Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Joy Forever (With apologies to Keats)

John Keats' poem, "A Thing of Beauty is a Joy Forever," begins with these lines:
                    A thing of beauty is a joy for ever:
                    Its loveliness increases; it will never
                    Pass into nothingness; but still will keep
                    A bower quiet for us, and a sleep
                    Full of sweet dreams, and health, and quiet breathing.

I am reminded of his words now while our house is wide awake, and not sleeping.  James, our eccentric three-year-old, recently found new freedom in his big boy bed, and though he has never needed much sleep to function well, he is currently testing the limits by waking at ungodly hours, turning on all the lights in the house, harassing his baby brother, throwing epic tantrums, and disrupting our early-morning routine.  I am running on empty lately, and we are working to set new patterns for him to follow.  

In the few quiet moments that I muster, I am thoroughly enjoying my online blogging class and learning new things daily.  One of our teachers, Jeanette Lund of FRYD + DESIGN, is a Norwegian graphic artist recently named Interior Talent of the Year by Elle Decoration Norway.  Jeanette's work is truly inspiring, and she is well-known for her lovely online magazine, currently in its third edition.  Her creativity is evident in the pages of her work; and to me, the fact that she has cultivated and self-published a series of beautiful journals, available to everyone, for free, adds her to the ranks of greats like Walt Whitman and Emily Dickinson, both writers who also self-published their works during their lifetimes.  To do so shows great strength and dedication to their art, in my opinion, and I admire all three artists immensely. 

While perusing Lund's piece, I fell in love with the work of another Norwegian pair, Wik & Walsøe, creators of gorgeous porcelain tableware collections.  I was drawn to the beauty and simplicity of their ALV series, and I hope to own the entire set someday.  I'm typically not the type to swoon over dishes, but these pieces are truly stunning in their art and design.  Only one retailer in the United States carries their work, Nordic Galleri in Fergus Falls, Minnesota, and I decided to purchase a piece immediately, as an early birthday present to myself, using the money I've been saving to buy my much-coveted rose ottoman.  Some things are simply worth having immediately.

The vase arrived today, just as naptime began, and, in absolute quiet and heavenly peace, I was able to open and admire the beauty of my own little "Grecian Urn."  I also spent a while tinkering with my camera, attempting to capture its beauty myself. 

The Alv vase by Wik & Walsøe.
As I take this class, I am truly beginning to understand the need for some basic photography skills, which I do not currently possess, and I'm excited at the prospect of learning something new that will challenge and, hopefully, inspire my creativity.  As my boys grow older, I find myself searching for new ways to expand my horizons, away from them a little, as they are growing up and away from me.

It's definitely a complicated path, this time of self-discovery, but I feel so inspired by the work of others, and their creations are fueling my desire to keep moving forward in search of "truth [and] beauty."