Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Whoever watches the wind will not plant... and two upcoming events.

"Whoever watches the wind will not plant; whoever looks at the clouds will not reap." ~Ecclesiastes 11:4

New Living Translation puts it this way: Farmers who wait for perfect weather never plant. If they watch every cloud, they never harvest.

This Old Testament verse doesn't say to ignore the weather. It simply says that one can get so hung up on waiting for perfect conditions that they never do anything.

Whereas it's true that you have to sensitive to external conditions, all too often we use those conditions as an excuse for why we didn't do something in the first place. As Shakespeare wrote, "The fault is not in the stars but in ourselves."

What is it you're looking for? Don't wait till conditions are perfect to begin your quest. Start your preparations. Take action. Don't sit back and let life pass you by.

Last weekend we went to a movie and dinner downtown here in Duluth and noticed that our town was hopping. Weather that shuts down other parts of the country made little impact here. The only challenge is probably parking because sooner or later experience teaches you to beware of parking horizontally on the hills in the winter. In short, unless the event is outright cancelled, the locals here venture forth.

Tomorrow evening at Glensheen Mansion, in conjunction with the UMD Office of Civic Engagement and the Duluth News Tribune, is hosting another CHESTER CHAT, a Ted Talk-styled event designed to foster critical thinking. The topic is Regional Art. The speakers slated include local artist: Sarah Brokke Duluth Art Institute curator: Anne Dugan and UMD art historian: Dr. Jennifer Webb

Dr. Webb will talk about the many works of art housed in the historic Glensheen. Doors open to historic Glensheen’s Winter Garden at 7:00 p.m. for a happy half-hour with the guest speakers. The program starts promptly at 7:30 p.m., each talking for approximately 10 minutes.

I first heard about this through KUMD who will be rebroadcasting the talk as a regular monthly feature. In the event that you were unaware, Glensheen is a unit of the School of Fine Arts within the University of Minnesota Duluth.

The next TWEEVENINGS at UMD is Tuesday, February 4 at 6:30 p.m. It should be another good one with artist and critic Ann Klefstad sharing how art traditions both within and beyond the Western influence link daily life, spiritual life, and natural sciences. She'll be speaking about works by several artists: mathematician and artist Dennis White's finger-woven sash, a traditional Anishinaabe work; John Sims' African-inspired Mathematical Art Brain, a drawing and inkjet print; a Frank Big Bear colored drawing; and a duck-headed carved spoon from the Rawlings Nelson's Collection of American Indian Art. Image of the drawing by: Frank Big Bear, Spirit of Things, 1986

In short, here are two rich opportunities to go deeper in your understanding of the arts, especially as it intersects our life and times here and now.

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