Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Nerd Night

Used up all my wild energy last night, so this evening I'm sitting quietly studying video codec settings (that looks even more geeky written) and working on my Mountain Gardens movie. This thing is so huge I can't see the structure of it yet. Did I bite off more than I can chew??? Probably, but hanging with Joe is such fun that it will be worth wrestling with the project. Tidbit: I figure for every minute of finished video I get I have to spend...about 4 hours all told on it. At this rate I'll be...umm.....old when I finish it! Oh well, boys gotta have a project.

Clay work from last night is fermenting in my head. Huge progress, but at a sticking point visually. Gotta let it come to me.

Hope everyone has a good evening. Wish I had something more to offer, but this is it. Except for some early morning protracted pondering on the "meaning of art" and who wants to hear about that? Which leads me to say to anyone out there that reads this and invests time and energy in personal creative endeavors:

Make stuff, have fun, and don't worry 'bout NOTHING!

Monday, February 27, 2006

Monday Night Extravaganza

I am a one man variety show tonight; I 've done it all (ok, not all but a lot, and maybe not well, but still...)

Home from work. Walk. Took some pics. Back, went down and worked on clay (this an anomaly on a weeknight), simultaneously making a process vid of said work. Done with clay, up to Small Ponderings World Headquarters and the creative la-bor-a-tory. Fueled by tea and toast, no time for supper! Cobbled together video, and edited it (after a fashion). Now, blogging. And suddenly for some reason, running out of gas. But wait, there's email to answer! My dear mom (news from down on the farm) and the fellow that is my mentor of sorts, who came for dinner Sat night, ate, looked at my recent clay work, and today wrote to me. Very funny, I might post excerpts. I'm not quite sure what it says about my clay talent, but there you go.

Ok, for example a snippet: " ... Or make artistic use of that tree that fell over out by the kiln. (Maybe the tree’s near miss was just that--a miss and if it had demolished that kiln you would be on your way by now..." This comment in the context of him suggesting that I use other media and material to realize whatever artistic vision I'm currently working towards.

Freedom's just another word for nothing left to lose....

Have a great evening. I have uploads to deal with.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

My day in pictures

Here it is.

It's late, and it took me a while to figure out flickr having never used it, so as an added bonus, you can all play along and write your own narrative. The clay pics are a little out of order, but I'll fix it tomorrow (or not).

Hope everyone had a great day, and I wish you all a good start to the week.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Saturday morning startup

Early-ish. Cat nestled between lap and side of the chair, laptop in lap, coffee, posting, reading, a walk to follow. Going down to get in max clay studio time this morning, then chef-ing this afternoon (anyone know how to make a mango salsa? I don't do recipes but will post my concoction if it comes out good).

Saturdaze, gotta love 'em. Have yourself a good'un (as we say in the local vernacular...)

Friday, February 24, 2006


As in, "Why do I blog?" This is the pondering for the evening.

Actually, a couple of months ago a friend of mine that is a professional writer asked me that very question. "Why do you do it? I don't get it, just a bunch of people rambling on about nothing..." Or something to that effect but that was the gist I got. And at the time, I didn't have a quick retort or a witty answer. And I still don't.

I mull this over occasionally. I mean, a year and a half ago, I didn't write or even read blogs. Then I just fell into reading a blog one evening, and it was just a beautiful and sensitive description of one person's day, really mundane and normal stuff, but man was it something. It spoke to me, like good writing does. More importantly, it planted the seed in my mind that if I just stopped and looked, the very same things they wrote about were right in front of ME! I just couldn't (wouldn't) see them. But I thought if I could develop that skill, that eye, that seeing and sensitivity, then maybe my life would be a little richer.

At the time, I was really concerned with developing my eye because of my artwork, so it all seemed to make sense to me. If I started looking and trying to describe what I was seeing in detail then my creative eye would have to get sharper just from the practice. I thought I could do this in my sketchbooks but in short order I understood I needed to get it out of my head, which meant putting it out in the great "there". So a blog was the perfect way to do that. So I started.

Early on, I decided that content mattered. But I had (have) no illusions about the content of my life and environment. My sunsets don't seem as interesting to me as others, my artwork doesn't measure up comparitively, my opinions don't usually carry much factual weight, and my story just isn't that special. Also, early on I read a piece someone wrote about blogging, and within it was this comment: " ...it is important never to lose sight of the questions, "So what? And who cares? "If the writer doesn't deeply care about the writing, presumably nobody else will." And do you know every time I write an entry, I think about that. So what, and who cares?

Those are valid questions, and my answer to them are the same: I do. I care.

I think a personal blog is like any other creative piece of work an artist does. I define artist broadly, so in my mind, anyone that takes time to write or post pictures in a blog qualifies. I'll even go as far to say that anyone that does a blog with any degree of consistency and sincerity is an artist, and the blog is the art. Whether or not me or anyone else likes the product has no bearing on its validity. The art is in the doing.

So, content matters, and then I realized something else that was really important to me: truth matters. I don't care so much about style, look, or presentation...if I'm reading someone and it feels truthful, then I'm hooked. I care. One of the things I've always felt about any kind of art is that people respond to honesty of effort. People are starved for "real". Not the illusion of real, but raw, unvarnished truth.

Some people are compelled to make things, and I'm one of those people. Every piece of work I do is a record of what was going on with me during the making, and that includes blog entries. I think artwork is how I best and most honestly communicate; it is how I try to make connections with people. It's me saying "hey, here's what I'm thinking/feeling/seeing/dreaming/reading/doing/living at a given moment." Good or bad is subjective and up to the observer/reader and I am reminded every second that I have no control over the response of a person to an honest piece of work. If I try to exercise control, then the piece immediately loses its purity of intent and truth.

Some time ago I had to reconcile myself to the fact that I'm a maker with no hope of earning a living (or even part of one) from my work. And I'm ok with that. I'm just not that talented at anything to be marketable. But that doesn't make my work any less valid. I know my blog is not in the league of folks that are entertaining, informative, enlightening, thought provoking, inspiring; I know my limitations. But that doesn't mean I shouldn't be doing it. I believe its more important to DO something, than to do nothing for fear of not being good enough. I was one of those people whose creativity was repressed early on because I wasn't "good enough". It took me a long time to reclaim my right to make stuff and I still struggle with it every day, inner critic and outer comparisons and all that and I sure don't claim to have it all figured out. But I do know that if I just get started and try to make something (including a blog entry) then I have a better chance of being more fully human and honest with myself and the world at large.

So here we are after an hour and fifteen minutes and it's still all "So what and Who cares?" Well maybe no one, or maybe a few people. I've been blogging for a year and half, and the most comments I ever got on any entry (not counting my responses) was four, I think. I look at my blog entries like I look at my clay work: if I used any measurement of success other than the fact I DID it, I'd stop immediately. But you know what? My little boring blog with it's oh so few comments have enabled me to connect with some incredible people, some of who have had an awesome positive effect on my life. On a good day, my little blog helps me feel connected, even though the comments don't pour in. And on a bad day, having a blog reminds me that if I just slow down, open my eyes, see, and describe, then I can always find something beautiful in the world. I just have to work at it.

The answer to "Why" can easily be the name of a new and dear friend made; it can easily be the fact that I was inspired to immerse myself in the redness of a cardinal; it can easily be that I read what I wrote the night before and see something in myself that I didn't know existed; it can easily be a bit of feedback I get from posting a piece of artwork that helps me to see differently; it can easily be that writing all this stuff challenges me to be clear about my own thoughts and feelings so I can communicate them effectively; it can easily be that maybe this entry this day will help someone else somehow, or encourage them...the answer to "Why" can be a million things, or nothing at all. The answer to "Why" is that right now, it's important to me to DO it.

And if you read all of this, I thank you and applaud your patience. Have a great evening!

How to tell that it's too early...

Stumble downstairs, put on water to boil for french press coffee to take in thermos, crank up espresso maker for now. Put coffee in french press. Espresso steaming. Water boiling. Espresso done. Water done. Pour espresso into the french press, hot water into espresso cup. Go sit and pick up book. Wait for cat to settle in lap. Take first sip of badly needed espresso, only to realize something is not quite right...

a completely unrelated thought: How wonder-full would it be to live in a world without clocks and calendars and especially without alarms, where clothing would be optional determined only by climate and even then limited to very well worn soft fleece-y warm sweatpants, sweatshirts, hoodies and fuzzy socks? Sweats: the perfect clothing. Simple, comfortable, functional, cozy, and yes, sexy in a shabby, unpretentious and understated way...

I need coffee. Have a great day! It's Friday, after all...

Thursday, February 23, 2006

What happens when I can't connect word dots...

