a winter trip to the island : I know this happened long ago, but yesterday was my first trip on a high speed hydrofoil catamaran water jet boat….. or whatever they are called. I simply cannot believe the experience of proceeding expeditiously from point A to point B over water. The feeling is completely new to me. Nantucket was too. What a flat and expansive space…. on an island no less!
I believe that all of our emotions are addictive feedback loops. They are a loop between the powerful chemicals our bodies release in the presence of the loved one or the tiger, and the rationalizations that our brains create to explain to us this surge of chemicals that we call "feeling". The addictive loop is that this does not happen for just one cycle usually, but rather once stimulated it loops in self-reinforcing stimulus and intensification. Limerence and anxiety are very very similar. Some would say they are the same thing. I would further argue that the fundamental difference between ourselves and other mammals is that they "feel" the same emotions at the first surge, but do not have the "rational" consciousness to feed the looping. (I hate him because he's an asshole; he's an asshole because he did X; I remember X, boy, does that make me even angrier, etc. etc. etc.) . I have recently observed that my friend's dog seems very "present" very in the moment. It seems to me that one of the fundamental objectives of mindfulness is to halt this looping before it can get started. "Note it and let it go". Some conversations with a Sufi friend suggest that that wisdom has the same objective. I further believe that all substance addictions simply hijack this mechanism with much much more powerful chemicals. It is perhaps easier to decide to stop loving someone than it is to stop smoking. Hence the watchword of AA, "let go and let God" (I make no comment on the God part). ~Robert
a weekend trip to Camden, Maine. Trying to understand the beauty of the midcoast Penobscot Bay region, embrace it with a few images and get to know some people here.
Our temporary home
Before the Dawn
Camden by Night
My father published calendars; his father published calendars ; I will publish calendars.
Calvary Cemetery , Conshohocken, Pennsylvania (near Philadelphia)
November 1: Today I went back to Newcomb Hollow to try to refind peace there. The magic of that place has been shattered by a tragic death and by the loss of a lover who lay next to me on the sand before everything ended in anger.There was a spacious low tide, a little sun, thin clouds, quiet ripples in the surf. Even a surviving seal. I lay down, alone, and found some peace. Nothing clear, nothing certain, but very real. These are the pictures from that linger that I like.
Many years ago I did an image of Coast Guard Beach in the summer with bathers and deep blue, ominous, sea. Ominous even though a sunny summer day. Ominous with the watchful lifeguards up on their stand, keeping everyone safe.
I got into a discussion with a friend about how liminal is the shore, the threshold between land and sea, the borderline between two phases of life’s existence on earth.
And, for humans, who have surrendered their sea mammal identity to the dolphins and whales, a downright dangerous place. Those lifeguards are there to keep us from drowning in the water we once breathed.
We are curiously naive about those dangers. The little children who dash to the waters edge and then scramble away as the waves threaten are the wise ones. They have a primal memory of the dangers.
So finally a shark has killed a surfer. I mourn him and place only collective blame. What are we thinking? Would we run naked through the Serengeti assuming that the lions are only hunting buffalo? I don’t think so.
We have rediscovered something about our limits and the experience, as it often is, has been horrifying.
In our challenged time it can be difficult to understand how to proceed. I know in my art I have sensed a growing tension between celebration of the Cape as a refuge and place of beauty and the reality of our society’s problems staring me in the face.
My own journey to sobriety, begun last April, has brought me into rooms where kids are clinging to their higher power because their friends have died of an overdose and mothers cannot see their children because a substance has taken them over.
The challenges of addiction link to many other problems we don’t like to think about... domestic violence, homelessness, child abuse, mental health and health.
There is no excuse for art that does not confront reality, so that is what I am going to do. I may change the focus of my work and I may not. But I can do something now and that is..... give.
On Saturday June 30 I will open my studio for a sale. All proceeds from this sale will go to organizations addressing these problems in the context of my community, the Cape.
Purchase a photograph of your favorite refuge .... Newcomb Hollow , Nobska Light, Herring Cove, Stage Harbor ........ and know that you are contributing to those efforts that seek to secure safety for us all.
(more details about benefiting organizations to follow)
Update - I have edited the picture flow to better sync with the music.........I have done my first music video. These are images of mine synced to the adagio movement of Beethoven's Fifth Sonata for Cello, played by YoYo Ma and Emmanuel Ax. The music is deliciously slow, and my pictures mean a lot more to me after I have seen them with this music.
Update - The video and audio are now merged.........I have done my first music video. These are images of mine synced to the adagio movement of Beethoven's Fifth Sonata for Cello, played by YoYo Ma and Emmanuel Ax. The music is deliciously slow, and my pictures mean a lot more to me after I have seen them with this music.
I have done my first music video. These are images of mine synced to the adagio movement of Beethoven's Fifth Sonata for Cello, played by YoYo Ma and Emmanuel Ax. The music is deliciously slow, and my pictures mean a lot more to me after I have seen them with this music. This link will take you to the page on my website, but you can just play them below using the You Tube video controls. You need to start both videos at the same time as I have synced the music and video. Better to start the music first. Once they are both started you can use the you tube controls to put the pictures on full screen. Enjoy !