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Tuesday, 25 June

I have been tuning in to what it is like to be witnessing the end of a civilization, with the beast flailing its tail wildly at every turn, the level of denial relative to global warming and fossil fuels, ongoing imperialism, secretive surveillance, and paranoia and fear continually flamed by the government. Also, shoot the messenger mentality, denying rather than heeding the message and criminalizing the whistle-blower.

9/11 clearly was an opportunity and turning point, and the US powers-that-be went in a direction I could not support even then, when almost everyone cloaked themselves in the mantle of so-called patriotism.

So what is an appropriate stance for a spiritually-oriented, caring, compassionate person? Obviously I am still working that out!

My recent paintings, beginning with Dreaming of Atlantis, certainly mirror and deepen this ongoing process.

Thursday, 20 March

Today was the day I had been waiting for since mid-November — sunny, warm, and almost no wind. I put in at Tetilla boat ramp on the east side of Cochiti Lake at 7:15 am. There was lots of water from the snowmelt, so much so that the west side boat ramp was closed, and its outhouses and picnic shelters were submerged!

There were many places to explore, especially canyon mouths and such. I made it all the way up to Capulin Canyon, much further than usual, and because of so much water the almost 4000 cfs downstream flow was manageable. It was great to be able to see the rock formations from greater height — everything looked very different than in mid-season and later.

In fact, it was more water than since the great flood of 2005. The lake and river were both about 15-20 feet above normal.

Now the winds are blowing at 30-40 mph and gusting to almost 50, but hopefully they will abate soon, and I will be able to get out at least once a week.


Another astounding river trip yesterday, replete with hundreds of overwintering waterfowl (Canada and several escaped commercial geese, mergansers, Western and Eared grebes, coots, bufflehead, mallards, teal, widgeon), a few Great Blue Herons, two sightings of the same Bald Eagle less than 100 yards away, close-up encounters with beavers, and even breaking through surface ice in some areas.

There may be places as magnificent as the Rio Grande, but none more so than this incredible river.

I am deeply moved and incredibly blessed....

Thursday, 22 November

Snow and wintry weather are on the way, marking the end of one of the best kayaking seasons yet. On Monday there were hundreds of waterfowl (Canada geese, herons, ducks, grebes), beaver, and even a bald eagle circling overhead just as I returned to the launch site after a 5-1/2 hour paddle on the river.

Tuesday, 25 September

Frost on the car as I packed up this morning, but this was the most expansive paddle in my seven years on the Rio Grande. Not more than a dozen airplanes in 6 hours, and not another boat nor person. The peace, stillness, and solitude were unsurpassed.

There may indeed be other wondrous places, but none more so than this — the grandeur of the canyons and their rock walls, wildlife, and feeling of total oneness with nature and the elements.

Saturday, 22 September

Just back from four days of paddling at the Colorado end of Navajo Lake. It is spectacular, much more so than at the NM end. Wonderful mountain ranges, clear waters, vast panoramas, a sense of infinite space and time.

But lots of powerboats and pwcs made it difficult to experience stillness and solitude, except at late afternoon and evening in the campground, which overlooked the lake. Makes me wonder about people whose communion with nature and the elements consists of ear-shattering noise and reckless speeding.....

I would definitely go back, but never again between Friday night and Sunday afternoon.

Next up, hopefully, is Flaming Gorge!

Wednesday, 3 May

In the land of linux, there are no gates, windows, jobs, or apples. Ahhhh....

Tuesday, 24 April

I have finally changed my computer operating system to Linux. Good riddance to Redmond and Gatesville!! Long, long overdue....

Tuesday, 10 April

This year is perhaps most strongly colored by the oppositions of Saturn in Leo and Neptune in Aquarius, and the continuing transit of Pluto over the galactic center at 26+ Sagittarius. These configurations are having profound effects in many areas of life, including spirituality and belief systems, the environment, and politics, and particularly is continuing to expose the rot at the core of what passes for government in the US.

Read more in the Considerations section — Astrology, Crystals and Transformation.

Sunday, 1 April

After re-reading Dane Rudhyar's last two books, I wrote an article on the Astrology of Transformation. Look for it in the Considerations section.

Friday, 30 March

Playing the Bach Organ Preludes and Fugues, transcribed by Liszt, is one of the most frisson-inducing activities imaginable. The conception and brilliance of the pieces is beyond extraordinary, and the transcibed versions make my piano sound like a pipe organ in many of the passages.

Would that the morons hell-bent on war and destruction open their hearts and minds to the passion and beauty of the arts!

Tuesday, 20 March

Happy Equinox! May it bring joy and peace to everyone, and an end to the madness of the bushistas.

Tuesday, 16 January

Yes, indeed, the final throes of Pluto in Sagittarius, with attendant tyranny fueled by religious insanity. Shades of the Crusades and Inquisition, n'est pas? What a wasted opportunity!

Monday, 15 January

"Any religion that professes to be concerned about the souls of men and not concerned about the city government that damns the soul, the economic conditions that corrupt the soul, the slum conditions, the social evils that cripple the soul, is a dry, dead, do-nothing religion in need of new blood."
—Martin Luther King

And any government that continues to subvert the will of the people by sending thousands more to die for lies, deceit, corporate profits, and on-going corruption deserves to be overthrown, and the culprits tried for war crimes and treason.

Monday, 1 January

It is amazing how the Pluto transit of natal Moon is bringing vivid memories of various timespans emerging unexpectedly into consciousness. Interestingly, there is little emotional affect involved, but rather an opportunity for learning, understanding, forgiveness, and compassion.

And now, after yet more dismantling of belief systems and releasing outworn forms and structures, re-emergence is at hand!

Saturday, 30 December

Three feet of snow, with more expected! Wow!!!

Life as we have known it is cancelled!

Thursday, 21 December

Happy Solstice! May it bring peace and joy to all beings.

An interview about my artwork has been posted today at Contemporary Arts Magazine.

Tuesday, 21 November

Finally got out for what will most likely be the last trip of the season. It was very cold on the lake and river, due to serious north winds. For awhile I got very chilled, even shivering. The river was basically impassable due to low water levels and huge mudflats, so I did a lake circumnavigation instead, and fortunately the wind abated.

Two extraordinary sightings were a bald eagle flying almost right over the kayak near the start of the trip, and three huge deer along the lakeshore. There were large numbers of overwintering waterfowl, and the late-season raked sunlight offered magical glimpses of the rock formations.

Tuesday, 7 November — U.S. Election Day


Tuesday, 22 August

This is by far the wettest summer in the 17 years we've lived here. The storms and thunderstorms come in at all hours of the day and night, so paddling can be dangerous.

Water levels are still dropping, and there are huge amounts of debris and mud from the heavy rains, and even garbage and other human detritus. This certainly does not allow for swimming after the trip, although there is less in the river than in the lake.

But the wildlife is abundant, including a few sightings of descendants of the Spanish mustangs which run wild along some of the river cliffs. And whilst the sandbars, mudflats, and deeply-carved river channels make for tricky navigating and strong currents in places, the stillness, wonder, and beauty are, as always, unsurpassed.

