Monday, August 1, 2011

What happened to July?

We all say that more and more.. "Where did the time go?" At the time, the present seems so permanent, so real, yet within seconds the clock has moved.. then spun full circle and the calendar has turned another page. What was now has become then. For me, writing seems to be the best way to keep the past with me.. to keep it present. I'm teaching a journaling and imagery class right now. The class is at the just- renovated Cary Arts Center in Cary, NC.. a 100+ year old school/ teaching academy... now art center and performance venue.

...Architecture is certainly another way to keep the past as a present, though it sometimes has a ghostlike quality.. The newly painted walls, now artsy greys and taupe, once institution greens and yellows, appear to be uncomfortable in their showy new finery.. like the too tight black patent leather shoes I once wore, and too starched white petticoats. But after only a few weeks, the classrooms are already cluttered with tempera paint jars, crafts supplies,  and drying finger paintings... the halls ringing with laughter and shouting. So the air is beginning to get the feeling of renewed energy.. of heart beating.. of life renewed.

We started class last week working with the idea of self. I read excerpts from a number of published diaries and biographies; Charles Darwin, Samuel Pepys, Agnes Custis Lee, Georgia O'Keefe, Dang Thuy Tram.  Reading the simply worded prose, imaging the daily tasks, lists, musings and insights of the world changers and the common folk was inspiring and also comforting.. Their days, that moment in time, was returned to me. I promise to write in my journal everyday (for awhile), even if it is only a word. Wonder if I can do it?... unlike time's passage, constancy is not my forte...

July also was spent with a trip to Penland and Burnsville, NC... to volunteer in the Penland School of Crafts' print studio sorting type and painting walls, and to work at a friend's studio and share how to sew the Belgian binding. I spent two mornings picking blackberries at my friend's beautiful mountainside home.. and couldn't help thinking of Brer' Rabbit begging to be thrown in the briar patch as my arms and fingers became scratched and poked with the cruel briars.. not me! but the berries were delicious and worth it.

Another trip was to the Rare Books Collection housed in Wilson Library at UNC-Chapel Hill. This is a wonderful treasure, free to the public and open for anyone to visit and study their amazing collection of rare antique books.. some date back to the 1400's.. and many are quite special and all are unique and wonderful.  Currently there is an exhibition of books, "Meaningful Marks: Image and Text and the History of the Book". May 20 to Sept. 28, 2011 in the Saltarelli Gallery, Wilson Library. The head librarian, Claudia Funke has invited anyone to feel free to contact her for a visit, or just come by during operating hours.. also there will be free lectures beginning in September. And guess what? they too have a blog! It's

ok, time to head out for my walk.. and to drop off some Belgian bound books at the local chocolatiere.