November 24, 2015 § Leave a comment

parsing innocence

if there is innocence to be had at our age then we already are, beyond that to talk about it wistfully as if we aren’t is a dog(ma) and pony show is the language of privilege, (like vulnerable as if we aren’t which is why we aren’t) or as if the patina of our experience should be disavowed as if it and therefore we are no longer innocent in that bad of good or bad way, in that besmirched no longer virginal now whore way
no I’m thinking open is the least laden of the words I’d choose but there is a suppleness and fertility creativity and delight and readiness by which I mean ripe and keen and fierce and peaceful, by which I mean at peace, at play in the word—not to mention imaginative and generous—that doesn’t look anything like innocent to me


play, an important part of work or, AGO

January 6, 2012 § 3 Comments

so, what about when a project doesn’t go the way you think it ought, or is going the way you think it should but it’s not quite right, or you are not doing it as well as you hoped or what if you don’t exactly know what you had in mind how do you decide, as decide you must, to stop or keep going, how do you resolve it such that it is along the way rather than a failure, I think to simply abandon a project is even more to abandon oneself, and to be unwilling to explore or try new things because you might fail is deadening, and leads us down the gnarly path of doubt, of inactivity, (and maybe is where ago goes)

yesterday we played in the shop—

which is to say, it was hard work but not ‘a piece’ which had been on the agenda but this idea of AGO has been on my mind, and may be the final piece of the trilogy I am ‘working’ on

so long

which morphed along the way (to the shop) into knot, or the ‘not’ actually being the paper tied in a knot instead of the printed word or and hell if it were a circle which quickly became a mobius strip then I wouldn’t need to repeat also; and then there were colors to play with, also which might be worked into the second of the trilogy which is just about going into production—paper is cut, typeface almost locked in, by which I mean decided, not locked into the form, (ha, wonder if that is where that expression came from)

and so we went to it—-

some with the strip, some with the knot, tying and looping, weaving there and back with ideas, fearlessly,

which is the idea of play, yes there is no outcome only exploration
the artifact is really heartifact, and that we ended up with loops and strips and the best knot, and painted papers to show, and the most beautiful rags you ever saw, and photos to tell is to be sure part of it

but the best really was the laughter, and the problem solving, and the ensemble of it, and the things learned

* even the simplest project takes longer than you think it will
* a mobius strip has a geometry to it
* trying new things teaches you new things which incites you to try even more new things

which brings me back around to the beauty of the mobius strip, there is no end, no beginning, no ago, no failure; only along the way

so maybe it’s all just play and the work is what you get out of it


time to think – work in progress

December 16, 2011 § 3 Comments

no matter how rigid the form, the process is dynamic

there is no shortest distance between two points, there are no straight lines, there is no there only getting there which doesn’t exist, only the imagining of there and having gotten there only the wanting and the on the way, there is no arrival only arriving which lasts for not as long as the blink of an eye, but there are riches along the way and up and down heaval and the twining where twain shall meet
no matter how rigid the form the heart is motion,
art is change

is part trilogy, or part concerto in three movements, or is simply an exploration
taking place on papers, as a set of 3 accordion books, each with 2 folds, 3 pages six faces, three poems

without covers
no borders
no bound pages,
a line through time yes, and space
but no immutable first page, or last page, no in the beginning, no last word.

the first book (already printed in a limited edition of 5) it seems is called subtraction (though you will not find the word anywhere)

the second one is just about ready to be set, the paper just about ready to cut
just about ready to take shape

it’s called circling, and again it is not spelled out. well or andbut of course it is in so many words


this to say about that

January 22, 2011 § 2 Comments

birthdays have come and gone, some remembered, some even hailed others the way of the days gone busy, try as I might whelmed by too many pages, pages of a book hard to keep together in their coming together as kittens, or puppies frantic with enthusiasm, try as I might to leave with everything I came with by way of notes and mock ups I have so far not been able to, it’s unsettling, and humbling, and childlike or perhaps just godhelpme kittenish or impulsive which brings to mind

as if I were, or maybe thoughtless or  brash or off on a tangent I’m saying in what otherwise might be lighthearted conversation the oddest things and then wondering why I would have possibly even said it, like talking about having gone to the funeral of a patient’s daughter, and isn’t that a whole kettle of blackened fish of its own, only to realize innocently enough, that was what came up in the course of the conversation for me, which isn’t to say folks aren’t left wondering what the hell made me say that in the course of an otherwise lighthearted conversation,

speaking of out of turn, we have a rose budding for crying loud and the pear tree and the camelias are in fullbloom the chickadees are at the feeder and the yute are running around in sleeveless tops and shorts

speaking of talking about we’re talking about, did you know, no matter who the hell is or isn’t paying that most hospitals can’t afford to give you the kind of care you would expect to get at even the best ones? And do you know why? If you don’t you should find out, and even more do something about it

and today, already the 22nd, at Quicksliver Mine Co. is the opening of Bakers Dozen 2011, Art Words, the art of 13 Bay Area Artists, artist reception 4—6 pm, can’t wait.