Thursday, 27 July

Fifteenth trip of the season, and the awe and wonder continue apace. Despite continually-dropping water levels and increased need of navigation skills due to newly-forming mudflats and sandbanks, the experience of the river is still unsupassed. Wildlife sightings included lots of Canada geese, great blue and black-crowned night herons, and a young beaver playing tag with the kayak for awhile.

Fortunately I got back to the boat ramp before rapidly-developing thunderstorms hit, and even had time for a dip in the lake.

Wednesday, 28 June

Water levels have dropped considerably, but with many more exposed and somewhat submerged mudflats, there are lots more wildlife. Sightings included beaver, Canada geese, great blue herons, and even a small flock of cormorants, which is quite unusual.

And on the return trip, there were loads of huge golden carp where the lake and river meet, with strong currents and standing waves. No doubt this provided them with lots of tasty morsels.

And, as always, the peace, stillness, solitude, and oneness with nature and the elements were unsurpassed.

Thursday, 22 June

Another glorious day on the river, with flocks of large birds including mergansers, vultures, great blue herons, and four black-crowned night herons that literally flew over the boat at a height of some ten feet. Luckily I left quite early and was on the water by 7:30 am, and so avoided some huge storms.

It was also a day of wonderful paradoxes. Even though water levels have dropped by as much as two feet, in places there was actually more water because the river has been cutting new channels and sloughs.

It makes for a continually different experience each trip, and reminds me that paradoxes are wonderful, as they expand the mind and consciousness, much like Zen koans.

Monday, 12 June

One of the most wonderful river trips yet. Although water levels have begun dropping, exposing mudflats and sand bars which necessitate vigilant navigation, for some reason the usual array of jetliners flying overhead were almost nil. Therefore the peace, stillness and solitude were unparalleled.

Highlights included a mother beaver repeatedly appearing not more than ten feet from the kayak, close enough for continued eye contact. After awhile I realized she was concerned about her youngster, who showed up after some time. Needless to say I gave them a wide berth, grateful for the encounter.

And the mild winds and absence of threatening storms on the paddle back to the boat ramp, and a refreshing plunge in the lake, made it a perfect day.

Wednesday, 24 May

More water in the river than before, which meant I was able to access various canyon mouths, lagoons and side channels that had been inaccessible this season. Saw some petroglyphs, as well as the usual array of wildlife and waterfowl.

And although there was a strong north wind upon launching, it eased off after awhile. I even got to go swimming in the lake for the first time this year. Still fairly cold, but very refreshing.

Thursday, 11 May

Another river trip today. The beauty, peace, stillness and oneness with Nature continue to be unsurpassed. Definitely a blessing.

One highlight was seeing a large deer emerging onto a small island after swimming across the river, only some 15 yards away. And another treat was watching two nesting pair of Canada geese, who were quite territorial with one another and therefore completely ignored me, although I was only a few yards away.

The unexpected universe....

Monday, 8 May

The first kayaking trip of the season. I was surprised by the good physical condition I was in and it was sorely needed, because as usual some ferocious gusts blew up on the trip back to the boat ramp. In fact, I got a fisherman to help me load the boat on the car so it would not blow off the rack, as it did on the last trip exactly six months ago.

There was an amazing amount of wildlife, waterfowl and other birds. In addition to beaver, muskrat, chipmunks and ground squirrels, there were great blue herons, ospreys, lots of western grebes with their young, kingfishers, black and says phoebes, red-tail hawks, turkey vultures, ravens, and lots of ducks including some cinnamon teal, which I had not seen before on the river.

All in all, a wonderful time, but the water levels are quite low compared to normal. So with mudflats already abounding in the river, there may be many less opportunities as compared with last year.

Wednesday, 12 April

My new grand piano arrived today. It is an almost completely different instrument from the vertical I have been playing for the past 12 years, and so will take some time to adjust.

The tonal colors and dynamic range are awesome!

Sunday, 5 March

The creative explosion continues apace, almost entirely focused on playing the piano. Lots of classical music, and also improvisation. I have also been listening to Keith Jarrett, which is always an inspiration, especially his solo concerts.

And discovering new Chopin nocturnes and the ballades has been truly wondrous. Although challenging, they are very rewarding both musically and emotionally.

Saturday, 18 February

The past week has been the most explosive creative output in years. The new 78 x 66 painting is finished — Amerika IV, with intense, vivid and energetic shades of red, white and blue. It is the 15th completed since I began again in late November.

Musically, I have been playing 2-3 hours daily, although in several sessions — Rachmaninoff and Scriabin preludes, Chopin nocturnes and other pieces, Schubert impromptus and fantasies, and of course Beethoven sonatas (most recently nos. 4, 13, 17, 18, 21 and 26). I also ordered a book of Chopin's ballades.

And I just phoned my piano technician to set up a tuning appointment. He also deals in new pianos, and so I will talk with him about trading in my upright for a small-to-medium size grand.

Monday, 14 November

The 60th kayaking trip of the season, and perhaps the last. With water levels higher than in the past two months, I was able to explore inlets, lagoons and canyons that had been inaccessible for some time. Hundreds of overwintering ducks and geese, grebes, herons, hawks, ravens, warm sunshine, incredible rock formations, made it one of the most glorious events of the year.

Once I left the river, the winds were ferocious — 25 knots per hour, gusting to 40. Fortunately I made it back to the beach without incident.

Whilst eating lunch and drinking in the peace, stillness, vistas and awesome nature energies at a favorite sandbar, I was deeply moved by the memories of this season. Who could have imagined on the first trip, back on May 9, what wondrous and amazing adventures would ensue, from the flood waters of the spring runoff to the five days at Navajo Lake.

Tears, laughter, and gratitude.

Sunday, 30 October

Three more trips this past week. The sight and sounds of huge flocks of Canada geese flying overhead quickens the heart. Clearly it is the call of the wild, speaking deeply to the oneness with Nature that is part of our heritage.

And how sad and unfortunate that there are those who are so completely out-of-touch with these feelings and sensibilities that they seek to destroy what little is left of the wilderness experience.

Sunday, 23 October

These last few remaining days of this kayaking season are very precious indeed. The combination of the longer golden rays of the sun, brilliant yellows of the cottonwoods and aspens along the river, over-wintering waterfowl, and even the chill of the morning wind, make the paddling adventures quite special.

And jumping into the quite cool waters of the lake afterwards is invigorating, to say the least!

Friday, 14 October

Another brilliant day on the water. Went as far as Capulin Canyon, despite the difficulties in navigating rip currents and mud shoals. The foliage is starting to turn, and I encountered a northern harrier and small flock of geese near the canyon. Seems like they are staying more upriver than down by the lake.

The sunlight dancing on the wind wavelets during my return made it very special indeed.

Thursday, 13 October

Despite the entire car being covered with a layer of ice early yesterday morning, and much more snow on the mountains, I went out on the lake and river. Although there was a dearth of wildlife (perhaps the geese have now flown further south), the morning mist rising from the water and the light on the cliffs was, as usual, awesome and uplifting.

