Thursday, July 29, 2010

Most interesting...

Here's some superfluous information to start your Thursday.

So I was checking online for a dictionary definition of 'superfluous' (don't you love that word? I love that word.) yesterday and came across a most interesting thing. A few entries under the dictionary definition for 'superfluous' was a site called 'The Superfluous Nipple'. Which of course, tweaked my curiosity. What in the world might a superfluous nipple be? Check this out - this is a superfluous nipple on the bottom of someone's foot. A misplaced extra.

There's even support groups for people with 'Triple Nipples', celebrating their extra devices. Carrie Underwood, Zac Efron, Eva Longoria's husband & Lily Allen all reportedly have (or have had) them.

Strange, eh? Imagine - a superfluous nipple on the bottom of a foot could introduce a whole new realm of interest & enjoyment (?) for those with foot fetishes...

Discovering new things is always so surprising.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

On Beige Cows

I read Dostoevsky's 'Notes from Underground' last night, and omgosh, it was exactly like having a conversation with any person in my family. (Richard, read it! It's exactly like dad!) Conflicted, observant, reality seeking, questioning, laughing at the absurdity of themselves & the world, hoping for but rarely finding meaning... Is it any wonder we're all crazy?

I've haven't read much philosophy so far, but to find people who actually consider the world beyond the narrow realms of common thought is so...comforting. Enlarging. Inspiring.

When my kids went to school in Hatzic, everyday I passed the monastery in Mission, and everyday I'd look up to the pastures to where the cows were. The monastery keeps cows, lovely beige cows with silky mottled coats. (Ever notice when you see something often enough, it becomes so familiar it's almost like you own it?) I watched these cows over a long time, entertaining myself with thoughts of, 'I wonder if cows have a social structure, what is it, & is there indeed a head cow?

One day I discovered the cows weren't in their place in the pasture. Down the hill, along the road was a barbed wire fence, next to the ditch. Forty cows were lined up by the fence, stuck, not knowing whether to go forward or backward, whether to turn, or how exactly to get themselves out of their predicament, if they even realized they were in one, at all. Indeed there was a head cow, and it led 39 others into entrapment.

How like the world...

And being on the topic of cows has just reminded me that i have a beef about the whole idea of not thinking. I'm sure I fall into the category of those who think too much, but too not think at all? to follow without question? to never explore beyond yourself? - what a total waste of a mind.

Someone commented this week, having broadened their intellectual pursuits beyond the bible and McCleans magazine to a fictional novel, 'My gosh, reading really makes you think!' I looked at them sideways and didn't comment. I can't help but think it's utterly arrogant to not read, a way of asserting that the ideas already in your own head are the only ones that matter...


Anyways, all this talk of beige cows has got me thinking about cooking steak for dinner tonite.
Bon Appetite!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

'People often say that this or that person has not yet found him or herself. But the self is not something that one finds. It is something one creates.'

Thomas Szasz

Monday, July 19, 2010

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Three Quotes I'm Thinking On Today...

'It isn't easy to find happiness in ourselves, but it isn't possible to find it elsewhere.'
Agnes Repplier

'I was always afraid to take, so I gave. It was not a virtue, it was a disguise.'
Anais Nin

'The only kind of courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment, to the next.'
Mignon Mclauglin

Latest painting...

Sunday, July 11, 2010

I was digging through a closet this week and came across a dog eared, yellowed collection of some of the poems I'd written as a teenager. I found them on the heels of thinking about Emily Dickinson and her 1800 hidden poems that were found after she died. When my own mom died, I uncovered a collection of hundreds of poems she'd written too. While I'm no Emily Dickinson, or my mom - I always appreciate when other people throw their stuff out there. And so...coming out of the closet, literally...

(hah, poetic works.)



Where roses are turning from black in to white,
Where the sky is unmasked by the filtering light.
Where peace draws a blanket of soft silent grey,
The night clings in vain as it's stolen away.

The morning song rings cross the vast purple skies,
The night meets the mountain and wistfully dies.
The sun pours a goblet of pink velvet dawn,
The moon drops a curtsy farewell and is gone.



