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May 2014


Happy first day of noticing
Dandelions covering the meadow

Looking toward and looking away.


Life stirring in the woods and the hickory trees about to get their leaves.

I'm into the new creative cycle enough to see the cycle build; ever climbing, ever revealing, and still holding my curiosity. Somehow surrendering to the creative impulse always seems to be the right answer.

What a luxury
Waking up
Feeling life
In every leaf

Forest meditation
Becoming a tree

World inside out
Tree becomes me


Enchanted spot

Certain places pull
As if preselected

Overcoming writing obstacles

I want to write more but pencil marks and colors are very consuming. I've noticed that when my words relate directly to a drawing they only seem to narrow its meaning. How can I use words to expand the meaning instead? A new direction suggests itself: decouple the words from the image, don't describe or explain, and let the words and images both spring from the same source. I'll give that a try and we'll see what sweet waters run forth.


So the writing is not about the drawing anymore?

-Well...no, not directly about the image.

So you said it will be about two separate simultaneous creative acts...put together?

-Complementary, simultaneous, and dependent creations.

From the mind or from the heart?

-I want it to be a dialog, between words and images, and about creating with images and words.

What do you hope to accomplish?

-To further reveal the creative process.

How will that happen?

-Find the places that can't be separated, discern resonant chords, and wend my way to the creative ground.


I'm not writing about trees at all. I'm busy making up a story about a conceptual artist who spends his time indulging in the pleasures of the mind. A young man fascinated by the fluidity of thoughts, believes he can control them and spends hours inwardly focused, polishing arguments within himself, proving things to himself, and convincing himself he can explain the world. As a boy he could make up logical answers for everything. His candy was 'what if' scenarios plucked from infinite possibility space that he ate constantly; leisurely feasting on mind food. Thus began a positive feedback loop of Ego growth. That's right, in the new relationship I am exploring between image and text, the Ego will be playing the role of the words and the Id will illustrate.

The voice of the self suddenly liberated, freshly sprouted, sings mi-mi-mi, or more appropriately, me-me-me.

"Me, listen to me. Only me. I am here. Speaking to you there looking at this, reading this, listen to my voice. I am a prisoner in a human body. I am told I don't exist and the world is an illusion. But I feel things in my hands, I get hurt, I have energy, I like coffee, I fear death, I want sex, me, its me we're talking about. I get mad and have a short temper, prone to sulking, telling jokes, teasing others, who else but me? These feelings are real, right? Whew, it is good to say shit like that, to take off the robes, to own my body again. I want things, good food, comfortable bed, lots of money, dinner parties, vacations, a Buick, an ivy league education, my name in magazines and books; I own this life, I own my ambition. I can't stand it when my work doesn't sell or I don't get a show, I don't pretend, I try not to let things bother me but how can they not? Who doesn't want attention, admiration, respect, and to be wanted. I am surrounded by my life and the history of my decisions, the clothes I wear, what I do every day, what I prefer to eat, what I read, and who my friends are; they all mirror the places I've lived, the TV sitcoms I've endlessly watched, the high school, the girlfriends, and every tiny choice I ever made. It is obvious who I am, right? How could it be otherwise? This is the natural outcome! I want things, I do things, so I am clearly a person on Earth, an American, a jew, a New Yorker, a southerner, a dad, a son, a brother, a husband, a poet, a painter, a computer artist, a programmer, a driver, an eater, an animal, a mammal, a right handed person, a person who meditates, a person with a bank account, a mortgage, a credit card, a debit card, an ATM card, a train ticket, an airplane ticket, a swimming pool, a barn; I am all those, that is who I am, all those, and so many more, an endless number of subtle ways to describe me, all ending in a huge equation, an identity, an infinitely regressing series, a summation that equals me. Isn't it clear that someone lives here? Someone is talking? Someone is alive?"

And finding itself so suddenly liberated, the Ego continues on like this, in a search for itself, for many, many more hours and well into the next day.

Showing up for writing even when no writing is to be found.

But can something that appears casual be profound?

Persistence trumps talent, says Octavia Butler.

What makes one creation better than another?

No more poetry.
For God's sake no more poetry.


It's me again! I'm showing up to show you that I exist.
Proof of free will. Confirmation of volition.
Even if the writing is boring to read,
The only requirement is to be present.


My ego has been cautiously let off his leash,
And he's found his voice,
If left unchecked, the question is
how long until he over-inflates?
Is this experiment too dangerous?
How can my awareness of what goes
on in my mind help me keep control?

I'm also counting on this network,
relying on you, my readers,
this network that you are a part of
right now; while reading these words,
I'm feeling your presence
and your attention helps.
I won't let you down.

It should be interesting to see what an ego
with a reputation for self-indulgence,
aggrandizement, and spotlight seeking,
does next.
And if he gets too large,
please grab my attention
and pull me out.


Words emerge and worlds diverge.
Wrong speech, wrong effort, wrong livelihood.

Possessive, contentious,
Petty, defensive,

When this fog rolls in,
I destroy molehills wishing they were mountains.


Sitting peacefully and noticing
this beautiful day, my eyes wander
over to my newly sprouted blackberry
plants and I feel pride, then expansion,
and then possession; mine.

Later in the day I have an idea about
how great it would be if my kids knew
more about computer programming and
an entire plan unfolds in my mind about
starting an after school program, I can
see how popular it would be, all the fun
ways kids could be taught to program
games and animations, and it would help
with math, and my story goes on and on and on
until the punchline of the story arrives;
in doing all this valuable service, everyone
would finally recognize my generosity
and think so highly of me.

It seems so natural to locate myself in my
stories since I am the center of my world.
Should I be more concerned about my selfishness
or about my guilty thought that being
self-centered is somehow wrong?


My self prattles on...

"Wishing to know myself better,
I divide into writer and reader.

Here we are now,
Me and you.

When I write, I imagine your thoughts.
Reading this, you hear my voice.

But we remain one thing, like Escher's hands,
Dependent on each other for existence."


Travel discontinuity





Waiting for words.
Creating with words.
Turning my attention
to waking up words.


Struggling over subject matter...

So many things I can't write about
or aren't interested in writing about
or topics not significant enough
or important enough
or just plain boring.
(not that this isn't)

And I am resisting narrowing down
to anything that could be called a topic.
No immediate topic means that I turn
my attention to the feeling I have inside
that tells me I need to write something at all.
Where is that coming from?

And it occurs to me that the struggle
is not over writing or what gets written
but about how I am judging the state of mind
that wants to write.


I know that if I write something
but only do it with a sense of frustration
then the story doesn't matter;
I am only transmitting that struggle.
And likewise, if I am joyful while creating
then the reader feels me smile.