Wednesday, January 26, 2011


I am really surprised to find someone who is incapable of wrapping their heads around the concept of the universality of soul, I would find it unnerving to think that we are all of us divided by our souls rather than joined to Soul. Curiously though I am able to begin to pin down when that idea took hold, that we are all "Us" and the rest are "Them". The walls that some have built are as formidable as the ones which encircled Berlin and now Gaza. And perhaps for the same reasons. If a portion of the Humanity believes that the Many are, in fact, at the Essence One, and a portion believe that the concept of individual Souls created by the One is Truth, is there an equation to find a Law to encompass both Truths?

Clearly, the answer is Yes. but a lot will not like it, they can't wrap their heads around the idea. I believe that Adam and Eve suffered from this when they ate of the Tree of Knowledge and discovered a lot all at once. They were in shock, as I have been from time to time at an "AH" moment. So the tendency is to take it slow and await for a little aha moment. I favor sudden smart blows to the mind. Like a mace. The mace is short and to the point and it means what it says. So is an enlightenment, but lately we are bombarded throughout our daily lives with other people telling us what to think, how we think and why we all want to get laid. Or sometimes NOT get laid. But to take it slow can just prolong and delay the inevitable shift in thinking.

Imagine the Milky Way Galaxy with the center mass and the streaming arms. They cluster around a central arm and the whole pattern is repeated down until the Solar System with it's streaming planets, comets and meteors. It's what they call fractal. Now imagine that each bit of each bite is a personality or epiphany of that fractal pearl. That's Us and the other bites are Them. And that's the Truth. However, that set of bites, their Truths and their planet, are all bits of the Galaxy, the Milky Way, named after a very old story of a Cow who licked the icy brine to create Gods. Someone kicked the bucket. That Cow, those briny Gods and Goddesses all are part of a Pantheon of a Society filled with Functionalities and Celebrities and Administrations and Corporations and All of those are Persons under the Law, which we assert, Rules All.

I actually do not enjoy working in a union shop because I am forced to send part of my check to administer the rest of the money they take. I prefer to work alone, mostly, alone. So I understand the allure of thinking ones soul was unique and alone from all the Other souls, yet we have to admit that Soul and soul do look a lot alike. Something there...It's as if one were a pattern for the other. Like a fractal looks like the Milky Way, or the black spots on a cow in a field wanting to get milked.

I make no apologies for having borrowed from several sources to construct what I feel helps the whole AHA moment work. For example: you can only see a certain range of light waves and only feel a few more. It's not nearly enough to cover the full spectrum, so how reasonable is it to say you "see" something? Yet we do, and we mostly know what Others mean when they say they See something too. You can wear goggles to see into the infra-red ranges and see things you never saw before. In that universe things can blend together if their heat ranges are the same, if they have empathy for one another you might say. Like a warm sheet and a warm body, they can be said to have blended in a way, into a red-yellow spot. That would be a true vision and would convey a Truth. When we shake hands, or kiss, or slap, or strangle we merge in some level and become one form, maybe several levels.  If I had a person whose goggles had been strapped on for some time they would no doubt be having interesting thoughts. Suppose we upped the ante and tossed in ultra-violet? merge the two visions and what would we see then when two people or more touched?

Naturally if someone had never heard of nor seen infrared goggles they could not be faulted for not being able to wrap their minds around the idea that at various levels we are all linked as a common Being, the One, and yet we are also capable of, as this Infinite Being Knows, Being in a very small bite of the Cosmic Muffin. The difficulty is when people cannot find it in their hearts to admit they cannot see into the infrared and insist that heat does not "radiate" and there are no fields of amorphous blobs in amazing colors which not only surround us, but which link us to every other living thing, although it would include a lot of what we might call "inanimate" but which a Shinto believer would suggest it had a Soul. Big stones in the sun, for instance would certainly blend into a person's field when near. What does this mean, what lesson does it contain? Don't try to touch a big hot rock.

And beyond the Milky Way are other galaxies which do what they do so well, they spin like Dervishes around one another, getting dizzy and losing themselves in the Dance. I too am lost in a dance, in a trance, seeing things which others do not, and don't we All?

Friday, January 21, 2011

On the loss of Memory

Virtually everyone knows about the loss of short term memory. They heard about it when they started smoking weed and when they did other less civilized ways of dealing with short term sexual tension. But then there's Age and it brings with you short term memory loss and immediate memory loss and brief totally fictional memory, i.e.implanted memory... so many ways to lose your way. But, there is a way of memory that you might call the Way of Mid-Term memory loss.

We all know how the next breed of humans are not prime material to face a world of competition. But we don't breed humans for the most part, only for sport and never for politics. The thing is you can't judge a buck by his cover.

