568. October 6, 2011…Ramblings from a “Free Pie ” day…

From the MInd of the Manic

"Say What You Mean...Mean What You Say" ©2011Robert Redus


“Facts and truth really don’t have much to do with each other.” – William Faulkner

Rod Stewart’s 1971 album “Every Picture Tells a Story”….was listed as one of the 500 albums you have to listen to before dying….I have to say based on the song… “Reason to Believe’…I agree…the song’s first line tells it all… “If I listened long enough to you, I’d find a way to believe that it’s all true”….and I guess that’s as wide open as what needs to be believed…and how long we are willing to listen…until it’s believable or not…

I heard his story yesterday…a great one…one we’ve all experienced…to some degree…he though decided to remind himself of the event…via tattoo and much  like yet not as extreme  in most circles as  Matthew 5:29… “If your right eye offends you, gouge it out and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to be thrown into hell.”…and we all have those little reminders…right…and hopefully not vacant eye sockets…missing limbs…or permanent disfiguration…because of love…

I eat a slice of Sugar Free… “Free Pie” every Wednesday…of course its not really free but it’s made to sound like it is…I meet a few of my friends and we discuss what w e discuss…it’s one of those events I dreamed of as a small child…when I got older…that whole routine developing thing all of our parents did…and we wondered why…well I think I know why…and it’s a tug of war for me…not the pie and the friends…or really even the routine…but the predictability of it all…that sort of manifesto proclaiming my occupying a particular seat at a particular place at a particular time eating a particular piece of a predetermined pie…it all reeks of settledness…monotony…tedium…and it is…(that’s me tugging to the left)…

Tattoos proclaim things…events…feelings…. admiration for the Tasmanian Devil…daring… stupidity…and in some cases…”Do what ever”….but unlike a hallmark card….tattoos are major reminders…for better or for worse…and for an awfully long time…tattoo also doesn’t have to be inked into the dermis to be a tattoo either it can be a smell…permanently affixed to our brain or a sound that we hear and it takes us “there”…anything that has the permanence  for us…

Sure “Trust No Bitch”…kind of tells it like it is…and I question the sugar content in “Sugar Free” Apple Pie…and two eyes are clearly better than one even if one is continually offending me all day long…and I’ll worry when they both start offending…

What we’re missing is a place that offers it all…you know a communal meeting place like a church of sorts….that offers… “Free Pie” Sunday…and after enough visits…a “Buy one eye plucking…get the second eye plucking for 50% off”… and with a valid Punch Card…One Free Facial Tattoo…and as a bonus…a Free Personal Manifesto Kit…with something to proclaim…like…”Hey Sugar, Take A Walk On The Wild Side, Said Hey Honey, Take A Walk On The Wild Side.”

“Always get married in the morning. That way if it doesn’t work out, you haven’t wasted the whole day.” – Mickey Rooney

539. June 21…The Night with Amma….now it’s time to start figuring…

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Never Stop Dreaming”

“Uncertainty and expectation are the joys of life. Security is an insipid thing.” – William Congreve

I find the little obsession of painting small and on paper has turned into a ritual that much like breathing….has become necessary….it is as if I’ve left someone standing on a dark corner…if I don’t paint in the morning…perhaps I’ve forgotten something…and there it sits…just out of my brains reach…wondering…what is that small little tiny thing that keeps biting me…as I’m staring at the string tied around my finger…..all of the notes written on my mirrors…just the things that make the everyday…unlike every other day…..just like last night….did….

last night some friends and I spent the evening and very early into the morning with Amma…everything about it was mesmerizing…from the moment I stood in line to trying to go to sleep at 4:45 this morning…my first encounter was with a woman who had come from India just to be a part of this…she has been living there for the last 30 years…and the air around her was so powerful…everyone there was stunning…every event was magnificent…the food made me think of simplicity…yet every bite had such a complex flavor…the music was hypnotic…and overall…I felt like I really belonged there…we sat and talked with a woman selling flower offerings who lives in the ashram in India…she overflowed with compassion…and was so genuine it was delightful…refreshing…

we all held tickets …”L3″….around midnight the “I’s” were being taken…I guessed 2 am before we’d see her…it was not until 3… if all of us had been told we’d wait almost 9 hours….we probably would have left…yet looking back today…I would never consider leaving…next time we have a better plan…I said to my friends before it was my turn to see her…”This had better be transformational”…it was beyond that….