January 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

whale watching season is upon us, did my 1st docent tour, it was one of those glorious winter clear crisp no fog see for miles days that after so many gray days so many gray days reminds one of horizons and sun light, refurnishes one with hope and willingness

and then there was coming up over the hill just past goat rock and looking out over the ocean

and then there were the whales, a pod of humpbacks out there and young grays closer in, perhaps one or two or three who have become resident rather than stragglers heading with some sort of purpose southerly, or heading north ahead of the gang as the adolescents have a wont to do

and the sea lion under the water, the light was shining through the curling wave just right you could see him surfing down the line

we are a motley bunch, the docents, not so much of an age as you might think, held together by a certain cast of spirit and awe

it is the awe that repopulates resets stokes as it were the passion ignites in me that willingness that wont to set out

and of course people asked have you seen any and when are they coming but, they also asked do they travel in groups and when are they sexually active and are they going north or south and there was laughter and cavorting and talking to strangers and children perilously close to the edge

not surprisingly I’m reading thousand mile song; david rothenberg, and for the moment there is talk about music in general and I came across george crumb talking about bravura, it sticks with me as that quality of courage and recklessness which adds up to a kind of fearlessness in the moment allowing one particular virtuosity–it is the bravura, that I am missing in ‘nuance’ as it sits, not so much the excellence but just that soupcon of passionandrisk one word otherwise known as heart that will take it over the top, you know,

how funny what I mean of course is, it is the bravura that I am missing

and at the same time that is really not true, it’s just scary–now that’s a chickenshit word if you ever heard one, when really I mean chilling or shuddery or awesome, yes there it is–it is awesome and whelming being on that precipice smart enough to know better trying something new that either will or won’t work and as george crumb might say falling flat on your face

here we go loopty-loo

January 11, 2011 § 2 Comments

or no matter how young a prune may be he’s always born with wrinkles

there’s no law against being crazy, or acting crazy, though I can’t help but point out jared loughner wasn’t so crazed he couldn’t get a gun, or plan to use it, and successfully carry out his plan and he wasn’t even crazy enough afterward to give up his right not to self-incriminate, or his right to lawyer up
and even if you are crazy you have the right to your freedoms unless you are an imminent danger to yourself; or to others; or cannot provide food clothing and shelter for yourself as a result of a mental illness, and even if a person is suspected of being a danger to himself or others and the police are called, and they take the person to a hospital for evaluation the standard of imminent danger is not as clear as you might think–
we all have hunches but unless the person is actually stating he has intent to do harm we really have no data that supports the notion we can accurately predict danger in the future–
if imminent danger is not established the person must be let go unless he wants help, and even when the person is found to be a danger he still can not be–treated–medicated against his will as long as he is competent to refuse, which in most cases is as simple as saying I don’t like the side effects and as easy as not saying the man in the moon told me I shouldn’t take pills, in order to medicate someone against his will it requires a second judicial hearing to establish competency, or incompetency in this case to refuse medication, all of which takes in-hospital time and it is not a onetime deal, these steps must be gone through each and every time a person comes across the radar; ask any family who has a member stricken with mental illness how arduous this is, and how even when it seems clear the individual needs help there is nothing, for worse and for better, they can do–
people with mental illness have fought long and hard for their rights, and the protections against being locked up just because someone thinks they’re crazy and they have fought equally hard and successfully not to indiscriminately be drugged out of their minds–

let’s face it though, the only time these days we talk or care about people with mental illness and the shoddy state of available services and treatment is when there has been a violent episode, the fact of the matter is the decline of treatment for the mentally ill has been long and steady, and across the board funding that would provide necessary mental health services and adequate treatment is being cut, that’s one problem,
the corollary is people with mental illness have not been given a concomitant responsibility, which is to say if an individual has the right to refuse treatment, and medication, then that same individual should not be excused subsequent behavior because of a mental illness, the degree to which we excuse the mentally ill their violence is the degree to which it is to be expected–
that said it should be noted only a small number of mentally ill are actually more violent than the rest of us–

the second problem is we are a nation with an increasing tolerance for disrespect and violence in general

the third problem is pistols kill people and we think the right to bear arms, and to enjoy them is of greater value than human life

the fourth problem is each of these as a singularity is big and hard enough to sort through, it’s nearly impossible when they are entangled, and of no help when the discussion takes place with righteous indignation guns drawn no one listening each man for himself already thinking the other person is a besotted idiot

the long needed conversations to address each of these issues must be guided by people who know everything we know, about human behavior at large to include mental illness, and who understand the complexities of social and not so social actions for all the reasons we have, and must include soldiers and pastors and philosophers and poets and for godsakes historians and anthropologists and psychologists and educators and physicists and engineers musicians mathematicians and laborers elders and juniors with points of view rather than axes to grind and we must listen more

I am reminded just how far we have to go each time I come through sebastopol and see the support our troops enclave on one side of the street and the anti-war enclave on the other

following a thread

January 8, 2011 § 2 Comments

it’s five o’clock not so long ago it was two, the cats got me up though I wasn’t sleeping, nuanceisa nuisance is the refrain, and figuring out the physics of tracing paper and transparencies not to mention colors, and it certainly is not just a play on words it is, nuanced for god’s sake and you can’t see through cardboard, even if you’re rich or republican or christian or cool or hot or smart as a whip or too stupid to pour piss out of a boot but if you look carefully you can see that gray is not just the joinder of black and white

but more importantly I’m reminded, as I listen to the many so disappointed by the promising president, you can’t be all things, can’t be all things to all people, a lesson hard learned hardwon hard fought and railed against by many and so easily forgot in the heat of a win or a moment oh those small victories and old and young smart and not trying in vain and maybe valiantly to sidestep it, to fit more people on the boat as if not enough room is a dirty word or classist or sexist or ageist or just my birthday party and you’re not invited or this is barely a democracy never mind a consensus and you have a perfect right as my father used to say to be wrong and buff tuns as my least favorite camp counselor used to say
nuance is a bitch, it takes time and so many colors, and is not measured in the speed of light or nanoseconds but moreso in lifetimes

changing someone’s mind is even worse and that’s not really the point, you know, to change someone’s mind, just maybe to open it
so that no it alls and even know it alls don’t run the world as if gray is only black and white and not purple and red, you know, transparency has its own glare, its own limitations its own blindspots I’m coming to see there’s something to be said for the dimension leant by opacity

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