• Category Archives Cinema and Television
  • The Fortress of Solitude

    Imbolc and the Cold Moon

    Thursday gratefuls: Ackerman Furniture. My couch now back home with its William Morris designed fabric. The two guys who moved it out, then back in. A finished downstairs. Mostly. Rabbi Jamie. Leo. Luke. Moses and the burning bush. Fire. A mystery. Water.  Air. Earth. Elementals. Fountain Barbecue. Ribs. Mac and cheese. Baked beans with jalapenos. Bolognese Sauce. The Cold Moon.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Revelation

    One brief shining: Went into the synagogue, kippah in place, and there was Leo, wagging his tail and greeting me, I said hi to the other humans of course but Leo had my attention being my occasional buddy.

     

    Busy morning. Up a bit late, on with Diane, then a workout. After I waited on the Ackerman folks to return my couch. When it got here, I felt relief. It did go ok with the painting. If it hadn’t, well, I would have sucked it up and waited until it did. Not gonna repeat that journey. Too expensive.

    Left for mussar in Evergreen when they left. An hour and a half discussing fire, what it is, how it can be a metaphor, how it can be a metaphor for God. Or, as I prefer, a metaphor for the godliness in each of us. That is, how we each burn with the flame of sacred desire, of passion for truth and justice, of purity and cleansing. Of knowledge and insight. Of life itself.

    My solitude beckoned right after though. I needed to get home, back to Shadow Mountain. It was 55 in Evergreen, 46 here when I got home. Snow has melted back off the roads, off my driveway, cleared from my solar panels. In true Colorado fashion we may get 8 inches of new Snow tomorrow night and Saturday.

    Human interaction, deep and meaningful, grabs me, holds me while I’m in it. Afterward though. Whew. My every pore turns toward not only solitude, but solitude at home. That balance is a delicate one, one I can overshoot more on the interaction side than the solitude side. Oh, yes. Friends, classes. Oh, even more yes. This place. This Mountain. My home.

     

    Swifties. MAGA crazies. The NFL. The Kelce brothers. Travis and Taylor. Her Era tour. His Superbowl. Gosh.

    Not to mention. How about them Houthi’s? Screwing up shipping, playing the short, short game for their fans in Iran. What if the U.S. decided to land on you with both boots? Uh-oh.

    Course it wouldn’t be an election season in 2024 without the many trials of the Yellow-Haired Hercules. Can he clean out the Aegean stables of fraud uncovered in New York? Can he tame the Nemean Lion of a Supreme Court that could bounce him from the presidency? Will he destroy the many headed Hydra of prosecutors after him for meddling in elections? When will he pay his struck by Aphrodite in the dressing room price, $83 million dollars worth?

    The election, the most important election in our history, with two candidates nobody wants. Oh, it’s so good to be an American.


  • Shadow Mountain Christmas Morning

    Winter and the Winter Solstice Moon

    Christmas gratefuls: Hanukah. Bright, sparkly Snow. Flocked Lodgepoles. Black Mountain white. My son. Seoah and her family. Murdoch. Christmas in Korea. Shadow Mountain. My support and foundation. Tom and Roxann on Kauai. Washington County, Maine. Robbitson. Max. Paul and Sarah in Burlington, Vermont. Covid. Lingers still. Christmas. Incarnation. Imago dei. B’tzelem Elohim. Saturnalia. Christmas Trees and Yule Logs. Eggnog and Mistletoe. Holly and Ivy. Krampus. Great Sol lighting up Black Mountain

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: The almost full Winter Solstice Moon last night

    One brief shining: T’was the night before Christmas and I got up at 2 am before I could get up and go to the bathroom the scene outside my bedroom window caught my eye and in spite of the 3 degree temperature streaming in through the slight opening I left I could not look away as the Lodgepole shadows, the Arcosanti bell’s shadow, the shadow of the shed created negative space around the sections of sparkly snow between and among them. A scene in which, if Santa had landed, I would not have been at all surprised.

