Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Triangulation & The 3 Hares (In Memory of a Beautiful Mind)


Four Degrees of Triangulation - 2015, DS


"Each planet has energy through it via a visible light spectrum and produces it’s own output albeit in a longer thermal wave and the production of atmospheres, and the concurrence of fluids ruled over by the Trident of Neptune. .. One could call our solar system an example of the conservation of energy...or perhaps not. Perhaps this is a strange astrology..cyclic and yet prone to flux. The visible conjoined to the invisible. And beyond this?

Is there a triadic ordering to the anomalous between existents and non existents? Is there a dipole to this that creates a dynamo that produces a music strange to our senses..attenuated to this exchange resulting not in physicality nor non physicality, but rather a reconciling force?

Your guess is as good as mine. I suppose the interdependence of what Bateson saw as two drum beats creates not a seeming harmonious rhythm but rather discordance as translated by our own triangulations."

- Bruce Deunsing, from his post The Physicality of Metaphysics



Four Degrees of Triangulation (2) - 2015, DS

"Nicola Tesla (1856-1943) in his whole life, did not own a home, he lived in hotels, never got married and besides him being a genius, his interesting personality was always the center of attention. Since he arrived to New York in 1884 he stayed in many hotels (especially the New Yorker which was the one he stayed the longest in) he would order his meal by phone, he would sit all alone in his suit at the table, since he had an obsession of numbers that could be divided by three he would order his napkins according to this and after a thorough hygiene control he would eat his meal."

-  Via this Tesla Society page.

"One of his proudest achievements was his TMT, (Tesla Magnifying Transmitter), or Tesla transponder. The few that have looked into this at a mathematical and experimental level seem to reach the conclusion that it is a system of resonant transformers harmonically balanced to the electric condition of the Earth...If the phase angle of the earth pulsation frequency lags the phase angle of the pulsating frequency, energy is abstracted from the earth's supply of energy and delivered as "free energy" to the transponders. Three distinct standing waves, each coupled to the other through two points of refraction are involved in its operation. This is GROSSLY simplified to arrive at a possible solution to our 3-6-9 problem."

- Via "Steve" from this Physics forums page: Why was Tesla Obsessed with the Number 3?


***


I thought I'd let the triangulations speak for themselves for a while before I put in my left-brained "two cents". As it stands, I'm having a difficult time writing these days, and I regret stalling on posting to this blog, but it can't be helped. I am currently immersed in 2 relief-sculptural projects - yes, I'm carving plaster again(!) - and the "brains" are battling each other for time.

Then again, I've just been informed that the planet Saturn has gone retrograde. Never a good thing, my fellow earthlings. The bottom line: beware of Karma... yours and everyone else's.

This post is sort of a companion piece to the one posted here - a memorial to fellow blogger, Bruce Duensing, who just happened to be a misunderstood genius - but it's inadvertently dedicated to another "beautiful mind" and another misunderstood genius, Nicola Tesla, with whom Bruce may have had a few things in common...

Friday, May 8, 2015

In the Company of Green Women: Medieval Masons & Sculptors


Detail of an allegorical miniature of Christine de Pizan before the personifications of Rectitude, Reason, and Justice in her study; then helping another lady to build the 'Cité des dames', from The Book of the City of Ladies (Le Livre de la Cité des Dames), Christine de Pizan, Fifteenth Century.
(Click on post images for larger size.) 

"Regarding how women were perceived who engaged in this type of work, the voices of many historical authors make it clear that women should be discouraged from working outside the home, and especially should not engage in manual labor. Women who could not adhere to this prescription were considered to be of the lowest class in society, just one step above the class of prostitutes. Their poverty was seen as a punishment for sin. These attitudes led to the vague recordings of women‘s activities in historic documents and to women‘s historic invisibility on the construction site.  However, there were certain crafts related to building design that were deemed acceptable employment for women, such as sculpting, painting and the weaving of tapestries, which were believed to uplift the mind and maintain the virtue of chastity.

