Friday, August 31, 2007
Thursday, August 30, 2007
This is my word for today. I especially enjoy hearing it pronounced. My sense of humor needs some exercise. My cat, Oboe, expressing, "Yikes!" I'm not sure what she was reacting to, but a few seconds later she looked at me quite peacefully. In this photo, she looks the way I have been feeling as I face some of my oldest fears. I have had the experience of being frightened and then laughing with relief when the danger is past. Laughing is somewhat like the shaking response that animals have after a traumatic event, the response that allows them begin functioning again. See Somatic Experiencing.
The Sanskrit word for laughter is "hasya." I just learned that there is something called Hasya Yoga.
Humor is a prelude to faith and Laughter is the beginning of prayer.
In my childhood, I had a religious assistant who always told me, 'If you can really laugh with full abandonment, it's very good for your health.
What soap is to the body, laughter is to the soul
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Monday, August 20, 2007
When I was in high school, reading that quote in a biography about Michaelangelo was a light-filled moment.
Take a look at the post at Dharma Bums called Pedestrian Epiphanies.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
I'm feeling sad today and need to let go of this old old sadness. This reminds me of a drive I took from Yosemite to Modesto, California, with an old friend on my birthday in 2001, a few weeks after Sept. 11. The song is "One of Us Must Know (Sooner or Later)," written by Bob Dylan in 1966, the year my friend and I first met.
"He didn't mean to treat me so bad. I just happened to be there, that's all."
Saturday, August 18, 2007
(from the Point Reyes National Seashore webcam)
The sea is forever quivering;
The shore is forever still.
And the boy who is born in a seacoast town
Is born with a dual will:
The sand and the rocks and the beeches
Inveigle him to stay,
While every wave that breaches
Is a nudge to be up and away.
(poem quoted in a comment by Richard Marsh of Dublin, Eire, at Painter’s Keys on August 14, 2007)
Friday, August 17, 2007
Looking at everything.
Rarely understanding anything.
You are a puzzle.
With no piece in place.
Every day I bring my own puzzle piece
As I walk
As I wait
Silence is electric,
Tense and catlike,
Constructive in mood,
Silence recalls yesterday's
Crying at nothing,
Silence is not emptiness.
When I woke up this morning, my first thought was "silence is not emptiness," so I looked for and found these poems from 1967.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
34. The Bridge of Boats at Toyama in Etchu Province, by Ando Hiroshige, from "Famous Views of the 60-odd Provinces."
I am delighted by the image of a bridge of boats!
Bev of Burning Silo mentioned Ando Hiroshige's "Famous Views of the 60-odd Provinces" in a comment. My work has been influenced by Vincent van Gogh who was influenced by Ando Hiroshige. I had not seen this particular series before and find it exhilarating to see these landscapes that so resemble the landscapes of my paintings and dreams and memories, although I have never been in Japan. I had not seen the following image by Vincent van Gogh, "The Bridge in the Rain," when I began my Calendar Series, although a friend gave me a postcard of "The Bridge in the Rain" after seeing some of my paintings from that series. Funny how I've been influenced consciously and unconsciously.
This morning I was up early again:
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
This is the last painting, for now, of the Bellingham Spectrum series, 25 paintings created between March 1 and May 17, 2007. Yesterday I delivered "BELLINGHAM SPECTRUM SERIES: RED #1" (see the post for July 31, 2007) for jurying at a local art gallery. I'll find out tomorrow morning whether it has been accepted on a commission basis.
Monday, August 13, 2007
Natural environment sustains the life of all beings universally. Trees are referred to in accounts of the principal events of the Buddha's life. His mother leaned against a tree for support as she gave birth to him. He attained enlightenment seated beneath a tree, and finally passed away as trees stood witness overhead -- Dalai Lama
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
Have not been feeling well for the past few days. After not drinking coffee for years, I tried drinking it because I kept falling asleep while studying anatomy and physiology for a challenge exam at the local community college. The first cup felt great on the first morning of the coffee experiment. Later in the day I needed another cup. The next day I needed three cups. Then I started getting a dull headache. Now I'm feeling the effects of caffeine withdrawal. As I recall, it takes several days to return to normal. I'm looking forward to feeling good again. Maybe a little bored with anatomy and physiology but without this dreadful drained feeling.
