Website of Chris K. Foster

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Hermann Zapf

We don't create heroic things to earn fame. We put no scratches on the globe, but perhaps with our gentle art we add a few little dabs of joy to life, in a nicely written praise of the Lord, written with the complete engagement of our heart.

Calligraphy is a peaceful and noble art, done by well educated human beings who do their work with full commitment, with intense concentration. For we want to put into our letters a little of our own feelings, of our personality and mood.

Letters should have grace and beauty in themselves. No calligrapher pollutes rivers with his ink, or poisons the air we breathe. Calligraphy makes no noise. We don't fight with arms nor with our pens, but we want to convince sometimes with a hand-lettered message of special importance in which we believed.

Of course we know we are not the center of the world----we merely like to make nice things with our given talent. And we have a burden of responsibility: the heritage of the great masters of the past, the tradition of the scribes of the Middle Ages, of the royal and imperial ancestors in Europe and Asia. Calligraphy is still a royal activity.


Below is Carl Sagan's reflection on a picture of the Earth, returned to us from Voyager 2, when it was 3.7 billion miles away (it's now over 5.7 billion miles away).


But for us, it's different. Look again at that dot. That's here. That's home. That's us. On it everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every "superstar," every "supreme leader," every saint and sinner in the history of our species lived there - on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.

The Earth is a very small stage in a vast cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors, so that, in glory and triumph, they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner of this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner, how frequent their misunderstandings, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds.

Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the Universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves.


Einstein

A human being is part of a whole, called by us the universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself,
his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness.

This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty

I am enough of an artist to draw freely upon my imagination.
Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited.
Imagination encircles the world.


Life is an opportunity, benefit from it. Life is beauty, admire it. Life is a dream, realize it. Life is a challenge, meet it.

Life is a duty, complete it. Life is a game, play it. Life is a promise, fulfill it. Life is sorrow, overcome it.

Life is a song, sing it. Life is a struggle, accept it. Life is a tragedy, confront it. Life is an adventure, dare it.

Life is life, fight for it.

-Mother Theresa


"Emotion is at the very heart of our thinking lives.
Our lives are governed by emotion and by the interaction
of emotion to our thought processes.
That's who we are!
We are emotional people!
There is no such thing as a non-emotional moment in life."

(-From PBS show from a series titled: The Secret Life of the Brain. )
 

The most beautiful people I have known
are those who have known defeat,

known suffering, know struggle, known loss
and have found their way out of the depths.

These people have an appreciation, a sensitivity,
and an understanding of life that fills them
with compassion and a deep loving concern.

Beautiful people do not just happen.

(Historian Roy Nichols)


O Great Spirit

Creator of all things we ask of you

Be kind to us

Give these people the favor to see

green grasses, trees, flowers, berries,

this next spring

So we all meet again

O great Spirit

Let us lead our children to a good life and old age

Help us to be kind to us

Let us be happy on earth

These our people

Give them good minds

To love one another

- Cheyenne Prayer


In each of us, there is a silence, a silence as vast as the universe.

We are afraid of it. We long for it. And when we experience that silence,

we remember who we are --- creatures of the stars, created from the birth of galaxies,

created from the cooling of this planet, created from dust and gas,

created from the elements, created from time and space.

Silence is the source of all that exists, the unfathomable stillness,

where vibration began, the first oscillation, the first word,

from which life emerged. Silence is our deepest nature, our home,

our common ground, our peace.

Out of silence comes the fiery burst from which the

universe and our own creation is born.

Whether we yearn for the soft warmth of silence or

the searing heat of creative expression, we can

find our inspiration in the influences of summer---

where eternal beauty and magnificent art become one----

in nature and in our soul. Strong, and supple,

our passions allow for both standing tall

and bending to meet the forces of life.

--- Loretta Kemsley---


THE RULES FOR BEING HUMAN by Cherie Carter-Scott, Ph.D.

1- You will receive a body.
You may like it or hate it, but it will be yours for the entire
period of this time around.

2- You will learn lessons.
You are enrolled in a full time informal school called life.
Each day in this school you will have the opportunity to
learn lessons. You may like the lessons or think them irrelevant
or stupid.

3- There are no mistakes, only lessons.
Growth is a process of trial and error: Experimentation. The
"failed" experiments are as much part of the process as the
experiment that ultimately "works".

4- A lesson is repeated until learned.
A lesson will be presented to you in various forms until you have
learned it. When you have learned it, you can then go on to the
next lesson.

5- Learning lessons does not end.
There are no parts of life that do not contain lessons. If
you are alive, there are lessons to be learned.

6- "There" is no better than "here".
When your "there" has become a "here", you will simply obtain
another "there" that will again look better than "here".

7- Others are merely mirrors of you.
You cannot love or hate something about another person unless it
reflects something you love or hate about yourself.

8- What you make of your life is up to you.
You have all the tools and resources you need. What you do with
them is up to you. The choice is yours.

9- Your answers lie inside you.
The answers about life's questions lie inside you. All you need
to do is look, listen and trust.

10- You will forget all this.


From:" A NATURAL HISTORY OF THE SENSES" Diane Ackermann

When you consider something like death,
after which [there being no news flash to the contrary]
we may well go out like a candle flame,

then it probably doesn't matter if we try too hard,
are awkward sometimes, care for one another too deeply,
are excessively curious about nature, are too open to experience,
enjoy a nonstop expense of the senses in an effort
to know life intimately and lovingly.

It probably doesn't matter if, while trying to be modest and eager
watchers of life's many spectacles, we sometimes look clumsy
or get dirty or ask stupid questions or reveal our ignorance
or say the wrong thing or light up with wonder like the children we all are.

It probably doesn't matter if a passerby sees us dipping a finger
into the moist pouches of dozens of lady's slippers
to find out what bugs tend to fall into them, and thinks us a but eccentric.
Or a neighbor, fetching her mail, sees us standing in the cold
with our own letters in one hand and a seismically red autumn leaf
in the other, its color hitting our senses like a blow from a stun gun,
as we stand with a huge grin, too paralyzed
by the intricately veined gaudiness of the leaf to move.

 


Don't listen to those who say, 'You're taking too big a chance.'
Michelangelo would have painted the Sistine floor, and it would surely
be rubbed out by today. Most important, don't listen when the
little voice of fear inside you rears its ugly head and says:
'They're all smarter than you out there. They're more talented,
they're taller, blonder, prettier, luckier, and they have connections.'
I firmly believe that if you follow a path that interests you,
not to the exclusion of love, sensitivity, and cooperation with others,
but with the strength of conviction that you can move others by
your own efforts, and do not make success or failure the criteria
by which you live, the chances are you'll be a person
worthy of your own respects. -Neil Simon


Anyone who says you can't see a thought simply doesn't know art.
-Wynetka Ann Reynolds


Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't.
-Erica Jong


Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all. Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in nature.
-Helen Keller


It is the function of art to renew our perception. What we are familiar with we cease to see. The writer shakes up the familiar scene, and, as if by magic, we see a new meaning in it.
-Anais Nin


 

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