     

    Christmas morning on Shadow Mountain. 8-10 inches of fluffy, twinkling Snow. 3 degrees. Bing Crosby, Danny Kaye, and Rosemary Clooney might swing by on a sleigh pulled by draft horses. Great Sol throws low angle sun beams at the Trees, lighting us up but not heating us up too much. Though. This is Colorado. We’ll see high thirties and low forties later on this week. Odd how a snowy, cold Christmas has been sold as quintessential for the celebration of a Levantine savior. That manger would not have been a safe place for a baby today in the Rockies.

    I’m listening right now to the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. This King’s College tradition is a staple of the Anglican Church and a Christmas Eve program. A musical entrée into the long fate of a Jewish boy born millennia ago. Irony, too. The Anglican Church hollowed out decades ago though as a state church its clergy still fill its remaining parishes drawing a government salary. Read this week that about 10% of them have formed a union. Godspeed.

     

    I might go out later today for Chinese food. A Jewish tradition that Kate and I followed for many years even before moving to Colorado. Usually includes a movie, too. My hearing has declined enough that movies are not as much fun as they used to be. I miss a lot of the dialogue, making the whole a muddle. Much better to be at home with closed captions turned on. Thanks to Christmas there are several first rated movies available: Saltburn, Maestro, and Rebel Moon by Zack Snyder to name three. I’ll get takeout, come back to Shadow Mountain. I have the best seat in the house.

     

    Talked to my boy last night. His morning, Christmas day while I was still in Christmas Eve. Always weird. Learned that the painful tests he had for compartment syndrome last week were diagnostic, not a treatment. The treatment is a fasciotomy, a 30% success rate. And, the surgeon who would perform the procedure is passionately against it. It’s also very painful. Probably not gonna happen.

    Saw Seoah’s sister, Seoah in pigtails. Murdoch. The oldest boy came on the Zoom and looked at me for a long time. Not sure what that was about, though I did meet him briefly in September. A bit of snow on the ground in Songtan. A sorta white Christmas. Seoah’s family wanted to go on base for good tacos at Taco Bell and good pizza at Pizza Hut. Not common foods in the Korean diet. And just as well if you ask me.

     


  • A Use for God?

    Samain and the Winter Solstice Moon

    Sunday gratefuls: Images. The eye and its mysteries. Our stories, the Ancient Brothers. Evoked by photographs: Orion, a candle, the symbol of the Tao, a leafless tree in winter with a sun on the horizon. Christmas Cactus. A light, fun drama. Alan as an assistant director. Cheri the salsa dancer. Leo, a true garbage hound. Luke in Granby with Tal and friends. Rabbi Jamie and Laura yesterday. Going on a mushroom journey on Tuesday. A celebratory steak dinner at Bastiens. Wednesday. Thanks, Alan. Reading now about covenant. All day today.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Alan

    One brief shining: Found the strip mall, found suite J, the Wheatridge Theater Company, delivered my phone as ticket, found a seat next to Alan and Cheri, a three sided stage with three sided seating, a woman next to Alan working the lights in a black curtained space, and settled in for the entertaining story of Christmas Cactus, the detective.

     

    On my heart this morning. A new vision, new eyes. Opened to a different wavelength, the band of sacredness. Since the drive the other day when the sacred pulse along the road began to insist, I have had my sensibility shifted. Not all the time, but much of the time. That tree, the Aspen there with its gray bark, its leafless Branches, its sturdy Trunk, and the roots below say to me: yes, I grow here, am here, one piece of this Forest whole. But not in words. The Lodgepole just out my window. Its curved Branches salute Great Sol as they soak up fusion energy, life giving energy. Their humility, their prayerfulness. I feel glad.

    Where these new eyes to see what I’m looking at have come from I don’t know. I can only report that I have them. Sleeping Leo gives me a swelling heart as he is the Dog, Leo, but also all Dogs, all animals.