In addition to written documentation, there is graphic evidence in European illustrated manuscripts and books that demonstrate women as both laborers, craftswomen and as patrons of building construction.  Some of the imagery appears to be literal documentation of work, however the majority of the known examples use the idea of a woman as patron or as laborer in a symbolic context.  One well-known example is a miniature in Christine de Pisan‘s, The Book of the City of Ladies (Le Livre de la Cité des Dames)."
- From Women in Construction: An Early Historical Perspective, Yilmaz Hatipkarasulu, PhD and Shelley E. Roff, PhD,  2011 (.pdf) (emphasis, mine)

"Baron catalogues the painters, illuminators, and sculptors listed in Parisian tax records of the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. Although her work does not focus primarily on women, Baron does discover at least twelve female painters, illuminators, and "ymagieres" (a term of uncertain meaning), as well as three other women involved in the stone-working industry...

Medieval women and medieval art have shared an unfortunate fate. Both have been deprived by historians of the very real power that they may have exerted over human thoughts and actions in their own era. As a field of inquiry, the history of medieval women artists and their art invites us to redefine these proverbial objects as dynamic forces in the medieval past."
- From Medieval Women Artists and Modern Historians, Lila Yawn-Bonghi (.pdf)


Medieval Mason and Carpenter Guild emblem 

"Every clause in the 1389 Certificate of the Guild of Masons at Lincoln referred to both brothers and sisters. Carpenters admitted women, and stonemasons often combined with them the other artisans. The 'Old Charges' referred to 'brothers and sisters', 'Masters and Dames' and to "...he or she that is to bee made a mason..."

"There have been suggestions that there may have been an error whereby ‘he or shee’ should have read ‘he or they.’ Of this possibility, Rev. Cryer says: 'Now I have to tell you, that my predecessors in Masonic Research in England from Hughen and Vibert and from all the rest onward, have tried to pretend that the ‘shee’ is merely a misprint for ‘they.’ I now am the Chairman of the Heritage Committee of York. I know these documents; I’ve examined them, and I’m telling you, they say ‘she,’ without any question.'"

"Thus, women not only endured the fatigues of labour in the building trades but also, at least in the Würzburg case, vastly outnumbered the men! Indeed, because of the prevalence of women and their acceptance of lower wages and relatively high productivity, the journeymen’s lodges, fearing for their own prospects, agitated for their exclusion, and that of foreigners, from most trades in the late middle ages. Claudia Opitz , described tension over pay rates towards the end of the middle ages, saying: The competition between various interest groups raged all the more fiercely, especially when times were hard. Journeymen played a key role in these battles; since female maids and apprentices earned a third less on average, the men fought successfully to have them excluded from virtually all guilds by the end of the Middle Ages."

"While we may debate details concerning the involvement of women in the medieval building trades, we find they had an enduring presence that was sufficient for their participation to be legitimized in the Old Charges. I conclude therefore, that the Emperor has no clothes!—That no amount of repetition can make a falsehood true!—And that there were women in the building trades and as Stonemasons!"
- Four quotes from Craftswomen in the Old Charges, in Building Trades and as Stonemasons, by Philip Carter; found on The Quarry Masonic Forum here and here.

"There were so many early women Freemasons about whom we now know very little and what is left is rapidly slipping away. With each passing generation, we know even less. It’s too late to recover the names and stories of the very vast majority. The scholarly squandering and impoverishment cannot be undone. While we may grieve at that, we must accept it and strive not to add to it."
- From Haunted Chambers: The Lives of Early Woman Freemasons, by Karen Kidd, Cornerstone Publishers, 2009 (.pdf)

***

I'll never forget the moment it seriously entered my head that a few of the medieval Green Women (and Three-Hare symbols) may have been carved by women (as I intimated at the end of my previous post in this series). Having learned absolutely nothing about the existence of female artists in the Middle Ages - let alone female sculptors or masons - in art school in the 1970s, and (at the time) dismissing the entire possibly that women might have been involved - the unspoken it-goes-without-saying assumption on the part of my male instructors (i.e., women were and are not capable of creating anything artistically meaningful) - It was with great trepidation that I even dared to google such phrases as: "female medieval artists and sculptors" let alone "female medieval masons". Truthfully, I felt embarrassed to ask... and figured the search engine would just skip over the word "female" altogether. Which it mostly did. I had to crawl through a lot of material which just featured medieval artistic representations of women by male artists, which was hardly my point.

But... surprise, surprise! Every now and then I did hit pay dirt; in fact I managed to amass so much data that pulling it all together has been an almost impossible task. But, the upshot is that, yes, it so happens that women most assuredly were employed as both artists, scribes, and masons during the Middle Ages along with the more accepted feminine skills such as spinning, embroidery, etc.. I did not know this. So, perhaps, following rabbits is not a bad thing after all...

Monday, April 13, 2015

In the Company of Green Women


Green Woman boss, Carlisle Cathedral - 2006, Greenshed
(As always, this image, and those on the remainder of the post can be clicked to enlarge.)

"The Greenman is known by just about everyone. His leafy face has appeared in many cultures. He is the symbol of nature's rebirth in the spring, he is the guardian of the forests, he is the protector of the wild places, and he is a positive masculine image of men as caretakers."
- via the Beneficent (Fraternal) Order of the Greenman

"Usually referred to in works on architecture as foliate heads or foliate masks, carvings of the Green Man may take many forms, naturalistic or decorative. The simplest depict a man's face peering out of dense foliage. Some may have leaves for hair, perhaps with a leafy beard. Often leaves or leafy shoots are shown growing from his open mouth and sometimes even from the nose and eyes as well. In the most abstract examples, the carving at first glance appears to be merely stylised foliage, with the facial element only becoming apparent on closer examination. The face is almost always male; green women are rare."
- via the Wiki entry for Green Man

A modern representation of the iconic Green Man
Green Man 3 - Resin Bronze - John Bonington

"There seems to be a connection between the Green/Wild Man of the woods and the Green Man carvings.  Both have obvious associations with plant and woodland features and both are likely to trace their origins back to pre-Christian folk traditions and Gods.  However, whereas the Wild Man was always seen as somewhat threatening and not of this world, early carvings of Green Men were of friendly, well dressed young men of the period."
- via an English Folk Church article.

"A Green Man is any kind of a carving, drawing, painting or representation of any kind which shows a head or face surrounded by, or made from, leaves. The face is almost always male, although a few Green Women do exist (examples can be found at the Minster of Ulm, Germany and at Brioude, France), and Green Beasts (particularly cats and lions) are reasonably commonplace."
- via this Green Man Enigma page.


Green Woman roof boss; St. Nikolai Church, Quedlinburg, Germany
Photo Credit: 2006, Groenling

"Since Lady Raglan’s article a Green Man was supposed to be the head of a man. Period. We were mesmerized by this dictum for years, just looking for Green Men, not women, not recognising them when we encountered them. In fact, when we visited England in 1991, Joke took a photograph of a Green Man roof boss in Canterbury Cathedral, manufactured between 1379 and 1400, stems and leaves issuing from the corners of his mouth. It took us years to notice that the figure in the centre of the vault is a Green Woman."
- From The Green Man & the Green Woman – part I by Ko & Joke Lankester, July 31, 2013

"I’ve also included two images (17 and 18) from Exeter Cathedral which do not seem to me to portray men. We should be careful not to allow the terminology to flatten or oversimplify our perspective of Green Men, few of which are green, not all of which are men but which participate in a remarkable, arresting and varied motif."
- From Gabriella Giannachi's 2012 article: Dr Naomi Howell tells us about the Green Man.


***

Perhaps this article is meant to help eliminate a certain deficit on the world-wide-web: the dearth of medieval Green Women. Then again, maybe I just want to free up some of the Green Women held hostage on the Flickr collections devoted to Green Men, such as the Green Men collection, or the Company of the Green Man, or Jack in the Green, or Green Men, Green Beasts.  If you query Green Women, four paltry pages seems to serve as the entire Green Women compendium... a compilation of a few samples of contemporary art, and photos of women painted green. Maybe this is due to a few misconceptions that need to be corrected. Or, maybe the ghosts of Green Women are just feeling bitchy... as well they should!

Blame it on those rabbits. Or maybe the Hare in the Moon. But, what started as a innocent venture into the mythic realm to celebrate the first day of spring eventually blossomed, multiplied, freaked-out, imploded, exploded, and finally rearranged itself into several interconnected heaps of themes, images, links, quotes, and what-have-you which have held me hostage for the past two weeks. Ones inner daemon-muse-imaginative-other is a harsh taskmaster. But, start following rabbits and... well, we know what happens to people who start following rabbits...

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Judy Chicago - Live Feed Update!

(click to enlarge)

I just found this in my inbox.  If you catch this post on time, some of you should still be able to view the live feed via the link below.

