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.”

February 12th 2013…9:35AM…And I’m questioning why I went to art school….instead of becoming a Daredevil….or Cowboy…or Pearl Diver

Art tuesday

610am

“6:10AM.  Proof, I am a Zombie” ©2012 Robert Redus

“My fake plants died because I did not pretend to water them.” 

Music is a wonderful device…Bob Marley said… “One good thing about music, when it hits you, you feel no pain”….I agree with Bob…unless of course the person playing isn’t  a musician at all, but is plucking, strumming, fretting….doing whatever musicians do with the instrument in their hand…yet think they are a musician based on maybe a few lessons…some natural talent…a god given gift…dad saying you play the spoons pretty darn good….or  self-taught. I mean really how do you teach yourself something you don’t know the first thing about but still think you have the ability to teach yourself….are there self-taught biologists…or self-taught astronomer…maybe there are self-taught veternarians…hire a self-taught lawyer or self taught dentist…and watch what happens….now before you say…“Hey wait a minute…don’t you know dentists and lawyers have to go to school”…you should also think of the answer to the question first…and that would be…so does anyone who wants to be better at what they already do. ED U CA TION is the secret to knowing more…learning more…doing more…being more…seeing more…knowing more….having more…

psychologists have shown that expertise takes right at 10 years…that’s 3,650 days….before you have the ability to look at your work and see where you were in relationship to where you began….where you currently are and where you may very well be headed in the future as a professional whatever you might be…and especially those who define “Art” as their profession…regardless of the art you use to define that profession. Read Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell….timing and about 10,000 hours and it just might happen….

is there any reason to wonder why selling art or music or film…in….say Albuquerque is as likely as…Monsanto saying…“you know, you guys are right….were taking all of that GMO stuff off the market….we’ve realized that people are much more important than profits”…..

Every thing is pie…and that pie is divided into as many slices as can be manageably cut…and unlike the  Jesus turning a few GMO salmon and a couple of glasses of 2 Buck Chuck into food and drink for 300…this is the reality of the “art” market in Albuquerque….the pie is sliced so thin…it can’t be pickup…held….eaten…or even run through the digestive tract enough to know it ever even happened…really all that can take place is observation…while the end result will probably not be found where you think it will….juried show or not….

You’re either competing with every group of people with instruments who call themselves a band for a deal at the VFW…or you’re showing your film on the side of a building to an audience  who are made up of 55% homeless…40% of people just passing by while the remaining 5% are your family and girlfriend….or  you’re showing your work in a “Gallery” run by a  couple that just love Albuquerque and moved here from Northern California…..and have….“always wanted to sell art” and your stuff is next to a 7-year-old who paints drink coasters and on the other side of you is a guy  who makes bolo ties from license plates…(Real event….no kidding)

So the 505…Land of Enchantment….Burque….has more artists per capita than most other states…what need be done about that?… you ask….well first we must conjure up an image of Marie Antoinette… and whether she said “Let them eat cake”….or not…is incidental….those who did the deed felt that they were removing the correct head…so to speak…The truth might never save you but they say it sets you free….who ever they are….so that’s where it begins….placating…pacifying art/music/film revues in local magazines are not the truth…self appointment is not the truth..look what happened in Jonestown……uneducated art/music/film critics are not the truth…those are opinions…George W had those…Anything ending in Gallery is not always the truth…Santa Fe is not the truth…notes…words…colors…images are not always the truth…Let them eat cake!!!!

so what ever head you may be thinking about…figuretively….make sure it’s the truth…might be your truth…which just might be untrue….but know…correct head or not….when the head is gone:

I now have this bumper sticker on my truck….I think….it is the truth….but I might be lying….

artwork

I recently ran into a friend of mine who has been a professional photographer for 45 years. he is well-educated, knows his art extremely well and has made a very good living selling his work for his entire career….he said to me…“Digital cameras are great..they give everybody that sense of  what being an artist is like”

“Most of us have only two or three genuinely interesting moments in our lives; the rest is filler.” 

