In front of the John Lennon Wall in Prague.

Monday, May 28, 2012

A Bowl of Words

Today I bought a bowl created by an artist in Swaziland.  It is made out of magazine pages stitched together - a bowl of words.  This lovely and practical piece of art gave me a wonderful idea.  Why not start my own collection of words to put in my bowl?  Maybe a magazine article or a wonderful turn of phrase from one of my students?  Even snippets of conversation I hear while sitting in cafes or riding BART or fortunes from fortune cookies.  For some reason the idea of a bowl full of words gives me great pleasure.  If they are words I simply collect instead of write myself, there will be less pressure for me to be brilliant.  Since I seem to be going through a rather dry writing period right now, perhaps my bowl of words will shake something loose in me.  I like the idea that those words will have their own physical life in their bowl home - a more tangible presence than if they were written in a notebook.

I think the first words I will put in my bowl are the beginning lyrics to the Tears for Fears song "Everybody Wants to Rule the World."  Remember that band from the 1980's? Today when I was driving home with my bowl, I heard this song on the radio.  It's one of those songs that I turn up full blast whenever I hear it.  It has become "mine" because it always conjures up the memory of a pivotal moment in my life.  I listened to it while packing for my first solo trip to Europe.  I was 30 years old, and the opening line "Welcome to your life. There's no turning back..." hit me profoundly.  Those were the kinds of words that meant a lot to me when I was 30 and scared to death about what life might bring me. 

See, the bowl is working already.


  1. Beautiful bowl, and terrific idea!
    One of the kids at FR made a bowl out of a long strip of newspaper wound in a tight spiral. It makes a neat, collapsible bowl of words.

  2. Art and functionality often need to trade places for us to look anew...nice post. I must poke around and see what else you have shared. best wishes...

    1. Jeannette - I'm glad you checked out my blog. I hope you enjoyed reading some of the posts. Thank you for your comment.