July…was a Duck….

Last Day of the Month, Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“My life, I realize suddenly, is July. Childhood is June, and old age is August,  but here it is, July, and my life, this year, is July inside of July.”

July

“July Ducks”, 2013, Robert Redus

July has always seemed like one of the renegade months….one of the unpredictable 12…I came up with Zenday one Sunday in July…and really it had nothing to do with me…it was all about the hypnotic influence the month had over me….like a car or a girl…or a crunchy peanut butter sandwich with  mountains of red plum jelly….when I was 16…stuff that was so important….the pin pokes….that really ruled my world in a….whirlwind sort of fashion…

Now when I think of July…I think of cooking on griddles…pouring clear liquid from one thing to another…sketchy things…things that if I ever had to explain them…it would be easier to play Mumbley Peg with a dozen or so…extra fingers on both of my hands…. July is also the reprieve month…the time where I think regularly… ‘Nothing can last for ever’….staring skyward…and wondering…the what’s and where’s….But I love July….too….enough so that the end of the month is being ejected from the safety of a revolving door…if you know what I mean….

I learned a great deal more than 10 things this month…but here they are…the….Diez Cosas….

  1. I don’t care for stir fried bitter melon
  2. Mixed welll….there are still some lumps….
  3. There are a lot of people out there buying a lot of junk to fill their spaces…rather than exploring their spaces…for a lot of junk that should go…
  4. Tasting a flavor of ice cream I would never eat at an ice cream store…then and only then do I make a decision about which flavor I want…
  5. Anybody’s recommendation is as good as anybody else’s….
  6. Inserts should always come with a new pair of shoes…
  7. There is a time in the very early…every morning between 5-5:15….I wake briefly and am most thankful for what I have…I think I smile a lot then….too
  8. Trendy and cool require a great deal of effort….money….and time….
  9. I am a fatalist with an existentialist filled center….
  10. I’ve never known anyone named Dewey or Melvin

So…..July turned out to be a duck here are a few facts about ducks….that make them special….

  • Ducks have no nerves or blood vessels….in their feet…
  • Ducks lay fewer eggs….beginning in JULY….
  • Ducks have three eyelids…

No wonder it was a good month….no blood vessels or nerves…fewer eggs and 3 eylids….Sweet Jesus…..

“I just love Chinese food. My favorite dish is number 27.”

December 3, 2012….Bobby’s Home, A Safe Life or an Authenticity One and some places to start…

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

Bombay Letters

“Letters From Bombay”  ©2012Robert Redus

“The infant runs toward it with its eyes closed, the adult is stationary, the old man approaches it with his back turned.”

I feel as though I’m returning to the scene of a well executed crime, one many years old that I got away with and it is truly invigorating. So a brief hiatus and yes indeed, “Bobby’s Home”

I’ve been thinking a great deal about safety, and how all of us live for the most part….a very safe life….now before you disagree, scream out loud that I don’t know you, then tell yourself what an “unsafe”, over the top life you really live…think about it. Safety is convenient, it requires really nothing other than just plodding along through life much like the Cetorhinus maximus or Basking shark, which basically swims around with its mouth wide open , eating anything that goes in then filters through its highly developed gill rakers…they are referred to as  “Filter Feeders” or “Passive Feeders”….Baby breastfeeding we’ve all been there……

I asked a question on another blog I write, and that question was:

Do you want to live a safe life or an authentic one?

and after thinking about it for a while, I’m not sure if living a safe life excludes authenticity nor am I sure if authenticity requires life be unsafe. Clearly the point of the question is not this predictable type, black and white bubble to fill in with a #2 pencil or is it a question of one or the other…now choose safe over authentic.

