Friday, August 26, 2005

Exercises in Design

I meant for this week to be uneventful and restful in preparation for the new school year. That didn't happen. In fact, I haven't thought about the future so much, discovered characteristics about myself or examined the multiple directions into which I am being pulled all in this kind of detail before. I just want a life of simplicity!

Do you realize what a great book title "The Valley of Vision" is? *Shakes head* I just did.

In the meantime, am researching a possible career in design. Here are a few links of interest:

Want to know how common a certain word is in the English language? Repulsive is #25454, wedged in between counterclaim and folio. Hm. On the other hand, I typed in "supercilious" and my browser crashed. Gotta watch out for those sneaky SAT words.
Word Count

Har har har! I got myself on a cool design blog, on the basis of someone else's excellent work. I made the recommendation. It's for these totally awesome silkscreened tour posters. And yes, Sufjan was one of his clients. Check it out if you like: The Small Stakes.

For only $12, build you own clock.. out of anything! You must be able to drill a hole in it though. Available at the Ready Made magazine store. I thought about using my vintage wooden tennis racket, but that's kind of heavy. I'll keep thinking. (Um, I didn't include a link to a photo, because the plastic parts by themselves look unimpressive. It's the idea that counts!)

Hm, that's good for now.

I've been reading C.S. Lewis' The Four Loves since yesterday. The man speaks such truths with such reason! He never ceases to blow me away with his ideas. And to think that I got it new for only a couple dollars. Of course, it always sounds shabbier when I paraphrase, but some of his points I took to heart were that natural human loves become demons when we allow them to become gods, Gift-love (vs. Need-love, like a child towards its mother) can be perverted by selfishness and thus becomes harmful ("the proper aim of giving is to put the recipient in a state where he no longer needs our gift"; but the perversion occurs when the giver cannot bear to be not needed anymore and keeps on "loving"..mothers are particularly prone to this, I think), and that affection is the humblest of all loves because through familiarity and time, it connects you with the odd and different sorts of people you meet on a day to day basis, most of whom you would not otherwise seek out as friends. Erin used to say that she would not have picked some of her family members as friends, but over the years, of course she has learned to love them, hard as it was at times. "By having a great many friends I do not prove that I have a wide appreciation of human excellence.. The truly wide taste in humanity will similarly find something to appreciate in the cross-section of humanity whom one has to meet every day."

A few pages in the first chapter were devoted to nature, which I thought interesting. This quote jumped out at me and forced me to reconsider some of my personal enrichment goals.
"Nature 'dies' on those who try to live for a love of nature."
He also expounded on the matter by saying that nature doesn't teach you anything, it only helps you understand. For example, "A true philosophy may sometimes validate an experience of nature; an experience of nature cannot validate a philosophy." I suppose if a nature enthusiast is told this early on, it would save him a lot of time. What do you think? What have been your experiences of nature and the like, you who possess "dark gods in your blood"?

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