Sunday, January 21, 2018

"Sculpture" and other words

This photo is from a Chinese Lantern Festival event.

What is a Chinese lantern? What is "a lantern"? These have wire frames with cloth, and electric light inside. There are many other kinds of lanterns, both more traditional and modern.

In Albuquerque, balloonists sometimes get together to inflate their balloons at night. They stay on the ground, and the fire from the hot-air-creating burner will light the huge balloon up from the inside beautifully.

Back to the photo, though. It'a a monkey. It's a Chinese zodiac symbol. Geometry and technology were involved, with some traditional ideas about connecting pieces of cloth to create three-dimensional forms. It is a tool of cultural exchange, of good will, from a country at odds with our own. It is a propaganda monkey, and an art monkey. It was a happy light in darkness.

One thing is many things.

The flow of words
photo by Sandra Dodd, of other people's art

Saturday, January 20, 2018

New combinations

There are random factors in the world around us. This tree was never blown down before. That horse never lay down near a downed tree that way.

Things happen in new combinations, without warning, and we make choices about how to see and respond to those things. I'm glad Cathy took a beautiful photo. It's good that the tree didn't fall on the shed, nor on the horses. It didn't break a fence.

Next year, it will be firewood.

Life will bring more surprises.
Unexpected Juxtaposition
photo by Cathy Koetsier

Friday, January 19, 2018


Rests can be short or long.

Resting isn't always sleeping.

Sleeping doesn't always last long.
photo by Cátia Maciel

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Rows of colors

"It is what it is." Sometimes.

"It" depends what "it" is.

Usually, it is what one uses it for. Sometimes something is what one imagines it to be.
Pattern Appreciation
photo by Amber Ivey

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Just look

Sometimes, just look.

You might look as an artist, or as a scientist. You could look in wonder. You could gaze lovingy, or observe suspiciously, but as you don't always know exactly what you're seeing, sometimes it's good to just look.
photo by Gail Higgins

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

New tools

Kristin Burton wrote:

I have for sure felt like unschooling has been like recovery. It hasn't come easy to me. Recovery from using guilt as a tool, using control as a tool. Letting go of expectations of what it means to be a parent and how children should be.

It's ongoing for me, it take lots of thoughtful pauses to remain on the path of unschooling life. But it's seeped in everywhere now, how I treat my husband, how I even treat myself. How I see relationships, food, world issues.

Recovery is about emptying your toolbox of the broken, ineffective tools that have helped you scrape by in life. For me to feel joy in my own self and want joy for others I had to empty that tool box and find new tools. It's been scary and I ve had to take lots of leaps of faith.

The other day my daughter said she needed a hug, and in that embrace she said, "Mom you are like my compass."

That is what recovery feels like for me.
—Kristin Burton
photo by Sandra Dodd (of someone else's painting)

Monday, January 15, 2018


One smile is better than none.

Don't cheap out on your child, though. You can afford three smiles, or five.
Small Gifts
photo by Eva Witsel
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