If not, the same link will take you to the video of the show:



Monday, March 30, 2015

The Three Hares; the Moon Hare, a Hare-witch, and Saint Melangell


Three Hares boss, church of St Hubert's, Dorset. Photo Credit: Eleanor Ludgate.


"From the perspective of European folklore, the rabbit is a creature with strong ties to witchcraft and magic. Rabbits and hares were commonly considered to be favorite familiars of witches. Additionally throughout Wales, Ireland and Scotland it was often believed that witches would transform themselves into hares in order to travel about undetected. In the case of the witch or her familiar it was said that the only way to injure or kill the supernatural hare was with the aid of a silver bullet. Interestingly enough, and a concept with potential significance, some European traditions held that the devil himself would often take the form of a hare with only three legs. This inspires further thought when we note that one of the few claimed powers of the Rabbit’s Foot in Europe was its ability to protect against witchcraft. The color of a rabbit was also of importance as some believed that to see a white rabbit was an omen of death, whilst black rabbits were often thought to be the reincarnated souls of ancestors."

- From an article by Matthew Venus entitled The Rabbit's Foot.


"According to local legend, a huntsman called Bowerman lived on the moor around one thousand years ago. When chasing a hare he and his pack of dogs unwittingly ran into a coven of witches, overturned their cauldron and disrupted their ceremony.

They decided to punish him, and the next time he was hunting, one of the witches turned herself into a hare, and led both Bowerman and his hounds into a mire. As a final punishment, she turned them to stone - the dogs can be seen as a jagged chain of rocks on top of Hound Tor, while the huntsman himself became the rock formation now known as Bowerman's Nose."

- From John Page's "An Exploration of Dartmoor", 1889, found here. (A photograph of Bowerman's Nose can be found at the end of this post.)


"Ancient Chinese men before the Han Dynasty believed that there were no male rabbits and female rabbits only became pregnant by watching the moon and spat out babies from their mouths. The origin of the Chinese term for rabbit "tuzi" was drawn from this belief, where tu means 'spit' and zi means 'babies'. This belief was corrected in the Han Dynasty. Mulan Ci, the story of Hua Mulan, talked about the way to tell rabbits' gender by lifting the rabbit by its ears. It was said that male rabbit's feet kept moving while female rabbit's eyes squint."

- From The Symbolic Meaning of Rabbit in Chinese Culture.


***


I've been mulling over the Three-hare symbol since I featured it in my spring post... a lot! Something about its attractiveness and the mystery surrounding it took hold of me and the little wheels started turning. If symbols could speak - and, really, that seems to be the whole point of a symbol - then the rotating three hares were speaking to me. So, what is it about those cunning little rabbits? While I can't say anything for certain, my online research has taken me to so many odd places that I'd feel irresponsible if I didn't try to share some of the interesting bits of information I found along the way...

Friday, March 20, 2015

Hail to the (Mysterious) March Hare...


A stained glass window in the Castle Inn at Lydford.
Photo Credit: Eleanor Ludgate, found here.



Well, officially it's Spring, and it hasn't come a moment too soon... although, if you're like me, you aren't exactly seeing any signs of it yet.

Enter the mad, March Hare...

Let's face it, it's been a long winter. And if you're feeling a little grey around the gills, down in the dumps, and even a tad snarky, then, perhaps, you're in need of a Mythic fix. In which case, I'm here to give you one...

Saturday, March 7, 2015

March 12 Update: Glitch Fixed







Thanks to the Powers That Be, the mysterious video problem I was experiencing on my blogs has been repaired.

To celebrate, I was inspired to upload something for your viewing pleasure. I spent about 4 hours searching through YouTube fractal videos looking for something beautiful, lush, cool, unique, under 5 minutes, with a soundtrack that wasn't distracting, irritating, or downright obnoxious.

I found two, possibly three... and all of them can be found on Truman Brown's YouTube channel. The one above is Plantes d'Absinthe.

(Links to all three will have a permanent place in the Mandelbox section of the sidebar.)

Thanks, TB, you don't know it, but you saved my day!


PS  You'll note a new fractal link has been added, too: Frax... an awesome fractal generator designed by Ben Weiss,  Kai Krause, and, someone you might know from a previous post, Tom Beddard.



