Monday, November 30, 2009

...


(The Scream by Edvard Munch)
okay... when you read this post you'll know that i've been watching the tube and reading e-news way TOO much. please bear with me.

don't want to talk about the tiger woods' "car crash" or the ensuing tabloid style media blitz. don't get me started on the blasè media handling of the white house party crashers, Tareq and Michaele Salahi; with their bid for the proverbial 15 minutes. were they a dress rehearsal for something else?

i will, however, comment on one of the ignorant superstitions (sorry if that's redundant) alive and well in the world. in east africa more than 10,000 albinos are in hiding because they fear being murdered. witch doctors have convinced people there are magical properties in the bone, blood and skin of people with albinism. this year in tanzania at least fifty-four albinos have been killed; their body parts harvested and sold. a limb can bring anywhere from $500 to $2,000, an entire body up to $75,000. arrg!!!

BUT people are working to change attitudes and cultural norms; asking for government intervention and quick prosecution of accused murderers.

as i write this think about all the causes, the things that need protection or the issues that we're scrambling to create awareness about... children, women, animals, the environment, the ocean... if the causes were lit campfires, wonder what an aerial view would look like? would the globe look like connect-the-dots art? perhaps the causes are beacons sending light into the universe.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

moustier, france...


hope your day is filled with peace and light. may peace prevail on earth and in me.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

frankenfood...


am constantly amazed when science fiction or fantasy literature is categorically dismissed. the genres are considered by some as merely crazy or "way out there". when i look around i see many things that sci-fi books prophesied or perhaps helped to create by giving vision.

let's see, an international poll was conducted shortly after the elections and barack obama would have been elected president of the world, the internet, video phones, space stations, medical procedures such as hand reattachment and face transplants, thermobaric bombs that are designed to suck the air out of a cave or tunnel killing even the earthworms. there is animal cloning, frankenfoods otherwise known as GMO (genetically modified organisms) foods and the vatican conference on extraterrestrial life. this conference was held to discuss how the discovery of intelligent life beyond earth would affect the catholic doctrine.

this is all leading up to the fact that i finally watched FOOD, INC. The film is a look inside america's corporate controlled food industry. it discusses the food we consume, how it's produced and the politics and lack of ethics surrounding its production. made me want to go out and start a victory garden; vowed to only eat locally.

in the late 90s i attended tribunals held at the UN against monsanto. NGOs and other activists were trying to raise the world citizenry's awareness of the dangers of a company having a patent on the staff of life, namely our grain and food supply.

almost 13 years later monsanto, producer of the pesticide roundup and agent orange, controls most of the crop seed. the company has a choking grip on corn and soybean seeds and its production. it is unbelievable that farmers cannot collect seeds from THEIR crops because it would be patent infringement. if a farmer uses monsanto seed s/he cannot grow a second year crop from seeds that has been produced. each year they must purchase new seeds. it is ILLEGAL to collect seeds. farmers have even been reported as suspected seed gatherers! (WTF!!!)

if by some chance your none gmo crop is "polluted" by your neighbor's crop you had better be able to prove that you're not using monsanto's product without paying for it. a black list is kept of farmers who don't use the gmo seeds and men in black pay night visits to test crops. just realized this also means that each farmer registers the kind of seeds s/he buys.

all of us have reason to be concerned because we're guinea pigs in this big, profitable (for the corporations) experiment. it all reads like something out of an ursula la guin novel.

check out "Millions against Monsanto Campaign": http://www.organicconsumers.org/monlink.cfm

Friday, November 27, 2009

aidez...


(photo: pro.corbis.com)
Calling all angels and guides. aidez-moi!! s'il vous plait.

rainy friday...


gloomy, grey day in long island. recovering from my day of eating and giving thanks. think i'll spend this day reading, finishing a mandala and going through a box from storage.

may peace prevail on earth.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

thanksgiving...


(photo: Olivier Follmi)

Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.
Theodore Roosevelt

i am grateful for many things today... to be alive and healthy, to have good friends and loved ones. wishing a happy thanksgiving holiday to each and everyone.

may peace prevail on earth and in me.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

idol...


our new golden idol?!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

gratte-ciel...


love nyc and from time to time am nostalgic for aspects of the city i met at 17. i visited nyc for the first time during christmas break my freshman year in college and immediately felt at home. when i finally moved to "the city that never sleeps", remember seeing the lower manhattan skyline from an elevated bridge in new jersey and thinking as i looked at the twin towers standing like huge monoliths, "now i'm a citizen of oz".

a couple of years ago i took the circle line around downtown manhattan and shot these photographs. came across them recently and had to do a double take to identify the location. find when watching post 911 films or even commercials set in new york it's sometimes difficult to immediately place the skyline.

love the french word for skyscraper... gratte-ciel. Je m'ennuie de ma gratte-ciel...

Monday, November 23, 2009

flying...


"flying high above the clouds without ever touching the ground."

Sunday, November 22, 2009

John F. Kennedy...


may 29, 1917 - november 22, 1963

preserved...

"In reality, the past is preserved by itself automatically. In its entirety, probably, it follows us at every instant; all that we have felt, thought and willed from our earliest infancy is there, leaning over the present which is about to join it, pressing against the portals of consciousness that would fain leave it outside."

Henri Bergson
Creative Evolution, 1907

Saturday, November 21, 2009

wall art

(music: Au Banquet aux Chausseurs by Java)

am a big fan of wall art because of the artistic and political implications. some cities have designated areas for graffiti artists; which often cuts down on what can be seen as defacement of public and/or private property. in paris' 19th arrondissement, for example, there is a street that is used exclusively by wall artists. the work which is sometimes quite masterful changes often, even daily.

the art in this piece is from ny, paris and amsterdam.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Jeanne-Claude...


in the winter of 2005 Jeanne-Claude with her husband Christo created a 23 mile installation in central park. "The Gates" adorned the park's footpaths with thousands of saffron drapes hung on specially designed frames.

along with 5 million others i saw "The Gates". it was a wonderful experience to see the holy color flapping in the breeze for as far as the eye could see. in the park there was a peaceful air, almost reverential, as people walked pass or under the frames. along the way each visitor was also handed a swatch of the fabric.

Jeanne-Claude died yesterday at the age of 74.

may her missions be accomplished

Thursday, November 19, 2009

amsterdam...


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

mindfulness is...


this is my absolute FAVORITE statue of lord buddha. a few years ago i went to the Met (metropolitan museum) with a friend and as is my habit, wondered off by myself. i almost "ran" into this buddha. as soon as i saw the statue my heart began to pound, i was so overwhelmed by its beauty and grace. found for the first time in my life i wanted to perform phu'jya or bow before the statue of lord buddha. i did not because after ALL i was in the met... but... a little later andrea h and i reconnected. she said, "i want to show you my favorite buddha." of course it was the same one!

am sharing once again:

Mindfulness is the aware, balanced acceptance of the present experience.
It isn't more complicated than that.
It is opening to or receiving the present moment, pleasant or unpleasant, just as it is, without either clinging to it or rejecting it.
Sylvia Boorstein
may peace prevail on earth and in me

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

skyline...



visited brooklyn yesterday and couldn't help but notice how the downtown skyline has changed. AND its changed drastically!! while aesthetically i like some of the new buildings and there are quite a few, can't help wondering why flatbush avenue needs four to five new 40+ story buildings clustered in such close proximately.

and let's not even talk about the shadows and light thief that the buildings create.
but hey, the beat goes on.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Aung San Suu Kyi...


RELEASE Aung San Suu Kyi...

yesterday in singapore President Barack Obama called for the unconditional release of myanmar's democracy campaigner Aung San Suu Kyi. the 1991 nobel peace prize winner has been under house arrest for the last 14 of 20 years.

people around the world have marched and demonstrated as well as signed petitions demanding that the myanmar (burmese) junta release her. again we demand the immediate release of Aung San Suu Kyi

may peace prevail

Sunday, November 15, 2009

sunday...



happy sunday!! the wind and rain have finally departed. reading the news and as usual can't believe how astonishingly insane people are!

President Obama bows to Japanese Emperor Akihito and Empress Michiko and the US wingnuts have their knickers in a twist. what is he supposed to do? give them a high five or a fist bump?!? oy, people GET a life!!!

may peace prevail on earth

Saturday, November 14, 2009

gale...


the wind has been howling and whipping around corners of the house and through the trees for almost 48 hours. pelting rain which seems to arrive simultaneously from all directions intermittently joins the party. rattling windows along with the squeaking and groaning protest of the timbers arouses nervousness and alarm.

the meteorologists have "promised" that by morning the nor'easter symphony will end. going to bed now and try to sleep through the gale. but keep looking around for toto.
may peace prevail on earth

Friday, November 13, 2009

urban voyeurs...



as a kid, when we travelled late at night and passed a house where a single light burned, i tried to catch a glimpse inside and always wondered what kind of lives the inhabitants led. found i was curious about why they were up so late but driving 70+ miles an hour we quickly passed and my thoughts moved to the next glowing bulb.

yesterday's new york times had an interesting article about new york city residents' habits of watching and not watching the lives of their neighbors. so many windows with neither shutters, blinds nor shades seem to serve as an invitation to gaze in. after years of watching mind numbing reality television we are trained to view even the most mundane activities as captivating.

the times piece also pointed out that from their window watching some inhabitants gain anonymous companionship that "gives comfort and serves as a buffer against isolation". last night, interesting enough, Rear Window was on television.

i wanted to relate one of my window stories. i used to live on the 16th floor and in the evenings when doing a quick survey of the skyline and the night you could not help but look into the windows across a not so wide street. over a period of a couple of weeks, i noticed that in the apartment across and directly below mine, there was a very sick, bedridden person. there was also a round-the-clock attendant and another younger woman who seemed to live in the apartment. once i saw the younger woman kiss the patient's forehead. the patient, i had finally decided, was a woman. i was moved by that gesture because even from a distance you could see the person was VERY sick.

about three weeks or a month after i first noticed the apartment sickroom i happened to glance toward the window, the bed and patient were gone. a couple of days later i was chatting with my favorite doorman and mentioned that i had noticed a sick person across the street and now that person was gone. "oh yeah, she died last week. i saw them carrying the body out." i felt momentary sadness and did a quick prayer that "her missions had been accomplished".

Thursday, November 12, 2009

the seine...


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

veterans day...


we salute and honor all the men and women who have served or are serving in the armed forces protecting and defending these united states.

may peace prevail on earth

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

buddhas...


flea market buddhas.

Monday, November 9, 2009

the wall...


(photo: internet)

today marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the berlin wall. right after the wall came down a friend sent me a teeny fragment which i still have.

in the 80s i was in berlin for three days to attend the berlin film festival and early on a dreary saturday morning i crossed into east berlin. obviously, i went through a checkpoint but that in itself was so stressful i didn't attempt to play tourist and gawk.

the area that i visited and couldn't seem to get out of was grim, grey and seemingly unpopulated. from windows i could feel watchful eyes but at first only encountered three children. the kids approached me, curious to find out what a schwarzer was doing in their neighborhood at 10 o'clock in the morning. an adult rushed out of one of the buildings and shooed them away.

later i went to a cafe and ending up drinking coffee, nothing else on the menu was available. the waiter actually laughed at me every time i tried to order something, saying, "we no have". it was the WORSE coffee i've ever had. AND i have had bad coffee; it tasted like hot dirt water. i didn't stay in the cafe long because i was approached by a man wanting to buy dollars and asking me about angela davis. afraid i might be suspected of being some kind of spy i hotfooted it back to west berlin.

i remember the trip out of the east felt like an elevated subway ride to Brooklyn but somehow i managed not to see the wall. go figure!

perhaps, later, i will recount my journey through the DDR to berlin; it was pure film noir. for now, however, may the walls of oppression continue to fall.

may peace prevail on earth

Sunday, November 8, 2009

domme, france...


Saturday, November 7, 2009

proofing...



it really is true that we see what we "want to see". when writing this blog i have made changes and proofed the post several times. reading over it, am satisfied and publish only to hear later from "my resident reader" that there is a typo. am mortified and rush to my computer. lo and behold, there is; i find residue from an earlier sentence. i swear, i reread the post several times. seems i "saw" the correction without actually typing it on the keyboard.

can swivel away with at least three considerations:
1. one should not final proof their own work.
2. i have great visualization skills and should utilize them in other aspects of my life.
3. use this as a metaphor for life and living.

Friday, November 6, 2009

what's going on...



in the mood to hear marvin gaye ... in my head can already hear his melodious voice singing "what's going on". the song conjures up memories of several residents (me included) on my dorm floor simultaneously playing the tune at full blast through open windows. saddened at how relevant the song was then and now.

Mother, mother
There's too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There's far too many of you dying
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today - Ya

Father, father
We don't need to escalate
You see, war is not the answer
For only love can conquer hate
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today

Picket lines and picket signs
Don't punish me with brutality
Talk to me, so you can see
Oh, what's going on
What's going on
Ya, what's going on
Ah, what's going on

In the mean time
Right on, baby
Right on
Right on ...

may peace prevail on earth

Thursday, November 5, 2009

yankees...



this is for the Yankees' World Series Victory over the Phillies. score 7 to 3.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

couples...


the window of a shop on the champs elysees in paris.

lighten the load...



received an astrological post this morning via email.

"A turning point is upon you, and it may not fit with your laidback approach to existence. Yet all the reminders, alerts and premonitions have been present long enough for you to get one particular message: you need a new relationship to your past."

yesterday was a day of personal liberation. going through my storage boxes i noted with detachment the level of ruthlessness i exhibited as i discarded memorabilia, some of my artwork and things which once held sentimental value.

the lightening of the emotional continued into the evening. used to make a quip that i was raised by a woman who probably did the best she could but therapy (for her, at the time) would have made it a MUCH better experience all around. she has rapidly begun to lose her short-term memory and is now in assisted living. am sure this is NOT how she envisioned the latter portion of her life but her motto, a healthy one, is "have to go with the flow".

i spoke with her last night and was overwhelmed with sadness at how life turns out... this powerful woman who once controlled my life with a look, sounded like a fragile, helpless, disenfranchised little old lady. i felt then and do at this writing, my emotions churning, years of feelings welling up and spilling out. understood the concept of being overcome by emotion. i wept so hard i could barely catch my breath and said aloud, from my core, "i forgive her".

this morning came across two quotes, both equally valid and useful.
"Forgiveness does not equal forgetting. It is about healing the memory of the harm, not erasing it." Ken Hart
and
"Forgiveness is not an emotion, it's a decision." Randall Worley

may peace prevail on earth and in me

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

back to storage boxes...



it's a beautiful day and i need to go through my boxes from storage... yes, i'm still doing that!! the yankees lost last night but hopefully will win in the bronx on wednesday. lots of thoughts going through my mind that i need to distill into something cohesive.

until then...

Monday, November 2, 2009

paris...


world series...


Yankees: 3 games won, Phillies: 1 game won

GO YANKEES!!!!!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

robot...


funny how one thing leads to another... chose this stencil to post then decided to google robot. interesting facts emerged. first, there seems to be no general consensus on which machines qualify as robots. there is, however, general agreement among the public and experts that robots exhibit some of these qualities: they move around, operate a mechanical limb, exhibit intelligent behavior and sense and manipulate their environment.

second, the czech writer karel capek introduced the word robot in his play R.U.R (Rossum's Universal Robots) which was published in 1920. capek credited his brother, the painter and writer josef capek, as the actual originator. the word that josef suggested was "roboti" which comes from robota. in czech and other slavic languages robota literally means work, labor or serf labor and figuratively drudgery or hard work. the work period that a serf had to give to his lord, typically six months of a year was called robota.

may peace prevail