Safe is defined as: free from hurt, injury, danger, or risk, while Authentic is defined as: not false or copied; genuine; real

Safety has longevity to it to some degree, stay indoors all of your life and the few things that will kill you other than bad genetics most likely would be natural disasters that might cause your house to be the cause of death, hurricane, 300px-Hurricane_Isabel_from_ISS

flood,flood house pic fire,170px-Candleburning  hoardinghoardingKitchenBefore….or a bloated can Blown Can …

being safe also ensures minimal hits…you can never be in a motorcycle accident if you never ride a motorcycle…unless of course you’re in an accident that involves one…safety in essence is like insurance…one of the definitions of Insurance just happens to be: a means of guaranteeing protection or safety….imagine that. so GIECO is really protecting me…and all along I thought they were in it for the money…

Now authenticity may have the option to be safe but it seems it has to have the “explore” check box rather than the vicarious one….which would you rather do…watch on the Animal channel a shark cage attack….or be in the cage getting attacked by the shark?….hands down in the cage….it is a play -vs- pay mentality…if you play….well….you get to be Captain Ron….if you pay…you get to be most people you know….

I’m writing this as I’m eating a bowl of krill, floating in the hot tub hoping it’s going to transform into the love boat, and wishing summer was less hot and closer….Safe life? you bet….there are some mild advantages….yet I’m unclear as to what they might be….or even look like…the safety/authenticity dialogue requires to very separate mind sets….Safety talk I can have with just socks on while looking into the mirror….while the Authenticity conversation is a running down the hill at night as fast as I can…with a wild pack of dogs chasing me…wanting the pack of hotdogs in my jacket sort of discussion. An Authentic life is living without the net….filling yourself up first and regularly…living outside of that box….tolerating less…and serving more….to start with….oh a some good navigational skills….

here is a great trailer to watch…Safe or Authentic?

fast forward ten years….shall we address you as….Captain…

or is your mouth wide open and  your gill rakers working….overtime….

caljsiol_sio1ca175_157_011a

“If you think you can fall, you’re more likely to.” – Nik Wallenda 

532. June 1… “Position”…what a wonderful place to be….

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Convergence” 2011

“I think it’s pretentious to create art just for the sake of stroking the artists ego.” – Lou Reed

when I trained in judo…there was “Randori“…which literally means “Chaos taking” ….”Grasping freedom,“…opposed to formal kata…or form…in our particular dojo…we sat in a square…with one side open….Mr. Hyashi called it the “roster randori“…and it served as a visual which clearly defined the best to the worst  fighters…the last position was always the first to fight…they fought the person to their right…and if they beat them they took their position…moved up in position until they were beaten…sat to the left of the victor….depending on the day…level of gameness…stars in heaven…wheaties for breakfast…etc…anyone on any given day could beat anyone else…in theory…and up to a skill point…everyone had sat at that last position at some point and for some period of time…maybe only one lesson or maybe 20 lessons…and everyone knew what that position meant…and felt like….

moving out of the last position was a huge step…even if it meant one seat to the right…yet there was always the possibility of being back in that position…especially within the first 5 students…as that realm was theirs…the beginning…of it all…if you disrespected Mr. Hiyashi…or another student…or were out of line…he would put you in the last position…and you had to fight your way back up to where you were…close to where you were or perhaps past where you were…usually it happened only once to just a very few students…Mr. Hiyashi made certain it took some time for the offender to move up…

John Mitchell said…”Let us be tried by our actions.”…he was the attorney general under Richard Nixon…the statement sort of implies you should be judged by what you have done…right???…John Mitchell also said…”Do as I say, not as I do“…and that implies that what I am not willing to do…you should….and there in lies a problem…

when I began eating Oreos…we would sit in front of the television…my brother would “unscrew” the Oreo cookie…scrap the creamy filling off with his teeth and hand me the crunchy cookie part…I never had a problem with that at all…then…or now…as I was certain that was the way an Oreo was correctly eaten…when I eat Oreos today…which I don’t anymore…but when I did…I would…1). Think of my brother….2). wonder what this “Creamy filling” thing was all about and…..3). about 50% of the time scrap the creamy filling off and eat just the crunchy cookie part…I know clearly if my brother and I were to eat Oreos again in front of the television…without thought we’d probably do the same thing…it would be blissful…

position“….is my word for the day…it is defined as…”condition with reference to place; location; situation”…yet it is not defined as to who is or wants to establish the…”reference to place; location; situation”…and I have to say that is what I like about the definition…as this becomes the classic example of the cliché….”It takes two to Tango“…let me explain….in other words….where I think you are opposed to where you think you are in reference to where you really are…so I guess the cliché really is not cliché and should be changed to…”It takes three to tango”…which starts to sound a little creepy and weird…so maybe to quote Lou reed again….it should be “If it has more than three chords, it’s jazz.”…that sounds like it works….

