Sunday, September 25, 2005

Where I am at today

Hey Leh thanks for the offer to help.
I am still investigating the "round room" issue that I emailed you guys about, so if you have any words of wisdom on that, I would sure use them.
After meeting with Barb (who I collaborated with) I think it is going to end up being a flip-flop book - open the book from one side and the main character will be a girl and her sisters. Open it from the other side and it will be a boy and his brothers.

So while it is not going to be double the work, it will be double the subjects to shoot, but that is ok. I was thinking about it (sorta) in the middle of the night last night, (Funny how ideas on the edge of sleep seem kinda good at the time!), anyway, I was thinking first, that with the addition of the double-sided book it was going to take me for stinkin' EVER to get the thing done. After I thought a little more (Between sleep? Not sure,) I guessed that maybe I could set a goal of 1 page per day. I am not sure if that is too large a goal or too small. Certainly for some pages it is going to take longer, but for the most part that is a goal that will get this completed in good order.
Also, since I really am not in a tearing hurry (yet) I am thinking that in stead of grouping my shots, according to talent/location/etc, I have the liberty to be really psycho and shoot page by page. Today I am shooting page one. Tomorrow I assemble page one. Wednesday, I shoot page two, Thursday I assemble page two.

Maybe, but that would cut back my goal to "complete a page per day," even so, part of me doesn't want to get too structured either.

What kind of flake am I?
I don't know!
(And I think maybe I don't care either.)

But that was my middle of the night idea. We will see how it fares in the light of day and family and kid needs and all. ;o)

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

The Room In My Head is Back in the line of Fire.

I saw ~Insanity-is-a-gift''s photo shoot with his younger brother and it reminded me that it is always dicey shooting kids. It put me in the frame of mind that I need to be in, for a shoot with a 4 year old on Friday.

After having a childrens book sit on the back burner for 2 years, I am finally getting around to doing the illo's and some of the elements are photo manipulated.
I meet with the collaborator again, tomorrow-Thursday, and I hope that she likes where I am going with the imagery.
Granted, no "normal" publisher will publish it, and no "Inspirational Publisher" will publish it, because it is just on the fringes of marketability for either genre. But I can't let that stop me/us.
It has its place.
It has a message.
I used to teach the story to kids in schools, after I survived an auto accident and a surgery gone wrong.
I lay in bed, seemingly "unconscious", but VERY aware of my srroundings and people in the room.
I just couldn't "wake up."
I couldn't come out of it for days.
What started out as terrifying, ended up as peaceful and beautiful, and became a story of encouragement that I could share with my students, via oral story telling.

A childrens book author offered to help me take the story from oral to written, and it has become a childrens picture book. The ideal illustrator, while expressing interest, was unable to take on the task, as I could not pay up front, and the illustrator had a family to feed. It is understandable for I, myself, am in the same position.
As it happened, I came to decide that I would just have to buckle down and find a way to do the illo's myself.

Anyway...thats more than I intended to share...but I started making this journal entry and it just all came out.
It's more than any of you wanted to know, to be sure.

Still...there it is. So if I seem negligent or out of touch, I am not being aloof, I am just busy with a shooting schedule, and my new camera just shipped out of Houston today - one day ahead of Hurricane Rita!
There it is.

Friday, September 16, 2005

Working away

SO I got a call to come and fetch my unwanted items downat a local church. They were remodeling the sanctuary and they were going to take these old light fixtures to the dump.
Instead of the dump, they are now being Prisoner/Rover style candle lanterns in my studio and also subjects/props for some photo shoots this year.

You may have to click on the image to reveal it at full size.

One man's trash is another man's treasure.

Saturday, September 10, 2005


The SOUNDS link in the sidebar has been updated.
It is a SERIOUS download - 4MB.
The Music of 12th Century's Hildegard von Bingen.
***See previous post***

12th Century Nun is conduit for the music of the Heavens

The Music of Hildegard von Bingen.

In honour of my search in to early church roots, I will share the very large (4MB) wav file. Let me begin by saying that this particular rendition was recorded in the mid 1980’s and therefore reflects the style of that era. Even so, if you just focus on the ear-bending vocal music, her trademark 1-5-8 (octave-fifth-octave) leaps, you can see what a gifted artist Hildegard von Bingen was.

Hildegard von Bingen was the 10th child born into a noble German family in the year 1097. She was given as a tithe to the church at the age of 8. She was a frail child and subject to frequent debilitating sickness, but was a unique and gifted child. She saw visions at an early age, but did not speak of them. She eventually became the Abbess in the year 1136. After a life threatening illness, she writes,” when I was 42 years and seven months old, a burning light of tremendous brightness poured into my entire mind, like a flame that does not burn but enkindles. It inflamed my entire heart and breast, like the sun that warms and object with its rays. All at once, I was able to taste of the understanding of books – the Psalter, the Evangelists and the books of the Old and New Testaments.”

