based on my experiences with previous words, there will be all sorts of surprises. Just as today’s snow!
In a way, and this may be a stretch, I see Zibaldone as a quilt patchwork, made of bits and pieces of fabrics that hold all sorts of experiences, meaning and herstory .
I look forward to experiencing and sharing my Zibaldone adventures in 2022. Hopefully most will be as surprising as today’s snow.