ever drank something thinking it was going to taste like something else…and for that brief nano second…it did…but then reality takes over and the idea of…”this is milk…why does it taste like ginger ale“…floods the brain…few little blips of serious confusion and then…right back of track…..”Oh…it is milk…no…it’s ginger ale“….life continues and there is maybe one brief laugh about it…and it’s back to the plans at hand…and the process starts all over…there is a philosophical notion that what we see is really what it is…even if it is not….driving at night…black trash bag blows across the street…but you see a black cat…is it a black cat disguised as a trash bag…or…is John Mitchell up to something we have no idea about…and he’s implying…”See what I want you to see…not what you think you see“….that John….

so I thought about position and I can’t say there is a bad position…other than the ones we don’t want to be in…and we’ve all done a few of those…I especially like the ones that cause our head to bow….breath becomes erratic…blood pressure increases…profuse sweating…anxiety and that uncontrollable desire to look both directions a bunch of times….and then we realize…we don’t live there anymore….or even visit there….or have plans to…..

in the infamous words of…that’s right John Mitchell….

“You can’t pick cherries with your back to the tree.”

and I have absolutely no idea what that means…or what he wants it to mean to me…if indeed he wants it to mean to me what it means…whew….I’m starting to sound like him…have a great day…and move your feet a bit today…change position…it’ll do you some good….

530. May 29….I wish my aunt had married Albert Einstein…

From the MInd of the Manic

“Heroes” 2011

“Instead of causing us to remember the past like the old monuments, the new monuments seem to cause us to forget the future.” – Robert Smithson

“it took a few decades plus some….for all of the water to seep into the wood…saturate it enough so…ensure the dark ash gray color…would last the lifetime….and though both had their reasons…one was innocent…and  only knew to sit at the window…and smell the fragrance from the garden below…later shed the skin…that curled paper dry on those hot September afternoons…when all of the sounds would still…

never does the picture look as expected…when all of the pieces have all been put in place…maybe it’s the mystery of what could be or better what never was known…sort of like thinking something sounds familiar when it’s really nothing…but an echo…and somewhere on the walk I asked out loud…” now…what do I do with this?”…so I suppose…that then becomes the next tight button…or jar filled with cicada wings…and I now have to have reasons…for…whys…that no longer have any value but just hang in the air  like the smell of a storm some miles away…that may or may not touch…me”….(The Black Eye Project)

I thought today about those who I have done wrong…and about those who’ve done me wrong…doing something that damages someone…without the knowledge of the act is derived from innocence …it might be blind but nevertheless the action was never designed to be a finger in the eye…and certainly never done to question trust…yet it does when revealed…and can be forgiven and forgotten because we almost always step up and make it right….in some way…

but a wrong that is calculated and planned has a different significance…forgiveness may have been exercised…yet the forgiven must carry what they have done with them a lifetime…and know their action was a reflection of themselves…”If the other person injures you, you may forget the injury; but if you injure him you will always remember.” Khalil Gibran

and I guess they are the scars we wear for making the scars we put on another…

a Japanese garden…once built really defines the beginning of the process…there are many variables that make the garden…what it is…a Japanese Garden is a representation of the universe and its elements…the entry path into the garden (roji)…represents  many paths…each turn…quiet place within the garden is a place to sit…think…dwell…develop…conclude…reassess…end…begin…

gardens are designed to have life long after the original gardner…does not…the word…”Yugen”…encompasses the essence of the garden …”subtly profound, suggestion rather than revelation“…

