Wednesday, August 30, 2006

in lieu of asian poetry...

More John Cage:

“We are involved in a life that passes understanding and our highest business is our daily life.”

Have a great day, and pleasantly suprise someone today with some action unexpected.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

thought for the day

Up to face the routine of the day, beginning it with coffee, sunrise, hummingbirds and reading John Cage quotes:

"There is poetry as soon as we realize that we possess nothing. "

The world could use a little more poetry. Make some today!

Be well and be happy wherever you are.

Monday, August 28, 2006


After working all day and late Sunday. The morning starts before light; the good thing is I get some quiet time to watch the sun come over the ridge, have coffee with hummingbirds having a morning party at the feeder, and a lazy slow wakeup walk.

Working on bits and pieces of various projects. Beginning to gear up to do clay stuff for the fall, so I can fire my big kiln before Thanksgiving. A little melancholy about another lost summer. Well, not lost so much as consumed. It moves so fast there is little time to absorb the good stuff, which is sad in a way. Summer at it's best is slow and languid (my opinion). And now fall is right around the corner and it's time to think about woodpiles and roadwork and all that other stuff.

The wheel keeps turning. And I'm reminded of an old fellow I worked with for years who had done a lot of living and ended up being pretty wise and content. He used to have two things he said that fit any situation, good or bad: 1)"you just gotta let the big ball roll" and 2)"the wheels gonna turn, the trick is to make sure it doesn't run over you".

Have a great day!

Saturday, August 26, 2006


Hi ho, hi ho, it's off to work I go...


My summer is an endless series of doing laps. A bit tedious and repetitive. Creating an environment where other people can explore their potential, rest, and recharge, at the expense of my own. The old workday catch-22: gotta work to support what you want to do, except you can't do much of that cause all the best of your time and enegy gets used up. And the wheel turns.

Me, griping. Humor me.

Other than that, I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Postscript: just to prove that I can say something good, I'll let you all know that chinese medicine has worked it's usual miracle and I'm feeling decent (if a bit gloomy) and back on track. So that's good.

See, I am capable of gratitude.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006


I'm feeling better thanks to the magic of acupuncture, but so what and who cares, there's more important stuff afoot...

First this: (via Tod Seelie)

Now tell me that's not some of the coolest art in motion? And there are a nice set of updated entries on the adventure here. I think this whole enterprise is art and making and sharing and positive troublemaking and circusing on a shoestring at its best, with no intent except to leave the road behind a little better than you found it and give people a glimpse of a different way of seeing. Incredibly inspiring.

In other news, me and an unnamed co-conspirator (known to me, unknown to you) kicked off a project today involving the random seeding of small artworks throughout the land. Should anything take root, I'll be sure to let you know.

Finally, I decided not to bore my one-and-a-half readers with an extended discussion on Yellowjackets (the evil stinging bastards) but suffice it to say I have successfully eliminated the imminent threat of being attacked when stepping out on the deck.
You may want to bookmark this entry if you live anywhere in warm in the northern hemisphere. Apparently, they are trying to overtake the world, or at least the southern US.

(yeah, i know, an obsessive bit of information posting, but trust me, get stung by a bunch and your attention will be focused like a laser too...)

Ah, it's good to feel almost human again and able to post in a reasonably coherent manner.

Hope all are well, take care, and watch where you step.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

turning the corner

and on the upswing. A lot of rest, reflection, slowing down, chinese herbs, acupuncture, leafy greens and a good bit of solitude seems to be working well. The wheel keeps turning, and it's back to work for the last run of the summer tomorrow. This after the past couple of days of bits and pieces and shorter hours.

The big question is how/why do I repeatedly do this to myself? What is it that drives us beyond reasonable effort, and why does making a living often take precedence over making a life? I suspect these questions are not unique to me.

Hope everyone is feeling fine doing well and on the balance fairly happy these days. Ponderings subjects in the works are "making", "shoestrings", a definition and ramble on what legitimizes and artist, and what may be an extended dissertation on Yellowjacket control and elimination.

