Thursday, December 28, 2017

Thursday, December 21, 2017


Despite being laden with grief and many tasks, a few opportunities arise and I seize them.  I look forward to future projects.  This is no different from my typical outlook, which seeks the long view.  I find ways to move around obstacles.

The golden waxing sliver of a lunar cup is in the low southeast and is especially beautiful on this very long night.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


It seems like an eternity, but it has been especially pronounced for a year: each day has had dismaying WTF moments of disbelief. These past few months with hurricanes, earthquakes, local fires, and friends succumbing to illness are especially trying.  And it is difficult to understand what is the truth of a situation.

Each episode is a reminder of how fragile our connections are.  At this time I have only a few that I am able to spend time reinforcing, allthewhile knowing that they could be severed at any moment.

"How are you? how are things going?" is met with "I look over to the horizon to remind me why this is important, especially when I begin to feel burdened or discouraged by immediate circumstances."

Each day has a moment of surrender and ensuing resurrection.

It is helpful to write down instructions for others so that current intentions can be fulfilled.

Sunday, October 29, 2017


Life is for the living.
Death is for the dead.
Let life be like music.
And death a note unsaid.

-Langston Hughes

Monday, October 23, 2017

Words, no words

Orpheus, Eurydice, Hermes
Rainer Maria Rilke
translated from the German by Stephen Mitchell
That was the deep uncanny mine of souls.
Like veins of silver ore, they silently
moved through its massive darkness. Blood welled up
among the roots, on its way to the world of men,
and in the dark it looked as hard as stone.
Nothing else was red.

There were cliffs there,
and forests made of mist. There were bridges
spanning the void, and that great gray blind lake
which hung above its distant bottom
like the sky on a rainy day above a landscape.
And through the gentle, unresisting meadows
one pale path unrolled like a strip of cotton.

Down this path they were coming.

In front, the slender man in the blue cloak--
mute, impatient, looking straight ahead.
In large, greedy, unchewed bites his walk
devoured the path; his hands hung at his sides,
tight and heavy, out of the falling folds,
no longer conscious of the delicate lyre
which had grown into his left arm, like a slip
of roses grafted onto an olive tree.
His senses felt as though they were split in two;
his sight would race ahead of him like a dog,
stop, come back, then rushing off again
would stand, impatient, at the path's next turn,--
but his hearing, like an odor, stayed behind.
Sometimes it seemed to him as though it reached
back to the footsteps of those other two
who were to follow him, up the long path home.
But then, once more, it was just his own steps' echo,
or the wind inside his cloak, that made the sound.

He said to himself, they had to be behind him;
said it aloud and heard it fade away.
They had to be behind him, but their steps
were ominously soft. If only he could
turn around, just once (but looking back
would ruin this entire work, so near
completion), then he could not fail to see them,
those other two, who followed him so softly:

The god of speed and distant messages,
a traveler's hood above his shining eyes,
his slender staff held out in front of him,
and little wings fluttering at his ankles;
and on his left arm, barely touching it: she.

A woman so loved that from one lyre there came
more lament than from all lamenting women;
that a whole world of lament arose, in which
all nature reappeared: forest and valley,
road and village, field and stream and animal;
and that around this lament-world, even as
around the other earth, a sun revolved
and a silent star-filled heaven, a lament-
heaven, with its own, disfigured stars--:
So greatly was she loved.

But now she walked beside the graceful god,
Her steps constricted by the trailing graveclothes,
uncertain, gentle, and without impatience.
She was deep within herself, like a woman heavy
with child, and did not see the man in front
or the path ascending steeply into life.
Deep within herself. Being dead
filled her beyond fulfillment. Like a fruit
suffused with its own mystery and sweetness,
she was filled with her vast death, which was so new,
she could not understand that it had happened.

She had come into a new virginity
and was untouchable; her sex had closed
like a young flower at nightfall, and her hands
had grown so unused to marriage that the god's
infinitely gentle touch of guidance
hurt her, like an undesired kiss.

She was no longer that woman with blue eyes
who once had echoed through the poet's songs,
no longer the wide couch's scent and island,
and that man's property no longer.

She was already loosened like long hair,
poured out like fallen rain,
shared like a limitless supply.