    I hear the heat pump working, drawing what heat there is in the 35 degree weather into my house. Warming me. A marvel. Awesome. Sacred. Think of the water vapor also invisible, also in the air. When a cloud forms, the invisible water vapor becomes visible. Ah, we say. Water. But only a fraction of the story. Why? Because the water vapor is there right now, all around you, around that Aspen and that Lodgepole. The cloud functions as a reminder, a natural heuristic device.

    “See” the water vapor. Know it’s there. This is the same experience I’m having with the sacred right now. I can see it where before it was invisible to me. Perhaps I’m meant to be a cloud, a natural heuristic device.

    Different tact. Same vein. God. Does that word, that idea add anything to this experience. My inclination is no. In fact perhaps the word God with all its linguistic and historical baggage obscures rather than unveils. Yes. My immediate, knee jerk response after many years of abdicating myself from God language.

    However. As a word that might denote the totality of this experience, of seeing, being enveloped by, the sacred? There might be some purpose there. Not finished with this. Not at all.

     


  • Movies and Moving

    Samain and the Conversion Moon

    Monday gratefuls: Good sleep. Vikings win. My son and Seoah and Murdoch. Peace. War. Israel. Hamas. Public opinion of Israel. Anti-semitism. ADL. Taking sides. CBE. Luke. Tarot. Astrology. Purpose. Porpoise. Pronouns. Pamela. BJ. Sarah. Annie. Jerry. Whistler. Church. Group of Seven. The Yamantaka Mandala. Taoist influenced Chinese painting, especially the Song dynasty. Warhol. Brancusi. Seurat. Goya. El Greco. Art of all kinds. The world beyond and within us.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: The Odyssey, Homer

    One brief shining: Yesterday in my chair Odysseus strung his bow, shot loud Antinous first, then more suitors for his Penelope’s hand while godlike Telemachus gathered armor and weapons for his father and the two steadfast herdsmen: shields, bronze helmets, sharp bronze swords and bronze tipped spears with which they slayed those suitors left alive.

     

    Gotta gush again about Emily Wilson’s translation of the Odyssey. OMG. Like seeing the movie in my mind. So much there I may reread it after I read Fagle’s Iliad. What a story. That Homer. What a guy.

     

    Purpose. As Tom reminded me. Burn away everything but love. That’s enough. Perhaps the mission of the fourth phase.

     

    Talking movies. We talked yesterday about movies we like so much that we revisit them. Here’s my list: Wizard of Oz. Seventh Seal. The original Dracula, Wolfman, and Mummy. Casablanca. Black Orpheus. Seven Samurai. Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. I’m not big or rereading or reseeing so this was difficult for me. Though. I am right now engaged in rereading. And I want to find Fiddler on the Roof to rewatch it. Others mentioned: Dr. Zhivago. Sound of Music. Pulp Fiction. Rashomon. Monterey Pop. Woodstock. Newport Jazz Festival.  Star Wars, the first three. The Matrix. Many more. Got a phone call in the middle and missed a few.

    Movies touch our hearts. Can change our lives.

     

    Gradually reshelving the books I sorted out as keepers when I was still in full moving to Hawai’i mode. A year ago. Bending over and picking up things gives me fits because of my funky diaphragm and 8800 feet. A slow process. Need to get them all back up so I can have the loft cleaned and reorganized. Want to start painting again.

    Although. As I do, I wonder about the latest matter scratching at my inner world. Alan’s been extolling the virtues of downtown living. And, through Cheri and other insurance friends making the point, the valid point I believe, that our insurance situation is going to get worse and worse. For those of us in the W.U.I. that is. As I think about that and my probable need at some point to make a move related to further aging or disease, a downtown condo doesn’t sound so bad.

    So. I poked around on real estate websites and it looks like I could pick up a 2 bedroom condo right downtown for between four hundred and five hundred thousand. That’s roughly what I stand to make if I sell.  The purchase would avoid capital gains thanks to reinvesting in a new property. I could pay for it with cash. HOA fees are not cheap but they’re far less than my mortgage.

