Saturday, March 5, 2011

chopstick basket

A couple of weeks ago when I was in PEI, I went shopping. One of the stores I went to was called Moonsnail Soapworks, that had all kinds of neat stuff like soaps, scarves, lamps, cards, artwork. I let myself go a little nuts - almost anything that struck my fancy, I decided "I'll have it." That included this basket, for $20, made out of old recycled chopsticks. (They've been steamed and sanitized.) It made me happy the second I saw it. It folds in half for easy storage and transport, but more than that, it looks so cool!

It reminds me of interlaced fingers, like holding hands with a lover, but also it looks like it's floating. It also has a shape reminiscent of a boat hull. I like the way it plays with the light, the way the stripes run, the way it has texture and pattern and depth, on top of being useful.

It sits, by the way, on the windowsill of my bedroom. These shots were not staged or set in any way - mostly because I didn't have any extra time this week for cleaning and prepping. What you see is what you get. What you get is what I see, each day.


I'd been thinking about some ideas that I wanted to write about on here, this week. (Basically, as the week goes along and I'm at work or shovelling the ever-loving driveway or walking somewhere or driving somewhere, I mull stuff I'm thinking about and ask myself, "What will I get to write about or light upon this week?") Something that kept coming up in me is the importance of being earnest - of being yourself, as a writer or as an artist or just as a person. I think we live in a time when, especially for twenty-somethings, being hip and ironic is the best way to guard yourself. Being earnest and expressing emotions and feelings is the opposite of that, but - the flip side of it is that - the artists, writers and people I like most are the ones who can be earnest, who can speak truth. Speak their own truth.

And I've been thinking about how that all plays out with things like personal blogs and Facebook and all those outlets we have for presenting ourselves, for expressing "who we are". I think we all spend a lot of time crafting our image, and trying not to be vulnerable - i.e. trying not to say earnest things and express emotions and feelings.

(I do think that it's possible to be earnest and express one's truth in these media forms - I try to do that here, for one, plus there are other great folks out there doing their best to do the same - but I think it's hard. I think the tendency is always there to guard oneself - for good reason - and it's hard to put personal information "out there" where anyone can read it.)

Then I heard Adele on Q this week - who, by the way, is BLOWING MY MIND with her new album, oh my god what a voice - and caught the following snippet from her interview with Jian:

Jian: Did you have any concern about outing yourself so publically? [Her new record is all about a break-up.]

Adele: I did at the beginning....[after some tabloids printed stuff, I thought] Oh that's it, I'm never writing about myself again! But I have to believe in myself, you know, believe in my songs in order to part with them and let people hear them. Do you know what I mean? Cus the artists that I like, I believe every word they sing. So I gotta make sure that I believe every word I write, otherwise I'm doomed!

And I thought - yes. Adele's work hits me in the gut - it's raw, it's real, it's young AND it's earnest AND it's also unpretentious. If she's feeling these same things and still producing art and words that really work, then I'm on the right track. 

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