Saturday, January 26, 2013

"We can start / Moving forward"

And many thanks to Sabine for posting this:

I love the internet
The sheer

Boisterous Brughel medieval market.
Futuristic Middle Ages
Friar Tuck.
And offset, whispers

I love the internet.
Cos it's ours.

Thursday, January 24, 2013

(where I left my warm winter gloves while happily making video clips)

Funny how, for me, being relaxed and happy sometimes goes hand in hand with losing things.  If that's the price for joy, I'm willing to pay.

Play them both at the same time for full effect of standing on the bridge and looking upstream and then downstream.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Boy riding home / No longer alone

... We head home: through the gloss of rain or weight
of snow, or the plum blush of dusk, but always -- home,
always under one sky, our sky. And always one moon
like a silent drum tapping on every rooftop
and every window, of one country -- all of us --
facing the stars
hope -- a new constellation
waiting for us to map it,
waiting for us to name it -- together
(from "One Today," inaugural poem by Richard Blanco, 2013)
(trackpad drawing by am from January 2008)

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Arise / Meditation on ice fog with Red-winged Blackbirds singing on the Sunday of Martin Luther King weekend

If you don't have time for this long rambling post but do have a few minutes, just scroll down to the bottom and listen to a cover of "Blackbird" by Rachel Ann Cauilan.


Today's meditation began with waking up in the early morning darkness to the continuing ice fog here in Bellingham and recalling and then looking for George Harrison's song about a fog upon L.A. on YoutTube and noticing that George Harrison is wearing white face makeup as he sings "Blue Jay Way," and recalling Bob Dylan's white face make-up in 1976 during the Rolling Thunder Review Tour:

and going to Google Images for more examples of white face makeup:



Queen Elizabeth I:

From "Les Enfants du Paradis:

Peggy Alston (from "Zooman and the Sign"):

Heath Ledger (during filming of "The Dark Knight" in 2008):

and then reading:

Thought for the Day

and then documenting the fog here with Red-winged Blackbirds singing:

and then documenting the sun breaking through the fog while hearing George Harrison singing "Here Comes the Sun" in my mind:

and looking out from my porch again a little while later to see blue sky and sunshine:

Last of all I found this.  I'm glad I listened all the way through this heartening video:

"... all your life you were only waiting for this moment to arise ..."

Thank you to Rachel Ann Cauilan whose blog I discovered just now after listening to her acoustic cover of "Blackbird."

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Remembering Janis' 70th birthday today on Martin Luther King weekend / Musica universalis

Interesting how Janis Joplin's birthday and Martin Luther King weekend coincide.  I can picture Janis as a beautiful and wise 70-year-old woman, free of the drugs and alcohol that took her life and bright spirit from us in 1970.

I love hearing the young people singing their songs as well as the songs we first heard so long ago.

Martin Luther King would have been 84 on January 15.  I can picture him, too, a vital spiritual leader with so much life ahead of him and ten years younger than Nelson Mandela is today.

And then I came across this to complete my meditation for today.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Focusing / Pier meets voyage

Thanks to Keara for her comment that reminded me that for a while I have meant to post these two videos as an introduction to focusing -- something I have found not only useful but enlightening in the past year or so.  The book on focusing by Eugene Gendlin is inexpensive,  and I feel it is much more than worth the price.

Above is a drawing I did in September of 2006 using the Appleworks painting program and my computer trackpad.  That was three months before I started this blog and became quickly drawn into the world of blogging.  Even though there are only a few blogs I read regularly, and I don't post as regularly as I did at first, blogging continues to be a source and outlet for my creative energy.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Celebrating the life and heart of a writer

"Perhaps, I fear, this decision deprives society of one great programmer in favor of one mediocre writer. And let’s not hide behind the cloak of uncertainty, let’s say we know that it does. Even so, I would make it. The writing is too important, the programming too unenjoyable.
And for that, I apologize."
Although I don't know much at all about Aaron Swartz -- only becoming aware of him as a result of his suicide -- I am moved by his writing.
(The above gouache on paper is a work in progress by am.  I am wondering why I find it so hard to sustain a painting and drawing practice, even though painting and drawing are things I am good at.  At this time in my life, I would rather write something on this blog or answer email or read a book or take a long walk or practice yoga or get together with friends most mornings at 7:30 a.m. for a breakfast of sorts.  It's not that painting and drawing are unenjoyable, though.  It's something else that hinders me.  What could it be?)

"So let us go forward, quietly, each on his own path, forever making for the light."
(Vincent van Gogh)

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

" is for learning ..." / "What are you doing?" / Gratitude

Just found the following video today.  What a treasure!  I attended that performance in October of 2009:

That's my nephew, Lee, at 2:36, singing:

Well maybe it's the time of year
Well maybe it's the time of man
And I don't know who I am
But life is for learning

We are stardust
We are golden
We are billion-year-old carbon
And we've got to get ourselves
Back to the garden
(Joni Mitchell lyrics, 1970)

Some of you have already seen the above photo from 1971.   I had just turned 22 years old and felt much older than that.  My life had taken a dark turn.  It would be years before I would see any light in that darkness.  I had lessons to learn in the darkness.

At 63 years old (and feeling younger than that), I still have plenty to learn.  Even the darkest days now are so much lighter than they were in the years between 1971 and 1987.  It was in May of 1987, as I was traveling through Half Moon Bay, California, that there began to be light in that darkness.  My life took a turn that let the light in.  It was just as I was about to do something I had done many times before -- always expecting a positive result, always experiencing negative consequences.

A question came to my mind as I stopped my car a few blocks from the Pacific Ocean.  The question was like a koan because I couldn't come up with an answer.

My mind ceased talking, and I began listening for something in the darkness.

The question, as I recall it today, was, "What are you doing?"

Below is "Woman with Hands Full," in chalk pastel, watercolor and gouache, by am, from sometime around 1987 when light appeared in the darkness.

I'm grateful today for both the light and the darkness.  My life is full.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

All You Need Is Love

Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
There's nothing you can do that can't be done.
Nothing you can sing that can't be sung.
Nothing you can say but you can learn how to play the game
It's easy.
There's nothing you can make that can't be made.
No one you can save that can't be saved.
Nothing you can do but you can learn how to be you
in time - It's easy.
All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love, love is all you need.
Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love, love is all you need.
There's nothing you can know that isn't known.
Nothing you can see that isn't shown.
Nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be.
It's easy.
All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love, love is all you need.
All you need is love (all together now)
All you need is love (everybody)
All you need is love, love, love is all you need.

Today is my nephew's 20th birthday.  His favorite music comes from Sam Cooke, The Beatles, and The Head and the Heart

For anyone who hasn't seen the video below before, that's Lee on the left singing "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher."

Happy Birthday, Lee!

Love always from your Aunt Amanda.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Memory from July of 1969 / Ocean Beach January 2013

 I remember going to the Family Dog on the Coast Highway (San Francisco, California -- Ocean Beach) in July of 1969 to hear "It's A Beautiful Day" in concert.  I was 19 years old.  This could be the poster for that evening concert.  

Good to see Ocean Beach this morning via the magic of the internet.

(It takes about 15 seconds for the live webcam image to appear)