– Is a good thing to apply in life occasionally, particularly when it gets cluttered and confused. There is something appealing about an object or process stripped down to the essential elements.
I will start this post off with a question and I really would like to hear from you about your experiences in the comments.
What is the oldest hand made object you have ever held and how did that make you feel?
I’m asking because on Friday night I got to turn the pages of a five hundred year old illuminated manuscript. No glass case. No gloves. Just me tracing the lines of latin text placed on parchment five hundred years ago.
For me, this was a little complicated. Since I have a library background, conserving these materials so they are available to future generations is a cornerstone of my training. It felt wrong handling something like this at all, especially without gloves. Contrasting this was the feel of the parchment, being able to see the text clearly without reflections of the glass case, to be so intimate with something in a way that is normally forbidden and connect with a rare artifact in a different way.
The decision to allow this item to be touched was very brave. To be fair the item had evidence of heavy wear and possible smoke or water damage. There were torn and missing pages and some pages suffered from heavy discolouration and buckling. The quality of the work compared to the rest of the collection was lower and I thought some of the pages were unfinished. The exposure to so much contact will not help preserve it but the cost of restoration would most likely not be recovered, so perhaps this trade off in providing what may be a once in a lifetime experience is the best way for it to be used.
It felt so good, I went back on Saturday…
This opportunity was one I nearly missed out on as I only found out about it on Friday morning. The exhibition at Ian Potter Museum finishes later today and I would like to thank the staff and Kerry Stokes for making his personal collection available to the public.
I saw the First World War Centenary exhibition at Museum Victoria, a collection of artefacts from the Imperial War Museum. It was very sobering and difficult to process the scale of what took place 100 years ago. There were a lot of photographs and this added another human dimension to the objects on display.
Continuing with the martial theme I have been listening to “No Go Rin Sho” or “Book of Five Rings written in 1645 by Miyomoto Musashi. It is a favourite of mine, particularly the book of the void. If you replaced the word sword with camera and strategy with photography, it could work as a treatise on photography…
I don’t know who said it but I recall a saying about the real challenge in mountain climbing comes after you reach the summit. I knew something similar to this was coming after five years of study and I thought I had figured out a way forward but that is not exactly going to plan.
Just as well I’m good at re invention. At least I hope I still am…
Listening to Audioslave
A shiny new modem arrived today and I hope to put my recent connection problems behind me.
I have been listening to a David Allen audiobook called ready for anything. I often find myself going back to his books as they have some good tools for getting unstuck.