Thursday, April 23, 2009

Talk Like Shakespeare Day

"And this, our life, exempt from public haunt, finds tongues in trees, books in the running brooks, sermons in stones, and good in everything." --Shakespeare; As You Like It

Being that it is Talk Like Shakespeare Day, it seemed a decent day to muse upon some of the thoughts that have been fluttering around my mind. This is less a blog post about anything to to with my business (though the commissioned Shakespearean inkpot on the left *was* rather perfect timing) so much as it is thoughts about it all and the quote seemed fitting.

How long have I scrabbled to get out from that public world and into that realm where flattery and superficiality was not the cheap gasoline that powered the social engine.

The Market appears like dropplets of water merged into a shimmering pool of fantastic merchants with their kilned pottery and carved wooden wine stoppers. Some carry crocheted gloves from the softest alpaca and others have woven satchels from upcyled plastic bags. Thre are local fruits, that much sweeter for appreciation of the season; natural soaps of delicious fragrance and traditional besoms, which every household possesses in some form, none of these two are ever alike.

And these works are not all flashy, but they are always marvelous and here is why: the handmade work of these merchants is not the mass production from a machine. Every item has been first conceived in imagination and then forged into reality through the conduit of the merchant's art. To browse a booth is to glimpse inside the beautiful mindscape of the vendor.

Once, I used to organize and file, report and record. I re-arranged numbers and documents and presentations and at the end of my day, what had I made? Nothing. How had I contributed anything to this world? Oh, it all sounded very important but words are not actions.

A girl who shops the Market found my booth and bought a book from me last year. This year, when the Market sprang up here in the North, she found me again and told me that she needed another book for she had filled the one she bought from me not six months prior. Then she handed to me a journal filled with her writing, from her mind through her hand to the page and there I was holding that precious jewel.

I thought to myself that this was something. The book I had created inspired that; it provided the canvas by which imagination entered reality, a little green seed filled with life.

Away from designer labels and trendy junk, there is a sincerity in making and buying products of real labor from the grassroots community right around you. There is magic in the Market, it is hidden in plain sight and in my small way, I contribute to that grande dream :)

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