Echoes whisper softly, many tales are left untold,
Tomorrow in the mist yet somehow yearning to unfold.
The past still etching pictures, leaving images to mind,
Memories fading in the distance, left regretfully behind.



Absorbed in the wondrous elation of life,
Unsponsored and free as the skies!
Life dances lightly on edges of time,
With boisterous devotion, spontaneous cries!



In the study of perfection of the human mind and soul
The breed and bone of all of us is not what makes us whole.
The ignorance that breeds with every chance that may occur
Rivals with our certitude and makes us so unsure.

The darkness that evades us is but fear in it's disguise
The faith that lingers in our hearts, the fear can not defy.
With every thought of ignorance, resistance battles stronger.
The darkness loathes the sunlight for it lingers moments longer.

And every ebbing battle that our faith attempts to smother
Can victor over ignorance if we're true to one another.


The First Verse

God bless the children, the babes of this land
Suffer them not for the trials of man
Offer them kindness and love in their youth
Let innocence blossom in beauty and truth

Watch as they're growing and guide them away
From all that persuades them to wander astray
Shelter their thoughts, make their days ever bright
Cradle them gently to sleep with the night

And like the sun, keep them happy and warm
Shine in their hearts when their eyes see the storm
Stay by their sides as the years follow after
A childhood fulfilled by your love and their laughter.



In this world that's so miserably black with contempt
Where hatred erodes us and peace is exempt
Can man be so blind that he heeds not the warning?
And mindlessly battles in joy, not in mourning?

Will man ever learn from this fatal mistake?
How many more wars can humanity take?
Are we blind to the light, just refusing to see?
Or is war all a part of our right to be free?

Patriotism, the pride in our birth
But what do we gain, what's it all really worth?
Origin claims us upon the first breath
To ancestry's handed the rights to our death.

Each man is prisoner, and can not resist
The will of his country, if such should exist.
Each man of his mind has not reason to hate
But the call of command makes us pawns of the state.

This futile ploy's but a struggle for power
Where love for our brothers turns molted and sour.
'United We Stand!' but the evils resided
How in God's name was the family divided?


The Nightbird

The empty echoing of the dark
The shadows etched in black.
The nightbird's hollow screaming
Where no road can lead you back.

The smothering quenchless, growing fear
Delirium of the mind.
The dull and aching throbbing
Where a dark kiss leaves you blind.

The traces of existence
In a space in time suspended.
Revealing tales left best untold
That now can not be ended

A pendant moon upon a chain
A writhing somber breath
The nightbirds screaming once again
You enter in to death.



The mind gives way
As darkness preys
Upon the fragile thread
The futile call
Shall mark the fall
Reality is dead.

Neglected need
Left free to breed
To grow untamed and wild
Will maim and kill
The broken will
Of some defeated child.

The dull retreat
Toward defeat
Beyond the black unknown
Shall soon succeed
Against the need
And reign supreme alone.

The surge of black
No road leads back
The gate is barred and sealed
She can not tell
Of silent hell
Where terror is revealed.

Beyond control
The poisoned soul
One final stricken cry
The real world
With fate's been hurled
Kiss sanity good bye.


Oh to be 17 again. Not.

How I'm Spending My Summer Vacation...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

I stumbled across this awesome poem by American poet Emily Dickinson this morning - and knowing little about her, had to google her story.

I love stories where incredibly gifted people, mostly shunned by society for their oddities, in private are creating great works of art or literature. When Emily died at 56 in the late 1800's, she'd had published a dozen poems, most of which were heavily edited to suit the style of the time. After her death, her sister uncovered another 1800 poems that Emily had written in the course of her life. It wasn't until 1955, almost 75 years after her death, she became recognized as a poet.

Amazing. Doesn't it just make you wonder what in the world is wrong with the world when we overlook what's right in front of our faces?

A something in a summer's Day
As slow her flambeaux burn away
Which solemnizes me.

A something in a summer's noon --
A depth -- an Azure -- a perfume --
Transcending ecstasy.

