Silence

A moment of each day:

My special moment today is reading the blog of GretchenJoanna about her reading-challenge of Japanese literature. I learned about Makoto Fujimura, artist and writer.Link to her blog:literature  

Fujimura wrote a book, Silence and Beauty, based on the writings of Shusaku Endo especially his book, Silence.

I have read Endo’s Silence many years ago and saw the movie adaptation, Silence by Martin Sorcese, recently. I have to thank you for bringing Makato Fujimura and his works. I watched the 7 videos by Fujimura talking about his book, Silence and Beauty. Here is the link:silence

 

 

The day as it happens

My day starts late with a walk to the river

Counting the black birds on the tree

They come down to feed on feeders

Thrown by a woman on the sidewalk.

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Our activity continues to the downtown

Where children and adults parade their lanterns,

Light attires, jellyfish lighted parasols, costumes. 

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Their route passes along where lgihted arts

Are projected on buildings complete with music and narrations.

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We end the evening under the huge moon

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As if it falls down from the sky

Which is what one child asks her mother about.

New Addition

The object of the Rule of 6 Plus One is not about accomplishments but simple enjoyment of state of being.

It’s a daily practice of self-discovery. It’s an expression of awareness. It’s a celebration of life where you give your “fullest, deepest attention.”

This evening Mrs. Abstract and I went to dinner with a couple of friends. We met other friends in the restaurant. It’s our Rotary club’s Dine and Donate night.

Where will I put this occasion in the Rule of 6 Plus One?

It’s not an imaginative play, or ideas to ponder? It’s a tight squeeze for Encounters with Beauty. Dinner with friends is sharing. It’s relationships. 

For children and adults Sharing is an additional category in the celebration of life. It deserves a separate category which  will overlap with the others. All the seven activities can be shared. The Rule of 6 Plus One will need an additional activity: Sharing. The daily activities will become Rule of 7 Plus One.

My mnemonics can be: Imagine Baudelaire Walking Writing Sharing Intense Poetic Encounters

What do you think?

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My Pagoda

My Rule of 6 Plus One

Once upon a conversation.

It’s New Year. How do you spend your day? I was asked.

I spend my day like a homeschooler. 

Why is that?

Being at home (I’m retired) I’m like a homeschooler. Home is freedom from school, from work.

13 years ago I accidentally logged on a blog of Melissa Wiley, a homeschooler mother. She teaches her children at home. She “borrowed” a Rule of 5 by Charlotte Mason of what to teach children every day. Melissa added one more activity and made it a Rule of 6. Here is a link: Rule of 6 to her original post.

 Here is the First Five:

Good books

Imaginative play

Encounters with beauty (through art, music, and the natural world—this includes our nature walks)

Ideas to ponder and discuss (there’s Miss Mason’s “something to think about”)

Prayer

Melissa Wiley added: Meaningful work to make it her Rule of 6.

For my part I added one more activity: Writing to make it my own Rule of 6 plus One.

I don’t know how I stumbled on her blog/website. Since that time I used her homeschooling plan of “Tidal Learning”  for my daily activities.

As a way of my modification or explanation:

The Good books can lead to Great Books.

The Imaginative play can include Physical Exercise, Tai Chi and Yoga.

Encounters with beauty can also involve Dramatic Art, Poetry and Dance.

Ideas to ponder and discuss include Creativity and Innovation, “things we think about”

Prayer also can mean Silence and Solitude

Meaningful work includes philanthropy of time and work.

Writing ranges from doodling to writing novels.

My Rule of 6 plus One

Good books

Imaginative play

Encounters with beauty 

Ideas to ponder and discuss 

Prayer

Meaningful work

Writing

I hope you and I can live a simple and harmonious life every day.

 

The First And Last Question

Reading an old newspapper is not useless

It’s like waiting for a train

You may see something strange 

Or someone extraordinary  

You may want to know more 

To understand and comprehend

Like going to a desert to escape the city

And sleep under the stars, take

Photographs of the constellations,

Of the revolving sky where existence is all written

Waiting for a train is like a promise

The patience of thought for surprising 

Consequences, allowing the mind

To wander or focus,time,proximity

Of time,simultaneity of waiting grinds 

Slowly, my attention, constant and stubborn

Devotes  all time to you.

The simplicity that love can enter

One’s heart at first sight.

Will I sacrifice myself for love?


“Kintsugi”

“In Japan there is a kind of reverence for the art of mending. In the context of the tea ceremony there is no such thing as failure or success in the way we are accustomed to using those words. A broken bowl would be valued precisely because of the exquisite nature of how it was repaired, a distinctly Japanese tradition of kintsugi, meaning to “to patch with gold”. Often, we try to repair broken things in such a way as to conceal the repair and make it “good as new.” But the tea masters understood that by repairing the broken bowl with the distinct beauty of radiant gold, they could create an alternative to “good as new” and instead employ a “better than new” aesthetic. They understood that a conspicuous, artful repair actually adds value. Because after mending, the bowl’s unique fault lines were transformed into little rivers of gold that post repair were even more special because the bowl could then resemble nothing but itself. Here lies that radical physical transformation from useless to priceless, from failure to success. All of the fumbling and awkward moments you will go through, all of the failed attempts, all of the near misses, all of the spontaneous curiosity will eventually start to steer you in exactly the right direction.”
-Teresita Fernández, sculptor
quoted by Maria Popova in Brain Pickings

Messiness

Messiness

Ride the wave one writer says
Pretend every word you have written is true
The stone arrangement has meaning
Messiness is a word seldom heard
A childhood of uncoordinated colors
Always there and barely noticed.
Soon it will be New Year
Another node in a chain of changes
Like looking forward to frequent distractions
Errands to make, barrels to blend
Will it be jazz or folk songs?
Should I invite her to watch the sunset?
There will be time for silhouettes
I have to remember to adjust the aperture
Light and time are never still
There are other more dangerous propositions.

note: Books I’m reading:
The Practice of Contemplative Photography by Andy Karr and Michael Wood
The Creative Artist by Nita Leland
Abandon by Pico Iyer
Still Writing by Dani Shapiro

 

rainbow edge

“I’ve come to believe that there’s no truth beyond illusion. Because, between ‘reality’ on the one hand, and the point where the mind strikes reality, there’s a middle zone, a rainbow edge where beauty comes into being, where two very different surfaces mingle and blur to provide what life does not: and this is the space where all art exists, and all magic.”

“Whatever teaches us to talk to ourselves is important: whatever teaches us to sing ourselves out of despair…it is a glory and a privilege to love what Death doesn’t touch.”-Donna Tartt

note: excerpts from The Goldfinch by Donna Tartt.