Monday, April 16, 2012

Collection: Online Connections & Monks in the Sun

A lurker on design sites, I love when bloggers post about their personal collections: a set of stacked books and framed photos, meaningful tchotkes and postcards, an indoor garden gnome and succulents, that when they look at them, day after day, they feel "home." 

The top of my desk/hutch has become that for me, an oft dust-covered collection of books I loved to read and now like to look at, a bracelet I bought in Rwanda, the carvings I brought back from the Congo, the Goddess of Pristina that an English language student gifted me on the night of my last class in Kosovo.  

Hanging above this collection is a print of Monks in the Sun, a piece I instantly connected to when I saw it on the blog Wu Feng Road, a lovely space where Jeanne-ming illustrates stories of her childhood as the daughter of Quakers living in China. After reading the post about her relationship with a boy in Taiwan who broke her heart when he became a monk, I commented that I felt drawn to the piece, and would love to buy a print.

In one of those instances where I'm thankful for the internet and how it connects rather than separates, Jeanne-ming replied to me in an e-mail.  She had followed my comment to my blog, and had connected to "Are You There God, It's Me, Rebecca," one of my stories of growing up as a Christian, and struggling with what that meant in my current way of life and thinking.  She offered me the print of Monks in the Sun as a gift for sharing my writing.  I was suddenly overwhelmed at how small the world could be, to connect via our blogs.

I've yet to find a proper frame for it, so for now it hangs by a string, which is, perhaps, the best way for the simple life of monks to live in my life.  I was drawn by the idea of living in a state of prayer, contemplation and community, and that in that state, there are so many expressions of individual lives, made clear in this beautiful piece by their unique facial expressions. 



I'm always curious - what do you see?

(Monks in the Sun, by Jeanne-ming)

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