I took the photo in the middle of this image yesterday and used it as inspiration for my daily doodle. Such beautiful flowers, fading so fast as we are home all day with the heating on at the moment. Today I used it for the daily create. Here’s what I did:
Cropped it slightly, then uploaded it to Lunapic and added a filter (beauty).
Downloaded the result to my PC
Opened Powerpoint and inserted the original image, resizing it to fit
Inserted the new image and resized
Copied the new image 7 more times to tile it
Selected all and grouped the image
Saved as picture to my PC
Opened in Paint and resized to 25% to reduce the file size
As I read Anna’s post about how she is struggling to find the patience to read, I thought about how I knit. Specifically, I thought about how often I turn my knitting projects into races – how instead of enjoying the process of knitting, I rush to get them finished and off the needles. Here’s an example: the shawl above is one that I started in order to have some easy knitting for when my mind or my hands were tired, but I have spent the last few days counting the rows and minutes until it was finished. And, of course, now it is done I am immediately thinking about starting a similar project.
I don’t make resolutions at new year, but I am making a mental note to remember to enjoy the process of knitting, and stop thinking in terms of finished outputs.
There’s so much emphasis at the moment in active learning, often accompanied with the (implicit) belief that this needs to be a collaborative activity. I think both are important, and also enjoyable – but sometimes peace and solitude are just as productive, if not more.
Today I have spent time in my kitchen away from social media – chopping fruit and veg for relish, stirring together chocolate and nuts for fudge, churning yogurt and vanilla for ice cream and then stirring the remainder of the Christmas pudding through it. As I cooked, my mind wandered – thinking about PhD stuff, and presentations I need to write, and things I have read over the last few days.
Bacon says somewhere that there are three elements to learning: reading, writing and discussing. But of course there’s another – thinking is also important, and I worry that this vital element is being overlooked. Today I made space for it.
Today’s dots – a freshly baked batch of oatcakes. Time is of the essence with these – they need to be quickly mixed together and rolled out while the dough is still warm, else the mixture sets and becomes unworkable. In addition, the more it is rolled out, the harder it is to use, so these are imperfect – quickly cut out and put onto a baking tray. They won’t last long anyway – they are too tasty, we have so much cheese in the house right now, and they are also perfect for a quick snack.
Holiday time is a luxury I appreciate – time to bake, time to relax. Doodling, reading recipes, recharging my batteries. Knitting – always knitting – more dots here in the selection of yarns I have chosen for a scarf for mum – oddments from projects made for family and friends (I will tell her the pale blue is from a sweater I made for dad, she will appreciate that).
We’re all thinking about dots. Sheri reminds us that this is not a new conversation. Terry responds and starts teasing out the metaphor. Dots and lines, or overlapping circles? Maybe both, maybe more. We don’t have the words to represent to ourselves this complex conceptual scheme. (A recurring memory: in a philosophy of science lecture we are described as three dimensional slices of four dimensional space-time worms.)
Wendy sees pictures in poems. I see pictures in my head – pictures I can’t translate onto paper because they are too transient – shape shifting wisps of mental smoke that drift at the edge of my mind. Blobs of ink dropped into water – blending with others yet keeping their shape. I try to represent what I see, but I just make a mess.
We bounce ideas off each other and they ricochet off in unexpected tangents (Wendy, again). (Another memory from philosophy of science – Newton’s “billiard ball” theory of causation.) A wirearchy, not a hierarchy.
I visited the Dotsies site and grabbed the bookmarklet up to my tool bar, then headed over to Wendy’s blog and applied it, screen shot the result and pasted the image into Paint to crop it. The resulting image, here on the left, is her poem translated into dots.
Wendy’s post is reminding me of Bertrand Russell’s distinction between surface grammar and depth grammar. Is the grammar of the surface more misleading, as he thought? Is the underlying structure of our thought really dots? (Russell didn’t say that, he was talking about philosophical logic – I am applying a poetic licence to his idea that I am sure he would not have approved of.)