Along with continuing to read (just finished Annie Proulx’s Barkskins), I’ve just happened to start using my hands to do more than hold a book, write, and type on a keyboard.
It started with short workshops held by the Nasher Sculpture Center in Dallas to augment one’s experience of their various exhibitions. There, I made an abstract (it had to be abstract) print, and then learned to fold paper into “pocket book casings” which can hold all sorts of small things in their various enclosed places.
This new-found pleasure propelled me to take an Arabic calligraphy class at the Dallas Museum of Art. I learned how to use a bamboo calligraphy pen and a small pot of ink, patiently practicing “perfect” squares and the much more difficult aleph (the first letter of the alphabet). There was patience, silence, relaxation of body, concentration of mind…and even the poet, Rumi…in the room. The master laid down an aleph on my sheet of paper as an example, a subtle and smooth stroke, and I put my first attempt next to it, a lumpy bean pod. It was wonderful and humbling. I got a poem out of it, too, which I titled “A Taste of the Ocean.” That taste is what the master calligrapher said he could offer us in such a short period of time.
And now, after finding a Beginner’s Origami Kit in the Kimbell Art Museum’s gift shop, I have made a simple envelope and my first crane. Paper folding is addictive, and very different from the other things I do with my days.
I hope you’re enjoying this flight into Spring!