Robbin’s Egg Blue

 

The art of writing and the creative images that convey thought and feeling have been a part of my mind’s eye since I can remember.  Fantasy, hope, and illusion combine to create graphic narratives.  Words and images convey, they are the hieroglyphics of our modern-day Calligraphy.  I have evolved to become a scribe, a note taker, a disseminator of solitary perception.  I write in the-good-chance that another will find his way,  her own solace through describing my own neuro-pathways through evolution.

I have long felt that love or disdain occur at first sight.  What ever it is that we find either beautiful or truthful, can not be dismantled easily.  I see below, children at play, and colors that remind me of spring, along with a glow that permeates the air of summer.

Fantasies of love and lust are awakened by sensations of warmth and dampened by visions of coldness.  The image below, (My Lake, Watchaug),  draws me into a space that I can let myself belong to.

Belonging to is a step toward actualization.  It is a comfortable step where we can pause for as long as we like and absorb the nearness of eternity through our understanding of nature’s cycles and nature’s own evolution.

Sunsets are a most serene way of acknowledging the inevitabilities of life which include the end of it.  The final step into an eternity of forgetting everything we ever knew forever.  In the meantime, Stealing Beauty is an admirable art form…

I seek like-mindednessin golden pond-1-Edit3.jpgRobin’s Egg Blue

From Zen to Death and Back

From Zen to Death and Back

Leonard Cohen died with his
Mia culpa hanging on a breath of life not
wanting to be extinguished.

Some want it darker is about as dark as it gets while still sustaining a melody, a small rhythm gnawing from the inside to make its way out into the light for one final view, one final airing. I admire his boldness of Character. A brilliant study on Human Darkness composed of life and sung as a troubadour nearly across the entire globe. He has a message that resonates to the wonderfully misfit, the magnificently imperfect humans who manage to find each other in this every expanding chaos of mind and universe.

What a gift of himself he gave to we wandering souls that catch-up here and there, staying  6 feet behind and following an echo from the past.  It is a function of my generation.  We were brought up to feel appreciation because they knew it could be so much worst. It had been for them and for their parents as well.  Sandwiched in between two World Wars of brutal intent and consequence they wanted us to know we had it good.

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Here is a listening moment from his very beginning:  Suzanne

 

I can say that I grew up with him.  Canadian from Montreal, I had to love him for his heritage.  Then the liturgy of the Cadillac Church was so interwoven with the culture that he let it become the landscape from which he picked his brilliant metaphors and symbols.

I can say that I find him to be the joy of darkness, the portal to a complete zen acceptance that allows authenticities to be vulnerable appendages rather than the hanging chads of shame and secrecies.

 

Languageless Regions

“from 25 or 30 sounds an infinite variety of expressions, which although not having any resemblance in themselves to that which passes through our minds, nevertheless do not fail to reveal all of the secrets of the mind, and to make intelligible to others who cannot penetrate into the mind all that we conceive and all of the diverse movements of our souls.”
Noam Chomsky
The infinite variety of expressions is the endless variety of narratives that we spin in our subjective mind then merge that spin with life on earth in all of its dimensions…Language Acquisition is the divide between a chimp and a human…we still have access to that languageless region. It is the well-spring of creativity. But it is best accessed from a position of still point.

Quieting the mind, quieting the ego aspect of the mind is essential to gaining the glimpse that we need to be connected to the primitive aspects of our survival.  The connection with our DNA is consciousness.  It has both a linguistic shade to it and a languageless shade to it.

The languageless region is often frightening because we expect to find darkness. And then complicate what we find with a story.  The moth has two possibilities, flying too close to the flame or wandering too far from the warmth.

As human animals, accessing our ancient instincts needs deliberate intent because the language part of us has so advanced that the instinct part of us recedes further and further back.  This makes it difficult to find our way through the jungle of neurotransmitters to where earlier survival skills were dominant.  We still need these ancient survival skills. Much of modern medicine is not trained in the use of the subjective to access illness in the body.