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 

555. July 30… Hey it’s the “last day”… of another month…and what did I learn…or maybe already knew…

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

“Peeking” ©2011Robert Redus

“Learning without thought is labor lost; thought without learning is perilous.” – Confucius

I’ve opted to return to a topic…I began thinking about how each month passes….while in the month so much is presented to me and I have a choice of either taking it in or not…with time hopefully comes change…better plans…certain things become a bit more clear…and July was no exception

July passed quickly…much of it I don’t remember…seems like a blur…yet in that passing the days set loose a great deal of information…much is priceless…

I enjoyed July…some things were solidified…others released…still others…swept away with no idea of their whereabouts….I came to conclusions…I learned a great deal…here  are some of the many things I learned….

  1. New Mexico is not a great place for me in summer
  2. It’s not what you do it’s the way that you do it.
  3. People don’t surprise me a great deal any more.
  4. Truth requires more effort than just saying what is true.
  5. Consistency may seem like a habit…but a lot sure gets done.
  6. You can’t ask for advice and then get pissed off because it’s not the advice you want to hear.
  7. Dental Health is much more important than we may every know
  8. Most people believe their own story…even if nobody else does.
  9. It’s all about how the numbers add up over 12 months.
  10. If you’re _______ with what you are doing and think you are ________….I believe you and I’m happy for you.

again July spread itself like a thick coat of crunchy peanut butter…and what I “learned”…I already knew…I think maybe the immortality has faded…the notion of what matters most is when my cup is filling…it’s with the stuff I want to fill it with…

I have on my the kitchen cabinet my “Manifesto” I wrote 2 years ago….it is more powerful now than ever before…

  • Do not waste any time on the…wrong people…the wrong endeavors…the wrong ideas
  • Go get what I want right now…as it may not be there when I think I’m ready for it
  • Look carefully at what presents itself…do not make the unacceptable…acceptable
  • Whatever I look for…I will find
  • Take time out of each day to smile and…laugh more

“Truth is so hard to tell, it sometimes needs fiction to make it plausible.” – Francis Bacon

 
 
 

531. May 30…”It is better to travel well than to arrive.” – Buddha

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“The Giant Pancake of Death” 2011

“The way positive reinforcement is carried out is more important than the amount.” – B.F. Skinner

I can’t say I ever wanted it any different than it was…and maybe the wishes were just a way of moving on the game board…kept me there but let me feel what over there was like…and some days I was the shoe..with no foot…others the dog…that couldn’t bark…I thought it all…over it tumbled in my mind…trying to settle on one single drop of water…and one crumb didn’t taste any different than another…and the big stuff….were just a bunch of little crumbs…together…maybe more a single cloud in the fall sky…moving it there…from there…on those waterbone days…the ones she still dreamed about..where the shadows stayed the same…the light crisp early in the morning…and they towered like sentinals…there against the sandstone and gray colored  cliffs….

as a child…when we traveled…it was non-stop from point A to point B…bypassing every scenic site…along the way…typically in the west…at that time…roadside attractions…enticed the curious traveler with giant luring billboards…”The Thing, only 300 miles“…and about every 5 miles was another billboard…”Don’t miss ‘The Thing’, see a real live Indian village, cactus candy”…the traveler was hooked by each sign with a bit more information…and then another 5 miles…”The Thing, PREHISTORIC! never before seen by human eyes, Black Mambas, Indian jewelry”….I would sit patiently…waiting for the next sign…and when I was able to read… and didn’t have to have my brother tell me what each sign said…I was all powerful…often though they would start spreading the signs out…15 to 20 miles…the anticipation would kill me…I’d look for downed billboards…and then there in front of me…another one…”The Thing, oldest known human, see Indians making moccassins, real ‘war drums and tomehawks’, beef jerky, cherry cider, don’t miss the ‘Thing“…I would often not say I needed to go to the bathroom until we were close enough to the roadside attraction so we’d have to stop…there…I could see myself…walking back to the car…a real Indian headdress…a bag full of fool’s gold…some cactus candy….and the “Thing”…burned into my memory…and maybe my mother would have fainted…because the “Thing” was so gruesome…and my father in his checkered shirt…khaki pants….and green lensed sun glasses…would be carrying a box of gallon jugs filled with cherry cider…and Kenneth…held a giant bag of  real “Buffalo” Beef jerky…and we were set….