She was already root.

And when, abruptly,
the god put out his hand to stop her, saying,
with sorrow in his voice: He has turned around--,
she could not understand, and softly answered

Far away,
dark before the shining exit-gates,
someone or other stood, whose features were
unrecognizable. He stood and saw
how, on the strip of road among the meadows,
with a mournful look, the god of messages
silently turned to follow the small figure
already walking back along the path,
her steps constricted by the trailing graveclothes,
uncertain, gentle, and without impatience.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017


Curate, Critique, Create

Collect, display, and try to make some sense to convey an arc of development set in a context imposed and biased by the selections.

Based on a context and bias (personal and ignorant), have an opinion on a work that was created by another.  Usually developed by a person with very little knowledge in the process, or by a person with  a methodology already in mind.

Play, explore edges, inquire, and bring rules and non-rules into the development of an opus.  Can involve collaboration with others who have some similarity of approach, and even with this initial affinity, can have an outcome that could not have been predicted at the beginning of the partnership.

...distilled from what has been brewing lately, and recently reinforced.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017


or Hughs.

Picking them up in a "last effort" before the last class in dye-ing.  But who is to say this is the "last effort?", I remind myself.  Tap into receptive resources and share share share.

The passing of recent influencers has got me back on vinyl and ivory: listening and re-creating.  In conjunction with recent readings and correspondence received (goodness you can't possibly make this juicy stuff up!! tabloid news is not so far from past-real life, for some people), this material melds with my other interests and "day-job" to make a very enriching experience.

Unfortunately there are numerous fires and displaced friends I need to tend to.  These come first.

Saturday, September 16, 2017


When the altitude of flying or settling in mountains makes me short of breath, I sit to read.  I am currently savoring the nuance of Barthes between bouts of hand-crafting and sketching. A note on the Barthes: had to put it down for a bit after reading the forward that set the context, then again after reading Barthes's explanation of the structure, then again after reading here and there, then again after devising a structure that may guide me through the reading.

Sunday, September 10, 2017


...reveling in it despite the missing voice and the stress of seeing the earth shake, winds blow and suck and push water, fires consume vast acreage, and arrogant ones thrash around and take up valuable space and time.

I made an inadvertent presentation of "coals to Newcastle" this afternoon in the Bay Area culinary world, and I think I survived, thanks to my pure ignorance.  Got a flat tire in the process and the 2 who came to assist were adept and fast.  Yeah, I told myself I could have done it on my own but there is nothing wrong with calling for assistance and having the pros do it.

The weekend has been spent with the memory that I have 5 skeins of a particular yarn.  The house exploded then come back to order quickly as I looked for the yarn, without success.  However, more consolidation and inventory (goodness, I have so much...) has been taken in the process.

I accepted an invitation to participate in a fiber event.

Meanwhile I continue to watch the beacon and light that I was raised on slowly wane, marking the end of an era.  Time for the next generation to pick up the mantle.

Filters are more refined with each month and year, as time becomes more limited.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017


Wished I were with others elsewhere,
yet solace is found
in immersing myself in the movement.
We each lift our burdens alone, so I have
returned to this place of mine.
Drove back from holiday and
saw those who continue to
labor without the benefit of the holiday.
Saw tears from those betrayed,
as I have also felt betrayed at times,
more recently through
heritage and my story of how I came to
reap the fruits of this land of
opportunity.  Meanwhile others, from their
privileged perches, sail through the clouds.

On another note, art experienced from
galleries and essential commentary was
marred by a supplementary presentation
not well organized nor edited for the
time allotment.  Too bad because a better use
of my time would have been to re-visit
the artist's work in the gallery.

Was depressed as hell, but reminded myself that
this is not tumblr (if you've seen, you know that proclivity).
Lifting off with rejuvenation.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

To focus

Remind me next time:
Limit the realm of possibilities to those that will support and contribute.
Stay off the electronics and the fascinating nesting doors that lead to unfulfillment.
Know that the housework will still need to be done.
Print the hardcopy, lay it out, and scribble away.
Assemble, mix, layout, and edit again.

