Buttons are small daily objects that quietly connect things. They join things up, they hold us together. This blog features buttons as a way of reminding us of the little things that lie behind the actions we take to build strong communities.
The other part of this blog’s title represents the nourishment we get from participating in community life and that we can offer to others also. It is not the nourishment of the exotic, but the everyday sustenance of regular connections, ongoing work and play – bread rather than caviar.
cups made at the jam factory
cups (pic from the internet)
more tatting – the handkerchief would have to be ‘a shower not a blower’!
cup (by Gerry Wedd) from the Jam Factory
More bobbin lace
Cover of Sarah Sentilles’ book
Cover of Elaine Scarry’s book
As a bit of a follow up to last week’s blog post and the power of working with others to create change in the world, I read something that I found interesting and inspiring during the week. On the surface it is about art, but it is also about changing the world and making things happen, a bit at a time and also on a larger scale. It’s about living an active and collaborative life and reaching for ways to make things better. The book it came from is called Draw your Weapons by Sarah Sentilles, and she is referencing someone called Elaine Scarry, who wrote a book (in the 1980’s) called “The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World”. Here is the quote:
“Art – bringing a physical object into the world where there previously was not one – illustrates on a small scale what’s possible on a larger scale… You imagine ————– and you paint ————. You take something from inside your mind and put it out in the real world – from my head to my hand, from my head to your hand – which means that what was once inside your mind is now shareable. Imagining a city, you make a house… Imagining a political utopia, you help build a country. Imagining the elimination of suffering in the world, you nurse a sick friend.
…[T]he creation of an artifact – a sentence, a cup, a piece of lace – [is] a fragment of world alteration. And if you can make these smaller changes, …if you can alter the world in fragments, just think what can be imagined together, what might be possible in community: a total reinvention of the world.”
Another angle on this is that those fragments of world alteration that we are all part of here in our everyday mundane and ordinary lives, ‘change the world’ because we are part of the world, and if things change here the world as a whole is a little bit different as a result. I love this thought as I beaver away at work or in the community – it doesn’t seem like much, and in many ways of course it isn’t and can’t be – but we are in the world and our little moves forward are part of the big picture.
(Pictures today from the internet, illustrating lace and cups as per the quote above, plus the covers of the books mentioned.)
I went for a walk tonight – my last beach walk for the year as I will go to Auburn tomorrow. It was beautiful out, and lots of ordinary-but-not-if-you-look things to see along the way. Here are the pics I took, with captions if you click on them, to describe what is going on (though it is obvious mostly!), from evidence of air, to marching birds, to washing birds, to flowers and feathers and geology and the moon, sand and sea, long views and close ups. The world is gorgeous in big and little ways isn’t it?
Happy New Year!
A leaf of the strelitzia plant in our garden sweeping the ground around it in the wind
Leaf sweeping blossoms through the action of the wind
Another view of the leaf and the swept ground
Three magpies running up the road ahead of me
One of the three waiting to cross the road
Vein of quartz in the rocks that make up the beach wall
Vein of quartz
More quartz in a rock at the beach
Another thin vein
Frangipani flowers on a bench by the beach
Close up with my shadow
Three seagulls having a wash
Man and his son (I’d guess) playing at the beach
Long view of beach looking south
Long view of beach looking north
From the beach looking east
From the beach looking up
A feather from a seagull
The same feather being blown up the road by the wind at the sea
Feather briefly at rest in the gutter
Posted in Uncategorized
Tagged beach, birds, close ups, feather, geology, hills, long view, magpies, moon, nature, New Year, rocks, sea, seagulls
Here’s a video to get us in the mood for jumping into adventure (or not) in the new year!
Go for it!
It’s funny how we here in the southern summer have so completely taken on northern hemispherical ideas about Christmas – the snow and wintry looks to so many cards, the Christmas decorations daubed with pretend snow and the ‘frosted’ trees. Yesterday at work someone brought in shortbread they had made and sprinkled with icing sugar ‘for snow’ she said. Then of course there is the red of holly berries, a bit of brightness in a grey world in winter, but here it’s not to be seen (we have the plant but not the berries).
Here, to go with long, light days and blasting sun we have a million agapanthus plants. I know I have said that before about strelitzias, but truly, ag’s are in every other garden or more, and in car parks and public parks and in drifts along verges and in singles in odd places. And it’s Christmas when this happens. And agapanthus means “love flower” in Greek, so it’s on the money there too symbolically. Perhaps we should assert a cultural/climatic/seasonal/geographical/botanical difference and have blue and green as the colours of the season and on cards and Christmas dec’s (the flowers have a very convenient round shape – easy to turn snowy baubles into floral ones). What do you think??
Here are some shots of the gazillion plants that are about (including one shot of a white flowering agapanthus – which are also around but not in quite such numbers as the blue). I could take another hundred in half an hour…
Wishing you all happy times over the coming week!
Wonder what the looming red flower is….
These were taken at my sister’s place – the plants transplanted from our garden in Auburn years ago
You could even have ‘snow’ imitations with white ags…
I went to see Nicky in Port Willunga a few days ago, for her birthday. It was a lovely evening and great to celebrate a good friend by sharing a meal on the back decking of their recently renovated place.
Anyway, we were enjoying the ambience of a summer evening, when we were joined by… a kangaroo of all things, which came into the garden and had a very long drink from the birdbath. It was a lovely sight, and a special birthday treat, although we were a bit worried that maybe it was not in the best of shape, and it did have some difficulty working out how to get out of the yard. After it found the gate it went across the road to the front door of the neighbour’s house – the kids called out to their parents that there was a kangaroo at the door! The snaps I took aren’t fantastic but you get the idea…
Not quite sure if there is a metaphor in it, but happy birthday Nicky, and may all your birdbaths be visited by marsupials!
Drinking from the birdbath – note the front paws just hanging down – kind of relaxed, but maybe weary was the feeling I had
At the birdbath
Another shot looking right
This gives a better sense, once you can see the kangaroo, of how close it was to us
Looking back at the friends on the deck around the table
The birthday girl