12 July 2011

What I did on My Holidays

Every medium has its challenges. With ink, keeping it off the hands, especially when writing against the inclination of the hand, i.e. right to left for a right hander. Not to mention the floor.

These were my thoughts two days ago, but having discovered my new favourite method of calligraphy or script writing is a big brush, the problem is now sufficient surface to practice. I imagine that sand served well once, or water on stone, with wind and hand to refresh the surface. Papyrus. Wax tablets. Scrolls. Vellum. Palimpsest. Codices. What and where is the sum of all invention when the heart is absent? We live in such an epoch of technological abundance and plenitude, yet it fails to quench our thirst.

The challenges of writing in Hebrew trope, Arabic and Japanese are varied. Remember I am just trying to enjoy the forms and discover their grace; English calligraphy at best is precise and has the cacpacity to represent exactitude of thought, precision and embody clarity, being as it is such a versatile tongue.

The paleo-Hebrew alphabet is itself basic, like Phoenician, but letters are not words. Arabic letters take different forms depending on their position in a word. Hieroglyphics were a brief diversion I plan to return to. The evolution of Chinese script from pictographs to characters is tremendously fascinating. Correct stroke order is critical and there are many helpful videos and still more books available at the library if required. Devanangari is the script used to write Sanskrit.

In the absence of a Writing Room, if I can work out how to integrate a small drafting table into my residence, then good. When I started spending more time at home creating, I really felt the need for a tall long bench to work standing up at. Of course, the Americans have created a wondrous motorised device that can not fail to satisfy. It has been the practice of many to work standing and research shows that sitting all day is just about the worst thing for a body to do.

Still, in the absence of space and wealth and with the provision of sufficient materials - for who is so poor in this country that they could not procure at least paper and pen with minimal effort - the most important aid to creativity is keeping the place clean and tidy. Other than constantly discovering objects again through the imposition of order, it correspondingly serves to release constrictures upon the mind in some way and allows the space a greater chance to preach in symphony with the universal harmony.

For the first time in three years, at a modest estimation, my washing basket is about to be empty. This can only serve as incontrovertible proof that I own too many clothes. The quantity of shirts I possess exceeds 40, but is less than 50. Still, as excuse, I offer this does include a limited number of the less versatile short-sleeved variety. Other than preserving a few favourites and the lighter varieties which suffer staining easily in the neck, the rest will go to charity or, once ironed, a local flea market. You see, the demands of fashion have never served to moderate the size of my wardrobe, for I hold not to false idols. Still, in many instances I have succumbed to the allure of whimsy and a well-practiced profligacy has added to the burden of my clothes rack. Anyway, I will also ditch a whole bunch of stuff no doubt.

I have exported my blog in XML format, the file opens with DreamWeaver but can probably go straight into WordPress if the upgraded design and layout features in Blogger are not satisfying. Decisions, decisions. Having successfully renounced Facebook, I am not going to join Google+, even if xkcd is right.

A roll of Chinese rice paper (xuan zhi or chih) or Japanese shoji paper is required; perhaps best obtained in a larger city, if I can't wait to buy it cheaper on the net.

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