Monday, March 2, 2015

The Mysterious Caves of Fontainebleau


From the caves of Fontainebleau... (click to enlarge)

The Forest of Fontainebleau

"This forest which is now a popular recreation area, was an isolated region for thousands of years. It was a haunt of robbers, fringe dwellers and fugitives who sheltered in its caves and carved the walls with inscriptions, designs, and abstract signs. More than 2,300 square yards of rock are decorated in this way.

Among the carvings are human figures with rectangular bodies, neck-less heads with sunken eyes and U-shaped noses. Their arms are outstretched, with the fingers spread like a fan, and often the legs are missing. A second group, in bas-relief, have their arms close to their bodies, In a third, the figures are dressed in skirts and have only three fingers on each hand.

The crosses, circles and hopscotch-like designs are almost impossible to date. They may be from prehistoric time, or they could have been drawn yesterday. All have been indexed and some are similar to designs which specialists located elsewhere. However, there are some designs which are found only at Fontainebleau. These are the irregular latticed designs which have been deeply incised into the rock. They have been found in the most inaccessible places, in cavities where only an arm can reach. Why were these engravings made under such obviously difficult conditions? They were certainly not made recently, but how old are they? What message did their engravers wish to leave, and who were they?"

- Text and photo (above) found in some older files; source currently unidentified.


***

Chances are, whenever the topic of prehistoric art crops up, the first examples that spring to mind are the stylized beasts (in shades of black, brown and red ochre) found on cave walls in France, notably those of Lascaux and Chauvet. Or, maybe, those enigmatic Paleolithic handprints which created a minor sensation in 2013; the handprints which, upon closer inspection, were tentatively judged to be the work of primarily female artists. On the other hand, the more informed Fortean mind is likely to turn to the stone carvings found at Göbekli Tepe (also, here), or the Nazca Lines.

But, my fellow fans of weird archaeology, here's another place to add to your files: the mysterious abstract carvings found in the caves of Fontainebleau Forest, located 30 miles south of Paris. While some of the designs were wrought in the late Middle Ages, others have been dated back 15,000 years to the Upper Paleolithic or Magdalenian period; and, still others may have arisen as early as the Neolithic period. So strange and sophisticated are some of the carvings - along with the nearby presence of unusual rock formations, and what appears to be a bestiary of boulders - that it's been proposed the forest of Fontainebleau may contain the artifacts of an unknown civilization...

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Transdimensionalism 1:01... & Parallel Worlds


"Blueprint" for Unit 3 Aggregate 6 - 1983, DS


"We have ways of determining when a physical body is no longer, obviously alive. And, yes, we know how different living structures come together to produce more complex structures. These eventually result in a creature who can, quite possibly, walk to a local diner and order "home-fries". But, ultimately, this knowledge fails to illuminate us. While we can surmise that John Doe desires home-fries due to theories regarding genetic or environmental prompts which happen to coincide with that biological drive known as "hunger", we do not really know why it was that, while John was walking home from the diner, he got hit by a renegade truck. Nor do we know why John's wife, Sylvia, told him to stay home that day because she "had a bad feeling" about his going out. Nor do we know why John's son, Rufus, shot the neighbor's dog two days earlier. You can call in all the biologists and psychiatrists in the world, and possibly after several months, they might be able to determine the "how" of several elements of this scenario, but they'll never be able to determine the "why" of this succession of events because there is no obvious logic involved. And, that's life.

Hence, we have the "story", which is not so much a thing, nor a series of things, but a mad combination of all sorts of no-things that come together in a such away to amuse us or dismay us.  And it's a very strange occurrence to realize that some of these tales which filter into our brains, mysteriously become part of our own personal databank of experiences without ever attaining 'thingness' at all."

- from Transdimensionalism 1:01, a .pdf file I've just uploaded, containing material I wrote in 2010 and revised in 2015 (A link appears after the jump...).

Friday, February 13, 2015

The Shadow Self and the Mirror Image





"Some artists fear the judgement of failure: the manuscript unpublished, the painting unsold; and others the judgement of the marketplace: bad reviews, poor sales, disappointed fans. Some fear specific kinds of judgement: the lowered esteem of colleagues or certain critics, the negative opinions of family or friends. And for others, the harshest judge of all is the one who whispers inside our own head: You aren't any good. You don't know what you're doing. What makes you think you can write/draw/craft/compose/perform? You're mediocre. You're a fraud. You're a fool...

