This Day

Collected Sabbath Poems & New, 1979-2013,

Wendell Berry

1985 (the first and last stanza) FOR: MEL

Not again in this flesh will I see

the old trees stand as they did,

weighty creatures made of light, delight

of their making straight in them and well,

whatever blight our blindness was or made,

however thought or act might fail.

Though blindness may yet detonate in light,

ruining all, after all the years, great right

subsumed at last in paltry wrong,

what do we know? Still

the Presence that we come into with song

is here, shaping the seasons of His wild will.

I had an ink ling. It sounded like an Ode to Spring, so I
played with lines and squiggles instead of words.

April has been everything it can be. I found Wendell Berry someplace in my precious library, and I just love his old American way of hanging on to Transcendendtalism long after the cultural was fashion in America, at its best of years. But, by 1985 Berry saw the evolution of humanity trying to keep up with the evolution of Corporate Capitalism. A new guilded age was being ushered-in by the Tea-Party, twenty-five years later it is inevitable: the corn fields and the wheat fields are turning into sub-urban malls designed to have a short life, left to decay. Not like you, or i, or an old barn returning from Dust to Dust, rather, like steal beams rusting into asbestos and cement seaping through the tar and dripping with toxic paints.

Please Wabi-Saii show me the beauty in this decay. I want to see it. I want to touch it and feel it the way I did when I was ten.

I saw that boy recently. He was four years old. He was gifted to me by a spirit guide named Mel. All I know about her is her given name, Mel. She narrated me down a rabit hole and I fell into my inner landscape, I love it it ther. He was so small, just walking down the side porch stairs leading to a gravel yard (stone, screws, nails and glass) a car park area for the Canadian Style triple-decker that is iconic of the early 20th century.

He was wearing a three-quarter herringbone coat with a matching herringbone hat with a very small visor and, also of herringbone button smack on top of his hat. He was heading toward his friends house and I saw his face light up with a glow when he saw him come down the steps that led from his house to the dirt road between them. .

We played in the, Italian Field, among oily street run-off water, the rag-weed and the golden-rods. I remember a bow and arrow, and the arrows had rubber suction cups and you knew you could not possibly hurt yourself or your friend. It was all so safe and innocent.

Then I opened my eyes back into the outer-landscape. I like it in both places.

The Private Practice: in writing

floralcloud.jpegThe Private Practice: In Writing 

I infrequently see angels. Although, I have at times felt startled thinking I was about to step on my little Yorkie. A more deliberate glance showed nothing there but the remains of a shadow that lives in my mind. Lyla continues to live: in my mind.
When I access my French Canadian roots, I feel enveloped by the arms and culture of my grandmother. Memere, was her name. I still see her in my minds eye much like I see little Lyla who was always underfoot. 

My morality lives a different narrative in French than does my English narrative. I have know this for many years. As many year as I have know that a souls last death is when no one else on earth is alive to remember it. I keep Memere alive.
I guess I might call myself an emotional pragmatist–someone who follows nature, like another might follow football. I like knowing the nuances. And those same nuances that I see in the tall pines and the swinging birches, I see in the magnified imaginations of both my conscious and my unconscious mind.
…………………………………..
Autumn is nearby. This year she has not given much warning about the impending transitions about to happen–in my case from a bathing suit and bare-feet to long pants and a sweater. But, that is only the start. Transitions at this time of the year demand that we pay a conscious attention to not only today, but to the inevitable death of summer tomorrow. In this case the fleeting last hours and the fleeting last flowers of summer 2018.
We can’t ignore it–at least, we can’t ignore it for long. High winds crawling across the Atlantic Ocean from South Africa will actually rip some trees out of their roots. Imagine what it might do to you, if you were unfortunate enough to be where the tree was when the winds hit the coast. And, of course, when the rain falls it will be cold, and the bones will feel the chill; just a month ago the wind was welcomed as a soft, gossamer breeze fluttering like a yellow finch or the humming birds sucking up nectar from the brightest flowers in the gardens. 

