I know there’s a bit of cognitive dissonance here: as part of a collaborative writing blog, I’ve chosen to be on my computer for a large part of my off-hours. Just the same, I maintain a profound ambivalence about spending so much time in the virtual world.
But I thought back to the tomato I’d found to illustrate a post, and I had to admit I understood what Elizabeth meant. Reading Anne Carson’s Autobiography of Red led me to the tomato. The tomato led me to “Postcards from Holland." From there I found Jos van Riswick's other works. And who, after all, could possibly resist his painting of a red metal pan of eggs?
William Carlos Williams). For me, for reasons I can’t explain, I’m repeatedly drawn to artistic renderings of ordinary things: Gwyn Metz's wire and rubber scow,
The first such site is credited to Duane Keiser. From there, the PAD movement, as it's called, spread out across the globe. It has been remarked on repeatedly: in the New York Times, the Guardian, The Huffington Post, and, needless to say, all across the blogosphere.
The start of the story was promising, with Keiser quoting Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek:
There are many things to see, unwrapped gifts and free surprises. The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside by a generous hand. But--and this is the point--who gets excited by a mere penny? If you follow one arrow, if you crouch motionless on a bank to watch a tremulous ripple thrill on the water and are rewarded by the sight of a muskrat paddling from its den, will you count that sight a chip of copper only, and go on your rueful way? It is dire poverty indeed when a man is so malnourished and fatigued that he won't stoop to pick up a penny. But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted in pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. It is that simple. What you see is what you get.
Joe Brainard, Untitled (Magic Carpet), 1975
Watch Jos van Riswick paint a piece of Chipolata pie: