Tuesday, January 31, 2006


did the run to laundry, broke out the oils and am finishing a painting from last spring. after a long time out, they seem much easier to use, hardly any effort involved, a brush in one hand and a head full of infinitely recursive images that rise and fall like my breathing.

i'm feeling good. like to get together with some friends and play music.

doing this stuff changes your head y'know. doing anything changes your head.

"In the traditional view, the brain becomes frozen with the onset of adulthood, after which few new connections form. In the past 20 years, though, scientists have discovered that intensive training can make a difference. For instance, the portion of the brain that corresponds to a string musician's fingering hand grows larger than the part that governs the bow hand - even in musicians who start playing as adults. Davidson's work suggested this potential might extend to emotional centers."
Wired 14.02: Buddha on the Brain


took this picture a few nights ago while pacing thru the domicile.

got out last evening for weekly meeting of non-dual characters. somehow these occasions bring to mind a boxcar rolling thru the high plains at night , carrying a scattering of old friends along for the ride.

today's event of note: drive to west aville to drop off laundry.

Monday, January 30, 2006


portion of latest watercolor, the one i just finished on "watercolor canvas", a new substrate for me.

my take: it's an interesting material and i'll probably use it in the future. it absolutely will not buckle no matter how wet you paint. on the other hand, every additional application of watercolor completely obliterates what's beneath.

lifting paint becomes equal in importance to putting it down. that and a very light hand.

Sunday, January 29, 2006


i could kick myself for getting tangled up with a 10 year old ray-tracing program, but that's what i did this morning and above you see the results.

no you don't because i just couldn't stand it. so i replaced it with one of the few remaining photos of yours truly when i worked on the sara dig in southeast crete.

there were strange spirits there, you might run into one on a hot summer day high up in the terraced olive groves, deep shade, gnarled trees a thousand years old.

there was a nato missile site 70 miles away.

right now, at this very moment, i'm thinking "...believe i'll clean up my act."

right now, at this very moment that's what i'm doing.


Saturday, January 28, 2006


surf's up. so am i. another night listening to the ozone.

coast-tocoastAM is one of the weirdest phenomena of these weird times i have come across.

a nighttime talk show, the audience is a mixed bag, religious souls, paranormal freaks, so many women psychics that it gives aville a run for the money, and a whole lot of folks who have not quite been totally conditioned. last night featured a dedicated "fortune cookie" hotline for anecdotes featuring - you guessed it - fortune cookies.

they were invented not in china but california, the bay area, about a hundred years ago.

but in china they had a predecessor around the 15th c. when the mongols were pouring into china from the north. the chinese military resorted to hiding strategic plans and messages in "moon pies".

my point is that with a little metabolic tweaking you can absorb this stuff instead of sleeping.

personally i could use a moon-pie right now. hidden message so much the better.

maybe life works like this: you eat a moon pie from time to time, and there might be a message inside one of them. if there is, you know it's the last one you'll ever eat.


Friday, January 27, 2006

even tho, or maybe because, i am convalescing at home alone, i've been hearing a whole lot of babble lately, non-stop. not hallucinatory, just chatter drifting in from the noise machine, the airwaves, the silence at the grocery store.

"2005 will be looked at in the future as the year the nation state stopped working". substitute "institution" for "nation state" and spread it over a few years and that statement, probably heard on "coast-to-coast", is pretty much what i've been trying to say for awhile now.

ok. now i'm going to lay down but i am not, repeat not, going to stare at the ceiling.

Thursday, January 26, 2006


must be on the mend did this one this morning.

actually i feel shakey but fine. still, i'm doing my best to r & r for 14 days per doc's instruction.

lots of dreams. more than i can say i have dreamt in maybe 20 years or so.

the geography and topography is about all that i can remember remembering when i used to dream at night what seemed like every night.

and that is still the case. the shape and form of the land i inhabit is the main character in the dreams. multiplex ancient cities on strange coasts, comlpicated and many roomed dwellings, obscure basements, forgotten hallways. the place last night was some kind of large dwelling, large, now that i think of it it was two structures with a skyway in between which just made me realize must refer in part to cabin in the woods which was two slave cabins tied together by a stone passage.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


i'm edging towards movement. after a two day trance, not unpleasant, stirred my bones a bit yesterday. first the garbage must be put out, and much earlier than tuesdays a year ago. luckily it's bagged and doesn't weigh much, so i drag it up the stairs without any excitement.

spent the rest of the day drifting from room to room, slowly realized - i think - that i can finish watercolor on canvas because i don't much have to look at it. when i do it's from a good 10 feet away.

my sister jane phoned and has set up meals on wheels to deliver lunch here for a few days. i guess my first stab at driving will be friday, or monday at the latest, to the belly of the beast, the mall, to get new glasses.

i left a message for dentist that i needed to postpone upper teeth extraction but have not heard back from them. hope they don't get hinky with me.

-------> tick tock

thanks and a tip of the hat to tharpa who got this (and more) from his friend vic.

"Scrawl the following poem by Hafiz (translated by Daniel Ladinsky) incourthouse lavatories, on playground walls, and through e-mail lists:


I don't want to be the only one here
Telling all the secrets --

Filling up all the bowls at this party,
Taking all the laughs.

I would like you
To start putting things on the table
That can also feed the soul
The way I do.

That way
We can invite

A hell of a lot more

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


doing my best to not do anything, including this post. doctor's orders. to recuperate after non-invasive eye surgery last friday.

that includes this post. picture is a watercolor i found framed while pulling artwork together last week.

one thing i have found out: if doing nothing includes dreams, ie "do not dream", i'm in big trouble.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


yesterday at 10 i kept my appt w/ retinal specialist. more or less assumed way back in my mind that diagnosis would be followed by treatment if needed on another day.

these folks work fast. i left at 3 after 470 laser zaps and what was much worse, some kind of slender rod poked around eye (not invasive but felt like it) to freeze where laser could not reach.

why? to weld spots where vitreous humor had separated from retina and keep the latter from leaking under retina, eventually separating it from wall. in a weird way this was a preventive measure, especially because i will have cataract procedure sometime in the future which apparently would increase chances of separation happening.

anyway 2 weeks of not jiggling eyes - this includes walking, driving, reading, writing, drawing etc.

and computer graphics.

so i'm signing off for a time. no news is good news. minimal posting. a blindfold helps.


Thursday, January 19, 2006


from a foto i took last nite.

getting book ready for lulu.com here i come. figured out that watercolor canvas needs india ink - sumi is probably better but i think i gave my set to son eli. finished another symphonic meander. last night the new neighbors upstairs invited me to eat supper, first class health food, including home-made sushi. tony is excellent guitarist, played along with dobro a bit.

reading the wisdom of the enneagram: the complete guide to psychological and spiritual growth for the nine personality types. i have avoided the enneagram for years because i am not very interested in sumerian psuedo-symbols and madam blavatsky.

as the authors make clear, this is not what it's about. the symbol is indeed found in early ancient history, and gurdieff used it, but to illustrate the process of change i believe. the personality types are a modern , 50 years old(?) method of slicing the personality pie. don't know how i feel about it yet. it's the textbook for a class i start next week.

-------> later

went off on a tangent looking for a gif of the enneagram to insert above and ended up taking an enneagram personality test. i took this test a couple of years ago, results nearly identical i belive. here they are:

Main Type
Overall Self
Take Free Enneagram Personality Test

Enneagram Test Results
Type 1 Perfectionism |||||| 30%
Type 2 Helpfulness |||||||||||| 41%
Type 3 Image Focus |||| 19%
Type 4 Hypersensitivity |||||||||||||||| 63%
Type 5 Detachment |||||||||||||||||| 74%
Type 6 Anxiety |||||| 26%
Type 7 Adventurousness |||||||||||| 42%
Type 8 Aggressiveness |||| 18%
Type 9 Calmness |||||||||||||||| 66%
Your main type is 5
Your variant is self pres
Take Free Enneagram Personality Test

