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March 2009

Everything old is new again. Talk about the green movement; nature is the ultimate recycler. The reading today is easy - new growth is coming - slowly - and then all at once - bloom.

Individuals connected to the whole. We function together like a single organism despite our egos. And we cannot become disentangled from each other much less air, water, sun and earth. Is it possible to look at a flower growing and feel it is part of your body?

Today was divided between earth and sky; walking in the woods and drawing in the studio. I hiked to the spot where activities overlap and moving through the trees became a line on paper.

Escape Velocity. How much energy does it take to leave the planet? Today is a good day to let your mind wander. Have a rare visit to a nearby place that is just off the path or in between. It is a luxury to experience small and simple things.

Dance the dance. What will you do when you get to nirvana? Finally be happy? Be happy now. Have time for yourself? Take time now. Be at peace? Love yourself now. There's no need for a shortcut when you're already there.

Sinuous forces. A winding line crosses in and out of the frames. What does it want to tell us? To wake up - it's spring? Or that positive change grows slowly? Or maybe it wants us to know that now, while the world catches its breath, is a good time to practice turning inward and then outward again.

Days and nights change but time stays the same. If I step back and try to watch time passing a warm sensation crosses my chest, from shoulder to shoulder, as if the moment is moving through me.

Nouveau povera. The new poor doesn't mean being short of cash. It means being poor in desire. While the economy is in want of wanting it feels good to spend time enjoying what you already have. Is it true that getting to know one thing extremely well magically turns it into something new?

Detached perspective. Maybe my aerial view of the Italian countryside made me realize it. Or maybe being able to draw for hours every day in an inward state did the trick. But I've found that releasing the idea that the world is built in only three dimensions gives you access to another eight or nine.

Inward progression, outward effort. First we consider the physical things around us and then the subtle things behind them. Going further we arrive at our center and where does it go from there? Just tell me which spring makes it easiest to touch the fabric we're woven into?

Four of a kind. A lucky and powerful hand. A river bend that crosses four cards means sustained and controlled flow. Take advantage of these days for turning the corner on a longstanding project and moving it in a new direction.

What things occur together in time? Does one thing cause another thing to happen? Or instead, can you imagine that events are curls in the cosmic sheet. Pretty soon more of the sheet curls until the thing is folded on itself. This model helps show why we see relationships between apparently separate events. And why there are two sides to every story.

Our sense of reality seems to pass through some kind of space altering filter when we leave the rational. Cartesian coordinate space collapses and we must navigate by connections, memories, gut feelings, equations, similarities, ratios, patterns and perceptual differences. But once we get comfortable making the journey we find it is no longer necessary to travel. We can be in both places at once.

Recycled. Are these four cycles signaling more opportunity or more of the same? Do things get so repetitive that we stop appreciating them? Take a breath and soften your eyes. The smallest pause in our routine can lead us to whole new worlds.

Unfinished business. When an image looks wrong to me it is because I have such a clear idea of what is right. Even so I have to travel the territories of false starts, quick tests, waning enthusiasm, doing it just to see and total depression just to get a lot of not exactly what I thought it would look like. When I asked the old cajun how he carved his decoy he told me, "I start with a tree branch and cut away everything that doesn't look like a duck." When you forget what a duck looks like you need to go back to the pond.

A box of spring. We burst out of the house today for our first family walk this year and excitedly noticed that the daffodils we planted last fall were starting to appear through the mulch. When the organism has endured the seed and sprouted, poked up through the soil and gotten its first taste of sun and air, it must say to itself, "The sky's the limit."

Seeds ready to burst. Things start to warm up, optimism appears and finally the tightly packed begins to loosen. All the layers that were slowly added, bit upon bit of information, for future growth, now face their purpose. It is time to go into action.

Rebuilding. The stacks have appeared again and they now seem to be sporting more organic markings. Could it be that all this 'green' stuff is finally sinking in? Compared to the top heavy cube stacks that pervaded the drawings last year before they finally tipped over and collapsed, these boxes interconnect and mold to each other. I read this as a marker pointing out a shift to a new direction although one that is still a long way in the future.

Flying high. Patchwork farms, rough ocean and a spectacular clear view of the Alps are imprinted on my mind as transitional bookends. With all the landing and taking off again, the financial markets included, it may take us a while to regain cruising altitude.

The trip home. Looking back I total up 17 card drawings made during the 7 days I was traveling. I saw a lot of great art. I met many interesting people. Many new opportunities came my way. I grew. This drawing seems to echo those transitions and indicates that the journey is ongoing.

I'm wiped out after the opening but I agree to take a short day trip to Parma with my parents. I just want to sit on a bench and draw but they like to do tourist things. Finally I get an opportunity. Why? It's 2:45, lunch is over and every place to sightsee is closed until 3. I sketch the city because, well, I do so much inner work that as long as I'm out and it's sunny...

Of all possible worlds, we only experience one -> this moment. It is the day of the opening and I am full of nervous energy. I stay in my hotel room most of the day drawing and listening to a class about the Bhagavad Gita on my ipod. I take a walk around the old city in the afternoon with my parents stopping for a sandwich and coffee. At the opening I make a quick divination drawing in every catalog I sign - dozens - and try to make a reading before I hand it back. Talk about building your chops. Standing open like that for so long in front of people - having someone watch you draw with value(s) on the line - it was revealing on both sides - a worthwhile risk - playing with this kind of direct emotion must be very much like what a performer experiences in front of an audience.

Facing mirrors show the potential of inner worlds. Alice through the looking glass? Infinite regression? There is something about staring off into that glassy space that awakens the dreamer.

Closure. Is it possible that something in the future has influenced something in the past? All the plans for this show helped to shape the present as the new work takes it's place in the pattern.

Riding the waves. We splash around freely in our karmic pond but can't control the waves. Inside we reflect something that doesn't change. This moment is where the two meet.

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