Principles of therapeutic yoga are in line with psychoanalytic thinking.  Both systems of healing are aware of the importance of the unconscious.  In psychoanalysis, the unconscious is an element of consciousness “beneath the surface”.  In Yoga, the unconscious is the body.  The sensations that are felt are languageless messages from the body to the mind.  We can stray from our desires if we have not understood the body’s message to our consciousness.

Modern humans tend to feel these ‘sensation-messages‘ then proceed immediately to creating a narrative, a story which we tell ourselves. In analysis we spend a lot of attention on the narrative. In yoga, the time is spent on understanding the sensation not as words, but as a languageless communication.

The most attractive part of this lesson on biology and evolution is the tremendous boost that we can get from our own instinct of creativity.  Here is a picture that emerged from my languageless region:

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Windsong@watchaug

The evening was amazing, the clouds were low and the sun came through at a low angle in the sky.  The colors of evening begin to change at this time of the year.  Already the tops of trees display a red and rust color.  The first blush is never a reminder that I like to get.  At this time of the year I only wish for summer to never end.

Come a few  weeks and i will be glad to feel the chill.  I am committed however to spending as much time as I can in the water.  The glacial pond turns into a cauldron of ulnaturally warm water.  I worry that it is too warm.  It needs a hint of crispness to stay healthy pond.

Another August in Charlestown and I feel kissed by the sun.  There is much to do around this house and I am not much of a “honey-dew” kind of guy.  Nonetheless I awake here in the mornings and I am never disappointed.  Today I named it Lake Placid.  The water was a mirror reflecting the sky.  Each appeared a steal-blue with an eerie stillness that was at once, calming and chilling.  Last night the moon was full and I waited until it was shinning directly onto the lake.  It was just a pretty sight.  The lake appeared white and patches of light edged through the pine trees, and illuminates the gardens here and there.

 

Impasto (lake placid)The waters at Sanctuary Road have had a healing effect on some people.  It is still relatively  easy to live with nature around here.  The cottage is located between the Audubon Society and the Burlingame State Park.  Burlingame is a preserve in Charlestown with camping and trails and these wonderfully refreshing waters.

On a quiet day the canoe glides over the ripples. There is a cove that is quiet and nearby.  I like to bring a book there and read for a while thinking that the Transcendentalist of New England occupied land very much like this a few hundred years ago. I identify with the near mysticism that happens when we see ourselves as nature, not above it.

I like the sensation that comes from knowing I am at the furthest end point of my evolution to this moment in time.  I am arrived at the edge of my eternity and I have looked over the edge and calculated that it is not a bad ending.

 

There has been much good fortune in the consciousness that accompanies me on this short but illustrative journey that we call life.  The force is all around us.  It creeps in through roots that shoot stalks of milk-weed to compete with mint and cosmos.  We are waiting for the butterflies to find the garden on their way from Canada back to Mexico. We have not seen them yet.

We are one nation with Nature.  And if we fight for anything we must fight to keep as much as the planet as pristine as we can.  It is the royal road to health knowing the balance that happens when we need not get ahead of ourselves.

The monarch butterfly established the  original trans-american trade agreement among wild-flowers, and pine trees, and oaks that have tall crowns way above the shade they cast.

It is August and the moon is waning into September.  So am I.

A Village Burns

A Village Burns:

It was 1673. That was the date stamped on one of the documents
found once the ashes cooled and the debris laid barren on the land.
It was bound in a leather sack that had been tossed down a well shaft.
However, by the slightest chance, the leather satchel hooked on to the
water-bucket. When a passer-by went to look for water, up came this
royal looking bag with the document sealed in wax. Red wax, royal
wax.