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

from a clayboard watercolor

something happened. wintry, windy. not only that but dark and gloomy too. from the far west a cold front has arrived in the millenial berg of aville.

what it means in today's climate is i might have to haul a coat out of the closet.

i wish i had something to say. i started this thing years ago, tweaked and twanked it specifically to make my statement.

then found out i don't have anything to say.

maybe some questions?


does the worldwide rainfall change each year or remain pretty much the same?

what is the square footage of constructed space devoted to "dwellings" compared to the square footage of space devoted to commerce world-wide?

prehistorically, did speech or song come first? personally i think it was the tango that preceded them both.

ok ok i give up, i'm dog paddling here. talking to shadows. eating same.

no matter how you look at it all that remains is a


Tuesday, January 17, 2006

an email goody i received this morning from tharpa. since i don't read the new yorker much, nor, for that matter do i read much poetry it was a treat and so i reprint it here because i got a kick out of it. kick: two opposite meanings.

Issue of 2006-01-09

This is no game. You might think this is a game, but, trust me, this is no game.

This is not something where rock beats scissors or paper covers rock or rock wraps itself up in paper and gives itself as a present to scissors. This isn't anything like that. Or where paper types something on itself and sues scissors.

This isn't something where you yell "Bingo!" and then it turns out you don't have bingo after all, and what are the rules again? This isn't that, my friend.

This isn‚t something where you roll the dice and move your battleship around a board and land on a hotel and act like your battleship is having sex with the hotel.

This isn't tiddlywinks, where you flip your tiddly over another player's tiddly and an old man winks at you because he thought it was a good move. This isn't that at all.

This isn't something where you sink a birdie or hit a badminton birdie or do anything at all with birdies. Look, just forget birdies, O.K.?

Maybe you think this is all one big joke, like the farmer with the beautiful but promiscuous daughter. But what they don't tell you is the farmer became so depressed that he eventually took his own life.

This is not some brightly colored, sugarcoated piece of candy that you can brush the ants off of and pop in your mouth.

This is not playtime or make-believe. This is real. It's as real as a beggar squatting by the side of the road, begging, and then you realize, Uh-oh, he's not begging.

This is as real as a baby deer calling out for his mother. But his mother won't be coming home anytime soon, because she is drunk in a bar somewhere.

It‚s as real as a mummy who still thinks he's inside a pyramid, but he's actually in a museum in Ohio.

This is not something where you can dress your kid up like a hobo and send him out trick-or-treating, because, first of all, your kid's twenty-three, and, secondly, he really is a hobo.

All of this probably sounds oldfashioned and "square" to you. But if loving your wife, your country, your cats, your girlfriend, your girlfriend's sister, and your girlfriend's sister's cat is "square", then so be it.

You go skipping and prancing through life, skipping through a field of dandelions. But what you don't see is that on each dandelion is a bee, and on each bee is an ant, and the ant is biting the bee and the bee is biting the flower, and if that shocks you then I'm sorry.

You have never had to struggle to put food on the table, let alone put food on a plate and try to balance it on a spoon until it gets to your mouth.

You will never know what it's like to work on a farm until your hands are raw, just so people can have fresh marijuana. Or what it's like to go to a factory and put in eight long hours and then go home and realize that you went to the wrong factory.

I don't hate you; I pity you. You will never appreciate the magnificent beauty of a double rainbow, or the plainness of a regular rainbow.

You will never grasp the quiet joy of holding your own baby, or the quiet comedy of handing him back to his "father".

I used to be like you. I would put my napkin in my lap, instead of folding it into a little tent over my plate, like I do now, with a door for the fork to go in.

I would go to parties and laugh and laugh and laugh every time somebody said something, in case it was supposed to be funny. I would walk in someplace and slap down a five-dollar bill and say, "Give me all you got", and not even know what they had there. And whenever I found two of anything I would hold them up to my head like antlers, and then pretend that one "antler" fell off.

I went waltzing along, not caring where I stepped or if the other person even wanted to waltz.

Food seemed to taste better back then. Potatoes were more potatoey, and turnips less turnippy.

