March 4, 2018…What’s in a Fortune Anyway…

From the MInd of the Manic, Thoughts from the "Tinman"

 

“My Favorite Bunnies” ©2018

“You are only as strong as the alcohol you drink, the tables you dance on, and the friends that hold you together” 

I had lunch with a friend of mine some months ago in Calistoga California at the only Chinese restaurant in town. In typical, commercial, Chinese restaurant fashion, two cellophane wrapped fortune cookies appeared along with the check.

I will admit, when the fortune cookies arrive, something comes over me, (some of you do this too, just differently, and it is OK). I become over the top superstitious, count to 6, three times…tap my left foot a few times, blink twice, wave my hand over each cookie, hoping to feel the magic and juju I so associate with fortune cookies. I mean for God’s sake, they are, “FORTUNE”, cookies…I make major decisions based on what’s wrapped up in that tiny stale, sometimes spongy treasure chest…part of my superstition is being the last to take the remaining little pillow of fate…at least that way I know destiny has clearly chosen me by the process of elimination and what awaits, I follow like the Boy Scout motto…

I do have an out though if the fortune really sucks, I don’t eat any of the cookie, that way the fortune is null and void…whew!! The most memorable fortune I’ve ever had in my life created this null and void ritual… here goes:

“You will have a very unusual operation”

So with great anticipation, my friend made his choice, cracked it open and read his fortune…it was something about straight lines and life, had no relevance what so ever, so he said…I’ve yet to check with him though…I quivered with anticipation as I cracked open the vault of whatever fortune cookies are made of, and there on a slender piece of paper my fate awaited me…

In all seriousness, it was the most profound fortunes I’ve received, I look at it every day, and see how it works for me…not to mention, I’ve memorized the Chinese word on the back of the fortune, “Busy”,  Mang or Fan, depending of course….

Here’s what I’m listening to as I write this, I hope you enjoy it….

Hope your fortune comes true…

“The truth knocks on the door and you say, ‘Go away, I’m looking for the truth’, and so it goes away”

Star Gazing

Thoughts from the "Tinman", West Texas ramblings

Limited Time, 2017

“I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.”

I used to camp on a picnic table at Bean Hollow Beach, long after they would lock the gates, check the bathrooms and say goodnight to whatever needed saying goodnight to….I’d walk around the heavy yellow pipe barricade, with my sleeping bag, a flashlight, a small styrofoam cooler and my journal…I always had plans…didn’t always initiate the plans but had them nevertheless…Often I’d start a small fire under the concrete picnic table that was my bed to warm it up…I’d lie there, drink some beers and watch the star filled sky…watch for anomalies and satellites…strange events, anything that wanted to come forward…it was an experience I often think of today and how it was, simple and easy….a pleasure to be a part of a few times each month….I owned the beach, and everything on it…it was mine for about 8 hours…sometimes I’d count the stars like the minutes…because I could…

Star gazing music:

“We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars.”

The Collective of Think A-likes

West Texas ramblings, Writings from the "Cuff'

 


“Hajime ni” © 2017 Robert Redus

“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”

In the movie, Full Metal Jacket, when private Pyle has finally lost the last drop of sanity and is confronted by private Joker in the head. the end result is expected, and not a surprise.  Private joker says to private Pyle, “If Hartman comes in here and catches us, we will both be in a world of shit.”, Private Pyle replies, “I am in a world of shit”….then Pyle’s greatest moment is not far away…nevertheless,…a seemingly cohesive collective  is seconds from taking on enough water to capsize the entire vessel….

I really used to believe that the power of a collective was an unstoppable power that when directed and adjusted could accomplish incredible things…yet now…I don’t believe that so much, why? you ask…well because every collective has at least one private Pyle, 1 person who is in a world of shit, for what ever reason creating a compromise in the integrity of the collective…I mean think about, we all are in a world of shit…who knows, could be a few days a month…once a quarter…maybe twice a year…

The word collective means: “a cooperative enterprise”.  Herds,( my favorite is a quiver of cobras)… flocks, packs, gangs, parties, anything with people sharing a common idea/goal is considered a collective, creating something called, “Collectivism” which is defined as:

“Collectivism is the moral stance, political philosophy, ideology, or social outlook that emphasizes the group and its interests. Collectivism is the opposite of individualism. 

or better put…”the practice or principle of giving a group priority over each individual in it.”…

And that to me is where the notion of the collective fails completely, and not because of the group priority…but because of the diametric opposition of those within the group on the really small micro scale….in other words, everybody in the group is on a different part of the group’s bell curve…let’s simplify…remember this part, OK?….in a collective, individuality is in the back seat, while the collective itself drives….right? yet if everybody in the back seat has a different way of driving, directional skills, methods of getting from point A to point X….and exactly what they define point A and X to be, somebody or some group of bodies is going to decide the driving habits of the collective….now a box within a box within a box….yabitty…yabitty…yabitty… So, the collective now is no longer about the collective, rather about the individuals guiding and directing the collective…sort of individualism directing collectivism….sound vaguely familiar…

Here’s my solution and I’ll start with a 2 questions first…here they are…

If tomorrow you woke and you were doing exactly what you wanted to be doing, you know that ikegai, that passion that we all have for something and long to live, (here it is) what would you be doing?…..and what are you currently doing to get there?….if you can’t answer the first question….you can’t answer the 2nd question either….So before you join a collective, you think you kind of believe in most of the time, answer these 2 questions….then start the process of living that life….

