Wednesday, November 30, 2011
One of the many interesting things on my desk is a little orange box filled with even litter wooden blocks. I got them initially thinking they'd be fun to play with -- because who doesn't love blocks -- but for most of their time here they've just sat in the little orange box. Then last weekend I learned that this box was the only thing I had that fit my new business cards. (Sorry blocks, we can't be going around handing out business cards all bent and bag-linty.) For a week now the blocks have been floating around my desk, and I'm lucky they have been becuase tonight I learned that they are the BEST thing you could ask for if you are trying to assemble a huge papercut piece.
Once you get much bigger than a single element putting something together like this is a bit daunting. This is a huge non-canvas piece for me -- almost 20" square -- and most of the things were just floating around on the desk. It was incredible comforting to have marks at the edges of where things needed to go, becuase once you start picking things up, layer by layer, once you get to the bottom things look very spare indeed.
But the blocks are there! And by and large you can place things back to where they're supposed to go. Excellent. Thank you, blocks!
And while I have you here, a little about this piece: it is essentially a take on the already complicated omnivore's dilemma. This is actually my personal beef with the movement. I love going into those natural markets becuase they are set up more like art galleries than like grocery stores. I love looking at the food and dreaming. But there is a weird undercurrent of these things are only for the rich when you go to those places. I can get brown rice for $2.99/lb at a boutique market, or I can get brown rice for $0.89/lb at my nearby supermarket. I'm not sure if there's a difference between those rices, they seem like the same quality of rice if you examine the kernels. It seems like it's just more expensive, as if purchasing rice for a dollar more a pound you are somehow fixing the universe with the power of your money.
I should also mention that I think it is totally possible to eat healthy while living under the poverty line. It is not easy to do it if you eat the way Americans are "supposed" to eat, meat-and-three-veg, but if you eat the way most of the world eats (stuff all mixed up in a bowl, legume+grain=a complete protein) then your dollar can get you pretty far. I talk sort of haphazardly about it over here. It takes a population willing to educate the portion of the population who is not fed this information constantly. It's hard work but worth doing. Because otherwise we are just stuck here, with the haves and the have-nots.