Only perfection will silence these critics -- or so we secretly believe, and since there's no such thing as the "absolutely perfect," we're damned before we've even begun..."

- Terri Windling from her blogpost When Every Day is Judgement Day , January 7, 2015


"Psyche has two main functions. It is both a non-material "hard disk" that stores memories as well as a non-material digestion organ that masters fear. Psyche can be of different complexity and can in this respect be compared to a mirror globe that has more or less reflectors on its surface. A globe with less mirrors gives a simple image of reality whilst a globe with many mirrors gives a highly complex image of reality. It is obvious that a highly complex psyche is able to represent reality more sophisticated but on the other hand is more prone to picture distorted images of reality."

- Gordon Praxis from Functions of the Psyche


***


I've just come back from a long, enforced hiatus from the internet recently. As it stands, operating out of the particular area of New Mexico in which I currently reside, reliable ISPs are hard to come by. But, that wasn't the only reason I avoided getting an internet connection; in the end, I just wanted to attend to my own projects without the added distractions cyberspace involves. In the past , I would've doubted that going cold turkey from the virtual world was even possible. But, I'm here to report that not only is it possible, it isn't a half-bad exercise.

For instance, within the past two months, I reworked and finished the first draft of a manuscript; a YA novel which had been sitting on "the back burner" for a period of over ten years. Had I been caught in the glare of that giant disco-ball we call virtual reality, this wouldn't have been possible...


Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Photo of the Day


Siberian Shaman - Photo Credit: Alexander Nikolsky
(click to enlarge)



Just found in the Siberian Times article, Shamans Rouse the Ancient Siberian Spirits, by Anna Liesowska... I don't condone animal sacrifice, but this story about the "Call of the 13 Shamans" held in the Tyva (Tuva) Republic of Siberia might interest those familiar with my themes.

(Thanks to Grail-seeker at the Daily Grail for the link!)

For your future shamanic news & research, try Shaman Portal (link has also been added to this blog's sidebar).




Monday, October 20, 2014

Alan Moore & Jerusalem

“The Great Red Dragon and the Woman Clothed with the Sun” - 1807(?), William Blake
(click to enlarge)

"In essence, eternalism proposes that space-time forms a block – ‘imagine it as a big glass football’, Moore suggests – where past and future are endlessly, immutably fixed, and where human lives are ‘like tiny filaments, embedded in that gigantic vast egg’. He gestures around him at the rubbish-strewn path, his patriarch’s beard waving in the wind. ‘What it’s saying is, everything is eternal,’ he tells me. ‘Every person, every dog turd, every flattened beer can – there’s usually some hypodermics and condoms and a couple of ripped-open handbags along here as well – nothing is lost. No person, no speck or molecule is lost. No event. It’s all there for ever. And if everywhere is eternal, then even the most benighted slum neighbourhood is the eternal city, isn’t it? William Blake’s eternal fourfold city. All of these damned and deprived areas, they are Jerusalem, and everybody in them is an eternal being, worthy of respect."

- Alan Moore from Everything and Moore, by Tim Martin, a recent Aeon Magazine article



"Bring me my Bow of burning gold;
Bring me my Arrows of desire:
Bring me my Spear: O clouds unfold!
Bring me my Chariot of fire!

I will not cease from Mental Fight,
Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:
Till we have built Jerusalem,
In England's green & pleasant Land."

- excerpt from "And did those feet in ancient time" (aka "Jerusalem"), William Blake, published 1808



Alan Moore
This post is just a heads-up to an article I found today on Aeon Magazine (see quote above) about the writer, occultist, and comic book author (see bibliography),  Alan Moore. If you remember, it was an earlier interview with him that inspired the Trans-D post, The Magic of Art and the Art of Magic.

Apparently he's just finished a "million-word" novel - "Jerusalem" - a decade in the making, and set in his home-town of Northampton, England. According to the article, it is a "tribute to every eternal speck in his universe."

Interestingly, Moore's character in the novel is a female painter!      

One statement AM makes in the article particularly intrigues me:

"Art isn’t doing its job any more,’ he says at one point. ‘It’s not filled with the real and the marvellous. There’s no vision. There’s no William Blake."

