Sunday, January 26, 2014

Pressing Beyond Boundaries

There is no escaping racial issues when one is an American. It is in our history, from the days of slavery, and a terrible civil war was fought over the matter. I grew up in Washington D.C. during the days of the civil rights movement, and experienced forced de-segregation at my high-school. Black inner city kids were bussed to schools away from their neighborhoods, and in my sophomore year my classmates went from 95% white to more like 60%. I found that the experience of meeting the African-American youth added greatly to my education—not in a scholastic way, but rather a social one. 

Back in 2008, when I had determined to leave the familiar comforts of my life and begin a year-long solo sojourn around the world, I chose to go first to Belize, a country on the northeastern coast of Central America. It is the only country in the area that has English as the official language, and is primarily black. And I wanted to live in a black town, so I chose Dangriga. Perhaps I thought that this would awaken me for what was ahead—all the cultural surprises, and experiencing being a minority.

As an adventurer, pressing beyond boundaries and exploring outside of comfort zones is essential to the experience. From the start, when I first set foot in Belize and realized I was in a new world with different rules and scenery, I began a shift of consciousness, and instead of trying to hold on to what my comforts were, I let the the surprising events unfold and decided to live in the unfolding drama, calling life THE DREAM.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Go Figure

Nudes have been figuring into my artwork lately, and were to be the subject of my blog this week, but I have already written extensively on the topic. Here are some of the posts, and to view, click on the titles:

The Artist And The Model

September 15, 2013

 Nude Depiction

January 13, 2013




December 09, 2012

Revel In Art


November 27, 2011

Pleasurable Dance of the Senses


April 10, 2010

 Sublime And Complicated


March 29, 2009

The Incredible Terrain


February 15, 2007

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Disappearance Is Illusion

I visited my daughter's grave today. Yesterday was her birthday—she would have turned 34 years of age. Nobody else was around as I stood on the grass where she is buried. A cold winter wind made me pull my coat tight to my chest and I stood briefly, praying for her soul and remembering the day she was born. I was with my first wife at home, with a nurse and doctor when Naomi was delivered around 11 AM. I never would have thought that she would die in 1999, before reaching twenty.

A few days ago, I was in California, visiting with my parents who are close to death. This all makes me think of my own dying. I do not know when it will be, but death is certain for every created thing. As I think of creation, I realize it is always renewing itself—almost like a wave that arrives at a shore and at last culminates in a surge upon land and then disappears. The disappearance is illusion, for the ocean remains and gathers itself together continually to transform and surge again, over and over.

Sunday, January 05, 2014

Created With Loving Care

The yard around my parent's home on a corner lot in Santa Barbara, California is a mature and stately oasis of greenery. Assorted tall pine trees watch over the humble house that is surrounded by lawn and a magnificent hedge that is thick and high, and gives the property a sense of privacy. Jade plants are in blossom, an orange tree is laden with fruit, some roses are in their last bloom before spring, and birds are always at the feeder outside the dining room window. It is nice to be able to sit in the gentle mid-winter sun and feel the balmy air amid this blissful scenery—all of it created with loving care.

I imagine that when my mother dies, and my father dies, the property will give a collective sigh of remorse. Especially when my mother passes. For years, she has glorified every blade of grass and tree leaf; and this is how she has talked with God. It is through His creation that she has gone to Him and given praise. I know she has done this every day, and when I have visited her, have seen her go around the house and speak intimately to the roses and trees, saying, “My, aren't you wonderful! How beautiful you are!” My father told me yesterday that the roes were especially spectacular this year. Now, my mother cannot see them, except when they are cut and brought indoors.

Chloris and Dick Boone, a couple months ago.
Both my parents need full time assistance now. I am visiting them from my home in Santa Fe, New Mexico, and came on short notice when I heard that they are now getting hospice care. My brother and sister are often at the house, and it seems to take an army to keep the place running. Thankfully, everything is kept clean, and order prevails. But my parents are in steady decline. My mother is in rapid decline and remarked this morning that she is shocked at her sudden deterioration. While my sister and I were getting her up from bed and into a wheelchair, she commented that she thought her rapid downfall was the result of shock, hearing that my father has aggressive lymphoma.

I walked slowly by father's side as he pushed his walker into the street and around the house this morning. He wanted to visit his office, which is attached to the garage. The neighbors waved and said hello, and he smiled and waved back. Another woman, walking her dog stopped to say hello. My parents are well-liked . . . anchors of the community.

Soon, I will have to leave the house on the corner, and I know, when my parents go away at last, the property will sense the loss and grieve at their passing.