But then something happened, something that would make me understand that this is no game. I was walking past a building and I saw a man standing high up on a ledge. "Jump! Jump!" I started yelling. What happened next would haunt me for the rest of my days: the man came down from the building and beat the living daylights out of me. Ever since then, I've realized that this is no game.

Maybe one day it will be a game again. Maybe you'll be able to run up and kick a pumpkin without people asking why you did that and if you're going to pay for it.

Perhaps one day the Indian will put down his tomahawk and the white man will put down his gun, and the white man will pick up his gun again because, Ha-ha, sucker.

One day we'll just sit by the fire, chew some tobacky, toast some marshmackies, and maybe strum a tune on the ole guitacky.

And maybe one day we'll tip our hats to the mockingbird, not out of fear but out of friendliness.

If there's one single idea I'd like you to take away from this, it is: This is no game. The other thing I‚d like you to think about is, could I borrow five hundred dollars?

(Author's Note: Since finishing this article, I have been informed that this is, in fact, a game. I would like to apologize for everything I said above. But please think about the five hundred dollars.)

Monday, January 16, 2006


back from a 24 hour trip to slumberland where the last bit was a tour to some mountain town with the likes of mick jagger. it was a confusing but enjoyable visit, lots of folks in and around town for some festival or occasion. i had fun introducing jagger to folks as "mick", got some strange looks but no questions such as "hey, aren't you.....".

part of the activity was a dobro summit, room full of NC's best dobro players, about 50 i guess. no instruments in sight. i kept anticipating hearing all of them playing something together, like "danny boy".

lost mick in the crowd and realized that there was no way back from wherever we had traveled from, thinking hitchhiking on lonesome mountain roads with the sun going down might not be such a hot idea. aware too that time had passed, a lot of time, since those so inclined could hitchhike.

headed for the highway, woke up with a kat on my chest. purring, thank god.

another subject: have you been receiving spam, the usual, with a last paragraph algorithmically generated? for example from this morning:

"we are suffering from here. Why, sculpturally sir, I haven't had
conservatively a piece of mail darkroom in weeks. There should be several letters for me from Jane. a few minutes later with several pieces of bark and--wonder of wonders--a lead notice-board effectively pencil. we are suffering from here. Why, sculpturally sir, I haven't had herald a piece of mail dialectal in weeks. There should be several letters for me from Jane."

who knows what it means? i don't refer to "what sense it makes" but "what is it for?" aesthetic flourish? coded database? maybe the spam machine has developed a bias towards words for the hell of it.

took a look at ken wilber's latest, a foward to what appears to be a very interesting book:
Ken Wilber Online: Foreword to The Common Heart: An Experience of Inter-Religious Dialogue:
a lot on the pre trans fallicy (i think he calls it) wherein confusion exists between 2 forms of the non-rational. those beyond it who have transcended and included it, so they are rational plus, and those who "are not acting beyond reason, but beneath it."

Sunday, January 15, 2006

sunday. lost day...BG (that's blood glucose to you) over the top. spent the day readjusting, dozing. back in whack at present, watching carolina and chicago second half.

Saturday, January 14, 2006


first thing i did this morning: cyber-doodle.

somebody must have gotten to sleep last night.

now that that is out of the way i can tell you it's a windy, snowy day. i am going nowhere. don't take that as a metaphor.

haven't been outside, but it looks cold. the snow looks like flurries, don't know if it's "laying", which is appalachian for "sticking".

anyway i plan to stay inside and finish what has turned out to be this week's organization project. during the week it evolved into one of my increasingly often throw stuff away projects, and a lot of stuff has gone (again). when i could not find a stack of my best watercolors i flipped into sort thru everything mode.

the assassination attempt last night in the pashtun mountains via missles, bombs and other military devices reminds me of the book i just finished, Ghost Wars, in which is documented the long development of the missle launching drone by the cia. the air force wanted nothing to do with it. did not appear to be an asset when it came to military combat.

it was first thought of and tried out in afghanistan as a 24 hour in the air surveillance device because satellite imagery was not good enough to distinguish OBL (bin laden) from others. so it was always in a sense developed as an "up close and personal" aid. then a lot of money transformed the drones into missile-firing tools.

a side-bar to one of the stories the cultures are living right now, the personal missile.

kind of interesting how al quiada use an individual or two to deliver an explosion that - usually - destroys a small group, and we use b-52s, submarines, and military technology to assassinate one individual.

i have to stop this and eat lunch.