When a blacksmith has in their hand a piece of work so fine, so just no better, they, in the end, are holding iron, metal of some antiquity and a Master of working iron is standing on the shoulders of those who worked bronze. There are books with detailed instructions on the theory and execution of a carburetor producing a dose of gasoline fumes and oxygen in a compressed cylinder while being struck with a spark in the midst. This can move people to want more power over their lives. They may want to move without horses!

There was a time when men of some experience would hang out a shingle of wood with a sign showing what they thought they knew. For many real and political reasons the Blacksmith would be found at the edge of town, mostly near a bridge if they had one. A Smith would hang out a sign of an anvil and if another Smith should come around, the newcomer would no doubt have a reason to doubt the first Smith's territory and skill, so he would dispute the first and a competition would occur, a great occasion for  folks of all ages. The Smiths would go thru all the usual blacksmith accomplishments and move into the more esoteric, producing more and more complex pieces of work, lances that never dulled and puzzles for the little ones. People would bring in things to repair and sharpen and the meet would go on for hours, perhaps but at some point one Smith would concede defeat and the folk would go home and no doubt the Smiths would go sauna or drink and chat about what was going on here and around here, down that road from which had come the new Blacksmith. Perhaps here he planned to make a stand, to teach the skills of iron, bronze and copper. A Smith could locate ore, smelt and refine the ore using local clays, stone, wood and fire brought from the Smith in a little bowl.

Once smelted, the iron, bronze or copper could be shaped by Master Smiths into any shape you could imagine, and any device you could imagine they could build. There were lone Masters who lived apart and repaired odd things and made one-off devices or jewelry. They were harder to find and were almost always very old by the time you did in fact find them and present them with your great-grandfathers mantle clock which no longer chimes or runs. But they took great care handling the clock and looking inside like a sloth counting ants on a hive.

Boots were repaired by elves behind closed doors. Everyone knew that. I, myself, have had a pair of excellent leather boots repaired, re-soled by a tiny little man with a thousand nails in his mouth and he Knew what to do. A few days later, a new pair of wonderful, excellent-fitting boots would appear on his counter and you would leave a small offering of odd metal chips for the Master to take home. This was a time when the coins were worth their weight in whatever.

So that was the Smith. There was also the Rag Man. He usually had a wooden cart filled with things and a pile of this and that. He did also have a pile of rags which his wife might turn into quality quilts for sale later, or she might repair certain gowns. But things got repaired and delivered and sometimes message, too, if the wagon went a certain way. It was a kind of Facebook, an early Facebook. Now, all Farmers need Smiths sooner or later, just as Astarte needed Vulcan. The Smith and Farmer both needed big families to run the shops and barns and such. In some towns a certain Master might work in fine metals or in glass, and they might catch the attention of locals as having Special skills

Gardener was a Son of Farmer, and he worked very hard or sometimes She worked very hard at growing herbs and spices and oils, infusions, rubs, and decompression techniques for the overworked. She lived on the outskirts of Town, which is where two roads came to-gather. And roads were named from roods, or reeds, which is what the Sumerians used as a unit of measurement of distance, ala along a road.  Where is your Smith today?

Most of our society will argue away the Smiths and the tinsmith and the Herbalist or Hedge-witch or all those mid range Masters who would hang out a shingle so people knew who to go to if something needed help.

Now, hold onto this thought: You don't know any tailors, so you cannot clothe yourself. You do not know a Blacksmith, so you cannot have tools made to work your trade. You cannot heal when you need it, and when things go wrong, as they often do, you only "know" the Yellow Pages. As we got rid of all the Masters who were not familiar enough to ply their trades locally, we could do with some one with a big dog to watch over our sacks of wheat and rye and taters and onions etc what makes up a society. We have no muzzled or not monster to slow down the would-be sackers of humanity.

Mercury was a Messenger, trusty-worthy or not, He was it for getting the word out. There were people hanging out around banks and barbers to take the occasional message for the occasional chip of copper, a common metal. These might be Mercury!  But he got the job done and he did not form gangs with inappropriate tattoos on their necks and faces. They did not go cutting off peoples heads. Among themselves they told tall tales about their messages and their travels and they argued about which was the greatest, fastest, most cool messenger of all times. Now nobody needs someone to take a message without stopping, just get it to this person and there's a piece of silver for you if you get it there by the tenth bell. Without all these half-starved kids running all over town with notes they could not read we would not now have the hydrogen bomb!

