Off to get my venom shot. Strange that by exposing oneself to poison in small doses one can ultimately be protected from it.
Rain falls from gray whispy clouds tangled in the trees. Yesterday had moments of sun and warmth. Today looks to be firmly enwrapped in gray.
Reading Robert Genn today about the focus of children on the “values” of society which are basically money. Aesthetics and the magic of skill did not seem to be of interest to the children that he interacted with. So much of today’s world is about self-publicity, of exposure one way or another and the ultimate payoff seems to be monetary rewards manifested in trinkets…. large trinkets such as cars, or in the sense of an aggrandized self. Why do we need to feel so large… because we feel so inadequate?
“Apparently, not everything is apparent, ” I said while spreading the bark mulch on the garden. “How can I allow myself to get away with that statement?” was the rhetorical thought. As I carefully spread the black chips and soil mounding over the ground, between the red flame tulips, my eyes were humming to themselves with delight at the heightened contrast. “Oh, No,” the soil built up like the layering of language. There was no escape. Mulch to think about.
One cannot get away from the mind, even in mindless moments.
Rain is teasing. I pick up the shed keys to go out and mow the lawn. It sprinkles. I put the key down and start to vacuum. The sun blasts in the window. I put the vacuum down and pick up the keys, the rain starts again. Nayah nayah nayah… the weather says.
Oh well, got the beds all tucked in with petunias and pots of flowers ready for the lush heat of summer. On to the warmth of my computer screen.
This is a national geographic, documentary film that is well worth watching. The theme is the division between the past cultural constructs of the Mongolian desert peoples and the new generation that craves television. The three generations of camel and goat raising people living in their yurts are a team. Every one in the family brings value, brings a skill set to the group to make the family a viable economic and social unit. However, toward the end of the film they are setting up the satellite dish that allows television and with it the “glass images” that the grandfather warns against.
I was very aware that I was watching this on a glass surface with images of a culture eroding because of passivity and control by the forces of consumerism. The life of the isolated nomads is clearly contrasted with the vision of the children in the local “town” who wrestle with one another aimlessly in the street, or ride bicycles around in circles in the civic structure that is twice desolate because it is perched in a desolate landscape, yet disconnected from that landscape by the buildings, motorcyles and bits of cement pavement.
It certainly gives the viewer something to ruminate upon. Sorry, watching the camels sort of got to me.
Interesting to see that the poll of the day on castanet.net is stirring up the fear of Mexico. Why not a poll about “are you afraid to stay home.” Given that most accidents and injuries occur within five kilometers of a person’s home and that the bathtub is one of the most hazardous places to enter, we should never return to our domiciles. Perhaps that would make us immortal. What do you think?
Soon I will put up the pictures I have of Europe on this site. The magical tour of galleries, seven cities and five countries has given us a lust for sensory stimulus. We are now consumers of variety and our appetites are whetted.
Anyone interested in environmental issues, urban development or green building will benefit from the insert green magazine in last week’s New York Times. Every item is instructive. Boston’s permeable cement walkways, San Francisco’s carbon footprint tracking, strategies for temporarily cooling until society catches up to the importance of individual decisions are all layered in the magazine. One person at a time strategies, city-wide legislative strategies and everything in between are addressed. Get a copy, go on line.
The car…. the last real addiction we have to break. How often we jump in the car and run to the store? We carefully purchase local, organic food taking it out of the store in cloth bags and recycle compost, containers, newspapers. We purchase clothing and household items at second hand stores and take anything we are no longer using to donate to a charity thrift shop…. but we do it in the car.
We see that the next step is to shift over to our lower gas guzzling truck for more trips. Why is it that attachments seem so long to dissolve? Wayne Dyer says we can just decide to become more…. whatever and it is done. But it is my experience that it is more a process of intention setting, dissolution of attachment and habit. It reminds me of when my daughter used to wrap her fingers around the railing on the crib to hold herself back from going to sleep. I had to unwrap her fingers one at a time. It is what we are doing…. one finger at a time.
So much creativity exists in Kelowna. What we are all hoping for is the creation of an arts destination. Working together in groups can raise the energy. We are here to help one another grow as artists and as business people. What an adventure!
I started an online group today Artistic Kelowna. It will be interesting to see where it goes.
As the Artists@Work group plans for the First Thursday Art Crawl on May 1st, prepares for the Life & Arts Festival; as Livessence gathers together works for the Lattitudes show; as I am getting pieces together to send to a show in Toronto and preparing two shows for this summer it looks deceptively quiet at the Rotary Centre. Underneath, all of this activity is going on.
My goal to have a gallery up on this site is awaiting my technical waterwings… support from the guy who knows these things. I am good at finding his shoes, he is good at finding me new software. Seems fair somehow in the great scheme of things.
I watched Oprah’s last installment last night, or rather listened as I painted some of the new works I am preparing for the Summerland show. The feeling of running in wet sand has been rather overwhelming lately. All of the people I know are working in a very concentrated and inspired manner on their art, hoping that eventually Kelowna will be perceived as a destination for art tourism.
We are hoping that once enough pieces of the puzzle are put together… the big picture will be the result.
And then, suddenly white water. It is as one shoots down the rocks, as foam fills the boat that the skill from previous moments is needed. Every time I sit meditation and re dedicate myself to living patiently and with compassion, I am building in the ability to step back and watch instead of getting caught up.
But still, those moments come when life feels out of control. Peril seems imminent and others around you are grabbing onto the delusional framework and closing out the sun. It is, I tell myself, in these moments that we all grow. The work is to welcome the tension and negativity, the exclusions, the perceived slights, the slings and arrows as moments of building strength. The lessons keep coming back.
It is very much like what we were told was “the answer” in education system of the late 70’s… it is very much like programmed learning. You cannot go any further until you get this step, this level…. and then. It doesn’t stop. There is always more, always another level.
The book Status Anxiety is a great book to read about how the games are played to ensure the illusion of power. In theatre, one of the games that we teach students is status play. There are so many subtleties that go into status games. The keeper of the keys, the exclusion of others from information, talking down, talking quickly and impatiently, talking slowly as if the other person is stupid and doesn’t understand. ( The last is one I have used all of my life to feel superior.) Verbally rolling your eyes by using sarcasm is another that many engage in.
The hardest part about being judgmental is that the main target for that constant assessing is … the self. It is like having a red pen and correcting one’s own actions ceaselessly. My intention is to leave this particular weakness behind. It is hard enough to be trying to negotiate the white water of life without having an interior voice carping and assessing about the weakness of technique. Hey, I am still in the boat and moving. Let us celebrate that.
Today I formed a group Canadian Artists on the Gather site in an attempt to begin networking with those whose interest encompasses mine although they themselves are far flung on compass points far from where I reside and live out my little circles of movement.
I am on the way to herding up all of my galleries and loading them with similar images and posting prices in order to market more effectively on line. Also, I need to take shots with the camera that show the texture on the surface of my work more effectively.
Last night I slept from ten until 9:30 this morning. The closest I have gotten to exercise was to watch the biggest loser while eating a bowl of pop corn smothered in butter.
I am restructuring my goals and attempting to cut out the fat in my daily schedule. Isn’t that good enough. The time a person can spend just drifting in a haze when one is tired. Better to just be unconscious than to live unconsciously, I am beginning to feel.
Today I have a curriculum to draw up, an image to prepare and a class to teach. Also, I need to get some publicity out about my classes in poetry.
I see Barcelona, Beijing and Massachusetts have been on my site. That is so cool. I love the feeling of connecting with people in other darkened computer rooms all over the world. It is kind of magical and creepy.
Off to finish my fruit compote in yogurt, hang the laundry in the sun and get to my studio.