Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Desert artwork

this first one is one i finished in early summer here in Boulder.
it is 16x20 and done with water mixable oils on stretched canvas.
seems to me to be the desert trickster - a little surrealist coyote spirit.

the desert trickster

this next one is the painting i am currently working on.
I am inspired by all of the faces i see in the rocks out here.
this is a kind of surrealist take on a navajo sandstone petrified dune thing.
lots of work to do still.
same dimensions and mediums as above painting

not finished

(note: the second painting did not see fruition and was painted over)

Monday, October 27, 2008

Farid

a few poems by Farid-U-Din-Attar
from "Fifty Poems of Attar" translated by Kenneth Avery and Ali Alizadeh

-

Love of the Beloved burned me like a candle, head to foot.
My soul-bird burned like a moth, wing and feather.

The fire of her love smoked my heart like aloes;
then her fire consumed both the smoke and the aloes.

A coal from her face fell into the desert:
both worlds burned like kindling from her ember.

I was to offer my soul to the soul-mate.
the Beloved outsmarted me; I got burnt.

There's nothing left of my blood or flesh, but ash;
the zealous fire burned me altogether.

When I scattered the ashes upon her street
the blaze of disdain struck and charred the remains.

So I said: I've been reduced to particles.
She said: That may be, but all particles shall burn.

In Attar's state of neither being nor not being,
neither doubt nor trust, the pious and the infidel both burn.

-


I got drunk at the tavern last night;
howling, dancing, drinking the wine-dregs.

As my heart's fervour topped the flagon
the fire of my heart brought it to the boil.

The Master of the Tavern heard my noise
and said: Enter, cloak wearing boy!

I told him: Master, how do you know me?
He said: Don't speak of yourself. Be quiet.

Take up the faith of the tavern swindlers.
Throw off your cloak and your prayer-mat.

Become the gambler, the thug, the dervish;
yell out abuse among the hoodlums.

Shed the ascetics' purity with scorn;
drink the lovers' wine-dregs with pleasure.

Tear the mask of metaphors from your eyes;
take the cotton of reproach out of your ears.

You aren't you while you're at peace with yourself.
Rip down your veil and wrangle with yourself.

The depth of your heart is an endless world.
face the direction of that world attentively.

Attar's treasure for one hundred souls.
How much would you pay for it, jewel-seller?

the upward climb

So, today has been productive so far.
Paycheck to the bank...then setting the stage.
Ordered a bunch of art supplies - canvas panels, acrylic gel medium for my sand art, stretched canvas, a box of pastels, pastel paper pad.... gotta make sure i have supplies for the creative season, ya know.
Then i went on over to amazon to see what i could find to help with research for my book.
One of the main threads of my book will be basing it off of the 7 valleys in Farid - Uddin Attar's Conference of the Birds. I discovered that there is a newer rendition of those valleys called The Seven Valleys by Baha'u'llah. then i found some pretty promising teleportation research materials.
maybe this book will have a little more hard science in it than i thought it would.
it feels good to be getting things lined up for some projects.
Now i want to actually do some creating today too.
what i am not sure yet.
but i will figure it out.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

questions

so, what exactly am i doing?
over the last several days i have been asking myself this and having to look back and face some questions that i have yet to really answer.
What was my real reason for moving to Utah?
The original trip i took which brought me here enraptured me.
This landscape is truly marvelous beyond belief.
but i have been caught up in it too much.
Hiking has become obsession, and while thoroughly enjoyable, I'm afraid i have let it move me away from my creative side a bit too much.

I've always had difficulties focusing on projects.
I am great at manifesting ideas, but putting them into action can be a different thing altogether.
some of you know of the book project. the idea has existed for a couple of years now and i have all of 652 words written. not good.
I have not created art in months, nor music. one song at Arches (plus a remix of it) and one song here in Boulder.
I started a new medium with my art at Arches, but have not continued it here.yet.
though i have painted one and a half paintings since coming to boulder.
the slow season is now upon us out here, and i will have much more time for these things, yet i find myself not really feeling i have the proper workspace to do them in.

There has been a great amount of escape involved in all of this.
Escape from Chicago - from a job that i did not like and did me very little good, from relationship/friendship patterns that caused inner turmoil and unanswered things, from high financial burdens.
but there has been a great cost as well.
until very recently, i'd been pretty much alone and on my own here in Boulder. it was not until a week ago that i even stepped into the house of another Boulderian.
a sad sad thing.
The last few weeks though, have brought a great friendship that i cherish. yet i need to make sure that i do not overcompensate for the time alone.
don't get me wrong, time spent with this wonderful new compadre is time extremely well spent. i love it.
but I'm still feeling that something big is missing here for me.
It could be the uneasiness I have about my own creativity.
there is an element of missing the types of psychological, philosophical and spiritual discussion i had in Chicago as well.
those are the very things that drive me and i thrive on, and to not have that kind of connection here is proving difficult. it is not that i believe i will not find it here, but that i have not yet found it.
I feel it is so great that people here are so 'of the earth' yet that is only half of what i need. I'm also a man of the 'quantum world' of the 'great evolution'
the more i've found my own awareness and become more critical in my thinking and feeling, the more i have found myself outside of any particular cultural group.

