The re-imagined Hood Museum of Art re-opened
last weekend at Dartmouth College.
Among the treasures, I saw
this work by Elias Sime.
Undulating. Pulsing. In motion.
Alive. And yet it's made out of castoff
motherboards, toxic contributors to multitudes of e-waste.
And yet the city he envisions is "a sprawling ecosystem
of form and water." It's a huge work, covering a
wall. Is it a tile mosaic? Is it marble?
No. It's a captivating vision of
what's possible when we see beyond
what appears toxic and allow beauty to emerge. Bliss.
And then, on another wall, in the same gallery, this.
El Anatsui's "shimmering tapestry" evoking
material flowing in a breeze, but no,
it's a carefully constructed compilation of
bottle tops and copper wire. Garbage comes to life.
So when I got home with this week's buckets full of
compost from Umpleby's Bakery & Cafe,
I was startled when I saw this.
Lemons. Lots of lemons. I hadn't planned
on taking any photographs, but who could resist the vibrancy?
That's how it is for me. Apparent waste evokes joy. There
is possibility. I wonder if that's what Elias Sime
or El Anatsui were thinking? Or not.
It's just what happens when creativity and
climate action converge at the compost pile or anywhere.
What have you seen or experienced this week
that evokes joy or invites creativity? Let
it happen, when and wherever
it may. It's magical and life-giving and for
me, makes the world a much more interesting place.
Happy January my friends.
Happy New Year!
but I decided to embroider
excerpts from Walt Whitman's
poem "This Compost." While he may
have written about dead corpses following
the American Civil War, I re-imagined
his words and considered waste
instead, and the power of
the earth to renew
We have that
same power. Every
January 1st to begin again.
Whitman's is an optimistic poem
reflecting our innate American optimism.
I celebrate this poem not just because
2019 is the 200th anniversary of
Whitman's birth, but also
because his message
is more important
now than ever.
stitches might be uneven
and the text written on an old pillowcase
may be awkward, but seen from afar, the colors
are bright, cheerful and make me want
to smile. Optimism is all I know.
So here we come 2019,
on stitch at a time...
my online climate
'coaching' class and am
petrified. What if no one is
interested or needs what I have
to offer? But I show up,
one week, one stitch
at a time and
know it is
I came home
from Mexico to find
that my anxious dog had
peed all over the sheepskin rug
I stand on to write these blog posts.
Frustrated? You bet. But what's a gal to do?
A few squirts of soap, some aggressive
massaging of the fleece and some
patience while it dried was all
that was needed. This is
what I tell myself.
New Year. New
So here we are.
It's 2019. The UN Climate
Report says we have twelve years.
Our job is to show up, support each other and
get the job done. For me, that involves
persistence and patience and a
whole lot of bravery as
I creatively try new
"Behold this Compost! behold it well!
Evelyn R. Swett
reframing the narrative, one image at a time
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