Artist:  David M. Dennis

From time to time, say Monday-Friday, it serves us to take mini-momentary-sabbaticals from whatever stress may be infiltrating our mind and bodies. A quantifiable fact: It takes focus and work to combat stress. As Norman Vincent Peale describes it: A ‘definiteness of attitude and purpose.’

And, sometimes, even focus and ‘definiteness’ fall into the abyss of a grey mood.  Moods, thank the stars, are like clouds. They pass.  All this waning and waxing brings me to the subject of this post:  The magnificence of the common soap bubble!

Remember standing outside on a sunny spring day holding a new bright blue plastic bottle, full of bubble elixir with its double-ringed magic bubble wand? Everyone in this Studio smiles at the thought. Creating bubbles took us on a journey. Talk about focus! We all worked to master the art of blowing the biggest bubble; sending it away from the wand, floating out into the world. How far would it go before journey’s end? Daniel Carter Beard, a Tom-Sawyer-turned pedagogue …


Had to look up pedagogue. It means…scheeish… even WORD Dictionary doesn’t recognize it! OK – now looking in the ancient Living Webster Encyclopedic Dictionary of the English Language…Here it is: From the Greek Paidagogos, meaning a child. An educator, a teacher, primarily of youth; derogatively, one who is dogmatic or pedantic. Do we know what pedantic really means? Dictionary is open to the “P’s, might as well find out: pedantic: A person who displays his learning excessively or unnecessarily; one who lays undue stress on rules and details; one who relies on book learning and neglects practical reasoning.

Back to the topic at hand:

When we left off, we were introducing Daniel Carter Beard, who, from adjectives used, must have been a somewhat irritating man. We’ll forgive him because he authored the 1890 classic, THE AMERICAN BOY’S HANDY BOOK, a lively guide celebrating the rough-and-tumble art of being a boy. He includes precise, step-by-step instructions on how to perfect childhood, including how to make bat wings, a birch-bark canoe, a paper whirligig and a Tom-Thumb-Ice-Boat. In recent years, this book has been reissued by David R. Godine. We also like Daniel Carter Beard because, even if he were a somewhat pedantic adult, he maintained his child-like enthusiasm and respected the wonder of the moment. We leave you with Daniel Carter Beard’s quote regarding the wonders of the common soap bubble, which inspired this entire post:

“It is like a beautiful dream; we are entranced while it lasts,
But in an instant it vanishes
And leaves nothing to mark its former existence except
The memory of its loveliness.”

POSTSCRIPT POSIT:  All is revealed: This may be why Glenda the Good Witch (The Wizard of Oz) chose to travel in a beautiful iridescent vesicle of water inflated with air! Well done Daniel Carter Beard and Frank Baum. At lunch today, we’ll stop by the drug store for some bottles of bubble mix. It’s never too late to create the perfect bubble!

1 comment:

Patricia J. Mosca said...

And we know that thanks to Glenda
I went to see WICKED....A MUST see!