. Roger von Oech, author of A Kick in the Seat of the Pants and A Whack on the Side of the Head, shared this perspective from an advertisement for a library.
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z
“At your local library they have these arranged in ways that can make you cry, giggle, love, hate, wonder, ponder, and understand.
It’s astonishing to see what these twenty-six little marks can do.
In Shakespeare’s hands they became Hamlet. Mark Twain wound them into Huckleberry Finn. James Joyce twisted them into Ulysses. Gibbonpounded them into The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.
John Milton shaped them into Paradise Lost.”
~ Quote taken from an advertisement to promote local libraries.
One of my favorite approaches to creating trainings is to use the alphabet to shift from a predictable list to concepts I might not consider. For example, simply listing the colors I plan to cover in my Exploring Rainbows course (Red, Yellow, Orange, etc.) tends to limit my thinking.
I used the alphabet to capture memories from trips, ideas for articles, brainstorming gift list, planning my garden, visits to museums, my annual gratitude lists, and in this case, workshop concepts.
So for each color of the rainbow, I'm planning to use examples of
Then there are Fairy tales and Folk lore, Gemstones, Global interpretations, Quotes, Songs, Symbolism . . . right now I have 3 or 4 topics for each letter. Six weeks will barely be enough time to cover everything!
The next time you're brainstorming ideas, write down each letter of the alphabet and see what kind of associations occur to you that might not have otherswise! And if you're really feeling industrious, see if you can arrange those 26 little marks to make another book to add to the Library of Congress!
.Dr. Frederisk Franck is an author, artist, and oral surgeon but even more notably, a spiritualist. He sees the sacred in the everyday beatify of life, and uses seeing and drawing as meditation. He worked with Dr. Albert Schweitzer in Africa to provide services to those in need.
Hiroshima - The Unkillable Human
This sculpture depicts a man's silhouette flashing against a wall when the nuclear bomb was dripped.
One of Dr. Frederick Franck's sculptures in the Peace Garden in Harrisburg, PA
Frederick Franck has been on my mind recently for several reasons.
First, we passed his sculptures at the Peace Garden in Harrisburg along the Susquehanna River several times when I visited Pennsylvania recently. I've painted his sculptures numerous times over the years - with vibrant spring and summer floral plantings, the earth tones of autumn, and stark black, grays and whites of winter. All were given as gifts over the years, but the photos above will give you an idea of the power of his work,
The Peace Garden was created in 1990 by the Harrisburg/Hershey chapter of the Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR). The garden was created in response to a speech given in Hiroshima by Dr. Bernard Lown, President of the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, which earned a Nobel Peace Prize. The garden features three sculptures that remind us of the devastating destruction, yet also acknowledge the continuation of life and the human spirit in spite of inhumane decisions.
Second, I'm including several of his quotes in my overview of my course on Exploring Rainbows this spring. He makes a differential between looking and seeing, and notes that we would fall to our knees in horror if we really saw what was on the evening news.
We have become desensitized, but that's another post.
Some years it hits harder than others. Time doesn't necessarily 'heal all wounds'. I suppose it helps, but depending on our frame of reference at the time, some years it is easier to bear. This isn't one of them.
My dad died of a heart attack when he was 46. He lived through active duty in World War !! and the Korean War, then returned home to teach calculus at an engineering school in West Virginia. He had several heart attacks before the fatal one in November of 1963, 20 days before the assassination of President Kennedy. My mother, brother and I moved away from the Kanawha River, mountains, and a college town to central PA. I called it 'cement city' and felt displaced and separated. My heart was broken.
"Today is "D". On 6 June 1944 the war turned in favor of the Allies. If today never happened, most people believe that we would all be speaking German now instead of English.
This country was preparing for an invasion. There were air raid practices every night; factories were camouflaged to look like villages; even German submarines came into the upper part of the Chesapeake Bay; food was rationed and hard to get. But on "D" day, thanks to the sacrifices of our men serving in the Armed Forces, all of this started to change. It took a few years but it did change.
Those of us living in this area should be particularly proud because the invasion at Normandy was spearheaded, primarily, by the 29th Division, which was comprised mostly of men from Pa., Md., Va. and D.C. and trained in Maryland before being sent to Scotland before the invasion.
So let's don't forget the importance of 6 June 1944 and how it effects our lives, and maybe we could take a little time and say a prayer for those who didn't survive that day."
After reading this, I called my brother to ask if my dad had ever mentioned where he was on June 6, 1944, or if there has been any mention of the Korean War. Mother said he was very different when he returned from service. Of course. But that is all we knew and neither of them are here to ask.
Most of my memories of my dad are associated his support for my unique perception of the world, my frustration with what i later learned was 'Dumbing Us Down' education, and his creative approach to teaching.. There are stories through out this site that are more uplifting, and as the day goes on, I'll try to shift to lighter memories. But right now, over a half a century later, my heart is heavy, and I miss him.
"My mission is
to help others see and cherish the beauty,
romance and treasures within and around them
that are often dismissed or completely overlooked."
Fashion And Fabrics
Lessons From Nature
Pay It Forward
Take The Rose Instead
Mikell is a writer, artist and professional treasure hunter, finding the greatest treasures in the wonderful people who enter her life!