Showing posts with label Father. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Father. Show all posts

Sunday, August 06, 2023

At The Crossroads

My mind dances between earth and sky, memory, and ever pressing facts of the present. I easily think, “What if?”  All my life I have been restless. From childhood I learned by feeling and touching, then putting facts together. Given only facts and no experience I am lost. If I had been educated with an arts based curriculum from the beginning, many years would not have been wasted in schooling. 

My mother, Chloris, as a young artist

I have always been on a creative journey. It is my temperament. From an early age, I felt as though the world was my canvas to create art. Thankfully, my parents, especially my mother, encouraged the artist within. She signed me up for special Saturday art classes at a downtown Washington DC museum. She bought me a silver flute and paid for lessons. My father encouraged cultural and social participation in society, and sent me off to work on the Navajo Reservation when I was a junior in High School. I won awards for my painting and writing. World literature was one of my favorite courses. Like my parents, I have been an avid reader all my life. By the time I was eighteen, I had read all the important books by Russian authors Tolstoi, Pasternak and Dostoevsky.

When I decided to go to art college, my parents paid for my studies until I graduated in three years. It has been a blessing that I have been able to make a living as an artist for four decades. Meanwhile I have written books and poetry, become a known photographer and travelled around the world twice, living in thirty countries.

My restless personality, prone to chaos, has been a wellspring and curse. I am in my fourth, and I expect last marriage. This time, thankfully, Amy is also an artist and understands what fuels my creative temperament.

I have two daughters; although my oldest, Naomi, died at age nineteen. I always say I have two children. Naomi my teacher, and Sarah, my joy.

Now, at a mature stage in life, I face a challenging phase of my journey with moments of indecision. It seems my sense of urgency is gone, and being on edge⏤that sense that fuels creative breakthroughs⏤is diminished. Lately, when standing at the crossroads of creativity I have felt at task, whereas earlier in life excitement prevailed. The charging stallion is more apt to walk these days.

Each talent calls out, yet my storehouse of energy has faded with age. I do not have self-doubt or anxiety yet I am cognizant of how my physical powers have faded with time. That said, some of my most important paintings have been made since we moved to Mexico several years ago. That change of life, in itself was no small feat. More new and different paintings are to come for sure, as will the photographs and the writing. Instead of choosing one passion over another, through the years I have explored synergy between creative pursuits. I have blended talents. 

I hope my work reflects a multifaceted soul, resonating with people from all walks of life. Maybe I am a true renaissance man.

In the end, instead of limiting ourselves to a single path, we can weave together our diverse talents into a tapestry of infinite possibilities. Each one of us holds the power to carve a unique path, blending our passions in special ways. 

It is at the crossroads that we discover our truest selves.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

A Heartbeat

Hawaii is about 2,300 miles at a distance now but just a heartbeat away in our mind and heart. This is what experiences do when they enter our psyche. They abolish time and space and become immortal, i.e. they live forever in the vault of memory. Now I am very happy to have the last three weeks immortalized within. 

As Seals & Crofts sang in their song, “We may never pass this way again.”

My earthly existence has not been all roses. But I know that when I fully experience life unfiltered, even when it feels unbearable, it is better.
We are writing the book of our lives as we go along.

When we landed in Los Angeles friends took us in. We toured around together and visited the famous Laurel Canyon—of movie, artist and musician fame. Then lunch on Sunset Blvd, and an afternoon at the Getty Museum.

Now we are in Santa Barbara. My two brothers live here. The town has many memories for me. I lived here at one time, and my parents had a home in Santa Barbara for thirty years. My daughter spent some of the last months of her life here—with me beside her.

Today after a family breakfast we went lawn bowling, then I took Amy to see the home my parents lived in. It is close to the Old Mission, so we visited, then walked to the rose garden across the way. Remarkable that roses are blooming. The most fragrant we decided upon was called Peace. 

Meanwhile back in Santa Fe it is snowing. We will be there tomorrow. 

I have to learn to live with shoes on my feet again. 

Sunday, July 01, 2018


The nineteenth anniversary of the death of my nineteen year old daughter Naomi is nearing—July 5, 2018.

After she died I thought of the meaning of the number nineteen. It is made of the numerals 1 and 9; the beginning and end of all single digits. It includes all the rest of the numbers, so symbolizes unity. Adding one and nine makes ten: 1 + 0 equals one. Oneness.

It was not an accident that Naomi completed her life at nineteen. I often thought she was burning through lifetimes rapidly. Like a shooting star, she shone brilliantly through intense experiences, shedding brilliant light in a short burst before suddenly disappearing. Naomi burned the dross of existence through intense suffering and redemption. She said, “Hardship is something that will make us stronger. I don't know if I have complete evidence of this, but I think that in every situation there is good in it.”

