The Book of Qualities

I went into Coastside Books today. I don’t know why. I was hoping I would come upon something quickly that I just had to have. I was supposed to be working on a powerpoint presentation – weird I had not been doing those is a long while and now I find myself doing two presentations on art in the last month.

Well anyway, the book. I found the book I had to have. A small book called “The Book of Qualities”, by J. Ruth Gendler. The author (who is also the artist) has written and illustrated a book about a cast of characters. These characters have names like: Truth, Blame, Beauty, Joy, Harmony, Panic, and more.

Here is the story about “Faith”.

Faith lives in the same apartment building as Doubt. When Faith was out of town visiting her uncle in the hospital, Doubt fed the cat and watered the asparagus fern. Faith is comfortable with Doubt because she grew up with him. Their mothers are cousins.Faith is not dogmatic about her beliefs like some of her relatives. Her friends fear that Faith is a bit stupid. They whisper that she is naive and she depends on Doubt to protect her from the meanness of life. It is the other way around. It is Faith who protects Doubt from Cynicism.

I googled Gendler and found out that she is a transformative art and poetry teacher in Berkeley!

And she is speaking on her new book “Notes on the Need for Beauty” 7pm, September 18 at the Gateways Bookshop, in Santa Cruz.

Check out more about her at her website: