Please shut that door

January 30, 2011

I used to love cold weather. It energized me. Getting older has changed me. I feel every draft. One of my favourite poems is ‘The Creation of Sam McGee”. Especially the ending.

And there sat Sam, looking cold and calm
In the heart of the furnace roar.
He wore a smile you could see a mile,
And he said “Please shut that door!
It’s warm in here, but I greatly fear
You’ll let in the cold and storm.
Since I left Plumtree, down in Tenessee,
It’s the first time I’ve been warm.”


A profound sense of wonder.

January 26, 2011

In one of Bob Dylan’s song he says “in all things beautiful, there’s been some kind of pain” (or words to that affect). As I grow older I see beauty and pain. But what I don’t see is a reason. A reason why we are here. And that reason always comes down to the existence of a supreme being. God. I see his shadow. His breath. But not Him/Her.  His/Her’s absence leaves a knot in my gut and a profound sense of wonder.

The age of anxiety

January 24, 2011

Only the examined life is worth living. I visit my mother in the retirement home and she tells me that the world is a dangerous place. She sees it on television. We know more about everything and sooner than any group of people in history. And yet we live in fear. (check out all the horror films that flourish.) This is the age of anxiety. Recently I discovered a tumor in my brain. It has affected my hearing and balance. It is benign. And the doctors suggest that we just monitor it over the next few years. An operation would do more harm than the tumor is doing. You’d think that I would be relieved. Instead I have become incredibly anxious. Can’t sleep. Stomach is in a knot. I tried to stay busy. The doctor has recommended some tranqs to calm me down. Knowledge has made me anxious. And yet my anxiety has opened my eyes to all the anxiety I see around. We’re all so damn nervous. We have acquired an appetite for worrying.

The new model homosapien

January 22, 2011

Is there a new type of homosapien in the 21st century? I mean a new character type. You’ve seen them. Perky. Upbeat. Silly. Teasing. You see them on all the pre-show award shows. Or the entertainment news programs. Their ancestors were the characters on television/radio commercials. But now they have their own programs. And they are not just feminine clones. They fill the pre-game shows of most sporting events. Check out the jocks before the NFL games.  And the reality shows. These personalities have been created in board rooms. Created by buck teeth, four eyed nerds who make a ton of dough creating character types for television. Characters that are light as bubbles. Carefree and cute. Its as if the public airways are being taken over by morons.

The Box

January 20, 2011

The Box has finally been released. These stories were originally part of a larger project but I decided that they were more enjoyable on their own. They are separate stories. Some of the characters may reappear in different tales. They are written somewhat like the stories from the TV series “The Twilight Zone” of which I have been a big fan. (Never end a sentence with a preposition. I hate that rule.) The Box is available at Smashwords and you may read a large portion of it without payment. If you should decide to buy it, it would be most appreciative. I have to put my prepositions through college. Sort of.

I have seen my tumor

January 19, 2011

I have seen my tumor. For now I will call it B9. Think of my brain as the solar system. B9 is like Pluto. Dark and small and at the edge of the other planets. And not even a planet anymore. I can’t say that I’m fond of it. My hearing has been diminished and I’m dealing with light headedness. Like my head could just drift away. Like a balloon.

Back in the dream

January 13, 2011

We all live in a dream world. The common place. Complaining about the weather. Following the local sports team. Paying bills. Watching your kids grow up. And then you get sick. Or face the prospects of a serious illness. And none of those things matter. You become focused on yourself. Your moment to moment feelings. I want to forget about myself. Its boring.

This guy’s photos of  empty landscapes are almost surreal. They hardly look like real photographs but rather hyper-realism. Something right out of a movie or a game. And looking closer I almost think they are collages. The artist’s name is Chris Sisarich.

Julio Nieto

January 10, 2011

I am not a big fan of sculpture. But Julio Nieto’s work is wonderful.

Art as hamburger

January 8, 2011

I was reading the NY Times book supplement. An author in one of the articles made a negative remark about writing courses. And it hit a note. I know that both in the U.S. and Canada there are a lot of artists (writers, poets, painters, sculptors, etc) who have found employment in universities and colleges. I can’t blame them. Everyone wants to have a secure base of employment. We all have to pay bills, rent etc. And everyone wants more time to work at their craft. But I think that is why the arts are so marginalized in North America. Artists are removed from the street. They are sanitized from the day to day grind of life. (They don’t call them ‘ivory towers’ for nothing.) And the writing/art courses turn art from a social function to an economic one. How to produce for a market of consumers.  I don’t expect too many writers/artists who are employed by educational institutions will agree with this assessment. They believe that they have the freedom to speak their mind. Try writing a scathing novel, or a series of art pieces slamming a corporation that helps fund the school they work for. Schools want nice. They don’t mind navel gazing. But don’t take attitude into the market place.

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