Some of the villagers had escaped. Some had heard of the impending
raid commanded by no less than King Louis himself. It seems that
a nobleman from the low country had managed to steal a kiss and
a glance from the fair Lady that had been recently courted by the
King. The King seeing no need for undue competition had the Lady
sent to her village in exile. Lady Catherine was no fool, and no sooner
had she left the castle, she stopped the carriage, mounted a horse, and
galloped to the village to warn the towns people. But Lady Catherine
was too late.
She arrived to see the glow of the evening sky an un-natural red.
Most of the peasants were murdered and left to burn, half dead
as they were, they were left to suffer to the very end for the sin of
their gracious lady.
Some wondered if cruelty had reached new heights; but men have
wondered that since the beginning of human and sub-human history.

A congress of baboons is hardly a welcoming community. And
by then evolution had billions of years of continuity. We ask
the same some five-hundred years hence. Have we come further?
Are we less the barbarians that we were one thousand years ago.

Is it science that courts art, or is it art that courts science; or do
neither care a damn about the other. Is our divided mind and
our divided hemisphere of any less savage temperament. Nature
is not only roses in summer and waves of crystal energy. She
is savage and mother earth brutally kills, albeit in a more random
fashion.

a village burns                         A Village a Glow (1673)

ST. AUGUSTINE, 450th anniversary: the environ

Preface:

It could only be better if it were Quebec rather than St. Augustine.  I say that because Quebec owns my heart and I tend to find beauty where I love.  But we are here and it is now, and that means photos and enhancements, and trials and errors, even during dinner.  It is very difficult for a photographer to escape without his camera.  It is all somewhat of a bus-man’s holiday.  It may be intrinsic to how I see.  I am a Naturalist.  The laws of nature are all around me.  I see them, and they are not watching me.

 

furs and feathers 2

 

As well as having my camera with me as a companion when I set out to write, I take my fascination for light and darkness as more than a metaphor.  I am a Naturalist.  My world is ever changing.  I am aware of moments of simple awe, and moments complicated by  compound-complex sentences that refuse to end.

A current phrase that I hear said to me is:  “Let it go, Man!”

matt cutter like

 

 

So, I let it go.

The pictures that are in this “note” are a product of the gifts of solitude and consciousness that arose out of “letting-it-go”.  I want to elevate these qualities to a near divinity, but they are so human, and ever so woven into the daily evolution of life, that they fail when I attempt to cut them away from the mother plant.  It is not divine consciousness that I elevate, it is Human Consciousness.

The simple observation of the wind, or the odor of sulphuric-salt at low-tide, these enable me to see the greater natural beauty that is St. Augustine. We live on the cusp of what mother nature knows is her land.  Not unlike the attempt started 450 years ago to claim the land for humans from humans, Mother Nature has had her eye on our bay-front for her own use.  St. Augustine is trying to save the shoreline for mother nature’s use.  But, even these interventions are an interruption, a cancer that we humans bring with our civilized footprints as fossils for future archaeologist. St. Augustine has a predilection to Pompeii, and to New Orleans.

the oldest city street on the continent

In the summer St. Augustine is a mix of Floridian consciousness with a touch of the tropics that it borders.  We live at the sea level of water, much like New Orleans, or Dutch Holland.  We are intrinsically woven with the sea, into the sea, and the sea is woven into this shoreline that is us.  We know it is the Laws of Nature that govern, and we know that the Law governs as an absolute monarch.  It is as merciless as the Spanish Inquisition or a Roman conquest.  Mother-Nature rules Absolutely. No amount of self-worth or self-pride can out veto a “NO” vote from mother nature.

We killed the previous owners of this land and we now call it ours.  As such, I photograph the land as if it were mine, and I was taking a picture to prove its inheritance.   We are western civilization.