    Trade-offs. Yes. My wild neighbors. Living at altitude. CBE easy access. My Mountain friends close by. My memories with Kate in this house. A house big enough for guests. And I like all the room. Over against. No wildfires. All on one level. Easy access to emergency medical care. Museums and restaurants and the State Capitol close by. Bookstores. Lots of places to walk. Jazz. Theaters.

    Hmmmm.


  • More Spontaneous Than I Thought

    Summer and the Herme Moon

    Saturday gratefuls: Movies. Books. Writing. Actors. Acting. Acting class. Pushing outside the comfort zone. Mussar. MVP. Judaism. Sabbath. Tom. Bill. Ode. Paul. Honorable men. The Ocean. Ocean Vents. Extremophiles. The Marianna’s Trench. Titan. Tides. King. Neap. High. Low. The Moon. Great Sol. Photosynthesis. Reconstruction. Reimagining the Sacred. Reimagining Revelation. Reconstructing religion. The Great Wheel. Travel. Korea. Israel. Life in the fourth phase.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: This Mountain Life

    One brief shining: That mug I made for Father’s Day when Kate took me to the Northwestern Clay Center so heavy and inelegant with spots of yellow glaze here and there a wonderful fits my hand perfectly handle fired with her thoughtfulness knowing no one was going to show up for Father’s Day that year oh I miss her and love that misshapen spectacular instance of her kindness.

     

    Be spontaneous. My son a few months ago the very day an information meeting happened for CBE’s Israel Trip. So I was. Now I’m going. In October the day after his birthday. I’ll see him and Seoah, Murdoch first though. On August 23rd. Be spontaneous. Trying. Although if I have to try, does that still count?

    Wondered this yesterday when I sat here looking at the movies at the AMC Bowles yesterday. Wanted to see Mission Impossible because my son loved it and said it had some provocative content re: AI. Heard him saying. Be spontaneous. Bought the ticket. Another Tom Cruise I can do this to show what a good stunt man I am movie yet also a thriller, edge of the seat come up for air at the end experience.

    Used the closed caption contraption for the first time. It helps. A lot. Clunky though. Fits in the cupholder, has a flexible arm that can be moved to a position in front of and below line of sight to the screen. Not ideal since to really see either the captions or the screen you have to change focus. Better, a lot better, than Wakanda Forever though where the dialects and accents made me miss half of the dialogue.

    There is, I’ve learned, a better option for me. Open captions like I currently use while watching TV. The problem is they’re usually available only once a day since they project the captions on the screen. Don’t want to “spoil” the experience for others, I imagine. Kate didn’t like subtitles, for example. Me, I can’t watch a movie without them anymore. Will only see Oppenheimer with open captions. This week.

    This still leaves out arthouse cinema, I suppose. Though I admit I haven’t checked. Need to do that. Exploring ways to have fun. An art day now and then. A museum day. I know. Is that nerdy fun? I suppose. Still, it counts for me.

     

    A short disquisition on spontaneous. Here are three definitions from Webster’s.

    1 : proceeding from natural feeling or native tendency without external constraint
    2
    : arising from a momentary impulse
    3
    : controlled and directed internally : self-acting

     

    I’m almost sure my son meant definition number 2. And I welcomed the prod. Break out of the last five year ties that bound me close to home. Do something just because. Without consideration, or at least much consideration.

     
    Yet. Those other definitions. I can’t claim to always act without external constraint. Hardly. I put on clothes, take showers, pay my bills, speak English, don’t hit people. Yes, that’s true. But in my day to day life I proceed almost always from natural feeling or native tendency, a life directed and controlled internally. That’s the joy of the fourth phase. I’m more spontaneous than I thought.


