Monday 14 November 2022

Utopia v Eden, just some jottings

Utopia: an organized area; made by people; dream for the future

Eden: natural, but a garden, not a wilderness; divine and pre-dating people; ultimate past

Places as expression of a concept, not a location. But still somewhere it would be possible to go?

Edit: Three days after I jotted these thoughts down, the Band on the Wall emailed an ad for Sarathy Korwar's gig, so I ended up watching the Utopia Is A Colonial Project music video. Again just some unfinished thoughts here: Is Utopia something imposed? Eden something taken away?

However, I want to investigate Utopia; I'm not sure a comparison to Eden, or Paradise, would be helpful, useful, or enlightening.

Wednesday 9 November 2022

Bit on trash

 I use trash in my crafting projects- it isn't a way of cleaning the environment, more like it's the material my environment provides (rather than rafia, or pine needles, for example). My thoughts have never been clear on this.

Riverside Story by xiangyu and Yoshiki Hanzawa: Making Clothes from Trash Found in the River in the almost painfully hip Tokion, touches on some of my thoughts on using trash. But their work seems to be a bit more documentary; something I tend to try to avoid, though I did do a 'vacation in Japan' piece a few years ago. It's hanging in the hall.

Thursday 15 September 2022

Just the headings from “A Few Rules For Predicting The Future” By Octavia Butler

 When Octavia Butler was finally getting well deserved recognition for her science fiction writing, I had the nice experience of realising that I had already read one of her books years before; and it was one I remembered and thought about on occasion.

Thanks to this post by the Nap Ministry, I have been delighted by her essay giving writing advice to others interested in setting a story in the future. It is a bit of a disservice to collect only the heading here, but those alone are so thought provoking, or perhaps inspiring is a better term, that I want particularly to record them:

  • Learn From the Past
  • Respect the Law of Consequences
  • Be Aware of Your Perspective
  • Count On the Surprises

Friday 9 September 2022

story trail

 "But housekeeping, the art of the infinite, is no game for amateurs." Sur, 1982, by Ursula K. Le Guin

I am not good at housekeeping, and feel bad about it. After reading that Those Who Stay and Fight was a reaction to one of Le Guin's short stories, The Ones Who Walk Away from Omelas, (also referenced in a BTS music video),  I wanted to read that story as well. It is in The Unreal and the Real volume 2 Outer Space, Inner Lands, which I checked out at the library. Well worth reading. And another quote, from the end of the preface written in 2012:

"I don't know anything about reality, but I know what I like."

Thursday 28 July 2022

Another Utopia: Um-Helat

 The city in N. K. Jemisin's The Ones Who Stay and Fight, a story that made me cry, Um-Helat is definitely worth considering as a utopia. I find it a motivational story. Or, maybe it will motivate me to keep on caring, to try to care a bit more. Hmmm

Tuesday 21 June 2022

Utopias, to start

心象風景: perhaps, a landscape that can only be imagined

 From Lafcadio Hearn's Japan: an attempt at interpretation (published 1904, the year he died), pages 504 to 505-

    No: the charm is made by the fact that this vision of the past represents to us much more than past or present,-- that it foreshadows the possibilities of some higher future, in a world of perfect sympathy. After many a thousand years there may be developed a humanity able to achieve, with never a shadow of illusion, those ethical conditions prefigured by the ideals of Old Japan: instinctive unselfishness, a common desire to find the joy of life in making happiness for others, a universal sense of moral beauty. And whenever men shall have so far gained upon the present as to need no other code than the teaching of their own hearts, then indeed the ancient ideal of Shinto will find its supreme realization.

Sunday 24 April 2022

More about flowers, this time, Korean

 Years ago, I tried to find information about Korean flower arrangement traditions, wondering if it would be like Japanese and Chinese traditions; but I couldn't find anything on the internet. Now I've come across loads, via Korean Literature Now's article on Korean Garden Culture.

Searching for 'Hwaam surok' brought up two very interesting theses (I have no idea if theses are usually published on line these days)

Keumhee Oh's Exilic Experiences and Creative Practice: Insights from the lives and art of Scholar-Artists Exiled on Cheju Island during the Choson Dynasty (1392-1910) is fascinating. Not really about flowers at all, but it is interesting how flower symbology is used in the art.

Sang-jun Yoon's History and Conservation of Gardens in Korea Vol. II is the appendices for their thesis which I haven't read. It has lists linking Latin names for plants with the Korean and Chinese terms.