SHARING MY WORLD BUT WHERE IS MELANIE? – Marilyn Armstrong

SHARING MY WORLD: WHERE HAS MELANIE GONE?

Once again, it’s back to my reader to see where my posts have gone. I knew my email had dropped suddenly. I was so relieved at not having a thousand emails a day to cope with, I failed to realize that half the people I follow are missing, too.

Good old WordPress. They never stop sharing their technical problems with their customers!

QUESTIONS:


What’s the closest thing you’ve experienced to real magic?

I can’t say it was the birth of my son because that was a 23 hour, absolutely EXHAUSTING labor that I thought would never end. If I’d had a proper obstetrician, it might have worked out better. As it was, I was so tired by the time he was born, I think I didn’t wake up for three days. They don’t call it “labor” for nothing.

For real magic? It was being close to death one day, having a vision during the night when the great voice from nowhere told me I was not going to die, then waking up the following morning well enough to go home.

Also, this Cardinal is pretty magical too!

Despite the years passing, it remains magic because it WAS magical. My minister, who really felt I should seriously consider religion as a viable option because he asked me: “What do you want? God to drop by with his social security card and a passport?”

I thought about it and said: “Yes, probably.” I’m that skeptical. But it was magic. Skeptical I may be, but I’ve been pulled back from nearly dead twice … possibly three times. I’m not as sure about the third time … that may just have been really excellent medicine at work.

Who is the messiest person you know? And why? 

My daughter-in-law. You had to live with her to really feel it.

If you could know the absolute and total truth to one question, what question would you ask?

God? If you want to prove your might to me, please smite you-know-who in the big white house. Do that, and I WILL believe!

What benefits does art provide society? Does art hurt society in any way?

I think a house without art isn’t home. Art takes you out of yourself and makes the ordinary beautiful. I love art. Paintings and pottery, dioramas and rugs, tapestries and tatting. I love writing and photography and music. I love everything except screechy operatic sopranos (sorry — not a fan of opera).

Qing dynasty rice bowl, typically used by field workers. The blue chicken is a cultural thing. The bowl is almost 200 years old — and it isn’t even close to my oldest pieces of pottery.

You know in China, they had art even for rice peasants? Because they believed everyone needed art. I own some of it and these are among my favorite pieces. Rice bowls decorated with colorful chickens and big clunky horses from the Tang period ridden by servants. For servants to put in a place of honor.

What’s something positive you’d like to share?  Can be a smile, a joke, or music..anything that gave you a lift this week!

I’m really, really glad we bought that thing to keep ice off the windshield. I only wish I’d bought a garage too.

A WILD RUSHING OF HUNGRY BIRDS – Marilyn Armstrong

So this morning, there were a few birds around, but since I took a lot of pictures yesterday, I decided to have some coffee and a muffin and maybe pictures later.

About an hour later, I went into the kitchen to see what I could grab to eat and there was a mad flapping around the feeder and every bird in the woods was trying to get a few seeds.

Maybe they thawed a bit since yesterday, but the birds were really, really hungry today.

Cardinal and Junco – Frozen seeds?
Flock of hungry Warblers
A landing bird and a lot of Warblers
Flying Warbler and a clinging Nuthatch
Junco landing, Chickadee in eating mode
More hungry Warblers
Junco on the Toad

And Cardinal on a branch, too!

Cardinal on a branch
Nuthatch, Junco, Warblers – Pass that seed!
And a big mourning dove to clean up anything that fell on the deck!
Yellow Warbler waiting his turn for the feeder

AN ANCIENT WORLD IN YOUR HANDS – Marilyn Armstrong

I collect very old Chinese porcelain. I used to have a lot more of it, but in the name of de-cluttering, I divided my collection and gave the other half to my best friend who I knew would appreciate it.

Han Dynasty 206 BC - 220 AD
Han Dynasty 206 BC – 220 AD

The Chinese government has not always been diligent in managing their national treasures. Sometimes, it was a political decision. Many times, foreigners have stolen the best and most beautiful, which is why you will see so much Chinese art in English and American museums. They didn’t give it to us; we didn’t buy it. We stole it. What a shock they aren’t as in love with us as we think they ought to be.

Very fragile — and broken. All I have left is this single photograph.

In recent decades, the issues have been pragmatic — lack of money. There is so much that needs preservation. The U.S. has difficulty preserving our 250 years of history. Imagine how hard — and expensive — if your nation’s history goes back thousands of years. And your country is huge and densely populated.

Suddenly, preservation becomes more than slightly daunting.

Counter point - Modern Limoge ca 1965 alongside Song dynasty vase (China Song Dynasty 960-1279 AD). I use the vase for single roses. Perfect size.
Counter point – Modern Limoges ca 1965 alongside Song dynasty vase (China Song Dynasty 960-1279 AD). I use the vase for single roses. Perfect size.

Private collectors — like me — who have become custodians of some of these very old things have an obligation to care for them. We have to make sure they will be inherited by others who will treasure them. That’s not as easy as you might think. Not everyone “gets it.” And many people have no room; they have their own stuff and can’t help with yours.

I could have sold my pots but I didn’t want them to go to the highest bidder. I wanted them to be where they would be loved. If that sounds weird, you have never collected antiquities.

Antique Famille Rose Porcelain plate

When you hold one of these pieces, you in the most literal sense hold history in your hand. Imagine how many people have held this vase, this statue, this oil lamp. How many lives this pot has touched. Imagine!