Got the monkey off my back after days of postponing, fretting,
and tending to other tasks:
memorizing a poem,
sewing 6 semi-dresses,
baking 2 loaves of bread,
preparing 2 substantial meals and restoring the kitchen each time,
wondering why other interests have not been more deeply explored.

and yet, and yet a sense of being adrift

until I hear the voice and feel the rhythm running through my hands again

Monday, August 21, 2017


Get off the damn computer and take a two-hour time-out.

An early Fall mid-morning, with so much fog and overcast conditions that the sun's location was a mystery unless you knew this place earlier.   As the moon began to cover the sun, the sky became slightly darker as though a storm was approaching.  The air became very quiet.  More quiet than usual at this time?  we don't know, but we heard birds, people, and traffic one hour later, far off in the distance, which created stark audio relief to the quieter darkening sky.  As the sky changed, the silence pressed in with the darkness.  When the sky lightened to the glare of overcast conditions, birds began to fly again.  A flock of crows flew to the tall (they must be at least 30 feet) trees in the distance, several blocks down the street.  A hummingbird chirped as it drew from flowers near me.  I returned to my reading, then departed soon afterward.

Time to hit the water soon.

Thursday, August 17, 2017


News of the sudden collapse and death of someone close in age and temperament reminds me to savor all that is in this life.  No (well, only a few) regrets.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017


In a meeting, seated in the audience, the arrival from a side door, walking through the aisle to sit beside me, started writing in a notebook as I wrote in mine, then we traded books, and after writing in the other's, traded again.  We arose and departed the meeting at the same time, without many spoken words between us. We walked together and said we did not need to leave each other again, because the space needed for our selves was already provided, and space for the other would be constantly attended.  At another location I wrote as you sketched, and we traded media twice again.  And later that evening I sculpted while you read your words to me.

Friday, July 14, 2017


What is the term
when the experience
strikes a chord,
when the immersion
of sights
or sounds
slices to your core
and you identify with
and meld with the other
without losing your self;
when suddenly there is not
enough air to breathe
and the aura of the experience
encompasses the universe?

The term has qualities
of being moved,
and transcendence.

Monday, June 26, 2017


Writing to a kindred spirit sorts thoughts and brings clarity to several recurring issues.  Kindred is one who is willing to listen and inquire with the intention of exploring perspectives and understanding.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

A day

Sometimes churning for future events becomes overwhelming.  Had a semi-comatose day of being overwhelmed, and spent the day in and out of this world, encountering the snake who spoke to me from a corner of the dark cold room, and doing everything except the thing that needs to go out to other people.  Now I sit to focus and dispatch that task.

Yeah!! done!! time to eat, and eat well!!

On to the loom to set order to chaotic strings.
Is this the party to whom I am speaking?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017


Today's slice: resolving to be the attentive gatekeeper who allows only quality material to pass outside.  Exhausting but gratifying work to see a better product after running it through coarse then finer sieves of scrutiny.  Much sleep has been lost and the mental state is sharp - on edge, more likely.  I remind myself to respond slowly so that I don't alarm others around me.

Meanwhile the garden does not wait and has been moving at its own pace.  Daily progress appears slow but now I need to begin and finish a preparatory task before reaping and using material that comes only once a year.  How many more "once a year" events will come to me?  There is much to do with fewer seasons of time.

Sunday, May 14, 2017


A stranger (yet who seemed familiar to me) seeking reception dropped in last week, and I said I would learn and carry her information for her.  Don't know why I obligated myself but this seems to be something I can do.  Will not forget the relieved look in her eyes as she recognized some affinity and mutual trust between us after I made the commitment.  Later in the week another visitor dropped by after a long absence, seeking some type of re-connection.   Interesting that what was said reflected their version of the past that was very different from what I thought was happening at the time.

Sunday, May 7, 2017


No images do justice to the sea.

And our moon dances with Jupiter and its moons tonight.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Ask Alice

What do you do to ease the ache?  perhaps you drink to ease the pain? perhaps you drink to try to forget? But drinking makes you remember more. 

How do you break the cycle? 

Writing has been cathartic but memories flood back and there are times when companionship would be most welcome. Someone to share portions of life and thoughts with. 

Maybe 5 mg will help.

