Sunday, March 23, 2014

snow shoeing

the old wooden snowshoes allow a natural gate.... 
because they were not designed with manufacturing 
and profit as priorities

the maples continue to relinquish maple keys at measured interval for mice, squirrels, chickadees and rabbits   
it's not just the wind that triggers release, as i had suspected. 
the lane was covered again after the -25ºc february full moon dead calm cold snap
if we humans got our heads out of our asses ("smart" phones) we might see just how intelligent and interconnected the rest of the biosphere is.
i've lived here in the woods for over 30 years and this seems like the most relentless winter and this is the first time the maples have metered the release of their keys

i listened with interest to Mavis Gallant for insight when asked about loneliness- the solution,
exile to a place of respect for writers.
while the intervening decades have improved the lot for writers and musicians in canada
the same can't be said for the  visual arts.Tom Wolf's "the painted word" describes the particular as
Orwell's 1984 describes the broad view.
even the threat that "beauty will save the world" has been thoroughly countered... 
the word "beauty'' has been banned from the state sanctioned art world
and the natural world has been re-prioritized from a source wonder beauty to  
resources for extraction

it's as if there is an internationally coordinated effort to make the earth uninhabitable but
that would require cooperation.... so the engine of destruction must be as simple and limitless
 as human greed and envy 

st patricks

sunny monday and -10ºc
and the cutting of a few trees 
before the sap runs up
to turn buds to leaves
falling through the crust 
passed my knees
sweat soaked 
the rim of my barrette
and it ran across across 
my sun glasses
as I encountered 
the resistance of Beach
to the ten pound maul
all and all 
a most satisfying start
to the most pleasant
of drudgeries
day two in shirt sleeves
i cut more and started to split
Maples and Beach
along the snow-shoed path
within easy reach
and the crows were there 
to see a flock of wild turkeys
emerge from their winter digs
and cross the lane from the 
white pine wind break
heading towards the 
hilltop look out
they seem to use
machine noise
to cover their tracks
and the next day 
it rained

new truth

new Truth 

truth to power
and free advice are 
a threat to 
who perch precariously at the top
we are perpetually unwelcome
but still,
not only do we have to 
solve the problems that
     they deny exist
we have to come up with the solutions 
that enhance their bottom line 
and we have to trick them into doing it
we have find the money to fund the project and
we have to allow them to take credit for the innovation 
and we have to 
allow them to take,
not only the monetary reward
but the fame
no problem,
it's a cultural reality
same as it ever was
cultural anthropology 101
as soon as we poke our noses through the fence
into their particular "make believe"
all is reviled
all the cliches
and some new truths 
intending to obscure 
the sunlight 
with compromises
financial, political
religious and tribal
and at what cost
"not wanting to rock the boat"
even if we know 
the ship is heading
full speed 
into icebergs at night
we look at the odds
we hope 
and go back to the 
smart phone 
truth is
whatever you can get away with
in this particular democracy 
truth is
whatever you can afford 
but if
everything in the world 
has a soul 
is it possible that
we help ourselves 
from destroying it all?
if time is money  
why do rich people die?
and if
there's no such thing 
as time,
what is money?
and after
having been 
"voted off their internet"
 and "disappeared" from facebook 
with friends too numerous 
to mention
i just came in from snowshoeing
amongst the trails
other woodland creatures

March 8-14
"not wanting to be a burden on society" 
is usually seen as a noble gesture
wanting to die is a bit of a problem 
... having one less," vulnerable consumer " 
to rip off
may cut into some entrepreneur's bottom line.
a lifetime of such critical observations  
leads to a pessimistic outlook for humanity 
and our biosphere
and since
wanting to "opt out" seems to be a logical position
even in canada, 
one of the best places in the world
and yes , 
compassion for those 
"nature lovers" 
who work tirelessly toward sanity
the orchestration of one's suicide, 
particularly to a dreamer
opens paths 
such as