Seemingly (and probably) pointless doodling...

(first comment gets the original via snail mail!)

Question du jour

If life were an iPod playlist, would you:

1. Play it in sequence?
2. Shuffle songs?
3. Shuffle albums?

I know my answer, what's yours?

AM small goods (expanded volume)

1. Perfect espresso
2. A good book while drinking it
3. No rain for morning walkies
4. New tunes on the iPod
5. Blogcabin!

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Alrighty, then...

While researching some other wordage, I stumbled onto these quotes, in different places. These just coincidentally found me and struck a chord, so I scribbled them down in one of my sketchbooks, and thought I'd show them here cause I think WOW, (a) that's good advice, and (b) that's an incredibly astute observation that I fail to recognize most times. And below that are sketches of forms that will be made the next clay day. Words:feelings:thoughts:forms- and all of them interchangeable depending on mood, weather (which at the moment is cold and rainy) or state of mind. I'll take pics of the forms as they get built this weekend so everyone can play along.

These are not the only gifts that have flowed through me today- it's been a day of messages and epiphanies (definition 3a in M-W online dictionary; I can be a word nerd) that have resulted in a badly needed shift of perception. And though it is dark and rainy outside, not so much inside, and this is good.

Hope everyone has a great evening, and is warm, healthy and happy. Is anyone besides me ready for Spring yet???

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Another Tuesday night

And soon to bed, which should result in successfully staving off a late winter assault on my head...

But if you bothered to stop by, all is not lost! New links at the bottom of my linky column that you might like, and this link which I think can be a great jump starter.

Have a great evening. Small Ponderings should be back in full force sooner than later, with half the angst and twice the fun!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Under the weather

nothing that some hot tea and early to bed won't fix...

Hope everyone else is well and warm.

Saturday, February 18, 2006


My clay work took a startling turn today. New forms, from out of nowhere. I don’t quite know what to think of it, but resisted the inclination to ignore the change and decided to follow it. Which is ironic since I’ve been fiddling with this post for a couple of days.

A question constantly on my mind is: How does one find their direction? I originally said in life, but re-wrote to to be open-ended...how does one find THEIR personal direction in anything?

Some people seem to find it sooner than others, other people find it and lose it, then regain it (or not) at a later time. A lot of folks seem to be all fits and starts, but never getting past a certain point. I think I’m one of the latter, and hopefully like so much else just a late bloomer. Some people sadly never find it at all.

I had a teacher once always referred to his direction as his “True North”. He had it in sight, strong and clear, for a long time, then some life tragedies happened and he lost it for a while. He is very open about his search to rediscover his True North, and how difficult that was. His story is not just one of art found, lost, then found again, but of personhood, and how he defined himself.

I think True North is the pointer, not the destination or goal. I believe this pointer is what a lot of us are looking for in all we do. I know when I’m making art at my best, I’m not expressing so much as searching, following leads, and learning, or fumbling in the process, and the resulting piece is the record of the exploration taking place during that time. It’s like a map drawn of where I’ve been, maybe with hints of where I might go, but they’re pretty much hidden until time passes and I can see them. True North seems to be the clarity of purpose, and the reference that brings confidence even though you can’t see the end.

I’ve always thought a lot about direction, but it dominates my pondering a lot these days. Even if its in the background, the wheels are always churning. It doesn’t take much to bring it to front and center: a word or phrase in a book or a song, a snippet of conversation, an observation made by someone else in a blog entry, these things refocus my attention. Some days it makes me crazy not knowing what the direction is, and I feel like I’m flailing about, floundering. I kind of hate to waste time going down the wrong paths, but I don’t seem to be on any kind of linear life progression and am getting used to it. Besides, who knows what you’ll find on those side roads and where they can lead you? Sometimes they’re dead ends, but other times you end up with a sign pointing you somewhere that brings you a little closer to your own True North. The hard part is remembering this on the crummy days when all you can feel is lost. Sometimes for sure I am lost, but other times I’m meandering and casting about. My frustration mostly comes when I think I’m taking way too long to get somewhere. I forget that people move at different speeds.

