Monday, November 16, 2015


They say its your birthday, it's my birthday, too, yeah. Thus sayeth the Beatles and the world rocked anew. If you have the right rhythm, are loud enough, have clever lyrics, and kids can dance to it, changes can come dramatically in a single night. Other, more meaningful things, can take a bit longer and still surprise you in how quickly they have come to pass.

Yesterday was my birthday, and I thought I was going to simply celebrate by doing chores. Instead, when we went to the UU church, some of the members were telling me about seeing me on TV...  several times, in fact. They were impressed by the short video done by the Historic Arkansas Museum and being shown on Arkansas Public Television in a series showing the skills and talents of Arkansas. Many of my readers may have seen this before: Wisdom of the Hands by filmaker Gabe Gentry. In any case, being on public television so many times has made me just a bit famous around here, and some of my students, too, have seen themselves on the little screen that's no longer so small in some homes as it once was.

Yesterday evening, we attended a celebration for volunteers at the Eureka Springs School of the Arts, and I learned about half-way through, why my wife wanted me to wear something other than blue jeans and old shirt. They had chosen to honor the three "founders" of the organization, Eleanor Lux, Mary Springer and me, by placing a bronze plaque on the original building we bought about a dozen years ago, and that is now called the "founders place." It is amazing to look back, and see that some small gestures at bringing people together around a good idea, can lead to such things. If you want to see that something can start out small and have a significant impact on the lives of others, ESSA is a good place to visit either in person or online. The Eureka Springs School of the Arts is that kind of place.

Robert Browning had said  "A man's reach should exceed his grasp, else what is a heaven for?" And that describes having had a simple notion shared with a few friends, about starting a school for the arts. For some of our students, to have become engaged in personal creativity for the first time, is their entry to heaven. Why else would some call God, the "creator."

A friend on Saturday noted that she's turned 75 and is taking the time to enjoy each moment in the awareness that she may not have that many years left. Time appears to move more slowly and deliberately when we are very young, everything is new to us, and now to us, and we could take nothing for granted.

Now, having been honored while still alive (a thing that does not happen often), I can get back to teaching, box making and my written works.

Make, fix, create and extend the opportunity for others to learn likewise.


  1. An honor well-earned, Doug. And happy birthday (belatedly)!

  2. Thanks, Tim. I am generally pretty low-keyed about my birthday, which I share with one of my co-founders Mary Springer. They honored us, too, with a double chocolate cake, candles to blow out and flowers. Between Mary and I, they made the right decision putting two candles on the cake rather than a full set.