it rarely ever happened that way…but I did see…”The Thing”…

now a days when I travel…I will stop at every place I want to stop…if I feel the need to read each historic marker from New Mexico to Maine…I’ve not made a timeline that requires anything other than start when I do…stop when I do…I like to drive about 4-5 hours…check into a hotel that …A). has a swimming pool…B). HBO….C). A restaurant at the hotel…D). a really cool ice machine and E). Has that hotel smell….if anyone of those are not there….I just can’t stay there…because traveling is well….about traveling…and I like the in-house restaurant to have scenic placemats…of places like…”Picturesque Wyoming”….or “Points of Interest in and around Bisbee”…or a brief history of the place I’m sitting in…and the waitress…was born and raised right there in Uvalde Texas…or I like to hear how everybody on the restaurant staff ended up right there…in say…Lander Nevada…and I especially like when the in-house restaurant is the place where all of the locals eat breakfast…it makes me kind of feel like them without all of the gossip…and nothing to do on Saturday night…

I’ve noticed I generally practice the accent of the area when I’m traveling…don’t want to stand out you know…so I’ll say things when asked where I’m from…like “down south of here“…so if they have any really creepy plans…they might just think I have relatives that lives close by…and sure maybe I’m 700 miles south of here in a completely different state…but who really needs to know that…my license plate will give me away…anyway…I think it important to blend in a little better than not…you just never know what might happen…I could fall in love with the waitress and end up living right there…and it would be terrible to think that I said something that just might haunt me for a few years…not to mention the bad impression…

I think I like short trips better than long ones…these days…not that a long trip doesn’t keep me awake all night long…because the anticipation is unreal…but short trips…have less driving…more seeing and opportunities for photos…mid-day cocktails…maybe even running into someone I know…or someone that knows someone I know….and something about being in a car for 17 hours that just sharpens the edge a little to much for me…because 17 hours for me is between 3-4 days of driving…based on 4-5 hours a day of driving…short trips…are like going to a surprise party….for me…before I can get fidgity…I’m there…and it’s still light…and it’s all happening right there in front of me…

here is some of this weekend….

and the “Giant Pancake of Death”…it’s at the Ridgeback Restaurant…at the turn to Fenton Lake….they have the best Huevos Rancheros I’ve ever eaten….and yes I did eat the “Giant Pancake of Death”….with sugar free syrup…and I’d do it again…oh and ask for “Jen”

safe and above all happy travels….

thank you Damien and Jennifer for a wonderful weekend….

“It is better to travel well than to arrive.” – Buddha

505. March 20th…A fire of Obscurity or an Iceberg of Perspicuity…hmmm….

Art and my thoughts about being an artist, Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“The New Sea of Tranquility” 2011

“What a man calls his “conscience” is merely the mental action that follows a sentimental reaction after too much wine or love.” – Helen Rowland

seppuku is the ritual of suicide…

there is an enormous protocol that goes along with the getting to that place…firstly a dishonorable act had to have been comitted…once that was established…confirmed and decided honor would be regained by suicide…the person responsible had a significant lifestyle change…what they knew was certainly not what they were going to be living up to the day they took their life…they could only wear certain clothes of certain colors…eat with designated utensils…they were free…to do what they wanted…because they were considered an…”honorable man” they were not considered a prisoner….the seppuku was an event…much like a debutante ball with the level of regalia…and hype…

the samurai who was committing seppuku…did so in front of witnesses…dignitaries…his master..etc….he dressed accordingly….sat on a centralized raised wooden platform….contemplated his end…lowered his clothing to expose his abdomen…tucked his sleeves under his knees…so he fell forward…as a gentleman should always die falling forward…the condemed would stab the blade into his left side below his abdomen…pull across to his right and then in an upward motion…the samurai would extend his head and neck forward… this was the sign…the “Kaishaku” (the second cut)…who was appointed by the dishonored would then sever his head…

hopefully….honor was regained….