I left about an hour later than usual, which gave the sun some time to warm up the air, and am planning another outing tomorrow, especially as there won't be many more trips possible this season.

Saturday, 8 October

Yesterday we went on our annual kayaking trip to Conchas Lake, which is about a 2-1/4 hour drive southeast. The lake results from a dam on the Canadian River, and in addition to many very interesting cliffs and erosion patterns, has a fair number of petroglyphs left over from the days when the Anasazi roamed the region.

We left at 6:25 am in dense fog, but by the time we reached the freeway could see lots of blue sky and the beginnings of sunrise. When we reached Rowe Mesa, however, about 10 minutes away, we were into the fog and chill once again.

It lasted until we made the 500-foot descent of Corazon Hill to the plains below. Driving was quite challenging, since visibility was not more than 30 yards at most. Fortunately the roads we took were almost devoid of traffic, and none going in our direction.

When we finally reached the lake, there were grey clouds everywhere and a chill in the air. After a few moments of regret at not having stayed in bed, we reluctantly donned our cool weather kayaking clothes — medium-weight capilene tops and bottoms and paddling jackets — and set out northward along the eastern shore.

One of the benefits of the weather was that there were almost no other boaters, so we had the lake mostly to ourselves. The water levels were some 50% higher than the last three years, and so in many ways it was a totally new experience.

Skirting the cliffs and fallen boulders was great fun, and there was an abundance of waterfowl including ospreys, gulls, great blue herons, cormorants, congregations of turkey vultures both soaring and perched on poles, and even a few hawks.

Our paddle took us up the eastern side with a south wind behind, then across the lake to explore the cliffs along the western banks, southward until even with the dam, back across the lake to the eastern side, and along those cliffs to the boat ramp.

By the time we landed the skies had lightened some, but there was nary a trace of sunshine. So we loaded the boats and gear on the car, had lunch, and headed home.

Along the way, we passed two large herds of antelope. It was an incredible treat to see these wild symbols of the wide open spaces of the west. All in all, a fitting end to a marvelous trip.

Perhaps the best lesson was that our clothes easily withstood the chilly weather, so I am now hopeful that the season will extend well into November. Although I much prefer to kayak in shorts and a silkweight tee shirt, the paddling jacket worked very well in terms of keeping wind and water out, and was quite breathable.

Next year we plan to camp at the lake for a few days in order to explore other areas of it, and perhaps visit nearby Ute Lake as well.

Saturday, 1 October

Yesterday's paddle started with ice on the car and snow in the mountains. There was fog and chill on the river, but no wind to speak of. With the rains of the past two days, the water levels were up a foot, so I was able to explore inlets and lagoons that had been inaccessible for several months.

An osprey circling overhead as I launched was certainly a good luck omen, for despite the dark clouds it did not rain, and the sun broke through around eleven o'clock, warming things up enough for a plunge into the lake after loading the boats and gear for the homeward trip.

The ever-increasing flock of Canada geese that has been hanging out near the river mouth, around 50 now, along with the ice and chill, certainly underscored that cold weather lies ahead.

I was talking with Diana this morning about this amazing kayaking season. It started earlier than usual (May 9), we experienced more water than in 30 years (and so in many ways had a new lake and river to explore for almost two months), I had five days of paddling on a relatively distant lake, and am up to 47 trips with hopefully another month to go, already surpassing the 39 of each of the past two years.

We are very fortunate indeed!

Wednesday, 28 September

Autumn is definitely here. The increasing number of flocks of geese at various places along the river, the beginnings of yellow-gold leaves on aspen, cottonwood and deciduous shrubs, and the chill north morning wind in the canyon sound a clear note. Kayaking season will soon be over, and new cycle of unfoldment will begin.

But for now it is more than enough to savor the moment, feel the tingle of the changes, and welcome whatever is next with gratitude and an open heart.

Thursday, 22 September

Autumn equinox is upon us once again. The changes of season are always a reminder to look deeply within at what needs attention.

The Navajo Lake trip was a wonderful mix of the totally terrifying and awesomely sublime. Facing suddenly-appearing 45 mph wind gusts and managing to survive without capsizing or injury was no mean feat. It has already resulted in greater self-confidence and willingness to go beyond limitations.

The clarity of the water, with views down 30 feet to huge boulders and other rock formations, the patterns in the rocks created by wind and river, and the sunlight reflecting off them, were magical. It mirrored the sense of mystery inherent in the journey toward the great unknown.

I look forward to more.

Monday, 12 September

I am off early this morning for a five-day kayaking trip on Navajo Lake, which is in the northwest corner of New Mexico. It's been about three years since I first wanted to go there, and finally the time has come.

I am filled with a mixture of excitement and anxiety, going to a new location and camping out. But it is a wonderful opportunity to break out of the boxes of security and comfort, and so the experience will no doubt be furthering, no matter what happens.

Wednesday, 24 August

The ever-changing Rio Grande is a continual source of mystery and delight. The tricky navigation due to increasing underwater mud shoals, however, caused me to strain my lower back whilst poling off one of them a week ago, so I have not been able to get out since. Sigh....

But it is much improved, and with the always-hopeful attitude befitting someone born in April, I hope to be back out on the water by Friday, or Monday next week at the very latest!

Saturday, 13 August

It seems that kayaking and painting do not go together, for me — it's one or the other. So since the season began in mid-May, I have not done any new work. I see it as the replenishing of the creative well, so to speak. The same thing happened last year, and then I completed some 60 pieces in about six months.

Being out on the river is always magical and amazing beyond words. The peace, stillness, oneness with the water and nature, is unsurpassed. It always is a reminder of what is meaningful and enduring, and an opportunity to see how easy it is for me to get caught up in the trivialities of what passes for everyday life.

I often laugh aloud at the simplicity of things, when they are not overlaid with my anxieties and desires — all I have to do is show up, pay attention, and follow the energy.

Monday, 1 August

Had a rather amazing encounter with a coyote during my paddle this morning. I spotted it trotting along the bank right near the river mouth. It found a dead fish on the shore and proceeded to devour it. Since the boat was hardly moving, I was able to watch it for about 20 minutes, at a distance of 30 or so feet.

After dining, it moved on along the bank to the edge of the water, and then trotted up and over a hill and out of sight. Wow!

And even more amazing was that I saw it on my way back. I looked up from paddling through the rough water where the lake and river meet, and saw it watching me. It kept me in sight by moving along the bank, to make sure I wasn't getting any closer.

So another extraordinary day on the water, with lots of herons, mergansers, vultures and ravens, and of course the usual towering cliffs and deep blue skies. Ahhhhh....

As I have said many times, it sure puts everything in clear perspective!

Thursday, 21 July

Yesterday I had a six-hour paddle way upstream and into the mouth of Alamo Canyon, about a 16-mile roundtrip. It was rather exhausting, especially due to very tricky navigation around sandbars and getting stuck a number of times, but well-worth it in terms of the vistas, peace and stillness. And as you might imagine, I saw nary a human.

The rocks in Alamo are unlike anywhere else on the river — towering cliffs with the Bandelier formation at the top and other exposed and differently-colored layers below, often with striation lines from volcanic upheavals. There is even a rock arch, partway up on one of the cliffs. It's about 600 feet straight down from the rim of the canyon in many places — I know because I have hiked up-and-down it both ways from the Bandelier Visitor Center!

Lots of herons, mergansers, hawks, vultures, black and says phoebes, spotted sandpipers, canyon wrens, and fish, mamma duck swimming protectively with young 'uns as poppa quacked loudly from the shore, and even a close encounter with a coyote. It was very curious, and when I got too close — about 20 yards away — trotted slowly away into the willows along the riverbank. Glorious beyond belief.

Saturday, 16 July

Yesterday's paddle was very bittersweet, as it was clearly the last time this season that I will be able to get into the canyon mouths, side channels, inlets, and lagoons, due to much lower water levels. They are all magnificent, often with towering cliffs right next to the boat, and wildlife, total peace, and stillness.

I had to pole the boat over mudflats to enter them, but it was good to have a final opportunity to give thanks and say goodbye. And close-up encounters with a beaver and roadrunner on the way back offered glimpses of what is still possible.

Saturday, 9 July

Our lake and river adventures continue apace. Although the water level has dropped almost 20 feet, it is always magnificent beyond belief. The peace and quiet, incredible rock formations and wildlife make it very clear what is enduring and meaningful.

The current has slowed down so paddling upstream is mostly not too difficult, but navigating the now huge mudflats and shoals can be tricky. Our favorite landing spot, some 4 or 5 miles upstream opposite a wonderful canyon, is finally accessible. We can easily spend lots of time there eating lunch, admiring the scenery, watching the river flow by and the hawks, vultures and ravens circling overhead.

The little ducklings and goslings are now as big as their over-worked parents, but still dependent upon them for food and lessons in swimming and avoiding humans. Also, the great blue herons have returned -- we got within about ten feet of one yesterday.

All in all, a most amazing and wondrous experience. We are so very fortunate....

Thursday, 16 June

I had two more wonderful kayaking trips on Monday and Wednesday. The river has dropped more than 10 feet, however, so yesterday was undoubtedly the last time I could explore some of the places until next season, assuming we get as much moisture — unlikely, though, given that this is the most water in 30 years.

I had to push through snags and other growth just to get into some of the side channels, but the soaring cliffs and wildlife, including close-ups of young redtail hawks circling overhead, turkey vultures perched on rocks just above the river, a mother swimming with her brood of ducklings, beaver, muskrat, and even a small flock of white-faced ibis, made it well worth the effort.

It is such a blessing! It often takes a while, but sooner or later everything falls into perspective, and I am always grateful for the experience of what is meaningful and enduring. It is all too easy for me to get totally caught up in the trivialities and drivel of what passes for everyday life.

Tuesday, 7 June

The Rio Grande continues to be amazing beyond words. We went up to a canyon in Bandelier National Park last Wednesday, further than Diana had ever been, and were able to paddle over a mile into it from the river. 250-foot rock cliffs towering overhead, large fish spawning and feeding, nesting swallows, waterfowl, beaver, muskrats — totally awesome.

The sense of adventure and discovery is spine-tingling, as we are able to get to places that we did not even know existed! And it's wonderful to see many of the human-made buildings such as picnic shelters and bathrooms under feet of water!!!!

The winds have been strong recently but tomorrow promises to be calmer, so I hopefully will get out again. The snowmelt and runoff will end soon and then the water levels will drop, so I want to explore as much as possible during this extraordinary time. The oneness with the water, land, sky, wind, and nature are an immense blessing.

Tuesday, 10 May

I went out yesterday for the first kayaking trip of the season, and as you might imagine, it was quite an adventure, lasting about two and 3/4 hours. The winds were mostly moderate, but as I had surmised, the current in the river was stronger than ever. The buoys near the river mouth were dancing, and the sound of the water rushing by was awesome.

When I got within about a quarter mile of where the river enters, there were many strong current eddies crisscrossing the lake. It was great fun to go through them, as the bow veered in the direction of the flow and I had to lean the boat against it to avoid capsizing.

I then tried to avoid the main flow in the river itself, but wound up getting stuck fairly often on mud shoals. When I got into the current, no matter how hard I paddled, I made no forward progress.

So I made the only intelligent decision, and had a wild ride downcurrent back into the lake. I then spent time exploring various inlets, since the water level is about 25% higher than last year at this time. In fact, the beach from which I normally launch was underwater, so I had to use the concrete boat ramp.

But I got within less than 10 yards of a Western Grebe for quite awhile, saw lots of kingfishers, a flock of white-faced ibis flying overhead, and a young beaver slowly swimming not more than five yards away before diving below the water into its home.

Also, paddling some six inches from towering cliffs was amazing in and of itself.

All and all a glorious day, after six months off. And best of all, muscle memory was terrific — I never once had to think about what I was doing, whether getting in and out of the boat, paddling, edging, turning, etc.

Of course I am somewhat sore today, but at least did not overdo it, mostly thanks to the strong current in the river which stopped me from going any further than the large mouth area.

Wednesday, 27 April

I returned Sunday evening from attending the funeral and celebration of my 97-year-old mother's long and fruitful sojourn. It was one of the most profound and moving experiences of my life — not only the graveside service, but also the deep and meaningful sharings with many of my family members, especially my brother, my niece and her partner, and the clergyman who was present at the service.

For me, it was hopefully a new beginning for family connections, as well as a deeper appreciation of judaism and what it has to offer in terms of perspectives and insights into the human condition — despite my being a spiritual existentialist since the mid-'50's.

I clearly showed up and was fully present, with my grief and tears, joy and laughter, and received much appreciation as a result.

Death certainly causes us to face our own mortality, and both the mystery, awe and wonder of life and the sadness, sorrow and bittersweetness of this dimension.

I am still integrating the experience, remembering that it was three weeks after my father died that I began painting. So hopefully this will lead to some sort of expansiveness and transformation as well.

Sunday, 3 April

To pick up and expand upon what Donald Kuspit wrote in 1980, abstraction is not merely surface decoration, but artistic unconvention that can imply depth of meaning with a rawness and directness that no representational art, whatever its methods, can begin to fathom. It is a means to enter the depths that representationalism can only suggest as a nuance of the surface of objects.

Figurative art, for example, can portray emotions and feelings in human faces, but cannot in any way delineate the forces that cause these expressions. Perhaps this is partly because most western societies, and particularly the U.S., do not meet the need for meaning, for a sense of the profundity of life.

The best of modern art, especially abstraction, attempts to find and express that depth of meaning and significance in an increasingly banal and materialistic world.

Tuesday, 15 February

I have recently been contemplating the ongoing erosion of arts education, as well as the continual drops in funding for art projects — although perhaps the latter is a good thing, since imprimaturs are usually involved.