Stripping the gelcoat 
off a thirty foot hull
tracing the stream lines
an inch at a time
eyes, ears, hands and lungs
from the shards of glass
and polyester dust from
a screaming carbide cutter
at router speeds
reminds me 
that the

safe comfortable ocean going vessels
were derived from careful observation of 
aquatic life and the power of
the ocean 
in the post apocalyptic times  
survivors will recover 
the abandoned yachts  with 
workboat heritage.... 
recognized for their beauty 
in the context of the natural world

after the starving hipster/geeks 
with their 
indifference to 
the balance of natural world
slaughtered the organic farmers and
stolen their food reserves and 
eaten their children, 
they do come to recognize 
that they were ultimately blame.

in painting
we explore space/ time and gravity-
in pursuit of the unexplained

Time is replaced with 
a most compelling tendency 
toward illusionary space,
Through the critical observation of 
a wide range of natural diversity
we may come to 
an intuitive  glimpse of
the interconnection

when human effort is "compartmentalized", 
a conditioning of industrialization
human potential becomes disintegrated
"simply" put
the family farm requires
a knowledge of the interconnected cycles of nature with
all living beings- from the microscopic to livestock
It's another case of "progress" marching on 
and the victors writing the history
the migration from the farm 
to the industries 
is not that easy to reverse
Whatever population is 
driven from the land
their worth is denied so
Abandon the search for general relativity-
the common thread that ties 
all the disparate truths together
what's that got to do with progress ?
or makin' a buck?
common sense
is relegated to the past 
with the stupid farmers  
and "specialization "
gets all polished up 
so here we are
dazzled and infantalized
and squalling with 
self righteous indignation
like  two-year-olds
in cubicles with
dirty diapers

if humanity hopes to reach adulthood 
we are  going to have to start
cleaning up after ourselves

distance march 9 2014

gaining a different perspective on what you are making is
essential to an evaluation of one's work  i.e.

one can;
put it away for a while
look at it upside down, 
from a distance
in a mirror, 
in a black mirror

when people with the capacity 
of critical observation
will share with you 
what they see -
(which should be 
the grad school experience)

at some point you decide not to
look for second opinions before you 
hang it up as significant  
so your perspective 
stands alone

although we should always remain students, 
being enrolled in formal eduction 
should be acknowledged
when the work is a student assignment
and  teacher's perspective are represented
it may be considered a collaboration
but should be identified as student work

of course 
the art world is a hotbed of 
corruption and political manipulation so
where you place yourself on the continuum
of truth being "what ever one can get away with"
is an expression of where you will compromise
and casts a shadow. 
The shadow needs not fall across your painting


imagine #3
that you grew up with parents
"back to the landing" in the 50's 
before the term was coined
with old buildings to play in 
with a pond for skating and
to sail a small boat in, and
you sailed before 
you rode a bike

imagine you drew things as a kid
birds, boats, cars
imagine you were introduced to
abstract painting in toronto in the seventies 
something was going on  
imagine in high school
making abstract paintings and 
racing motocross 
imagine subjecting yourself to the 
history of art 
in tandem with 
the traditional 
the method and materials 
of drawing, painting and
what has been renamed 
"formal sculpture"
so you are triangulating 
from a known position
theoretical trajectories 
from two different 
points of departure

imagine seeing 
Mont Saint Victoire 
on a windy summer afternoon 
from the seat of your bicycle 
en route north
from quatocento Sienna 
Florence and Pizza into
the simultaneity of centuries 
of Northern principalities
imagine the scent of roadside wild flowers 
in the warm breeze
and their intermingling 
through wine and cuisine
if " beauty will save the world"
we may have to revise 
the word "beauty" 
  to include 
the preservation of 
the natural world
with humanity in 
a side car because 
we have been busted for 
"distracted driving"

describing our emotions
will be required in order 
to save this world
now that truth has a price

but, might we not start with 
descriptions  ?
 I stepped out with the camera
 into an afternoon snow blown 
a rising hillside of waves
frozen spray falling into
 blue shadows
at -20ºc
feb27 4:44pm

the view from the crow's nest, and

two maples creak 
the exact sound 
of the rig of a 
wooden ship
in a breeze
it's the mast to 
the top
it's the gaff  
to the main
as harmony
and east from  
the headlands
a distant frozen bay