Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Back to lining up ducks

Today was another organizational day. Here, you see the Korean book whose stories I want to include into my manuscript, by the woman who taught me joomchi. Then old hanji samples that I want to reconfigure for either teaching or display purposes. Then 36 pairs of strips of hanji that I would like to cord today. And at bottom, and old piece that I am thinking of recycling (though now that I look at it, maybe I will put it back in the bin because I don't have the energy to deal with this right now).

The big tasks for now are 1. deciding if I will apply for an enormous, very competitive grant and 2. revising my teaching handouts, which seems easy when I'm in the middle of teaching and realize that the handout is outdated or could use different info, but is not fun at all when I have to sit in front of the computer again. I avoided that for a while by pulling samples for my Asheville workshop next weekend. Oh! And the info for my solo show is finally online. I hear it looks beautiful, and I am delighted that they installed it all for me.

The unpleasant task I am avoiding is getting to know my new phone (another phone in the plan broke, and now we ALL have to upgrade). Because I am a cranky old man in disguise, I am horrified that I have to give up my tiny flip phone for this giant object that is capable of doing far too many things and is at higher risk of theft and breakage. Don't I have enough bright screens to stare at? I talked this past weekend to my host about my belief (completely unfounded on anything except for my own crotchety speculations) that all of these touch screens are going to make us stupid. I mean, our hands will become stupid. And as a result, our brains will become stupid. It's like how our feet are now weak and less sensitive since we wear shoes and almost all of the surfaces we walk on are smooth (I know, First World Problems). Now our hands are experiencing the same thing. Do people even know how to hold pencils anymore?

To combat that, I'm going to keep cording paper. That book up there talks about how constant use of your hands keeps you sane and clear as you age, and she's living proof, having been born in the 1920s but still alive and kicking, handling hanji every day. She wrote that the constant stimulation of fingers and hands against each other keeps the entire body healthy and the mind alert. And now I am inching closer and closer to practicing my violin to balance the ratio of plastic/glass/other weird stuff to paper and wood and things that still breathe.


  1. i read the old man parts aloud to marc and we laughed because it sounds like him (and me, too). i think you and your wonderful old joomchi teacher is so right on. i rejoice when i find a student who can use tools or their hands or both!


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