A Book a Day? What's Up With That?

Hi, and welcome to this year-long project. So what's this all about and how did it happen, you might ask. In mid 2007, artist Noah Scalin decided to make a skull out of anything he could find, every day for a year. It stretched him in ways he never imagined, as an artist, a writer and a person. His experience turned into a blog that went viral, and then a book.

Others have picked up on the idea: 365 Hearts, 365 Masks, 365 Bears drawn on a cellphone, 365 paper napkin mustaches.
I wanted to play, too, and I chose books. I love books, I know a bit about making books (thanks to my talented book-maker sister, Marilyn Worrix), and they're broad enough in definition to give me a lot of creative leeway.

The whole point is not really the books. The idea is to stretch myself in many ways as an artist and a person, to set up a discipline, stick with it and see what that teaches me.

I hope you'll join with me and follow along on the journey chronicled here, and let me know what you think.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Book 205 - Rumi Poem Palm Leaf Book - Shadow and Light Source Both

This palm leaf book featuring a poem by Rumi is my first book made with some of the gorgeous hand-made paper Audrey Hollinger sent me from The Papertrail in New Dundee, Ont, Canada. Isn't it pretty?

I've been thinking about this book for awhile and as soon as I saw the paper, I knew that's what I would use. I've been wanting to do anothr palm leaf book and I wanted to do more Rumi poetry. Mewlana Jalaluddin Rumi was a 13th century Persian poet and Sufi mystic. His poetry is magical to me and this in one of my favorites. It reads:

How does a part of the world leave the world?
How does wetness leave water?

Don't try to put out fire by throwing more fire!
Don't wash a wound with blood.

No matter how fast you run, your shadow keeps up.
Sometimes it's in front!

Only full overhead sun diminishes your shadow.
But that shadow has been serving you.

What hurts you, blesses you. Darkness is your candle.
Your boundaries are your quest.

I could explain this, but it will break the glass cover on your heart,
and there's no fixing that.

You must have shadow and light source both.
Listen, and lay your head under the tree of awe.

When from that tree feathesr and wings sprout on you,
be quieter than a dove.

Don't even open your mouth
even for a coo.

I printed the poem out in sections on the computer, tore the sections into individual pages. I also tore the hand-made paper into pages, then glued the poetry sections onto them. The paper for the pages looks gray in  he pix, but it has a perlescence to it that makes it almost silver. So pretty.

For the covers, I used some purple hand-made paper, lined it with the silver gray paper, and put a piece of lightweight board in between, to give it some rigidity. I punched holes in the center of each cover and each page and threaded through a cotton cord with some glass beads tied to the ends. The cords hold the pages together and wrap around to hold the book closed. To open it, you untie the cord and pull the pages apart enough to turn them and read each page.

This is a really ancient book structure, first used for Buddhist sutras. I like the structure and want to do more palm leaf books. This one feels not quite finished somehow. I do know it needs a few hours under heavy weights, but there's something else missing too, some finishing detail. I may have to spend a day or two with it to figure out what it is. When I do, I'll likely re-photograph it and post the new pix here.


  1. OMGoodness! That poem and these papers and the form...all blend together perfectly. I don't know what is missing, but I trust your judgment. ;)

    I can see why you love this man's thoughts.

  2. Love Rumi. That is a perfect little book for the poem.