Art and Death

Beltane                                                                        Sumi-e Moon

for Mark

Bocklin Isle of the Dead

Bocklin Isle of the Dead

Durer: Knight, Death, and the Devil Department: Drawings & Prints Culture/Period/Location: HB/TOA Date Code: Working Date: 1513-14 MMA Digital Photo #: DP102226.tif

Durer: Knight, Death, and the Devil

dias de los muertos

Vanitas by Jan Sanders van Hemessen

Vanitas by Jan Sanders van Hemessen

Western Swing

Beltane                                                                                Sumi-e Moon

aickman2Working on a second Aickmanesque short story. School Spirit is done though it can use editing. Working now on Main Street, a story inspired by Kaye Cox who, along with three of his friends, was decapitated by a sheet of iron that fell off a truck while he and his buddies were behind it. High school. I’m finding that writing with Alexandria in mind is a rich mine, lots of feelings, lots of stories. My current plan is to write at least 12 short stories, all in Aickman’s style, all based in Alexandria. Enough for a book. Jennie’s Dead is not done, but it’s still sitting there, throbbing away. I’ll get back to it at some point. It will call to me.

Jon finished the bench! At least the until now missing top. Still needs a coat of light stain and a varnish. Looks great and is done in time for Kate’s hosting of the needleworkers. The fan that got moved has some tics, not yet a fully good installation. I think I can take it the rest of the way. He said hopefully.

20180601_204307Kate and I went out for the first time since her shoulder surgery, except for Beth Evergreen events. We went to the Center Stage venue in Evergreen to hear Katie Glassman, whom we first encountered at Jews Do Jews, and her significant other, Greg Schochet.

She’s from Colorado, Denver, but now lives in Boulder. She’s a queen of the fiddlin’ scene, extolling last night the fiddle contest culture which brings fiddlers together from all over the nation. She’s won many contests and reminded me of the Charlie Daniel’s Band song, The Devil Went Down To Georgia. She might be the best who’s ever been.

Katie and Greg last night

Katie and Greg last night

Since the night focused on Western swing, you might imagine the hats, vests, boots, and belts on many of the men. In this instance it was the roosters who dressed up, not the hens. It felt like the first truly Western event, outside of the National Western Stock Show of course, that we’ve attended.

Katie’s father was there, having retired that day from the Denver Public School system after 32 years of teaching. Gabe, who attends an elementary school in DPS, had his last school day yesterday for the year, too.

It was a sweet, fun, upbeat evening that left us smiling.


One meeting, one moment

Beltane                                                                                    Sumi-e Moon


enso-zen-circleMy presentation on time falls under the sumi-e moon and I plan to use sumi-e. I’m taking my brushes, ink, ink stones, red ink pad, Kraft paper, and rice paper. As well as my hourglasses. I will do Shakespeare’s soliloquy from Macbeth as a counter point. Each person will first practice an enso on the Kraft paper, then do one on rice paper.

icho.go.ichi.e3What is an enso? The word means circle in Japanese. In Zen it has a much more expansive meaning.* Zen is, of course, Chan Buddhism, a curious blend of Taoism and Buddhism created in China. Monks from Japan went to China to learn about Chan and brought it back to Japan. They also brought back the practice of drinking tea, which initially was a stimulant to help with long meditation sessions. It later transmogrified into the Japanese tea ceremony with its beautiful idea of ichi go ichi e, or once in a lifetime.

*”In the sixth century a text named the Shinhinmei refers to the way of Zen as a circle of vast space, lacking nothing and holding nothing in excess. At first glance the ancient ensō symbol appears to be nothing more than a miss-shaped circle but its symbolism refers to the beginning and end of all things, the circle of life and the connectedness of existence. It can symbolize emptiness or fullness, presence or absence. All things might be contained within, or, conversely, excluded by its boundaries. It can symbolize infinity, the “no-thing”, the perfect meditative state, and Satori or enlightenment.  It can even symbolize the moon, which is itself a symbol of enlightenment—as in the Zen saying, “Do not mistake the finger pointing at the moon for the moon itself.” In other words, do not mistake doctrines, teachings or explanations, which are intended to guide one toward enlightenment, for enlightenment itself. Ensō can also represent the moon’s reflection on water, thereby symbolizing the futility of searching for enlightenment outside oneself.”  Modern Zen