Sunday, April 30, 2017


for my foreign correspondents:
Yeah I took my day of leisure and went through the sacred ritual, cuz that's how we roll. Also put doughs on hold in the cooler.

This morning's sequential bakes yielded very different results - kitchen lab notes will follow with some images, perhaps.  And I read a book from one who claims not to be a writer, but a story-teller.  How true this is - laughter and tears during the morning bake, between bouts of prep and cleanup.  Going to hear some early music this afternoon.  In this region, some of the most vibrant performances are in that genre.

Need to get back to editing the material gathered by others.  Creating cohesion has been left in my hands.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Sunday, April 16, 2017


Recovery occurs when the burdens are lifted.  Or does one rise above the burden.  Are troubles lifted or does one find the orbital energy needed to escape from and break the bonds.

Some people are set and determined to be martyrs or victims.  Don't let them injure you when you sit alongside quietly.  Comes a time when it's best to leave them to gnaw at themselves.  Of course, they would be most receptive to you, when you take special notice of them.  Do they see the trail of others you tended to and moved away from once they asked more from you?

Despite the malleable state of emotions, they always come into their own.  It's a wonder to watch, especially as they share their blossoming with you.  Once they open, though, the mystery becomes mundane and ordinary.  Time to move on.

Saturday, April 15, 2017


He considered leaving everything he had to start anew.  The vision was so rosy and clear at the time.

A few years later, a major commitment fell away and he cast his cards in the air and a few fluttered to opportunities on another continent.  He pursued them while he notified the domestics that he was prepared to move away.

And now another rare opportunity has arisen.  This one to pursue an area of interest, not of his vocation or formal training.

He never asked for any of these - they offered themselves - he was emphatic about this.  Will anything move him from where he became comfortable?  Not likely.  He found that he could depart and return without ever leaving his chair.

Monday, April 10, 2017


Silence between one sound and another.
A soak between events.
The room experienced.
A charming gap.
Growth of a garden from winter's barren chill to lush warmth of a false spring.
Leaps from the known to free-fall plunges.
A breath taken between obligations.
The hole punched in the night sky.

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Fools' Day

A few of us were rehearsed through the program, and when the leader departed for another place I ran through the routine with the dance and sung phrases and got stuck in so many places.  I had not mastered the material. The leader came back with a knowing look in her eyes and ran each of us through the routine, individually.  I was in the middle of the lineup and performed worse than I expected.

My former partner came close to me and told me to hug her before she departed.  I stood behind her and wrapped my right arm around her body while my left arm was entangled in a cord.  She weightlessly stayed with me, and when I needed to use my right arm I kept it around her, refusing to let her go, while I received surprised looks from the group.

“Can I call you at this number?” she asked, and she showed me the 5xx-5xx-xxx9 number, I looked at the black rotary phone near the table and saw it had the same number so I agreed, then I released her and she dissolved, smiling as she disappeared.

The older one came in and said she had to tell me something.  We stood, forehead to forehead and she intuited, without words, that she was ejected from the place.  I was shocked.  “Who forbade you to enter?” She uttered a highly unlikely name, or I could have mis-heard it.  She blustered with her egoistic flair as she began to depart, and I was shocked and sad to see her go.  Regardless of her behavior, I felt that her departure signaled the demise of the place.  I hung my head as I joined another iteration of the routine, and although my mind was elsewhere, I performed without a hitch.

As the group left the room I picked up dirty clothes left behind by the two who departed.  I bid them good riddance as I resented picking up after them again.  This would be the last bittersweet favor for them.

Can you please stop the noise, I am trying to sleep.  I am exhausted. 

Sunday, March 19, 2017


Loves company when he himself invites them, but not when others bring them over.  Very conditional that way.  His way, at his convenience, preferably via remote access and on a whim, so that he is always in demand.  Too tiresome to actually interact with them, blemishes and all, on a regular basis.  He has his well-tended nest to settle into, and the world remains outside until invited in under his very peculiar terms.

Cranky AF.  The current climate erodes the thick skin needed to move forward.  Each slight becomes an abrasion and the collection of them becomes too numerous to tend to, so he succumbs and gives up on the weekends.

