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February 2014

Analyzing an enso.

It takes an elephant to move a mountain.

My dreaming mind flows onto paper,
My analytical mind charts the flow,
And both minds believe
They are accomplishing something.

Frames evolving. No surprise as I contemplate new directions to take the larger works.




Yes. You can self-program.


Not that kind of angel.


Day trip to NYC.
Drawing on the bus ride.
Leftover snow awaiting reinforcements.

Anxiety like a winter storm.

Balancing the terror of being alive
with the wonder of being alive.

All in for Art!s

My shows are done and
winter is turning,
leaving me between cycles.

I have gone past the end but
I have not yet reached the beginning.

And in this moment, this pause, this inflection point,
Who appropriately reappears on my drawing table?
Perhaps to spin us another fable?

I recognize the fool himself, the trickster, the harlequin!

Another familiar friend
reappears on the drawing
table as my long nothing begins.

The pachyderm, the remover of obstacles,
the steady one, appears to be running into chaos;
or maybe he is always on the boundary of becoming?

Isn't solving a problem wrestling order from the unresolved?
And to be true to creativity, I have to be uncertain of the outcome.

So I'm regaining my writing chops after a year of attention to visuals.
Get ready. I'm issuing a word storm warning for the days ahead.

Sitting quietly right now, my mind is unwinding,
unloading a stack of repressed emotions,
releasing contracted fears, unsupressing
traumas in need of attention, laundering
hidden shame, clearing leftover debris from a
tension storm, and affirming glossed over denials.

The bad goes out before the good comes in. Here goes...


My notes on the anxiety caused by a snowstorm:

As the sky gets dark and the snow begins to fall,
I am aware of a shift in my mood, a shift I haven't chosen,
something out of my control, an interrupt signal
from my unconscious.

I can't immediately discern the message.

Aware of this tension. I drop into mindfulness. I note changes
in my behavior and in my body. I note: a nervous laugh,
speaking too loudly, too quickly,
my rapidly shifting attention,
an obsession with weather apps,
and the muscle tightness, the edginess, reduced patience,
and the breath, the breath, the shortness of breath.

My tension increases along with the piles of snow
and at each glance of the road disappearing.

I'm noting what I am aware of, noting again, and noting again.
I am anxious. I have anxiety. Anxiety is present in this body.

The noting goes like this:
Anxiety is present. Anxiety is present. Anxiety is present.
This body feels anxiety.
This body feels tightness in the abdomen.
This body feels tightness in the shoulders.
This mind is racing with survival scenarios.

I'm noting. And noting. And noting.
Until I wonder why the anxiety has not gone away.

Then I think,"What good is all this noting if the anxiety
doesn't go away? This meditation bullshit doesn't work!"

I continue noting.

I note that the last thought,
the one judging the noting practice for not working,
was not anxious.
Critical and angry, yes; but not anxious.
So I stick with that direction. It is a door.

I put my attention on the angry thought.
The anger shows me just how much
I wish I was 'free of this anxiety.'
And how much this unmet desire to be 'free of anxiety'
is causing anxiety.

Like grief, anxiety operates autonomously,
on its own time, moving through me at will.

I can't control it.

So I give up.

The anxiety is present,
and the need to be free of anxiety is present,
and anxiety doesn't leave the body,
and I know that it won't leave,
and I am still okay.

My insight is that
I am the same
in all moments,
anxious or not.

When the storm ends
the road is made passable,
the sun comes out,
and the anxiety evaporates.

Just like that, winter is on the run.


A nomad is always home.

As winter grinds on
I note the grinding.

If I look ahead to spring
I live for the future.

If I long for warmer weather
I add another layer of clothes.

When the road is cleared
I have time for drawing.

Confusing deep introspection
with an extra cold winter.

I'm reaching deeper in my winter retreat,
there are signs of spring but more cold is coming.
My writing is taking a technical turn.
I haven't theorized in a while and I
think the geekiness is a sign that my maps are
growing and new terrain lies ahead.
I apologize if it gets obscure and hopefully
the rough road won't last too long.

Settling the mind and getting in tune
with the natural state cannot be
hurried but with a little patience and
not much expectation, the door opens.

This morning while I was sitting quietly,
the harlequin whispered in my ear.
He pointed out to me a new way to view the phylogons.

My initial understanding of the phylogons came
from Philip K Dick's explanation:
phylogons are moments in time, arrayed like a
filmstrip, and whose movements create the simulation
of change. This is how the physical world is animated.
According to this model, I see the world everyday from
a point of view that is inside the stream of phylogons
and this experience happens in space and time.

Now the harlequin is introducing an alternative reading,
instead of the fundamental granularity being spatial and
temporal, he says I can understand a phylogon as an
envelope for 'what arises', that the fundamental unit is 'what is'.

The phylogon can be seen as a boundary for the arising of thoughts,
emotions, and mind, as well as openness, awareness and
dependent combinations.

When I line up and animate this view like a filmstrip,
the movie is not temporal and 3D. It is the
experience of passing through each arising moment, the
experience of being mindful in the everyday world.



Winter/Spring entanglement.

Cellular uncertainty. Epigenetic inheritance. Non separable creativity.

March Winds

We had a thaw a few days ago
but have fallen back
to single digits at night.

Three feet of snow
condensed and refroze
into five glacial acres.

March winds arrived early,
yet my whirlwind of thoughts
makes the weather looks stable.

Shopbot demons

Moving materials
Risking materials
Tool paths
Booting the Windows PC
Managing the cuts
Comm errors
Hold downs
Staying calibrated
Motors, rails, and wires
Dull bits and sharp bits
Choosing the most interesting bit
Sizes and angles
Snags and overcuts
Committing to the shapes
Believing in the art


I came across an interesting new characterization of life:
Life is a self organizing system that separates inside from outside.

Swirling arctic winds
with indefinite plans:

"We may stay until late May"
"Or we may go after April snow...
we'll let you know."

Meanwhile we feed the boiler heating oil
grumbling about those inconsiderate airs.