If you’ve been reading this blog much you know I’m working on this video project with a fellow named Joe. Part of why I wanted to do this is for my own education...Joe knows something (well, a lot of things) that I don’t. I figure working with him will teach me something. I know there is no shortcut or secret, but Joe has known his direction for over 30 years, with a clear sense of purpose and direction. I want to know how he found it, and more importantly how he held to it over the course of more than half his lifetime. You should know Joe lives a pretty hard life by conventional standards, but he is one of the most clear, balanced, kind, generous and peaceful people I’ve ever met. He will tell you in an instant his life is easy and good. And convince you yours could be too; he says it’s all a matter of choices.

So, I guess here at the end of this piece I’ve found one answer to the original question: finding one’s direction is a matter of making choices. Of course there has to be action, but that’s another pondering.

Hope everyone has a great weekend, and that you’re warm and healthy wherever you are. The snow is flying and the wind blowing here on my mountain, but the woodstove is hot and the coffee rich. Life is decent.

Saturday morning

Yesterday I spent up at Mountain Gardens working on my video project with Joe. It was a beautiful sunny day, in the low sixties, know wind. I was better organized, and Joe was really animated, so I got some good video and a good audio interview. I might post a taste of that here tonight if I can spend some time editing. I chalk all that positive material up to the weather. How could things not be good on a day like that?

And this morning: looking out the window, snow, wind. Weather changed sometime last night. And we're in for a storm so the weather people say. So it goes, back and forth.

Today I'll spend working on clay for a while, after my morning walk. Trying to work consistently on this project every weekend. Though I gotta say, I'm prone to distraction, or on these cloudy cold days, naps. So I need to get moving.

I've been working on a pondering piece for a bit, but it's not ready to release in the wild yet. When I read it and can't make sense of it, I feel fairly certain anyone else that took the time to read would go "wha?" So, I'll tweak it and try to get to a point and some degree of clarity before putting it up. But I'll offer you this teaser in hopes maybe you'll check back sometime to see what's happening:

I'm off to stomp around the hill in the snow. Big fat flakes right now...one wonders about the possibility of disapperaing into them. Hope everyone has a great day!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Thursday night Smalls...

1. A strong and true friend that reaches out and says exactly the right thing at exactly the right time to get me back on track when I'm derailed. (ok, this is actually a Very Big Good...)

2. A long walk in the hills on a warm winter evening till the sun sets and it gets dusky twilight.

3. Clean, bathed Golden Retreivers and Chihuahuas.

Hope everyone has a good evening.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Small goods, morning edition

* Note: Movie link works better now in all browsers, click here to see.

Small goods:

1. Good coffee

2. Hot shower

3. Dr Bronner's Peppermint soap (wakes you up and makes you squeaky clean!)

this is me, dashing off to work...

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

What I think about hearts and flowers...

I have an old friend that says "everyday I wake up is a good day..."

I've been thinking about this, cause of course it's Valentine's day, and failure to acknowledge it might appear that I'm curmudgeonly. Well, I'm not that old, and probably not that consistently grumpy, here's my Valentine's Day Post.

I don't get all fired up over Valentine's day (or any other Hallmark Holiday for that matter). But this is not to say I am not a fan of love and romance. I actually should write that Love and Romance.

Because, I am. And Passion too.

I am a Hopeful Romantic. There, I said it out loud. Laugh if you want. I think EVERY day should have a little champagne or wine, a few flowers, some good food, a candle or two, some music, some laughter, some tenderness. I think EVERY day should a fair amount passion (physical and emotional) and that it should be expressed in ways both large and small. I'm a fan of the big splash, as well as subtle nuance.

I really like expressions of Love, Romance, and Passion (hereafter referred to as the Big Three) both given and received. It doesn't have to be (need to be) all gushy mushy and serious. Even better if there's a good amount of laughter and humor involved. Life is too serious anyways.

I think our world, or at least the Western world, has really numbed us to the joys of honestly expressing any one (or all) of the Big Three on a regular basis. Like so many other human emotions, they have been co-opted and packaged for marketing convenience. Special days, special things on special days, implications, expectations, all the freakin' $$$ involved, it takes all the fun out of it.

What would be wrong with walking in the rain, splashing in puddles, and sharing a pounder of one's favorite local beverage? Maybe it wouldn't make good film or tv, but if it's true and honest to the people participating, does it get any better? What about coffee in bed early in the morning? Or spaghetti on TV trays with a glass or two of cheap wine, watching Amelie or High Fidelity? What about saying "I love you" to someone every morning and every evening and meaning it every time? Does it lose value? I don't think so.