Friday, January 13, 2006


closeup of watercolor i am working on. the first attempt at watercolor canvas which is plenty different then paper.

spent yesterday doing this and that. discovered i have no idea of where i placed my watercolors that worked well, in other words my portfolio. i guess i hide stuff really well. have to run, have appt. with eye doctor.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


more disposable art.

got the following via email from my friend donna in new mexico. makes sense to me...


For those of you who watch what you eat, here's the final word on nutrition and health. It's a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
3 The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.
5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.


Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006


i had to resort to grabbing an image from the past this morning. i mean really passed, it's probably many years old. i found it when i saw the name, baby. not sure of what was going on in my head when i did it.

on the medical front i just scheduled an eye exam, can't seem to see real good and i have to renew my driver's license next month so we'll see, so to speak. also getting all upper teeth pulled on the 30th of this month.

i'll be a new man.

meanwhile started a watercolor yesterday evening. it's on frederix watercolor canvas which i've never used, so it's a color doodle, no plan except to see how the surface works. and it's not like paper. i've heard folks grouse about how the pigment just lays on top and what's the point, but so far i think it's great fun and like it.

for those of us who know Phyllis ott, there is a new biography of her coming out co-written by barbara scott. barbara must be on a roll, this is her 3rd book.

meanwhile i'm about 75% ready to upload my book, whistling in the dark. i'm going to run it thru lulu.com and see what happens. the book is demented ditties (poemz) and art. i'm deliberately placing color in it to see how the reproductions look.

got an email from richard and debbie, they are ensconced in kiev with a grand piano and a lot of bob dylan. richard left two very interesting cds for me at tom's but i forgot to take them with me when i left his place monday.

winter slithers along with t-shirt weather. i guess i can take it.

working on a painting for my dad's birthday. it's going to be a tight deadline so i'll be spending the next few days staring at it and scratching my head.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


just got back from the dentist. consultation, no work done. he has some beautiful pictures hanging in otherwise pretty typical small dentist office.

one picture is a watercolor of the "old kentucky home" before it burned down. news to me was that it was painted white rather than the yellow it wears in it's restored state.

picture above is of the snapshot variety. i took it yesterday during a very pleasant walk with tom out at his place. i am growing very partial to his side of town, out leicester hwy.

then on to weekly "deconstructing the seeker" conclave. it's very hard to describe what this is about so i won't.

but it lead me to the following thoughts this morning.

do you remember the buzz about "ego death" around 40 years ago? what was left after such an event was who knows, but the feeling in the air was that it offered a glimpse or glance at the world of the ego which is impossible for the embodied ego to experience.

today there are many thinkers, writers, charlatans, scientists who are talking about "identity" in a similar manner. or "frontal personality" (aurobindo). you might be able to squeeze into this set "persona" also, altho most would agree that it is less deep.

in any case there is a feeling in the air today that whatever you call it - ego, persona, identity - that it can be a problem. an illusion that does not - can not - know it is an illusion.

which would be fine except there seems to be a part of the human condition - soul? - which drives towards waking from the dream. this is experienced by the human as a desire for something else, be it erotic, aesthetic, power, or creative. the human dilemma.

i have an inkling that one way this dilemma has been worked with down through the ages is the idea of grace, a gift from the Giver.

another aligned and perennial position is "the witness", the Real that is conscious of the unreal. this objectifies the subjective. "i-I" (wilber).

"and though she feels like she's in a play
she is anyway."

Monday, January 9, 2006


i spent the morning doing "real" things, like paying billz, catching up on correspondence and getting organized. for what? so i can get organized.

it's like the folks who i used to work with at intel. everyone had housekeepers, merry mades, whatever, but the day before they came to do their thing, the inhabitant of the moon module - this was in phoenix - would spend time cleaning up so the help could clean.

it's a beautiful day so i'm heading out to breathe.

ps. photo i took from phoenix-prescott shuttle, speeding down (or up) hwy 17.

