Sarah and Ethan's sixth anniversary is coming up and I wanted to send her something really special. Can't spend any more money b/c February Madness got me new carpets and painted walls so I decided to paint her an anniversary card.
Look at the photo up yonder. See the coffee cup? When Sarah went to Brown, she and I visited neighboring Rhode Island School of Design, known as Riz-dee. At their craft show I bot that cup, a small ceramic bowl I keep my SOS pads in (is that okay?) and a beautiful wooden bowl that I just realized is gone.
Using the techniques I learned when I took Acrylic Painting at Abington Night School, I pulled out my Kremp Florist bag filled with paint supplies. I spread out a huge towel/rag on my new carpeting and went to town.
My teacher, Chris Hall, taught us to fill in the background first. I looked at the paper and thought, What color would look good here for their anniv?
Orange. It's a very sensual experience painting the background. The whole painting experience was wonderful, tremendously relaxing, as well as exacting. Luckily I didn't have lithium-shaking tremors as I once did.
It took me a long time to come up with the 'coffee cup' idea of having the cup wish them Happy B'day. I simply paced the living room thinking of what to do.
Chris taught us to have an object nearby and paint from that. Over the paint, I outlined the cup in pen.
I kept imagining Sarah saying, in her musical voice, "Oh, Mom, this is so b'ful!"
But it was as far from beautiful as a rainy day in Willow Grove.
Altho everything was hard, the hardest part was writing the anniversary wishes. I certainly couldn't paint it. I'd have to type it.
Which font? Calibri. Let's look that up.
According to Wiki, Microsoft Word replaced Times New Roman with Calibri for its default font. Calibri is sans serif while Times is serif. Here's Times New Roman. See if you can figger out what 'serif' means
After I printed out the Happy Anniversary 'label,' I glued it onto the painting with Elmer's Glue. Aside: Remember when you were in kindygarten and the paste smelled so delicious you wanted to eat it? I never did. However I used to eat dirt. Pica. LOL. Oh, don't you just hate when people write LOL.
De Groot has also designed various custom fonts for particular clients: Calibri and Consolas for Microsoft; SunSans for Sun Microsystems; SpiegelSans and Taz for, respectively, the German magazines Der Spiegel and die tageszeitung; and FolhaSerif for the Brazilian newspaper Folha.
De Groot teaches at the Design Faculty of the University of Applied Sciences, Potsdam, Germany.
Well, sir, that glued-on message took on a life of its own. It wanted to look like an accordion, so we had a little tussle, just the two of us, the label and I.
Ever heard of the book, The Egg and I by Betty MacDonald? Me neither.
Anyway, since I'm the one who's a sentient being, I decided to strike back. I knew I could not remove the label. So I typed up another one and scotch-taped it on w/Double-Stick Scotch-Tape (tm) that was moldering in my desk drawer for 10 whole years.
Would it work? Yes. Before and after shots, please:
It was only 1:15 pm when I finished the painting. Acrylic dries really fast. I zoomed it down to the Bryn Athyn post office and told Maria to stamp something on the outside indicating it was fragile.
"Do not bend" she stamped all over the white envelope. She is good.
I also mailed David Kime three poems for the next issue of Transcendent Visions. Inside I put a $20 bill to bribe him to use all three; actually it's to help him pay for the endeavor.
Most of my poems are in a foot-high pile and I searched desperately for The Last Mania, one of my fave poems. In our support group thother nite , I told a new guy that he sounds exactly like the man in my poem. I emailed him a copy.
Before I print the poem, here's a conversation I had w/Denis Hazam, who runs a support group similar to mine, but at the Hospital of the University of PA.
Since I couldn't find a photo of Denis on the 'net, I found instead the great Christian brother, Thomas Merton. Fittingly, at the end of my conversation w/Denis, I said, God bless you, Denis Hazam. He said, "Thank you God."
I told Denis that tomro I'm hosting a Leadership Training Seminar at my house. I'm expecting a dozen people from New Directions, all of whom are either leaders of the small group discussion or wish to be.
I told Denis that I'm handing out a Leadership Training Guide.
Who wrote it, he asked.
I did, of course, I said.
Denis told me that DBSA - the Depression and Support Alliance - his group is part of, has their own training guide.
You must've gotten it, he said.
Well, I said, we haven't been members in many years. All of their literature, I said, was inferior to my own or the National Institute of Mental Health.
Denis laffed his big, hearty laff. I said I'd email him a copy of my Guidelines. They'll appear on the ND site.
THE LAST MANIA
When you don’t need it anymore,
when it’s imparted its last
gifts of manhood and of shame
When its hands cuff your neck
with a forest fire of remorse
and they march you off
quicker than a red fox vanishing
and you can barely glimpse
its sun-sequined back
too glossy for the moral eye –
Then, finally, there’s nothing left,
no one left to call
or shower with your gifts or laughter,
you’ve used them up
one by one
each of the many faces
you thought were yours forever.
So they buy you a trailer
and stick you inside,
the better to sleep away your princely dreams.
A dog twitching under a glass table
couldn’t resemble you more.
You rise up and stand on a box.
With your one good eye
you squint through the narrow window
at the grassy fields outside
DINING WITH THICH NHAT HAHN
When I began eating my omelet
sprinkled with scallions
and melted cheddar,
hot to the tongue
and thought of my Christmas shopping
and the places I’d go
I asked Thich Nhat Hahn to
sit with me in the kitchen
to help me savor my food.
In dark robes
he bowed his head
over black tea I prepared,
delicately lifted the white cup
as he bowed again
meeting my eyes,
eyes that have seen much
some of it wrapped into books
or poetry or praying for peace.
Taste returned to my tongue
the omelet and the goodness of
the hen who had given her life for me
I became one with the morning
The sun shone into my living room
I bowed my head in thanks for its
arrival that morning
Then lifted my glass of water
stared at the clear cold liquid
it is cold and it is good to me.
And the master across the table
pinkie lifted as he drained
the last of his jasmine tea.