Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Clearing out the underbrush / Time for a change / Oboe The Philosopher has some questions, and I do, too

Well, isn't this interesting, Oboe?

Tomorrow the workers will be here at 8 a.m. to begin work on long overdue repairs, and then we can have new carpet and new paint.

Today I thought I would post a few photos of Oboe in our nearly empty living space, and today is the day that Blogger has decided to change EVERYTHING.

Well ... why not?

Friday, April 20, 2012

42 years: a book of changes

"In everyone's life, at some time, our inner fire goes out. It is then burst into flame by an encounter with another human being. We should all be thankful for those people who rekindle the inner spirit." (Albert Schweitzer -- philosopher, physician, musician, Nobel laureate)

Today is four years since Richard died. His spirit continues to bring light to my spirit.

The double self-portrait was set up using a camera self-timer by Richard. Midway through 1970, the year he was in Vietnam, we spent 4th of July week on Oahu.

Half of Richard's ashes were scattered near El Granada Jetty at Half Moon Bay, California, where he used to surf, and near where we met as 17 year olds in 1966. I looked for some music that he might like to hear, and then it occurred to me that he might like to hear the ocean. The other half of his ashes is buried at San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery in Gustine, California.

His spirit is everywhere. A kindred spirit to Levon Helm.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

With love and gratitude to Levon Helm in his last days and always

Listen to Levon Helm and The Band and The Staples Singers.

After Richard was drafted into the U.S. Army in April 1969, and before he left for basic training at Fort Lewis in Washington State, he took me to Winterland in San Francisco to see The Band. We were 19 years old. We loved their music. We danced. It was one of their first performances as The Band.

From Ralph J. Gleason's review:

"Somehow, four Canadians and an Arkansas country boy ("Give us a song, Levon," I can hear them saying at some Sunday West Helena picnic) found it in themselves to express part of where all of us are at now while expressing where they are at themselves in language and metaphor that can ignite explosive trains of thought inside your head."

Listen to "Ophelia"

("Woman Dancing," chalk pastel on paper, by am, from the early 1980s)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

"... when the present meets the past ..."


Reminded of the past today and focusing on the present. It's been a peaceful morning. There is sunshine here, nearly 60 degrees on the porch, and the birds are singing.

"You cannot create a statue by smashing marble with a hammer, and you cannot by force of arms release the spirit or the soul of man."
-- Confucius

(photo by am, looking east from my porch in early April 2012)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter / Counting the Omer / April 8, 2012

It was in 1997 that I first heard Jeff Buckley singing (skip the ad) this version of Leonard Cohen's haunting and oddly transcendent song. I've never heard a version that moved me more. When I was a little girl we went to church every Sunday, and on Easter we sang a song that repeated the word hallelujah sixteen times.

"All the intelligence and talent in the world can't make a singer. The voice is a wild thing. It can't be bred in captivity."
-- from The Song of the Lark, by Willa Cather, 20th-century American author.

From my porch, I can hear the birds begin singing when it is still dark on these April mornings.

Here is where I first learned about counting the Omer.

("Baby Bird is a computer trackpad drawing by am from 2005, during the first year that I had a computer, my iBookG4).

Monday, April 2, 2012

Reliquary / Contemplation / Namaste

(Chalk pastel drawing from 1983, "Composer," by am)

"When I look at the pictures and hear the songs I also see and hear the story behind them. A still photograph morphs into a home movie and a scrawl on a page evokes a scene in a room or on a street. I hear a laugh coming from somewhere off to the side...

... A song, a poem, a book, a film, an exhibit are simply representations of a period, a place, a person. And because memory is the joker in the deck I try not to take the representations of the past too seriously. Life goes on for those who live it in the present. Nostalgia, cheap or otherwise, is always costly.

I see history as a reliquary—a container where relics are kept and displayed for contemplation. So much has been written about the sixties that the more distant those years become, the more mythic the tales and the time seem to be ..."

(from A Freewheelin' Time: A Memoir of Greenwich Village in the Sixties, by Suze Rotolo)

Today's view from the porch, with sounds of spring: