Sunday, October 9, 2011

The World is a Book

This past summer I acquired a number of books. Some of them I read from cover to cover.
Some of them are half way there.

The Gary Snyder Reader is a collection of prose, essays, letters, poetry, and translations by Gary Snyder between 1952 and 1998. Gary Snyder is a prize-winning poet, environmental activist, Zen Buddhist, and earth-householder.
No end to the sky---
but his poems,
like wild geese,
fly off the edge. - GS

LIVING ZEN by Michael Paul is a beautiful picture book. This book places the ancient wisdom of Zen Buddhism in a modern, everyday context, showing how Zen can influence every aspect of lifestyle from home interiors to garden design.

"Open yourself to the light, images and reality around you." The idea that life is here and now and not something we should postpone to a future date-- means IN THE MOMENT.

No matter what medium you choose--- photography, poetry, dance, music, painting, acting--
you will, by virtue of being in the moment, improve the quality of your art.

BUDDHA MIND IN CONTEMPORARY ART (edited by Jacquelynn Baas and Mary Jane Jacob) is a series of essays and interviews that explores the relationships between Buddhist practice and the contemporary arts. Finding the common ground between the creative mind, the perceiving mind, and the meditative mind, this book tackles the relationship between life and art.
Look deeply: I arrive in every second.... Thich Nhat Hanh

THE CREATIVE PHOTOGRAPHER by Catherine Anderson is an instruction book with a focus on the creative, rather than the technical, side of photography. Using your camera, image-processing software (like Photoshop Elements), and art supplies-- this book will transform a favorite photo into something more personal and unique. Express yourself.

The above image is from a chapter on ALL THINGS OLD AND BEAUTIFUL. Wabi-sabi is introduced: "Wabi-sabi is akin to the inherent beauty within, something you can't put your finger open your senses to every detail..." -- Daisuke Utagawe

Zen and the Magic of Photography: Learning to See and to Be through Photography by Wayne Rowe also helps one discover, create, and capture the points of intersection and merging between photography and Zen, between camera and "real moments".

Above is an image from the book. A summer mistral: Sun and shadows dance; A door slams; the cat hisses.

THOUGHTFUL GESTURES: The Calligraphic Art of Yves Leterme includes more than a 100 images that showcase his work as a commercial calligrapher and a lettering artist. He discusses his use of gestural writing in his experimental artwork. You can find out more information on how to order this wonderful book at Leterme's blog Animal Scribax here.

"In my latest work, I have often tried to capture that spirit of Wabi-sabi... a true Wabi-sabi piece derives its quiet authority from subtle details, small doses, a limited palette and simplicity." YL

TEA IN THE EAST by Carole Manchester was sent to me as a surprise gift from my BLOG friend
Che'usa Sienna Wend. Her wonderful blog/website Bricolage can be found here. This is a beautiful picture book that includes the history of tea in China, Japan, India and Sri Lanka.
There are wonderful images along with recipes and poetry and quotes.

Not a color to disturb the tone of the room, not a sound to mar the rhythm of things, not a gesture to obtrude the harmony, not a word to break the unity of the surroundings, all movements to be performed simply and naturally----such were the aims of the tea ceremony. ---Kakuzo Okakura The Book of Tea


ArtPropelled said...

A feast of books!My fingers are twitching to turn the pages and my wish list has grown considerably. Thanks Donna.

Magdalena said... many fine interesting everything...Thank youu for the inspiration!

Have a lovely week!

Sand Hill Art said...

Some very thoughtful selections. Thank you for posting this.

Barry said...

D- thanks for introducing us to even more inspiration in many ways - how to approach life, light and language. B

George said...

This is a fabulous collection of books, Donna. I'm on my way to Amazon to place my order. Thanks for sharing these gifts with us.

lyle baxter said...

some temptation there. I have trouble saying no to books too! this summer I found a paperback of Ayn Rand's "Atlas Shrugged" which I had read in my younger days. I cant put it down!I am understanding many things that I missed years ago! I would love to have heard her speak!thanks for sharing your much more peaceful books with us!

Velma Bolyard said...

books have a way of accumulating. your stack is a treat.

Lynn said...

There is nothing better than a stack of books to dig into! Great choices you have there.

Pam said...

Thank you for this generous gift...I have already shared it with family and friends. Funny how some people can make the world better by simply showing up...

ELFI said...

dommage que c'est en anglais.. mais le livre photo créative doit être magnifique, un coup de coeur pour l'arbre...! merci

annell4 said...

Now, in the moment, you have created a desire in me. I did not know just a moment ago. That there was any thing I wanted. But I want them all! Perhaps some will be mine? Thank you for the post!

Deborah said...

Books and blogs are treasures. Thank you for the recommendations.

Anonymous said...

Things come full circle, and the world grows smaller. One of the lovely books you mentioned was edited by my friend and namesake Jackie Baas. She is an amazing woman of great talents and an excellent critical thinker. She and her husband Rob adopted two kitties from me a couple years ago. She will be charmed to know I read of her latest book on your blog.

ZenDotStudio said...

My senses are calmed by the wonderful images you show here and my interest piqued by a number of these selections. Such inspiring for the creative process. I am very drawn to the aesthetic of simplicity with text so the calligrapher is of special interest.

How do you find all these treasures! And Thanks as always for the tour. Summer's finds, winter's reading by the fire.

Teri said...

Donna...another great review of so many books. I always get the best ideas about books that "I have to have" from you and your blog. You really are a treasure.

Sharmon Davidson said...

Donna, thanks for sharing this delectable feast of books! So many of these are intriguing and tempting... makes me want to head straight to Amazon. See you there!

Lucky Dip Lisa said...

What a fantastic selection Donna! Just the idea of reading them is inspiring and relaxing, I can imagine how good it is to have actually done so.

Seth said...

Each and every one of these books is new to me. Thanks so much for the recommendations and the beautiful presentation.

eb said...

what a great stack of books
interesting connections
my wabi-sabi collection
sits in a stack
at the ready...

circles and polka dots - always,
xox - eb.

sukipoet said...

somehow i always feel more grounded when i have a stack of delicious books to read.

these selections are unusual and intriguing. have a lovely time reading through the fall into winter.

i just had a birthday and i gifted myself with a couple of books, one of the best gifts.

diane said...

Donna -- Thank you for the thoughtful book reviews. I admire the way you've described them with photos and bits of verse. Once again, I've become quite inspired in reading your blog.

Leslie Avon Miller said...

When books fall open
And you fall in
A great adventure
Will begin.

by Makennarella

More art adventure books are now on my list of good reads. Thanks Donna!

Missouri Bend Paper Works said...

What a feast of books....thanks for the wonderful recommendations!

india flint said...

and plenty of good material
for the creation of poetry
from stacked books
[ie reading the titles from the spines]

nancy neva gagliano said...

your post is one of those gifts that continue to i consider which book needs to be shipped to me.
helloooooo amazon!

thank you, donna.

Claire said...

So inspiring as always.

Valéry Lorenzo said...

C'est passionant !