It’s been a while since I last wrote, I’m feeling quite sad about it. But the reality is that the new school year comes with so much work that I barely have time to do anything else.
But today is Mid Autumn Festival. I thought I should take some time to celebrate. So with a hot cup of tea sitting on the table beside my notebook, I made a drawing.
Because of class schedule I’m not able to go home for a family gathering today. But as I was drawing I thought about how part of the tradition of the Mid-Autumn Festival reminds us that (at least how I understand it) even if we can’t physically be together with our loved ones, we know that on this day, when the moon is the fullest and brightest, we are all gazing at and appreciating the same moon as our loved ones over the mountains and across the seas.
And so as I was drawing I was thinking about my family and loved ones gazing at the same moon. And I thought about the bioluminescent mushrooms that we saw at an exhibit in Chicago. I don’t think bioluminescent mushrooms usually need moonlight to glow, but in my drawing I was kind of imagining a relationship between the mushrooms and the moon, where the moon gives the mushrooms the light energy so that they, too, can glow and shine. And I’m reminded of this passage:
We love because He first loved us.
1 John 4:19
Wishing you a splendid, blessed fall season of harvest.
This time I got some black cherry tomatoes, pattypan squash, and some kale. I’ve never had any of those before. The friendly farmers gave me samples of the tomatoes and squash. They were very sweet.
Here’s what we did with the cherry tomatoes and squash — a summer salad with just some salt, pepper and sesame oil.
I sautéed half the kale, but found it a bit too chewy. So I thought I’d try to make kale chips with the rest of them. I’ve always been intrigued by them!
I followed this recipe. It’s really rather simple. Didn’t even have to turn them over half way through baking. Came out nice and crisp!
Mike and I devoured the entire bowl in one evening.
And this is the drawing of the week. Treasures from the earth.
May your week be filled with simple joys and treasures!
Stumbled upon a farmers market in the neighbourhood where I used to go to school, it even has a cafe! So I’ve made it a goal to visit when it opens every Wednesday, get some vegetables for the week, stop by the cafe (that is also part of the farmer’s market), and take some time to draw. Like I did when we were on our trip to Chicago :D I’m foreseeing a very busy September, so it’s nice to have the time to relish summer.
Treasures from the earth! Rainbow chard — unicorns’ favourite vegetables! :D But contrary to what I thought and what the farmer seemed to be telling me, rainbow chard isn’t a species in itself, it’s actually a mix of different kinds of chard. But anyway, I’ve never had chard and it was very sweet.
We sautéed the chard and the radish together :D
And here’s the drawing I made at the cafe. About sharing space, sharing resources and supporting each others’ growth.
The farmers market is in front of a church and the cafe is inside the nice courtyard of the church. I should take more pictures of it next week.
John Street Farmers Market! I highly recommend visiting if you’re in the neighbourhood :D
May your week be filled with simple joys.
And we’re back! :D
Before I went on the trip to Chicago, I made a (small) goal to make one drawing a day, based on whatever I saw on that day. It was intended to be a way for me to get back into drawing, but it had really unfolded into a time of reflection, relishing the day, treasuring quiet time shared with Mike, and thinking more about what I saw, learned and experienced and how I was moved by these things.
The drawings are in a notebook that Mike gave me. It has this quote printed in it:
“The past is a ghost, the future is a dream and all we ever have is now.” — Bill Cosby
July 18 — we visited the Shedd Aquarium. We learned about how the health and well-being of life in the sea, in the sky and on land are all connected. I made this drawing at night in our hotel room. The words that came from the drawing: Corals, barnacles, kelp, seaweeds, jellies, one ocean.
July 19 — we visited the Adler Planetarium. Before heading to Millennium Park, we stopped at a Dunkins Donut for $1 iced coffee and free WiFi. Through the store window I was looking at the iron and wood structure of the elevated train tracks that run through the city, and the owl statue on top of the public library. Earlier in the day, we saw drawings of how early astrologists recorded, tracked, and made sense of the stars they saw in the sky. A volunteer told us about light pollution and how we don’t see stars in the city anymore. Still earlier in the day, when we were waiting for the bus heading to the Planetarium, we chatted with a man who asked us to help him out with breakfast and then started to tell us about himself. He said he got complacent. So, I guess this is kind of a prayer.
May we find our light again
Our North Star
May we rest in the knowledge and the faith that it is still here
Even when we don’t see it
July 20 — Visited the Museum of Science and Industry. Saw a film about the endangered coral reefs, and was amazed by the sea slug swimming. I suppose this is also a wish.
The humble sea slug dancing, sending waves rippling across the ocean, reclaiming space.
July 21 — we visited the Frank Lloyd Wright Home & Studio that day. Really inspired by how he blended architecture with the surrounding environment, and his use of geometrical patterns that were inspired by nature. And in the front yard of his home there was a ginkgo tree — my favourite tree — the largest, tallest, most majestic ginkgo tree I’ve ever seen. Mike and I sat at a Starbucks before meeting up with a friend. I drew while he read blogs. Bliss.
Desire of the human heart to be attuned to the rhythm of nature.
July 22 — Visited the Field Museum. Most amazed by the bioluminescence exhibit. Learned about why certain creatures and plants glow (i.e. mating, discourage predators “I glow, therefore I taste bad!”, burn off excess energy, etc.). Also fascinated by prehistoric sea creatures, before the dinosaurs, in the Evolving Earth exhibit. Had a thought about making plushes of those creatures.
The art of survival.
July 23 — On our last day in Chicago, we visited the Jane Addams Hull-House Museum. Being a social work student I have read a lot about Jane Addams and her work in textbooks. What the textbooks didn’t mention was that art forms of all kinds were thriving at the Hull-House. It wasn’t just a place that provided affordable shelter and food, childcare and employment, it was also a place where people’s minds and spirit were nurtured and energized by literature, music, textile art, pottery, painting, poetry. It reaffirmed my belief that the arts are also essential in helping people get to where they want to go. What I also did not know was that Jane Addams was a big fan of the Arts and Crafts Movement and the designs of William Morris, as am I :D The drawing was inspired by a historical photograph of the children at the Hull-House painting in the street in front of a stairway. It was drawn at the airport, waiting for our flight home.
Staircase to somewhere.
Our trip ended there. Too short of course :( But what I really valued was the experience of taking time to sit down and draw. And to think, to somehow find words to consolidate my thoughts, which made me feel quite a bit happier actually. Or maybe it was just because I was on holiday. Anyhow, I’m hoping to find more opportunities to do more of this at home.
Mike and I are in the process of compiling our photos of the trip — we took so many! With lots of stories to tell! Can’t wait to post them!
Have a happy rest of the week, everyone!