June 16th, 2014

Pied Beauty by Gerard Manley Hopkins

monk_sea

Like Walt Whitman, Hopkins makes a fascinating play of language — where his word picks stack and accrue into an incantational pressure. A genius gesture, because after a spell you aren’t quite sure what you’re reading and translating, but you don’t care. It just feels good.

And so you read his poem again (and again).

And then, in the end, the lid of your head comes off and all the grandeur and the beauty and the space and the mystery comes tumbling in.

Try it!
 

Glory be to God for dappled things –
For skies of couple-colour as a brinded cow;
For rose-moles all in stipple upon trout that swim;
Fresh-firecoal chestnut-falls; finches’ wings;
Landscape plotted and pieced – fold, fallow, and plough;
And áll trádes, their gear and tackle and trim.

All things counter, original, spare, strange;
Whatever is fickle, freckled (who knows how?)
With swift, slow; sweet, sour; adazzle, dim;
He fathers-forth whose beauty is past change:
Praise him.

 

Painting: Monk by the Sea by David Friedrich



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June 02nd, 2014

Astrology and Destiny: A Different Take

treerings

“We are not stamped at birth with our destiny, nor even our personality — there is no imprinting — but, being the person we are, we are born at a time that announces who we are.

Our destiny may be indicated at birth, but its realization lies in the future — indeed tragically it may never find complete fulfillment.

It is a pity that the idea of destiny has almost completely slipped from human consciousness, thanks to the propaganda that physical causation is the only causation in town, so that everybody must look to the past for meanings. The answers must lie in the genes, or in the childhood situation, and so on. Some of the answers may indeed be found there, but the true significance of our journey — like all journeys — lies in where we are going, not where we are coming from.

Aristotle wrote in the fourth century BC that the ‘nature of man is not what he was born as, but what he is born for.’

And I like this quotation from Nietzsche: ‘Our destiny exercises its influence over us even when, as yet, we have not learned its nature: it is our future that lays down the law of our today.’ ”

– Dennis Elwell
from Astrology is a Foreign Language on Skyscript



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May 22nd, 2014

New Cosmix! Tin Can Mountain Top

new_cosmix

I know, it’s been awhile, right?

Whenever I need to paint I start mixing music together (rather than paint). If only to lubricate the muse.

I have an art opening in less than two weeks and the mojo matrix first needs tweaking and seducing to welcome me with open arms. That might read like it’s a complex process, but really it’s fun. And sort of a ritual/tradition for me.

In art shows from my past, and even in the acknowledgments for my first book, I listed music playlists in the artist’s statement. It only seemed fair. Art begets art.

The title for this 51-minute Cosmix is lifted from Beck‘s song Motorcade, it seems fitting given the tenor of our times.

These toys are all lifeless
The armor’s worn off
The shadow of a shadow
Is the ghost of a bomb
Skyscraper standing
In a desert alone
A helicopter searchlight
Is searching for no-one

We’re all pushing up the tin can mountain top
The smokestack clouds with glory attached

Enjoy!
 

Screen Shot 2014-05-22 at 5.29.07 PM


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May 11th, 2014

Happy Mother’s Day Moms

mom

My mom turns 85 this year. And she is still a raucous, vibrant, glinting gem. It’s interesting to me that when I hear her voice on the phone she sounds like she is in her 40s.

I’m grateful that both of us lived this long to move into a phase of our relationship that is so relaxed and friendly. (I think 30 plus years of counseling, therapy and spiritual practice — on my end –might have helped with that).

Too, it’s peculiar how as I age I seem to be catching up to my mom. Like the time gap is closing, the parent child matrix falling apart.

Gurdjieff once noted that we don’t really understand or can know what it feels like to be truly alone in life until our mother has passed; and more and more I sense the truth in this sentiment. Which fuels more of my gratitude.

To all the moms out there. Thank you!



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May 08th, 2014

“The Danger That Things Can Go Dead”

dinner_andre

“You see, Wally, the trouble with always being active and doing things is that it’s quite possible to do all sorts of things and at the same time be completely dead inside. I mean, you’re doing all these things, but are you doing them because you really feel an impulse to do them, or are you doing them mechanically, as we were saying before? Because I do believe that if you’re just living mechanically, then you have to change your life.”

A classic scene from Louis Malle’s 1981 film, My Dinner With Andre.


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