I have a lot to catch up on. I designed this poster for this year’s Nourish conference at school. It is a Saturday workshop about wellness, and this year’s conference was, well, nourishing. In no particular order, some reminders from the day of the things that nourish us:
• Community – what we give and receive with those to whom we belong.
• 6-Second Cuddles – longer, if you wish.
• Passions – football and coffee specifically, but choose your own.
• Making a place your own and becoming a regular.
• Running – for exercise and meditation and the practice of noticing.
• Self-awareness – for understanding yourself and others.
• Not making any one thing too big – it’s all just stuff that needs doing.
• Spark – identifying that thing that makes your life hopeful and meaningful.
I left the conference thinking of a lot of things that have nourished me, one of which is a love of cinema. And then I thought of Stranger Than Fiction, a film I was teaching in my English class, in which the closing monologue goes like this:
As Harold took a bite of Bavarian sugar cookie, he finally felt as if everything was going to be ok. Sometimes, when we lose ourselves in fear and despair, in routine and constancy, in hopelessness and tragedy, we can thank God for Bavarian sugar cookies. And, fortunately, when there aren’t any cookies, we can still find reassurance in a familiar hand on our skin, or a kind and loving gesture, or subtle encouragement, or a loving embrace, or an offer of comfort, not to mention hospital gurneys and nose plugs, an uneaten Danish, soft-spoken secrets, and Fender Stratocasters, and maybe the occasional piece of fiction. And we must remember that all these things, the nuances, the anomalies, the subtleties, which we assume only accessorize our days, are effective for a much larger and nobler cause. They are here to save our lives. I know the idea seems strange, but I also know that it just so happens to be true. And, so it was, a wristwatch saved Harold Crick.
It is very nearly Sakura season again in Japan, which has me thinking of this trip we took to Kamakura the first time we came to Japan.
We were heading for the main street where there is a two kilometer stretch of boulevard lined with cherry trees and I took this photo on the train platform. Originally, it was the poster that drew my attention, looking so like what we had come to see. In retrospect, though, it’s the likeness of the woman in the poster to the woman on the platform that makes me smile. You know, life and art in mutual imitation.
Every once in a while, I get to do some graphic design. These are poster designs I did to advertise In The Current and Nourish, new conferences for international school counselors and to encourage well-being in the school community, respectively. The pomegranates in the Nourish poster are not my photographs. I’ve used them under Creative Commons attribution and share-alike licenses.
Sliced Pomegranate: cc licensed ( BY ) flickr photo shared by stevendepolo
Whole pomegranate: cc licensed ( BY SA ) flickr photo shared by You As A Machine