I laid in bed at 4:45 this morning…I could hear the truly “early birds” beginning their day…and could hardly close my eyes…even though I was very tired…it was wonderful….

I’m not really sure what I walked away with…or maybe left behind…but I do know it was something…and something that will continually leave it’s mark….the experience left me…alone but filled me…tethered me but set me free… 

I asked and it was given… and was invited to the ashram….

I’ll send postcards….. 

“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

498. February 25th…You just may already be a wiener…

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Once upon a time” 2011

“Searching for what I need, and I don’t even know precisely what that is, I was going from a man to a man, and I saw that all of them together have less than me who has nothing, and that I left to each of them a bit of that what I don’t have and I’ve been searching for.” – Ivo Andric

I’ve always expected arrival to be like a scene from the Wizard of OZ…all of the hoopla…masses of really small people in the street…waring vividly colored clothes…strange vehicles that don’t look like anything I’ve ever seen before…and everyone has a pretty different unusual haircut…and I guess that’s the way I’ve seen it so…my expectation sort of revolves around that…in essence…when I see that…scene in reality…one of two things has happened…I have arrived..at some place….or..walked on to the set of the remake of the Wizard of Oz…either way…it would be alright…

it’s never just blue…there always has to be something attached to it that defines the “Blue”…as something other than any other blue…don’t believe me walk into a an art store and ask for just “Blue”….and maybe the separation of the things most people see as the same…are also what make them very different…

my father often acted as if didn’t care what “it” was…”just give me one of them“…is what he would often say…like scoops of ice cream…but the guy scooping the ice cream damn well better make certain it’s either butter pecan…or pralines and cream…and what this bizarre game did was give my father a reason to…find something for everyone involved to question…get a little confused about…wonder…

my cats do this to me all of the time…well I’ve come to believe they do this based on some strange reason…I have developed…they meow…I say “What”…”What do you want”…”Do you guys need food?”…”Maybe you need water”…”You’re not sick or anything are you?”…and we go through this business of trying to figure out who needs what…when and why…the other day…I found a video of cats meowing on Youtube…and decided to see what happens when I played it for them…well they did exactly what I do…except without the English…and articulation…they both sat there staring at the screen of my phone…with WTF expressions and in silence….I have this video as a favorite and play it every time they meow….it’s working…and I say…”See…see what I mean”….

I realize my cats lack the internal intellectual capacity to contemplate this concept…and the ice cream guy is scooping because it’s a job and past that it stops…but anyone who is looking for something from someone else…has it all wrong that being said…Bodhidharma is credited with saying:

“But deluded people don’t realize that their own mind is the Buddha. They keep searching outside.”

and I’m not a Buddhist…but the concept is brilliant…change a word…and presto…the sentence takes on a brand new meaning…and you don’t need a really sharp stick in the eye…to get it…

most of my life I’ve been an ice cream scooper…and unfortunately by circumstance yet….the other day it all opened up wide and joy poured in…for the very first time in my life…never to evaporate…and it…is exactly like he’d said….everything would be like everything else…and it is…

I always have told my students…”I don’t have your answers…I’ll help you find them though“…and my instructor when I was a child told me something along those lines as well…and of course it made no sense…it was one of those time bomb things that one day…forty plus years later the explosion happened…and I looked skyward…and said “Wow…that Mr. Hiyashi…really knew his stuff“….

“It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.” – James Thurber

486. February 5th… “Distractions”…live tonight…7pm… Five Dollars buys you all you can carry.

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Ten” 2011

“If the facts don’t fit the theory, change the facts.” – Albert Einstein

all of the Jesus photos undulating in the candle light movement…they all continued to stare…the same dead…peaceful gaze….. a pair of black fish net stockings had covered… some of them….they didn’t really care what I was doing….didn’t care if I was saved….or heading that direction…they were reminders….Wendy was only Wendy…I was only me…we were here for the same reason….just on different ends of the rope”…

another day of “hands in the air” living…while my quiet demon sings…”The Power of Lust“…repeatedly in my brain…maybe a new reminder…I don’t know…perhaps something I should pay a little more attention to…

Blaise Pascal wrote…. “All of man’s misfortune comes from one thing, which is not knowing how to sit quietly in a room”…and I agree…I especially like his ideas on diversion and our “Hopeless condition“…I chew them a great deal more than anything else…

distraction is that wonderful pulling force…that thing that may lead to water or not…yet takes us away from where we were…I mediate everyday…and initially…meditation was nothing more than closing my eyes…breathing deeply and basically thinking of everything I’d been thinking about when my eyes were open and I wasn’t breathing deeply…infused with distraction…thoughts that just couldn’t wait…sitting there breathing…trying to expand myself was futile it seemed…I mean what was the point…I could be driving and doing the exact same thing …right?

