Bee and berries

November 14, 2017

A Bear roamed the woods in search of berries. He happened upon a fallen tree in which a swarm of bees had stashed their honey. The Bear began to nose around the log very, very carefully to see if the Bees were at home.

Just then one of the swarm happened home from the berry patch with a load of sweet pollen. Guessing what the Bear was after, the Bee flew at him, stung him sharply. Then he disappeared into the hollow log.

The Bear lost his temper and sprang upon the log attacking tooth and claw, hoping to destroy the nest, but this only brought out the whole swarm. The poor Bear took to his heels and ran. He only saved himself by diving into the nearby stream.

The weakest united may make for a strong alliance of protection. Overlooking the fact that many bees united can make even the strongest creature uncomfortable, it would be wiser to bear a single injury in silence than to provoke a thousand by flying into a rage.

bee and berries

Note: No animals were actually stung in the telling of this fable.


The Sun Never Says…

May 22, 2017


“Even after all this time, the sun never says to the earth, ‘You owe me.’ Look what happens with a love like that, it lights the whole sky.” Words, “The Sun Never Says,” by Hafiz, design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.



For Mom and Dad…

February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine’s Day!


Let the love in your heart grow tall like a tree and shine bright like the sun, heart tree design inspired by a medieval design by Meredith Eliassen, 2017.


“Grace went searching for the first couple who dared to open their eyes in Eden.” Poem called “Evolution” by Gabriel Zaid and imaginary “Eden” designed by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.




“Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right heart within me.” Words from Psalms 51: 10, design by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

Who is this Lady Luck?

September 22, 2016

My mother has been telling me about the “lady friend” of Lucky the Lizard for several months now… and she always refers to her as Lady Luck. This past weekend she finally described Lady to me in a way that I could picture her. Though the description changes with Lady’s mood and backdrop from her having gray and black stripes to Pokka dots remains the same… I am not yet convinced that she is part of Lucky’s posse, because she is reportedly pissed whenever he goes on his travels… whatever.


Lady Luck, a lizard in Sedona, Arizona, as seen by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

The one constant in descriptions of Lady’s tail… you see… is that she lost it and it grew back gray. Nobody knows the story, and she won’t tell. Maybe a hawk stole it, or a lightening bolt hit her, or she was not fast enough in exiting my parents’ place and one of the poodles took a bite out of her (though they are both gentlemen, really…) Whatever her story might be, her tail grew back, you see, and life goes on…

As this description filled my thought, a true picture emerged of Lady Luck as a survivor in the desert, as the lizard that captured Lucky’s heart when he first saw her in the light of morning dawn as she perched on the Red Rock. Not only was her tail regrown but she was transformed into a critter, more strong, more beautiful, and energized.

Lady Luck Notecard

A New Day

May 7, 2016


“Nordic Fish,” inspired by a circular fish motif from a medieval manuscript, was designed by Meredith Eliassen, 2016. TO PURCHASE NOTECARD

Last night I attended a wonderful concert by New York Polyphony held on the San Francisco State University campus as part of the Morrison Artist Series. In short, it was fantastic, like listening to a natural and unpretentious conversation on a street corner of a gem-strew city. I was reminded of the timeless healing energy of the human voice with this convergence of four male voices singing in chant where every voice was valued and relevant. The compositions spanned centuries and with one song composed for the group, I felt for the first time the beauty and magic of what a composer of vocal works creates when he creates music for voices specific to living human instruments.

My sister has had composer work with her words, and now I have a better sense of the underlying power of this collaboration. The sacred music that New York Polyphony performed is sometime performed in a stilted way, they claim to infuse it with sensuality of today, but in its original context with out the noise of today, it think that the passion would not have been much different if sung by singers who were engaged and living their faith.

New York Polyphony (established in 2006) is a male classical vocal quartet based in New York. If you are able to catch New York Polyphony live in concert you will also feel their movement on stage as they shift and interact with the audience, but the sheer beauty of their voices can be heard in their recordings.

Alas, I don’t normally write about things related to my work at San Francisco State, but one of the best aspects of my “day job” is working with our fantastic energetic students. Today I want to celebrate the establishment of a press that will highlight student works from Pino Trogu’s letterpress class. Today is the birthday of Stanza 153 Press at San Francisco State University. If you get a chance to support this effort to nurture young artists, please do.

Stanza 153 Press Features work by the typographers, compositors and printers of DAI 226 Modern Letterpress Printing, Design and Industry Department, San Francisco State University.



IDENTITY. “our identity is bound with our memories: wash away memory and identity disappears… only to reappear with our next action.” Words by Robert Lax (1915-2000) from “In the Beginning was Love: Contemplative Words of Robert Lax,” edited with an introduction by S. T. Georgiou (2015), design by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.


Cleaning House

March 30, 2016

Chaucer’s got it right, in taking care of our own business, we demonstrate our truth.


“Ruele wel thyself, that other folk canst rede and trouthe thee shall delivere, it is no drede.” Quote from Geoffrey Chaucer, 1343-1400, drawing inspired by illuminated manuscript by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

I will be taking a brief hiatus to clean house and should return in May. Thanks for visiting this blog. I look forward to more adventures in the future.



Dante… on Love

February 11, 2016


“L’amor che muove il sole e l’altre stelle.” (The love that moves the sun and the other stars.) from “Paradiso” by Dante Alighiere, 1265-1321. Image motif inspired by a card design by Robbin Rawlings. Drawing by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.