Aldon Hynes's blog
The week started off with a trip to Boston for the launch of my middle daughter's book, Don't Make Art, Just Make Something.
Have you ever noticed that
whenever someone does
something particularly well,
we call it art?
The thing is, if we're always
trying to make art, we miss
out on everything else we
It was the final week of the General Assembly up in Hartford, which passed AN ACT CONCERNING DISSECTION CHOICE.
A local or regional school district shall excuse any student from participating in, or observing, the dissection of any animal as part of classroom instruction, provided the parent or guardian of such student has requested, in writing, that such student be excused from such participation or observation.
It was also Artweek at Beecher Road School, where my youngest daughter is a student. Recently, they took a trip to the Yale Center for British Art, where they saw George Stubbs painting, "A Lion Attacking a Horse". To a young girl who loves horseback riding and who has recently given up eating meat due to her love of animals, it was a disturbing painting.
Even more disturbing was when she was told to reproduce the painting in art class. She didn't want to reproduce violence and because of the subject matter, she asked if she could do a different painting. When she was told no, she did her own version where the lion was lying down with the horse. It was rejected by the art teacher. Perhaps, as Isaiah 11:6 says, a child shall lead them.
The wolf will live with the lamb, the leopard will lie down with the goat, the calf and the lion and the yearling together; and a little child will lead them.
Fiona related this to us over dinner this evening. I suggested that she should ask to reproduce paintings from de Kooning's Women series instead, but didn't go into details. I also introduced her to the song, "Flowers are Red" by Harry Chapin.
It will be interesting to see what directions her artistic express takes.
There are times when I don't write a blog post because the idea is still formulating in my mind. There are times when I don't write a blog post because I just don't have time or am too tired. Then, there are times when I have a great blog post, or perhaps a few different ones, that I have to wait to write and post them because of other timing issues.
Today, I received a direct message on Twitter that basically wrote a blog post for me for my job. At the same it sets up potential interesting personal blog posts about Ingress, the arts, and traveling to New York. Friends who have been following closely probably know the background to these pending blog posts, but the posts will have to wait until the right time.
Until a couple final details fall into place, hopefully tomorrow, the blog posts will have to wait, no matter how hard it is for me and for others.
Exhausted, I sink into the large stuffed chair in the southwest corner of the living room. In the kitchen, on the stove, sits a two quart copper bottomed pan with tomorrows breakfast. I've taken to eating oatmeal most mornings, and recently we ran out of the quick rolled oats that I usually microwave first thing in the morning. I have a tin of steel cut oats from my mother's house and I'm following a recipe to cook the oats in the evening and warm them up in the morning. The pan, like the oats, also comes from my mother's house.
On the dining room table is a wooden bowl and a cookie press that came from my mothers house. All of these come from a different time and a different place. The dog lies quietly at the head of the stairs. Fiona is in bed, and Kim is on her way home from a very long day at work.
Today, as I write, I think about pacing. There is something frenetic about so much of social media, and for that matter, so much of twenty-first century life. People complain about how social media is replacing face to face interaction. From what I've seen, it is actually helping with face to face interaction. Online social media is the gateway drug to face to face social interaction. No, perhaps the real issue is pacing. We post a quick response to the latest social media, the way we might blurt something out without thinking. If only, we could slow down, be a little more contemplative and less reactive.
My mind drifts to another story idea. Will I write it over the summer? Will I shoot for a long form and try to write it during National Novel Writing Month? Already, the story is starting to take shape in my mind.
I close my eyes to think out the parts of the plot, the character development, and the setting. In the distance a bull frog calls. New thoughts mingle in my mind. Thoughts that I will carry with me to bed.
The oppressive early June heat bore down so heavily on the asphalt parking lot, you could almost hear the quiet desperation as young men walked past the old Milk Row cemetery on their way to the market. Beyond the gravestones on the second floor of a nearby building people gathered to make something as a means of combating this ennui inspired existential despair.
Some gathered around a traditional printing press printing posters for a new book, Don't Make Art, Just Make Something by Miranda Aisling. In another corner, various musicians gathered around a keyboard with guitars, drums and a saxophone to make some music. In the center of the room, various guests make a 'something' village out of recycled materials, and the author flitted around the room, welcoming guests and signing copies of her new book.
Many of the guests knew each other from the local universities, museums, coffee shops and farm markets. It would be tempting to call them something like the secular millennial transcendentalists; steeped in an interesting mix nineteenth century transcendentalism, with the growing secularism of our age, and the digital technologies of the twenty-first century.
The Judeo-Christian tradition holds that we are created in the image of a creator. So, what does that make us, if not creators? Yet our schooling and work leads us further are further from being creators, leaving the creativity to the realm of specialized professionals called 'artists'.
Yet we don't have to buy into this division of labor that divides us from a core part of our being, this alienation from creativity which leads to the quiet desperation that Thoreau wrote about years ago, and can still be seen in the sweltering parking lots of Boston. Instead, we can just make something, anything, to keep that spark of creativity alive, to fight off the ennui inspired existential despair, and reunite us with the creative core of our being.
Don't Make Art, Just Make Something. If enough people do this, it could be a movement, a new awakening, and with the political, economic and environmental realities of today, it is something we desperately need.
Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit; the month of June rolls in with hot humid weather, and life slowing down, close enough to normal for me to write my typical start of the month blog post with the childhood invocation of good luck.
Today, being the first Saturday of June, the Essex Rotary Club is having their annual Shad Bake. I've never been to a shad bake before, but a friend has spoken highly of them, so I'm thinking about working this into the schedule if possible.
Then, tomorrow, Miranda's book, Don't Make Art, Just Make Something gets launched up in Somerville, MA. I'm really looking forward to the event. Miranda just received her Masters of Education in Community Art, and the book has a bit to say about the educational system. For example, see this video of Miranda reading an excerpt from her book.
It fits well with Sarah Darer Littman's Op-Ed in CTNewsJunkie, An Open Letter to Connecticut Students.
June will see the end of the 2013 legislative session in Connecticut. I'll complete the CT Health Foundations, Health Leadership Fellows program and be doing various social media presentations.
Perhaps most importantly, I'll be spending time, when possible, swimming.