A few snapshots from Sunday’s event at Peace United Church. Jim Perlman of Holy Cow Press organized the poetry reading, which featured Crystal Gibbins, author of Now/Here, and Gary Boelhower, author of Naming Rites. The event included musical interludes by Sara Thomsen.
The Minnesota Undergraduate Linguistics Symposium was a reminder of the ways today’s young people are preparing for the world. Undergraduates from all over the state came together to share their research and learn about the research of faculty at UMD and CSS.
Let me open with: I’m an overweight man who wonders whether he’s being dishonest when he clicks “stocky” on dating websites. I’m not a hiker. I’m an occasional walker-off-pavement.
A story about paving the Minnesota River Bottoms trail in the Twin Cities makes me think about trails in Duluth and about trails in general. Apparently, paving a trail is very expensive, and for that reason, people don’t want to do it.
I went down a long highway with a friend to the Gnesen Convenience Store, 6049 Rice Lake Road in the Gnesen Township. It wasn’t much on the outside, and at first glance, the inside made me smile gently.
It’s the kind of store you see in a small town, with three times the square feet it needs but that is okay because the land is cheap, compared at least to shops in the city limits. There are five boxes of cereal, each box pushed right up to the edge of the shelf (inviting you to grab one), where in a city shop, they would be stacked five deep into the shelf.
It was good to go to the Empty Bowl event tonight. For $20, every year, I get a handmade pottery piece. I have more than a half a dozen of these small bowls holding change and keys and so on. I also get soup — tastings of clam chowder, chicken spaetzle, chicken noodle from the best restaurants in Duluth. A local food pantry receives the cash.
And this year, among the bowls, there was what appears to be a spoon rest for the stove top, or possibly a small bowl for after-dinner chocolates, or possibly just a cool thing. (See picture.)
If you know OAR, the signature on the back, mention I adore the work. It made me so happy. If OAR is a practicing artist, I’ll edit this to add info. Love the work.
Empty bowl was a salve. Empty Bowl reminds me that I can do the right thing, I can make positive change, in a way that rewards me and the world. Hoping for more of that.
I’ve been thinking about the energy and quality writing that have gone into electronic magazines in our region. There are the two I have looked at lately — Split Rock Review and New Theory. What publications am I missing?
I’ll be talking about art on Saturday at Zinema 2 in an event sponsored by the Duluth Art Institute, for the showing of American Splendor. Here is other writing of mine on art; if you like it, I hope to be this elegant Saturday.
A Woman Bathing in a Stream by Rembrandt
When I was 22, I took the bus to New York and visited the Rembrandt/Not-Rembrandt exhibit.
I learned that conservators struggle with Rembrandt’s work, because he added ground chalk and bits of glass to the paint to add texture and to speed drying. These practices make the paintings hard to preserve hundreds of years later.
… fragments of chalk and glass in an oil painting, causing the paint to crack over time.
Those fragments have become integral to identifying a Rembrandt — a painting without them starts from the presumption of forgery. The bits of glass have become a sign of authenticity.
It is impossible to admire a Rembrandt without admiring the cracks and breaks caused by the ground and broken things.
Three events this week made me rethink the past, present, and future of gender roles. The movie Logan draws deep in the past of gender roles, echoing them and updating them (just a bit) for the 21st century. Debates about the wage gap on International Women’s Day make me struggle with the present of gender. Playing Munchkin with some adorable children makes me feel optimistic about the future — of gender and of a better world generally.
I’m watching the action at the Minnesota State Legislature with an eye toward what is happening in Duluth, too.
I look at these two initiatives. I wish I had some principle here, like “local control is always best” or something like that, but I don’t. I just prefer the results of the Duluth ordinance over the results of the state law. If I liked the results of the state law better, I would prefer that.
What do you think, comparing:
The work of Duluth’s “Earned Sick and Safe Time Task Force,” which “gathers information, collects public input, proposes the best options for implementing ESST policies and brings forward policy recommendations.”
SF 580 as introduced – 90th Legislature (2017 – 2018)
A bill for an act relating to employment; providing uniformity for employment mandates on private employers;proposing coding for new law in Minnesota Statutes, chapter 181.
Last night, I went to the TED at the Teatro. This regular event (on the third Wednesday of every month) has both a Facebook Page and a Youtube Channel. It’s the second time I attended, and it’s an event I’d like to return to, even if it had some complexities.
The event is structured with a chatty welcome, last night including an uncomfortable handshake (getting us to meet the people around us, like the handshake in a church). There is a Raymond Carver essay in which Carver reflects on something Tobias Wolff told him when Carver invited Wolff to an event, to meet some people. “I don’t want any new friends. I can’t do right by the ones I have now,” or something more or less like that. If, unlike me, you are into meeting strangers, sure, this was fun.
There was music from Medical Underground. Others, more into local pop/rock music, might chime in on their quality. I found them pleasant. One of the refrains of one of their songs appeared to be something like “We will be okay,” which maybe is reassuring.