Monday, September 12, 2016

the true sense of things

Little God Origami

by Stefi Weisburd

The number of corners in the soul can't
compare with the universe's dimensions folded
neatly into swans. In the soul's
space, one word on a thousand pieces
of paper the size of cookie fortunes falls
from the heavens. At last, the oracular
answer, you cry, pawing at the scraps that twirl
like seed-pod helicopters. Alas, the window
to your soul needs a good scrubbing, so
the letters doodle into indecipherables just
life every answer that has rained
down through history, and you realize, in
your little smog of thought that death
will simply be the cessation of asking, a thousand
cranes unfolding themselves and returning to the trees.


Often an origami artist will find success working with a particular type of paper, whether it is tissue-foil, Elephant Hide, or watercolor paper, and then stay within the technical boundaries of that particular paper. This is like a painter making do with only one or two kinds of brushes.

- Michael LaFosse, Richard Alexander, Origami Art

{source: Origami Quotes}

Before Chloe left for college, we managed to get in one last movie together, Kubo and the Two Strings. When we left she declared it a masterpiece, and it really is amazing. I must have been thinking of her and the movie when I saw this origami bird knick-knack in the discount area of a home store where I was buying new bedding for her room. The bird will be waiting for her when she comes home for Christmas.

You can read a review of the film here which gives you a pretty good idea of what it's about.

Simplicity is not an end in art.
But we usually
arrive at simplicity
as we approach
the true sense of things.

- Constantin Brancusi

I can't say I've given the art of origami that much thought, but you may have seen or heard of the documentary on the subject:

Origami, for which all you need is a sheet of paper, transcends differences of wealth, station, or race and makes all equal.

- Isao Honda, “The world of origami” 1965

It's really interesting to think of a single sheet of paper as a space that transcends. And that as an art maker, it could be enough.

"On the wall was a dress that I embroidered. It said "Ich Habe Genug." Which is a Bach Cantata. Which I once thought meant "I've had it, I can't take anymore, give me a break." but I was wrong. It means "I have enough." And that is utterly true. I happen to be alive. End of discussion. But I will go out and buy a hat."

- from The Principles of Uncertainty, by Maira Kalman

And this reminder: I have enough.

I might have been thinking that when I cut an armful of stems from my overflowing hydrangeas and brought them indoors.

Here's another one from the Kalman book, chapter 7, titled "The Delightful Party."

"I would love you to come to my party. It will be on a Sunday afternoon. Let's avoid a nighttime party. Who can stand the night? Not I."

I'm sure I've said this before, but I think I'd only want to become famous and rich so that I could be more eccentric, demanding. I could avoid nighttime parties. I could entertain lavishly on Sunday afternoons and everyone would want to come because who doesn't love an eccentric?

But no, I won't be famous or great.

“I will not be "famous," "great." I will go on adventuring, changing, opening my mind and my eyes, refusing to be stamped and stereotyped. The thing is to free one's self: to let it find its dimensions, not be impeded.”

- Virginia Woolf

“I've always had a theory that some of us are born with nerve endings longer than our bodies.”

- Joy Harjo

“the soul has words as petals”

- Edmond Jabes

This next one might be my favourite shot from last week. Kind of a typical suburban Edmonton shot.

The sunflowers growing in random spots amuse me. 

When I got home I discovered that the cute ladybug shot had another element: 

And oh, hello, late bloomers.....

“I know I walk in and out of several worlds every day.” 

- Joy Harjo

The backyard garden winding down.....

A magpie convention:

A few more shots of Ace in the hayfield:

The next two are his glamour shots. Pretty GQ of him:

Last things.

Watching. Shetland. As The Guardian says, there is "wildness, beauty and a damn good yarn."

The big news in our house. Rob's longtime art dealer is retiring. We're of course happy for him and rather than being sad for ourselves, Rob is looking at it as an opportunity to find representation in a larger centre. Wish us luck!

Chloe enjoyed her first week of school in the art fundamentals program at Sheridan College. She's in a beautiful spot in many ways. It's a joy to watch her thrive. Also: there are moments when it hits me that she's so far away and I feel like I've been winded. You know? But then I text her or Skype and it's all good. 

An even more disjointed and random post than usual as I worked all weekend and was more or less frazzled/tired in between. However. Another week ahead. I wish you all calm things, where you might come to the true sense of things, and that you have: enough. 

- Shawna


  1. This post is a delightful afternoon party! How interesting those thoughts on origami and after reading the review, I want to see "Kubo and the Two Strings".
    Glad to hear that Chloe is thriving. Thank goodness for Skype, yes?
    Wishing you loads of good luck on finding a new art dealer. I will keep my fingers crossed for you and Rob. xo

    1. I'd be dying without Skype right now.....phew. Thanks for all the wishes....luck is what we need for sure right now, lol.

  2. I would totally love eccentric Shawna Sunday parties!

  3. "some of us are born with nerve endings longer than our bodies"--- me to a "t," and oh, those hydrangeas against the grey much beauty, and so enough. Thank you again.

  4. Would love to have you all to a Sunday party :) xo

  5. such a joy to find your words and thoughts here! thanks for sharing, always!

  6. The moments I watched the trailer, I knew instantly why you bought Chloe the lovely origami ornament. Perfect. She will love it -- what a meaningful connection too.
    Thank you, yes, I truly do have enough. A beautiful week to you.


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