I find it encouraging, because here was a woman, sickly, and serving piously all of her life. Creating art, as God led her to do in her environment. In a day and age when women were not valued in such ways, she did what she did. And it was not until her 40’s that she received even greater insight into the workings of God, and she ran with it.

I just think it is cool.

The Music of Hildegard von Bingen, 12th Century.
From the CD “Vision”, by Richard Souther.

I will post all of the lyrics that I have so far in the comments section directly following this post. Please bear in mind that they are incomplete - missing a verse, for the time being. As soon as I figure out which verse is the missing one, I will post it.

Wednesday, September 7, 2005

Christian Medievalism and the Early Celtic Church

(The concepts put forth in this post are subject to change, considering I am only half finished reading the book I will mention: Angels in the Architecture.)

In the last two months I seem pointed in the direction of studying the “Early Church” as it sprouted, bloomed and was cast forth out of the British Isles and seems to have hidden roots yet, deep and strong.

Pete B has inspired me, with his accounting of his experiences in the Margaree Valley Church in N.S. He has inspired me with his reports on the English church in Sheffield.

Anybody who knows me, knows I detest “Christian literature,” even after my stint at a large Christian publishing house. I stopped reading Christian books about 5 years after I decided to do things Gods way. The only exception to that was the book “Addicted to Mediocrity,” by Frankie Schaeffer. It is about the arts. It also touches on the atrocities committed on the arts community by the Victorian sensibilities and that era’s version of Christianity in Western Culture. It is an awesome, life changing book for any creative person, (writing, painting, sculpting, musician what-ever) who also loves God, and hates the unspoken constricting messages sent to its own by the “modern” church.
I say read your bible, but also read this one if you can find it and be FREE!

But I digress……

People in church say, “oh, did you read so-and-so’s book?”

“No. I reply. I do not read Christian books, because every wind of doctrine blows through them. I read my bible. It is a Christian Book too, maybe you didn’t know that?”

If they have a brain, that comment pisses them off, renewing my appreciation for them in even a small way. If it doesn’t piss them off, then I don’t really worry.

So, here I am fulfilling my Garage-Sale addiction and I find this book.
It is on Christian Medievalism.
Words I never put together before but seem perfectly joined and supporting what I have learned from my interaction with Pete.
So my curiousity is piqued.

It is an AWESOME book!

It is entitled, “Angels in the Architecture.”

I will write more after I have read it through a few more times. (5-6 times)
So far, I have gleaned the following, which addresses ideas and concepts that I have secretly held in my head/heart for a long time, and only now seems confronted and confirmed by another source:

My gleanings are as follows:

With all the new interest in seeking out ancient Celticism, people seem so willing to jump over 1400 + years of recorded Christian history and slide back into the beliefs that held the people in fear for millennia. The ancient Celts knew a good thing when they saw it. When they compared their belief system of the day, to what was offered to them by Christianity, they pretty much said, “this is a God we want to serve.”
In essence, from their “educated” perspective, having lived wicca, druidism and all of its counterparts, they opted pretty agreeably for Christ and His loving ways.
To them, this was the “good life.”
And so it was.

The church has not always been a money grubbing, abusive, “hold you back so I can get ahead” monster that is purveyed in todays media. And some of it rightly so, I will concede, after all, people ARE human, and the church is made of people.
Many atrocities have been committed in the name of Christ. Too many, and I know your mind is already ripe with the imagery and names, so I am not going to go there.

The point is, if you truly look with open eyes, mind and heart, the monastic life and early church was all it was designed to be.

This is what draws me to the early celtic monastic mindset:

How did the monasteries work at first?

You were given to the monastery, or visited one of your own accord.

If you needed food, you were fed.
If you needed shelter, you were welcomed.
If you hung around to observe the way of life, you were allowed.
If you liked what you saw, you emulated.
If you were disinclined, you were free to leave, and missed when you left.
If you wanted to, you could join the order, if you didn’t want to, you took what you learned to your village and home and practiced the same.

Are these not examples of how Christ Himself directed his disciples?
This is what was lived out in the early church, and these are the activities that set the early Celtic Church apart, appealing to the demon-abused populace who were accustomed to seeking all the livelong day, ways to placate or not piss off the spirits of the world.
They lived in fear.
Christianity was the rescue , and they took hold of it happily.

I do not understand how so called “intelligent” people think they are now suddenly wiser than the people who lived through it. Opting to go back to the dark ways, and passing by as though it were dung, the truths which the early ones worked so hard for centuries to preserve.

Oh man you are so small.
Why do you not heed the words of the elders you profess to honour.

