Csaba Osvath is a doctoral candidate at the University of South Florida, pursuing literacy studies with a special focus on qualitative methods and arts based research. His research explores the epistemological and pedagogical roles/functions of artmaking in the context of literacy education. His current project is the creation of a mixed media collage technique and a methodological artistic process for knowledge acquisition and knowledge production in educational settings. Csaba grew up and studied theology and horticulture in Hungary, prior to his graduate studies and service as an artist and educator in the United States.
Take 12 old t shorts you no longer plan to wear. Cut 15”8” rectangles so that the entire wording is visually ble on the shirt. Lay backing fabric(preferably soft) out and cut to size so there isn’t much extra material left over after. Lay out all t shorts in desired pattern. Put two fabric scraps writing in and swe one long edge where they will meet on quilt. Repeat 5 times, then apply the same concept to the 3 spots where the rows meet. Next lay rows right side up so that inner edges are nearly perfect crosses and hand stitch them in place so they cannot move during sewing. See the rows together like before. Then place entire t shirt fabric and place face down on soft side of cut backing material. Hand sew all four corners so that they do not move or bunch in the machine. Sew all but 6” of quilt. And tie off thread where it is left. Turn fabric through and admire the sharp corners. Use a blanket sisitch for the remaining point, and secure 2layers together with small cross stitch at each meeting of 4 t shorts.
The Israel Museum in Jerusalem contains a collection of tiny ceramic cups. These were sacramental vessels. People cried into them. Your mother has just died. Someone you love has cancer. Your spouse has left you. You are struggling at work. As likely, you have simply broken down. You burst into tears. So you pick up your tear cup, put it under your eye, and weep into it. When you are finished weeping, you cap it and put it away again. It is a way to save your tears. Why save them? Because they are precious. It doesn’t matter why you cried, your tears are still precious, for they show that you care. A full cup of tears is proof that you have felt deeply, suffered, and survived.
Church, Forrest. Love & Death (p. 37). Beacon Press. Kindle Edition.
I asked him how old he was when he started getting in trouble, and he told me that he started hanging out with the drug dealers and bullies in his neighborhood when he was about fourteen. “Before that, I was a good kid. I never made trouble.” So I imagined this fourteen-year-old boy who had always been well behaved, and I wondered what led him to get involved with that crowd. I said, “Can you picture yourself as a fourteen-year-old boy? Right around the time you started hanging around those people?” He closed his eyes and nodded again. I asked him what he would say to that boy if he could. “You think this is fun and you wanna be a big man. That’s good. You have dreams. But you don’t see where this is gonna take you. You’re trying to be big, but you’re gonna get locked up in a cage for your whole life! I know! Don’t do it. You gotta see where this is taking you. It’s not where you think. Look at my life! [He’s crying now.] You need someone who can show you how to be big like you want. These people aren’t your friends and they’re all gonna end up dead or worse. You need a real grown-up who knows about life!” When he finished, we spent a couple of minutes in silence. Eventually he said, “That feels good, man, but it’s too late. It didn’t happen.” I was struck by how passionate and persuasive he’d been. It was really powerful. I asked him, “How many fourteen-year-olds are there in your neighborhood who are about to make the same mistakes you did?” He understood immediately, and his expression transformed from pained exasperation to one of focus and purpose. He said, “That’s it. I know something they don’t know. They don’t wanna hurt anyone. They’re just dumb kids. They wanna feel big, but they don’t know how. That’s it.” He was quiet for a minute and then continued, “I couldn’t hear what my pain was telling me, man, and it was gonna kill me. It was trying to tell me that I have something important to do, but I couldn’t see it. Now I know.”
Desmond, Tim. How to Stay Human in a F*cked-Up World (p. 54). HarperOne. Kindle Edition.
In order to be born, you needed:
16 second great-grandparents
32 third great-grandparents
64 fourth great-grandparents
128 fifth great-grandparents
256 sixth great-grandparents
512 seventh great-grandparents
1,024 eighth great-grandparents
2,048 ninth great-grandparents
For you to be born today from 12 previous generations, you needed a total sum of 4,094 ancestors over the last 400 years.
Think for a moment – How many struggles? How many battles? How many difficulties? How much sadness? How much happiness? How many love stories? How many expressions of hope for the future? – did your ancestors have to undergo for you to exist in this present moment…
One day a school teacher wrote on the board the following:
When she was done, she looked to the students and they were all laughing at her, because of the first equation which was wrong, and then the teacher said the following,
"I wrote that first one wrong on purpose, because I wanted you to learn something important.
This was for you to know how the world out there will treat you. You can see that I wrote RIGHT 9 times, but none of you congratulated me for it; you all laughed and criticized me because of one wrong thing I did.
So this is the lesson...:
'The world will never appreciate the good you do a million times, but will criticize the one wrong thing you do... But don’t get discouraged,
ALWAYS RISE ABOVE ALL THE LAUGHTER AND CRITICISM. STAY STRONG.
One day, Thich Nhat Hanh was meditating in the jungle in Vietnam and he saw a young banana tree with just three leaves. The first leaf was fully grown, broad and flat and dark green. The second leaf was still partially curled beneath the first, and the third leaf was very light green and tender, just beginning to unfurl. This was during the middle of the Vietnam War, and he was leading a huge organization of young people who’d help rebuild villages that’d been destroyed by bombs and napalm. He’d spent nearly every day with villagers whose lives had been ravaged by war, and he’d witnessed the deaths of several of his closest friends. The central question in his life at that moment was how to reconcile the intensity of his calling to help suffering people with his mindfulness practice. He knew that he needed his mindfulness practice to keep from being overwhelmed with despair, but how could he justify cultivating peace and joy in himself while so many other people were dying? He was holding this question in mind and looking at the young banana tree when he had a deep insight. It occurred to him that the eldest banana leaf was fully enjoying her life as a leaf. She was absorbing the sun and rain, radiating beauty and peacefulness. However, she hadn’t abandoned the other leaves to pursue her own happiness. In fact, as she nourished herself, basking in the sunshine, she was also nourishing the younger leaves, the banana tree, and the entire jungle. He decided that human beings are just like this. As we nourish ourselves with peacefulness and joy, we’re also supporting the well-being of every other person in our lives.
Desmond, Tim. How to Stay Human in a F*cked-Up World (p. 9). HarperOne. Kindle Edition.