For Mom and Dad…

February 14, 2017

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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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.

Art Enables…

January 13, 2017

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“Art enables us to find ourselves and loose ourselves at the same time.” Quote by Thomas Merton, butterfly design by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

Magic eye beads of Tibet are called dZi beads, and they are often etched or treated agate revered for their protective qualities.

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One of the stories about dZi beads is that they were originally insects that were petrified.

 

Happy Halloween!!!

October 31, 2016

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“Every moment and every event of every man’s life on earth plants something in his soul.” Words by Thomas Merton (1915-1968), design by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

Over the next few days this site will explore the Mexican Day of the Dead that emerged from the ancient pre-Columbian traditions.

Notecard

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“Twinkle, twinkle, little star, How I wonder what you are! Up above the world so high, Like a diamond in the sky. When the blazing sun is gone, When he nothing shines upon, Then you show your little light, Twinkle, twinkle, all the night. Then the traveler in the dark Thanks you for your tiny sparks. He could not see which way to go, If you did not twinkle so. In the dark blue sky you keep, And often through my curtains peep, For you never shut your eye ‘Till the sun is in the sky. As your bright and tiny spark Lights the traveler in the dark, Though I know not what you are, Twinkle, twinkle, little star.” Poem by Jane Taylor (1783-1824), design by Meredith Eliassen, 2015.

Wait… wait… wait… act…

September 14, 2016

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“wait * wait * wait * act * wait * — * the * rhythm * of * things * — * make * it * a * song * & * it * will * be * come * one * — * lis * ten * lov * ing * ly * to * the * mu * sic * slow * ly * joy * ous * ly * join * the * dance” inspired by the words of Robert Lax, dancing being designed by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

“wait wait wait act” Notecard and Survivors’ Hub Postcard

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“I can write my name but I can’t spell the letters.” Words by Joseph Simas, “Kinderpart,” 1989, design by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

If a folkway is defined as a way of thinking or acting shared by members of a group as part of their common culture, then childhood is the means for accessing common culture. Children are vectors of imaginary landscapes within adult societal constructs. Children naturally explore, experiment, and create opportunities to test and expand boundaries within familial and community contexts. Original play allows children to holistically experience events that involve a certain degree of risk and failure to provide opportunities to learn and develop knowledge and skills needed to survive as adults engaged with society. For instance play jumping into and over puddles can test a child’s physical attributes as well as properties of the physical world. Likewise, childhood offers the potential to choose a simple vessel portal for imaginative play in order to explore its possibilities.

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“Media as an extension of the human hand,” conceptual drawing by Meredith Eliassen, 2016

The cell phone can now be an interactive medium for child’s play and entertainment in an increasingly secular world. As folklorist, we can see with the lens of media ecology that this little device (like a play doll or ball of earlier days) has become an extension of the child or teenager’s arm and hand. Therefore, we can ask as with other media:

  • Does this device structure what we can see and say and, therefore, do?
  • Does this device assign to us roles to play? And then insist upon our playing them?
  • Does this “smart” device explicitly specify what we are permitted to do and what we cannot do?
  • Does this device offer half-concealed implicit and informal specifications that compel us assumption that what we are dealing with merely a machine and not a highly-corporate media environment?

When mass-produced toys create total-entertainment-experiences, society can loose ecosystems where holistic inner-imaginary landscapes flourish. Although folklorists will adapt to this technologist for studying First World childhood, we may need to head for the Cloud[s] to find our fodder for studying the real or ordinary lives of children. Media ecology surfaces roles that media compel us to play. Media ecology will continue to spotlight how emerging media structures the semantics of what we see and how media informs how we feel and act as we approach the gateway to the future with our eyes, ears, and hands wide open. In the coming weeks, I will explore the transitions of earlier media in this blog to identify areas that might be considered when asking the question: Is childhood at risk?

Here is a recent article from the Washington Post: And everyone saw it… by Jessica Contrera

To learn more about media ecologist go to the Media Ecologist Association.

 

Meet “my cat”…

August 8, 2016

Meet my three-legged cat that has a whimsy that may not be appreciated by all, but to me is lovable. To me this quote speaks to posterity of an essential truth: that each generation has values that are dear, and each generation must define and fight for their truths.

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“I will need someone to feed my cat when I leave this world, Though my cat is not ordinary. She only has three paws: fire, air, water.” Words by 14th century Persian poet Hafiz, image by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

For those of you taking a long weekend off… I am jealous, but fear not, I find liberty at my drawing board even if I find myself bound up in Celtic knots at the moment.

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LIBERTY drawn in red Celtic letters, inspired by the “Book of Kells,” by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.

Hope defined

June 29, 2016

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Now, faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 1:11) Hope. To have trust and understanding. Drawing by Meredith Eliassen, spring 2016.

More Shakespeare…

June 28, 2016

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“There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.” Words by William Shakespeare in Hamlet, act 2, scene 2, design inspired by the Tragic Comic Masks in the Hadrian’s Villa mosaic drawn by Meredith Eliassen, 2016.