Friday, January 27, 2012

Being Mindful

Ten Mindful Movements - on YouTube

What more can I say? To balance your mind and body and to come into the present moment with awareness, this series of movements is perfect. With the beautiful Thich Nhat Hanh of Plum Village in France.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The tactile pot

Shoji Hamada
Square Plate
Kaki glaze with poured decoration
3 ¼ x 12 ½ x 12 ½"
box signed by Shinsaku Hamad

I have found this picture of a typical pot, or rather a plate, by Shoji Hamada. He is just about my favourite potter for his sense of form and exquisite use of colour. This one is for sale at the Pucker Gallery and no price is mentioned. What I do know is that it would be far, far more than we could ever pay.

I want to touch it and hold it, just as the potter did. For me, the greatest quality of any handmade pot is its tactility. Running your fingers over the glaze you can feel the potters hands.  This YouTube clip of Hamada turning a pot is classic, apparently in Australia in 1965.

The stones are piling up

Over a week and my river of stones is growing. I've decided I need to do what has been suggested, which is to look, just look for five minutes and then to write. Having to choose something every day has interesting side effects. For instance, I see something early in the morning and decide to focus on it, then later a more absorbing object or sight occurs. Also, it can feel a little contrived, this deliberate choice of something to write and publish.

However, it feels good. So I will persevere and try to relax. Above all I will try not to be too pretentious.

Here are a few of the images attached to the stones.

 my photo of Venice some years ago
my photo of tea yesterday
The Source of the Thames by Michael Andrews

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Starting my River of Stones

Through the blog Writing Our Way Home I have decided to undertake to closely observe one thing, feeling, event every day and write a 'stone'. I have a separate blog for this and hope to include an appropriate image every day. So, that blog could be the only record. But then I remember buying this collection of notebooks, with beautiful handmade paper, in a box covered in images of pebbles.
Perfect! And each book has 60 pages, there are 6 books, so each one will be for 2 months. It was  meant to be.

Then I wondered why, in common with many people, I am drawn to pebbles and stones. For instance, this is one of my favourite mugs.

And it runs in the family. My grandchildren in Australia insisted their mother bring these in her luggage, specially chosen for me from their favourite beach, probably at Lennox Head. Yes, I know it's not legal, but hope the pebble police are not looking. It meant so much to think their small hands had held the stones that I now hold.

It is the primaeval, the tactile qualities, the resonance with water, rivers and seas, that makes them so special as if by holding them, we are capturing the spirit of the place and the person who picked that particular one.

So the idea of 'writing a river of stones' has resonances far beyond the practical. And that has to be good. It mustn't be a chore to write a small paragraph every day, but a joy in something held, like a stone, and examined minutely. No doubt with practice, they will be more polished, but it doesn't matter. What matters is the time spent observing, mindfully, of course.