Here are 10 readily accepted scenarios in the world we live in…we should think hard about changing these….. 

  • WE PRIORITIZE MONEY AND THE ECONOMY OVER BASICS LIKE AIR, WATER, FOOD QUALITY, OUR ENVIRONMENT, AND OUR COMMUNITIES.
  • WE UTILIZE AN ECONOMIC TRADING SYSTEM THAT FACILITATES THE DEATH OF MILLIONS OF PEOPLE EACH YEAR.
  • WE DIVIDE THE WORLD’S LAND INTO SECTIONS AND THEN FIGHT OVER WHO OWNS THESE SECTIONS.
  • WE CALL SOME PEOPLE “SOLDIERS” WHICH MAKES IT OK FOR THEM TO KILL OTHER PEOPLE.
  • WE TORTURE AND KILL MILLIONS OF ANIMALS EVERY DAY NEEDLESSLY FOR FOOD, CLOTHING, AND EXPERIMENTS.
  • WE SEND CHILDREN TO SCHOOL FOR THEIR ENTIRE CHILDHOOD TO MEMORIZE FACTS AND SKILLS THAT THEY WILL RARELY USE. 
  • WE IMPOSE FINANCIAL PRESSURES ON PARENTS, FORCING THEM TO MISS OUT ON VITAL STAGES OF THEIR CHILD’S DEVELOPMENT.
  • WE HAVE THOUSANDS OF RELIGIONS, EACH ONE BELIEVING THAT THEIR GOD OR GOD-STORY IS THE ONLY TRUE AND UNIQUE VERSION.
  • LOVE AND COMPASSION, WHICH PROMOTE LIFE, ARE MOCKED AS FACILE. WHEREAS WAR, WHICH HARMS LIFE, IS SEEN AS HONORABLE.
  • ANYONE WITH A REALLY USEFUL INVENTION CAN FORCEFULLY PREVENT OTHERS FROM USING OR MODIFYING IT.

I think we each have to work on changing ourselves first…plant tomatoes, raise some bees…take longer walks…have less stuff…write more…talk less…read more…teach more….learn more…maybe your neighbor might see that and do the same…and their neighbors might see them doing than and their neighbors, neighbors might see….and then that world of shit just might not be that bad….if its compost….

here’s some great music…and some great mescal

“You are only as strong as the liquor you drink, the tables you dance on and the of friends that hold you together”

 

 

 

 

July 3rd…Last weeks Paintings…

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

Some of my paintings from  June 27- July 1….

I have a show of about 700 of these small paintings on paper

“The Space In Between” Paintings influenced by the landscape

Ralph Greene Gallery, Opening Reception November 18,  6-9 pm, Closing December 16, 2011, 6-9 pm.

          

          

          

          

          

          

          

          

          

          


528. May 23rd…the… “10 Want to do List”…and thank God I don’t have to wear spandex to do it…

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“The Girls of Summer…(in a sort of weird way)…2011

“I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don’t have as many people who believe it.” – George Carlin

I woke this morning thinking of spandex…a troubling thought to say the least…my first and only time wearing spandex was brief…alarming and to say the least bubble bursting when it came to having “that”….body…especially knowing it was never going to happen…or at least not without having a full-time job in the gym…but I’ve come to the conclusion that spandex…however ackward…is a necessity of life…much like Doritos cool ranch…

I recently upgraded my back yard…you know chairs…a small dining table…some colorful flowers…big garden candles…and an outdoor incense spiral…it is now such a wonderful place to sit and relax…eat breakfast…or a late dinner…maybe a Marble Brewed beer on a Saturday night…something I’ve always wanted to do…just never really made the time to do…and that statement got me wondering about all of the other things…I’ve not made the time to do…

I thought long and hard about what I really want to do…omitted brain surgeon…astronaut…race car driver…all of those things that might have an exclamation like….”Oh shit!”…associated with them…so I’ve been building my list today…thinking of the short….mid and long-term lists….of ….”want to do”…and I’ve decided it can’t be like three wishes from a genie where the last wish is…3 more wishes…and I don’t want to take things I’m already doing and enhance them since…I guess I’m doing them already and why repeat the process…and I don’t really want the list to be broad and general…like say….”Great health”…the givens…seem a little to obvious…and who would want bad health to begin with…right????….and lastly my list has nothing to do with anybody else’s list or participation….not intended to be selfish…rather more directed to self improvement…which by definition will affect those who share my life with me…so my list are the things I guess that matter…more than the things that matter but not as much…oh and I narrowed it down to “10 want to do”….with a built-in option to change any want to do…at any given point…or better when I can cross it off of the list…add a new one….

