Monday, March 30, 2015

USA deconstructed

Last weekend my daughter's school had an open house. Everyone was welcome, whether you went to the school or not, and activities were organized around the theme "travel." In different classrooms, parents from various ethnic backgrounds put on workshops related to their country of origin.

The kids could get a henna tattoo from Pakistan, learn a Russian folk dance, practice writing in Arabic, hear a story from Macedonia or Sweden, decorate German and Moroccan cookies, sing a song in Chinese, play a game from Iraq, or make an American flag.

I've met other English-speaking parents at the school, from South Africa and England, but as far as I know I'm the only American parent. So you can guess who ran the American flag workshop.

I showed the kids, most of whom were between 3 and 5 years old, a real American flag and asked them to go crazy and make their own. It was a lot of fun and the results have a Jasper Johns quality that I really love.

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Jazzy postcards from Belgium

Dear friends,

If you read my blog, then you might know that I've got a little thing for postcards. Last year I received 21 postcards in the mail from you all, which is really not a bad number when you think about it - almost two a month. They came from all over the world, each one bringing with it a little flavor of the place you were at. When one arrives, I hang it on a cupboard door in my kitchen. This way, when I go to the cupboard to take out a glass or a plate or a bowl, which I do multiple times a day, I first have to pass through Peru or California or Hilton Head or Jordan or Mexico City or the French Alps or wherever you happen to have been when you wrote to me. Gradually, after about three weeks I'd say, I stop noticing the picture when I reach into the cupboard. The place on the card, and its place in my kitchen, sort of melt together as one. Then, when another postcard arrives, I put the old one in a shoe box and hang the new one on the cupboard door where it will stay and melt with us for little while too.

Last week I found these cool Jazzy postcards from Belgium which I'd like to send to you. All you have to do is send me a postcard during the month of March at this address and I'll send you one back. I just have four though, so the first four (based on the post marked date on your postcard) will get one of the below.

The artwork is by the Belgian comic book artist Philip Paquet from his p-wall project in Antwerp in 2009. (I'm not sure if they're still there. Does anyone know?)

Your pal,
The Travelled Monkey