“I spent most of that time driving through the desert…while he slept…..”wake me up if anything happens”…. he’d say…..I sat on a phone book…thinking of Marcia…and her moving to Mexico that next year…I wondered what 5th grade was like in Mexico….we always stopped at the same place….piss by the back of the truck….had  a Falstaff…beer…he’d let me light his Camel cigarette….I’d watch the smoke disappear in the air…sometimes cough…but more often than not….just be quite….and listen him to tell me about Southeast Asia…and how he was going back there some day….”Going back to Goddamn Vietnam”…..he really said “Vetnam”…left out the “i” but he said a lot of words with left out letters”

Richard Diebenkorn…painted an entire series of paintings on cigar box lids…that clearly illustrated that abstraction can be magnificent with little regard to scale…he originally made these paintings as gifts…not a part of his inventory…and yet they have become a part of his inventory…posthumously…

maybe what starts as one thing …follows it’s course…stays what it is…dies as it is…and becomes something else…because  it gets made that way…not because it has a destiny to be so…but we make it what it is…from what it wasn’t…

there is something very appealing about the nature of obscurity…as the idea that once we recognized and genuinely acknowledge what might be seen as…unimportant and dim…allows for the possibility of perspicuity then to exist…and flourish…

“Art is Art. Everything else is everything else.” – Ad Reinhart

471. January 13th…I can smell Spring…or at least…I hope it’s Spring….

Uncategorized

“Porch Walk” 2011

“Benteen, come on, big village, be quick. Bring packs.” – George Armstrong Custer

the word Perfume…comes from a latin word…meaning…”through smoke”…when Tutankhamun was discovered…his tomb was fragrant from jars that had been filled with oil and perfumes…long merged into the still air…

all of my life I have loved the desert…there is something about the vast nature of the place that has always made me stop and close my eyes for a few seconds to hear the wind pass by me…smell the air that is filled with such fragrance…one of my favorite places is an area known as Cabezon…it translates to “Big Head”…and legend has it that Cabezon mountain is the head of a slain giant….his blood was the lava flow that created the Malpais badlands…and when I’m out there…it makes perfect sense…

the desert unlike the forest shows it all…sure some things get covered with sand over time…but many things survive…right where they fell…and I’ve always wondered what the story is behind some of the things I have encountered…

there is a place I go to in Spring along the Rio Puerco…hidden behind a few small hills…where the ground is littered with petrified wood…in some places there are mounds that are black and burned remnants of trees…yet they are stone…a bit further down the road…above a very deep canyon…are some half spheres dug out of the rock…large enough to accommodate 10-12 people…in the canyon a few hundred feet below is another world…at the deepest part of the canyon…I’ve found large fossilized shells that resemble oversized oysters…the earth is layered in deep colors…lines of black run 5 feet thick through the canyon walls…and everything is dead calm….I’ve seen bobcats there…a herd of elk…pottery shards…arrowheads…

and the springtime sun is wonderfully…soothing…the sunsets there are always something spectacular…and often linger for 25 minutes or so…before done…just enough time to figure out what needed figuring out…

I am looking forward to spring this year in New Mexico…I have everything I need to camp comfortably…the air lately is saying spring is not far away…my painting supplies are itching to get outside…and I keep smelling the air…waiting…

“If I became a philosopher, if I have so keenly sought this fame for which I’m still waiting, it’s all been to seduce women basically.” – Jean Paul Sartre

 

 

 

421. September 28th….On the plains……..

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“The Plains” 2010

“It is the fight alone that pleases us, not the victory.” – Blaise Pascal

I camped a night away this weekend…saw friends I’d not seen in years and was quenched…….felt a sense of….”Ahhh”…….. that place somewhere between a great meal….and the perfect combination of elements that make a deep dead sleep happen…it was really the drive up…the time I was able to spend with friends and the drive back that made a day away seem like a step into the lawn sprinkler in July….something I needed much more than I realized….

it is the time away that makes the time here so incredible….the shot of inspiration by so many others who are dedicated to their trek…sort of a buzzing of the hive….and being a part of that…noise making is really good…..for me….

I’m finding “easy” takes a great deal of getting there to finally call it that….it’s alot like learning to swim…..it takes determination….but there’s a great deal more to make it work well….

This morning when I awakened…I was hoping when I opened my eyes…it was…high on the plains……and the breeze was in my face……


“Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.” – T.S. Eliot