Purple Umbrella Book cover image

パープル:Purple Umbrella

by Hart Ginsburg

We hope the subsequent montage narrative will be a useful tool to provoke contemplation upon the nuances between being open or flexible and being safe. In the final section of this book, we interview Dr. Stanley McCracken, a senior professor of Social Work at University of Chicago, focusing upon the complexities of the innate human fight and flight response.

We offer Purple Umbrella not as a weapon of our own, but rather as something gentler than that – a steaming cup of frothy coffee or chai latte that you can slowly sip to keep you warm during your journey.


36 HATS Book cover image

パープル:36 HATS

by Hart Ginsburg

A cynic might ask, “So what’s the big deal about hats anyway?” The individual characteristics of hats intrigue me, particularly in the way they enhance the style of the person. A next question could be “Why the number 36 and not 37 or 35?” It was following a rainstorm in Chicago that I saw a reflection of the 36 Broadway Bus in a pool of water on the street. The reflection spoke to me of the possibility that the number 36 could be seen as emblematic of the various passengers, over time, that travelled this route to connect to their next destination.

Shortly afterwards, in a conversation with my father, coincidentally I learned that my parents had recently rediscovered my grandfather’s hat and placed it in a special location of the house to feel closer to him. My father remarked that “looking at the hat was like being with Ben”. After fleeing dangers in Russia, Ben arrived in New York as a refugee, immediately going to work without having time to study. Eventually, Ben worked his way up to opening a children’s tailoring store, but with the emergence of large-scale competitors the store could no longer survive. However, before closing the store, Ben ensured that each employee found a new job. Perhaps Ben’s hat carries those values and the genuine concern he had for others, bringing his own style and ever-presence to the hat.
We hope that you enjoy this journey and the following interview with art therapist Lee Sze-Chin, who integrates new technologies to therapeutically support seniors.


パープル:Manos

by Hart Ginsburg

Today, it is the healing qualities of human hands that resonate with me. I am reminded of a story that my mother shared with me about her childhood. Growing up in New York, she was cared for by Miss Margaret MacLeod, a nanny from Scotland. They often took walks together in Central Park. One afternoon while waiting at a traffic light to turn to walk, Margaret felt what seemed to be someone tapping her shoulder. To her surprise, when she turned around no one was there. Seconds later a car barreled through the street, violating their right of way. My mother reflected that if Margaret had not felt and responded to that “human touch”, they both could have been struck.

As the late photographer Yasuhiro Ishimoto once said, “Open your eyes to the world around you and you’ll discover something you hadn’t noticed before.” Perhaps that something is human touch.