I remember back in the late nineties when Stacie and I met with this goofy 'monk' woman named Bovany. She told us some new agey stuff that was interesting yet a bit full of fluff. when she had my birthtime (sidenote: when another guy did my chart, i remember him giving me the strangest look and saying he had not really seen a chart like it before also said my mid thirties would be a time of intense change - which they were and have been) and looked at my chart, she mentioned how i am one that is meant to connect- i am inbetween. and that is truly how i feel a times. there is such an art to learning how to help people connect, to connect ideas, philosophies, etc. it can be rather taxing. it is one of the few things in life that i feel obsessed about - at least the ideas and beliefs part.
that is supposedly the reason for writing my book. i can;t seem to find a forum for myself outside of that.
anything online just gets me riled up in ways i do not feel are healthy because posting on threads just gets out of control and most do not take the time to really read what the words say and just react. discussion boards get heated.
sometimes it is very difficult to be one who thinks and speaks outside of the box.
people tend to not want to hear it.
living in a place where i can't really get a lot of feedback doesn't help when it comes to dealing with debate and such either. there is simply not the discourse that is needed for me to be able to refine and practice that kind of interaction. and i do not really want to do it on the web.
i would much rather do it in person. there is too much to body language and intonation that is not expressed in written words.
(yet i think about writing a book - crazy , eh?)

I guess i am feeling a bit lost.
I can;t really get a vision for what is to come. Would there be another place i would like to live? if so, how to make that happen? how to have the funds needed? getting a new job in this current economy?
Boulder has been able to provide what i need to survive without any surplus. a lot of that is due to having to replace things this year - cellphone - car, computer.
Heck i think i've only made about 7 grand so far this year.

with things winding down here in Boulder, i simply wonder how winter will be.
it is going to be a test. the 3 restaurants close (not that i go to them often), the seasonal people leave and it pretty much closes up. fund will dry out too - as i will be down to about 20 to 25 hours of work a week.
that makes for great time to work on those creative projects though.
I simply wish that i felt inspired towards them.
it is as if i have finally come to some existentialist nihilistic point that i swore i would never come to. i am having trouble finding any real meaning or purpose behind any of these activities. entertaining myself with them is just not enough.
i suppose this means that i am at a blank slate as well and can create whatever meaning i want to.
i'm just feelin kind of.... stuck.
feeling i need to visit a larger place as well. i have not been in a place bigger than Moab (5,000) since march. and before that it had been since october.

hard to believe i have been out here for a year already.

I am sure i will figure it all out, i always do somehow, at least enough to get me goin until the next questions arise.

i feel as if i have to temper myself too much here.i can't be myself full blown. i think it would scare people- or maybe, for the first time in my life, make enemies or people who really do not like me (not that i do things to be liked, but in a town of 200, better to have a good relationship with most of the town - especially in UT)
truth is that i find that the kind of thought i espouse and practice is not necesarily welcome anywhere, especially in an election year like this one.
I've developed a very low tolerance for political self righteousness on any side.
I personally do not think people are really prepared for what is to come, a change that will be beyond belief and will have nothing to do with politics. another reason for my book - and no i am not new agey about some damn 2012 we are all going to the center of the galaxy crap. plus i am one of those batards that would refuse to go and stay behind to help those that could not make it due to their lack of spiritual evolution or whatever. funny how those that think they are going find that their spiritual evolution that earns them the right includes abandoning the rest of humanity. sounds a bit selfish if you ask me and not very holy.
but i digress...
I've got monday off and i've gotta find something good to do with it.
too bad i have no ideas beside 'hike'

I've got a Rumi book on the way this week, so that will be good medicine.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

accept

A door
A door
Always a door
Where does it lead?
So many moments spent on the threshold
Alas!
I walk through
Once more!

That dark hallway
Fills with light
Upon my first step
How did I doubt?
How could I?
When every single step
Has brought more than before!

It matters not where that doorway leads
Open places of light
Or dark caverns
My torch burns bright and
I bring light there!
Everywhere!

To grasp is to lose
The choice is there
To be awake
Or to snooze
Which will it be?
I ask myself reflectively.

Aha!
What is this?
Some experience of Bliss
Tinged with desire’s despair
One more thing to overcome
In this lair.

A labyrinth of intrigue
Of questions unanswered
Expanding contractions
Will I remain centered?

Awareness teases me
As I ache for that
Un-namable
Infinite feeling
Which only comes when one lets go
And walks with The Friend
Hand in hand.

The transient, the here-now
Reflecting that infinity
Reminding me of
The Great One
The taste of Love
Which permeates all things
If only we have eyes to see,
Ears to hear,
Skin to touch.

