12.31.12…What a difference a day makes….it’s all in the attitude!

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

islands

“Islands”©2012. Robert Redus

“The absence of flaw in beauty is itself a flaw.”

Somehow the year accelerated to today, the 31st of December. I don’t know if the older I get the faster the time goes by or if there is something else that it is happening, I’ve yet to figure out. Nevertheless, it’s going to happen. It reminds me of a bumper sticker I once saw that read:

“Jesus is coming…look busy”

Reflecting back on 2012, it was pretty certain with few exceptions….I don’t want to sound like I wear nothing but brown clothes everyday of the year. Exceptional things only happen if  1.) You decide to make exceptional things a part of your life.  or 2.)You hand the wheel to someone else and end up where they are going, doing what they are doing and hope that 10-50 is not in the equation. My year was exceptional for what exceptional initiatives I put forward . Most of us would rather watch the alligator wrestling than be wrestling with the gator.

I refined my bucket list this year, and after entering a pie eating contest (#3 on the list) in Pietown New Mexico, coming in 15th place, I realized that writing down what I want to do then checking it off  is much like the 2 years…that’s right 2 years we spend sitting at traffic lights throughout our lives…..So no more bucket list….1-100….just sort of adopted the attitude that I should do what inspires me…take this exceptional life and…live it exceptionally….

So with the new year creeping up on us like a new pair of briefs…we have the what am I going to do with myself reflection asking us…”So what are you going to do with yourself”…I suggest you answer…”Absolutely Nothing”….as planning the fiery car wreck in advance, takes all of the suspense and intrigue out of all of the possibilities.

My New Year’s Resolutions are….none, sure I sat at breakfast with Sue this morning thinking about what I want to do, when in reality  I should be resolving not to repeat what I didn’t want to do last year….so yes, my resolution is exactly that….hands in the air, resolving not to repeat any part of last year but the good stuff….and then I have to decide if repetition of the good stuff is really worth the effort.

On another note….my canned answer for 2013 is, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take it anymore, but I’m willing to be proactive”…sort of a combination of rebellious concern with emphasis on solution.

I became 56 this year and of course I reflected on what I’ve forgotten, what I know, what I think I know, what I’d like to learn and what I am hoping to do with all of this knowledge and forgotten knowledge. As I have lived more life than I probably have left to live, what matters really matters a great deal more than ever before, so yes I will demand a diet Dr. Pepper over a Diet Coke, and don’t try for one second to convince me that medium rare and well down are pretty close. So I guess what I am saying is I understand why older people get pissed off and are sometimes difficult to deal with; and it’s not because they are demanding but they want what they want with little exception, we just add the word ‘Old” to the mixture and it gives a reason. Now how wrong is that.We’ve all sat at the table debating on having the waitperson, notice the politically correct format) take the food back because _____________. and in younger years maybe just debated rather than acted. Yet now….I’ll walk it back to the kitchen myself…..no problem….As we all know, 56 is old to some, young to others so maybe it really isn’t age at all…it’s entirely attitude…We should be,  A okay with that,  these are lightbulb moments. we can genuinely say…..”I will” or “I won’t”, then fill in the blank with the stuff we will or won’t do and feel damn good about the end result, even if we decide to change that will or will not at any given time.

My prayer is, Jesus….could you give  a little notice before you arrive, I really want to make sure I’m busy doing what I want to be doing….Thanks…Robert

“A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.” – Max Planck 

512. April 12th… It’s all in…. “The Work”

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Walking…” 2011

“I can’t imagine anything more worthwhile than doing what I most love. And they pay me for it. – Edgar Winter

So it all happened…some rematch I suppose…perhaps more a touch of fate with a little gin…and lemon… a bit of foreign corrspondence…some hoop jumping…very little explanation….as there was really no need for it…. and all was intact… became still again…somewhere between the agitation cycle…and the spin…but the calm smelled like the skin of a freshly peeled grapefruit…and I just knew it was going to last for a very…very long time…

our conversation drifted to a topic though nebulous…one of great concern..or  one that….should be…”The Work”…my statement “I’ve done all of the work up to this point” …and for the most part it is true…the arduous task of voluntarily skinning myself alive…redefining…the evils…the goods…the I wills and I won’ts…all of those places where the water keeps it moist much longer than anywhere else…yet it does…

and so some few decades fast forward…and I’m beginning to understand the concept of…”The Work”….”My Work”…what it takes….at least for now…what it feels like…at least for now…knowing that the initial expectation is generally always not even remotely close to what may appear…and what I thought was true is often not true at all…and knowing clearly the more emphasis I place on ridding myself of some unwanted facet of me…the more that facet attracts the light…Imagine that…

the word “Selfless”…is defined as…”having little or no concern for oneself“… while Selfish is…”devoted to or caring only for oneself“…both opposing…and neither really close to a medium…where it can be said… “I am selflessly selfish“….or …” I am selfishly selfless“…I’ve pondered the in between word…you know the one that sits dead center…that is exactly half of selfish and half of selfless…that same one that begins with “self”….as each of these extremes is and seems undesirable as a constant…selfish all the time…score ZERO….selfless all the time…still score ZERO…but people may like you better…so what…I think selfish creates the void…selfless fills the void….or maybe it’s the other way around…but the middle ground is where my appeal lies…as too much of anything…you know….