Suppose every small hydro-dam generator looked like an ancient crumbled mill? would that satisfy the People? Think of it... you are riding down Main Street in a two pony cart and your driver gave the Boy to run ahead and tell Granny you were coming! O! What a lovely day- 2025 AD! If we wanted it to be...But we probably won't want all that humming so close to our bedrooms, so I guess not. Frankenstein did it, the Doctor, not the monster. But not new York City, for all it's watery options.

Who needs a tinker when all we have is un-repairable? Who needs a Rat-Boy or a Messenger, or a Flower-Girl, a basket-weaver, a Miller? When our Apple juice and Chicken jerky dog treats comes from China dare we ask where our eggs and flour have come from? Who maintains the quality? We have been told there isn't any money for all of that, just enough money to hire enough Thugs to collect the taxes. Not enough to heal the sick or educate the illiterate, just enough for Power to apply to the masses. and In the process the Smiths have vanished, the Barber is gone and there are no Potters or Bone-Setters either. We are on our own.

You can design a house in your head, or maybe a room, but you cannot think of what the house down the road has to do with the house you want to live in. But is it upstream or down, does it shade your land or not, and in a pinch does the person living there like you enough to give you shelter if you Needed it?

Do you know who in the neighborhood knows CPR, to put a modern spin on things? Do we even know the occupations of our neighbors' neighbor? Not much of a neighborhood, but a start. Who knows how to make bricks? who knows how to make glass? who knows how to grow food?, who knows how to drill wells? But we can go to the moon...or can we? The Saturn V booster is the greatest strongest machine we ever built and yet the last one is rotting on the ground because we don't do that any more. We don't build hydrogen blimps anymore either. We don't bend wood into a circle so we can roll our asses across the ground instead of walking!

The loss of a key element can set a society back generations. The less we know, the less we can go.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Studio Views

In the winter when the snow is about two feet thick and it's almost into the negative temps, I often stop off at the studio, after closing the hen house, and fire up the propane heater so the room gets more tolerable. You can't work frozen clay and glue does not flow at 2 F, but pencils work and I can rearrange sculptures and look at things a new way. Before it got very cold I was able to tear apart pine cones and glue the shingles on my bird houses. Hope to sell some in the spring. The other things, the nearly abstracted objects and rearranged stuff, I try to see old things as new. So I get some roots and objects and stack them up and stir them up and stare at them awhile until I have a neat little vision of what might be.

The Green man face is mounted onto a honeysuckle clump and pine cones are stuffed here and there to produce an amalgam of images, flowing into one another and writhing in your mind. I doubt I will show this one. Years ago I obtained part of a hat form and it sits in the studio waiting. I took "The Nurse" mask and mounted it on the form to see if it might be good for posing masks for studio pics. Now I am looking at and wondering about what this means. In anthropology they tend to declare objects are religious artifacts if they don't know what it means. So if my sculptures are religious, in what way? So I study my own work to see if I can figure out what kind of societal purpose they might have had if I had found them in a ruin. Funny way to look at one's own work, but it makes things old somewhat new again.

Sticks and stones and white tail bones, antlers, branches and string. What can we do with this old leather shoe and what will the spring time bring?

Friday, January 14, 2011

Once You Know

Once you know, once it really sinks in, you don't move for a moment, and then you just straighten up. You want to face this head on. Cats can both hold objects with their paws, but they can also sell them on eBay! This is what Wrigley had been trying to say.

Suppose, and this is just "suppose', there were ways for thinking entities somewhere "else" to affect things here? Suppose limes were just lemons who in another dimension were not yet ripe? Suppose except for avocados NO fruit got green when ripe? Oh yeah, I know what you are thinking, sure and what about beans? But beans are always and forever Veggies, or vegetables, because they are all kinds of colors anyway. I myself grow purple green beans... or red streaked white beans. never could get lima beans to grow much. Too much rain I suspect, at the wrong time. But I digress.

Obviously if invisible beings permeated the atmosphere we'd feel them if we couldn't see them. And yet we do feel something in the air, something cold coming down from the north... and when Uncle Heath dies in January from the Grippe, does anyone not think it was bad spirits which took him? Unless, of course, you have enough money to have professional Undertakers to relieve you of that Burden which Fate has cast aside... like his jacket and his wallet and his, oh yeah- his body. But say it ain't as bad as those Indians who burn their loved ones on the banks of a sacred river and then cast the ashes into the waters! Better to contaminate the Los Angel's water shed and leave the Ganges for the downstream rice farmers. But we still shit off our skin cells after death and so our bladders, and so our brains, no doubt, but I swear by Erda before me I will go out as befits a Great Ape, noisily; thus making damn sure I attract the attention of a Chaos, that's in that computer game I play. No Chaos Gods here. Everything makes some kind of sense, unless you get distracted, and then none of it makes sense. Life is like talking to Abbot and Costello and You are on second base.