Writing out of the Box

After many months away, I am somewhat ambivalently trying to reenter the blog world. I feel sure I am not the only one who asks the question, “Is there anything I need, or even particularly want to say?” This is my excuse or rationale for posting so infrequently. On the other hand, I have thought it might be somewhat enjoyable for me and perhaps for the person who happens to land here, to post some visual stuff, with a little commentary. Blocks of black type on the computer put me to sleep–reading them or writing them. If our blogs were lifted out of those visually r e p e t i t i v e and m o n o t o n o u s boxes, illuminated (decorated? brought into the light), written in COLORS in a variety of fonts and sizes, I believe it would be a different and much more interesting/compelling/engaging story.

One of the ways I have found to break out of the box is writing, drawing, and illuminating text with multi-colored threads. Having worked at memorizing scripture, including the Psalms, most of my life, I have a distinct sense that they are physically imbedded in my body. So in my way of thinking, it makes sense to render that inner reality in some visible, tangible form. The embroidery below is one of several of Psalm texts with which I have engaged in my hobby–exploring historical traditions in embroidery while recasting them according to my personal artistic ability and sensibility. The Book of Psalms has become my designated arena. I hope that this give and take between the craft, the text, and my personal experience of them may perhaps serve others to bring the Psalms into a form that more truly conveys their timeless spiritual gifts than what is possible through the undifferentiated blocks of black and white in just about any Bible available post-Gutenberg.

This piece is done on an open-weave linen using drawn and pulled thread embroidery with cotton stranded floss, with cross stitch letters varying somewhat in tonality to emphasize certain words. My alphabets are usually, of necessity, my own design, or modifications of the nearest thing I can find to fit the constraints of the thread count and length of the quotation. I nearly always end up liking my version better. Designing the letters and arranging the text in the space is usually the biggest technical challenge in these pieces.

I have recently uncovered a fascinating, engaging and beautiful book that has given a sort of authenticated coherence to an assortment of my practices and inclinations that I had only vaguely sensed were not purely random and and idiocentric. The writer/designer of Goodbye Gutenberg is Valerie Kirschenbaum, a teacher in an inner-city New York high school. Her bold postulations–considered by critics alternately regressive or outrageous–somehow lend validity to my own precious compulsion to transcribe large excerpts from what I read through my own hand into journals–a way of owning and incarnating the text. I have at times, used different colors of ink to differentiate various aspects of the text according to a variety of criteria. This may change based on such factors as running out of a color or starting a new journal. It often happens, in this process, that the unbidden resonances stirred up in the juxtaposition of various “unrelated” texts I am reading shows them to be, after all, profoundly related to each other, and to what is going on in my life at the moment. I don’t consider this experience unique to me, but still, always a source of great wonder. When I feel more playful, I enjoy transcribing the words into shapes (other than rectangles of consecutive horizontal lines) to find and show relationships that are not necessarily apparent in the printed text. The process of transcription is above all one of discovery.

And another thing Kirschenbaum’s eye-opening treatise has helped me articulate is the underlying impetus for my unrelenting desire to draw, paint (watercolor) and stitch these Psalms, in a way that reflects their incarnational nature and purpose and helps make it possible to stand in that reality. I believe and firmly hold that understanding/knowing the Psalms is increasingly possible when we experience the word in the most palpable physical way–with our senses, hearing them, seeing them–breathing their incense, tasting their “finest of the wheat”, which reading black and white text alone can never provide.

If you get hold of Ms. Kirschenbaum’s book (see at Amazon.com), you will be treated to an amazing sampler of pre-Gutenberg delights–including illuminated manuscripts from all over the world and history. You may even, as I am, begin imagining where the colors might be in what you read, and wondering why, in a time when color printing is no longer technologically complicated or prohibitively expensive, we continue to settle for the default and endless black and white rectangles of type, which hold sovereign sway on our bookshelves and in our consciousness.

I just bought my own copy of Goodbye Gutenberg, Global Renaissance Society, LLC, New York 2005, for $.01 + shipping. It is hardcover, 400+ pages, mostly in unabashed COLOR.

Speaking of which, Please forgive these very black and white rectangles, which I am not blog-savvy or financially able to circumvent at this time. If I continue to write here on a regular basis I may invest in some program which will give me more sovereignty over the shape and color of my posts. In the meantime, I’m determined to learn the available techniques for making my blog more visually engaging with photos, drawing, etc. If you like it, let me know. If you have any help to offer, please do.