the task of “The Work”…though requires a selfish nature..as introspection dictates self…dive deep into self…swim in that pool for a little longer than a couple of hours on Saturday…to think a selfless exploration of self…almost sounds like a vacation without going anywhere…and that old work may just appear as a quicky in the afternoon when the kids aren’t home…that ain’t happening…

“The Work”..is a constant it just might be those few years that the emphasis is solely upon finding that current that works best…I believe it takes years to undo…redo…remake…reinstall…rebuild…trash it and put it back to a working place…where the discoveries far outweigh the knowns which are often deceptive habits that started the entire process to begin with…and maybe the process has a crown of thorns or maybe it’s a rope noose…a pot of boiling water…or the things that draw your knees to your chest…play the sickening movies all over again…the black ones we thought never really happened…faint of heart need not apply….

and once some place has been found…call it a stall…yet it never ceases…just rolls into a slow motion pattern with the heart rate of a hummingbird…still on the forefront…yet a repreve from all of the late nights…bundles of journals…hours of meditation…buckets of tears…bags of lighters that lit the few hundred candles that allowed a little more light to seep in…sleeplessness…hot baths…every detoxification diet on the planet…a few thousand dollars on massage and colonics…parboiled foods…Tai Chi…and the myriad of things that loosened the plaque from the inside of the soul….

the rest then comes easy…the price…paid in full…at least until the next time…not before some truth has emerged that shed enough light ahead of the path that lights it enough to move forward..perhaps whistle a little better…not care about certain things…and let those who used all the whips they had simply…fade away…disappear…we emerge clean…smooth…a clean heart to begin all over…

and maybe this time what was won’t  ever be…what is makes what will be even better…it’s nothing but green lights ahead…and driving with the headlights off on those full moon nights….

“A man’s errors are his portals of discovery.” – James Joyce

502. March 14th…a little inspiration…goes a long way…

Art and my thoughts about being an artist

“Red Days #1” 2011

“The reward of art is not fame or success but intoxication: that is why so many bad artists are unable to give it up.” – Cyril Connolly

he passed on some ancient information…that had been passed on to him…by  the same method…oh…for maybe a few hundred years…he said…”She told me to just listen to the wind“…and some how…he didn’t need to explain it…as it all made sense…after I looked at the showing of his work…it was apparent he’d listen…and listened very well…

there is something about seeing art work that is just the perfect hit…everything about it speaks…clearly…maybe not in a language everybody gets but loud enough and clear enough…that if you listen it’s right there…that sort of success…is amazing…to me…it strikes me as the perfect mesh and that mesh requires many years to get to that place that it works…unfolds…I mean that’s what the work seems to be for…

W.B. Brown

I started a book last night that like few books is one I could tell by page 3 this was going to be a difficult book to put down…”The End of Art” by Donald Kuspit…I’ve yet to get far enough into it to clearly define the idea but there a few quotes that have made me smile and laugh out loud…

(Art)…”It has also been undermined by the belief that all one has to have is a “concept” to be an artist, which suggests that the concept of artist, as well as of art, has lost clear meaning. This is why so many people think of themselves as artists, for everyone, after all, has a favorite “concept” especially about some person, place and thing they know.

I was away for the weekend…sleeping Saturday night…on an unfamiliar bed…in an unfamiliar place…very relaxed and comfortable…I dreamed “hard dreams”…you know those kinds of dreams that are so real it’s easier to convince yourself they were real…than just dreams…and I’ve not dreamed for a few years consistently….but what dreams I do have now…are as significant as chicken innards…the oracle at Delphi…or a loaded deck of tarot cards…so I had an  opportunity to spend some time thinking of the “message” I wanted from this night of very lucid dreaming…

the word inspiration….comes from the Latin word…inspirare: to inflame, blow into, “in” + spirare  is “to breathe”…so in essence…to be inspired is….to breath…