Here, in my little Canada, I am fortunate enough to anticipate fall, and eventually winter. The Canadian geese are on a flight pattern that has them stopping for a lunch break on Watchaug Pond. It probably looks not much different from Les Canton d’es Est to these migrators. Except for one nuisance: in Canada they are generally satisfied, there is no perpetual motion for the next exciting bit of success and the latest gadget that complicates life while convincing Americans that this very expensive thing will make life easier. The light bulb, internal plumbing and gardens in the Townships seem to have been joyfully arrested in the clutches of 1950 sentimentality with a touch of 2018 wisdom. 

Mindfulness & Art in Psychoanalysis.

Mindfulness in Psychoanalysis. 

Iphotoimpression.com, is a service that takes from psychoanalysis the drive to create, and mixes it up with multi-medium arts and philosophies to arrive at instructions for a life well lived.

Ego and Instinct together create our particular brand of perspective and consciousness. It is from this seat of consciousness that we evaluate every thing we see, every thing we do, into the binomial system that we have evolved:  (0 or 1).

 (I like it, I don’t like it, I like this, I don’t like that, yes, no, I like this, I don’t like this. )

The meaning of the mindful law of attraction to psychoanalysis resides in the arena of drive and desire. The sum total of our “no’s & our “yes’s,” Becomes the aim, or direction of the instinct.  

What you like and what you don’t like changes over time. As long as you have your consciousness, the seat from which you observe both internal and external data, you are evolving.  You are in a state of flux, of flow–flowing.

If your consciousness is not disturbed–you are safe. As soon as the organism is disturbed either from within or without, you experience the intrusion of stress, a slight nod from the adrenal system that subjectively we experience or ignore. (It’s probably a binomial thing).  Nonetheless, it gets louder over time.  A wound that starts out as a minor stressor can grow exponentially into an attack of anxiety–A complete overload of the immure system.

Stress is the biological response to anything that impinged on you in any way, from light, to heat, to sensation, through to thought, mood and feeling & more. We measure stress both through quantity and quality.  How much stress do you feel and how intense is the feeling?

Stress is biology. Anxiety is your conscious response to becoming aware that your biology just did something, or said something; it communicated to the aspect of you that collects and assesses that your attention is required. 

Emotions can be as smooth as a mirror-lake in the mountains, or they can churn like a restless sea in a wind blown storm. Emotions are classified first as pain or comfort and later are further classified by intensity. 

A pain can come from a sliver or from an ax; the range is regulated by how much, and how fast the Adrenalin is pouring into the system and how fast it is being absorbed. 

This is a bit like learning the meaning of shutter speed and aperture on a camera. Most of us have that feature set on either auto or a programmed mode. 

A story to go along with an idea:

Let me continue with a short story.  A old patient wanted to re-gain her spirituality; however, many years before she had had a major falling out with the Church, and eventually with all churches, indeed her fall-out with the church became her fall out with her God.  

She obsessed over her anxiety, she cried that she was alone, she pushed away anyone who tried to help her or even tried to get close to her.  Her heart was entirely closed to the idea of rekindling her relationship with God  or of attempting intimacy with anyone.  She saw beauty but could not let it in.  She turned away from truth for fear that she would be hurt by knowing it.

During one session I asked her what she thought what  might happen if she walked into a church to help her remember the smells and the sensual delights she felt when she was wrapped by a location that had previously held the peace and serenity she was wanting again.

Absolutely refused.  She was so frightened to hear rejection from any authority that she let no relationship pass the gate where her heart, her passion, for life lived in a small quiet corner, in the recesses of her heart & mind.  

Old anger had become a fear of feeling.  What if she heard something she did not want to hear?  What if someone suggested that she begin to proceed on a healthier path?  As long as she alone knew the source of her withholding, no one could extract it from her.  All the resistances to changing were stock-piled behind a concrete wall of stubborn will-fullness.

In the next session she said she saw no need to come back to analysis since it was clear that I did not know when to stop.  Her last session had produced too many feelings and she was not going to pay me just to feel worst than when she came in.

I had been accused of attempting to crush her rationalizations with mere emotion, and emotions only lead a person to unreasonable positions.  