it was accumulative…like anything that we choose to make a part of ourselves…the more we do it the more it becomes a natural process…something that is part of the ritual…H.I. McDunnough…was really good at petty robbery of convenience store…surely because he practiced…while his distraction was the straight and narrow…raising a family…and a wife who was in law enforcement…he also knew the tools of his trade well enough to avoid the long sentences….

the inability to sit quietly in a room and distraction are like conjoined twins…because distraction is such an enormous force in life…it is difficult to separate the time for quiet and the time for dealing with a file folder of distraction…as we mostly live the distraction…

a nutritionist I know once told me to take one day out of the week and fast…just water…maybe diluted juice….to give my digestive system a vacation…from all of the business at hand…I did that for a few years and found I felt better…my system seemed to like the vacation and all was working well…between digestion and me… and it made sense…to take a break…

I’m finding that it is… “Time” again…for a vacation…from my distractions…it’s time for some new ones…that are a new delicacy…ones with different tastes and flavors…some that look like the bicycle I had when I was a kid….or that are different shades of blue…or smell like freesia…with the footwork of a good Tango…

“It is only at the first encounter that a face makes its full impression on us.” – Arthur Schopenhaur


 

457. December 16th…Letter exchange…kind of like information exchange without all of the…information…and they’re letters instead….

Writings from the "Cuff'

“Sometime Before” 2010

“It isn’t necessary to imagine the world ending in fire or ice. There are two other possibilities: one is paperwork, and the other is nostalgia.” – Frank Zappa

yesterday…my students and I made and painted cards for the holiday…it was far above exciting and stimulating….

there are very few feelings like getting a card or a hand written letter these days…not to mention writing a letter…folding…it perfectly…slipping it into the envelope… addressing it…putting the stamp on and sending it off… and somehow…it finds its way to the person who is supposed to get it….I’ve not sent a letter in a long time…at least one that is important…and is not subscribing me to a magazine…or truck driving school…

I have all of the letters my father sent me from Vietnam in 1958 when I was 2…they are all written on hotel stationary and the envelopes are a certain type paper….almost see through and fabric like….his penmanship was like something from a manual on the proper method of writing…each envelope has “Par Avion ” across the wavy red and blue lines…the stamps are terrific…little masterpieces…sometimes there are no stamps…replaced with an APO address…the whole letter is a story…the envelope….the paper..the fragile nature of it all…everything about it is so tangable…and real…I could put it in an evelope…mail it off to someone else….somewhere else….

as a young teenager…I fell in love with a girl via the postal service…we’d met once in west Texas…while she and her family were visiting relatives there…the likelyhood of us ever seeing each other again was pretty slim….so our only option was the mail…we took a pretty small encounter…with attraction..turned it into love …for what ever love meant then…we talked about moving away together…the concerts we had seen…sent photographs…never talked on the phone as my parents had convinced me a long distance call was something like $500.00…a second…our love affair lasted through the fall..then the girl down the street started showing an interest in me…my letters…became less…as did hers….until she sent me a “BreakUp” letter…she too had found another…our love dissolved at the hands of the USPS….

for many years I practiced writing my signature…wanted something strong…kind of scary…a little over the top with a dash of the unknown…no matter how I tried…I got what I got…I saw for the very first time…while buying silver at the jewelry supply store the other day…an older Navajo man…make his mark…when signing….the invoice….his signature was a giant “X”…it said a great deal without revealing a thing…

I am going to start writing letters…sending cards….and I think maybe if I write one…two will be easier…and if I work this based on Fibonacci numbers…in no time at all I could be up to a few hundred thousand letters in a month or so…not really my desire though…so…I’m guessing that won’t be the best approach…maybe the quickest way to start this process is just start writing…if you want a letter…leave me your address….I’ll write you a card…we could be pen pals…like the pen pal I had in Africa when I was 10…except for the obvious I’m not 10 …most days…and you may or may not live in…Africa….who knows…I’ll send you a card…and if you want to write back…that would be great…

“A letter is an unannounced visit, the postman the agent of rude surprises.  One ought to reserve an hour a week for receiving letters and afterwards take a bath.”  ~Friedrich Nietzsche