71 Responses to “Writing out of the Box”

  1. 1 Raphael November 8, 2011 at 11:50 am

    Martha Jane, to change the look of your blog, thy the “appearance” section of your WordPress dashboard. Mine is on the right column.

    It may not be exactly what you’re looking for, but it’s a place to start.

  2. 2 source June 7, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    Have you thought about adding some videos to the article? I think it might enhance everyones understanding.

  3. 3 via June 21, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Have you given any kind of thought at all with converting your website in to German? I know a couple of translaters right here that will would help you do it for no cost if you wanna get in touch with me.

  4. 4 young drivers car insurance site June 21, 2012 at 2:57 pm

    Most of the opinions on this particular weblog dont make sense.

  5. 5 pickwickian syndrome online June 21, 2012 at 8:16 pm

    Jesus Christ theres lots of spammy feedback on this page. Have you ever believed about trying to eliminate them or installing a wordpress plugin?

  6. 6 michael leach talk June 22, 2012 at 8:14 pm

    How come you dont have your website viewable in mobile format? Can not view anything in my phone.

  7. 7 cosmetic packaging design June 22, 2012 at 8:26 pm

    Virtually all of the comments on this blog page dont make sense.

  8. 8 found it June 23, 2012 at 2:04 pm

    Please message me with a few pointers about how you made this blog site look like this , I would be thankful!

  9. 9 account June 23, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    When I open up your Feed it appears to be a lot of nonsense, is the problem on my part?

  10. 10 forex education June 25, 2012 at 1:53 am

    An insightful post right there mate ! Thank you for the post !

  11. 11 webdesigninsydney.com June 25, 2012 at 2:29 am

    Wanted to drop a remark and let you know your Feed isnt functioning today. I tried including it to my Yahoo reader account and got nothing.

  12. 12 http://www.hawaiian-leis.com June 25, 2012 at 3:18 am

    I like that site layout ! How did you make it. Its really sweet!

  13. 13 wedding venue aldershot June 26, 2012 at 8:35 am

    It looks to me that this website doesnt load up on a Motorola Droid. Are other people getting the same problem? I like this website and dont want to have to skip it any time Im away from my computer.

  14. 14 rent how to achieve goals June 29, 2012 at 7:49 am

    An interesting post right there mate ! Cheers for the post .

  15. 15 buy fridge freezer June 29, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    Whilst I actually like this post, I believe there was an punctuational error close towards the end from the 3rd paragraph.

  16. 16 this month June 30, 2012 at 1:38 pm

    Have you given any kind of consideration at all with translating your main site into German? I know a couple of of translaters here that would certainly help you do it for free if you wanna make contact with me personally.

  17. 17 investigate disney games June 30, 2012 at 9:09 pm

    I adore the blog layout ! How did you make it!? It is very nice!

  18. 18 natural gas pipeline stocks July 1, 2012 at 12:19 am

    Dude. This blog site is awesome. How did you make it look like this !?

  19. 19 sell my videos July 1, 2012 at 11:25 pm

    Nice post . Thank you for, posting on my blog dude! I shall message you soon! I didnt know that!

  20. 20 artificial grass arizona July 2, 2012 at 10:26 am

    Re: Whoever created the statement that this was a great website genuinely needs to possess their head looked at.

  21. 21 intangible July 2, 2012 at 10:35 pm

    I believe that one of your current advertisements initiated my internet browser to resize, you may well need to set that on your blacklist.

  22. 22 bathroom remodeling phoenix, bathroom remodeling az, phoenix kitchen remodeling, kitchen remodeling az, home remodeling phoenix July 4, 2012 at 1:57 am

    I Will have to visit again when my course load lets up – nonetheless I am getting your Rss feed so i can read your internet site offline. Cheers.

  23. 23 powered by July 4, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    I have got one recommendation for your site. It seems like there are a handful of cascading stylesheet problems when opening a selection of web pages in google chrome as well as internet explorer. It is working fine in internet explorer. Probably you can double check that.

  24. 24 discover more here July 5, 2012 at 4:36 pm

    When I at first commented I clicked on the Notify me any time new comments are added checkbox and now each time a comment is added I get 4 emails with the identical comment.

  25. 25 wholesale doghealthinsurance.org.uk July 5, 2012 at 9:21 pm

    I experimented with looking at your website in my ipod touch and the design does not seem to be correct. Might wanna check it out on WAP as well as it seems most mobile phone layouts are not working with your website.