Thursday, August 9, 2007
Wednesday, August 8, 2007
Today I took a 3-hour walk with a friend at The Stimpson Family Nature Reserve. The highlight for me was seeing a very large Pacific Tree Frog jump to the side of the trail and later being able to hold a smaller Pacific Tree Frog who was also at the side of the trail. Although I frequently hear Pacific Tree Frogs, I have rarely seen them in Northwest Washington. We also saw a solitary deer who let us walk very close, a pair of Kingfishers, a Great Blue Heron, a Downy Woodpecker, and what I think may have been Wrentits. As we were walking back toward the trailhead, a somewhat distressed-looking young man jogged by us on his way out of the reserve. As he passed us up, he said that an owl had swooped down and "massaged his scalp" as he ran through the woods.
Tuesday, August 7, 2007
Monday, August 6, 2007
This is the 16th of 26 paintings I did between March 8 and May 1 of this year. Spring seems like a long time ago. Summer is my low energy time of year. I want to hibernate. It is cool and overcast today with a light breeze.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
I've been on study schedule, preparing to challenge two quarters of Anatomy and Physiology at the local community college in order to fulfill the prerequisites for their Massage Practitioner Program, for which I am second on the waiting list. Reviewing this material via a series of DVDs and textbooks has been a good experience. When I do my yoga practice and when I am walking in the woods, I am much more aware of the intricacies of my body.
Along with studying for the challenge exam, I've been re-reading THE LETTERS OF VINCENT VAN GOGH (Penguin Classics edition) as well as re-reading NEZHNIE: WEAVER AND INNOVATIVE ARTIST, by Linda Rees. Yesterday I got out my inkle loom and started another inkle belt:
Between now and the end of October is my favorite season in Northwest Washington. It is the time of year that most reminds me of my best memories of winter in the San Francisco Bay Area in the late 1950s. For the most part, the sun shines and the temperatures are in the high 60s and low 70s, accompanied by a gentle breeze. The air is clear, fresh and spicy with the fragrance of flowers and evergreen trees. As I did as a child, I walk often, sometimes with friends but frequently alone.
Today's new flower from my porch garden:
Saturday, August 4, 2007
Friday, August 3, 2007
Thursday, August 2, 2007
As a result of visiting Whiskey River, I found this.
‘The question occurs to me -- and quite seriously -- how many shoe soles, how many ox-hide soles Alighieri wore out in the course of his poetic work, wandering about on the goat paths of Italy. The Inferno and especially the Purgatorio glorify the human gait, the measure and rhythm of walking, the foot and its shape. The step, linked to the breathing and saturated with thought: this Dante understands is the beginning of prosody . . . ‘
Osip Mandelstam, The Noises of Time, trans. by Clarence Brown
(from the heading of an interview by Alec Finlay with Thomas A. Clark)
Wednesday, August 1, 2007
"You may recall from a previous Sandbox essay how Ski treated a wounded Taliban soldier. Upon seeing the wounded man, Ski immediately grabbed his Combat Life Saver medical bag and moved to begin treating the fallen enemy. Ski told me how the wounded enemy was looking at him with fear in his eyes, expecting Ski to finish him off. When the Taliban realized Ski was trying to save him, he relaxed and put his hand over his heart. In Afghanistan, it's customary among men to put their hand over their heart as a sign of deep respect and thanks. This image of mutual compassion from unlikely sources, in an unlikely place, summed up what having Ski as a partner was like. No matter what the circumstances, Ski would choose the right path and do the right thing. Here, in the heat and dust of war, despite the mental and physical fatigue that cracked our minds and bodies, his moral compass was always pointing in the right direction. In Afghanistan, it never faltered when it mattered."
(Name: CAPT Benjamin Tupper
Posting date: 7/30/07
Returned from: Afghanistan
Hometown: Syracuse, New York)