Sunday, January 8, 2006


i've been pushing back my mangled diurnal nocturnal clock gradually. this morning i got up at 6, wide awake. it's now 9:13 am, and i've spent the time tangling with javascript to size new browser windows with no success.

i did eliminate a lot of ways to get it done (because they don't work), so in the cyberworld - i know, i don't like that word either - i guess i could say i made progress.

also thankfully finished a watercolor. if i'd worked on it any longer it would have been pure mud.

today i have to do some things i really resist: like paper work, arranging small bowls in watercolor room, inventory stock for printer... you know, normal life maintenance.

but first i'm going to make an image as fast as i can and post it above. ready, set, go!

[an hour later: maybe slower is better.]

Saturday, January 7, 2006

if you ever read city of love, you know how at the outer margins of capitalism, your bones is worth a lot to somebody, probably not yourself. check this out from local paper:
Stolen human tissue sent to Mission, implanted in patients


i took this photo yesterday, noodled around with it this morning, and what you see is what you get.

i may as well admit it, i'm in a creative rut. but it's a strange rut. i'm having fun making art - lower case "a", please - but i don't do much else. is it some kind of tradeoff? you can create, but forget about a life? or is it, for some of us, life? i can't figure it out, or at least i couldn't last time i tried because anymore i don't even try to figure it out.

wonder about it from time to time though.

Thursday, January 5, 2006


this morning's doo-dad was taken traveling "the big hill", hwy 40 climbing up from old fort.

every since the new year i have had days with no urgent actions to perform. there are little household tasks to be sure, and a few colossal long range projects to do.

i could read a book. or start a twine collection.

the UU blazer's, a hiking group, is going to just that this saturday. hike. i think i better be there.

Wednesday, January 4, 2006


uh-oh. i guess i went too far with this image.

[note: i replaced it with a simpler rendition 1.5.6.]

and had a busy morning doing it.

yesterday afternoon i drove out to tom's place in the boonies. as usual i got lost, but not too lost. had a most pleasant visit with tom and richard who just blew in from the coast. the ukrainian coast i mean.

when i got home i began noodling around with guitar and assorted odds and ends, had something recorded passable by midnight. up this morning i tweaked it here and there, one thing lead to another, hours passed, and i finally put it back in it's cage.

then i puttered with the above image for awhile to have something to post.

and i haven't even mentioned large watercolor i am ever so slowly screwing up.

so what's the point? two things: one, it is a beautiful day out so a long walk is in order; and two, i need to balance the activities above with getting my hands dirty. bounce off the world of the other. collide with tangible karma. take care of bizzness.

and today there is plenty of time to engage with the meta-mundane.

Tuesday, January 3, 2006


oops. i just noticed a glitch in the image above. it's a drawing i made in az and scanned this morning.dusted with photoshop. ill fix and reupload... pretty soon.

yesterday was a total blank. twenty four hours of the void. was horizontal the whole day. why?

i don't know, maybe fighting off sore throat or crumpled mind. plus the rain and thunder probably brought out some atavistic thread in my head.

but i'm full of vim and vigor today, ready to go... somewhere.

saw syriana sunday night with richard, debbie, tom, susanne, francy, and assorted generation Y folks.

it was midnight after a long day when we exited, so there was no discussion of the movie.

my take: the landscape and topagraphy of the middle east will alone have an effect on we the public. kind of drives home the point that it is a huge world when globalized, not a mcluhan village.

and that world is full of bad guys. there are more of them in this movie than any ten put together that i've seen. all wealthy sleazeballs. the patina of power was layed on thick. so many private clubs, ranches, villas, limos. one criticism i have is that all of the powermongers looked so stereotypically similar i couldn't tell them apart.

the one thing i missed: the oligarches had to shove overboard one of their own, a sacrifice to law, and then a second was demanded. who was it?

Sunday, January 1, 2006