Have greatly enjoyed all this huge day, sauntering and seeing, steeping in the mountain influences, sketching, noting, pressing flowers, drinking ozone and Tamarack water. Found the white fragrant Washington lily, the finest of all the Sierra lilies. Its bulbs are buried in shaggy chaparral tangles, I suppose for safety from pawing bears; and its magnificent panicle sway and rock over the top of the rough snow-press bushes, while big, bold, blunt-nosed bees drone and mumble in its pollen bells. A lovely flower, worth going hungry and footsore endless miles to see. The whole world seems richer now that I have found this plant in so noble a landscape.
–John Muir page 103, My First Summer in the Sierra
(guess who is dreaming of spring?)
The single greatest harm done by the story our culture tells comes from the divisions it enforces within each of us. We are assured in a million ways that the sensational intelligence of the body is not really worth paying attention to. And we find, indeed, that the more unmindful we become of our bodies, the more they appear to be mindless. And so we are persuaded to separate from the body and live in the head, assured by a culture that passes off this pathological dissociation as completely normal, natural and unavoidable. Once we are caught in the prison of our craniums, we are unable to join the world–though our hearts yearn to do so. Instead of joining it, we think about it, and analyze it, and judge it. That’s just how we are, and it’s what we imagine the normal human state to be.
The description of ‘normal’ we have been raised on may be as hard to detect as a chameleon in a landscape, but it is always there exerting its influence–and its effect can be felt in a sense of frustration or lack in our lives as we try to live a story that is at odds with reality. When we attempt to recover peace in our lives, our efforts more often resemble anxiety management than any kind of real peace. Being estranged from our bodies, we feel victimized by them–and so when they hurt or fall sick, we feel fear or annoyance or betrayal; and when we exert them or look in the mirror, we may feel guilt or vanity or anger about the shape they are in. And though we accept the fact of our essential solitude, we cannot bear the emptiness of our own company. To alleviate it, we surround ourselves with distractions: chat rooms, telephones, computer games, shopping, Web browsing, Twittering, and of course popular entertainment that wears meaning on its sleeve as an assurance to us all. We generally have neither the time nor the attention span for art that draws us into the unnamable ambiguities of life itself. When we try to improve our situation, we look about for answers that will help us connect and feel better about ourselves–yet none of the self-help prescriptions seems to work for very long. Our ability to escape that divided state is hampered by our difficulty in understanding that what holds us back are the very things we accept as the normal givens of the world.
As we relate to the body, so we relate to the world.
Philip Shepherd (excerpted from New Self, New World, Recovering our Senses in the Twenty-first Century)
“We were gone almost a month and everything was sensual. Everything was erotic. It’s the gift of travel, where everything is infused with meaning, compressed, so you begin to see the golden strand that weaves life together. You are in a constant state of awe.” ~Terry Tempest Williams
see you when I return. if you live in the south of spain maybe i will see you.
“When drawing the sun, try to have on hand colored paper, chalk, felt-tip markers, crayons, pencils, ball point pens. You can draw a sun with any one of them. Also remember that sunset and dawn are the back and front of the same phenomenon: when we are looking at the sunset, the people over there are looking at the dawn.” ~Bruno Munari
I am officially obsessed with designer/illustrator Bruno Munari. I must get this book.
“To grow is to go beyond what you are today.
stand up as yourself.
do not imitate.
Do not pretend to have achieved your goal, and do not try to cut corners.
Just try to grow.”
“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.” ~May Oliver
“I want to know a lot of things I don’t already know -especially as the things I do know, if written down, do not have the permanence I want in my mind.” ~Richard Tuttle (sculpture collage artist)
things i am excited about…
this film on dvd.
this artist. (link via tania.)
this boy, (photo by andrea scher)
(*i was going to trash this collage last night but today i woke up and found that i quite like it. what a difference a few hours can make.)
you cannot walk on the floor in my studio without stepping on collage or glue. my feet are covered in it.