ragtags studio central: sarah's random this & that

random means "having no definite aim or purpose," (1655), taken from "at random" (1565), "at great speed" (thus, "carelessly, haphazardly"). In 1980s college student slang, it somehow, and sadly, acquired a distinct sense of "inferior, undesirable." (Online Etymology Dictionary, Douglas Harper) Well, okay, fine, Mr. Online Etymology Dictionary person, but THIS is the 21st Century. It's a whole new ball of wax.

Friday, November 17, 2006

The tree shadow and the semi-specular reflection

May your home be filled with much happiness this holiday season.
Digital Vision photo by Luke Luckett, altered by sf

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

In the spirit of Thanksgiving:

Excerpted and adapted (with many thanks) from Exotic India
Living Like Trees: The Hindu and Buddhist Ideal of Sharing
Generosity is an essential attitude, and is the best way of offsetting the human tendency of individual self-centeredness and attachment. Thus says the ancient Buddhist Canon:
'Like a jar of water, when overturned, empties all its contents, never to receive them back, thus should one give away without regard to money, fame, one's progeny, or even our own body to anybody who approaches us with a wish list.'

If we are lucky enough to have somebody needful at our threshold, it is perhaps God himself who has condescended to bless us. Thus is it said:
'With a guest come all the gods. If a guest is honored, so are they; if he goes away disappointed, they are disappointed, too.'

Significantly, the word used for guest in Sanskrit is 'atithi', 'tithi' meaning date and the prefix 'a' negating it. Therefore, one who arrives unexpectedly without prior date or appointment is the guest extolled here:
“An atithi is an occasion for heaven, and all gods are satisfied when he is satisfied.”

Krishna compares unselfish magnanimity with the inspiring life of trees:
"Have a look at these great blessed trees, who live only for the welfare of others, themselves facing the severity of stormy winds, heavy showers, heat and snow, all the while protecting us from them. The birth of trees is the most blessed in the world, as they contribute unreservedly to the well being of all creatures. Just as no needy person ever returns disappointed from the house of a benevolent individual, similarly do these trees do for those who approach them for shelter. All of their many parts - leaves, flowers, fruits, shadow, roots, bark, wood and fragrance, are useful to others. Indeed, there are many who live on this earth, but the birth of only those is successful, who, as far as possible, through their wealth, intellect, speech and lives, engage in acts conducive to the welfare of others."

There is a quote found in Hindu holy writings:
“Man has right over only that much wealth as is enough to satisfy his hunger.”

Selfless giving does not expect anything in return. It is perhaps only a way of saying thanks to the one god who has created us all in equality. According to Krishna, a sharing which wants its price is but mere shop keeping:
"Those who love only when loved, their whole enterprise is based on selfishness. It is only giving and taking. It is nor a joining of hearts. This love is just for self-interest and nothing else. Those who show affection to even those who do not reciprocate their love are like parents, full of karuna (compassion)."

The sense of giving is not mere alms giving or charity, but a sharing of what one has been given, in the awareness that one's life is connected with other beings. Hospitality is one such expression of this realization.

In Buddhism, generosity is not only the act of giving and gift itself, but the mental state of liberality as well. Thus it is not the absolute size of the gift that is noteworthy, but its proportion of one's own goods, that characterizes the abundance of a gift.

Our experience of the world is one of interdependence, and we do not exist as isolated elements but are related to each other as many strands of a fabric.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

The World is a Carousel of Color

Oh, and next week? Thanksgiving?? My, how the year flies. . .

Monday, November 13, 2006

a small but precious gift, sent over the wired miles

From: Silver Gerety
Date: Mon Nov 13, 2006
To: Sarah Fishburn

Subject: a poem I thought you might like

Praying by Mary Oliver

It doesn't have to be
the blue iris, it could be
weeds in a vacant lot, or a few
small stones; just
pay attention, then patch

a few words together and don't try
to make them elaborate, this isn't
a contest but the doorway

into thanks, and a silence in which
another voice may speak.

The Last of the Red Hot 1 x 1z

Friday, November 10, 2006

What a Square -

This is a way swell project for using up lots of tiny scrappages.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

In This House, a few specs & details

Angela and I had so much fun putting our first book together, together. It was a long process, from searching for a publisher who would take us on, to trying to catch any mistakes in numerous proofings. What I really want to tell you all in this post is how extraordinarily grateful we are to the artists who became a part of our neighborhood for the project. Most of them many of you will recognize, but we hope we can introduce you to one or two you may never have heard of - and we think when you open the covers of our little book, you will be blown away by the results of their myriad interpretations of our "assignment". It's going to be a few months before the book comes back from the printer and is shipped off to everyone, so if you can't wait for a sneak peek at the work of the other members of our collective, here you go:

Tiffini Electra X
Erika Tysse
CW Slade
Alice Scott-Morris
Lesley Riley
Jen Osborn
Céline Navarro
Susie LaFond
Kelly Kilmer
Jill Haddaway
Nina Bagley

Last but not least, you can pre-order it! Just click on the tiny In This House book image found below my links. How easy is that!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Make a spot on your bookshelf for this one. . .

ETA: July 1, 2007

Thursday, November 02, 2006

1 x 1z 3/5 complete