I don't know... I figure there may be one or two William Blakes hiding out there... it's just that they're not yet famous... or, have been rendered mute and flameless by the latest pharmaceutical "cure" prescribed by an enforced head-doctor.


***


Regarding my own life's story... well, I'm currently going through the long and arduous process of finding and creating new digs in New Mexico. Yes, as I promised in my previous post, I did venture out again... alone, and in my car... arriving a little over a week ago.

When I've fully processed this, I'll be back with another post... But, meanwhile I'm changing the tunes on the sidebar to reflect my journey. The first is the Pink Floyd album (the entire album) that saved my sanity while driving through the surreal wastelands that comprise much of the midwest... and the second is a tune from an old gem that brought me into New Mexico during the dead of night: Veedon Fleece by Van Morrison. (Note: If you're a Van Morrison fan, this album is a must-have.) (Note two: As it so happens, in - more or less - the title tune (which follows "Streets of Arklow"), Van the Man specifically mentions "William Blake & the Eternals." I just love the odd little synchronistic references life seems to throw in our paths now and again.)

"We're goin' out in the West, down to the cathedrals
We're goin' out in the West, down to the beaches
And the Sisters of Mercy, behind the sun
Oh, behind the sun

And William Blake and the Sisters of Mercy
Looking for the Veedon Fleece"

(YouTube link - YouTube full album link)



Tuesday, September 16, 2014

My New Mexican Adventure... (& More Balloons!!!)


New Mexican Souvenir - digital photo - 2014, DS


"Early unmanned hot air balloons were used in China. Zhuge Liang of the Shu Han kingdom, during the Three Kingdoms era (220–280 AD) used airborne lanterns for military signaling. These lanterns are known as Kongming lanterns. There is also some speculation, from a demonstration directed by British modern hot air balloonist Julian Nott during the late 1970s and again in 2003 that hot air balloons could have been used as an aid for designing the famous Nazca ground figures and lines, which were created by the Nazca culture of Peru between 400 and 650 AD."

- Via the Wiki entry for Hot-air Balloon...



That weird, brightly-colored object above is a balloon-spinner; a sort of glorified pinwheel-like contraption that, once suspended, is meant to represent one of the awesome hot-air balloons Albuquerque, New Mexico is famous for. The Fiesta itself doesn't occur till October, but, I bought it in a small shop in Albuquerque's Old Town - which sells balloon-related paraphernalia all year round - while I was visiting New Mexico earlier this month. I couldn't resist it. Hot air balloons, for whatever reason, have become a sort of totemic symbol for me in the past year... as New Mexico itself has been a sort of dream destination for ten years. But, I never knew about the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta till I was scheduling my flight.

I had my eye on a purple balloon-spinner as well, and couldn't make up my mind... but, in the end, the New Mexican flag spinner with it's "controversial" Zia sun-symbol won the day. The symbol is controversial, in that it was more or less stolen from the Pueblo of Zia, a Native American tribe, indigenous to New Mexico. The Zia People still live in reserved lands outside of Bernalillo... and they've requested royalties for the use of their sacred symbol. All things considered, who can blame them? On the other hand, there's a satisfying symmetry in all of this: the adoption of the Zia sun symbol as the New Mexican state symbol pretty much declares that New Mexico is the land of the People of the Pueblo of Zia.

Below is a time-lapse video of a past Balloon Fiesta, courtesy of the Roadtrippers. It almost looks like an animation; but, keep in mind, all those tiny balloons darting around are actually gas-filled giants, carrying groups of people in suspended baskets (or gondolas). It has to be pretty amazing, whether you're on the ground, or in the air...

Monday, August 18, 2014

Gone Fishing...


"Wynken, Blynken, and Nod" - illustration of unknown origin found here.


"My purpose, however, is not to explore the great cosmologies, but the small ones; and to suggest that art is a process whereby life becomes myth, and myth becomes life....For us, the journey is a central fact of our lives.  Having set out on it, like it or not we have to keep on - to be heroic in spite of ourselves. Sometimes our most courageous act is to get up in the morning.

"I hope the postcards we send back are of some use to those who have only started on their own journey; if not useful, at least pleasurable. Earlier, I asked if we should trust those messages. I should have asked, Can we trust art? We not only can, but I think we must."

- From "Travel Notes" by Lloyd Alexander, (just) found in Travelers' Tales, (Myth & Moor).