Crossing the Bridge Of Lions on a soft summer evening can feel as glorious as Venice, or as tame as St. Augustine,  and the lens, my companion, searches for an intersection of lines and light.

the bridge

 

 

I enjoy the fascination of finding a fisherman crouched beneath a bridge fishing for life and maybe even for fish.  He seems to not notice 30,000 people circulating around his nest. He carries a tool box for line and hooks, and a knife as any hunter should.  He hunts.

fishing boy

Others sail!

vignette pencil stroke 2

 

 

Contrast in St. Augustine is relatively easy to fine.  We must be looking for it.  We must be deliberate about when we choose the moment to shoot.  There are two moments in Art: deliberated and un-deliberate.  The common sense choice is an extension of being deliberate.  It occurs for me when I am closest to belonging.

pedestrian bridge

In the theater of Humanity, we have so often come away from life to find a point of observation that captures more than the light dancing on an object.  We would like to come away and find a purpose higher than our own internal, subjective point of view.  I seem to find it more quickly when I am working with the elements of Nature directly.

There is a meditative aspect to art that is linked to both the cause of the piece and the execution of the piece.   A Naturalist that I have great respect for is Mr. Henry Beston.  The following is a quote from 1949 forward of his book, The Outer Most House:

“Man can either be less than man or more than man, and both are monsters, the last   more dread.”

an intersection of line and light

The stage at the center of town, holding court, held little interest for me.  The masses captured by a slogan and swaying to the odor of ale, did not impress me.  The town on which this stage is raised, however, does call to me.  It calls to me because the past has not been deliberately hidden.  The awful scars of righteousness and bigotry do not seem to be as hidden as they might be in other small southern towns.  The sins and atrocities of man seem to become part of the fabric of here.  Though, there does appear to be a lot of civic pride about a massive blood-bath in the Matanzas river.

I think of it as the respect for art and architecture.  St. Augustine envelopes most visitors at least at first sight.

galleon

 

El Galeon, an authentic replica of a 16th century Spanish War ship was one such recent visitor.  We stood on the bridge and watched her come in from the inlet at Vilano and move slowly into the bay front.  Spanish and American flags waved her into place.  She was here to be a part of a festival of celebration.

I find her to be a majestic aspect of St. Augustine’s past.  We were, after all, held here by royalty.  And, for as little as we try to make of it in today’s world, we certainly have been deeply influenced by the behavior of royalty and its part in domesticating western civilization.

the galleon 2

 

This floating art work is a salute to war and the spoils of war. Most of what we have acquired was stolen or forced away from its natural habitat.  Our consciousness belongs to Nature, it has evolved along side the earth since the beginning of time.  We are the furthest-most extension of Nature that we have found anywhere in the universe.  And our little town of St. Augustines is such a representative gem in that crown of thorns.

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Our town is a triumph of man against nature.  See what we have cut out of mother nature and put in its place.  See how architectural transplants have added multiple uses to the marsh lands. so many more uses than mother nature had intended for this piece of little paradise.

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Evolution is just another name for the slice of life that we have become.  Migration of species moves to a natural order, an order of not-knowing that bothers our consciousness.  Freud would say that psycho-analysis disturbed the sleep of the world.  That German-Jew knew what he was talking about.  We do not want to know that what we have created is created on a bed of sand that has an equal capacity to move from beneath as it does from above.  A foundation of shifting sand brings no comfort. The answer may not be a bigger wall unless we are deliberate about the fact that a bigger wall will only postpone what mother nature, in the long run, will re-capture as hers.  She is a formidable Queen every bit as powerful as Isabell or Elizabeth.  She is mother to every Queen that ever ruled.

a bird of paradise 2

 

There will be more about mother nature in St. Augustine in a separate post.  This post will connect with an episode from the Caleb Sagas.

Thanks for reading.logo

 

Storm Over Augustine

 

 

 

This photo was taken from the bridge to Vilano…It is of storm clouds forming over the city in mid-afternoon.  The city is barely visible bordering the very bottom of the image.  It depicts that human-kind and its manifestations are very small in context of the universe.

 

We are small beyond measure; yet our desire from grand and glorious shapes much of what we do and what we aim for.storm impasto