  • Going Nowhere

    Beltane and the Mesa View Moon

    Thursday gratefuls: Tom. Rebecca. Diane. Going Nowhere. Maui. Shadow Mountain. The heart and its journeys. Joy. Simcha. Kate and her yellow roses. Jon’s prints. Gabe and his guitar. Ruth and her art. Kep, my sweet boy. Rigel, my sweet girl. Living alone, but not lonely. Dave and Anytime Fitness.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Simcha

    One brief, shining moment: Ram Dass after his stroke made a short film, Going Nowhere, and watching it last night before bed the title burrowed into my heart-mind (lev) and released my soul, freeing it from need, from desire, from the ache of producing, not bad for thirty minutes of TV. (Thanks, Tom.)

     

    Yeah. So simple. The best stuff is. Going Nowhere. But home. And, my favorite Ram Dass quote: We’re all just walking each other home. Yes. Sink into that idea, that feeling, that koan. And find the via negativa.

    Embrace the way of no way. Walk the path of no path. Live the life of no ambition. For in the literal end we are all going nowhere. Except home. Kate is home. Regina is home. Kep is home. Rigel is home. And, in some paradoxical way that I do not understand, so am I.

    Here is also a truth. I do not find my no path to nowhere following Ram Dass. I do not need or want a guru. A Hanuman. Though I admit I would enjoy living in his house. I have found my own via negativa.

    Didn’t recognize it until that phrase going nowhere pinged around in mind like a pinball shot by Tommy, the deaf dumb and blind kid. Yes. The Great Wheel. It goes nowhere turning always back to its beginnings, the same seasons, the same celebrations, the same holidays, the same Earth, the same Winds and Weather, the same life coming up from the Soil, the same Fallow time when we all need to rest.

    We all go nowhere from the start. From birth we could know the release of life’s journey home because we experience it over and over. If we wanted, we could celebrate our birthdays as our unique marker on the via negativa that is the Great Wheel. We take our journey around Sol and return to the same spot. Having gone nowhere. (I bracket the movements of the Solar System and the Milky Way because they too are going nowhere.)

    Each year we live is a rehearsal for our journey home. No. Not a rehearsal. A lived experience of the via negativa. What a thing to acknowledge on our birthdays! All the striving and sorrow, all the anger and love, all the joys and learnings, all going nowhere as we have done each year. A true and lasting journey to nowhere. The real ancientrail.

    The ineffable journey home. No. Not ineffable. We train for it each year. If we could embrace the changed seasons, the changing seasons, as our teachers, our guides on the way to mystery, the mystery would reveal itself to us.

    The fallow time is now my time, heading toward my own Winter Solstice, the great and final dark night of my soul’s ancientrail in this earthly instance.


  • Painting Begins

    Spring and the Painted Moon

    Wednesday gratefuls: Doug. Working hard. Kep. Kate, always Kate. Tom in Miami. Mark. Mary in Eau Claire. My son and his wife. 3 Margaritas, now 3 Victorias. Carne Asada. Marty, who helped me pick colors. Alan. Marilyn in Belize. Passover. Easter. Christian Nationalism. The dissident right. The Trumpian right. The moderate right. All spotlights on aspects of our culture in trouble. Trump’s legal troubles. The Fed.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Marilyn in Belize with her granddaughter

     

    Doug showed up around 9:30 yesterday morning. Bandana tied around his head and a red striped shirt. Painter’s pants. We talked a bit. He complimented me on the work I’d done to get the room, Kate’s old sewing room, ready. He worked steadily until 4:30. Spackling holes, putting up the blue tape, using a brush where he needed to. He’ll be working in that room today, too.

    Meanwhile the kitchen has boxes and a light stand and a bronze container for canes and umbrellas and my recycling container. Its floor is almost full. Makes it tough to cook. So I didn’t. Went out to Three Margaritas which is now 3 Victorias. Not clear why. I asked the waiter. He said, all the same, all the same.

    I’ve been such a good boy on the Mediterranean diet. Fruit and nuts and fish and chicken. Vegetables. Had Carne Asada. Tasted good. I rarely go out to eat for dinner. Usually breakfast or lunch. It was a treat. Nice to have someone else cook. See other folks enjoying their food.

