Language of Art (-ease)

Last night’s conversation was focused around the language of art. Sitting in a well-laid out office with a pair of web/graphic designers I was able to speak fluently in art-ease. It was nice. Often artists have to speak in parables, examples and metaphors to be understood. It’s not that the language of art is complicated, but rather it is a language of “feeling”, which can be problematic. The syntax of art-academics is easily understood, but the culture of communicating a “feeling” is hard to express to someone who is not involved in a compositional practice.

The polysemous nature of descriptive terms for fine aesthetics are un-definable, specific and dualistic in significance. Slow art, resonate, vibe, groove, pulse, moment, pocket, timing, imagination, color, texture, renewal, flow, classical education, and aesthetic philosophy is the definition of "polysemy" itself; "something having multiple meanings".

Mathew Dallman, publisher and Editor-In-Chief of POLYSEMY.com does a great job of bringing these quandaries to a conversational level. Read “The Nature of Aesthetic Study” by Dallman for a deeper syntax, etymology and real life purpose for talking about fine art.

For me last night was a moment of flow, form and function. All I needed was Chianti Classico and Bach cello suites playing in the background to complete the bliss.

Photo of the Week

Camera: Nikon D70
Exposure: 10 sec (10)
Aperture: f/29
Focal Length: 55 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0 EV



Current Reading: Good to Great by Jim Collins
Current Music: Reprieve by Ani Difranco
Mood: Foggy
Smells: Green Apple
Sounds: Silence
Temperature: 67 degrees
Thoughts: Day 10 of peak condition project, 80 days to go….


Something Great

Been feeling uninspired lately: Historically that means I am about to do something great. “Great”, meaning that I dig the new work and new direction. Now I sit and wait for the brilliance. Writer’s block, photographer’s block, guitar player’s block are things that I do not experience too often. I practice everything-everyday a lot. It’s my creative spring. I figure if I play guitar everyday, write a page a day, and complete two to three photo sessions a week, I will generate something pleasant to look at, listen to or read.

As of writing this, the greatness of something new hasn’t happened. I hope for all of us that this piece of writing isn’t the great stuff. If it is thanks for reading… it’s been nice having the company. Hopefully this is just a fluffy nonsensical piece to get me to the good stuff. Played some funky guitar music for my daughter yesterday morning, hope I can remember it next time I pick up the guitar. She danced to it, must’ve been ok. I want a Lute, that instrument that Sting made trendy. Trendy to those who are currently uninspired and are easily influenced by Sting, that would be me. In times of creative drought I like to buy things, actually I just like to internet shop and never purchase the item. The idea that you have to buy something to get that photo, sound or creative impulse is an abomination of all I hold sacred.

Ate lunch outside today, sat under an oak tree. That seems to be creative nature in itself. Wrote in my journal, listened to the birds of Pittsburgh flutter in the trees and daydream about….

Thinks I just got my inspiration… gotta go….


Peak Condition Project - Week 2

Starting Weight 171 lbs.
Current Weight 168 lbs.

What I learned so far is that my body accepts change much easer than I expected. Been eating about half of my normal amount of food and have taken out salt, oil and butters almost 100%. The biggest change has been the amount of sleep that I have needed. Typically I sleep about 7 to 8 hrs. a night and this past week I have slept 10 to 12 hours a night.

For more on:
Peak Condition Project (be sure to check out the side bar links)


Photo of the Week

Camera: Nikon D70
Exposure: 5 sec (5)
Aperture: f/16
Focal Length: 46 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0 EV



During conception, in the womb, and through the first years of life we are always accompanied with companionship. Even in dreams we are guided by some force or narrative. It is not our nature to be alone. Why do I crave solitude? The economy of space and silence within my own understanding is the immersion of liberation that haunts me. Caustic pain of seclusion, it’s my lure, it’s my mistress. A palette of time, observation and study of myself, my environment is considered necessary. People are noise, I need quiet to grow.

11:02pm: rice timer beeps, lunch for tomorrow. Last hint of headache lingers in my temples; my tongue is dry, rice smells sweet. My wife and daughter sleep. Is this solitude?



Current Reading: Mister B. Gone by Clive Barker
Current Music: Everything That Happens Will Happen Today by Brian Eno & David Byrne
Mood: Happy
Smells: Clementine
Sounds: Air conditioner
Temperature: 70 degrees
Thoughts: Change is ok


The Peak Condition Project

Couple of weeks ago I started reading this blog, The Peak Condition Project, authored by Patrick Reynolds. Something happened to me…I got motivated. Working out for me has consisted of yoga and hiking for the last decade of my life. For the better part of the past ten years I have been in “ok” shape, but soft in the abdomen. I am lucky enough not to have a gut, but not lucky enough to have tight abs. The dream of six-pack-abs has long been forgotten. The dream of a tight mid-section and no love-handles lives on. The simple goal for me is to lose six pounds, sounds easy. I weigh 171lbs and would like to weigh 165lbs. The comprehensive goal is to determine what my fit peak condition is. How much can I be in control of my body/mind connection?

