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.

 

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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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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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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!”

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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.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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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No Two Moments Are Alike

 

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Honesty seems to live just below the surface of consciousness.  It is not deeply fastened to the lower brain functions, it is not unconscious.  However, in the semi-conscious state where it exists, it needs to be seduced out deliberately if it is to be of any use.

I am curious about the statement that makes up the title of this mini-essay: ” No two moments are alike.”  I remember being mystified for quite some time when I first learned that no two snow-flakes were a like.  I am mystified in the same way about this recent thought that I have been having.

At this point in our collective development as humans, most of us can accept the “here & now” of current life.  We are surrounded with mindful reminders of “live for today,” “only one day matters. today, because yesterday is gone and tomorrow is not here.”  The here and now has been relegated to a  cute little phrase that is comfortable and not offensive to anyone.

Add the concept of believing in a deep and loyal commitment to oneself, and most of us run as fast as we can, taking our un-resolved self with us.  We do this from one moment to the next. And, some of us do it for a life time.  Honesty as a form of communicating between aspects of yourself is a skill that must be learned.  It is not a given that on our own we will find the route to nirvana or honesty.

Honesty is eclipsed by the ego through a myriad of defenses and coping skills that are neuronal connections.  To work with the authentic self, we must risk the emotional discomfort of shame, ignorance, guilt, arrogance, grandiosity, imperfection, and most of all a gigantic ego that demands respect while advocating complete control of the human mind.

In exchange for protecting us, the ego demands 100% entitlement to righteousness.  The ego has no use for intuition, the subjectivity, the dream-like images of what ever we can conjure up.  Matters of the heart are like Ladies in the court of Henry VIII.

The concept of deliberate intent is again being called on.  If we want to be honest with ourselves, we have to commit to a practice that is consistent and supportive.   As well, we have to be prepared to chase away the demon nay-sayers.  The one we hear outside of us and the eternal ones that come from ancestry.

Moving to honesty is a paradigm switch.  Nothing that we thought we knew applies to our discovering our own neuro-pathways.  Thinking is not particularly useful in getting there.  There may be a constitutional resistance to even wanting to know the truth as you may feel a need to punish yourself according to pre-renaissance torture treatments.  Perhaps the source of our modern day hell is the souls of men who have created human atrocities.

Hell is too frighteningly close to honesty.  It heats up the fears to such an intensity that deliberate search for the still-point is unconsciously abandoned.

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Wabi-Sabi: the artful dodger

There is a Japanese Art called:  Wabi-Sabi

     “According to Japanese legend, a young man named Sen no Rikyu sought to learn the elaborate set of customs known as the Way of Tea. He went to tea-master Takeeno Joo, who tested the younger man by asking him to tend the garden. Rikyu cleaned up debris and raked the ground until it was perfect, then scrutinized the immaculate garden. Before presenting his work to the master, he shook a cherry tree, causing a few flowers to spill randomly onto the ground.

To this day, the Japanese revere Rikyu as one who understood to his very core a deep cultural thread known as wabi-sabi. Emerging in the 15th century as a reaction to the prevailing aesthetic of lavishness, ornamentation, and rich materials, wabi-sabi is the art of finding beauty in imperfection and profundity in earthiness, of revering authenticity above all. In Japan, the concept is now so deeply ingrained that it’s difficult to explain to Westerners; no direct translation exists.”*

imperfect dulling piano

I immediately loved the concept.  I thrive on imperfection.  In fact it is the domain name for this web-blog.  Imperfestionism means that I am more in touch with the process than I am with the out-come.  I love the freedom that being imperfect gives to my otherwise very clever and competitive ego.  At this point all that I know of Wabi-Sabi is that I like the little that I know about it.   I like to believe that I can take that phrase from another culture and create out of it what I want it to mean to me.

I want wabi-sabi to mean to me that i can learn to approach everything that I want both spiritually and materially from the perspective of desire. I want to be able to decide for myself what is in my best interest and what I want to do.  I want to let people, places and things (the nouns)  impact upon me; and I want to be able to generate a feeling of either I like that, or I do not like that in response to all the universe can throw at me in life.

Photography, philosophy and psychoanalysis have been among my deepest passions and i am proud to report to you that I do all of them imperfectly well.  Experimentation in the creative arts is enhanced by a lack of concern for what other have to say to us.  As the brush teaches you how to create a stroke, or how an instrument teaches you how to make a sound, or how a patient teaches you what he needs in order to effectively sing better; your soul learns to listen to your body that has often been drowned out by the sound of the perpetually boastful, arrogant and dysfunctional ego.

Imperfection and impermanence carry the same connotation as selfishness.  They all seem to be some kind of back-bone to American values.  Olympians must be strong, with stand pain, be dangerous and fearless and must win.  These qualities are not qualities that lead to the simple life–the life that is guided by joyful moods and happy events.

Wabi-Sabi is not a thing or a state that everyone will want.  Some people will choose competition and fame as the road to their happiness.  Others, the art folks who follow The Artist’s way, would not be able to thrive in a competitive environment.  For those souls, they must find a way to detach from the desire for perfection to be accepted, and attach to the desire to be accepted by your deeper self.