Basket Full of Random

If there is one thing I have learned from The Pratt, it is that one can compile seemingly unrelated and/or meaningless blurbs in a post and it is still readable.
Granted, what works for him, likely will not for me, but I am not letting THAT stop me.

Because I can.

Michelle, remember these words.
Tattoo them to your forehead.
Repeat them aloud: “Never. Never ever again. Ever.”

Am I supposed to be doing this?
When I am doing digital art, I am frequently heard to mutter:
“STOOpid maCHINE!”
When I am painting, I am most often:
Quiet, prayerful, peaceful, thoughtful, at rest.

Does this mean I am *supposed* to be doing this, or perhaps it is more the natural effects of painting, and many people experience the same?

I know that we credit the Japanese for the invention of the Sumi-e Brush, and that is all good, but honestly, I think that God invented it when He coloured the whole earth.
Surely this is Gods own paintbrush.
It is just THAT perfect.
Goes from fine-point to fat-flat-and-smooth with the flick of a wrist.
Holds lots of paint.

It is perfect.

But so is chocolate.
When manna fell from heaven, I have a feeling it was Chocolate.
(Of course if you ask Canada, they will say it’s cheese.)

What am I listening to?
Gorilaz-Feel Good Inc.
Ill Harmonics – Banana Republic
Hocus Pick- I’m So Happy.
REM-Shiny Happy People
Pretenders – Back on the Chain Gang.
“ “ “ - Where’d ya go Ohio?
Enya – May it Be.
Annie Lennox – Into the West
Brak – What Day is It?
Devo – Gates of Steel
Devo- Freedom of Choice
Devo – Mongoloid


The use of the number '5' is temporarily suspended until after todays "meeting."

-----End Notice-----

Some friends of mine were recently involved in what we hope will only be a temporary lay-off from their jobs.
The thought occurred to me to pray for their poor wives.
While it IS fun to have your man home for a while, sometimes you say inside your head:

“This is what I DO on Mondays” (or insert other weekday as appropriate).

“Uh, this is my ‘bubble.’ (Draws circle around self with two index fingers) and right now, you are IN my bubble. K?”

“Don’t you have a lawn to mow somewhere?” (!)

Ok well, it usually happens after about a week. Two if you are a good boy.
(Oh people! Don’t you know a joke when you SEE one?)

But hey! Here is a thought:

Ladies, here is what you can do.
Is your man temporarily finding himself with too many spare moments at home? Is he beginning to cramp your style a tiny bit?
Well, use this extra set of hands and have him:

-Clean out the litter box.
-Clean out his closet and fill a bag for the thrift store. (This may keep him occupied for a full day, just exploring his old junk.)
-Have him scrub the floors. Men usually have greater upper body strength than women, so use it to your advantage. Encourage him to scrub those little spots in the vinyl flooring that you can’t seem to get out with a mop, or on your own.
-How about kill all the end-of-summer garden spiders that like to build webs up under the eaves of the house.

These are all great things that need doing and will keep him occupied on those rare moments when he might be “under foot.”
Maybe offer him a snack and a nap in the afternoon?

That WAS a terrible rant.
And honestly, it was pretty demeaning and rude.
My apologies for that element.
But it was a free association moment.
Sometimes I can’t help but push the limits of humour.

0): Reprise
Because I can.

Sunday, September 4, 2005

Allegory, metaphor, analogy, fantasy twilight zone

This is a fairly unedited, allegory that I composed in my head today on the long drive to Portland and back.
(6 hours of high-speed-passing-lane-hijinks, and car-food fun.)

I pondered sending it to the lyst, but probably won't because it is:

a). unedited.
b). requires that one make extreme mental leaps, that match precisely my own mental gymnastics in order to comprehend, as IF that is ever gonna happen. ;o)
c). it is probably an over-emotionalization of things that were, are or may yet be.

Take into consideration, I was listening to The Lordof the Rings Sound Track at the time this came ot me, and listening mainly to Enya sing "May it Be," and Annie Lennox sing "Into the West."
But anyway, I am going to digress out into fantasyland - twilight zone, and toss out this metaphorical allegory thingie, that I imagined as I pondered our Myst Community, it's humble beginnings and what has transpired in the last few years/weeks/days/months/something:
(so basically I am venting weirdly.)
(How is THAT for a set up?)

Leave now if you hate metaphors, allegory, and analogy.
Run while you can!


Today I remembered a question.
Not a question asked of me, but of a little boy by his grandmother:

"Look Atrus. Tell me, what do you see?"

I see a City.
Where there was once an empty wasteland, there is now a City, set upon a hill.
The City, fashioned out of Words and Ether, has taken on flesh and bone.
The walls behind which the City took refuge, are no longer.

"Look Atrus. Tell me, what do you see?"

