Posted tagged ‘origami’

“Talent is useful, but always keep your dagger sharp.”

February 18, 2018

The predicted snow stayed north of us. My sister who lives 14 miles from Boston got 5″. We got rain. The rain storm started around eleven and was still going strong at 12:30 when I fell asleep. Today is bright with sun. The blue sky is almost cloudless. The breeze is strong, and the pine branches are swaying and bending enough to make noise. It is a chilly day.

Tonight is game night, and we’ll also celebrate Chinese New Year. One year we did origami and folded the different color papers into dragons and kites and other symbols. I was horrible at it. I thought I had folded the papers just right according to the illustrations, but the finished produces had no resemblance to the pictures of them. It was frustrating, but I knew it would be as I had learned from experience I can put almost anything together by following the word directions and not the picture directions.  There’s that old left brain in action.

When I was kid in elementary school, we had art every couple of weeks. It alternated with music. There was no music teacher and there was no art teacher. The teacher or the nun I had did it all. Sister Hildegarde, my eighth grade teacher, had music class more often than once every other week. She had a keyboard which one of my classmates played. She also had pitch pipe which was round and had the keys listed next to the hole to blow. She’d blow the note then start us off with the first line. She sang so badly we had to hide behind our music books so she wouldn’t catch us laughing at her. I think it was also in her class I learned Gregorian chant notes. We even had tests of reading and writing chant.

I don’t remember much about my art classes. The only one I remember is when we made paper mâché puppets. We also had to write a small play and team up with classmates. I made a devil, and it was the best thing I ever created in any art class.

As I grew older, I found out that words strung together in the right way created beauty, a beauty of language which conjured images and memories and feelings. It was my talent.

“The wind shows us how close to the edge we are.”

February 8, 2016

I’m not lying. I swear I saw a herd of reindeer romping through my backyard then leaping, almost flying, over the six foot fence. I tried to watch the them as the deer ran through my neighbor’s yard, but I lost them in the storm, in the blizzard with almost zero visibility. The wind is so heavy it whistles. I keep waiting for a train.

The larder is full, the animals have plenty of food and my house is warm. I’m happy to hunker down until this storm is over.

Happy New Year! It is the year of the monkey. We celebrated last night with Chinese food and then tried origami of the various animals of the Chinese Zodiac, known in Chinese as Sheng Xiao. We did the monkey first, and it seemed easy and even looked like a monkey when we were done. The origami dog, however, was a different story. We just couldn’t get the tail right. We folded and refolded the paper so many times it looked like an accordion. My friend Clare gave up on the dog and folded a perfect tiger. If we gave prizes, she would have won. Tony, though, wouldn’t even get honorable mention. He couldn’t even finish the monkey.

Mohammed and I had had quite the conversation around midnight last night. My Comcast e-mail doesn’t open. An empty page does. He said they were working on improving service. I think he said that as an answer to every question I asked. I wanted to know why everything on my computer worked except for my e-mail. Guess what-it is because they are working to improve service. He then said he hoped he had helped solve my problem. Nope. I asked again about the e-mail: same answer about the service. I then decided to get chatty. Mohammed was in India, it was 11 in the morning and the temperature was fine, but it was a bit humid. I do think we bonded a bit. He then gave me a phone number, said good-bye and went on to his next poor customer who will find out there is maintenance.

The snow will end in the late afternoon.

“I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it.”

April 27, 2015

No errands to do today, but I have some laundry which I’ve brought down to this floor, only one more floor to go. I’ll probably make my bed, but that’s not a given. I will water the plants. I’ve already showered and read the papers. The day is partly sunny which I prefer over partly cloudy, a choice which reminds me of the half-full or half-empty glass description. I always figured that choice had little to do with outlook and more to do with thirst. Really thirsty makes the glass half-empty.

In our travels, my brother and I would drink water from just about everywhere except the swamp. Beside the tracks, there was a pipe with water flowing from it. Underneath the pipe was a small pool of water which was the start of a stream. We always stopped there for a drink. The water looked clean. That’s all we cared about. There were very few bubblers around town. One was at the field below our street, and we stopped there. We even taught the dog to drink from it. Germs were never a consideration. Cooties were, not germs, but dogs didn’t have cooties. People did. In my head just now jumped the memory of cootie catchers. They were made by folding a paper several times until there were four corners meeting in the middle and each corner had a pocket to put your fingers in so you could move the corners back and forth until a corner was chosen. Inside each corner was something pithy the maker had written. We also used those cootie catchers as fortune tellers, a nicer game. Later I realized these were origami, but knowing that was a long way in the future.

The best and the coldest water was from the hose. Before you drank it, the water had to run a bit as the sun had warmed the water already in the hose. Once it was cold enough, the flow had to be gentle or the front of your shirt got soaked. It was a balancing act which took some practice.

Even in Ghana we drank suspect water which had floaties, our pet name for whatever was in the water bottle, really a beer bottle holding water, but on my latest two visits to Ghana, I bought water, bottled water. I figured I’m beyond taking chances with floaties.