in Canada

It is September of my 73rd year. I am in Canada and along with me is my nemesis, Caleb. He has been with me since reading Ann Rice. Living forever, trading your soul in for extended consciousness, was a delightful fantasy–it sold books, and it sold me.

Always the ‘wanna-be’, that was Caleb’s life. With the arc in plain view, Caleb noticed that he was the same DNA that was once a little boy. As he sat by an open window in one of the townships of Quebec he heard neighbors in the adjoining yard–they spoke Canadian. It all came back to him like a dream. Except now it was Caleb that had COPD and his mother had been dead a quarter of a century. It was not so much the words as the rhythm, the cadence of the language that Caleb admired, as it was the heartfelt language, because it represents a people who had to settle-in to survive; and many did not survive. Those that did respect their antiquity. The culture of French Canada shows that determination. They are a nation that respects the status quo.

Today we would say it was a mindfulness that did not want to be intruded upon. Caleb would be meditating. He would be stopping. He would be absconded by an alien consciousness. This is too esoteric for these Canadians. They know how to be and the land and the history and the culture supports that.

moon-glow

The ride from New England to Hutchinson Island is 22 hours long..that sort of includes the pee stops and the watering the dog stops and the occasional get-a-bite to eat stops.  The EOS convertible is not nearly as comfortable as she is pretty.  The dogs were gracious, the inns and motels were more than adequate, and here we are softly arrived at the biggest moon in decades glowing across the Atlantic like a beacon creating a road to eternity.

It is a Blessing to Be.

It is a Blessing to be here.

It is a blessing to be here now.

It is a blessing to be here now, together.

 

This Unitarian chant has become a way for us to remind each other that we are indeed fortunate to have a friendship that lends itself to just about anything that we decide that we want to do.  Then later that night we went back to see the moon and it had grown into a giant circle of white light.  I would like to know how many digital pictures are of this particular moon.  It was so advertised as a super-moon that

Scripting…We have sold our house on the Lake to Larry.  He loves it as much as we did.  We rented Roger’s house on the cove and banked the money in a simple CD until we were able to decided what we wanted to do.  We both prayed on it and it seemed that ll we could think about was wanting to live  here and wanting to spruce up the property..We want to  plant a host of traveler palms and we want to add flowers.  And a back porch and a french door from the back bed room and a hot tub….

Manifesting…I am here and David said that they have changed plans–they are going to look for something that is complete and they want to stay where they are until their son grows up…They want to money to improve the house they are in and we are the prime candidate in their minds for us to purchase from them…..

We moved down here in 2012–and my practice is limited to those people that i see over the phone.

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. 

Post-Card from Canada

 

      Some Days are more saturated than others…some colors
are more satisfying than others, and it is disconcerting to learn
that colors have no existence of their own.
     Color is an interaction of light and mind.  The light illuminates
and the differences in illuminations are captured by the mind.  One
can not exist without the other.  An abstraction as an image pays less
attention to the form, and more attention to the interaction of light
with matter. I like my work to reflect my fascination with intensity, intensity
of emotion and intensity of light.
    There is power in color evidenced by the dreary gloom of a damp
cloudy day juxtaposed with a blue sky spotted with white clouds under
a brilliant sun.
    In Canada the winters are long and darkness
needs to be enflames with warm colors.  The Blues and the yellows
in this abstraction of a pipe organ reflect those extremities in a
sanctuary of peace, tranquility and Gregorian Chant.
A. L. Dussault
St. Benoit organ
The Title of this piece is, “St. Benoit of the Lake”. The original
photo was taken in a monastery where ancient Gregorian Chants
are sung five times a day by brothers who are otherwise silent,
obedient and dedicated to survival and the love of God.
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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.

 

Quebec–enhanced and edited–Topazed

royal plaza entrance  liquid lines 2notre dame de victoires b& w2mural digital

roo
roo

Each of these photo-paintings–iphotoimpressions, are of French Canada.  You can see how different styles of digital brush strokes and different tonal variations change the intentional entirely.  One image above is an outdoor wall mural.  A painting that feels as if you could walk into that space for how perfect the perspective is.

Roof-top  have been inspired by Matthew Cutter’s work.  He painted a piece called “roof-tops” that is deep and tonal and uses only two colors to render a universal impression.  When I see roof-tops, I see Cutter’s work in my minds eye.

Notre Dame des Victoires—at the Place Royal is a church build in the mid 17th century (1667).  Walking through Quebec’s ancient city along the St Lawrence River is walk in timelessness.  I chose low saturation and no saturation to convey the faded stone work of the period.

Each of these represent a subjective interpretation of where I am in time and space.  I feel transported, only for the moment, but long enough to feel the air that breathes now was the air that breathed then.  The river is perpetually the same while always changing and flowing with new waters….

Ouebec is a wonderland of peace and “adequate” prosperity.  She is fun to capture and more fun to edit.

I Wonder as I Wander….Quebec, Canada

roo
roof-tops, quebec, ca

Ahhhh! but the beauty,
the provincial character,
the politeness that is part of everyday life,
the calm and the enchantment that the french have —
i wanted to live there, I wanted to be young— your age;
and have it to do again, not to do it over, but, to do again,
to be here and let the magic of consciousness
be my guide.

“yes,” i said “but quebec was so, so wonderful….”

pastel roofs against the slate-blue, grey, green river,
the snow that falls even as the sun shines,
the clumsy steps, each leading to a new wonder,
a new vista, a new thing of beauty to gaze upon,
a new star on which to hitch my wagon and let
myself be dragged through the consciousness of the universe.

“but,” i thought, “if i choose quebec there are many,
many wonders that I can not choose.”
“choosing you means not choosing all the other wonders,
the ones i have not yet dared to dream—
those sights and sounds and smells that i have yet to meet.

“will my dust be conscious of the green, green, grass of home?”
I paused and thought for a minute—Some secrets are
better kept forever unrevealed?”

I move closer to the glimpse that I had of you
loving me back the way quebec did.”
The blue bites at my unshaved beard freezing the whiskers up to my chin…the green, grass
mingles with salt and snow….
the white fades into a rising fog as I bundled up my neck
against the wind,
unable to keep my feet and hands from the wet chill of melting ice.

leaning against the rail, the ancient city below calmed my inner yearnings.
i was home for the one moment in all eternal time that counts, I was here.
I was here now.
i was here now together with you.

i can never be dissuaded from what i find as beauty.

Canada in my Bones

Wow–it has to be genetics..I think in my unconscious I long for the Quebec that my Grandmother talked about, I long for the

native tongue to be spoken all around me.  I so frequently draw and paint small villages with a predominant church in the foreground; I have wondered about my fascination with these scenes.  It is not until you pointed out this group that I had the association with
a deep and longing unconscious vision of Canadian woods and Canadian hospitality and Canadian values.
As a boy the church was the center of the community and when I paint or draw, I get myself into a zone where nothing matters–there is no future and no past.  I am content in the moment.  I am sure that this reflects the boyhood visions that were re enforced by my grandmothers stories of the homeland….She was born just outside of Quebec City in 1888.
When she would visit with her siblings she would send me post cards–usually in black and white of country side images…