440. November 20th..I’m thinking like Art Zabari…this morning…

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Sinks Redux” 2010

“There are no exceptions to the rule that everybody likes to be an exception to the rule.” – Charles Osgood

some days I wonder about the places I have ended up….all of the interesting little houses…and adventures that went along with each place…

I lived in the heart of Waikiki…for awhile…it was very much like living in Disneyland…everyone is a tourist…and everyone has some smile that indicates their level of tropical fun…I never needed an alarm clock as the Japanese tour busses loaded their tourists every morning below my window…at around 7:15….I’d sit on the balcony drink coffee….and have pictures taken of me by tourists…thinking…what I don’t know…

I lived on the California coast for a few years…in a small town named “Moss Beach”…about 600 people….a coffee house….a Mexican Taqueria…gas station and a well-lit sheriff’s station for the unruly crowds I guess….Moss Beach was the place affected greatly by El Nino that year….I walked outside to find my car safely on the porch…yet my driveway was missing….slid right down the hill…and left a large gaping hole I could not drive past…I had to call my boss and tell him my drive was missing and could not come to work indeinitly…he responded by saying…”I’ve never heard that one before..so I guess you’re telling me you’re resigning”…..no my drive way was just missing and as soon as it was back…I’d be to work….that took almost 3 weeks to repair….in that time…my brain and I decided to learn how to gild (gold foil)….I gilded almost everything in my house…at first it was simple…the objects were obvious…although into week 2 the challenges were rapidly arising….I gilded all of the knobs in my kitchen….the bathroom…the handle on the dryer…the rim of each glass light covering…every chopstick in the house…wine glasses…the edge of the television set…etc….I do think there was much more going on than just an issue with the drive way….

I was once one of those people who if the place felt good…it is very easy for me to just load everything up…without much thought and drive there….thinking it was “The Place”…I’d have gigantic plans….maybe compete with Odwalla…and make lemonade in my kitchen….start a small manufacturing business in the spare bedroom…or incorporate my mother into a sales company from her apartment….make it sound like we’re in a giant glass 12 story building…and every time the phone rings she answers it “Good morning and thank you for calling XYZ sales…how may I direct your call” in between episodes of “Wings”….while she and I would do our nails…waiting for another phone call…I…of course would dress for success…wear a suit and tie…walk from the bathroom dressed and ready….to my desk 8 feet away from the kitchen….you know sort of make that mentality of professionalism work for me…take luch at around 11:00…spend the rest of the day filing through the 751 page business plan I’d written the night before….and move on to bigger and better things….right over there….

going places doesn’t always mean leaving another place…maybe it means looking at something differently to make the trip happen…might be too…that the way we’ve been looking at it might be completely the wrong way….the one way that doesn’t have an exit…since we opted for no doors when we built…that room…and I guess adventure is through the eyes…the feet and hands or the mind….and I was recently asked this question….

Is the experience of doing something better than the memory of the experience?”

I thought that very interesting…as the idea of doing anything does make a memory…and maybe we have a different way of approaching it if we are more driven by creating a memory than having an experience….I think it might be like a photograph…one we can hold in our hands and remember…vs…those pictures in our heads….

“Image is what people perceive my life to be. It’s nothing like the truth.” – David Hasselhoff

420. September 27th….The Old Dogs….well…they’re the ones with all of the new tricks…..you just have to be willing to wait…awhile….

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Old Dog, New Tricks” 2010

“The difference between stupidity and genius is that genius has its limits.” – Albert Einstein

proving something may often not be the part of it all that really has anything that matters…once it has been revealed….the proof is much like a used tissue….it is the activity around the tissue prior too…..that took it from one thing to another…..and what matters is….it is……still a tissue…

proof is nothing more than a stationary rock in the water….while the decision to do something is the water flowing around the rock….moving past it in time….I think we really need to see what it is that has been proven…and maybe we have proven it too ourselves…or seen the proof else where…but once that light has been turned on…there really is no going back….unless of course you’re willing to knock yourself unconscious with a hammer every time something arises that tips conciousness over like a cup full of hot coffee….into your lap….