And still within a summer's night
A something so transporting bright
I clap my hands to see --

Then veil my too inspecting face
Lets such a subtle -- shimmering grace
Flutter too far for me --

The wizard fingers never rest --
The purple brook within the breast
Still chafes it narrow bed --

Still rears the East her amber Flag --
Guides still the sun along the Crag
His Caravan of Red --

So looking on -- the night -- the morn
Conclude the wonder gay --
And I meet, coming thro' the dews
Another summer's Day!

Emily Dickinson

Today is such a summer's day as this.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Thinking about, been reading about some compelling voices from the past. Michelangelo, Da Vinci, Raphael, Botticelli, Savonarola, Van Gogh, Degas, Neitzche, Mozart, Pachabel, Shakespeare...

And playing with rhyming words, gradients and text warps.

Monday, July 5, 2010

The Story of Grasper

This is an excerpt from Grasper: A Young Crab’s Discovery by Owen Paul Lewis. A story about freedom, growth and hopefulness. A crab comes out of his shell, travels beyond his small, comfortable world, and brings back an inspirational message of possibility and courage to his fellow crabs who remained in the old tidepool...

What are you looking at?” asked the huge crab.

“You! You are so s…so big!” stuttered Grasper.

“Of course I am!” boomed the giant. “And you will be too, after you’ve molted as many times as i have.”

“Me … as big as you?” cried Grapser. “But how? Where i come from … under the rocks … there are other crabs who’ve molted many times – but they haven’t grown larger.”

“Do they ever leave these rocks of yours?” he asked.

“No, they are afraid to,” replied Grasper.

“Well, then of course!” said the crab. “Everyone knows a crab will only grow as large as the world he lives in, and as big as the heart inside him. You must have a big heart to live in a big world.”

Saturday, July 3, 2010

If You Have to Be Sure, Don't...

So the US has a new Poet Laureate, WS Merwin. I'd never heard of a Poet Laureate til this morning, or WS Merwin for that matter. But he's a two time Pulitzer Prize winner, which I suppose in the literary world, is something fairly significant.

It's sounds so deliciously medieval, doesn't it? Poet Laureate... It basically means giving occasional appearances to promote the importance of poetry. I think it's a shame that writing, like most of the arts, is confined almost within a subculture. We all went to school, writing, creating, discovering...why does the fun stop just because we grow up? WS Merwin is 82 and just now doing his most recognized work.

There's something very tremulous and vulnerable about creating something. Maybe if you do it often enough, that sense diminishes, but I think the question, 'is this really any good?' is the shared insecurity of people who try. I have a half finished painting sitting on my kitchen counter that is literally freaking me out. It seems crazy to care so much about something that will only ever probably adorn a dark closet in my house, but I do. I like this WS Merwin poem - it addresses that question, too.

“I had hardly begun to read

I asked how can you ever be sure

that what you write is really

any good at all and he said you can’t

you can’t you can never be sure

you die without knowing

whether anything you wrote was any good

if you have to be sure don’t write”

If you have to be sure, don't write, don't paint, don't sing, don't dance...
What a wasteland the world would be if not for the brave souls, willing to not be sure.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

There's nothing quite as intimidating as a l-a-r-g-e new blank canvas when the last one didn't turn out. Reading about old and new masters, while inspiring, is daunting too.

I'm emboldening myself with a glass of iced sparkling raspberry wine and Pachelbel's Canon in D major. Which incidentally was the song my dad walked me down the aisle to 23 years ago. Ahh, sweet memories.

I'm growing quite the dollar store collection of classical music. It's almost impossible to paint to Little Wayne. I've made a new friend at the dollar store dropping in & out frequently for canvases and music. A clerk who shares wild stories of surviving heart attacks, MS, eczema and 4 children. Today she told me the secret to life is in the BAG. Beginning Anew, Accepting What Is and Going For It. One day soon, I'm going to invite her over to my house.

So, here's to beginning anew. Happy Canada Day.

Birthday Boys!

Sam, July 1st 1988, Josh, June 25th 1990.
My heart is full. So proud of them.