Friday, December 23, 2011

Sparkle and Glow

Yesterday was my first real day off. I had a party this morning so I things to do to get ready, but I had stayed up until the wee smalls finishing off all the work I needed to do in 2011. The problem was that my body could barely believe that I was really allowed to stop, to rest. My fear was that I had forgotten how.

I had one small idea in mind that might put me in the Christmas spirit. At church on Sunday, one of the coolest girls I know had hair-thin tinsel glistening in her hair. Her mom told me where they had had it done, that it was inexpensive. It occurred to me that if I wanted to go gray, I could test out a few sparkly silver threads.

I called the hair salon at noon. They had one small opening at 12:45. It was warm and dry so I hopped on my bike and drove across town. We talked tattoos and teachers while the stylist tied elaborate knots of silver in my hair. By the time she was done, I felt all festive.

I decided to ride to Joseph Schneider Haus which was close at hand. I tend to go there before Christmas each year to at least feast my eyes on the lovely, homely gifts in the pioneer homestead.

This I did but then I ventured into the rooms near the shop and was captivated for an hour. This year's Artist in Residence has been bookmaker Marlene Pomeroy. Pomeroy has set up a fabulous one-room exhibit that takes the museum-goer through the history of bookbinding and making, the history of local printing and binding, and her own love affair with Italy and Michelangelo. I described the installation in the guestbook as exquisite, and it certainly was. I copied down quotes and ideas throughout the room. The entire experience was meditative and wonderful.

The exhibit is only open until tomorrow, sadly. On the chance you won't have a chance to attend it (and if it's an option, I'd really encourage you to do so), I wanted to share a taste of it. One of the pieces Marlene had made was an inscribed clay tablet hanging on the wall. She called it, I believe, Thee Commandments, and subtitled it the Bookbinders Code of Conduct. But though I am not a bookbinder, the lessons spoke deeply to me. I thought I'd share them with you.

Bookbinders' Code of Conduct

I. If you meet resistance -- why
II. Better a good mend than a bad match
III. Take a break
IV. Think twice - do once
V. Make mistakes - no one dies
VI. Build release layers
VII. Charge what you are worth
VIII. Find a mentor
IX. Ask questions
X. Work with joy

As I lean into the holidays -- the holy days -- these unexpected lessons feel like the gift of a map. My hope is to practice the third and sixth commandments in the next few weeks, and then to return to work -- to launch my new business - with joy.

I wish you the same -- and would love to hear your responses to this wise list.

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