January 5th, 2007

i heard on the radio yesterday a man talking about meditation. He said that the true spirit of meditation was not about trying to have control over the mind, or stopping the mind from thinking. this is merely a form of mind control with no long lasting benefit or affect. He said the true spirit of meditation was a complete acceptance of everything “as it is”. a complete surrender to the moment.
I sat transfixed as though every cell in my body knew this to be true, and yet somehow the thought of actually going there seems terrifying (as one who always fights to make things ‘better’). sink not working? no problem, I will fix it. experiencing emotional turmoil? don’t worry, we’ll talk thought it and you’ll be good as new. having car trouble? give me a minute, the answer is somewhere. there is nothing that i will not attempt to ‘improve’ or at least alter slightly so as to make more efficient.
the result of an overactive ego, i know.
i did in the past, convince myself that I could in fact cure my mother’s cancer, if only i could find the right technique. friends smiled at me in that sad kind of ‘do you know what you are you saying?’ way. the whole time i was oblivious, and thought them “lazy and uninitiated”. ha.
i have learned. I know know that i cannot save the world. though I still try sometimes.
So this concept of not doing anything kind of shakes me up in the way that a large carnival ride might, terror mixed with pure exhilaration and daring in equal parts. I don’t know whether to run screaming or to jump right in with both feet.
What if all you had to do was to “do nothing”? The fear in my mind says all hell will break loose, or the opposite, nothing will get done. I might fall into the abyss along with everything in my life. people would yell. the house would be a mess. no, the house would be gone, i would be out on the street begging for food. (does that count as doing nothing? or is that something?)
maybe it would be an interesting life experiment. I am really obsessed with the idea of conducting “life experiments” lately. various challenges, just to see what would happen.
a list
1. buy nothing year. (a great challenge yes)
2. do nothing week.
3. remove one of your senses.
4. eat only orange foods. (tried that one for a week already)
5. no electricity month.
6. bare feet days.
7. speak with an accent week, (from my husband).
8. wear only one color week.
9. do the opposite day.
10. no media month. (whew)
11. give things away year.
For those of you who look at some of these things and think ‘oh i could never do that’, doesn’t contemplating doing them release a little fluttery feeling in the middle of your belly? i like that feeling.
it means i am opening myself up to the possibility of the unknown.
yes i can.
or at least i am willing to try.

January 4th, 2007

for christmas my husband gave me a bunch of ‘found photos’ ranging in time from the 30′s to the 50′s. i have been enjoying going through them and pondering on the lives of people i don’t know. where did they end up? what did they do with their one precious life? how did they spend their days? how did they die? where they happy when the photo was taken? do they remember that shirt and how it was scratchy around the cuffs? do they long for that time, when they were six years old? or did they become damaged at that point by the adults around them? when did they get their heart broken? do they miss the person they used to be?
you can create a whole history in your head of people you don’t know, complete with pet dogs and trips to the ocean.
i have my own photos of the ocean pinned to the wall in front of me. one has the sun setting on the horizon. somewhere in california, point reyes perhaps. i wonder if at some point my own photos will end up in a junk shop somewhere and a stranger will pontificate about my life in the same way. strange to think of.
time idles slowly these days like a used up car in low gear. the revving is stunted. my mind in a drift of sorts. a snow drift. (only there is no snow here.) heavy and weighted. i am caught in between projects and feel slightly like, as kurt vonegut put it, ‘an armless legless man with a crayon in his mouth.’ i want to pour out my heart to you and reveal some of the things that take up space in my psyche currently. yet the interenet at some point causes one to save pieces of themselves, to tuck them away for safekeeping. there are many moments when you would rather not offer up bits of your soul for public debate. it becomes tiresome after a time, and i don’t feel the need to defend my thoughts as much as i used to.
so i retreat back to my journal again. i wrote to a friend recently, “writing anything in the journal feels healing, even if it’s crap. i have never known why this is, I suspect it lets me know that i have my own inner life outside of everything i am on the outside.”
thoughts drift to southern spain. we are planning a trip to spain and morocco for the end of may. i am looking for a place to stay in either seville or granada for a couple weeks. let me know if you have any thoughts on this or tips on places to visit. I have already begun a literary journey which includes Paul Bowles, Hemingway, and Edith Wharton. Any other must read novels on spain?
in other news…
I am excited and flattered to have been asked to participate in the:
“Wurstminister Dog Show”
group show (includes some of my favorite artists like saelee oh, jill bliss, stefan britt, susie ghahremani, camilla engman, and many more!
154 artists will be be representing the 154 breeds recognized by the AKC
10% of the proceeds will go to a dog charity
one night showing/reception Sat. February 3rd 2007
at Ace Hotel in Portland
ongoing online show at online gallery: the wurst gallery
more info coming soon.
i’ve been enjoying all the goings on at my friend steve’s site, the anti-advertisting agency.
highlights include:
free “you don’t need it” stickers
a quick guide to ad-free web browsing
an interesting piece on “ad creep”, did you know they are laser etching onto eggs now?
and be sure not to miss the Steve Lambert radio show. The show is made up of answering machine messages and conversations on various themes, from ordinary (or not so ordinary people).

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