  26. 26 personalisation agenda July 6, 2012 at 5:48 am

    Re: Whoever created the comment that this was a good website actually needs to possess their head analyzed.

  27. 27 new home builders perth July 6, 2012 at 8:03 am

    This website is really cool. How can I make one like this !?

  28. 28 live your passion July 6, 2012 at 10:15 pm

    Nearly all of the opinions on this blog site dont make sense.

  29. 29 athens ga wedding July 7, 2012 at 2:12 pm

    Can you email me with a few hints about how you made your website look like this , I would appreciate it.

  30. 30 powered by July 7, 2012 at 8:21 pm

    Weird , your post turns up with a dark color to it, what shade is the primary color on your site?

  31. 31 investigate how to be attractive July 8, 2012 at 8:56 am

    If you could message me with some hints & tips on how you made your website look this cool , Id appreciate it.

  32. 32 forex brokers article July 8, 2012 at 8:04 pm

    It appears to me that this website doesnt load on a Motorola Droid. Are other folks having the same issue? I enjoy this website and dont want to have to skip it when Im away from my computer.

  33. 33 timberline land company July 9, 2012 at 7:51 pm

    Awesome post ! Thanks for, writing on my blog man. Ill message you soon! I did not realise that!

  34. 34 home page July 9, 2012 at 10:12 pm

    A insightful post right there mate . Thanks for it .

  35. 35 cosmetic dentistry nyc July 10, 2012 at 2:38 am

    Fantastic Stuff, do you currently have a bebo account?

  36. 36 consumers July 10, 2012 at 8:43 pm

    The design for your blog is a bit off in Epiphany. Nevertheless I like your weblog. I may have to use a normal browser just to enjoy it.

  37. 37 the best July 11, 2012 at 10:33 am

    Im having a teeny issue. I cant get my reader to pickup your rss feed, Im using msn reader by the way.

  38. 38 open in a new browser window July 11, 2012 at 10:47 pm

    I have got one recommendation for your site. It looks like there are a number of cascading stylesheet issues when opening a number of webpages inside google chrome and opera. It is working fine in internet explorer. Probably you can double check that.

  39. 39 discount san diego electrical July 11, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    This site has got lots of extremely useful info on it. Thank you for helping me.

  40. 40 site preview July 12, 2012 at 2:38 am

    Whenever I initially commented I clicked on the Notify me any time new comments are added checkbox and now each and every time a comment is added I receive four messages with the exact same comment.

  41. 41 spinach recipe July 12, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    Can you email me with some hints on how you made your blog look this awesome , Id appreciate it.

  42. 42 learn about the earth dog story July 12, 2012 at 8:37 pm

    Have you considered adding several social bookmarking links to these blogs. At the very least for flickr.

  43. 43 your big bear fitness July 14, 2012 at 12:36 am

    Many of the opinions on this blog page dont make sense.

  44. 44 visit my website July 14, 2012 at 7:24 am

    Jesus Christ there is lots of spammy feedback on this site. Have you ever believed about trying to eliminate them or installing a plugin?

  45. 45 like July 14, 2012 at 8:22 pm

    It seems to me that this site doesnt load in a Motorola Droid. Are other folks getting the same problem? I enjoy this web site and dont want to have to skip it any time Im gone from my computer.

  46. 46 silver hair July 15, 2012 at 8:24 pm

    I have got 1 idea for your web page. It seems like right now there are a handful of cascading stylesheet issues when opening a number of web pages inside google chrome as well as safari. It is operating fine in internet explorer. Possibly you can double check this.

  47. 47 sponsor July 16, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Dude. This blog is amazing! How did you make it look like this !?

  48. 48 appstar complaint July 16, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    How do you make your blog site look this cool! Email me if you want and share your wisdom. Id appreciate it!

  49. 49 craft storage July 16, 2012 at 2:36 pm

    I have got one suggestion for your site. It appears like there are a few cascading stylesheet troubles while launching a selection of webpages within google chrome as well as opera. It is operating okay in internet explorer. Possibly you can double check that.

  50. 50 promovare site online March 18, 2013 at 7:04 am

    Ce sa nu faci in promovarea site-ului online

  51. 51 Unknown April 16, 2013 at 9:19 pm

    Hmm it seems like your blog ate my first comment (it was super long) so I guess I’ll just sum it up what I had written and say, I’m thoroughly enjoying your blog.
    I too am an aspiring blog writer but I’m still new to the whole thing. Do you have any helpful hints for newbie blog writers? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  52. 52 simply click the next internet Site May 2, 2013 at 11:05 am

    At this time I am ready to do my breakfast,
    afterward having my breakfast coming over again to read further news.

