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It is official. I have finished a hat. I am a knitter. Yay!!!!
(Please disregard the graffitied wall, incorrect date, visible knitting errors and large nose. Please do regard the pretty Marjolein Bastein poster. And the nice red yarn. Red and Hats just go together, don’t you think?)
This is the only book by good old Mr. Berry offered by my library. In fact, I found it ferretted back in a little section classified as “Young Adult General Non-Fiction”. I’m still trying to figure that one out. At any rate, I think I enjoy the clarity and immediacy of Berry speaking directly (even all the way back in 1977) just as much as I enjoy the beauty of his fiction.
It is a book of essays (indeed, so indicates the cover). Part of the second, entitled “Healing,” I thought worthy of taking down to remember. What is creativity?…
The task of healing is to respect oneself as a creature, no more and no less.
A creature is not a creator, and cannot be. There is only one Creation, and we are its members.
To be creative is only to have health: to keep oneself fully alive in the Creation, to keep the Creation fully alive in oneself, to see the Creation anew, to welcome one’s part in it anew.
The most creative works are all strategies of this health.
Works of pride, by self-called creators, with their premium on originality, reduce the Creation to novelty– the faint surprises of minds incapable of wonder.
Pursuing originality, the would-be creator works alone. In loneliness one assumes a responsibility for oneself that one cannot fulfill.
Novelty is a new kind of loneliness.
Wendell Berry, What Are People For?; “Healing”, part II
The “faint suprises of minds incapable of wonder.” Hm. Food for thought.
Now that title just doesn’t have a very good ring. What it was meant to indicate is that, folks, well…
I tend to go rather overboard buying second-hand books. A reduction in income has forced me to become somewhat more disciplined in my shopping habits of late, but I still gravitate to the bookshelves at the thrift store or the jumbled boxes of incongruous volumes at the garage sale. I often come away with a tattered paperback copy of one of the classics which some highschooler has beautified by writing her name in the margin every several pages, and occasionally I’ll find a nice hardback which is in much better shape than the 50-cent pricetag would suggest. However, I don’t generally unearth anything of earthshattering value or significance.
One day I did stumble upon this boxed set of little leather-bound volumes, however; and while they fit right in with all the other stuff of un-earthshattering value and significance wherewith I fill my shopping sacks, they were so utterly charming (and in good shape for their age) that they trancend once-read novels and dog-eared Penguin Classics.
This, of course, is the view of the bookshelf-top/nightstand beside my bed, and the knick-knack shelf hanging above it. If you look closely, up there on the right end of that shelf, there is a little boxed volume of books.
This is them! (Yep, I took them out onto the front porch to catch some late-afternoon sun during our photo shoot.)
See their beautiful covers? If I had measured them before I took them back upstairs, I could tell you precisely how small they are; but as is, I suppose I’ll have to guess and say, somewhere around 3×5 inches. You could tuck one in your pocket for a stroll around the garden!
Title page for the “Winter” volume.
Sorry for the blurriness. Copywrite 1917. Can’t you just imagine a young lady in her long cinch-waisted dress and big hat fingering the pages 93 years ago?
These are the inner-cover illustrations. I didn’t think to check and see– maybe they’re the garden in each season? Beautiful though! The introductory sentiments indicate that this little set of volumes was written for the purpose of identifying common garden flowers, as opposed to wildflowers, which apparently were well-covered in the guide-book market.
Here are a couple of pages from the “winter” volume. Pretty (watercolor?) illustrations by various artists.
So there you have it! My thrifted antique flower guides. Who knows what I’ll find on my next visit to the second-hand store?…
… which is where you’ll find the nook carved out for my bedroom in my real house. Sounded appropriate for my little nook carved out in this corner of the web…
… to have twenty-four ounces of hazelnut cappucinno yumminess at 10:30 p.m., do laundry and do blog updates and have an animated chat with someone until 3 a.m., sleep till 6:30, get up and still be on a caffeine high at 9?
I’m not sure, but I think, at any rate, the next time I go to the laundromat I’ll make that cappucinno a small. 🙂