We get so many messages and images about the Big Three (and ok, sex) that tell us what we should be doing or when or how that we forget to trust ourselves, and forget it's ok to find our own rhythms and times and places and express our hearts and minds in our own unique ways. Often when we do take a chance and try that, sometimes it doesn't go so well, or turn out the way we dreamed, and then we're hesitant to do it again. That's just sad. I say we take all our thoughts and ideas and expressions back from every damn expert out there and just do it ourselves, our way, in our own time.

Hot dogs and milkshakes shared on the steps in the unexpected bright February sun are just as romantic, probably more so than anything Hollywood or Madison Avenue can conceive.

Boys aren't supposed to write stuff like this but I don't care about that either. I like hearts, flowers, music, candles, champagne, coffee, good food, sunsets and moonrises and long walks and dozing by the fire and all that other stuff. I love Love, Romance and Passion. And even though there are endless obstacles to it all, I still have faith that maybe somehow we can experience the Big Three every day, in spite of everything the world throws at us.

Hopeful Romantic. I suppose there are worse things to be...

That's all I have to say about that. (well, not really but I gotta stop sometime...)

Have a great evening!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Program note

I republished the movie in yesterday's link, and it's not working correctly, so I'll fix tonight.

Thanks for the challenge, Karen, I appreciate the feedback. For all the movies on the web, it's a fickle technology to figure out.

Dancing on the edge...

With red boots on...

"The only way to find your true self is by recklessness and freedom".- Brenda Ueland

I got this quote from Keri Smith's Wish Jar Journal this weekend and scribbled it down for further pondering. It appeals to me on many levels, kinda goes well with the dropping of masks and all. But something about it was bugging me, like, maybe isn't searching for your true self by recklessness and freedom a little irresponsible? And then, is that very feeling something that inhibits me from finding my true self? Now the wheel starts turning...

One of my favorite sayings is "there's always more to the story". So, I started chasing this quote down across the internet. (dig me some internet, it's like the worlds biggest library right at your fingertips!) Turned out it was slippery little thing, you can find references to the first sentence, but the whole quote took some digging. I finally found it at (of all places) a site named Still Mind Zendo.

Now, imagine the irony of these 2 items intersecting AND my recent rambling, meandering, and my recent Pursuit of Answers to Big Questions. Synchronicity? I anticipate laughter amongst the stars tonight...

Anyways, back to the quote:

"The only way to find your true self is by recklessness and freedom. True self is never a fixed thing. True self is always in motion, like music. A river of life. Changing, moving, failing, suffering, learning, shining. That is why you must freely and recklessly make new mistakes. Make new mistakes and not fret about them."

Now we're onto something! The whole piece begins to make sense, and doesn't seem nearly as irresponsible. In fact I read it as a suggestion to choose to take chances and not fear mistakes. And accept that mistakes will inevitably happen, but most importantly, "not fret about them."

I think the not fretting is the secret ingredient here. Choose, act, succeed or fail, learn, move on. Note that it doesn't say revisit, rehash, relive, re-DO. This is where I often get stuck. The first 4 parts come easy to me, and I personally am comfortable with mistakes, failure, and unplanned outcomes. But the move on part? This is my dilemma.

I tend to analyze and overthink most every action in retrospect. This is because we don't live in a vacuum, and I believe in the ripple effect of action. I like to think that I have a positive or at the worst benign effect on the rest of the world, but somehow doubt that's true. So while I'm inclined, oriented and enjoy recklessness, I'm very often really cautious. Ask me why and I'll tell you sincerely that I don't want my actions to impose on or negatively affect others. But I'm wondering if there's a different real reason and I'm using that as a convenient excuse?

So I have questions for the audience: First, how many of you out there either know your true self or actively seek it? Secondly, did you or do you seek the truth within yourself with reckless abandon, and how did that work out? Finally, which have you found to be the greater good: discovering and living your true life at whatever the cost (and is it/was it worth it?) or did you choose something less than full-on authenticity, and why? and did the concession turn out to be the better choice for you?

Personal questions I know, but I'd love to hear your stories. It might help me make some sense out of mine. Feel free to post comments as anonymous, or you can email me and I'll summarize and post them as summaries in the comments section. Or, equally valid, you can all just chime in, tell me to grow up and get over myself.

Which might not be the worst idea ever.

Have a great evening. Be warm, be happy, be grateful.

