kinder quite naturally, know what to do
“in a time of destruction, create something.”
-maxine hong kingston
alley filled with public creative expression
“i’m a great believer in poetry out of the classroom, in public places,
on subways, trains, on cocktail napkins.
i’d rather have my poems on the subway than around the seminar table at an mfa program.”
ann arbor, michigan, usa
when you want to change the color of your shoes
but don’t have a job
to make the money to buy them
and no one will hire you
just because you are a 4-year-old
even though you have a lot of energy
you find your own way to get those turquoise shoes.
“a busy mind is full of thoughts, a blissful mind is full of ideas.”
– amit kalantri, author
Harper Lee — the famously private author, might never have written the classic “To Kill A Mockingbird” if it hadn’t been for a 1950s Christmas gift.
Back in 1956, Lee was a ticket agent for British Overseas Airways Corporation. Like most struggling writers, she was having trouble balancing her job and finding time to write. She told this to her New York City friends, Michael and Joy Brown (who were also friends of Truman Capote).
Michael was a successful “industrial musical writer” whom American corporations hired to create performances to inspire their workers. His clients ranged from DuPont to JC Penney, and he was raking in the money for songs like “The Wonderful World of Chemistry.”
So in 1956, the Browns’ gave Lee the best Christmas present of all: An entire year’s salary so she could take time to write whatever she wanted. “There was an envelope on the tree, addressed to me. I opened it and read: ‘You have one year off from your job to write whatever you please. Merry Christmas,'” she wrote in McCall’s Magazine in 1961. “ They assured me that it was not some sort of joke. They’d had a good year, they said. They’d saved some money and thought it was high time they did something about me.”
Lee took that time to write “To Kill A Mockingbird,” which sold over 40 million copies worldwide, has been translated into over 40 languages, served as the basis for a hugely popular film, and for which she won a Pulitzer Prize.
“when life gives you a gift, receive it with all your heart.”
credits: Megan Willett-Wei, Insider
my class has recently become enamored with a giant box of dinos
they play with them every day
create wildly imaginative scenarios
ask questions about real dinos
reassure me that the ones in our room are not real
one day when playing, a child asked
“would they wear masks if they were alive now?”
another jumped up to say
“never, ever, ever, ever, try to put a mask on a t-rex!!!!”
and an instant class book was born
what a brilliant title
others jumped in to offer reasons why you shouldn’t try to mask one
brainstorming was in full swing
some became illustrators
it is a fascinating and funny work in progress.
dinos may have left the earth forever, but books will never die.
“stories are the common ground that allow people to connect, despite all our defenses and all our differences.”
wonder what the deadline on this project is?
so many things out in the world
just waiting to be discovered
one of my favorite things to do is to stumble upon them
share them with my camera and my words
“anything that excites me for any reason, i will photograph;
not searching for unusual subject matter, but making the commonplace unusual.”