I really enjoy how small moments of time create large moments of inspiration…how sitting with a few people…meshed in a conversation…can cause an enormous wave of inspiration to swell…enough so…there becomes a level of overpowering eagerness …associated with the idea…the “Can’t wait ” sort of thinking…where tomorrow can not get here quickly enough…so that process can begin to unfold…

Inspiration is a feeding to be fed sort of mentality…we are inspired by others to do because they do…as well we inspire others to do because we do…and the more I thought about that…the whole notion of it really made me realize how important it is to continue on…even when things slow…and questions are more abundant than not…

so to those of you who inspire me…and continually do….thank you…

“Delay is the deadliest form of denial.” – C. Northcote Parkinson

 

474. January 18th…Truth…Want…Wu Wei…and…W’s Thought on history…

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Spin Doctor” 2011

“There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.” – Buddha

don’t waste one more second not getting what you want”…came out of my mouth…and I really meant it…more than ever…ever before…

and as I lay in bed this morning…I thought of my list…the “want list”…the things I’d like to put in place in my world…I thought of how to get them there…then push them into place…much like an awkward piece of furniture..how to arrange everything so…the gaps are minimal…the space movable…yet filled with what I want…I made some mental blueprints…sorted things by size and color…filled some space with this…other spaces with another form of this…and everything seemed as it was going to fit perfectly…the furnished apartment of sorts straight out of every desire I had…well at least the desires and wants for those few moments…

Taoism talks about desire as an unfulfilling path…as one desire is met…another often more ambitious desire will arise to replace the previous one…and perhaps living life “As is”…appreciating life “As is”…allows what will…to become…Wu Wei…is knowing when to act…and when not to act…it is the “natural action” that exists….in everything striving for a state of perfect equilibrium…

so what I am saying is…”yes…I want”…and “yes I know what I want clearly in parts of my world…while I don’t in other parts”…and I am finding more that my need to sit with it all for a day or so…swish it around…and see how it all feels…see what my…”Desire”…is really all about…and does it fit or is it something I want to make into something else…and then see if it fits…find out the truth about what I think it may be rather than what it really is…act on it without acting…hmmm…

in each of us exists a rhythm…something that might be aligned in some part with circadian rhythm yet a pulse we have altered…to work for us…or at least we think so…knowing a rhythm exists…then knowing the rhythm can be out of rhythm exists as well… “life arrhythmia”…may very well be “dancing to the wrong beat”…and a habit that…a “tune up”… might make the dance a bit more pleasureable…unless of course the rhythm of life is fusion jazz…which some days…it is…no doubt

by following the natural rhythm…being and doing when being and doing are ideal…sounds to me like the best method of doing anything…yet what I have found for me…over the last 3 years of hard work…all of the rhythms….the stillness…and actions…wants desires….anything and everything…doesn’t matter if it isn’t the truth…that internal truth….your saying..”I tell myself the truth all of the time…”and of course you do…it might be some facsimile of the truth…have some root in the truth…knowing the truth…eliminates the wrong people…the wrong ideas…and the wastes of time from our lives…if we exercise that truth…often we just might get what we desire….see paragraph#3

two of my favorite Rococo painters…Jean-Honoré Fragonard…and François Lemoyne…painted what I think they saw as truth…

“The Bolt” Fragonard

“The Meeting” Fragonard

“Narcissist ” Lemoyne

“Time Saving Truth from Falsehood and Envy”  Lemoyne

holy cow…that truth thing can sure set you free….

“One of things important about history is to remember the true history” – George W. Bush


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

443. November 23rd…somedays the Sidekick…other days the Superhero…..

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Blades” 2010

“I sometimes think that God in creating man somewhat overestimated his ability.”  Oscar Wilde

I’ve often wondered….what would be perfect…how would perfect look…and then I catch myself and say…”Is there a perfect”….debate about the close to perfect…almost perfect…how many steps away from perfect…and before I realize it…I am thinking about the things that make perfect imperfect…sort of dwelling on the rind of perfect…not the fruit part….

I think it could be wirering…and as difficult as it is to re-wire….it is very possible if the manual’s clear….the time available and all is right in heaven so to speak….and maybe the color coded wires are nice and bright…fun to hold…twist and bend….but very doable….