Sunday, February 12, 2006


Take a look out from my deck and from the window at Small Ponderings World Headquarters (requires Quicktime)

What I've done today:

* got up, made me a big honkin' breakfast influenced by thoughts of warmer climes (burrito, fried egg, sausage, and fried potatotes, with mucho hot sauce and lots of coffee

* watched and listened to the Neil Young self-made movie "Greendale". Google it, read about it, run, do not walk to the nearest video outlet or netflix, and get it. It shows his scope as an artist.

* inspired, made above movie and posted it.

* more coffee

* now, lazily surfing and pondering couch time or project work

* oh yeah, writing this post...

Soon I will start the dinner composition for the evening- gonna give into my lasagna craving. Before that, a snowy walk with Lucy, she like to play sled dog.

That's it for Small Ponderings Sunday, where simple pleasures are not just the best, they're the only ones!

Saturday, February 11, 2006


Yesterday morning, warmish

This morning, not so much...

Today I'll stay inside and make art. Hope everyone is warm, safe and happy wherever you are.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Friday Clicky

I'm a big fan of Neil Young, not only as a musician and songwriter, but as a complete artist and creative thinker. He was interviewed on Fresh Air yesterday, I've listened to the piece twice in the last 24 hours. If you want a snapshot of how an excellent artist thinks and works, click here. Great lunchtime listening.

Have a fine day!

Thursday, February 09, 2006


I collect phrases and text from everywhere; words in and out of context interest me, and I often use them as a starting point for artwork. I can read or hear a phrase and immediately get a visual sense of it, which may or may not directly correlate to the words.

So sometime ago I found a phrase which I guess stuck pretty tightly to me. Of course I can't find it in the dozens of sketchbooks I have laying about (I tend to be a little random about such things) but it was something to the effect of "being the person we are, instead of the person we imagine ourselves to be". I can't remember where I got it or I'd credit it. Anyway, I got to thinking about how I present myself to the world. What parts I show, and what parts I guard carefully or even deny within myself. What causes me to show only one, or two, or three faces when a multitude exist?

I've written and deleted probably a thousand words on this topic tonight, and just keep going around in circles with it. Sometimes the thoughts just can't be corralled because I'm inclined to do a post. But I do know this: I think it's one of my challenges to live more honestly and authentically with myself and the world. I am beginning to believe its important to accept, acknowledge and celebrate ALL the faces I might have, keeping in mind theres a time and space for each of them. I think it's harmful to deny or reject any part of ourselves or fight against something within ourselves (this is something I've been good at). Maybe helping to resolve big conflicts in the world begins with resolving the little ones in myself.

A person is a rich conglomeration of thoughts, feelings, ideas, emotion and faces. If we play the roles we think we "should", if we conform at the expense of our spirits, even with the best of intent, if we are afraid to show our true face in a given moment, then we lose part of ourselves, and reject some part of our humanity. For myself, I think this is what causes feelings of fragmentation, and a lack of a sense of wholeness. We are not modular assemblies by design. So it's time to learn how to accept myself as a whole and unified being. I can see it in others, so I need to use the same eyes when looking at myself.

None of us is perfect, we all have light and dark and good and bad within us in varying and changing degrees. But this doesn't mean we aren't pretty great, all things considered. So as a little metaphorical step, I'll show you me, maskless, being the person I am, whatever that is at the moment.

Have a great evening and take your mask off (if you're wearing one). It's easier to breathe!

View from laptop, 7:15 am

The Small Crew gathers around the hearth after breakfast...(no room for Big Dog Lucy)
I love the ironic contrast of sitting near the woodstove with my laptop.

3 Small Goods this morning: coffee, wood stove, laptop w/ dsl.

I am so easily amused before the first caffeine hit....

Have a great day!

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Seeing clearer now...

Maybe it's time to change the chaotic image in my profile? Or am I just hopeful today?

I've been working on the video project all evening and am a little bug eye'd. This is going to be a big long project for me. But I am encourged. I think I can do it, at least do something with it. And be proud of it.

Feeling positive, subtle and not so subtle shifts. A long time coming, and not done on my own. But there's more light, and I am believing in some stuff I had almost given up on. So, onward.

I think there is the possibility that I can do stuff.

Have a great evening!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The House that Joe Built

Took time off from the day job to go work on my video project over at Mountain Gardens. Spent most of the day with Joe, we did some q and a, and I filmed a bit to get the feel for what comes next. All in all it was a great day.