I think in each of us there is a gardener waiting to get out….I know mine is making more noise these days…I’ve been to a few well done gardens…and each has left me with a great sense of satisfaction yet a deeper sense of introspection…wonder and purpose…I can only suppose…that was the intention….or maybe it was the mix…but either way…it ended well…

I’ve come to the conclusion that many things are best left alone…while others demand attention…and those that demand attention might very well end up in the “Better left alone” column and those that are better left alone might demand attention…so clearly the idea of flux…is well demonstrated…but there are those things…that come to a place of having nothing…no equaillibrium….no stature…no energy…just lifeless…kind of like the bones I’d find as child bleached white in the desert…their purpose diminished to taking a spot there in the sand…and still I wonder what else they do….

my aunt…who is from deep in the heart of Texas…would say those things are… “like a fart in a frying pan”…

“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.” – Albert Einstein

464. January 1st, 2011…A New Day…New Year and all that stuff that goes…with it…

Uncategorized

“Words” 2011

“If you deny yourself commitment, what can you do with your life?” Harvey Fierstein

so here we sit…a brand new day…of the brand new year….that’s pretty exciting…

I don’t make resolutions…as I see them to be a great deal like haircuts…I have to have them a few times a year rather than once…for obvious reasons…I like the idea of resolutions…but to store all of that up and wait to put them into practice…on one day…well…honestly doesn’t seem very practical…reasonable…possible or likely…not to mention the pressure and anxiety associated with the entire idea behind it…

I’m finding the more we do something the better we get at that something…and the more we do the things that are directly related to that something…well…we get even better…at the original something…so it seems to practice a resolution all year makes a great deal more sense than to take a huge bite out of something that a few seconds into it reveals the impossible nature of the task ahead…gym membership sales increase dramatically in January….for what appears to be the idea that health has somehow become an important issue somewhere around January 1st…and the previous 11 months health was a moderate maybe even nonexistent idea…so back to the more you do the better you get at it idea….maybe the whole resolution thing could sort of finalize itself on January 1st….after say an entire year of healthy living…good quality food…documented weight loss…BP numbers…Hemoglobin A1C …LDL and HDL…tests all well within the “healthy” range….the resolution is then exercised….a trip to the Bali or Paris…or a pair of Peach Face Love Birds…or maybe sleep out in the backyard for a month and not go to work…anything that screams….”Nice”….this has that “reward for action” kind of thing…rather than the “well you lasted 31 days…and you’re eating ice cream out of the carton again…and the finance company is starting to call about the gym memberships“…

Don’t ge me wrong…we don’t need to be rewarded for good behavior…especially when it comes to ourselves…rewarding ourselves for what a great job we did…when we should see the result as some sort of pay off…but we do….

and I know I’d much rather put my ass on the line say…when I’m ready…fit…able…right in my head…to be on the line…ensuring some chance at least of success rather than that I think I should be on the line because January 1st just happened the other day…and I need to be doing something…other than what I have been doing for the last year…

so I guess if I must have a resolution it would be…

Do more of what works and makes me happy…less of what doesn’t…and makes me sad

nebulous….and vague…of course…but something I can strive for…for the entire year…and maybe when I look at the pie chart…December 31st 2011…it’s not cut in equal halves….

the dictionary has many definitions for Resolution…I prefer this one: “reduction to a simpler form

I know what I want…and I am always working towards that…”simpler form“…I’m walking barefoot…now…in cool green grass….oh yeah!!!

I’d be interested in knowing some of your resolutions….have a prosperous and wonderful new year….

“If our condition were truly happy, we would not seek diversion from it in order to make ourselves happy.”- Blaise Pascal

441. November 21st…Half way there….more or less…

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Hands in” 2010

“A man’s work is nothing but this slow trek to rediscover, through the detours of art, those two or three great and simple images in whose presence his heart first opened.” – Albert Camus

when it all takes place….sort of a moment of waiting for it all to gel and make things a certainty…I must say…that was the myth…the place somehow being set there to wait…worked until it no longer did….maybe it was the independence of soul and spirit or perhaps it has been the ability to crawl from the circle drawn in the sand….I do not know….yet there is a time I do know…that a light brightens…sometimes even comes on….illuminates it all for seconds…days…weeks…maybe the rest of the life time….

