Thursday, September 22, 2011

Beauty

Last week my sister and I watched a riveting documentary about origami.  I think the description on Netflix actually said "riveting" and we good-naturedly scoffed at the idea of origami being riveting.  However, being that we grew up in a household which often included Japanese exchange students, I think I can safely speak for the both of us and say that we have a bit of a soft spot for paper folding.  And indeed, the doc was riveting.  You should see it, even if you're thinking it's pretty dorky to watch a documentary about origami.
The paper folding that I have enjoyed in the past pretty much peaked at the paper crane level, which I thought was respectably advanced.  The origami artists profiled in this film veritably breathe life into a single piece of paper.  How is this possible with a single square of paper?
Particularly intriguing is the intermingling of art and science.  I so often think of art and science as mutually exclusive realms, when, really, they are tangled up in each other.  It's quite obvious in origami.  When you look at these artists' paper folded sculptures, it is undeniable that they are works of beauty, works of art.  When you unfold these works of art, the fold lines on the flattened paper reveal the genius behind the geometry of the artists' creations.
It has me wondering about the nature of beauty.  Is there order underlying all that we see as beautiful?  A symmetry and an asymmetry, a balance and counterbalance that imbue all that we see as beautiful with that mysterious quality?



Or is it the abstract and random that bring beauty to life?

Or, do the things of beauty we perceive as random and abstract actually follow some kind of order and design that we simply can't grasp well enough to decode?

The changing path of the Mississippi 

Hmm... enough pontificating.  

I started reading this book the other day:

It's intriguing so far.  The premise, as I understand it after reading the first couple of chapters is embracing a lifestyle of "radical gratitude."  The dust jacket says that this book "beckons you to leave the parched ground of pride, fear, and white knuckle control and abandon yourself to the God who overflows your cup."  I like the idea of slowing down the sense of haste in my days enough to notice all the little things and big things that I can be thankful for: watching my boys interact lovingly with each other, the fog rolling into the valley like a quilt, or the seeming miracle of how good a hot shower can feel.  The first chapters hint at being thankful for everything that happens in life, even the bad things.  I can't quite wrap my head around being thankful for the hard things in life.  I can be thankful for things that I have learned from trials in life, but to actually be thankful for things like cancer...hmmm.  I'll have to keep reading to see if she is saying what I think she is saying.

Other books on my coffee table right now:

and


I borrowed the Rainbow of Stitches book from my library about five times in the last year, so I finally treated myself to a couple of books for my collection with my birthday money this year.  My couch throw pillows, which used to have nice fluffy covers, are starting to look matted and ugly, so I think I'll sew up some new covers and pick some embroidery patterns to stitch onto them.  Perhaps something like one of these (all from pinterest):





embroider your childhood home or other nostalgic building







Ideas?

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