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.

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

Meditation on a Tree

trees & moss
Meditation on a Tree
I love these trees, I love the brillo-wy texture and the color, the
nearly life-less gray.  And it hangs in the wind through rain and
storms.  The moss is old. It has to have been there for a while for it
to have descended from the scrap of seed that landed on that tree,
on that spot in the tree, at that minute–and it took:  it grew and
grew downward nearly touching the ground.  Heading for earth
like smoke heads for the sky.
I like these trees.  They remind me of home.  They remind me that
when life sucks, you still grow; and you keep growing until one day
you just stop, stop growing and the decay sets in immediately.  The
return to dust, the next to final resting place before the eternal boom
of time reaches its super-sonic speed and the whole thing turns into
a mess, decays on the spot, and dispenses so quickly that there will
be nothing to notice that it no longer exist.  It is no longer there, and
you are no longer there–and every one’s ancestors will be gone.  And
there will be no one to notice.
The Universe will not end with a whimper, Mr. Eliot, it will end
with a bang that smother all bangs that have ever come before it.
It is the moment when space and time merge into a darkness, a void,
a vastness of eternal nothing.  No memoires will be left behind, saints
and sinners alike will burn, at first hot and lava like, but eventually
to the flickers of embers. “and who for us will intercede when even
saint’s shall comfort need.”

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…