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Category: Arts and Aesthetics

All things creative. All things beautiful, profound, and moving.

Civilization: An exercise in 4:00 a.m. thinking

One recent Saturday I slumped under a cloud of doom. “You have nothing left to say. You’re a failure. You might as well close up shop and slink away.” I felt capable only of staring at the walls or losing myself in a Downton Abbey marathon. Even lying down to take a nap seemed like too much effort. Nearly all writers know this mood. It’s often the precursor to a burst of productivity; but when we’re in it, we never see that. When we’re in it, it’s always The End. Sure enough, the next morning I snapped awake at 4:21…

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Tending to my (experimental) knitting

With company gone, life back to normal, and too many rainy July days, I finally decided to haul out, assemble, and learn something about those knitting machines I scored early last month. The days I discovered, researched, and bought the machines, I was hot to try them out. By the time they’d sat for weeks, my attitude was merely dutiful. Sigh. I already told the blog I have these machines. Somebody’s going to ask what I did with them. I better do soooooomething even if I don’t feel like it. So Thursday morning the Toyota KS650 knitter wasn’t the only…

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Lookin’ out my back door

For anybody who wonders why I live here … … that’s 12 feet from my back door. Of course, sometimes the vegetation does get carried away. Between morning glory, ivy, alder saplings, and the omnipresent blackberry vines, you can almost watch the grow-y things growing. Summer may not be sunny, but it’s one long struggle to keep plants from taking over plants. This is what that big fern in the right foreground looked like 10 minutes before I took the above shot, being strangled and consumed by morning glory tendrils: Beautiful, cannibalistic vegetation. We have everything a rain forest has.…

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Walls, vegetation, and motivation

One day last week, I couldn’t bear being inside my house or inside my own skin. Normally, solitude is joy, but there are certain days — and I’ve had a lot of them, this gloomy spring and summer. I wish I could tell you I get through such times by meditating or some other spiritual practice worthy of a true hermit. Ha. Truth is, at the itchiest of those moments the only cure is to escape from the hermitage. And usually to shop. Oh, not for designer shoes or fancy clothes, unless I can get them from a thrift store.…

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We now pause for a brief commercial announcement

No, not a commercial announcement on my behalf; I have NFI in any of the following. I just think they’re all worthy causes and items you might be interested in. 1. Liberty Under Attack Publications, aka the very young men who are reviving Rayo’s old freedom strategy of VONU, now have more books online. In addition to books on the vonulife, they’ve got volumes on bitcoin investing, subversion, strategy, and sedition. Who could ask for more? 2. A brief reminder that friend-of-liberty Elias Alias has expanded his Silver Seeds of Liberty line. When he’s not agitating for freedom, Elias is…

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A whole head full o’ nothin’ but spring

Written Sunday evening; posted Monday morning from my car, grabbing a few minutes wifi. —– I’ve beat my brains this weekend trying to come up with something brilliant for you. I’ve got nothing. But aside from feeling guilty for the nothingness between my ears, having nothing is a blessedly pleasant state. I’ve been sewing. And cleaning junk out of the laundry room in preparation for the next round of serious minioning for The Wandering Monk. And buying fabrics for $1 a yard from one of the local thrift stores, which just inherited 20 boxes of sewing supplies from some woman’s…

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Mildred: A life in 40 patterns

Realizing my readership is mostly male, I hesitate to post the following. But don’t tune out on me, guys. Or at least not instantly. Don’t assume from the topic that this post is too girly for your macho selves. Think of this like finding a box of old gun or car parts or fishing tackle, all from one guy’s garage. —– Behind one of the local thrift stores are boxes of freebies — loaded up every morning, then tossed out at the end of every day. These are newly donated items that are almost trash, but Chris the manager hopes…

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Guardians

My “guardian” dream from late last month continues to haunt and puzzle me. Though I’m no closer to understanding it (and it demands understanding and perhaps action), I’ve had some help along the way. I’ve already mentioned Commentariat member Shel leading me to Jung — actually two Jungs, Carl and his wife Emma. Then yesterday I found an unexpected gift in a locker at the post office. That up there at the top of this blog is a framed and bejeweled print of a 15th-century Russian icon of a (or perhaps the) guardian angel. Or as the handy translation sheet…

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Observations in a graveyard

Because I didn’t think I was my best shiny-souled self when last I blogged, I sat down yesterday at the library to noodle something “lite” but good for you. Anyhow, I tried. No sooner had I taken care of a few bits of online housekeeping than I flew into rebellion against all acts of duty. I couldn’t blog. I couldn’t sit still. I couldn’t bear the noise of the library. I couldn’t face the prospect of going home and cleaning my car (which I had to do because I was scheduled to drive a friend to the hospital and I’m…

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The joy of old machines

I’ve been reconditioning two old sewing machines this week. Not that “reconditioning” requires any skill. These are 1950s vintage — the apogee, the ne plus ultra of sewing machine tech and quality. These were machines designed to last until the heat death of the universe. “Reconditioning” has mostly meant degreasing, blowing out cobwebs, oiling, and educating myself. Each machine already ran as well as the day it was made. I discovered that each needed only one small part to make it fully operational. Given the ubiquity of these old machines, both parts were available for a few dollars on eBay,…

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