Under the totality of the narrative, the patient had created and was using all her energy to keep away feeling, leaving her with no room to create a life that might include joy, if not peace.  She was locked away, but I had picked at the lock and that sent her back in service of her ego.   I could not be trusted if she thought that the analysis would influence her.  Above everything else, she knew she did not want to be influenced by anyone.

I told her that I so despised authority that I stopped listening to myself a long time ago.

She wavered in the transference between loving to hate me and in thinking I might be as crazy as her.  That created a strong enough bond to keep the transference on a steady course.  There would be time, time to see what the relationship will look like when she begins to recognize that what she shouts most vociferously about is being a victim of her own circumstances.  She told me she abhorred victims and she thought she could chew them up and spit them out before they knew what was happening to them.  The delusion lies not in the accuracy of that statement but in the idea that it was she who was most hurt, most devastated by her sabotaging intimacies.

What is art and what is psychoanalysis?

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There are two themes in the above introduction to this essay.  One involves what it is like to practice the art of psychoanalysis, and the second is the theme of art for art sake.  I am inclined to believe that the two marry very nicely.  Psychoanalysis has a lot in common with art, both require a lot of technical training and both have foundations in altruistic aspects of being humans.  I am very interested in humans, they interest me as much as the other parts of nature do.  Pine trees and red leaf maples are gorgeous like some humans are.  Filthy dying swamps and the smell of low-tide also have a wabi-sabi kind of charm that smells like other aspects of humanity.

Perhaps it is in the attainment of a goal that the two disciplines meet.  When I am involved with a digital painting or with a patient, nothing else is around to distract me from my mission in the moment: do the best that I can to represent and impress truth and beauty.  I use the word impress as the root of the word impressionism.

Psychoanalysis has a lot in common with impressionism.  Transference between the patient and the analyst  is emotional impressionism.  The painting above is an impression of Canada a place where much of my love is stored among the antiquities of my ancestors–poor farmers creating large families to populate the cold northern part of America, baptized as much by native Americans as by the English or the French.

To think like an artist and to think like an analyst require similar talents.  Both causes require talent and both causes require time and dedication as well as a deep respect for the wisdom of witnessing as a form of cure for the existential conditions that humankind faces today in 21st century civilization.  So many minute decisions are involved in the exact shade of color that is chosen and so many minute decisions are involved in deciding when an intervention is called for and when it is best withheld.  

The disciplines of psychoanalysis and the disciplines of art require tremendous consideration be given to the subjective. Both disciplines necessitate boldness as well as empathy and contemplation. 

Both require a gentle application of knowledge and neither can be rushed.  There is a form of the sacred to both endeavors.  In each form there is great desire to contribute.

Color, mood, form, lines, boundaries, choices, and “decisions and revisions” are always at play. 

The interesting part is knowing that I never know the out-come before I star; I do not know the out-come until I am finished.    I think both aspects of me have enjoyed the moments during which I was engaged.  Both applications of myself take me out of my shell, my solitude, my narcissism, long enough to find and express joy in the process as much as the product. 

A New England Kettle Pond

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Writing with Light, using my cones and rods, I get to interpret light and use that interpretation to observe beauty from my subjective perspective.
On a walk around my Walden Pond, I could see November in the objects and their shadows. I could see light as it dropped like water on a leaf or a needle on a pine tree.
Light moves around when a leaf swirls in the wind and a new shadow is cast on a new branch.
It is a privilege to be able to have the time and the equipment needed to be able to have a day of gratitude. There are times in people lives when to bridge a divide means a lot of subjective work at uncovering clarity. This is an ongoing process in both art and therapy.

Mindfulness in Psychoanalysis is one aspect of my life, and iphotoimpression.com is another aspect of my professional life. These two ambitions drive me still today. What they have in common is the intensity of emotion as a reflection of intense color. The colors that make up the above composition are cream, aqua, deep red fuchsia and a hint of purple and green. Among these colors are variations in contrast and tonality.

