April 19, 2013


        We live outside Boston, so the bombs at the Boston Marathon and all those whose lives were affected have been much on our minds this week.  Now today everything seems a little clouded by the manhunt going on.  We are  grateful not to be in the lockdown area, but since we border it we've been keeping an eye on the news in case the area of the hunt is expanded once again.  So I'm feeling in need of some symbols of hope, and perhaps you are,
too.  Besides, Monday is Earth Day, also a time to celebrate resilience and new growth.  Here are a few block prints that cheered me.
        First are two illustrations of the same theme.  They represent helmets being used as beehives.  You might think this is supposed to show the idiom "bees in his bonnet," but in fact it's a variant of the "swords into plowshares" idea.  I hadn't heard the proverb before and I don't know whether a metal helmet would actually make a good hive, but I like the concept of turning tools of war into tools of peace.  I always like the reminder that just because we're surrounded by violence now, it doesn't mean we can't change, put that mindset behind us, and move on into peace.
        And I also wanted to include this simple, small block print that seems perfect for both Earth Day and my hope that we can overcome the fears that keep us hurting one another.  Remember that seeds keep sprouting and life keeps coming back.

[Pictures: Ex bello pax, woodcut perhaps by Hans Schäufelein, from Emblematum liber by Andrea Alciato, 1531 (Image from Glasgow University);
Ex bello pax, woodcut perhaps by Laurentius Pignorius, from Emblemata by Andrea Alciato, 1621 (Image from Glasgow University);
Seedling, block print by Sharon Lorenz (Image from her Etsy shop LorenzKraft).]

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