90 Days of peak condition workout is:
Resistance bands, push-ups and jumping rope (cardio)
Fitness: Hatha yoga
Meditation: 20 minutes of zazen
Diet: Correct portions, conscious preparation, eating quality whole foods and journaling what I eat and how I feel.

If you are a regular reader of this blog then you know that I have been a long time practitioner of yoga, meditation and a macrobiotic diet. For years I have only been 80% faithful to my practice. Don’t get me wrong, being dedicated 80% of the time is an achievement to me. The goal of 100% dedication for 90 days works for me, it’s my mountain top. Hopefully with effort, blogging and journaling my way through this process I will gain a deeper understanding of my body, mind and spirit connection.

Wish me luck. I think I will need it.



Current Reading: What I Talk About When Running by Haruki Murakami
Current Music: Here is what is by Daniel Lanois
Mood: Bereavement for someone I never knew
Smells: Apples
Sounds: Air conditioner
Temperature: 79 degrees and humid
Thoughts: No one gets the right to have a life without struggles


The selections of music that I buy next, I will probably not like.

Music I like I do not buy, not too often anymore that is. I become bored with music I like, its everywhere. Why buy it?

Commercials, radio, internet, office buildings, evaluators, and sidewalk dissonant sounds fight to fill up my audible range of the day. I am always listening to music, be it in my car or the mix of the world’s sound. I am not advocating stealing or not listening. I am campaigner for mindful hearing of music.

I have paid for my share of music, about twenty five years of purchasing and re-purchasing and formatting and re-formatting music again and again and again. Albums, eight-tracks, cassette-tapes, CD’s, and downloads. I have bought them all. My personal collection is a library of archived music that I like…no, that I love…collecting dust in a dark basement. I have never counted them all, but I could easily purchase a car, my dream hybrid car, for the investment of music that I have sitting collecting dust.

It could be my age or the ego-of-the-artist inside of me, but if music doesn’t make me think, feel, and question and even make me uncomfortable with the resonance, than it’s not for me. I have stacks of great music that is no longer for me. Music needs to educate, push, inspire and expand what I already know. I am blessed to have a musical nature and suffer from musicophobia of redundancy – a Musicophilia addiction fills my veins, tag me obsessed.


5 Question Interview Series with Charlotte Rains Dixon

Charlotte Rains Dixon is a freelance writer, novelist, copywriter, ghostwriter and creative writing teacher living in Portland. Charlotte has a Master of Fine Arts in Writing and is the editor of “Book Strumpet” and the author of the “Word Strumpet” blog. Dixon graciously agreed to take part in my ongoing “5 Question Interview Series”.

What’s a Word Strumpet & why name your blog after a Middle English name for a prostitute?

A wordstrumpet is someone who can’t get enough writing, or enough words. The implication being that the prostitute can’t get enough sex, which is probably an erroneous assumption, but oh well. And thank you for knowing what the word strumpet means, you’d be surprised how many people don’t. My inspiration for the name comes from how we say (at least I do) “I’m an email whore” or “I’m a slut for email.” Kind of along those lines. Most people intuitively get it. I’ve also had people think the title means Words Trumpet, which also makes sense so I guess its okay.

Why blog? How did you get started with blogging?

I was actually trying to remember the other day what motivated me to start blogging. I can’t remember the exact inspiration. I was doing a lot of copywriting for the internet and I needed a website and a blog seemed to be the easiest way to get one. Now I think of it as sort of a website/blog hybrid, which I think is becoming more and more common. Often I land on traditional websites and get bored, thinking, where’s all the new info? The updates? The interesting personal stuff?

What inspires you? How do you stay motivated?

Oh God, that’s such a good question. What inspires me? I don’t even know. Life, the people in my life, family, friends, the absolute absurdity of the human condition. Love, wanting to figure it out (when really it’s very simple), relationships, helping others. One of my writing mentors, Melissa Pritchard, once said that to be a good writer you have to know a lot about life. I think that’s true—and I also think that I, at least, figure life out as I write about it. Making up stories about my life gives it meaning. How do I stay motivated? Trying to figure the next thing out. Also, I’ve reached the point in my life where I don’t seem to be able to stop writing. Whether it is for self-initiated projects or for others, I’m writing a lot every day. I’ve said this a million times, but for me, writing truly is like breathing. I just don’t get how people live without it.

On the completion of your novel: How did writing a book that you knew would be read so closely by your blog audience compare with writing the blog?

It’s funny, the blog is very free form to me. I get an idea for a post, and sometimes it is just a vague idea based on my writing life, and I start writing and it just flows. Often the posts end up being way longer than I think they are going to be when I’ve started. In some respects, writing the novel was the same way, at least in the first draft. After that, there’s a lot more shaping involved, since the plot has to work and the characters need an arc and all that. I try not to be too specific about my novel in the blog, my idea being that readers want to read about the process of writing it, not the novel itself. So it will be interesting to see the reaction when it is published.

Your life seems to be a journey that is totally expressed by blogging: Do we know the real you or do you keep a private life that is not told to your readers?

