X — Why bother?

The continuing saga of my quest for connections between origami and the works of William Shakespeare.

The continuing saga of my quest for connections between origami and the works of William Shakespeare.

X is the bane of alphabet themes. My favorite kids’ alphabet book is Dr. Seuss’s ABC, mostly because of the way he handles this letter: “X is very useful if your name is Nixie Knox. It also comes in handy spelling ‘axe’ and ‘extra fox.'”

Today I got nothin’. I’m dead in the water. So I suppose I could invoke the letter X to represent cartoon deadness — little Xes drawn across the eyeballs of characters who are kaput. See…it’s contrived. It’s a stretch.

For kicks and giggles, I’m posting one of my favorite modular origami figures — a cube made with six sonobe units. It’s lousy with Xes. It’s festive. It’s spectacular made with huge paper. Building blocks. And as earrings, you won’t find anything more adorable.

I just opened an email from a friend who has been following this blog marathon. He said he didn’t know how I managed to come up with something to write about every day. Here is my response: It isn’t timeless prose, is it? I’m just taking dictation from my chattering brain. And today, I didn’t come up with anything to write about. I suppose this post is the blog equivalent of an episode of Seinfeld.

I promise you something wonderful for tomorrow — Y.

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W — Worthy earWorms: Weird Words from the Witches

The continuing saga of my quest for connections between origami and the works of William Shakespeare.

The continuing saga of my quest for connections between origami and the works of William Shakespeare.

I’ll turn it into a nursery rhyme. Call and response. A jump rope rhythm. I have a ukulele. Maybe I’ll turn it into a ditty.

  Double, double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.
Fillet of a fenny snake,
In the caldron boil and bake;
Eye of newt, and toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog…

Double, Double toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and caldron bubble.

A few years ago I was doing a storytelling program at one of the Charlottesville libraries. It was the branch closest to UVA. Seriously educated clientele. People of refinement and culture, passing their values along to their offspring, which was evident in the fact that they brought their children to the library for cultural enrichment opportunities. I told a story, did some origami, told another story, and figured it was time for a song. I picked up my guitar and started singing “Great big gobs of greasy, grimy gopher guts…” Nobody in the room knew that song. I could tell, to the kids it was brand new. The grownups…they were mostly thirty-somethings, so maybe they were telling the truth; maybe they really had never heard it before. I was dismayed. “Greasy Grimy Gopher Guts” was something we ingested with our cafeteria meatloaf and playground mudpies. No, it’s not Shakespeare, but it’s a little piece of folk culture that I learned from a kid who learned it from a kid who learned it from a kid. Sometimes I totally identify with the narrator of that Italo Calvino story about the loneliness of the last surviving dinosaur.

That doesn’t have anything to do directly with “eye of newt, and toe of frog.” Except that they both evoke gross and disgusting images. But the level of grossness and disgust is unique and self-determined when it’s just words flying loose in a kid’s imagination. I am going to illustrate my ShakespEarworm with some cartoonish paper figures. I shall, by and large, leave the critters in question intact. The dog can go into the caldron still attached to his tongue; the bat will accompany his wool; and the snake will not be parted from it’s fillet. Only the eye of newt will be disembodied, and that’s because I don’t feel up to the task of creating a new origami lizard, but this eye was a piece of cake. See below:

This is Paul Jackson's barking dog action figure. The bat is attributed to an Australian guy who calls himself Peaceable Mike; I didn't need diagrams to copy it, that's how simple it is. I think it's brilliant. The snake is my personal take on origami snakeness, and the hairy eyeball is suggestive of several body part models I've encountered through the years. The caldron -- I thought it was a traditional box, but today I see it has been attributed to Carmen Sprung, whose book 21 Sterne is one of the treasures of my library. I'll have an excuse to correspond with her now.

This is Paul Jackson’s barking dog action figure. The bat is attributed to an Australian guy who calls himself Peaceable Mike; I didn’t need diagrams to copy it, that’s how simple it is. I think it’s brilliant. The snake is my personal take on origami snakeness, and the hairy eyeball is suggestive of several body part models I’ve encountered through the years. The caldron — I thought it was a traditional box, but today I see it has been attributed to Carmen Sprung, whose book 21 Sterne is one of the treasures of my library. I’ll have an excuse to correspond with her now.

 

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