I KNEW there was a great story to be heard and shared, and the beginning has me confident that the material is there, no doubt about it. The question is am I up to the task of compiling it in a manner that I can share it with everyone and have it make sense, be engaging and interesting. We'll see.

So tonight is will be organizing the sound and video so I can start reviewing and cobbling together a story line. Thus, blogging is short (for which you all may be grateful!) I leave you with a picture of the subject himself, the honorable Joe Hollis:

Hope everyone has a great evening!

Monday, February 06, 2006


That's me. Ended up outside most of the afternoon in the cold wind, and feeling it tonight. Unplanned heavy lifting has left me tired and my feet are still cold!

So tomorrow I'll take baby steps...I'm taking the day off from day job responsibilities and heading across the mountain to begin my video project on Joe Hollis and Mountain Gardens. I've read, researched, tested, practiced and studied about how to do this till I'm blue in the face, so it's time to take the plunge. I'm clearly in over my head and the potential for complete and total failure is huge, but I'll at least give it a try and make a big ol' bellyflop splash, if nothing else. Boy loves a project. I subscribe to these precepts: "It's either sink or swim, and sinking isn't an option" and "It's better to do something badly than not try for fear of doing something badly". It's all a matter of definitions anyways.

Tomorrow will be a bit of taping and my first crack at interviewing. It's gonna be like "Forrest Gump does media." But I have to start somewhere, and there is no better a person to do it with than Joe. He's kind, gentle, smart, and fascinating and his gig truly has to be seen to be believed. If I'm not totally demoralized, I'll blog about it tomorrow night.

The logging/clearcut story grows. This is gonna be a thing, for sure. Tonights topic is the road; since it is not state maintained, using it for commerce is an issue (because its not supported by taxes). So all of us with access on the road are filing a petition to force the logging outfit to put up a bond for road repair (knowing it will get wrecked from heavy equipment travel etc). The loggers of course are not happy about it, but it looks like we have a good position and at least can accomplish this little thing. And tonight I'm worried about what will happen with the wildlife (ie where will it GO?) because I heard the owls earlier. I hate the idea of the habitat destruction.

Finally for the evening I'm going to point you to today's Superhero Journal entry. It's about the path of least resistance, something I've been pondering for quite a while. There's some good points of departure to consider in the entry and some of the comments. I think all of us at times spend up so much energy fighting and resisting that we miss out on the juice of life that we so badly want and need. Path of least resistance, balance, acceptance, contentment, security, peace...all this stuff is connected. I'm beginning to believe these are not things you can get by working and grasping, but things that will COME to us if we are open and honest and aware and make positive choices. And I'm just about to start talking (writing) in a circle, so will hit the pause button right here...

Hope everyone has a good evening and is healthy happy and warm wherever you are.

Blogger Customer Service

They have it, they're on it, and they try to keep us informed. Good work people!

Readers and writers: note the planned outage at 7pm PST today.

I love Blogger.

Monday Morning Appreciation of Small Goods

3 simple but very good things:

1. Hoodies
2. Handknit: hat, scarf, mittens
3. Earmuffs

Can you tell it's cold today???

Have a great start to your week!

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Work du jour

Only one finished today cause it was so big it took a while. Now on to a quick walk, then making nachos, and wings, and finally, football on the couch.

Have a great evening!


This is the week we turn this blog around, or put it in 4WD and drive it off the road into parts unknown. It'll be interesting to see where it goes...

Friday I came up the road, and saw the logging equipment pulled into the 40 acre heavy wooded parcel that borders our east side. (we have a little 2 acre pie slice surrounded by 80 acres on the top of our mountain, except it's not really OUR mountain, which is painfully obvious) Clear-cutting will begin on Monday. Bastards. (this not an uncommon occurence in the mountains; the "Haves" buy giant parcels of land and ravage them in the name of accumulating profit, the "Have Nots" hunker down, adapt and adjust to the landscape, having no resources to combat or insulate against the destruction of habitat)

Friday it was almost 70 degrees and sunny, we sat on the porch at work in the late afternoon sun, in shirtsleeves, and drank beer. This morning, it's 24 degrees, and snowing fiercely, the first hard snow of the year.

Saturday was my birthday. A day mostly like any other, I'm not a big celebrator of myself. So I did my thing, pretty mundane and routine, and pondered my existence and where I fit into (if I fit) the big river. Past and future, and the present where I stand is the bridge.