Meditation is a great example of wabi-sabi.  Who does it perfectly?  Meditation is beautiful in its imperfection.  That is one of the reason why people who do it return to it.  It works to re-align the body and the soul.  It search for the realignment  between are heart-felt desires and our ability to let ourselves want what we want.

I am glad that I found the word.  Wabi-Sabi is a new thing that I want to allow myself to have.

Below is a manifestation of selfish imperfection.  It is selfish because my interest is about this piece pleasing me. I wanted it to provide me with meditative moments, especially while in the process of creating it. Secondly  its impermanence is inherent.  Paper and card board to not exist forever.  The shelf-life of paper is relatively impermanent in geologic time.

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excerpt from a ransom blog

august heat: the joy gardening @ the fountain of youth

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it must be the infectious weather.  i am outside 12, 15 hours a day.  I love the heat, the breeze and most of all being nearly naked on a wide expanse of beach and seemingly not seeing anyone, unless you consider the sky someone.  The sky with its orange and blue clouds and and pink and purple highlights throughout, it makes you wonder, am i on another planet…is this too good to be true?

a little man with a very scruffy hat sit at the beach whittling palm branches into curious shapes.  we he has a piece just right he uses a magnifying glass and the sun to etch and burn images and text onto these palm discards.  I love that so much is actually used.

in addition to just being overjoyed with the activities and the pace of this world, i am engaged in becoming younger next year.  why not?  As my useful, productive exercises produce a nice, art-felt creative looking garden, my body is shedding pounds from the heat and the labor…i become hot and restless so I just into my car, park at the beach and within five minutes, I am a fish swimming against a wave, or a wanna-be surfer that comes riding in on a wave scraping bottom–in this case bottom being my protruding stomach.  Another reason to stay in the ocean and swim off some more weight.

It is easy to be in love in this town, not because the men are beautiful and the woman are plentiful, but because everything is so romantic…small out of the way ethnic restaurants, a cove that appears private, so private you are tempted to swim bare.  a bar filled with cowboy hats and men and women two-steppin.  music from the plaza de la constitution, music from a rock club, music from a spanish guitar playing solo to no one in particular in the mournful key of A minor.  fudge and popcorn in more flavors then I knew existed.  good, good european coffee anywhere. and the churches still ring the angelus, and the choir is gregorian and the mass is high, and musical, and intellectually lectured sermons are interesting.

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It is camelot, shangria-la, Don Quixote’s adventure, the Spanish inquisition, the year is 1567, the roads are cobble-stone, a house was recently stained with cranberries.  house drawn carriages, small intimate theater, live Opera, a Picasso exhibit…….

then, i begin to crave co-creating and I start to see how I might have a different life here than I have up north.  work in a landscape company? teach software art? write my book.

gardening is so good to me.  i look at a square or a circle or a corner or a triangle and it begs to me to landscape it into something indigenous and beautiful.  then the exercise of gathering the stone, the brick, the motor, digging up roots, raking level a section–dig some deep holes and line them with a quality grade composted top soil.

then there is the nursery. there the young people know plants like I know diagnostic categories.  so i pick some long limb flowering bougainvillea that will fill a pot 4 feet high by maybe 3 feel wide.  i picked up a trellis to help the youngster to grow right into the old giant oak that stands very tall just behind the fence.  There will be an arch of bogies, and in front of the bogies, i planted a variety of flowering plants in the 4 to 8 feet range; and just in front of that is a row of rosemary that we hope to see grow into tall eatable herbs.  and the out-door whirlpool sits in the middle of this jungle-like garden.

 

Getting ready to leave, st. augustine, but would sure like to have stayed on at least one more month, Perhaps soon.

I am manifesting many wishes and most are granted with no strings attached, except to be a good man; that is, to be accountable to an examined analytic  matrix.  The contents of a each man is different, because “each” means that it is onto itself that the values mush be evaluated and attached.

Here in St. Augustine where there are many imports, from other cities in America, we experience a conservative acceptance of each other–beneath the core, I can not tell yet if there is real soul.  From the looks of it, it has to have soul; but I am too new here to thrown out any opinions.  For now, the feeling is that of being in Love…this too shall pass, I presume; but until then I am going to photograph, paint, draw, write and pray full-out for my continued manifesting and my mission to help the world to see how much beauty there lies in the least excepted places.

 

Once again Deliberate Intent is here to suggest that we can let a great deal of beauty pass us by when our heads are buried in the sand.  Beauty must be aggressively sought after.  It is a component of drive and as such it has great powers that can lie dormant for a life time, if they are not awakened..

Like the nursery rhyme where sleeping beauty is woken by a kiss from a Prince…ok, so who would not wake up for that, beauty was the passion that sent the kiss.  And what of Helen Of Troy, navies and armies were sent to fetch her home…we can go to no limits if the drive is strong enough….

To be in a place of beauty, a state of Grace, it is wise first to have examined who you are and why you like what you like and what you don’t like and why?  We need that infusion of our own reality, our subjective world has to be touched by the instincts as well as by the over-bearing ego.

Deliberately Aim for Beauty.

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