Over the weekend, I started reading One-Woman Farm: My Life Shared with Sheep, Pigs, Chickens, Goats, and a Fine Fiddle by Jenna Woginrich. From what I understand, several years ago Jenna Woginrich literally had my job as a graphic designer at Scripps. But after several years of corporate life, she decided to leave the cubicle behind and buy her own farm in Washington County, New York. This book is about her first year on that farm, and (blame the Green Acres complex) I have been completely enchanted with it. She talks very poetically about the tasks that fill her days from one October to the next, but she also describes a completely different way of thinking about time.
Farmers have different hours, holidays, and seasons than those of us that sit inside from 9 to 5 everyday. One such “holiday” of sorts that she mentions in the beginning of book has really stuck with me: “Days of Grace.”
“…the Days are what farmers in this area call the time of year between fall’s fireworks and the first snowfall–when everything in nature is in a state of transition and naked waiting. This fragile period is a window of reverent preparation, a gift of last chances to farmers in our four-season climate to get everything done before the winter nails us.”
Transitions have been front and center in my mind as of late. As Husband continues his job search, and I try to jump on every opportunity that comes across my desk, I keep thinking that this odd little limbo
we’re in will eventually produce a clear picture. But what exactly are we doing to prepare for it?
Ah NYC, the land of arts & culture… Yesterday in the sculpture garden at the MoMA a garden party was held for 2 of my favorite artists: Maira Kalman & Daniel Handler (aka Lemony Snicket). It was a 1930s-style soiree to celebrate Maira and Daniel’s new book published in partnership with the museum: Girls Standing on Lawns. (You can view some pics from the party on @MoMA_Live‘s twitter.) The book is full of photographs from the museum’s “vernacular photography” collection as well as new original paintings by Kalman and prose by Handler. (I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!)
I’d also suggest reading this piece on how the book came to be by the MoMA’s Charles Kim.
While we’re on the subject: If you’ve never heard this Fresh Air interview with Daniel Handler, stop everything and listen now.
Need a little enticement? There is an accordion version of a Prince’s “When Doves Cry,” and at one point Mr. Handler references the fact that “And then I hit puberty, which wrecked my career as a boy soprano.” Not to mention the fact that Terry Gross giggles like a little school girl for the better part of the hour.
Maira and Daniel performing an Ode to Libraries…
Thanks to Amazon Prime teaming up with HBO, I’ve finally started “The Wire”. Thanks to a wicked cold last week, I had a lot of time to watch “The Wire”. It’s realistic, gritty, and just as amazing as everyone has said.
Plus–Idris Elba. Speaking of, if you like Mr. Elba and “The Wire”, you must check out “Luther” from the BBC. It is streaming on Netflix. Don’t watch it late at night. You’ve been warned.
I stumbled back across this on the radio the other day and the poem inside hit all the feels. Hindemith’s Sonata for Alto Horn and Piano has a dialogue poem to start the fourth movement. When I performed it on my college recital we skipped the poem (since I played it on saxophone it made a little less sense), but it really stood out to me as I heard the recording.
The Posthorn (Dialogue)
Is not the sounding of a horn to our busy souls
(even as the scent of blossoms wilted long ago,
or the discolored folds of musty tapestry,
or crumbling leaves of ancient yellowed tomes)
like a sonorous visit from those ages
which counted speed by straining horses’ gallop,
and not by lightening prisoned up in cables;
and when to live and learn they ranged the countryside,
not just the closely printed pages?
The cornucopia’s gift calls forth in us
a pallid yearning, melancholy longing.
The old is good not just because it’s past,
nor is the new supreme because we live with it,
and never yet a man felt greater joy
than he could bear or truly comprehend.
Your task it is, amid confusion, rush, and noise
to grasp the lasting, calm, and meaningful,
and finding it anew, to hold and treasure it.