This morning I see these observations have a point, that being that things change, constantly. And independent of us. The big river, she don't care she just keeps rolling. We can sit on the bank and watch, we can float along with it, or we can swim upstream and fight it. I guess the only way things stop changing is when things stop. And that's a whole 'nuther ballgame.

I read a lot about Taoism and Taoist philosophy and I have to admit I subscribe to the whole idea of Life itself being in constant flux and seeking it's own balance. Where it falls apart is when I personally don't accept that in myself, and resist change and movement for whatever reason, or fail to be flexible and accepting. Somehow I often confuse acceptance with passivity, or worse, giving up. Once I said something like I was cheerfully resigned to the inevitable; now I think there's a difference between resignation and acceptance. I looked this up and it proves to be true: resignation implies submitting or surrender, and acceptance implies agreement. The first sort of weighs heavy, the second while sometimes requiring more work gives a feeling of active participation. I think I've been good at resignation (it's easier and I have the advantage of feeling put-upon and victimized by things out of my control). I think I want to become good at acceptance.

So that's the direction I'm looking towards- how to cultivate my ability to accept things as the are, and how to make the best of them, whatever they might be.

Another thought, and completely unrelated is that I woke up at exactly 2:53 this morning with a startling (at least to me at that time of day/night) realization: Isn't it funny how being passionate about something has nothing to do with how good (or not) you are at it???

For example: I am very good at the work I do to earn a living. Have been all my life, in every position I've been in. Good problem solver, good manager, dependable, responsible etc. But passionate about it? Not in the least. On a good day, benignly apathetic. It's just a job.

Things I'm passionate about (in no particular order): Artmaking, relationships with a few specific people, writing, music, learning, reading, cooking, sports... Am I good at any of this? By what are accepted standards of measurement, not much. But I am most alive and most human and at my best when I'm actively engaged in these parts of my life, because that is where my passion lives. I think it's more important to DO these things and to fully invest myself in them than to worry about being "good" at them. It is my difference between living and existing.

So, I guess this is related, because i'll also be more focused on exploring my passions.

And accepting my limitations.

I think most of living well is a Do It Yourself project. Work with what we have at the moment, and start we we are. Gotta get down to the waters edge. The river doesn't flow to us, we have to go to it.

Even if its off the road a bit. Pack a picnic, engage the 4WD and go exploring.

Life is good, when we let it be and I'm heading out to do a bit of wading...

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Entering the 46th year of seemingly pointless wandering...

"Let me grab my hat and check this out..."

Quote of the day: "Not all who wander are lost." - Tolkien

Maybe I don't know where I'm going but it's nice to be able to take a walk. Hope everyone is having a great weekend.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Stuck (unstuck?)

I think some nights I'm just not meant to have a coherent entry.

For the last hour I've written and deleted endless graphs on my perception of the relative demeanor of the Universe. Some personal revelations and some observations of what is happening with other folks lately have put the theme in the front of my mind.

It's pretty hard to make sense of the world when you see awful things happening to good people, and great fortune bestowed on the undeserving. On the first glance, life doesn't seem very fair. But when I mull it over, I get the feeling that life is neither fair nor unfair on the whole; it just has moments of each, good and bad, and that stuff is what makes up a whole life.

Tonight I don't think the Universe is either benevolent or malevolent. I believe the Universe doesn't care, it just moves, seeking it's own balance and swinging back and forth between opposites, sometimes more dramatically than others. The challenge for each of us is to find our balance amidst all that change. It's hard to have faith that good things will come when you're mired in the middle of the bad and life is so painful or difficult that you can't hardly breathe. And it's easy to forget (or ignore) that bumpy times will come sooner or later when you're on top of the world.

I think all we can do is try to keep from falling too much, help each other up when we do, accept what cards the Universe deals us in a hand, and make the best choices we can at the time to stay in the game. Our culture seems to be one of speed and immediacy, but the Universe operates over the cosmic long haul. So maybe we take a lesson from that, and work for a positive balance over the time we are given to live our lives.

If you're on the low end of the curve tonight, I encourage you to be strong and know the tide will change. And if you're lucky enough to be on the high side, then lend some support and encouragement to someone in need. Maybe if we help each other out, the Universe will be a little friendlier on the whole for everyone.

So I guess this is the entry, coherent or not. I wish everyone a good evening.

Finding the right pace...