This weekend, though, a few pre-organized commitments took him outside.  Eyes were checked and dilated on the sunniest afternoon of the week.  It was so dismaying when the letters on the eye chart could not be read through the left eye.  So no response was given.  "I feel like I'm going to fail this test," he explained to the doctor.  The doctor smiled and said, "Actually, there is no grade.  There is no right or wrong answer, so do your best.  Everyone gets the same grade."  The mood lightened, and after a good laugh, wild-ass guesses based on knowledge of the shapes of letters and numbers flew out as responses.  After the appointment he stumbled through the nearby market to pick up a few items because there was nothing at home in the kitchen.  After unpacking the grocery bag at home he laid down.  His brain was exhausted trying to compensate for his ever-failing eyes.

He awoke from a short nap, in a depressed mood.  He was so hungry and dinner still needed to be prepared.  He also had an appointment to meet a young composer.  Why did he even say he would go to meet him?  Oh yes, to encounter a new experience.  A few general questions based on no knowledge of the composer were assembled as he prepared comfort food: chicken stew and rice.

At the coffee shop, the composer, who looked startlingly young (everyone looks young to you now, you with the feeble eyes), an even older patron who seemed to know too much about music, and a young woman were seated at an outdoor table.  The conversation was led by the older patron who favored tonality and probed the composer's statement of his piece that veered away from that mode.  The feeble-eyed one asked two questions during the session, each one met by the older patron with "that's a good question!"  Hold your values to yourself, old man, the blind one said silently to the patron.  The composer mentioned balancing the high and low sound ranges of the orchestra.  During the rest of the conversation the composer was nearly apologetic - "There will be some periods of silence during the piece.  Some people might like this, some people might hate it."

Later the composer briefly addressed the audience and advised them to "listen with your gut."  The piece opened with two fists banging on a base drum as though it was a barrier or door.  Sound textures with deep throbbing undercurrents followed.  Where were the silences the composer spoke of?  There they were, brief and just enough to let the blind one absorb what just passed before the next onslaught to the barrier arrived.  Listen with your gut, indeed, because this was a visceral experience.

Young one, embrace your statement.  There will always be critics, and it is possible that I will be one in the future, too.  But tonight you helped this blind one see a warm ray of light.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Sunday, February 26, 2017


Entered the Chinese grocery seeking liniment, but the first aisle I entered contained kitchenware, laundry, and cleaning tools.  And I, always looking for the good bargain and taking pride in tools, carefully examined all that was offered and began gathering items because they were useful.  Also took note of other items and supplies that will be needed as I begin to explore other interests (to be told later).

Slap-slap-slap - focus on the original purpose of this jaunt.  I went to a cashier, an older asian woman, and asked where I would find the liniment, but she shook her head, indicating non-comprehension to my question posed in English.  I rubbed my elbow and she directed me to aisle 3 with 3 fingers.

I went to aisle 3, which contained kitchenware, laundry, and cleaning tools.
Maybe the cashier thought I wanted to bathe myself.

I went through the rest of the store, aisle by aisle, yet could not find toiletries or other items to alleviate aches (where is the aspirin?).  Maybe the asian diet is so good that none of these items are needed?

I approached another shopper, a middle-aged asian woman, and asked if she might know where the liniment might be located.  Her red-rimmed eyes were watery and she quickly shook her head and pushed her cart down the aisle.  I wondered if she was under duress, and my aches disappeared as I followed my imagination of her being yelled at each morning, and events of her abused, distressed life.

I found a younger cashier and asked her my question, and she pointed to a locked glass-faced cabinet at the front of the store and said that I should point to the product I seek.  So they keep this product under lock and key, like cigarettes and other substances that might "walk" away!  Found my liniment, paid for it (along with something for the kitchen), and departed.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Before noon

At the table next to me sat two older men who ordered red wine and shots of vodka with their pastrami sandwiches.  Another table next to me ordered a glass of red with his soup and salad.  And I sat, eating my eggs and hash and drinking my hot chocolate, ordered because I had too much coffee already.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


Saw signs of one, unlikely in this cold weather, but there it was, on its rounds.  Went from place to place, gathering what it could while looking for the affinities it could create a bond with.  Simple.