Posts Tagged ‘Books’

Birthday Trio…

Tuesday, January 28th, 2014

…and a celebration for Colette, Elijah Wood, and Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice (published on this day in 1813). With apologies all around.

Jan28Birthdays

CakeBalloons2Alexander

CakeSnowmanKelton

 Yahrzeit2Pete Seeger 1919-2014

Healing

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

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On this anniversary of September 11th, an illustration from The Survivor Tree, by Cheryl Aubin.

YCandleJim

September, The First Day Of School

Sunday, September 1st, 2013

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I
My child and I hold hands on the way to school,
And when I leave him at the first-grade door
He cries a little but is brave; he does
Let go. My selfish tears remind me how
I cried before that door a life ago.
I may have had a hard time letting go.

Each fall the children must endure together
What every child also endures alone:
Learning the alphabet, the integers,
Three dozen bits and pieces of a stuff
So arbitrary, so peremptory,
That worlds invisible and visible

Bow down before it, as in Joseph’s dream
The sheaves bowed down and then the stars bowed down
Before the dreaming of a little boy.
That dream got him such hatred of his brothers
As cost the greater part of life to mend,
And yet great kindness came of it in the end.

II

A school is where they grind the grain of thought,
And grind the children who must mind the thought.
It may be those two grindings are but one,
As from the alphabet come Shakespeare’s Plays,
As from the integers comes Euler’s Law,
As from the whole, inseparably, the lives,

The shrunken lives that have not been set free
By law or by poetic phantasy.
But may they be. My child has disappeared
Behind the schoolroom door. And should I live
To see his coming forth, a life away,
I know my hope, but do not know its form

Nor hope to know it. May the fathers he finds
Among his teachers have a care of him
More than his father could. How that will look
I do not know, I do not need to know.
Even our tears belong to ritual.
But may great kindness come of it in the end.

—Howard Nemerov

CakeDaisiesElizabeth 

Blessing of the Animals

Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Today is the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi, and in many places this is commemorated with an annual Blessing of the Animals in local churches. But Fluffy, Fido, and Goldie will have to wait until the weekend. Washington National Cathedral holds its ceremony on Sunday, October 7th, at 2:30 pm, on the west steps. In Woodley Park (our neighborhood) there is a choice between the front lawn of All Souls Episcopal Church on Saturday, October 6th at 3 pm, and St. Thomas Apostle at 10:30 am (where there will also be coffee and donuts for the people and treats for the animals). A Google search will undoubtedly reveal a blessing near you.

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Today is also the birthday of writer and humorist Roy Blount, Jr., author of several books suitable for this day (as well as many other books on a wide variety of subjects): I Am Puppy, Hear Me Yap: The Ages of Dog; I Am the Cat, Don’t Forget That: Feline Expressions; Am I Pig Enough for You Yet?: Voices of the Barnyard; and If Only You Knew How Much I Smell You: True Portraits of Dogs. He is also a contributor to Unleashed: Poems by Writers’ Dogs, a gift for anyone who loves both dogs and poetry.

For a sketch, a riddle, and a mini-bio of Blount, please see Language Lover.

Well-Spring of Life

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012

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Today is the anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks, events which were both traumatic and transformative in ways we are still discovering. From the book The Survivor Tree (written by Cheryl Somers Aubin), about a tree that survived and was re-planted on the new Memorial Plaza, I post this illustration of the fountain that once stood nearby. Now a new water feature stands in its place on the Plaza, another hopeful symbol of renewal.

There is an item in Sunday’s Washington Post about The Survivor Tree.

Understanding is a well-spring of life unto him that hath it: but the instruction of fools is folly. —Proverbs 16:22

YCandleJim

Book Festival

Tuesday, May 15th, 2012

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Today’s post is a watercolor from The Survivor Tree, a book by Cheryl Aubin that I illustrated, which was released last year for the ten-year anniversary of September 11th. Cheryl will be presenting her story and we will both be signing books this coming Saturday, May 19th, at the Gaithersburg Book Festival.

Our family is excited that among the other presenters are Andrew Clements, a favorite author of my daughter, and local writer Sara Mansfield Taber, who recently completed a memoir, Born Under an Assumed Name, about growing up as the daughter of a covert CIA agent.

And perhaps we will see some of you there, too!

The Survivor Tree

Sunday, September 11th, 2011

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This summer I completed the illustrations and layout for The Survivor Tree, a book by Cheryl Somers Aubin, created to help children deal with the traumatic experiences suffered on September 11th, 2001, in particular, and with loss and the struggle to heal, in general. Here is a brief summary of the book.

A month after the collapse of the Twin Towers, workers on the site discovered a few green leaves showing through the gray concrete and ash. Clearing the debris, they found a badly injured Callery Pear Tree. She was rescued and taken to a nursery outside the city and put into the care of Richie, a City Parks worker. No one was sure if she would live, but the following spring, a dove built a nest in her branches, and new green buds appeared.

Over the years, the tree, although still bearing scars, grew tall and strong, and last year she was replanted on the 9/11 Memorial Plaza. This story imaginatively describes the experiences, memories, and feelings of the tree throughout her healing and her eventual return home.

The book is available from Amazon.com and BarnesandNoble.com. All profits from its sale go to charity.

Yahrzeit3 Jim

Nest-building

Saturday, September 10th, 2011

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Another detail from a recently completed project. More to follow.

 

Ride to the nursery

Friday, September 9th, 2011

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Another detail from a recently completed project. More to follow.

CakeDaisiesCarol

Green leaves

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

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Some of you are aware that I have been very busy with work this spring and summer, and especially with one project in particular, which is now complete. Here is a detail from its pages. More to follow.

CakeBlackEyeSusan Phyllis

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