I have been assessing and indexing my blog lately and I realised I had not posted anything for the first six months of this year; and so I looked at my work record and found I was just a little bit busy with organising events at the library.
Here is the incomplete list:
Craig Smith – Wednesday 25 January – Summer Reading Club Finale
I was about 16 years old when I meditated for the first time. I remember sitting on a chair outside and feeling the stillness, depth and presence. I was inspired by a description in a book by Doctor Ainlsee Meares.
Since then I have dabbled on and off without ever instilling a regular practice for myself, despite knowing and experiencing the benefits. I’ve used the Insight Timer app on my iPod for quite a few years now and find it helpful.
But recently I heard someone say they were enjoying the online community that Insight Timer offers. This was news to me. And since we have recently become more connected with the NBN, I had a closer look.
And behold a whole new community of meditators using this app. You can see how many people are using the app and meditating around the world and how many have meditated that day.
There are a huge variety of meditation soundtracks to select from depending on your own preference. There is music, verbal instructions and visualisations, sounds of nature, chanting, binaural beats, and much more.
You can select the soundtrack depending on the time you wish to spend in meditation. And there are personal statistics to keep you going. You get stars as you reach particular milestones. And when you have finished you can connect with others by saying “thank you for meditating with me today”.
Japanese Art has always been a style I love. The design, composition, colours, graphic style, use of line, and deft touch is to be admired. Who can go past Hokusai?
So not only did I jump at the chance to see the Hokusai exhibition at the NGV; I decided to invite an artist I know, Irene Crusca, to give a talk on the topic at the library where I work. The timing of this was intentionally aimed to be while the exhibition was still on, so that if people felt moved by what they heard, there was still time to go into the city to see the artworks up close.
Irene gave a thoughtful and well-prepared presentation easily filling the hour with commentary on the man and some of his works. She explained about the important contributions he made upon the international art world at that time.
Of course The Great Wave is an iconic image recognized by most. It is simply beautiful. At the exhibition I loved seeing Mt Fuji depicted in so many scenes. I love the waterfalls, and the little human figures everywhere going about their daily activities, sometimes humuorously.
The NGV did a fabulous job displaying many of his sketchbooks under glass protected from willing hands. Then on a screen digital images of his sketches appear in sequential arrays. Who would have the time to sit and admire them all?
I have invited Irene back next year to talk about her work as a portrait artist.
What is it about stories that have music woven into the tale? We can’t actually hear or feel the music, but if we know the pieces mentioned this evokes a mood in harmony with the actual tune.
I hosted another Melbourne Writers Festival at my library and the author was Zoe Morrison who has written one novel Music and Freedom. I have read about a third of the book but had to return the library copy, as the reservation list is long. I was enjoying the tale, which has music at its heart; the main character is a concert pianist.
Lee Kofman and Zoe Morrison at Frankston Library 2017
Listening to Zoe in conversation with a fellow author Lee Kofman I am keen to get hold of another copy and finish reading this book. Zoe gave further depth and context to the tale whetting the appetite of the people in the audience.
I have enjoyed other novels that contain music as a central theme: An equal music by Vikram Seth is one that comes to mind. There is another that I loved but the title and author elude me at the moment. I will do a search and see if I can locate it.