  53. 53 häMoriden hausmittel May 2, 2013 at 8:59 pm

    Amazing things here. I’m very happy to look your post. Thanks a lot and I am taking a look ahead to contact you. Will you kindly drop me a e-mail?

  54. 54 Alisa May 2, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    I every time emailed this weblog post page to all my associates, as if like to
    read it then my links will too.

  55. 55 chatroulette alternative May 6, 2013 at 12:22 pm

    I hardly write comments, but i did some searching
    and wound up here Writing out of the Box | Highways in the Heart.
    And I actually do have a couple of questions for you if it’s allright. Could it be only me or does it give the impression like a few of these remarks come across as if they are coming from brain dead folks? 😛 And, if you are writing on additional online social sites, I’d like to keep up with anything fresh you have to post.
    Would you list of all of all your public sites like your twitter
    feed, Facebook page or linkedin profile?

  56. 56 cheap car insurance florida young drivers May 19, 2013 at 2:16 pm

    Hi there outstanding blog! Does running a blog such as this
    require a massive amount work? I’ve absolutely no knowledge of programming however I was hoping to start my own blog in the near future. Anyway, if you have any recommendations or tips for new blog owners please share. I understand this is off topic nevertheless I just wanted to ask. Kudos!

  57. 57 cheap car insurance galway May 20, 2013 at 7:53 pm

    Outstanding story there. What occurred after? Thanks!

  58. 58 car insurance policy number lookup May 20, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    Fine way of describing, and good paragraph to
    obtain facts on the topic of my presentation subject matter,
    which i am going to convey in university.

  59. 59 compare the nation May 22, 2013 at 7:54 am

    It’s going to be ending of mine day, but before end I am reading this enormous piece of writing to improve my knowledge.

  60. 60 cheap life insurance for people over 60 May 23, 2013 at 3:36 pm

    It’s going to be ending of mine day, however before end I am reading this enormous post to increase my knowledge.

  61. 61 bulking diet plan June 26, 2013 at 1:06 pm

    Fastidious respond in return of this matter with firm arguments and explaining the whole thing
    concerning that.

  62. 62 landlords insurance australia compare June 30, 2013 at 6:51 pm

    Nice weblog here! Also your site a lot up fast!
    What host are you using? Can I am getting your affiliate link in your host?
    I wish my website loaded up as fast as yours lol

  63. 63 car insurance categories uk July 6, 2013 at 11:59 am

    I know this web site gives quality based articles or reviews and other information, is there any other site which provides these
    kinds of information in quality?

  64. 64 car insurance edmonton canada July 9, 2013 at 6:02 am

    I do not even know how I ended up here, but I believed this put
    up used to be good. I don’t recognise who you might be but certainly you’re going to a
    famous blogger in case you aren’t already. Cheers!

  65. 65 ny insurance. July 12, 2013 at 2:47 am

    Pretty! This has been a really wonderful article.
    Many thanks for providing this info.

  66. 66 insurance licensing exam prep July 23, 2013 at 12:19 am

    WOW just what I was looking for. Came here by searching for monumental life insurance indianapolis in

  67. 67 bathtub resurfacing July 23, 2013 at 3:07 am

    We have been in business for almost 20 years,
    and believe in making products that really work. If your perception
    of a washroom is merely a usable space you can do your renovation with just a little work
    like replacing worn-out or broken fixtures and a fresh coat of paint.
    The millions of viewers who religiously watch HGTV learn
    different monetary savings, remodeling shortcuts,
    and instructional methods to modernize homes.

  68. 68 poetaariostto.blogspot.es August 4, 2013 at 11:10 pm

    It is because the muscles in your body are still warm and
    supple, thus less prone to injuries. The emphasis on protein sounds like the popular Atkin’s
    Diet. Reason #5: By Using the Large Muscles of the Legs, A Treadmill Is Helps You Burn MAJOR FAT Calories.

  69. 69 health October 4, 2013 at 9:56 am

    Hi! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any trouble with hackers?
    My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of hard
    work due to no backup. Do you have any methods to prevent hackers?

  70. 70 arse;;;; November 26, 2019 at 12:42 am

    This page truly has all the information I wanted concerning this subject and didn’t know who
    to ask.

  1. 1 credit card numbers Trackback on March 22, 2019 at 9:44 am

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s