A Necklace of Memorable Days
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"Happiness is a matter of one's most ordinary everyday mode of consciousness being busy and lively and unconcerned with self. To be damned is for one's ordinary everyday mode of consciousness to be unremitting agonising preoccupation with self."
Iris Murdoch, The Nice and The Good
What sort of diary should I like mine to be? Something loose-knit and yet not slovenly, so elastic that it will embrace anything, solemn, slight or beautiful, that comes into my mind. I should like it to resemble some deep old desk or capacious hold-all, in which one flings a mass of odds and ends without looking them through. I should like to come back, after a year or two, and find that the collection had sorted itself and refined itself and coalesced, as such deposits so mysteriously do, into a mould, transparent enough to reflect the light of our life, and yet steady, tranquil compounds with the aloofness of a work of art. The main requisite, I think, on reading my old volumes, is not to play the part of a censor, but to write as the mood comes or of anything whatever; since I was curious to find how I went for things put in haphazard, and found the significance to lie where I never saw it at the time.
" She strung the afternoon on the necklace of memorable days, which was not too long for her to be able to recall this one or that one; this view, that city; to finger it, to feel it, to savour, sighing, the quality that made it unique."
Virginia Woolf, Moments of Being
"Why did I write any of my books, after all? For the sake of the pleasure, for the sake of the difficulty. I have no social purpose, no moral message; I've no general ideas to exploit, I just like composing riddles with elegant solutions."
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Last week, I took a one week course (4 days) introducing Japanese Woodblock printing.
The top photo shows the basic printing set up. The black area on the upper left of the wood block (shina plywood) is the area that was used to print the first colour, in this case black. The carved but uninked area below that is where the second colour, blue, will be printed. The shapes on the lower edge are the kentos, used to position the paper correctly, so each colour appears exactly where it's supposed to.
The second photo shows one of the first proofs, with little carving done and therefore mostly black. The third photo shows a proof from the same area of the block with much more carving done and therefore with much more white. The last photo shows a quick experiment with adding a second colour. The proofs should really be kept moist until all the colours have been added, but in this case, the blue was added to dry paper... Other colours will get added later, and everything will have to get tidied up.
The last photo shows the scraps of wax paper used to protect the paper from the baren during the printing process. I liked their transparency, so i stuck them up in the studio windows.
Water mains are bursting all over Montreal in this especially cold weather (-27 C this morning/-17 F). These photos are taken at the intersection of Saint Jacques and des Rivieres, one block east of Peel. You may not be able to see in the photos, but the water is still burbling up out of the road.
That's Windsor Station on the left in the fourth photo.
It could be worse! Swamprose is freezing in Toronto with no electricity for the last 20 hours with little hope of getting power back until tomorrow morning. Or that could be my car!
8th Jan 2009, 22:13
These photos were taken yesterday morning at the beginning of the storm. 24 hours later, it's still snowing. The total accumulation is about 25 centimeters, I think.