Nothing is excepted
All inclusive being
How can there be poison
When The Friend is All Things?
Ah, the choices
The questions,
The dreams and desires
How they lead to suffering-
That razor which cuts away
All of the dross.
To embrace that which brings
Suffering, change,
Questions and complications
Leads straight into the storm
Of evolving expression.

How can I deny that which
Propels me into the deepest realms?
My inner complexity confounds me in
A world of simplicity.

The desert winds ripping the unneeded flesh
From my bones
Exposing my soul,
The core of my being
Do you have eyes to see?
or are you simply another somnambulist
Who chooses the shore instead of the ocean deep?

Does my mixture of metaphors confuse?
Confound?
So be it!
For I am everywhere and all times!
Awakening in every moment from my walk of slumber.
Over and over
As my humanity dances
With that divine spark
In a heliacal dance upwards
Towards the Heavens.

Such a beautiful
Bittersweet inner torment
To behold beauty beyond compare
Held at arm’s length
Able to observe, to drink it all in,
Yet not to commune
In the fullest degree.

I ask too much of this world,
Yet never enough
The Fire!
Let it burn all I see and touch
with It’s Golden Light
transforming the base into
the refined.

Everywhere I Look
I taste,
I breathe,
It fills me

I cannot deny this beautiful gift
This life I have been given.
Gifts have been trampled, abandoned
And dismissed
NO MORE!
The Friend’s Divine Wine flows forth from me!
It matters not if a single soul
Does see
The cork has been removed
Richness flows forth
And I will fill every cup
Which is held beneath my stream.

Simply take notice.
Come, partake,
For I cannot hold it in another day!
I shall not fit into the expected,
The common,
The veil set forth by so many men.
Tis the gift I have been given
And I accept.
Do you?

current obsessions

gonna try to regularly update y'all on my tastes or what i am ingesting at least...

Currently reading/just read and going to read soon:

Nine Kinds of Naked by Tony Vigorito

Paul of Dune by Brian Herbert and Kevin J. Anderson
River of Gods by Ian McDonald>
The Garden of Heaven - Poems of Hafiz (Dover Thrift Edition)


currently listening to:

Caribou - Up in Flames & The Milk of Human Kindness
The Books - The Lemon of Pink
The Politik - s/t
Swervedriver - Mezcal Head
The Verve - Forth

other obsessions and pleasurable things:
hanging with my great friend Kandis,
hiking the north end of Calf Creek Canyon,
exploring Dry Hollow,
developing creative ideas for winter.

thoughts

so, i may actually try to post a few more pics on this blog...update people on hikes and such.
I've pretty much been posting all of that stuff over at Flickr, but it wouldn't hurt to put a few random photos or hiking stories on here too.

I can feel the fall changes coming on and it feels sooo goood....

here are a few random pics from recent hikes:

on a saddle between dry hollow and boulder creek
more hoodoo action
volcanic toadstool in dry hollow
volcanic toadstool
iron concretion capped hoodoo in dry hollow
hoodoo
side canyon east of calf creek canyon looking towards the escalante river
looking towards the entrance of the canyon
ol' sleepy head in side canyon off of escalante river
sleepy head

Saturday, October 11, 2008

inverted seasons

the high desert
canyons of solid sand
silence
bringing one to gaze
at an internal mirror.

solitude
disconnected from the world
in ways unexpected and
liberating.

loneliness sprouts it's head above the dry ground
once and again
reminding me of the importance
of connections...
...they come randomly
and unexpected
a reversal of seasons-
fall comes and with it
a meeting of souls

a cornucopia of overflowing compliments
i feast as if it is my last meal
have i been starving all of this time
and simply not noticing?

many things falling away
making room for more
problems come and fade away
money thrown out the door
yet what is this i see come in
a wealth beyond compare
replacing gifts with things earned
walking a razor of have and have not
placing value where it deserves to be placed.
not simply where it is desired.

my inner self fruits in winter
in the cold months
after being basked in the sun of summer
out on the hot slickrock slopes
and deep canyons
in those places of silence
where only the wind, the sound of the avians
skittering lizards, my own footsteps
my breathing and beating heart
dance across my eardrums.
a gentle rhythm nurturing all of that
creation growing inside.
letting those thoughts float
in the background of my subconscious mind
knitting together their own stories.

they are sprouting
as the cold blustery winds of fall move in.
with only a moons phase or two
until the time is ripe
and the fruits are available to be expressed
in this physical world.

it only feels right that a new source of support
reveals itself at its proper time
unexpected and feeding my fire.
with simple words, a deeply felt look,
a wonderful smile.

the desert is a wonderful place, my friends,
if one is willing to face ones self
without most of the distractions of modern life.
one has to face it all out here.
and one has to face nothing at all.
a beautiful contradictory examination of life.

spend some time in a place like this,
and all of a sudden the absurdity of most of civilization
can't be ignored.

I'm glad i took this risk.
this new life is rich beyond belief,
and so am I.