Vitamin Pill Zen

Categories: philosophy

I wrote a bit of a Tweetstorm thismorning, and decided to turn it into a blog post, given my tendency to ragequit twitter and delete posts. The diatribe was inspired by an NYT Mindfulness article (via James Coyne, whose critique of the fad is always worth reading). David Gelles’ observations on the commodification of mindfulness … Read More

[Twenty] First Century Pedagogy?

Categories: education

There’s an image of ‘traditional’ teaching as filling students up with knowledge, rote learning, absent of any context or interest. Every other day someone dutifully reposts the latest diatribe on social media, exhorting teachers to embrace 21st century values and reject all that old-fashioned, straightjacketed learning. I wonder where, exactly, these people went to school. … Read More

ye olde black art: sock knitting

Categories: craft

Is it the perverse love of doing things The Hard Way or the connection with the Old Ways that makes us love discovering age-old paint formulas, dog-eared Herbals and the handwritten pattern for grandad’s Gansey? I was just reading a favorite blog, machen:do – ‘What Did Tolstoy Know About Knitting’ in which the author quotes … Read More

objects of life and death

Categories: stuff

So, one of the key catalysts for my decision to study psychology was an obsession with grave goods. I’ve long been interested in “things”: the physicality of objects, the significance of touch and weight in our perception of the world; our relationship with our belongings, what they mean to us, what they say about us; … Read More

a photographer’s eye: sugimoto

Categories: art

The following was originally published on drawsketch.about.com, with images via Getty (for which I don’t have permission outside of About.com). I have recovered some comments from the original post. Sadly I’ve yet to see the work of Hiroshi Sugimoto for myself, only accessing it online and in reproduction – and you never really get the … Read More

postmodern knitting and plotlessness

Categories: craft

  Now, as I was saying, about the postmodern knitting thing. I’d rejected knitting as a metaphor for a multi-strand narrative, but almost as soon as I said it, I thought of stranded colour knitting (‘Fair Isle’) and remembered the free-form knitting I’d spotted on a net-trawl. Jenny Dowde is an Australian artist who works … Read More

postmodern knitting and the circular narrative

Categories: craft

Knitting is such an entrenched, yet malleable metaphor, but for some reason I hadn’t expected to find it pressed into service in  Postmodern literary theory. In “Knitting and Knotting the Narrative Thread-Beloved as Postmodern Novel”, Rafael Perez-Torres considers the postmodernity of Toni Morrison’s ‘Beloved’, with its ‘circular narrative’ and ‘multiple time frames’. I’ve got a … Read More