A Strange New Thing


“At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done–then it is done and all the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.”

Frances Hodgson Burnett, The Secret Garden

I love this quote as I catch my breath here, teetering on the verge of the New Year, peering over cliffs, gaping into holes — in Newtown, in my town, in my heart; pumping myself up for a fresh start despite the unfulfilled intentions now scattered on the floor of 2012, like the bits of ribbon and wrapping I’m still tripping over. “Then they begin to hope it can be done…,” says Burnett’s wise young protagonist. May it be so for the Strange New Things that beckon in 2013.

I also love that this quote is but one line of text embedded in the above graphic image, a poster from Litographs, a brilliant company that creates lovely prints from the ENTIRE text of literary masterpieces. Words into art. Story into image. A strange new thing from something old and preexisting. Exactly what I hope to cultivate in these next 365 days.

And speaking of the New Year’s unfolding days, minutes, hours, seconds…here’s Litograph’s textual illustration of H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, along with another apt New Year’s quote, courtesy of Wells. May we indeed face this world, learn it, find its clues, and its beauty. Like lines, words, letters transformed into image, hidden in plain sight.


“To sit among all those unknown things before a puzzle like that is hopeless. That way lies monomania. Face this world. Learn its ways, watch it, be careful of too hasty guesses at its meaning. In the end you will find clues to it all.”