Friday, June 10, 2011

Prayer Flag Project Day 10: Simplicity

Day 10's prayer is for Simplicity.  I had a fascination with the Shaker community when I was a child.  The beautiful architecture, furniture, mown fields and simplicity of their designs always intrigued me.  Their colors were muted, their lines were fluid, and their inventions filled a need.   Nothing was wasted, no embellishments were added, and everything they made seemed timeless.

I still admire many of the attributes of the Shakers, and hope that I can pass to my children an appreciation of their Utopian society.  The only living Shaker community is just a few miles from my childhood home on Sabathday Lake in New Gloucester, Maine.  I used to see the 5 or 6 members in my town as they shopped for groceries and made their runs to the post office.  They were kind, mostly elderly folk who always had time for us children when we visited their museum and walked on their property.

Today's flag, Simplicity, is embellished with salvaged yo-yos.  The tag reads, "This construction is simple and economical" and refers to an incredibly complicated drawing in the book "Smoley's parallel tables of Slopes & Rises".  A snippet of the formula is also on the back of the tag.

The Shaker Anthem, "Simple Gifts" was written by Elder Joseph while he was at the Shaker community in Alfred, Maine. These are the lyrics to his one-verse song:
'Tis the gift to be simple, 'tis the gift to be free
'Tis the gift to come down where we ought to be,
And when we find ourselves in the place just right,
'Twill be in the valley of love and delight.
When true simplicity is gain'd,
To bow and bend we shan't be asham'd,
To turn, turn will be our delight,
Till by turning, turning we come 'round right.  (Wikipedia)


Karen said...

Ah, simplicity. Yes. PLEASE???

Ruth Anne Olson said...

I sang along with your poem--we've done that beautiful piece in choir.

I was so happy to see your prayer flags today. They are wonderful. Very moving.

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