Posts Tagged ‘books’

I am reading a beautiful writer at the moment, he’s like reading a Michael Leunig cartoon in novel form, very plain spare words speaking about the wonder of all things.
from “Martin Marten” by Brian Doyle pages 200-201 (2015) a book about martens in NW Washington state
and so much more;
“… Who knew? And perhaps that’s how all things change; one decides to try this, and another notices and decides to try also, and then there is a new idea loose in the world, from which even newer ideas might someday hatch. And there is time and time enough for such ideas to flower, over the course of millions of years and ideas, and while some beings do not change – having found the idea in which they wish to stay forever, like the ancient ideas in which crabs and crocodiles and dragonflies live – other beings do change, some constantly, like the human beings, who were once animals who snarled and hooted and hunted and were hunted, animals little different from their omnivore mammalian cousins. But ideas bred easily among the human beings, and their snarls and hoots became songs and poems, and their solitary pursuits became plans and plots, and their slabs of split stone became swords and rifles, and so they commandeered the world, or tried to. But once they were dominant, their ideas began to wither, their success being poison to their dreams, and there were those among them who wondered if some subtle wildness had been the food of their greatest creativity, and if their salvation as a species, and their dwindling chance to clean and balance the world they had fouled and rattled, depended on something in them that yearned for trees and ice, waters and animals, mountains and caves, mystery and attentiveness, the humility before wonder that once they had thought merely their lot and fate, but was instead perhaps their greatest gift and grace.”

from “Chicago” by Brian Doyle pages 294-295 (2017) a book about the chigago-ness of Chicago and a dog called Edward who is an extraordinarily ordinary illuminated being;
“… At this magazine I hope you have learned the rudiments of the craft, the way you must balance ego and humility, the way the profession is finally one of service, not of heroic gratification of your urge to be important. We are not important. We are crucial, yes; without us there is naught but lies and thievery and souls easily led to the altar of Mammon, thereupon to be sacrificed to serious profit, which is our first and foremost deity and principle; but we are not important in the eyes of the world, and will never be. I hope you learned that here. Those among us who expose and uncover the most chicanery and greed will be soon found to have feet of clay, and hands of the stickiest glue, and the sexual proclivities of maddened weasels; those among us who ferret out the true facts of imbroglio and crime will soon enough be banished and exiled, doomed to flog useless products of one kind or another for the rest of their days; those of us who write most beautifully and gracefully and eloquently and powerfully will be suspected of plagiarism, rumoured to be dope fiends, assumed to be self-absorbed egomaniacs, and eventually doomed to be forgotten, our books and articles turned to mold and mulch. That is the fate of all journalism.
“But we are crucial. That is what I hope you have learned. We listen and collect and share stories. Without stories there is no nation and no religion and no culture. Without stories of bone and substance and comedy there is only a river of lies, and sweet and delicious ones they are, too. We are the gatherers, the shepherds, the farmers of stories. We wander widely and look for them and gather them and share them as food. It is a craft as necessary and nutritious as any other, and if you are going to be good at it you must double your humility and triple your curiosity and quadruple your ability to listen.”

and from “Mink River” by Brian Doyle p16 (2010) a book about a not especially stunning town in Oregon “bounded by four waters: one muscular river, two shy little creeks, one ocean”… and a crow
“Billy, he says quietly. Billy. We heal things. That’s what we do. That’s why we’re here. We’ve always agreed on that. Right from the start. We do as well as we can. We fail a lot but we keep after it. What else can we do? We have brains that still work so we have to apply them to pain. Brains against pain. That’s the motto. That’s the work. That’s what we do. Soon enough we will not have brains that work, so therefore.”