sort of like being a super hero…how do you even get to that place that now you are___________________….not to mention the whole outfit…and sidekick ordeal…imagine interviewing some really eccentric people for a job that requires they wear really loud colorful clothes that are typically pretty tight…and have to play second chair to you…and what happens to the ones you don’t hire…do you have to kill them so they can’t reveal your true identity….I guess the superhero defining moment is somewhat of an epiphany….moment…maybe like being struck by lightening….or a near death experience…but what ever causes the transformation…a type of re-wiring has occured…one moment you’re a pretty normal neighborhood guy mowing a lawn on Saturday…and with the flash of some secret sign…transformation into a justice enforcer takes place…super powers and a really muscular abdomen…not to mention you’re going to be dating some girl who is either…oblivious to the new you…and is secretly in love with this new you but is dating the real you and torn in conflict as to what to do regarding her superhero crush….or she wears a similar outfit…walks up the sides of buildings…speaks in short sentences….and keeps your stuff a secret…so you can’t really afford to piss her off…and that’s about wiring too…

what about the whole mentality of being….the superhero sidekick…maybe there is some level of epiphany…the striking lightening…same…sort of a more religious experience…and maybe that’s a okay…it might be an evolutionary issue…rather than an issue dealing with esteem…there are perfect sidekicks in this world…perhaps the role of sidekick plays a greater role than superhero…I mean whose going to drive the Wombatmobile…and be a little shorter…probably wear a colored outfit that is less complemntary…and lack the over muscle tone…who’s going to look inquisitively at the superhero…sort of keep him in place…when the going gets really complicated…and if there were no sidekick…certain equtrements could not exist that are normally specifically designed for this particular superhero and sidekick…you know like phones and shoes…and hats that maybe look like badgers…or some obscure marsupial…and especially logos that look like switches and buttons that the sidekick flip and turn to open the  entrance to the shrew labrynth….you know stuff like that….

so maybe “perfect” is a state of mind….the perfect day just might be sitting next to Tamale Man…in your Taco outfit….screaming down some desolate desert highway in the El Rancho Mobile….talking on the Margarita phone….tuning in the coordinantes…on the satellite upload  that looks like a basket of chips and salsa….heading straight for a serious ass whipping on the bad guys…..

and life is perfect…really perfect in every way….

“All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible.” – William Faulkner

 

417. September 22nd…conjugation of the verb… “Intend”…..requires far more than intention….. “I got youuuuu babe”…..

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Come on in” 2010

“It is impossible for us to break the law. We can only break ourselves against the law.” – Cecil B. DeMille

Over Stimulation…a state in which the speed of the roller coaster is the least of my worries…..

I love these mornings that begin with a myriad of things to do sort of stacked up like the 8 am Bay bridge toll booth….a giant pez sort of mentality…and I am going to be the toll booth guy or the guy in line waiting…I know who I’d prefer to be…..but once past the booth…I’m moving…otherwise…it’s the same old thing….pretty much all day…the envy is extremely short-lived…..

my dryer is making a rather interesting bird sound….remininscent of a slightly altered version of the song of the “Fluvicola pica“…one of my all time favorites…..

but really….what matters today….is seeing the day….fill itself like a water balloon under the faucet…..the risk of knowing it may break before filled or it might not be filled enough to complete the task it was designed for….and bounce rather than burst…..but either way….it is a water balloon…..and that speaks volumes of the intent….

….the dictionary defines intention as: “an act or instance of determining mentally upon some action or result.”…so undeniably intention is a motivating factor…even if we are unaware of the desire….it ensures really nothing at all though…we may have an intention….but doing it…requires an entirely usable bag of tricks to pull it off….tools we must know how to use well and often…..and I’m certain…intention  that makes our “A” list….we have learned to use those tools blindfolded sound asleep…..and can juggle five at a time with one hand…..with no fear of dropping them…..

intention from a philosophical sense requires 2 elements to be legitimized….an action and a movement…..in art there is intention that often is mixed with an intuitive element that begins the course of the work…. though both of those elements may never be visible….and only a sheer covering embedded in the work somewhere…the intention may not be as important as the end result…..just as the intention may become less important than the action or the movment….and what the intention did was spark the momentum…that turned the wheel that moved the vehicle where it needed to go…so another intention could then be announced…..and like a three-toed tree sloth…the process may be painfully slow and arduous…but neverheless…a destination reached…not necessarily the desired destination….but a process derived from the original intention….that seemed the best most suitable one…..

intention may be…a rather nebulous…match to strike…as it takes more for the intention to actually cause results….it is more of an idea…..like a blind date…you never know what’s going to happen until it does…but having intention with expectation….it ….sort of poisons the intent…..rather than letting it run its course…..and evolve as it will in relation to how you evolve….as the intender…..

I think intention is very much like the movie “Ground Hog Day” with Bill Murray…..it can be painfully the same…..surprisingly different….or full of things that are beneficial….long lasting…and truly to our advantage……

just as long as it doesn’t have anything to do with Sonny and Cher……

“I cannot persuade myself that a beneficent and omnipotent God would have designedly created parasitic wasps with the express intention of their feeding within the living bodies of Caterpillars.” – Charles Darwin