I see a Little Tree.
The sheltering walls of the greenhouse have been taken away.
It's leaves flutter desperately as in a gale,
But it is only the caress of the evening breeze.
Though the sun has faded, the pale twilight dances among the leaves,
And the air around them is illuminated.

"Look Atrus. Tell me, what do you see?"

I see the City on the hill.
Its light shines out across the land in the setting sun.
Vulnerable, not knowing the strength within.
The light, which shines out from the City, is its love of the pursuit of wisdom, honour, truth and beauty.
It beckons those wandering in the vastness, and its citizens encourage those who come to take shelter beneath the branches of the Little Tree.

Friday, September 2, 2005

Black Thursday comes and goes...

...and the sun still rises.
There are new days ahead.

My gut response is, Grab All the People and Circle the Wagons.
Get every ones email address and keep a mega lyst.

But now I just do NOT know.
The days are changing.

I pretty much quit going to CC regularly a while back, hanging more in Lyst Chat, and at in Barliman's.

But now, I think of all the people who were mere tots when I first met them online and now many are grown up even. I see others that are so dear and like cyber kids of my own just like the now-older ones.

My concern is that we all hang together, and yet, inevitably there will be fading.

So many memories.

I guess the only consolation I yself can take in partings, is holding on to the hope that someday I will see people in eternity, if I don't see or hear from them again in this life.
After many partings, this is the only consolation I can find and hold on to.

Good byes are impossible.
They are for me at least.
The most rotten two words on the face of the planet.
(Besides "Balance Due.")
This is a phrase straight from the bowels of Hell itself, because originally God never designed us to have to say them.

I NEVER say them at Mysterium.
I NEVER say them when friends move far away.
I NEVER say them at the end of the evening, in the pub when we all depart.
I NEVER say them at the end of a phone conversation even.

I sometimes think I would rather face death, than to utter such horrible words as "good" and "bye" in the same breath.
May I never say them.
May I say, "see you later," or may I leave early.
But never "good" and uh...that other word.

Evil words, those.

To my Cyan friends, I have no fear that you will ALL find a wonderful new place to employ your many gifts. You are all so talented. Perhaps some of you will moveinto the film/production industry.

Maybe I'll "see you later."

who is Maranwe in Barliman's

And the Cry went forth, Where is Aid, you lazy FEMA

First off, make sure you understand that I am NOT minimizing the horrific situation going on right now in our own New Orleans wrought by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

Why is the amount of aid needed to save lives not available in full at this moment in N.O. and Johnny-on-the-spot?

Wake up America!

This is how huge portions of the rest of the world live on a daily basis –dying hourly because there is no water, food or medicine.

The US government is not made up of Gods, super heroes, or even miracle workers. These things take at least SOME time.
There are logistical issues at work here that are not minimized just because the need is dire.

Mobilizing men, acquiring and transporting supplies such as food, water, medicine and clothing require that Gas also be transported to the staging areas to move the food, water, medicine and clothing to the areas needed, and if the roads are not in place that further hampers the efforts.
And let us also look at a small percentage of the multitudes of citizens of N.O.?
A few are ruining it for everyone else. Criminals are loose among the people.
Many of them are hindering the Aid work itself because of their lawlessness.

So I would not blame the government/FEMA.

I would say, “Welcome to the rest of the world, America.”

This is how people live, in the regions where you buy your diamonds.
This is how people live in the dumps, in the nations where you buy your drugs.
This is how people live in the places where you buy and procure goods and discard them later.
This is how people live in the rest of the world.
You are not more honourable than the rest of the world.
You are human.
And you are at the mercy of the earth and its forces like every one else.
And so are those who try to rescue.

You are human.
You are at the mercy of the whims, generosity and cruelty of your fellow human beings – just like the rest of the world.
And so are those who try to rescue.

And American's, you are so pathetically addicted to instant gratification and immediate comfort.

You are not more special America, and you are as vulnerable as the rest of humanity, who lives in lesser conditions and is made of much more honourable stuff (apparently?) than you.

Where is aid?
It is on its way.

The only people who have good reason to cry out in agony and terror are the people currently stranded in N.O.

For the rest of us, it is just frustration and self projecting indignance, and what would be best for the restof America to do is to shut up and be helpful, rather than
point the finger when a tragedy like this occurs.
And it is always easiest to blame first, the people who are trying to be helpful, in this case, it happens to be FEMA.

Just like always, the American population expects/demands a quick fix.

And in situations like these, there is no such thing.

American's, do you imagine that more aid was available in such short order after the Sunami's?
Our friends in N.O. are suffering in the same manner as those in the areas stricken by the sunami's.

When cataclysms occur, not even the government is strong enough to rescue immediately.

Not even here in America.

Welcome to the rest of the world, USA.

Remember what I said to begin with: make sure you understand that I am NOT minimizing the horrific situation going on right now in our own New Orleans, wrought by the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.