     

    Been watching the Netflix series, Narcos. The rise and fall of Pablo Escobar. My first foreign travel other than Canada was to Colombia. In 1989. Just after Escobar had partnered with communist guerillas to invade the Supreme Court. He gave them two million dollars and in return they burned a whole roomful of evidence against him.

    The Supreme Court building still had damage when we saw it. Watching the series I now understand why the Fodor’s travel guide warned against travel to Colombia. The State Department also recommended against. La Violencia ended in 1958, a period of violent struggle between the Liberal and Conservative parties. This period, the time of Escobar from 1976 when he formed the Medellin Cartel to his death at 44 in 1993, rivaled La Violencia and exceeded it in that Escobar brought the violence into urban areas.

    Odd to see the turmoil roiling that country during the time of my visit. It was the first place I saw armed guards patrolling urban neighborhoods. That shocked me.

     

    Speaking of Escobar how bout that Trump? Fantasizing about how to do the perp walk. Should he smile at the journalists? Or walk by with his head held high? Will his peeps show up? As long as the perp walk ends up with the Orange One in a jail cell, I don’t care at all how he comports himself.

     

    Read an interesting opinion piece in the Washington Post about Xi’s visit to Moscow. According to this article by David Ignatius, Xi went to Moscow to prop up his western flank by creating an Eurasian bloc with China firmly in control. As Putin’s war in Ukraine has weakened rather than strengthened him, he needs the cover of Xi’s China. Worth reading.


  • Young Men’s Dreams, an Old Man’s, too

    Imbolc and the Waiting to Cross Moon

    Saturday gratefuls: Tal. Bread Lounge. F1. Red Bull. Scuderia Ferrari. Mercedes. Charles LeClerc. Max Verstappen. Carlos Sainz. A hobby. I think. Warming. Snow melting. Dr. Doverspike. Coming today. Kep, the early. His rear legs. Love for and from him. Tal’s dream. His own theater company. Like the Group of the early 1920’s. Young men’s dreams. Old men’s dreams.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Dreams

     

    Had lunch with Tal. He got let go at Evergreen Players where I had taken two acting classes from him. Budget. He landed on his dream. He’s doing two acting classes right now, holding them at CBE. American Jewish Playwrights and Improv.

    His plan. Build a theater company based on the Group, a late 1920’s creation of Lee Strasberg and others. An ensemble, The Group often performed plays written for them, using the same pool of actors, the Group, to cast each play. Tal wants to develop an ensemble which will choose plays and perform them, directed by himself. The plays will fit the ensemble rather than assembling a cast to fit the play. He had the first board meeting for his company last week.

    Luke, too. Wanting to work with the things he loves: Tarot and Astrology and Art. A young man with a dream. He had an interview two days ago with Judaism Yourway for a tech position with them. If he gets it, it could fund his developing a practice with Tarot and Astrology. Give him more time to develop his art.

    The late twenties, early thirties. A time for exploration. Testing the self. Trying this, then that. Who will I be? Who can I be? When will it happen for me? Dreaming with them both. An old man’s dream, may these young men realize theirs.

     

    This old man has dreams, too. He wants to write a book, another book. That one about the pagan life. About finding and developing a love for Mother Earth and Father Sun. But. He’s stuck. Maybe depressed?

    I have plenty of time. Plenty of material, both original and researched. I know how to stick with a project until I have completed manuscripts. Yet. I’m not writing. Not even picking up a keyboard.

    Maybe the deep sadness over cancer has combined with suppressed feelings over Kate’s long illness and death, over Jon’s life, his divorce, his death, and Ruth’s mental health to cast a darker pall over me than I’ve known. Recognized.

    When I worked with Alan and Cheri last weekend, I discovered I had stamina. Yet when I come home, I fall into routines. Some helpful. Like Ancientrails. Like caring for Kep. Though I’ve not been as good a dad as he’s needed of late. Zooming with friends and family. Zoomies. Exercise. Cooking for myself.

    But my reading has tailed off into finishing CJ Box’s long Joe Pickett series. I watch too much tv. I don’t feel energetic at home. One or two events outside of the house and I’m done with my day. Yes, there’s the trifecta: low testosterone, altitude, and my funky diaphragm. And, yes, they affect me. But I’m beginning to think my low energy may have deeper and other roots.

    Not sure where to go with this. Not sure I’m right. Paying attention in a different way now.


  • Oh, the Wonders We’ll See

    Beltane and the Beltane Moon

    Tuesday gratefuls: Deb. Robbie. Tal. Gretchen. Alan. Terrence. Jill. Nights. Lunar red. The full red Moon. Cloudy skies. Skipping Sefer Yetzirah. Learning things in astrology. Not enough. Reading plays. Loving it. Art is not only sculpture, prints, paintings, metal work. Literature. Theater. Music. Oh. Remembering.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Alfieri and Felix

    Tarot: #8, The Stag

     

    “The Stag shows our connection to the universe and…organic life on this planet. The hatchet is a symbolic image of the human will to alter the environment. In order for the environment to change more positively, we need not only more effective actions but also (to accept) our responsibility to nature. On the shield, the picture of a great Oak tree reminds us that we must preserve and protect natural resources.” tarotx.net

     

    Wow. Up at 9:22 am this morning. To bed at 10:30 pm. Acting class and pre-bed routine. Woke up and felt great. I went, huh? No time to write Ancientrails before Astrology class. No time to exercise so I skipped Sefer Yetzirah. Skipping class. For me? Hardly ever. I loved doing it this time.

    Had brunch, then exercised. Felt and feel great. Pay attention to accidents. Like the fall, yes, but in this case a late night, late morning. Well. I could do this, I guess. Just because for the last 30 years I’ve gone to bed early and gotten up early does that mean I still have to? No. It doesn’t

    If my acting lessons take me anywhere, which I’m not expecting, but if they do, rehearsal? At night. Performances? At night. Services at CBE? At night. It would open up a different lifestyle for me.

    On that note. I got stuck. My Minneapolis Institute of Arts experience led me to a Johnny-one note approach to the arts. Painted. Sculpted. Printed. Sewn. Splattered. Photographed. Videoed. Yes. If I couldn’t regularly see high quality art of this kind, well…

    Then my buddy Alan suggested I take an acting class. Sure. Why not? At the very least a reminder of a different art form. One I’d engaged in the long ago far away. Whoa. Heart work. Body work. Get the mind out of the way work. Reread some contemporary work like The Odd Couple, View From the Bridge, next American Buffalo. Act scenes from them. Develop the Self in a new way.

    I mean. Like the proverbial 2×4. Oh. Yeah. And music, too. Gotta get somebody, maybe Alan, to help get my audio world turned on here on Shadow Mountain. Will begin again to read classical literature. Metamorphosis first, I imagine.

    As Ode said, routines. The only difference betweeen a rut and a grave are the dimensions. Yeah.

    So I may become a later to bed, later to rise guy. For art’s sake.

     

    Here’s a realization I had today. When I take something from Taoism, I take it as a Taoist.When I take something from Christianity, I take it as a Christian. When I take something from Judaism, I take it as a Jew.When I take something from Islam, I take it as a Muslim. When I take something from Hinduism, I take it as a Hindu.

    Furthermore. When I take something from Japanese culture, I take it as a Japanese. From Colombia as a Colombian. From the Celts as a Celt.

    Syncretism and appropriation are dirty words in most intellectual circles. I’m not trying to create a new, smashed together religion, nor am I lifting ideas from their living culture to reorient in mine.

