Dear NBG Community,
It was so wonderful to "see" some of you last month in the NBG Zoom Program Meeting. The fact that the day we met was my birthday made it especially poignant for me. In these liminal times, I think we are all paying attention to the gifts that grace our days. Spending time with the eighteen members who were able to attend, making a simple foldable book together, was a gift. Thank you!
It feels like we are living in a collective liminal space, a time between what we knew as "normal life" and what our world and lives will be in a future without Covid-19. A time between what is "no longer" and what is "not yet". As we continue to navigate this space, your NBG Board is trying to provide opportunities for you to engage in the creative world of bookmaking. Bruce Campbell is carefully stepping forward to help the Chapbook Project folks meet in the studio with Covid Protocols. Mary Maisch will teach Art Journal Adventures on Zoom later this month (see below). Mary has also offered to meet individuals who want to purchase supplies from Paper Birches. (Contact her here to make an appointment.) Our September Program Meeting will be held via Zoom and other classes are in the works.
I recently read the following poem by Danusha Laméris. It came to mind again during last month's program meeting as I looked at the smiling faces on my Zoom screen. It reminded me that even though we are physically distant we are searching for ways to connect.
I've been thinking about the way, when you walk
down a crowded aisle, people pull in their legs
to let you by. Or how strangers still say "bless you"
when someone sneezes, a leftover
from the Bubonic plague. "Don't die," we are saying.
And sometimes, when you spill lemons
from your grocery bag, someone else will help you
pick them up. Mostly, we don't want to harm each other.
We want to be handed our cup of coffee hot,
and to say thank you to the person handing it. To smile
at them and for them to smile back. For the waitress
to call us honey when she sets down the bowl of clam chowder,
and for the driver in the red pick-up truck to let us pass.
We have so little of each other, now. So far
from tribe and fire. Only these brief moments of exchange.
What if they are the true dwelling of the holy, these
fleeting temples we make together when we say, "Here,
have my seat," "Go ahead-you first," "I like your hat."
Thank you for supporting NBG.