I’d probably panic if I went back and read all my past posts and realized how much of myself I’ve revealed. But in truth, I write so much that I tend to write things and forget about them. I’m on to the next thing. The thought occurs that this could be a self-protective mechanism. I’m halfway toying with the idea of starting a memoir next, so what you don’t get from the blog you’ll probably get in there. I’d say people get about 90% of the real me. Everybody deserves a few secrets, don’t you think?


Motivational Speakers, Death (The Original Whatever)

What follows is a zygote of an idea. Once a week I will be posting snap shots of my current writing project. All posts will be titled “The Original Whatever”.

When humans know themselves, the rest of nature is right there” – Gary Snyder

It’s 4am, the “non-time of day”…an unspeakable point of the day. Picture this: desk lamp on, computer screen at full brightness, the wall clock has stopped. I sit to write. I’m wearing boxer shorts that are 15 years old, a tank top that is well over 20 years old and just experienced that moment when your breath turns into morning breath (my wife is such a lucky person). I smell funny and it feels like there is no oxygen in the air. This is a dreadful mix of when sleeplessness, madness and the creative impulse equals schizophrenia. No wonder why all great writers go insane. Four o’clock in the morning is not meant for the living.

This is my second attempt at writing chapter 3. Chapter 1 and 2 went well. I passed out a zygote draft to friends and strangers and got feedback. Some people even said they found the writing to be motivational. This is not good. Motivational books end up in the discount bin quickly. Motivational books become trendy for an instant and cheesy for a life time. I can see it, my face on a book with an award winning smile and 99-cent sticker plastered on my forehead.

Have you noticed how much people love to be motivated, but hate to follow through on the effort part? Remember, people hate effort especially when it entails that they have to do something.

Motivational speakers, this is something that people love. Again this is not good for me because I am writing at 4am and speaking to no one. There is a definite criteria to being a motivational speaker and if you do not fit the criteria bad things will happen to you.

1. You have to be tall, at least over six feet.
2. Caucasian
3. Must have extremely white teeth.

If you do not have these three attributes then you cannot be a motivational speaker. People who think of themselves as motivational and do not have these attributes are simply people who like to egg other people on. These are the people who think that they are right on everything. I hate these people.

There have been only two people in recorded history that have been motivational speakers without the aide of the three traits. Gandhi, Martin Luther King, but note they were both tall with extremely white teeth, and Jesus. He was motivational as well, but he is tall and white in all the pictures that I have ever seen him in.

Life does not turn out good for people who are motivational speakers but do not have the 3 traits. Jesus, Gandhi and MLK all ask us to place effort into “love thy neighbor” and they got assassinated. Seriously not funny…fuck don’t you just hate humanity at times?

The good news is that Jesus told us the “meek shall inherit the earth”. This is good news for all humanity. I personally know the Meek family and what they plan to do with their inheritance.

Their plan is quite nice as long as you do not like Mexican food or Austria. The Meeks hate Mexican food and have plans to completely eradicate it from the face of the Earth. Goodbye to Austria, the entire continent has to be removed from the planet to pay off the inheritance tax. The previous owners, the brothers Evolution and Creationism, who by the way could never get along, were just going to give the continent over to the global warming franchise to put the kibosh on all the mixed messages being reported by the media. Goodbye Mexican food, goodbye Austria, say hello to environmentally sustainable living, all credited to the Meek-inheritance-family-plan. I told you bad things happen to those who try to be motivational who do not possess the quality of being tall, Caucasian with extremely white teeth.


Photo of the Week

Camera: Nikon D200
Exposure: 0.022 sec (1/45)
Aperture: f/29
Focal Length: 35 mm
ISO Speed: 100
Exposure Bias: 0 EV


Missing Inch, Socks and Panic

I have spent money this week. I bought two pairs of pants, one pair of shoes, a new belt, some books, also ate lunch out twice, one cookie, and numerous cups of coffee. I am not one for spending money on things that don’t keep me alive and out of jail. Food, mortgage, utilities, taxes and wine, and that’s about it.

I get books, DVDs and music from the library (most of them). I am not growing out of my clothes so it’s rare that I wear them out. Traditionally my fashion preference is black, gray or white so my clothing choices seldom go out of style.

An out-of-the-ordinary thing happened to me that brought on this spending spree. Couple of weeks ago I lost a pair of pants in my own home. It’s true. There was no changing clothes anywhere, no girlfriend on the side nor do I think my wife tossed them out just to see me wear something new. I think my socks stole them (I also lost a much-loved blazer to my house). Do I live in fear of my socks stealing other things? Do I ask a Priest to cast out evil clothing-stealing-spirits? Do I accuse my wife until she makes a full confession? What to do…

A good thing from my shopping experience was that I discovered that my waist line is an inch smaller. 32-inch waist, 32-inch inseam is how I bought pants in the past. Today I purchased two pairs of 31-inch waist, 31-inch inseam, the missing inch around my waist I will not miss but the missing inch on my inseam has me curious? I am getting shorter…getting smaller only happens to really, really, really old people…I am not old…not even close to being old. The answer came to me.

Can socks that steal clothing from my home also steal the actual length from my legs? At first I thought, “this is dumb”, what is a sock going to do with a leg? Then it hit me…socks go on feet, feet are attached to legs, legs needs pants and I am missing pants. Now I am panicking.