It seems to me that the entire issue of education is open for discussion. For example, most of what passes for same is simply the creation of cogs for the machine, with an emphasis on continuing the mindlessness and sleepwalking of the great majority of the populace.

There is no instruction on how to discern truth from propaganda, to think for oneself, to form a sharp and powerful bullshit knife. Turn on the tv and pass me a beer, would'ya?

So yes, the arts suffer, because in many ways they are the antithesis of this, and the so-called dominant paradigm wants to suppress the qualities I outlined above, since it is not only counter to its agenda, but radical and revolutionary.

Saturday, 5 February

I received an email this morning from Klaus Podoll, an MD at the Clinic for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Hospital, Aachen, Germany. He is doing research on symptoms and migraine art.

We had a fascinating communication, culminating in a questionnaire designed to explore the relationships between migraine experiences and art-making activities, used for the scientific study which accompanies the project of building up a Migraine Art website.

He is including some of my comments and reflections upon the creative process involved in my paintings, together with images of "Triumph of the Human Spirit" and "Vertigo," both related to the migraine headaches I experience from time-to-time.

Wednesday, 26 January

Thanks to my dear friend Russ, the Chthonic Forces paintings are online. Creating them was an intense and transformational process, and I hope you will be able to experience some of that whilst viewing them.

Wednesday, 19 January

What a glorious day! Solar shift into Aquarius, and tee-shirt and shorts weather at 7,000 feet of altitude in Santa Fe.

Warm and meaningful re-connecting with old friends, a visit to the local rockshop, and an excellent luncheon at the local Asian bistro. Ahhhh...

And as for those humans who can no longer tell the truth of things from their personal hype and lack of vision —

If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.

Sunday, 9 January

Working with the chthonic forces that are powerfully emerging, I am using only reds and blacks in my latest paintings. No other colors can come even close to mirroring the intensity and impersonalness of these energies, as they sweep away all in their path.

It is the end of the old order, even if it takes months, and perhaps years, for the facade to crumble. May the virtual tsunamis remove all that is rotten, corrupt, and outworn, and may the waters of compassion, caring, and respect for all beings emerge triumphant.

Saturday, 1 January 2005

May we experience peace, joy, delight, good health, fulfillment, and abundance in 2005, and witness the fall of the bushistas and all their running dogs.

Tuesday, 21 December

Wishing all a joyous, peaceful, and wonder-filled solstice and holiday season.

May you find the light within the darkness and bring it forth.

Saturday, 18 December

Thanks to my good friend Russel Stolins, 13 new paintings are online in the Gallery. Have a look, and enjoy...

Wednesday, 6 October

I had quite an astounding series of experiences the other day, starting around 2am, when I experienced a huge pool of blocked energy in the right side of my lower back that was dark — not negative or destructive or evil, just dark — and that I needed to extend out my right arm fully to release it.

Later on, around 9, I went into the studio and worked for a while on two small (40x30) black-and-white pieces, and then turned my attention to a much larger canvas (66x54) that I had already prepared with a heavily-textured background of various shades of off-whites.

I mixed up a huge amount of black paint, and, using a very large palette knife, went to work. Because of the canvas size, I of course got to extend my arms and body full-length.

The result was amazing. All that trapped energy was released, and I was jumping up and down, laughing and shouting in total joy, awe and wonder. Wow!!!!

Every single time I look at them I am overcome with a myriad of feelings, including joy, delight, tears, awe and wonder. I think the process is indelibly etched into the canvases.

I treated all three the same — creating heavily-textured backgrounds, then mixing up a substantial portion of paint, and having but one go at each canvas. Sort of like the ink-on-rice-paper process of the zen masters. One shot — all or nothing. No changes, additions, amendments.

So they are very powerful and meaningful, to me.

You can view them in the Gallery — New and Recent Paintings.

Wednesday, 22 September

Happy equinox. May the changing of the seasons bring much joy and delight.

Saturday, 18 September

If you follow the energy, there are never any mistakes. Course corrections, learning opportunities, but no mistakes.

Friday, 17 September

The bushista plan — destroy the environment, destroy public health safeguards such as Clean Air and Water initiatives, destroy the middle class by making them bear the brunt of taxation, destroy social security and other socially-beneficial programs, destroy the checks-and-balances of the government, destroy hard-won civil liberties such as the right to abortion, free speech and freedom from unwarranted searches, destroy dissent.

The saddest thing is that these sorry excuses for human beings lost the election but were appointed by a politically motivated, double-dealing supreme court, and even then, only by one vote.

Do not be deluded by the empty rhetoric, fear-mongering and patriotic posturing, and vote these destroyers out of office.

Wednesday, 1 September

There are only three ways that the bushistas and their running dogs can win this election. The first is to rig it, by the so-called purging of voter rolls (e.g. Florida), which eliminates most of those who obviously are against bushie-boy, and refusing to allow paper trails so that totals and recounts are skewed.

The second is to ensure that there will be some sort of so-called terrorist attack, or red alert, around election day. By continuing to spread FUD and manipulate situations, people will vote out of fear rather than choice.

Finally, making sure that most people will not bother to vote, especially the poor and others disenfranchised by the bushista agenda.

The only thing we can be sure of is that all three tactics will be employed.

Sunday, 22 August

I have been reflecting upon art as an offering, to oneself, the community, humanity, earth, spirit. As such, the artist cannot have expectations of anything coming back, even praise and encouragement, for as an offering, it is freely given as an expression of one's innermost being. Indeed, a gift, a giveaway.

As for commoditization — certainly these times are ones of overwhelming materiality, yet the artist in some way must stand outside this, in order to create from the deepest levels of self, to be authentic, to speak the truth.

So all this makes me grateful that I am not immersed in the art market per se, the gallery scene. But then the challenges of wanting the work to be seen and experienced by others, in person, becomes even more poignant.

Clearly, an ongoing process and continuing inner dialogue.

Sunday, 8 August

Someone recently asked how I know when a painting is finished. Good question!

For me, there is a feeling of completion inside, that the process has reached a conclusion. Going on would only ruin the piece.

Then I "live" with the painting for a time, placing it where I can look at it regularly. Occasionally I will then add more, but only rarely.

In the end, though, I would say that a painting is never finished. It only reaches a stopping point.

Wednesday, 4 August

It may be a case of playing around with too much white, red and black paint, but I saw what happened the other day in NYC as a foreshadowing of what is to come — riot squads with machine guns guarding financial institutions, and the populace scared shitless by the ever-increasing spread of FUD, all manipulated and orchestrated by the bushistas.

Made me feel it's a precursor of November — getting people used to the sight of armed-to-the-teeth police and soldiers, and then the closing of the polls due to a red alert, not orange, as it was this time.

Next step — coronation of the czar.


Probably best to keep painting....

Sunday, 1 August

Besides selling four paintings in July, the best times have been out on the water, mostly on the Rio Grande and Cochiti Lake. The stillness, splendor and oneness with all that is meaningful and enduring is healing and inspiring beyond belief.