The day we went to a doctor and he gave us the terrible news that she had Ewings Sarcoma, a virulent cancer, I realized this world is shifting sands and not permanent, yet I wanted with all my being to know we could trust her life would continue here on earth. It seemed impossible to think otherwise.
Knowing she had cancer that most certainly would destroy her, the first thing Naomi did on arriving home from the medical clinic was to make a beautiful drawing using colored pencils. A serenely peaceful figure garbed in a beautifully embellished blue gown seems to be listening in meditation. A halo is around her head and her hair streams in rivulets like sun rays in all directions within the orb. A SPIRIT being stands upon a butterfly wing at her shoulder within the halo, seeming to talk to her. A necklace around her neck holds a feather. Behind, two seedlings are growing and blossoming. From below, a tender green shoot with leaves and tendrils grows up and out of the top of the picture. No sign of fear in this artwork, only peace, light and signs of Divine guidance.

And this is what Naomi became before kissing life goodbye and embarking on her journey in the next world.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Know Thyself

Know Thyself. 
- Socrates

True loss is for him whose days have been spent in utter ignorance of his self. -Baha'u'llah

I went to see my long time psychologist recently. We have met off and on for many years. It has been the nature of my adult life to be in many predicaments leading to moments of truth. I am a risk taker. I have always learned by doing and experiencing consequences. My father thrived on problem solving his entire life, and I have that tendency too.

The therapist I see is renowned, an author and lecturer. In the past he has traded with me for art.

When I arrived for the recent session, I took a few minutes sitting quietly in a waiting room. I reflected on what I wanted to say, glanced at recent journal passages, prayed that the discussions would be enlightened and bring the highest good. Then I thought of what to talk about. Essentially, I try to be on the path of "heart"; strong and open, feeling truth and mystery, having equanimity and fullness. Knowing joy and pain and being fluid in both.
I chose to talk about feeling stuck in some ways . . . and decided to mention a couple dreams I had had about a year ago that seemed to explain much but I could not decipher all the symbols within them.

Comfortably seated in the office, the two of us made great headway with the dreams in our hour of conversation. He knows me so well, I could refer to childhood memories he knew about. With his help and adept questioning, I gained new inspirations and insights that are helping to unlock closed passages that are essential for me to travel in.

As I drove home, reflecting on realizations, I saw people walking about, and noticed how they held themselves and how they dressed. I could "see" the psychological being that formed the outer picture.  Then I felt compassion because it is not easy being human and everyone tries.

Observe all men; thy self most. - Benjamin Franklin

Charity is in the heart of man, and righteousness in the path of men. Pity the man who has lost his path and does not follow it and who has lost his heart and does not know how to recover it. When people's dogs and chicks are lost they go out and look for them and yet the people who have lost their hearts do not go out and look for them. The principle of self-cultivation consists in nothing but trying to look for the lost heart. - Mencius (4th century B.C.)

Some people say they haven't yet found themselves. But the self is not something one finds; it is something one creates.- Thomas Szasz

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Always Made The Effort

My father said that he never could see the “man in the moon.” The moon's face with it's big crater eyes and opened mouth that seemed to say “Oh,” had always been so obvious to me and a welcome sight, so his confession surprised me—especially since I held my dad to be a supremely thoughtful person.

I never heard the mention of God or Jesus or Moses while growing up. Most of my friends belonged to households with religious affiliations, at least nominally claiming to be of a particular spiritual persuasion. Not in my home. Yet, there were strong ethics involving morals and responsibility.

In my nineteenth year, while away at University, I found myself searching for meaning beyond the practical, and embarked on a spiritual pursuit, joining the Baha'i Faith. Perhaps my parents were surprised, especially when through the years my faith deepened. 

Throughout every religion are teachings on how to act in accordance with spiritual wisdom. Most religious people try and live righteously, with various degrees of success. Some are outwardly religious but inwardly lazy so as to make no effort toward benevolence or virtue.

Father always made the effort and could not tolerate liars or usurpers. As a young adult, after I found religion, we talked and he admitted that he regarded religion somewhat like Karl Marx (German, 5 May 1818 – 14 March 1883) did—as the “opiate of the masses.” The context of the Marx phrase appears in this sentence: "Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, just as it is the spirit of a spiritless situation. It is the opium of the people." Father was determined not to accept unjust conditions in society. He felt that religion made people accept what they should not. When so much was being made of Mother Theresa caring for the destitute in India, taking a vow of poverty, he scoffed, and insisted her energies would be better used to change the sick nation so that systemic corruption and oppression were expunged and a new society with a more wholesome foundation was created to lift up the masses. Why accept the poverty and not change the conditions that created it?

Father left this world never having spoken the word “God,” but in his actions and beliefs living spiritually. I imagine his delight, when he “met his Maker,” and before Him, he stood clean, and they looked back at all those he unselfishly helped along the way.

Read here a very good article about my father, written in the Chronicle of Philanthropy:
Richard Boone: a Tireless but Humble Advocate for the Poor

Monday, March 03, 2014

A Symphony Plays

It is odd, returning to my father's home in the wake of his death. The house that he loved is intact and outwardly at least, stands as it has for years. My mother is home, and the yard, garden, and inside are all neat and tidy. Yet, it is as if a symphony plays—missing an important instrument, and it is strange.

Click here to visit the memorial site for:
Richard Wolf Boone, March 29, 1927 - February 26, 2014

Death of Father

To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
to know that one life has breathed easier
because you lived here.
This is to have succeeded.
attributed to Ralph Waldo Emerson