Sunday, January 15, 2012

After the Floor Mopping, Before the Dancing

[The post that would never finish. I started yesterday morning/popped in yesterday evening and now here we are Sunday afternoon. Apologies.]

Hey there, Saturday Evening, you're lookin' mighty groovy. Myself, I'm feeling busy-day-post-nap mellow, but I think a good few hours of dancing will cap this week off nicely. Dancing is in order.

I began a post this morning which went something like this:

It's snowing outside, a white fluted bowl of coffee is to my side and I suspect I could stay in flannel (pajamas) all day. An older friend from down the street has organized a small group outing to see my print show at the hospital, so I can't dally too long, but wanted to at least pop on.

A somewhat stressful week, with refreshing bursts of excitement. Yesterday around lunch I sold a Geese Suspect You Are Withholding print on Etsy, which added spring to my step. I re-listed it. Within a couple minutes, it sold again! What the! Turns out Etsy had included it in their daily email blast of "Etsy Finds." The power of Etsy! My shop views shot to 2,000+ yesterday. Maybe it'll sell a few more times, who knows? I sent two packages yesterday, have three more waiting on my dining room table, with four more to be packaged up. Woohoo!

To boot, destinations include: Skiatook, OK and Tasmania. And this on top of selling a few framed prints from the hospital this week, and another framed print to a lovely woman in Ct.

Best name of the week: Ermalinda.


And then I was off to the hospital, with two friends from my block. We met a third neighborhood friend (who's a doctor there) and they asked me questions about woodblocks and reacted to different prints and just made me feel really pampered and honored.

I know it's easy to feel grateful when good things happen and people are so kind and generous with their time and regard, but days like this (and yesterday with the sales -- and the fact that Etsy would give me a shout-out -- plus a long, really connected phone call with my sister) remind me that life can feel so *abundant*/full of kindness/full of potential.

It's so easy to fall into a head-down kind of drudging existence, with the twin burdens of obligation and self-imposed  expectations of how things ought to be, but there's such a broad spectrum, every day. And you never know when you'll be surprised by unexpected twists, good or bad~~

And certainly, going to one's first solo show is a perfect time to reflect on how much you can achieve incrementally. Forty five minutes here, half an hour there, over years can bring about the realization of hopes/dreams. Or, if one is braver (or manages time better, or borders on the obsessive), you can astound yourself within a year, even...

Book artist Barbara Brown had incorporated snippets of a Goethe quote into the binding and pages of a beautiful (and complex) book that she displayed at WSG Gallery last year. I had heard parts of it before -- and doubtless you have encountered it -- but here is a translation. I can't profess that I Iive my life with the desired level of commitment, but the passage is a wonderful one to contemplate and revisit. And perhaps it seeps into one's life the more you call it forth:

"Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back-- Concerning all acts of initiative (and creation), there is one elementary truth that ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans: that the moment one definitely commits oneself, then Providence moves too. All sorts of things occur to help one that would never otherwise have occurred. A whole stream of events issues from the decision, raising in one's favor all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance, which no man could have dreamed would have come his way. Whatever you can do, or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it now."

I like that they thought to put the partial pint below the original full print.

So that's that. The show is up through February 6th. Lovely things have come of it, so far and it was certainly great way to end 2011 and begin 2012! 

Nearby, the jewelry of Birmingham Michigan based jeweler Beth North graced several cases. Sharp, swanky and tempting! Kerrytown hairdresser-cum-boutique Heavenly Metal calls her "adorable and cool and has it totally going on..." The wildly popular Berkeley Yellow Door Market featured her as Artist of the Week last April.

Blue chalcedony+sterling silver bracelet, $188.

Down the hall and closer to the cafeteria, we find the stunning mosaic beadwork of Betsy Youngquist. The closer you get, the more fantastic it is. Delirious color, almost lost to gaudiness, but for how beautifully and meticulously it's carried out. 

Her web site informs readers that her artwork "reflects a fascination with the intersection of humans, animals, and mythology. Stemming from a life-long love of all creatures great and small, Betsy’s work weaves together the human and animal spirit through a surrealistic lens."

I must confess, her pieces featuring human faces on animal and insect forms freak me out a bit, but the ones within the hospital are wholely animal -- or at least not displaying a baby/baby doll aspect to them. The finished pieces represent collaborations, as Youngquist's exquisite beading is layered on top of forms created by sculptor R. Scott Long.

Sister Loon


I also fancy her eye jewelry. The most bad-ass (or cheesy? I can't tell, because I never stopped loving it) ring I owned in high school featured a completely realistic brown eye, cupped between two sterling silver hands. My teen self would NEVER have abided Youngquist's profusion of color, but I can appreciate its rewards now...

On my end, my body's still sore from dancing and my head's a bit hazy. It may be the day I finally take down the Christmas tree. Here's to a great Sunday, Everyone. May your surprises be only the best kinds...


  1. Such good news - hoping the streak remains strong for a good long while M!

  2. Thanks!! The year is starting off well :)

  3. Hegel has a drawn-out (read: even MORE German) take on that Goethe, which has stuck with me for almost 20 years now:

    A will which resolves on nothing is not an actual will; the characterless man can never resolve on anything. The reason for such indecision may also lie in an over-refined sensibility which knows that, in determining something, it enters the realm of finitude, imposing a limit on itself and relinquishing infinity; yet it does not wish to renounce the totality to which it intends. Such a disposition is dead, even if its aspiration is to be beautiful. “Whoever aspires to great things,” says Goethe, “must be able to limit himself.” Only by making resolutions can the human being enter actuality, however painful the process may be; for inertia would rather not emerge from that inward brooding in which it reserves a universal possibility for itself. But possibility is not yet actuality. The will which is sure of itself does not therefore lose itself in what it determines.

    (For those keeping score at home, it's from the Elements of the Philosophy of Right.)

  4. Hey, Virtual! Goodness, I can't imagine why this version hasn't made its way into Hollywood blockbusters! Heh. Thanks for reminding me how many subjective calls -- and liberties -- are taken in the act (art?) of translation. Interesting to read the latter version -- though if it inspires, it only does so through remonstrance. I somehow see someone shaking his finger at me: "Possibility is not yet actuality!" (...get some guts and get off the couch!)