Two of the paintings were from the Water Series, purchased to hang in the lobby of a new state-of-the-art oncology, radiation and wellness center in St. Louis. I Read the News Today..., which I painted when the bushistas first bombed Afghanistan, and Untitled IV 2003 are going to Chicago, where specially-installed lights will ensure they are seen in their full glory.

The sales are encouraging, and I am back in the studio painting merrily away. You can view some of the new work in the Gallery section.

Saturday, 26 June

I had my longest yet river trip yesterday, and was rewarded by the presence of two absolutely wild horses, whose bloodlines date back to antiquity, at Alamo Canyon, where I had disembarked on a sandflat for a pee and short rest.

Add ospreys, herons, ducks, hawks, vultures, sun and wind into the mix, outracing a thunderstorm, and even another river explorer whom I had met previously, and it adds up to glorious beyond belief. The experience is still with me, sharp and clear, as I write.

Sure puts things into perspective!

Other good news is I sold two paintings the other day, both from the Water Series. They were purchased by a woman M.D. who is opening a state-of-the-art oncology and radiation treatment center in Illinois, but which will also focus on wellness and other healing modalities. The pieces will hang in the lobby.

Naturally, I am quite thrilled. It is always an honor that someone appreciates my work enough to buy it and have it around for daily viewing.

Wednesday, 16 June

Had a very long (5-1/4 hour) kayak trip yesterday up the Rio Grande to a spectacular canyon. Even within a week, the water level in the river has dropped almost five feet. This is the sixth consecutive drought year in the southwest, so although expectable, it's still somewhat of a shock.

It makes navigating difficult, as mudbanks appear and shoals are continually shifting. Makes me realize that the river is a living being, always changing, always different, requiring alertness and attention.

But being in the midst of herons, ospreys, waterfowl, wildlife, amazing rock formations, endless blue skies, solitude, peace, quiet, the miracle of water in the desert, is a mighty blessing.

Wednesday, 2 June

Tonight's full moon should be spectacular, especially since Pluto exactly opposes retrograde Venus, and I am especially lookng forward to the Sun-Venus occultation on Tuesday, the 8th. Has not happened in 122 years!

The winds of spring subsided enough for me to go on my first kayak trip of the season yesterday. Went to Cochiti Lake, and then up the Rio Grande five miles into Bandelier Nat'l Park. Still as awesome and epiphanous as always, offering a sense of something greater than myself and this lifetime, with the wildlife, waterfowl, amazing cliffs and rock formations, and the very real presence of the ancestors.

Indeed, there is much to be grateful for, despite the ongoing horrors of the mundane and political scenes.

Monday, 31 May

As today is Memorial Day, it is a good time to remember and be thankful for the freedoms guaranteed to us by our constitution, and for those who gave their lives to defend those freedoms.

And it is even a better time to vow to oppose with all means possible those who are hell-bent on undermining and destroying these freedoms, such as the bushistas and all their running dogs.

Wednesday, 19 May

More hypocrisy from the self-appointed keepers of public morality, the Catholic church.

Let's not allow supporters of birth control, abortion and gay rights to partake of communion, but we'll continue to give a pass to supporters of war and the death penalty.

They must be shills for the bushistas.

And let's especially hear it for the IT CEO's (Dell, Carly the Pig Fiorina of HP, the M$ oinkers, Cisco's Chambers and their ilk) who totally support the GOP, mainly because Kerry is criticizing the disparity between CEO and worker salaries, and wants executive stock options to be reported.

Talk about people for whom there is no past, no future, and no ability to have a vision of anything other than corporate profits!

Saturday, 8 May

Today is the Medicine Wheel Ceremony for healing of the Earth and all beings, and I have been participating in the sacred circle of rocks and crystals on our land. I began at sunset yesterday, continued at sunrise and noon today, and will complete at sunset.

Certainly this is a critical time, and the call has gone out for all keepers of the flame to join together. I feel honored to be amongst them.

Friday, 30 April

The 29th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, a full Saturn cycle ago. When will we ever learn...

Or is Iraq just another opportunity for those who didn't get it the first time?

I expect stupidity, short-sightedness, greed, lies and deceit from the bushistas, but what about everyone else, Kerry included?

Thursday, 15 April

Many have already learned of the Earth Healing Ceremony to be held on May 8. Centered throughout the Rocky Mountains area of North America, others in many lands are also participating. When people come together with a common focus and purpose, great things can happen. Hopefully this will be one of those times.

Sunday, 14 March

The energies are definitely shifting. It is vital to build a firm foundation so that the upheavals and volcanic explosions of the next cycle, whether metaphorical, physical, or both, will not detract from the spiritual work to be done.

Equally important is to prepare by getting together the resources. For me, this has meant meditation and attunement, confronting unredeemed patterns and transforming them into positive thought and action.

Also, a renewed sense of and connection with the sacred, the gathering and blessing of crystals, and working actively once again with the Mysteries.

The next step is joining with others to celebrate, rejoice, share and transform ourselves and our Earth. Let us walk together in peace, beauty, and harmony.

Saturday, 28 February

Whilst attuning this afternoon with two of the new elestials, several realizations came through loud and clear. The first is that sugilite focuses the receptive aspect of the seventh ray, and amethyst embodies the yang energy.

I next understood how beginning in neolithic times, humans misunderstood the entire idea of sacrifice in their ceremonies. Rather than seeing that fear, greed, judgment and separation were negative qualities needing to be released, they personified this through human sacrifice to placate some deity.

And it is no different now, some 5,000 years later. Wars, senseless killing, the despoilation of the Earth, and even the death penalty are simply other forms of this misunderstanding, resulting from the exact same forces.

Thus the importance of those who understand this and are willing to do the requisite transformational work to gather together in sacred wisdom circles to share and support one another during these trying times.

On another note, it seems that bushie-boy has finally found a role that suits him to a tee — Crusader Rabbit.

Friday, 27 February

Turquoise, smoky quartz, elestials, rhodochrosite, labradorite — indeed the Earth Mother and Crystal Deva shine their light upon me!

Sunday, 22 February

Now is the time for all keepers of the flame to join together in Sacred Wisdom Circles to share and support one another in these times of change, upheaval and opportunity.

Tuesday, 17 February

May I walk in peace.
May I cause no harm.
May my presence be a blessing for the Earth and all beings.
May all beings be free from pain and suffering.
May all beings be happy.
May all beings be free.

Monday, 16 February

Last night I had a very moving experience of the power of redemption and forgiveness. This morning, in meditation, I realized once again the importance of walking the sacred path and medicine way of healing for the earth and all beings.

So it also being Diana and my 22nd anniversary, I created a simple ceremony in the circle on our land. Peace, love and harmony to all.

Friday, 13 February

Friday the thirteenth, and bushie-boy is finally on the run, and isn't it far, far overdue! One can't escape karma forever.

All those lies, lies, and damn lies, evading responsibility for just about everything thanks to daddy-o's interventions.

No more. Les jeux sont fini.

And let's hope his running dogs — Cheney, Powell, Rice, Rumsfeld and their ilk — are next.

