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how does your garden grow?

Wednesday, June 1st, 2011

I overheard a bit of science news a few months back about baby mice growing hearts.  I, of course, imagined a garden of hearts growing..maybe mice in overalls with watering cans.   I knew this would end up inspiring a comic, but wanted to do the research on the science story first.  So, I finally got around to it and it’s pretty fascinating.  Apparently, when a mouse is born with a damaged heart (or a scientist damages it for them – yikes!) the little mouse doesn’t just survive or grow scar tissue, but it grows back the missing section of heart – all fully functional and perfectly in tact like nothing ever happened.  This might be good news for medical science, specifically in the regeneration of limbs and organs arena.  They already have this ‘magic powder’ fueled by the miracle of stem-cells that they used on this guy to regrow his finger tip after he sliced a hunk of it off in a remote control helicopter’s blade.  Like the little hearts this stuff didn’t just seal it up or grow some skin back, it grew a proper finger tip, nail and all.  It’s like the accident never happened and it only took 4 weeks!  You can read the article and watch an interview with miracle grow finger tip guy here.

So, heart gardens have been floating around the back of my head for some time now and recently so has growth.   There’s about a zillion different sayings about growth in relation to happiness.  I’ll spare you quotes.  The thing is, lately I’ve been feeling really pumped and excited and Jim’s been the same way.  I was writing to a friend and felt like I had this great news or something to share and realized not much had changed but yet…something felt like it had.  There’s this newness in the air and it isn’t spring…well not here it isn’t, we skipped spring and launched right into boiling hot summer…so it’s not simply the weather.

What I realized is that both Jim and I are seeking out some knowledge and skill sets in various creative realms.  He’s exploring metal art which is something that he’s always been drawn to.  I’m about to revisit working with more traditional clays…ceramics, kilns, glazes, that sort of thing.  We’re both spending time reading and researching and experimenting and we’re learning that there is just so much to learn, lol.  But, rather than be overwhelmed, we’re just excited and glad to have something so vast to dive in to.  I realized that my news was not really that big because it mostly had to do with the internal effect of growing as an artist and a human, for that matter.  Any type of growth is a beautiful, invigorating thing.  In a relationship, if you both can keep growing and cheering each other on in the process…well that passion you have for your own interests and life goes on to fuel the love and passion in the relationship.   So anyway, all this stuff has been in my mind and the idea of growing hearts both literally and figuratively culminated in this week’s comic and most likely future greeting card.

Okay, I’m off to fused glass class with my mom again.  I am way less of a skeerdy cat now and am making some cute simple dishes for my kitties.  It’s nice to try something that you aren’t that concerned with being good at.  There’s a freedom that comes with just being playful and abstract that I don’t often experience in my illustration or clay work.  Still, I’m chomping at the bit to start my hand-building clay class.  Less than a week away!

Ciao for now…

<3 calan

5 Responses to “how does your garden grow?”

  1. Seraphine Says:

    i like the philosophy of enjoying the creative process, without necessarily being “good” or competitive. the thing is: if you do it, you’ll likely get better at it just from learning how to avoid mistakes. and if you are lucky, you’ll find a voice in the endeavor– something that tells you it is ok to be different, to take chances, to be, in short, you.

    little mice growing hearts is nice, and i’d love to visit their garden one day.

    perhaps they will let me take a cutting?

  2. Matthew Says:

    The stem cell research that’s ongoing should definitely be given government funding. They have already found ways to produce them without using embryos so there is no longer any reason to not push it forward. The reactionary idiots in this country have us relying on scientists from other countries like japan to further this science. It is going to be a very interesting time in the future. Lose a hand in an accident? No problem, it will grow back in no time. Need an organ transplant? No problem, we will grow you a new organ. I have a feeling that in about a hundred years or so we had better have figured out how to feed an ever growing population since medical science looks to be getting ready to end most natural causes of death. Of course that’s assuming they don’t just restrict the science to those in power and with great wealth. They wouldn’t do that now would they?

  3. calan Says:

    agree totally. i know a wheelchair bound vet who ran a foundation for stem cell research,etc. we used to talk about all the incredible things they can do for spinal injury victims and are in fact already doing in other countries. it would be nice to see him walk one day.

  4. Seraphine Says:

    i picked broccoli from my garden this wekend. i did some ‘stem cell’ research on the remaining headless stalk, and it looks like there are tiny broccoli growing in the armpits where the leaves are located. i’ve never grown broccoli before- will it produce more broccoli now from the armpits, or is it finished producing since i picked the main bunch?

  5. calan Says:

    i have no idea but i really love the idea of broccoli armpits!

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