I proved some things to myself over the past few days….some are good….and some are not….the good ones…I’ll continue making my quilt with…..the ones that are not good….will need to be spit from my mouth…..and discarded…..and since I know them…and know them well….the disguise will never work…..nor will I accept that mode of thinking again….

what I found interesting is the….why…..part of good qualities as well as bad qualities….good qualities…seem to be effortless……they are the things I do without thought…that begin with a good intention…therefore produce a good result…and within the delivery is somewhat of an area that is of no concern….no fear…no thoughts of rejection or judgement….just a place….that real is real…and the recipient of the intent…..makes their choice…and that choice is equitable no matter what their decesion….it is about someone else……and every time I do that….I feel like I am stronger…more complete….more genuine….

on the flip side of that….the…why….of bad qualities are often disguised…they take work and preparation to install….and it might just be seconds to install but nevertheless…..the process often leads with anticipation….and expectations….wanting something before I’m willing to give something else up….really no desires…more demands that have been prepped to look like a desire….having attachment to the outcome……and wanting the recipient to either see it my way…or hear it my way….but either way it appears to be my way….when I do this…I am often afraid…fearful I will reveal my weakness….I am concerned about being judged….I am fragmented…and negative….incomplete and grasping for what I can hold….with little concern….of what I’m gripping….

I know my life is filled with opportunity and often these circumstances just bring open hands….and  a…..”It’s up to you” mentality…..but the more I chose the direction that works on making me a better me…..that becomes the process….of making the process less of a process….and more of a well lite space…..one that is easier to negotiate…full of more and full of less…..where the rocks are smooth…..and the trecherous…..is really only temporary…..and of a short time…..and everything is clean heart…clean…….

“With your magic…I think you just might charm the birds out of the sky” – Sade

418. September 23rd…2 ears….1 mouth….there’s a reason for this…I’m sure….

Thoughts from the "Tinman"

“Smells like a 1963 Vacation”

“Without anxiety and illness I should have been like a ship without a rudder.” – Edvard Munch

the “Visibility” of anything somehow makes it more real..unless it’s God…. a miracle….or some divine wind that guides us….outside of that if most people can’t see it….it probably is not there…..

but they can say they have loved…someone….yet never captured love in a net….or they have cried because a feeling compelled their heart to release and tears poured from their eyes….but they could never catch the emotion that was the culpret…..and it works as they want it to work….what becomes their real becomes everyone’s real…and what stays dark and hidden will never be seen unless they shine the light on it by accident…or they choose to reveal….who they really are…when the meat has been taken from the bone…..and the bare white bleached bones lie….waiting to tell another story…..

we all think we are….. project our essence forward…..and everybody gets it….they see it because we see it…..more often than not…what we project is nothing like what we are….our facade….is like some billboard along the highway….tempting those who believe…with more of what we want them to believe….because mice do roar…..and it takes big to be bad…..and we practice the Clint Eastwood eyes….to keep you away…yet draw you closer…..and if that doesn’t confuse the treasure hunters who follow our map…we say……”Yes”…when we really meant to say…”No”……. or…add numbers when there should be letters and words…….

maybe it’s the experience we see as the way that survival works….it worked for me…..when I was hanging upside down…..it should work for you…the same way…..oh of course…I forgot….you and I are not me…..and for it to work….for you I have to remove myself from the equation and let it just be yours….so maybe…..me won’t work for you…..excuse my arrogance….but I thought……

everyone can describe love in a few hundred words or less…..is older love more valid than new love…..is it any more…..true or legitimate….it is each person’s story…..yet further removed from another’s story describing the same feeling…..so why is it we don’t tell people how to love….we just let them……and let them do it the way that they have translated the feeling…..

but when you are not as “Right”…and maybe there is a small spiral in you….one that turns left when 99 percent of every other spiral….turns right……somehow…printed directions emerge…ways to solve your problem…because…I know…and I know…and I even know better…than I do….so listen to me…I have the answers….right here in this precisely folded piece of paper….folded 64 times…the size of a credit card…one you can carry in your top pocket….refer too and…they’re instructions…..written in English…Spanish….French…and Vietnamese….how to change that spiral to turn the other direction….now…aren’t you glad you did that….

maybe what we are…we are for a precise reason….and it might just be….that a small piece of what we are…is like a coal getting consumed in a fire…..that is what it is designed for…..made to do…..and the end result has transformed us into the most beautifully designed…accurate…version of what we could ever be…..yet to get there it took never looking at the repair manual…….or consulting the experts who were never experts to begin with….it made you…me…come to conclusions……that really let us see the colors for what they are……

and sure there was the best help…the help that made certain the spiral remained spinning  left…..because those that really helped….knew left was the right direction……to begin with…..

“Never Forget!- The higher we soar the smaller we appear to those who cannot fly.” – Friedrich Nietzsche