Sunday, 8 February

Where is the outrage? Where are the calls for impeachment and imprisonment? Clinton lied about a blowjob — Bush's lies cost the lives of thousands of innocents. Where are the parents of the soldiers who died in Iraq? Why are they not beating down the doors of the whitehouse, clamoring for Bush's hide?

An armed forces deserter and alcoholic, deep in denial, he thinks nothing of sending others into battle to probably be killed. And then claims that god told him to do it.

Clearly he is deranged and therefore a menace, and must be removed.

Where is the outrage?

Thursday, 5 February

Only two months until my birthday, and the Full Moon of Aquarius to boot.

I feel very fortunate to be working intensively with crystals once again, and to have found two wonderful suppliers. One is in Arkansas and the other in South Africa. They are either miners or close to the source, so in both cases the crystals are treated with the care and respect they so richly deserve, rather than the common practice of using heavy machinery and mass production and marketing.

Stop on by if you are in the Santa Fe area, as I always have some special ones for viewing and/or purchase.

Sunday, 25 January

We created a sky circle of 12 large double-terminated crystals round our already-existing earth circle this morning. It was a wonderfully inspiring and expansive experience, in terms of connecting with spirit, the elements and the earth. The strong winds and sun made it quite magical indeed, and remembered once again the power and beauty of ceremony and ritual.

Thursday, 8 January 2004

We held a ritual and celebration in the sacred circle on our land at yesterday's Capricorn Full Moon, placing eight large double-terminated crystals at the cardinal directions and midpoints, plus one in the center. We consecrated them for love, peace, harmony, and healing for the Earth and all beings.

It was a wonderful experience, especially the feeling of groundedness and connection with the Earth, Great Spirit and Goddess. It clearly was an important next step in the unfolding cycle of working more closely with Earth energies, the Crystal Deva and the Mysteries.

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Tuesday, 30 December

Uranus entered Pisces early this morning for a seven-year sojourn. I am very much looking forward to this new cycle, especially in terms of the potential to release and transform much of what is out-worn and delusionary in terms of society, organized religion and other belief systems, and hopefully allow the crafting of a more-inclusive, tolerant and open-minded consciousness.

It probably is too much to expect, however, that it will immediately tear the veils of ignorance, delusion and deceit from the eyes of many Americans so they can clearly see the peril and horror of what is happening in this country.

Winter Solstice

We performed a ceremony in our medicine circle this evening, acknowledging the sacredness of the Earth, its creatures and all life, asking the blessings of the Great Spirit and Goddess for ourselves and everyone and everything.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if that sense of the sacred was shared by all!

Sunday, 9 November

The Full Moon eclipse was powerful and transforming beyond my wildest expectations. Hopefully the energies released will open more people's eyes, minds and hearts to what is really going on in this country.

For example, the incredible gall of having for-profit corporations running the prison system. Amerikan justice — what an oxymoron!

And the replacing of social welfare with corporate welfare.

Totally expectable, however, from the unelected bushistas. Let us continue to withdraw our support totally from this government of, by and for the greedy, and work for regime change at home. To do any less is unconscionable.

Saturday, 8 November

This evening is the total lunar eclipse at the Full Moon of Scorpio, with its extraordinary planetary alignments, including three grand trines and six sextiles.

I have clearly turned the corner in terms of the two-year-long process of dismantling belief systems and letting go of outworn modes of thinking and relating. As part of the turning, I have said goodbye to a number of people.

It is a time of the re-awakening of the ageless wisdom and mystery tradition both within myself and in sharings with others. Two powerful images that have emerged are the embracing of the dragon, and wielding the flaming sword of love and truth.

Fortunately we have still been able to get out on the water about once a week, and hopefully the weather will continue to be sunny and warm enough to continue. The 39 trips this season have certainly helped not only to maintain my sanity, but offered epiphanous and transforming experience.

Blessed be!

Sunday, 14 September

Simply being authentic and creative is the most revolutionary action one can take, given current amerikan values and ethics.

Saturday, 9 August

Just finished playing Beethoven's Piano Sonata no. 28. The third movement fugue has to be one of the most incredible and brilliant pieces of music ever written. What joy! What amazement! What a genius!

Saturday, 5 July

I wonder how many of those who celebrate the 4th of July, call themselves patriots, think that the USA is a great country and scream "God bless America" remember, or even care, that this country was built on the backs of slaves and the destruction of the native peoples? Just what is it they are saluting or pledging allegiance to?

Friday, 4 July

It continues to be truly amazing to be out on the water. On Tuesday, Diana and I went to a new (for us) lake about an hour-and-a-half north, in Abiquiu, which is Georgia O'Keeffe country — lots of amazing red rock formations, peace, quiet, incredible vistas, warm water for swimming, wildfowl, and a face-to-face encounter with a coyote. Then we had a late lunch at a Northern New Mexican restaurant on the way home.

Yesterday I went about five miles up the Rio Grande — I paddled upstream, and then floated back down with the current in absolute stillness, accompanied by more amazing rock formations, hawks circling way overhead, and another coyote as well as wildfowl.

It sure helps to put things in perspective! And I still cannot for the life of me understand those who would destroy all this.

Saturday, 28 June

I've now gone twice from Cochiti Lake up the Rio Grande to Frijoles Canyon in Bandelier National Park, 20 miles round trip according to the GPS. I recognized the mouth of the canyon since Diana and I have hiked down from the Visitor Center some dozen times over the years. The rock formations, over 200 feet high with amazing shapes and colors, are astounding, and there was a fair amount of waterfowl and even a muskrat.

It was quite an adventure, not only in terms of length (significantly longer than any previous trip) but because of getting hung up on mud shoals a number of times. Finding deep enough water was a challenge, and several times I had to retrace my route. Also, going in was against the river current, and coming back was against a very strong wind that blew up suddenly.

The second trip, yesterday, was about the same, with even stronger winds and 2-1/2 foot breakers in the main lake on the return journey. The water level in the river had dropped even more than the first time, and I had to expend lots of energy prying the boat loose from mud shoals. Fortunately I did not have to get out of the kayak to do so, and risk being sucked down to waist level or deeper in the mud.

It took me a full day to recover, but this trip will probably not be possible again until next spring unless we get torrential rains.

Saturday, 21 June

Summer Solstice today — another turning of the cycle. Go out into Nature, and enjoy what's here whilst it and you still are!

Saturday, 14 June

Today is Flag Day in the US, so why not go out and burn a flag? After all, the bushistas have burned our rights to due process, habeas corpus, and freedom from unreasonable searches and arrests, and are running a Nazi-style concentration camp at Guantanamo.

Thursday, 12 June

Thanks for writing. Now that's it is Summer, however, we will be unavailable until the geese fly south for Winter.

Look for us out on the river. As our good friend Pogo says, "There is nothing—absolutely nothing—half so much worth doing as simply messing around in boats."