I began realizing…my  “10 want to do”…list may take a lifetime…so I had to really narrow it down to the short list…say the want to do in the next 1-5 years….so here goes

1. Become a really good cook
2. Wear more colorful different clothes
3. Start learning another language
4. Plans for a long trip to Italy
5. Learn to dance the Tango…Merengue
6. Start piano lessons
7. Visit Hagia Sophia
8. Tile a bathroom floor with dominoes 
9. Buy a place that already has mature fruit bearing trees
10. Publish my book

there are a few hundred more…but these are going to work …for right now….there is no time line…these are not goals nor…”have to get done”…they are a few things that in small pieces they will produce the results I am looking for…

I’m hoping sometime in the next 1-5 years…if you come over…perhaps I’ll make a wonderful dinner of…say…Scottish Lamb with a Tomato Rosemary Reduction…Bollos…finished with a wonderful….Cassata Trifle…and a Muscato  di Asti…we can sit around the piano while I play a little Bill Evans…in a rather colorful but not to loud linen ensemble….while a slide show of Istanbul…and Ravina …play on the monitor…perhaps later a tango on the balcony… and a delicious Pink Lady apple from the trees below….and if all of this makes you sick to your stomach…I’ll comfort you with Italian poetry…from my book….holding your hair back…while you are kneeling on the domino tiled bathroom floor…throwing up….and hopefully you will do the same for me….

I think perhaps the romance of it all has gotten to me…not something unusual by a long stretch…knowing these “10 want to do’s” are now out in the universe…amassing energy as I write…is sensational….enough so….

I just might go buy some….spandex….

 “Love is an irresistible desire to be irresistibly desired.” – Robert Frost

422. September 29th…Doing that Voodoo….that we do…..

Art and my thoughts about being an artist

“No More ‘Thank you Come Again’.” 2010

“Ever more people today have the means to live, but no meaning to live for.” – Viktor E. Frankl

I am setting out in some wonderful new directions lately…adventures I have been interested in….and finally we have opted to meet and make it all work….or at least see how it works…..

as a painter….there is a trap of definability of work….something that has a presence that oozes the artists style….that after a few views of a few paintings…everything is pretty much going to look similar or have a signature that is clearly that of the artist….from the side of sales and representation…that is perfect…yet from the position of the painter….the work becomes a continual exploration of the same work with…little variations that are small vacations but it’s…..always the same hotel….

by definition repeating similar processes will give similar results…..and even changing that process….will often give a personal “Chop” that no mater what…it is the handwriting of the artist…something that may venture into figurative and landscape paintings as well as explorations into abstraction and non-objective work….from the same artist…..and there might not be a thing that can be done to change that…..or if changing that is even necessary….

I feel like everyone…..artists find what works and tend to stay where the things that work well….do…perfect their abilities over a life time…come up with a flawless example of themselves…represented by a few hundred/thousand paintings…drawings…sketch books…and the like….things that show them over a period of time in every way they have been……in every situation they have experienced….one of my instructors feels if you are a painter…you paint…..nothing else…I don’t agree with that….and feel that if the exploration sends me into carving Oreo cookies into giant 300 foot sculpture as part of some process of discovery….then that’s fine…and a necessary part of the way it all gets to where it gets….

as far as painting….I feel for me….the ability to have slept with a particular style of painting until I know it so well it is difficult to separate me from the work is my ultimate desire…yet along that route…i want to experiment with other ways of thinking….producing work that takes me seriously out of the box…that is comfortable…carpeted…and full of everything I know….place me in the desolate….. where the wind blows hard and it’s very dry…..and I am forced to respond and respond quickly…..learn a new way to…breath differntly….see through my eyes in an alternative way….paint what I know nothing about…in essence….start…..

as an artist…I am constantly looking at works I’ve never seen before…..that is my obligation to me…it takes me out of my box….on….small field trips…gives me the opportunity to see what I’m NOT doing…..and what I would like to try….or not try….it makes me question how things are done….how processes are developed and refined….

one of the greatest things about this is….all of the new tools…..you know…..that stuff you just have to have….and it’s all the Holy Grail……

“The buttocks are the most aesthetically pleasing part of the body because they are non-functional.  Although they conceal an essential orifice, these pointless globes are as near as the human form can ever come to abstract art. ” ~Kenneth Tynan