I am loving every one of these books reading them back to back, sadly this beautiful man passed away in May this year but he has left a legacy of stories celebrating the magic found in observing the wonder in the ordinary, the beauty in the day to day met with deep love & compassion for our beautiful broken world
these passages may not make that much sense out of context, to get more of a sense of his deep compassion & grace read this short piece from that terrible moment when the twin towers in NYC fell
Leap by Brian Doyle

Carolyn Skinner of Oz Arts Magazine wrote a glowing article about our Crow Book!
now what was it that Dickens said ?… ah thank you Google
“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.”
isn’t it funny (as in odd rather than hilarious) how this is the saddest week of my whole life and the most exciting all at the same time!
On Monday Madeleine of Artsite Gallery sold “Honesty” in ” The GPS has no idea where I am going”
x fingers Dark Moon with Ladder sells too!
the show continues til the 23rd

PS we are missing Ariel so much but all the heartfelt good vibes from around the world are helping heaps

crow-show-window-at-Artsite Madeleine has worked her magic and turned the last 5 years work into a proper job!
Crow-Show-previewThe Dark Moon Dancer greeting Richard Whitfield at the preview
Crow-Show-preview-2“I love sitting my own shows and talking about the work,  it seems to perform the function of grounding the work in the world, providing a bridge between the artist and viewer and allowing for a safe letting go of the work into the world.  The work ripens in the conversation, comes to full bloom in the clean space of the gallery. The journey can be seen and understood in it’s fullness before it breaks again.”
thanks for these wise words Bronwyn Berman
Richard Whitfieldpromise to take more photos and get some video footage at the launch this arvo
Let the Good Times Roll!

good-books“Don’t let it bring you down, it’s only castles burning”
Neil Young from the After the Gold Rush album circa 1970
our beautiful broken world is going through some strange times in this 21st C and these two books are helping me see the changes with a longer view of the Zeitgeist, with our love of the old and worn, the rusted ragged edges, the wild weeds in the paving and the cracks in broken glass, the imperfection, the wabi-sabi-ness , these are all recurring signs throughout history of a culture in decline… beliefs have become hollow empty vessels and kindness a rare treasure in need of nurturing…
week-old-heritage-rosesthe roses have had their day, the careful hand colouring of the crow books is keeping me almost sane with 8 weeks to go ’til the Crow Show  & everything is falling into place. Have two quotes in for the CD burning & printing. The company that I was hoping to go with (they are nearby and seem friendlier) were twice as expensive as the other mob, so have asked them for a second quote. Need to count the Old Man Crow T-shirts we have left and work out how many more to order, a few people need XXXL and S + topping up of the M, L, XL  & XXL. Will start sending out the interstate & overseas invitations this week. The only other things that need doing are printing some more Old Man Crow note cards and pricing the last few pieces that have fallen out of my hands & Madeleine the gallery owner has kindly offered to not take any commission on the books which will help keep the price down. Phew!

handmade-boxthe late 1800’s steamer tray trunk from Drunk on the Moon was too warped and stained for The Hands of Fate so I made a box out of craftboard and PVA glue
processand started covering the surface with my much loved  42 year old copy of The Gardener’s Catalogue
The-Gardeners-Catalogue-1974this book has seen me through so many changes, the paper is brittle and worn & so am I… working on the floor for three days was fun but yikes! every muscle and bone started complaining yesterday, I was surprised as I loved working on the floor in my bedroom in a series of share houses right up until my late 20’s!
workspacemoved everything to my bench & it’s so much easier!
The-Hands-of-Fate-inside-of-boxinside of the box covered in favourite images and words
The-Hands-of-Fate-box-underneathunderneath in process
The-Hands-of-Fate-ribbon& started stitching some very old rotted silk to a wide ribbon
which will be embroidered with The Hands of Fate

gris gris by Junko Oki

Posted: December 9, 2015 by Mo Crow in It's Crow Time, magic
Tags: , , ,

gris-gris-by Junko OkiJunko Oki is making gris gris
gris-gris-by Junko Oki revealrevealing
note-by-Junko-Okia short note
front cover
back cover
Junko Oki makes real magic and the scent is divine

The Wayward Leunig

Posted: November 12, 2015 by Mo Crow in It's Crow Time
Tags: , ,

Irrelevance-by-Leunigthe good ship “Irrelevance” by Michael Leunig
Leunig-booksMichael chatted about art, life & the influence of ducks at Gleebooks to launch his latest book, “The Wayward Leunig”.
He is such a gentle soul, take a squizz at more of his wonderfully wry and whimsical work on his website & the Michael Leunig Appreciation Page
ThisWay by Leunig for Gleebooks