Tuesday, 10 June

Kayaking on the Pecos River out of Santa Rosa Lake, communing with the water devas. Ahhh, such delight! The wonders of Nature abound, despite the stupid and short-sighted attempts to destroy it in the name of corporate profits.

Tuesday, 20 May

Shakespeare surely must have been anticipating the bushistas when he wrote, "A poor player who struts and frets his hour upon the stage, and then is heard no more. It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

Don't let them steal your fire!

Monday, 28 April

Just like Bushista compassion, ethics and morality, Iraqi WMDs can't be found. Lies, lies, and damn lies. When will Americans wake up?

Saturday, 19 April

What we are witnessing is an often brutal clash between two powerful forces at the turn of an age. The Piscean era is inexorably giving way to the Aquarian, and in the process it is wise to beware the thrashings of the dying beast.

The sixth ray, represented by Mars and Neptune, is passing on. The seventh ray, signified by Uranus, begins its ascendancy. It is no surprise that Uranus just moved into Pisces for a seven-year sojourn, although it will retrograde back into Aquarius briefly in September until the very end of the year. Perhaps this transitional period marks the beginning of a new world order based upon spiritual principles, supplanting fear-driven greed, control and religious fanaticism which is reaching an apex and will inevitably wane.

The task at hand is to work cooperatively for the good of all, in whatever form this may take, affirming the power of love as opposed to the love of power. In this way, we heal ourselves, one another, and the Earth.

For more on this theme, see Turn of an Age in the Commentary section.

Tuesday, 15 April

Oil vs. culture? That's a no-brainer for the bushistas. Reminds me of Reagan — "If you've seen one redwood tree, you've seen them all."
I chalk it up to bad parenting.

Monday, 7 April

Reviewing some of the words of Jesus:
"Love thy neighbor as thyself."
Except war protesters, liberals, socialists, lesbians, gays, transgenders, blacks, freedom of choicers, and of course, Iraqis.
Will the real Christians please stand up!

Saturday, 5 April

You say it's your birthday; well happy birthday to you!

Friday, 4 April

Spent part of the day along the upper Pecos River. Listening to the burbling sounds, surrounded by mountains and tall trees, I was reminded of "Siddhartha" by Herman Hesse. Made me appreciate wilderness, away from the madness that passes for life on planet Earth at this time, tuning in to that which is meaningful and enduring.

How can any sensitive, caring person be in favor of senseless killing and war? It boggles the mind...

Friday, 28 March

What's worse — the endless lies, deceit, hypocrisy, or those that believe it? Stupidity is always amazing, no matter how often one encounters it.

Be a real patriot. Speak your truth.

Friday, 21 March

Awoke this morning to a world newly-made with freshly-fallen snow, and a quiet, child-like joy. How amazing to simply be alive, despite the horror of the bushistas.

Sunday, 16 March

Finally got around to photographing 20 new paintings. It was an amazing experience to look at all of them again, after several weeks or months. Then came the hard part — cropping, re-sizing, web page coding, uploading. But very rewarding to see them online at last.

Saturday, 22 February

In meditation this morning, realized with great joy that despite the stupidity and greed of power-seekers, the human spirit will emerge triumphant. What is important is to hold the vision, and to oppose these petty tyrants with creative non-cooperation at every turn.

And after some time spent in the studio, that my paintings, whatever they may be, are not lightweight, decorative and airy.

Wednesday, 5 February

Ongoing dialogues, inner and outer — the creation of art vs. the marketing of art. Endless mind trips... simply painting resolves all doubts.

The last two completed paintings are spectacular (one hanging in our bedroom, the other in the living room) — that means it will be very challenging to live up to that level. But isn't that what breakthroughs are about???

Friday, 31 January

My just-completed painting is in the living room, propped up against the tv and stereo. It's called Smoldering Passions, with muted shades and multi-hued layers of red, orange, purple, crimson and some areas and lines of carbon black and payne's gray. As you might imagine, it is quite intense, amplified by the 72"x66" dimensions. Very different from recent work, which is more watery.

Clearly there is much for me to learn from this piece, which is why I want it around. And it will be very interesting to experience what happens when the smolderings burst into flame.

Monday, 27 January

I did something today that I'd never done before — draw with charcoal on paper. What fun!

I had ordered a set of various kinds of charcoal, and a pad of decent quality 12x16 watercolor paper. After viewing some drawings by Esteban Vicente, I realized that I been laboring until a false pretext. Early on, I thought that drawing had to be realistic. EV's work showed me that it colld be similar to abstract painting.

I like the charcoal sticks the best, but they are constantly breaking. The softest grade of compressed charcoal is good, and a wide bar-like piece is very good, especially for dragging along its side. The various charcoal pencils are uninteresting, as are the harder grades of compressed charcoal.

It is also a very messy process... but that's mostly okay.

Thursday, 23 January

As hoped for, ordering the new 66"x54" canvases released lots of creative energy, although it took perusing the EV book and a semi-dream state to get it going. So, similar to last Wed. night, at 11:30 I got up from bed, made my way to the studio and had an exhilarating time.

Contrary to my usual way of working, I used a brush and mixed soft gel gloss with paint and some water. Tthe ultramarine blue, when dry, created differing shades of greens against the cadmium yellow dark background, although the blue came through in the thicker areas.

The quinacridone crimson mostly maintained its hue, but there are lots of subtle semitones. It will be interesting to see where it goes from here.

Wednesday, 22 January

Well, Mercury has finally turned direct. No wonder I've been cranky and out-of-sorts, feeling underappreciated and overworked. Maybe now things will shift some.

Saturday, 18 January

Just went into the studio, with Diana, to view the most recent piece, which is finally complete, and had yet another epiphanous experience. It is a wonderful painting, a mirror of both the extraordinary experience I had the other night and a testament to staying with the process, no matter how much to-and-fro and gnashing of teeth, trusting that something beautiful will emerge in the end.

So I jumped up and down with joy, and shed many tears. Clearly it is in homage to Esteban Vicente, whom I have come to strongly feel overlights my painting in some way.

Wednesday, 15 January

I had a truly amazing experience last night, after perusing the Esteban Vicente book that had just arrived via interlibrary loan. Words obviously cannot fully express the experience, but I'll give it a try.

When I lay down in bed, I was filled with the energy of color, and imagined using different ones on a canvas. I also felt overlighted by his presence.

After awhile, I got up — around 11:30 or so — and went to my studio. I spent the next hour in an altered reality, yet I was very present physically as well. I was completely filled with an incredible light and energy, and it overflowed onto the canvas.

There were no questions, no groping, no projecting, no thinking — just moving with the flow of energy. I used ultramarine blue, cerulean blue, turquoise thalo light and cadmium red dark, each mixed with lots of soft and regular gel gloss. Working wet-in-wet, the strokes and movements simply flowed along with the paint onto the canvas.

Looking at it this morning, I am very pleased, although after ten hours the paint is still not completely dry. The piece clearly combines the qualities of Dragons and Births with the more recent Splash series — waves of colors undulating and vibrating.

But now, as usual, back to the so-called realities of this dimension, including dealing with a migraine headache.

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