I took my camera out to photograph light, only by coincidence and intuition did the objects end up in the images created. I love trees, they feel essential to me. I live among them. When I look out my window, I see nature and neighbors here and there in these woods on the edge of a New England Kettle Pond.  Gratutude is a product of clarity and clarity is a product of solitude.

st augustine, nostalgia is sad

st augustine has been a mixed blessing this year, but then again what has not been a mixed blessing as i ramble through my memories.  i might be leaving this place soon and i find myself not ready.  the winter has been chilly, the moon is waning and lyla died.

loss and letting-go is bearing down on me.  i feel it as exaggerated gravity.  a kind of electrically exaggerated gravity.  something that is both weighty and profound. let me illustrate it with a few images:

black and purple 2  as well as the pressure and the heightened sensitivity, there is a growing awareness that this 3rd phase of life will make the bumpy past seem smooth in comparison.  i could be wrong and i would gladly be wrong but it does seem to me that tragedy prevails at the end.  even if it was a comic ride for most of life, the end might be a relief–at best.

in any event, it has been a ghostly season.

ghostly winterit feels like mardi gras with no ash-wednesday.  don’t take this wrong–i like dark.  to paraphrase leonard, “you want it darker, turn off the light.”

turner stormto paraphrase leonard, “you want it darker, turn off the light.”

February 2nd, 2018

Abstract Expressionism: the spectrum of energy

writing with light and psychoanalytic conversation have this in common:  both are enhanced by the polarities of existence.  both are engaged in what is present and what is missing.  each case is informed by the extremities in a system of energy.

darkness is as revealing as light, shadows are as important as highlights. balance and beauty and truth converge into a singularity leading to the illusion of oneness.

 

canoe glow

my artwork has evolved from impressionism to expressionism.  this new method of working in the world of abstraction has expanded my vision.  it is the unconscious made conscious by free-association.  here meaning and reason have less to do with outcome; and. process is once again central. it has always been for me.

i find beauty in the subjective, that is to say, i find beauty in the creation of sensation through a steady alertness to evolution.  everything, including the universe, is always and only moving forward through the spectrum of light and energy.  all photography is capturing a single moment in time and space.

the process is meditative.

 

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Fire and Ice

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This is a basic edit–the lucky shot itself is the best part of this photo. The double sunset is a result of Ice formation in the clouds to the right. The Sun setting to the left illuminated the ice crystals creating the illusion of a double sunset.

The role of illusion in perspective and sight is what makes a particular work of art special because of what Nature provides.  I like this type of image because it feels like a cooperation between the universe and my micro-vision.

More than anything, I enjoy the surprise of nature.  Even to the point of impermanence, I am delighted to live with the knowledge that all suns set in the end.  Some set beautifully, as this one did.

Clams in Rhode Island

clamming in Rhode Island.jpgClamming in R I

 

It was a beautiful end of summer day.  Kathy has the Canadian Canoe with a 9.9 engine on the back.  We can row or paddle, or for long runs, Kathy uses the engine. The shallow brackish ponds curve around a landscape of the Atlantic on one side and the shoreline of southern Rhode Island on the other side.  The image above depicts our family group raking for clams

The 1st of October brings my mind into the new season.  Though we spent the afternoon in the water, it was really not warm enough for old bones to enjoy a swim.  Though each of us were so adapted to New England, I am sure we might have had we known the day would turn out as warm as it did.  My face browned with the passing of the day.

The southern migration of the popular tree swallow was in full swing and they were, we were told, on their way to Essex Cn where they converge to finish their way to the southern destination.  In New England, we understand snow-birds differently than the popular version which is to fly, drive and even train to some parts of Florida.  These birds were swirling and feeding off the pond all around us.  A flock of cormorants also converging were mingling with sea-gulls as we canoe around the ponds and marshes of Ninigret. Native American influence is fading but still visible when you look.

We brought in enough shellfish to have appetizers with dinner, a simple Sunday evening supper as was the custom in Canadian families.

Autumn and aging are at my front door.  At first, I had to adapt to the idea, then I realized the adaptations are transitions that require a new kind of deliberate intent.  Clamming on a bright, sunny, autumn day with folks you love and trust is a great source of spiritual healing.  I am talking about the kind of healing that comes from inhaling the rays of sun, merged with the aroma of the tides and the beauty of the colors the light provides.

Some days, with a bit of luck and a dose of determination, gratitude is in the air.

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.

 

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.

 

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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.

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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.

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