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January 2013

Today is a day of self-reflection, drizzle, clouds, and planning for the future. I take an hour to improvise freely, thoughts escaping, my eyes closed, and noting only the movements of my left hand.

While drawing away on this quiet day, what should appear on my page but an absurd image of an overburdened, blind, and emasculated rhinoceros?

I think of Ionesco and his lessons about the dangers of conformity. Or rather, for me, the friction of resistance.

I think of the immoral criminality of poachers who steal much more from us than an object when they take a rhino's horn. I think of the acquisitive, global, industrial expansion that continually pressures natural resources and endangers species, eventually including our own.

How large has the disconnect grown between what I consume daily in my seemingly isolated world of energy comforts and the living things I love on Earth?

And just to put a positive spin on things and a hope for the future, instead of Ionesco's metamorphosis being an indicator of joining the herd, what if for once, turning into a rhinoceros was a metaphor for a person becoming vulnerable, tolerant, and sharing?


Sand to snow. Grabbing a few moments for improvisation during a 10 hour red eye.

Lingering waves...

Inner struggle with Buddha nature.


The expansion seems to be resuming. I'm back in the studio now, busy navigating tangled branches, and searching for enough dry land to build a city.

Prying apart the layers. As I try to realize this 'expansion' model in three dimensions, I discover new reasons to appreciate drawing. For example: I marvel at how much form I can indicate with a simple pencil line, the ability to suggest material properties that go beyond material possibilities, subtle bending of picture space to encompass incompatible levels of scale, and how a drawing rarely asks me to render any more than what I can imagine from one point of view.

Seriously back to work. If I had any hope that this motif had run its course I was wrong. The 'expansion' has returned, presenting itself in a more articulated, embellished, and enlightened form. Oscillating from endless outward growth back to an inward search for source, the present moment sits as a dynamic equilibrium between knowing and becoming.

Growth takes time and not every expansion exceeds its frame.





Today my mind is seeking answers, making up stories, and trying to explain the world instead of resting in stillness and letting the image speak for itself.


Evolution at a snail's pace


"In our land of nonhuman dakinis
We use symbols and sing songs --
It's impossible for us to use human speech."

-from A Clear Mirror by Traktung Dudjom Lingpa, p62.

"In our land of nonhuman dakinis
We use symbols and sing songs --
It's impossible for us to use human speech."

-from A Clear Mirror by Traktung Dudjom Lingpa, p62.

To look, to see, without two eyes, through everyplace always;
touching eyes to water, touching eyes to ground,
no eyelids for protection, open to suspension,
is forgetting, is getting, is round.

Open to the core...

Intuition winning over logic.

Deep in sleep on the coldest night of the year, I visited a warm valley whose walls curled around me; and through which an idle stream meandered until disappearing sharply from sight. In the distance I recognized the roar of an enormous waterfall.

I went to the edge of the valley (which looked to me like the end of flat Earth) because I wanted to see how a quiet stream became a raging torrent.

I did not find a smooth boundary from slow to fast when I got near the waterfall. I found a distinct zone of change, a third kind of flow pattern altogether; a thing in itself.

I took a break, and sat quietly in this transition zone, saying to myself, 'I believe I found a new thing because I think parts of a river can be separated from each other. I try to classify each part because I believe I am a separate 'someone' who discovered them.'

The valley curled more tightly inside me and I woke up.

Binocular vision: logic and intuition entangled.

"Examples of 'dividual structural rhythms' (characterized by repition) and 'individual structures' in part organically handled so one supports the other. ... The next degree of rhythm is reached by the intimate fusion of individual and structure. For example: the fish."

-from Paul Klee, Notebooks, Volume 1, The Thinking Eye, p230.

The dream is that I am separate, that I have a path apart from what it comes from.


I am the sum of my decisions.

I wish I had an elephant to clear away the obstacles.

Visiting even greater vistas of ignorance and being okay with not knowing.

Oh, I've been smiling lately,
Dreaming about the world as one,
And I believe it could be,
Some day it's going to come

Cat Stevens, from Peace Train