Saturday, October 27, 2007
A feeling is growing inside of me to shed what is familiar, and make a major leap into the unknown. It is an anticipation of growth that I liken to the process of molting, which is part of the life cycle of certain species, like snakes. They are amazingly agile creatures that can bend themselves into concentric circles. Their skin is extremely elastic, although covered with protecting scales. As snakes grow, the tough scales become constricting and must be shed to allow supple movement. A new skin grows under the old, and when it is time, the snake scrapes the edges of its mouth against a hard surface, such as a rock, until the outer layer begins to fold back around its head. It continues scraping and crawling until it is completely free of the dead skin. Amazingly, even a snake’s eyes have scales that come off during molting! Did you know that snakes never stop growing until death?
Imagine lifting scales from eyes and seeing afresh.
I can feel my own molting process beginning. An unstoppable yearning is growing within, to move into a free form. I am ready to shake away my past, and begin anew.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
I am in Cincinnati for a funeral. Charles Tobias, my father-in-law for 22 years, died on Thursday. In various ways, he filled voids in my life that I felt from my own father’s immersion in his social work. Charles liked the give and take of play. We went to football and baseball games together in Cincinnati, took family vacations away from the mainland, played golf, enjoyed many fine restaurants and once when he came to Santa Fe, although he was seventy years old we went river rafting down rapids on the Rio Grande river—all fun activities I never shared with my father. A Harvard law school graduate, he enjoyed intellectual discussions that we pursued in politics, philosophy and life in general.
Charles did not talk much about the after life, and Jean said he did not believe in it. So I imagine his joy after he died to discover that he had only been dreaming, and his real life has just begun! Now he is reunited with his wife and ancestors in the eternal.
And now concerning thy question regarding the soul of man and its survival after death. Know thou of a truth that the soul, after its separation from the body, will continue to progress until it attaineth the presence of God, in a state and condition which neither the revolution of ages and centuries, nor the changes and chances of this world, can alter. It will endure as long as the Kingdom of God, His sovereignty, His dominion and power will endure. It will manifest the signs of God and His attributes, and will reveal His loving kindness and bounty. The movement of My Pen is stilled when it attempteth to befittingly describe the loftiness and glory of so exalted a station. The honor with which the Hand of Mercy will invest the soul is such as no tongue can adequately reveal, nor any other earthly agency describe. Bahá’u’lláh
Saturday, October 13, 2007
As I pulled into my driveway today, a short segment on the radio about after-life experiences caught my attention so that I sat listening. Many people who have died and then been brought back to life have recounted similar experiences of the next world. When they get to the next side, they do not miss their bodies at all, and feel great joy, peace and love. While basking in the presence of God, sometime soon after arriving, the individual is visited by a holy being, and together they witness the person's entire life on earth. What matters most is how much a person has loved. Even small moments of charitable love can mean more than years of work.
I went to see the movie Across The Universe, by Julie Taymor. As one who had his coming of age in the sixties, I found this movie, laced with Beatles songs and following a twisting romantic plot rooted in the period of hippies, free-love and youthful anti-war uprising, quite fun. As an artist I am visually oriented, and this movie had lots of visual passages; even some psychedelic. Mixed with great music, it made me consider going again, this time with another former flower child to sit next to me.
Tuesday, October 09, 2007
October always is a major month for the sale of artwork in Santa Fe. My opening at Adieb Khadoure Gallery last Friday attracted scads of people. It was a feel-good affair, with plenty of food, flowers, casual conversation, and of course, my paintings covering the walls of two rooms. That night in Santa Fe, there were at least thirty gallery openings. The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta is presently in progress. Each year it attracts enthusiasts from across the globe, and 800,000 visitors attend. Many of them take time to come up to Santa Fe; and they buy art.
The colors are reaching a climax about now. Golden aspen trees, purple asters, ubiquitous chamisa shrubs with their masses of dainty yellow flowers, Mexican sunflowers, and of course all the colorful fruit showing up at the farmers market. Tomorrow I am going up in the mountains to paint the quaking aspen trees with an artist friend. I am sure we will both have to catch our breath at the beauty. For an artist, these sights are like honey to the bees.