Sunday, July 28, 2013


And they write innumerable books; being too vain and distracted for silence: seeking every one after his own elevation, and dodging his emptiness.
T.S. Eliot (American, September 26, 1888 – January 4, 1965)

It took me by surprise when I crashed yesterday evening and a feeling of total inertia struck. All my inspiration vanished, and as I sat on the couch with my wife nearby I could not clearly remember a time when I had felt this way. I thought of things to do but lacked motivation. It all felt empty. 
I told Lori how I felt and then got up and turned all the lights off so that we just sat in darkness, not touching. I stretched out and sank into nothingness. Then I began feeling like I was gently being carried on a river and it was peaceful. At some point my wife started a conversation, but all I craved was silence and nothingness.

Today, I am back to my old self, with my normal cares, tasks and ever present agenda. And now I know why people die without sleep.

We cannot let another person into our hearts or minds unless we empty ourselves. We can truly listen to him or truly hear her only out of emptiness.
M.Scott Peck (American, May 23, 1936 – September 25, 2005)
I think about that 'empty' space a lot. That emptiness is what allows for something to actually evolve in a natural way. I've had to learn that over the years - because one of the traps of being an artist is to always want to be creating, always wanting to produce.
Meredith Monk (American, born November 20, 1942)

Sunday, July 14, 2013

The Human Family

Each year in Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, during the month of July, the Folk Art Market unfolds to great fanfare. Heidi Of The Mountains and I always go, and visit all the booths, enjoying the fabulous crafts from all over the globe. The artisans dress in their native garb, and seem just as excited as the big crowds of people that come to admire their work.

We always spend money, and usually, more than we intended.

I especially enjoy the grand show of humanity and the flavorful atmosphere. This year, I became nostalgic for my former days of world travel. Seeing the Tuareg silver jewelry reminded me of Morocco, the emerald cotton shirts with simple designs of Thailand, and the fellow from Egypt with his artwork made me remember how welcome I felt there.

This annual market is an example of our glorious world and its human family. In the words of Baha'u'llah, “The earth is one country, and mankind its citizens.”

Saturday, July 06, 2013

Creative Spirit

Mayan Woman in Belize, photo on canvas, 18"x24"
Nexus, Acrylic on canvas, 12 x 12 inches

Koi, mixed-media, 20"x42"
Since I have a creative spirit, I thrive on surprise. So when a friend of mine made the decision to add to his art collection and buy a wide variety of my art in various styles, I felt overjoyed. I could not have predicted that this person would collect six pieces—five last week, and is considering more. What gratifies me most is that he has explored my world, and chosen to be as broad in his collecting as I am in my creating.
Sicilian Coast, oil on linen, 36"x48"

As my friend adds to his art collection, his home grows in stature, ensuring a pleasurable and sophisticated atmosphere.
The Red Scarf, oil on linen, 18"x24"

Friday, July 05, 2013

Remember The Love

Fourteen years ago, my daughter Naomi died at the the age of nineteen. She fought two hard years against cancer, and held to her hope and faith until the end. Four days before she died, we flew home to Santa Fe, New Mexico from San Francisco, California, on a private jet—an air ambulance, because commercial travel was too risky. We wanted her home to die.

Once home, waiting for the inevitable, Naomi remained calm . . . even when she looked up at me from where she sat on a couch reading and gazing steadily into my eyes, said, “Dad, I am concerned.”

Naomi had kept a diary since she was twelve years old, and continued writing until the end. The morning of the day before she died she scribbled down in weak handwriting on a crumpled piece of paper: Dream of a blissful cruise, I don't remember much of it. I just remember glimpses of it. I am happy, and I can eat a lot. Because the cancer had made her feel so sick, she had been forcing herself to eat.

The same afternoon, a friend came over, and while he massaged her back, she managed to ask after him and his family, and then say, “I love my body, it has been so good to me.”
The next morning she was drifting in and out of consciousness and gasping for air. A doctor arrived and said her heart was beating violently because her lungs were collapsing with pneumonia and not giving oxygen. “It will give out soon” he said.

Naomi died in the afternoon, and a gentle breeze blew in, clouds came and a light rain came to end a drought we had been experiencing. The sun shone through the clouds and a rainbow formed over our house where her body rested in her bedroom.

Since her death, I have asked God that Naomi be my spiritual ally—a guiding light. She has visited my body and taken away ills. I have felt washed by her presence and since her death have only been sick a couple of times. Her spirit always gives me encouragement, and when times are tough, she whispers in my ear, It's not so bad; keep smiling and remember the love.