• Contemplative
  • Prioritize, Prioritize

    My granddaughter Siena tangled up (joyously) in lights A lovely thing about Christmas is that it’s compulsory, like a thunderstorm, and we all go through it together. — Garrison Keillor Compulsory is a good word for this time of year. So is paradoxical. While the holiday percussiveness is pervasive, I still keep looking for some […]

  • Aesthetics
  • What Can Be Seen

    Officially known as ACT-CL J0102-4915, the galaxy cluster has been nicknamed El Gordo. “This cluster is the most massive, the hottest, and gives off the most X-rays of any known cluster at this distance or beyond,” said Felipe Menanteau of Rutgers University. (Credit: X-ray: NASA/CXC/Rutgers/J.Hughes et al, Optical: ESO/VLT/Pontificia Universidad. Catolica de Chile/L.Infante & SOAR […]

  • Aesthetics
  • Born Things

    Shoji Hamada How easy it is to slip into busy. Busy, and disconnected from the core of things. This morning I found a needed course correction courtesy of Sarah Robinson‘s Nesting: Body, Dwelling, Mind: Cognitive scientists tell us that it takes time for the conscious mind to extract latent patterns within a diversity of superficially […]

  • Contemplative
  • Not Giving Over

    Hindu altar, Kanchipuram India, 2008 Blue Arabesque, by Patricia Hampl, is a book-long meditation and memoir that starts with her deep and sudden connection to a painting by Matisse hanging in the Chicago Art Institute. Writing not as an artist but as a thoughtful wisdom seeker, Hampl describes a conversation she has with a 60 […]

  • Art Making
  • Interior Space Deep in the Human Heart

    Early on in my art education, a professor told me a parable I have never forgotten. Long ago, an emperor in China loved ducks. Inordinately. His passion was so overwhelming that he called forth the greatest artist and calligrapher in his kingdom and made his request: I want you to create the ultimate image of […]

  • Contemplative
  • Starved to Diamond

    It’s a wordless place where I spend most of my time these days. Language is a bridge that gives out without warning, a friend then a foe, the metal against your skin that is either too cold or too hot. So I’m giving into my proclivities. Leaning on metaphor rather than exposition, on suggestion rather […]

  • Art Making
  • Black Sand Muse

    Another day of rag and bone shopping, of gentle and cautious gestures, of softly silencing the voice of judgment, of speaking in a quiet voice when I want to be screaming. This is my courtship of the muse, I remind myself. The process is a dance of seduction, and success requires great patience and focus. […]

  • Art/Spiritual
  • Admit Them, Admit Them

    Thank you, collective mind. And in this particular case, thank you friend Sally Reed. In response to my posting below entitled Talisman, Sally sent me the following: This brings to mind another less acute, but still astute, evocation of grief as a dog. It’s by Denise Levertov. Talking to Grief Ah, Grief, I should not […]

  • Contemplative
  • Talisman

    A Surprise in the Peninsula When I came in that night I found the skin of a dog stretched flat and nailed upon my wall between the two windows. It seemed freshly killed – there was blood at the edges. Not my dog: I have never owned one, I rather dislike them. (Perhaps whoever did […]

  • Contemplative
  • Mast Sleeping

    The Unbeliever He sleeps on the top of a mast. – Bunyan He sleeps on the top of a mast with his eyes fast closed. The sails fall away below him like the sheets of his bed, leaving out in the air of the night the sleeper’s head. Asleep he was transported there, asleep he […]