Just of a few of the things in that crazy warehouse I call my mind...

Take care.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Battling a mid/late summer cold and yucky feeling, i suspect brought on by too much work and worry and not enough r&r. The bane of compulsive doers and worriers. And I know better, which makes it even worse. I have a friend that tells me I worry when I take a deep breath; I'm beginning to fear that's true. And there's another thing to worry about.

Cool (cold for august) and rainy today. Gray day, gray feeling, gray mood. Zero motivation. I think there'll be a good bit of Chinese poetry, naps and hot tea consumed today. I've been dabbling on a blog entry about the importance of making stuff and how we need more artists, poets, dancers, musicians, pranksters and jesters but I can't seem to connect the dots so well with this foggy head, so I guess that will wait, or die on the vine.

I think what we really need are more shamans, medicine men and women, seers, oracles and visionaries. Or we need to become our own.

See how things degrade in short order? Better I should point everyone away from this mess and towards something of value and content, like this. A good entry on a good blog with wide range.

Maybe that's an idea: smallponderings as a directional signpost to more substantive material.

Hope everyone else is healthy and having a great weekend.

Friday, August 18, 2006


When I'm on the high side of the curve, I love to listen to latin music, cuban, salsa, afro-cuban, fast, percussive, horns, whistles, language that I don't understand hitting me head on at the speed of light, or those slow, languid ballads. I seek out light and heat, spicy foods, imagine sun and salt and sea and dry arid hills. It's cervaza, tequila and gallons of rich dark black coffee, and iced water with limes.

When I'm on the low side, it's the other face of the coin. No music of any kind please, just natural sounds, breezes thru trees, birds, insect buzzing. Not in the mood for much talk either. I look for dim and quiet, simple and bland food, noodles, potatoes, greens, maybe hit with something hot just for interest. Old Chinese and Japanese nature poetry, imagining cool misty remote moutains, rushing little rivers, the smell of eucalyptus. Its green tea, ban-cha, chinese herbal teas, fresh water, and little else.

Today I read a lot of oriental nature poems.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

a bit under the weather...

which is an odd thing to say in the negative sense, as the weather is beautiful here today.


Off this afternoon, laying around, restless, trying to avoid the threatening plague. Rattling about, stumbled onto this, old, I don't know how long I've had it, but I like it:

"I needed an amulet last week
To help me work at my painting studio."

Be a Mad Monk
I wrote
Thinking of Shih T'ao and Jung Kwang.
How can I be a mad monk
When I am applying for office work
And paying bills?

You may not know what
You are,
But you can know that
You are
The old books tell me
As I sit in my kitchen
Scrawling poems in the near dark.
- Tanya Joyce

I don't know that I know anything, but I think I need a nap.

Be well and happy wherever you are and whatever you are doing.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

required watching

So my day job really runs me down at times (like lately) but doesn't everyone's? And in fairness, how many places do you get to hang with people like this that do things like this? Tremain's teaching for two weeks at my place of employment, so I check out the studio daily. While I'm too tired to work out the inspiration at the moment, it'll be there in the background, bubbling, fermenting and ripening for the fall.

A bit of video here, smaller version available here.

Testable material, reports due by end of the day tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

waiting for the dust to settle

Rubbed out worn down frazzled and blah. Need some downtime, a quiet day or two should set me right. Right now not even possessed of enough energy to ponder the smallest of things. all i can do to remembe to breathe in (and out).

How does this happen?

Well, I guess that's a small pondering...

Hope everyone is well. More from the hills at some point...

Friday, August 11, 2006

pictures worth a thousand words...

You know there had to be music involved...

The Armada sails!

Video here.

(in contrast, my days are so mundane, i find myself living vicariously thru this adventure, thus the continuing obsessive posts about it...)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

okay, i want to run away and join the floating circus...

I think this is my tribe...

