odin: “poppi, can you tell what it is?”
me: “a bear cub? no, wait, a fox. no wait, i meant a cat. it’s definitely a cat.”
odin: ( side eye )
( he knows that i know that it’s frida and he’s very much used to my sense of “dad humor”. )
oh man, talk about getting out of your comfort zone. i participated in an canvas painting class with some work peeps today and this is the almost end result. why i would take a picture of an almost done painting and not a done done painting is beyond me. to finish, i touched up her eyebrows and added some petals to the flowers. today i learned that painting cow eyes IS HARD! also, yeah, she’s got a flat-top hair cut. WHATEVER!
even though there’s a bazillion things i’d do differently the next time, i’m o.k. with the results and had a lot of fun making it and hanging out with friends at work who, it turns out, are all accomplished artists.
i don’t know if i’ll get into painting as a hobby, but i was surprised at how much i enjoyed it. many thanks to the folks at “all glazed up” for hosting us.
also, hopefully they’ll forgive me for being a bull in a china shop and knocking over the instructors painting stand with a cup of dirty paintbrush water. d’oh!
and yes, when you work for organic valley the rulebook clearly states if you paint for the first time, you must paint a cow.
the day after the fire at organic valley headquarters some emplyees who had work areas that weren’t destroyed or in structurally unsound areas were let back into the building for a few minutes to gather “critical” documents.
not wanting to be in the building for too long since there was a line of people waiting to get in after me, i gathered a few things that i needed for work and left a lot of other stuff thinking that i’d get another chance to get it. that chance never came since later that day officials announced that employees were not allowed back into the building and i was really bummed out because i left a painting that odin made for me when he was six that’s been hanging near my desk for several years.
i am so thankful that good samaritan who was allowed into the building grabbed the painting from my desk a day later!
some of the folks who are part of the beehive design collective visited the organic valley headquarters today to meet the employees and discuss the images the group created which have been hanging at hq for the past few months. the group is best known for producing large, intricate pen and ink posters which, according to wikipedia, “…seek to provide a visual alternative to deconstruction of complicated social and political issues ranging from globalization, free trade, militarism, resource extraction, and biotechnology.
here, one of the members of the collective is talking about their the true cost of coal piece, which is enormous, took over two years to create and is almost overwhelmingly detailed. you can read more about the piece in this PDF narrative booklet that describes in detail the meaning of the imagery.
as if it wasn’t cool enough that i work for a cooperative that will encourage groups like the beehive design collective, i’d be remiss if i didn’t mention the “it’s a small world afterall” aspect to this story. it just so happens that the collective now resides in my hometown, machias, maine and lives in what used to my uncle’s old house!
amusingly, one of the posters for the 2010 ball ( seen on the left ) is posted at the bottom of the stairs that i take every day when i go to work. we happened to be in maine at the time of the ball, but i spent all day at the blueberry festival on the day odin won the blueberry cooking contest and was too tired to go to the ball. i recall driving by the grange and it was packed.
i was bummed that we couldn’t make it back this year to defend odin’s blue ribbon and attend the 2011 ball ( poster on the right ).
seeing the poster every morning for the past few months always puts a big smile on my face.
here, another member of the collective talks about the 6 foot tall Plan Colombia piece which is a visualization of the issues surrounding the colonialism in the andean region of south america.
you could go through each piece for hours and find fun little details all along the way. *cough*.
more of the incredible detail in the Plan Colombia piece.
after years of having they might be giants’ “NO!” on heavy rotation ( some maybe recall day 1854: training for the robot parade ), i decided the time was right to introduce odin to “here comes the science” on a recent roadtrip.
perhaps unsuprisingly, it’s his new Most Favorite Music and their witty explorations of topics as diverse as circulation, photosynthesis, speed and velocity, and states of matter has raised many, many great questions ( some of which i don’t know the answer to! ) including how many 20 pound weights would you have to stack on top of a hunk of charcoal to make a diamond.
he reminded me, “poppi, you know the sun is a mass of incandescent gas about 93 million miles away. that’s why it looks so small, even though you can fit a million earths inside.”
he explained that the flaming bursts are solar flares which are different than the dark hunk of a meteor on the bottom of the chalkboard which, of course, could turn into a shooting star which is not a star at all, it’s a meteor that’s headed for a fall!
he’s rapidly approaching his seventh birthday?! and odin appears to be Thinking Big Thoughts. the other day he cornered me with a question about the smallest number ( which prompted much discussion in various places in The Real and Virtual Worlds regarding The Correct Answer, including consultation with a university of chicago physicist ).
today, he approached me and said simply, “poppi, you should go upstairs and look. i just drew The Universe on my chalkboard.” as it happens Odin’s Universe is a beautifully chalk-rendered earth with oceans shrouded in clouds and a bit of green land ( that doesn’t come through on the photograph ) and surrounded by stars. it instantly reminded me of carl sagan’s “pale blue dot”. if you haven’t listened to him read from the book, you should go do it now. i’ll wait 🙂
of course, we adults “know” The Universe is bigger than the earth, but he’s off to pretty good start at attempting to conceptualize The Bigness and Beyondness of it which is pretty fascinating when you consider that his schooling has consisted not of memorization and recitation but of playing in trees and singing songs and that he has almost no contact with Media. and that the books we read were mostly written over a century ago ( e.g. “wind in the willows”, “adventures of huck finn etc ).
i truly have no idea where he picks up concepts of negative infinity and space and cloud shrouded earth ( in fact, when i asked him if he’d ever seen a picture of earth from space he said, “no.” ). is he secretly handing out with carl’s ghost?
regardless, i’ll blow him mind some day when we watch the “powers of ten” video.