So the bookcases are up. The floor is clean(er). A quiet night is planned (the country celebration has been cancelled due to illness in the host family). Really I hate New Year celebrations, the pressure is too great, behaviour dreadful, really safer to stay at home.
It has been a huge year at the Cottage. So many changes and new beginnings. There has been highs and lows for friends and family, babies born, life changing happenings, people arriving back from adventures in the wide world, all in one short year. We've had the Global Financial Crisis and the philosophies of the Slow Movement and Buy Local making even more sense. Some years just seem to cram it all in.
To end this year I'd like to quote a great article that appeared in The Age today, a great interview with fellow Craft Victorian Damien Wright about the table he has made for the Koori County Court at Morwell. In the article he talks about 'craft', not of the cupcakey but of the 'skill of the hand' type of craft.
'For Wright, that this can happen is why is important that some things should still be made by craft workers.
"I relish being able to think about the way an object can be both functional and symbolic and political', he says.
That kind of thinking, Wright insists, happens more easily when things are made by hand than in the industrialised process.'
Remember, objects made by hand also come with heart and a story. They can be both functional and beautiful, giving both enjoyment and meaning to even the simplest of tasks. Drinking tea from a handmade cup, sleeping under a handmade quilt, become mediative experiences.
'Art will make out streets as beautiful as woods, as elevating as the mountain-side: it will be a pleasure and a rest, and not a weight upon the spirits to come from the open country into a town. Every man's house will be fair and decent, soothing to his mind and helpful to his work.'
Have a lovely New Year, how ever you choose to celebrate it, and may 2009 bring joy and happiness.