Only thing I can figure is that we were separated at birth. (this would explain a great deal of my life) These appear to be the lucky brothers and sisters raised by Gypsies. I, on the other hand, have to get up and work tomorrow.

I need a map of the Mississippi. Wonder what the first port 'o call will be?

An honorable enterprise indeed...can you imagine what it would be like to be a part of it???

the trouble with day jobs

" must turn over your timing to the boss. You cannot work when and where you please, at your own scheldule and speed. As a result, you must ignore all the inner signals that come from your various different parts crying out for expression and fulfillment. All must be subordinated to the timing of the job..."

- Poppa Neutrino


Have a great day whatever you might be doing, and wherever you might be doing it.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

random reads

"Work thou for pleasure - paint or sing or carve,
The thing thou lovest, though the body starve.
Who works for glory misses oft the goal.
Who works for money coins his very soul.
Work for the work's sake, then, and it may be
That these things may be added unto thee."

- Kenyon Cox

not exactly my style, but i like the sentiment...

Monday, August 07, 2006

the results are in and compiled...

My name is Mark, and I’m a compulsive multi-tasker. Well, I mean I have been. And a very good one too, I might add. But after almost 30 years of refined practice, I have come to a conclusion:

Multi-tasking is bullshit, and highly over-rated.

The empirical evidence I gathered in researching this method of working and living is lengthy and detailed; suffice it to say the summary is all that matters. The philosophical and social ramifications are staggering, as is the glacial slowness it took for the scales to fall from my eyes.

I’d like to welcome everyone to my new operating instructions:

1.Go slow
2.Do less
3.One thing at a time

Hope you all have a great day. I plan to myself, at a most reasonable and relaxed pace.

Saturday, August 05, 2006

words i woke up to

...accidental magic mysteries secrets hidden messages coincidental occurence

luck hope surprise inscrutable clues layers textures oblique murky cloudy

laughter music circus varigation authentic dreams realities environments

possibilities questions partial answers black white gray blue red yellow....

This day has potential. Hope everyone has a good one themselves.

Friday, August 04, 2006

damn! i missed the boat...





Read about the Armada (go all the way to the beginning, it's a great story)

'tis the fleet of my people....

suddenly, going to work doesn't seem all that appealing...

(yes, i like the open-endedness of "...")

Thursday, August 03, 2006

on my mind:

large mixed-media art installations

cave paintings

elemental music...(this prompted by a snippet on NPR that said something like rhythm is the original music, the fundamental music of the universe and melody came later, which got me to thinking about percussive rhythm, and wondering if the people who did prehistoric cave paintings also were musicians, which led me back to the large mixed-media art installations...)

which ties back into a bumper sticker(?) I once saw that said "Art: The first language"

I should pump up this post with some pictures and sound, but it's late and i'm tired and hot, like most of the rest of the world, so I'm going to call it a day and let these thoughts rest and mellow over the night and see what's there in the morning.

Have a great evening!

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

quote du jour

My thinking process is pretty random and organic, web-like. Thought threads lead to completely unrelated ideas. A friend told me recently I have hummingbird thoughts; true enough. Sometimes (most times) it's exhausting, but then, I'm easily entertained so I guess it's a fair trade.

All that to say this morning I was going to write a piece on how/why it is that some of us tend to make much ado about nothing. Involved in a work thing that is out of control, that's on my mind these days. That led to a scrap of taoist verbiage about a contented simple life "...going nowhere, doing nothing..." which I was trying to chase down, then I fell into this:


To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony.


And here we are.

The map inside my head: rambling backroads, side trails, many dead ends, mostly unmarked, no freeways or interstates, 4x4 often necessary, with a winch and chain to get out of the mud handy. Meandering at best, destinations unknown. It's all pencil and charcoal and smudges, with occasional crayon color, on the back of envelopes or ripped pieces of brown paper bags. Like a treasure map, except there's no "X marks the spot."

Maybe the treasure IS the map.

And so begins the day.