Monthly Archives: June 2012

Art-o-mat

                                                                                           

A cool thing I stumbled upon at a nearby library was an old cigarette machine stocked with handmade art objects instead of cigarettes (!)  The machine, now known as an “Art-o-mat,” is a former bona fide 1950s or 1960s era dispenser and now requires metal tokens to make a purchase instead of real money (the library staff just a few feet away sells each token for $5.00).  With said metal token, a person can choose his/her art object; on the machine’s small outside panels each object is briefly described.

In the name of all things artful and to benefit all such endeavors, I gladly gave my $5.00 for a token.  To choose a small art piece was a bit hard, and it turns out my first choice had sold out.  The next choice turned out all right and after pulling the knob dispenser I received a small brown box that had a label running across it entitled “Heart House.”  Contained within the box was a lovely crocheted heart pin that has a bright yellow ribbon woven through it. The crochet thread is bright white.

It turns out that this work of art was actually hand crafted at a place known as “Heart House” in Bangladesh.  A slip of paper describing “Heart House” was included along with the crocheted heart pin.  Here is the background provided on “Heart House” in Bangladesh:

Heart House was founded in the 1970s to provide income for women widowed by the war for independence.  Making craft items kept many from being forced into prostitution. 

                Heart House is now made up of more than one hundred widows and handicapped artisans.

Art Work includes:

–Hindu Bride dolls

–Muslim Bride dolls

–Angel dolls

–Doll in a Lungi (men’s skirt)

–Doll in a Sari (women’s dress)

–Mama Doll

–Mru & Tripura Tribal Dolls

–Lizard Doll

–Crocheted Heart 

Each piece is individually crafted and painted by hand

Where to find your nearby Art-o-mat

Art-o-mat machines are located throughout the U.S.   There is a website that describes the Art-o-mat concept and provides listings of locations.  Here is the link:  http://www.artomat.org/

Who knows what handmade art object awaits you in your nearby Art-o-mat dispenser?!

On the June night of a lunar eclipse and the eve of a Venus eclipse

While looking for wisdom and direction (too much time spent in mental limbo!), I saw this quote on a meditation website tonite:

A finger points at the moon, but the moon is not at the tip of the finger.
Words point at the truth, but the truth is not in words.
To seek illumination through words
is to get lost in the web of words and not see the truth.

–Huineng

Philosophy and its search to understand, among other things, truth, knowledge and existence, can want to go beyond the tools that humans have to try and explain and describe.  For someone such as myself who tends to think about and believe in “words,” it is funny how in the end words can block us and it is words that we must let go.

How odd; this notion is perhaps the antithesis of this blog’s raison d’etre….

Speaking of truth there is also the idea, as a friend has often said:  “Seek the truth and the truth shall set you free.”

Eve of a Venus Eclipse

It Was a Very Good Year (female version circa 2012)

When I was seventeen

It was a very good year

It was a very good year for a loving beau

Handsome and strong

We could do no wrong

In a car painted green

When I was seventeen.

 

When I was twenty one

It was a very good year

It was a very good year for college loves to hold close

Without any fear

And our futures unclear

Vietnam and the war was done

When I was twenty one.

 

When I was thirty-five

It was a very good year

It was a very good year

For music in bars and friends who cared

In a world we all shared

We were all still alive

When I was thirty-five.

 

But now the days grow short

I’m in the autumn of the year

And now I think of my life as vintage wine

From fine old kegs

From the brim to the dregs

And it poured sweet and clear

It was a very good year.

 

The original song was composed by Ervin Drake in 1961 and Frank Sinatra sung it on his album “September of My Years” released in 1965.  Mr. Sinatra was just about 50 years old at the time.   Link to a 1977 live rendition on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GVkuz_qD2uo