    Nope. When I say I’m a follower of Shiva, which I am, I mean I’m aware of and beholden to the cosmic dance of creation and destruction and Shiva is its name. When I say ichi-go ich-e is important for me, I’m saying this moment, this one while I’m typing on the keyboard, throwing these ideas out into the cyberether, will never happen again. And, is precious for that reason. When I say I follow the Great Wheel, I’m an ancient Celtic thinker noticing the stars and the changing of the seasons, tying them together in a long, yet repeating spiral.

    I don’t pick and choose. Nope to that either. Some ideas and concepts that come to me as I read, listen, see change my way. When they change my way, they become part of me, part of my ancientrail.

    Neither striving for nor hoping for a neat package tied up with a bow. Nicely systematized. Not important to me. Insights into life and how to live it? Very important to me.


  • Kavanah

    Spring and the waning sliver of Seoah’s Citizenship Moon

    Tuesday gratefuls: Snow. Cooler. Cytopoint. Syringes. Home injections. Orgovyx. Erleada. Levothyroxine. Life. Living it. Well. Eudaimonia. Taoism. Travel. Short trips. Long trips. Boredom. Organization. Dullness. Joy. Chicken pot pies. Art. Music. David Sanders. Kate, always Kate. Rigel. Gertie. Vega. The Colorado dogs. With Kep. Who yet lives.

    Sparks of Joy and Awe: Max. The baby. Growing. Sitting up on his own. Go, Max. Go, Kate.

     

    The days of our lives are sand in an hourglass. Do they still make soap operas? Is there still day time TV? I cut the cord so long ago that I have no idea. TV news is an oxymoron. Infotainment is not a thing. It’s a distortion of what the news was meant to be. The strait jacket of a show at one time. Escaped. Death by a thousand channels, most of them unwatchable? Escaped.

    If sports were your thing, cutting the cord would have been difficult. I get that. But I was a Vikings fan. The football equivalent of a Cubs fan before they broke away from their apparent destiny. Didn’t miss it. Especially now in Colorado.

    Movies. Yes. Series dramas. Yes. Comedy. Yes. Content from all over the world. Yes. With Netflix, Amazon Video, and HBO Max I’m happy. Maybe a bit too happy. The amount of good, even great content, has grown so fast.

    Kingdom

    The Koreans have given us dramas in a new tone, more human, less formulaic. Then there are the history based series like the Vikings, the Last Kingdom, Qin Empire: The Alliance, Resurrection: Ertugrul. Science fiction.

    First run movies. Caches of old movies. HBO Max provides access to the Turner Classic Movies archive as well as Studio Ghibli. And the occasional Criterion flick.

    All you have to day is pony up some cash, sit your butt in the chair, find that remote, and you’re off to the Warring States Period, the rise of the Ottoman Empire, Space Force, anime. Spirited Away. I’m only a little ashamed to admit that I love it.

    The shame comes in when I admit how much I’ve been loving it. More than I need. Less than I want. Not sure how to balance this as part of my day. I’ve made advances. I’ve taken back reading time from the TV.

    Now that my energy has improved, I see the trap the weariness had snapped around me. Oh, I’m too tired. But, I can watch TV. Covid played a role here, too. And Kate’s long illness. However those are dropping away, have dropped away.

    Intentional. Kavanah. What’s your intention? A Jewish idea that informs prayer. You’re not supposed to pray without intention. No formulary, rote prayer. Know what you mean to do with your prayer.

    Kavanah. Our hours need kavanah. My hours, the late afternoon hours, need kavanah. I’ve allowed myself to get into a rut. Intention can lift me out of it.

    Working on it. Boredom helps. Energy helps. The coming of Spring helps. I can do this.

    What will help most are two things: 1. finishing the kitchen, common room, my level refurbish, remodel, redecorate. 2. finishing my work with David Sanders, turning the ship of my life toward a new destination without losing the gifts I have in it right now.

    A slow process. Grief. For me at least. But, a needed process. Letting go of Kate yet keeping her close. Difficult inner work.

    Will be doing more of all this today. And tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow hopefully not to the last syllable of recorded time.