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Saturday, June 10, 2006

Sandals vs Icons

Bro. Clarence was 'pitching' the idea that we should consider his hand-woven yucca sandals as sellable products, and removing them, he handed the left sandal to Bro. Juniper who was seated at the noon time meal to his left, and he handed the right sandal to Bro. Simon to his right. Bro. Juniper seemed to be taken aback, while Bro. Simon carefully studied the handiwork, with one hand, while the other he held his nose. And around the table the sandals were passed, all the while Bro. Clarence assured us that he could teach us all to weave sandals that we could either sell at a roadside stand, or even, he gleefully said with a slap of a hand to the table, over the Internet. Bro. Sedwick wasn't impressed, noting that sandals need to be constructed in various sizes, thereby lessening the chance of this being a practical product that we could produce and stock up on, wereas Bro. Clarence thought that we could come up with a sort of "tube sock" size, a one size fits all, with adjustable straps. Seated across from Bro. Clarence, it was I who was handed both a left sandal and a right sandal at the same moment, interrupting my tuna sandwich, which I confess, smelled a bit like the sandals. Well, two sandal in two hands, I brought up my previous idea, that we should instead consider painting icons, for again and again, we receive mail asking if we have icons available for sale, and as always, we point to other monasteries, when in fact we could be producing them ourselves. After all, I noted, the dear abbot painted icons, yes they were somewhat controversial at the time, but still, with my previous art training, and using the abbot's icons as a sort of starting point, I asked the brothers to reconsider my idea. With that Bro. Clarence reached across the table and took his two sandals from my hands, leaving me empty handed, so to speak. Bro. Sedwick mulled out loud, perhaps small icons would be of interest to those surfing the Internet, to which I added that we could even have a website with a gallery to display the icons. Just when some of the brothers began nodding their heads in agreement, Bro. Clarence did his own outloud mulling, "Perhaps I could weave an icon from yucca!"

1 comment:

Moof said...

Icons are quite popular. When I take a group on a pilgrimage to the shrines in Quebec, people spend on that sort of thing. Hand made rosaries, too.

If you offer that sort of thing at a reasonable price over the internet, it may take a while to become known, but people will buy stuff from you if you make it easy for them ... like accepting credit cards.