Posts Tagged ‘bunnies’

Easter eggs

Photo: While unable to write anything, I did manage to create a nest from yarn (drape glue-soaked yarn over inflated balloon; pop balloon when dry) and decorate a few Easter eggs. I did the two-toed thumbprint biddy, my sister did the caterpillar. This counts as an appropriate illustration because Fabergé made both eggs and icons. So ha.

We can compare an icon to a carefully constructed poem. Indeed this is why we call it icon “writing” instead of “painting.” Every “word” or element fits very concisely and precisely to contribute to the overall meaning and integrity of the whole. – Marek Czarnecki

Photo: While unable to write anything, I did manage to create a nest from yarn (drape glue-soaked yarn over an inflated balloon and let dry, then pop the balloon) and decorate a few Easter eggs. This counts as an appropriate illustration because Fabergé made both eggs and icons. So ha.

One of the tricks of icons: paint it 50 times. Also: do not be realistic. Also: use gold that will shine out of shadows, and eyes that will follow you. Icons aren’t really windows. Because they aren’t representational, they are actually the presence of Heaven. It’s Catholic (Western Rome) tradition that features windows that open, beyond which is Heaven. In the Orthodox tradition, saints are sanctified by the belief of believers only, with no canonization process needed other than the devotion of repetitive layers of paint, which is a lot of devotion to be sure! Like making a pie. – Harold Rhenisch

I wanted so much to write an icon. It would be nice to find all of the right words, arrange them concisely and precisely, and wind up with a story that is haunting in its intensity and as tasty as pie. But I can’t seem to do that. I’ve been sitting here at the computer for days and days, completely unable to write anything in spite of having been so inspired by my new pie basket with its mandala lid.

I blame the whole idea of icons, which are beautiful but scary. Trying to make my ordinary writing fit into my mental image of what an icon should be brought me to a complete standstill. Then today I stumbled across an old piece I wrote about writing, in which I preached blithely that one must treat writing as an adventure, to be approached with joy! In fact, here’s exactly what I said, if you think you can stand it:

Writing a book is an adventure. To begin with, it is a toy and an amusement; then it becomes a mistress, and then it becomes a master, and then a tyrant. The last phase is that just as you are about to be reconciled to your servitude, you kill the monster, and fling him out to the public. – Winston Churchill

A writing project is an adventure, and one of the first and most important tricks to success is to approach it as one. Gear yourself up for it by anticipating how well it is going to go and how much fun it will be. Imagine launching a kayak into a river or floating in an inner tube down a mountain stream. The words, like the water, will flow easily and take you exactly where you want to go. Don’t forget to wear a helmet.

The second trick is to maintain perspective. Remind yourself that you are good at what you do. You are intelligent, and capable, and interesting. Once you leap into your writing project, all of those characteristics—and thousands more that are unique to you—will be at your disposal to get you moving.

The third trick is to focus your attention. Your project will not be as successful if you are not giving it your full attention. This does not mean straining and forcing your mind to labor over the task; it means thinking about your topic and your purpose and then applying the first two tricks by reminding yourself: This is an adventure I am well-equipped to enjoy. If after gearing up mentally you find that you still face a blank screen or page with an equally blank mind, try this: Recall a time when you were feeling particularly creative. It can be from as far back as kindergarten, when you were happily stringing colorful beads on a piece of yarn. Writing is simply a more complex type of bead-stringing, after all. Banish your fears and concerns about it, and try to regain that spirit of calm absorption you feel while doing something relaxing and enjoyable. Isn’t it wonderful that you can bring back that peaceful feeling right now? And isn’t it much nicer to look at the blank page while feeling that way than it was to slump down and bang your forehead on the desk?

Why yes, it certainly is. But lately my writing projects have skipped the toy and amusement stages and gone straight to tyranny.

bunny jars

Another thing I did while I wasn’t writing was I put some Lindt chocolate bunnies inside little jars with Wilton candy grass (left) and paper grass (right) as nesting materials. Yeah, I don’t know why I did this, either, except that I saw it in Martha Stewart’s magazine and knew it was something that even I could manage successfully.

I did find a nice set of Rules for an Icon Painter online that I thought might be helpful, like a sort of recipe to make a pie. I borrowed the first three rules and adapted them for my own use in writing:

  1. Before starting work, pray in silence & pardon your enemies.
  2. Work with care on every detail of your ikon, as if you were working in front of the Lord Himself.
  3. During work, pray in order to strengthen yourself physically and spiritually; avoid above all useless words and keep silence.

Do you ever read the reviews of Internet recipes? There is always at least one that says, “Really enjoyed this recipe, which I followed to the letter except that I didn’t have ground beef so I used ham, and then I added a can of black beans to the sauce and substituted crushed pretzels for the sour cream because my family is lactose intolerant.” That’s basically how I treated the Rules for an Icon Painter, so I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that I never did end up with a digestible pie.

But I have several Easter treats to show for my trouble, and all my enemies have been pardoned.


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1aeastertravelersgfairy003bThe North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh is being picketed, my sister tells me, by an angry citizen. The gentleman who is protesting is perhaps in his early 60s, and he is angry because the museum will not allow him to enter with his service animals.

“What in the world type of service animal does he have?” I asked.


I listed my first thoughts:  Pig, miniature horse, goat, calf?  All wrong.

“Bunnies,” my sister said. “Two of them. Some days he wheels them around in a baby carriage, but mostly he keeps them tucked inside his coat.”

“And what service do these bunnies perform?”

“Oh, it’s illegal to ask,” my sister said. “That’s private information.”

“All right. But what in the world could bunnies possibly do?”

My sister had obviously given this matter serious thought. “I believe they improve his spirits,” she said.

I expect they do.

Well, I love the idea of a guy with two bunnies protesting in front of the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences, and I began to do a little small-scale research into bunnies as service animals. Before I could find anything useful on that subject, though, I came across a Web site called The Comprehensive Bunny Name List™ and with that, my afternoon was shot.

It’s a one-page site, but that one page is crammed full. At the top is Figure 1: Charley Bunnifred Nubble at Cruising Altitude. The late Charley B. Nubble appears to fly against a backdrop of blue sky. Next, an explanation of the site’s purpose and scope:

Below is a comprehensive list of all known (over 4700) bunny names.  If you know of a bunny whose name is not on this list, please contact us…. And please, this is not a list of possible bunny names, so don’t just send a name a bunny might have….

NOTE: Use of this list to obtain names for kitties, puppies, gerbils, hamsters,  or other fuzzy pets is an abuse of this service and will not be tolerated.

The 4700+ actual bunny names follow; red type indicates a deceased bunny. Every name imaginable is represented: Winslow and Serrano (hurrah), Mustache Pete, Chester Wayne Hotrum, and (a personal favorite of mine) Burroughs Deeply Underhay (deceased). Of course there are classics like Attila the Bun, Jacqueline Bunassis, and Saint Bunny-face the First, but there are also far less obvious names, like Ruth Musser Middle School. What?

All of which makes me wonder about the names of the protester’s bunnies. Must service bunnies have serious names, or could they be called Fluffer and Nutter?

Bubble and Squeak?

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