I recently turned 54 years old…and decided I have come to the half way point of my life….half way to 108….now that sounds just fine….as another 54 years with what I know now might just be enough time to roll the ball perfectly…round…smooth all of the edges…to a soft fabric feel…not question anything as long as it is still part of everything I do….and if I am wrong….and there are not 54 years left in my life…I’ll still roll the ball round…smooth like a river rock…work for the soft edges…and then maybe the word…”Busy”…becomes me new mantra….

when I’ve thought of busy…I’ve always thought of frantic…too much to do…with not enough time to do it in…yet defined Busy means: “not at leisure; otherwise engaged” and, “Ornate, Disparate“….the word Disparate means: “Utterly different or distinct in kind“…

so I’d have to say….”Busy” is probably one of the perfect words for the rest of my life…

as now I feel most of the smoke has cleared…and what lies ahead…is really a series of putting it all where I want to put it…that being said…there comes an enormous responsibility with that…being….”otherwise engaged“…which also means….showing up….and within that showing up….the rules are simplistic…minimal and…very doable….no unnecessary Bullshit…and keep doing what feels good….pretty easy….right???…..

I believe in recipes….recipes are rules….made up or borrowed….that can be changed in any way that seems reasonable…or not…and I’ve found the better I know the recipe….the more likely any changes become more effective and real…I can always go back to the original or over the top with something new….yet either way there is something that is a poem of sorts I can say out loud…one I know well enough to recite by memory….one that will return me to a place I can stretch my arms out…full…something familiar….

“I try not to worry about things I can’t do anything about.” – Christopher Walken

 

 

 

416. September 21st…Reality…will return in 20 minutes…..

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“The Real Wizard” 2010

“I have become death, the destroyer of worlds.” – J. Robert Oppenheimer

sometimes what appears….is nothing close to what it really is…..maybe it’s the make-up or the mask or maybe it looked like a cat when it crossed the road in the headlights….yet was a black trash bag….so was it a cat…or is it a trash bag….maybe it is/was both at the same time….today feels like a day of many folds….much like Damascus steel…long before it is hammered out….and polished….where the beauty and cross section has not yet been reveled…but is hidden well beneath the surface…and the crust of the metal…..

as a change in season creeps….so does a deep desire to change along with it…… maybe plant myself thin atop the surface….pull everything in a little tighter….talk less and listen more…..make the things in my life….beautiful…those that just need the wrapper removed to reveal…..the tree to the west of my house is dumping it’s fruit into my backyard…a sure sign things are moving another direction and moving quickly…..yet not quick enough to make notice….each second or even every minute….

somedays I don’t now what is real or not….and I’ve given up questioning the reality of it’s authenticity….it is real no matter what….at least for that time…..as the questions…sort of add fragility to the equation…and make it all like an ice crystal on the window….forgetting any thoughts of the future…or plans…..or what it might become…rather seeing it…for what it is…..taking my mental Polaroid snapshot….and filing it away for…another time…another recall…another ice crystal to remind me….that I’ve done something kind of like this…but not even close to this….so the experience becomes a brand new series of familiarity…. contradiction… synonymous….removed and full of the unfamiliar with the slight fragrance of baking bread……that reminds me of days when I was six……so how do I explain any of that….

it is a way of doing it all that allows me to keep getting to where I belong…..not questioning the small little lines that twist and turn…go different directions….and end up under some huge boulder…..rather….it’s the big pieces of the rope….the ones that tie me…secure me…..that I chose to struggle against….and maybe because I don’t understand…..or want to know…..or feel that a life of smaller threads….gives me much more than anything else…..and I can put them away….in my pocket…..walk and whistle at the same time….comb my hair to the right….dream those night time dreams where it all is smooth and clear…..or think of those days….I’d prefer not to be me……but instead….

the Wizard of Oz…..

“Attachment is the great fabricator of illusions; reality can be attained only by someone who is detached.” – Simone Weil