Showing posts with label freedom. Show all posts
Showing posts with label freedom. Show all posts

Sunday, November 29, 2020

It's Time


“No I am not roaming aimlessly
through the alleys and bazaar
I am a lover searching for his beloved”   —Rumi

For years I have been satisfied with enough money in the bank to travel extensively and not worry about a “home”.  After my oldest daughter died at age nineteen my marriage dissolved. My ex-wife bought my share of our home. Debt free, I realized I had lost my sense of having roots. The world called me to explore. Grabbing my art supplies and camera, I took off wandering.

Sometimes, when returning to live in my hometown of Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA, I would go to a beautiful home and think, how wonderful to own property. Then I would search my soul to see if I had desire for such ownership. It wasn’t there.

I have been to the Taj Mahal, the Vatican halls, in mountaintop palaces. And I have been rapturously at peace and content sitting on earthen floors in houses of baked mud in Egypt. I have felt at home on the back of camels in Morocco or on elephants in Thailand. 
Then, impressed by somebody’s home and thinking, “do I want this?” the answer came back no; I have more. The grandness of the earth and its glory is my home.
I rented . . . and could come and go.

When a homeowner, I had always cultivated gardens. Afterward, I noticed an apathy about doing anything “rooted.” Might I be depressed? I wondered. Perhaps the loss of my beloved Naomi had torn me. When she left this earth, some part of me went with her.

I have been with Amy now three years.We married two years ago. For the past two years I have made a summer garden. The feeling of wanting to stop and settle, to be content with small things has come back. 

This week I sent money to a bank account in Germany. It is the downpayment on a home in Oaxaca, Mexico. The German woman who built it lost her partner and decided to move back to her native country. Now, Amy and I are moving from our native country to live in that magical Mexican house we found and love. We will own it outright.
It’s time.

“The world is one country and mankind its citizens”  —Baha’u’llah

Saturday, August 26, 2017

An Early Awakening

When I was but a toddler, my father would carry me in the early morning to the local bakery. We took a route through the back alleys behind our tenement building in Chicago. It was before my brothers and sister were born. He would hoist me atop his shoulders and I would hold on to his head. At the bakery he put me down and when the door opened, the light, warmth and sweet fragrance poured forth. On the way back one morning, a bird flew into the brick walls nearby. It is so far back in my memory . . . but I distinctly remember the fright of the beautiful winged creature. Was it blind? Or trapped? 

Why did this brief experience have such an impression on me as to last all my life? Certainly, to see a bird fly against a wall or glass, as if blind, is a jarring sight.

Now, six decades later, I drive to work and park my van in a city garage, then take my bike out and ride to my gallery. There are four parking levels. Birds come in the garage, and sometimes they fly up the stairwell and think they have reached daylight at the top level, only to smash into a big panel of glass. Often, feathers are strewn about the concrete floor. Once I found a dead bird and took it home for burial.

Birds represent freedom and are like unto spirit. In many ways they are angelic. So to see one fooled by glass and be trapped or hurt flying into a transparent barrier, reinforces the feeling that physical life is not what it seems—it also holds death. For my childhood eyes, the vision startled me, but also was an early awakening.

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Where The Heart Is

“Home is where the heart is.” 

Sometimes when I am traveling across the world, I find myself in an exotic place that so captivates me I begin thinking that it has my heart, and why not move to this enchanting place? It has happened several times in Venice, Italy. And in Paris, France, in Luxor, Egypt, Chiang Mai, Thailand, Srinagar in Kashmir, India. Now on my most recent sojourn, I fell for San Miguel de Allende in Mexico, and several locales in Ecuador. 

For the past week I have been staying along the coast of Ecuador. Life is peaceful, the ocean perfect, cost of living low. At The Hosteria Oceanic, in Puerto Lopez, for some reason, I have been the only guest! The staff like me because after all, it is a hotel and people should be here. The manager came yesterday to invite me to go with his family to Los Frailes, about twenty minutes drive. It is reputed to be the most beautiful beach in Ecuador. I had just had a big dose of sun the day before and was recovering so declined to be on a beach for hours, but was touched at his kind offer.

At Oceanic practically everything is to myself; swimming pool, dining area, wide expanse of pristine Pacific coast. I have daily room service, fresh linens, delicious breakfast . . . and at night I find I like eating dinner here too. The cabana is roomy and I have made it my impromptu studio. Just yesterday I was resting on the bed with the french doors open to a breeze. I had finished a painting and was gazing outside past a dangling hammock. I realized I had made a studio and could live like this for about half the cost back home.

For years I have not had an appetite for ownership. All I want is inner peace and freedom to be anywhere I want, but not permanently. When I was in San Miguel De Allende and found myself seriously thinking of moving there while continuing my art path, I stopped myself. 

“Home is where the heart is.” 
 My heart goes with me wherever I am.

Sunday, May 22, 2016


My recent 4 ½ months of traveling is now in a ½ hour clip of photos, video and music.    Enjoy.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Arranging To Be Free

Me, in Venice, 2007
Time sometimes flies like a bird, sometimes crawls like a snail; but a man is happiest when he does not even notice whether it passes swiftly or slowly.
-Ivan Turgenev
 I have two months to set my affairs in order before leaving on prolonged travel. In July, I travel to Michigan and Wisconsin for art shows and will probably spend three weeks on the road. Then in August, I will be busy consolidating my life so that beginning September, I will be free to live in Venice, Italy. From there who knows? 
Consolidating means selling off possessions and arranging to be free. I have done this before and so know what to expect.
Venice, just before sunset . . .

-Elizabeth Taylor

Sunday, September 01, 2013


It may happen soon that I will be leaving the United States and moving to Andalucia, in southern Spain. Heidi Of The Mountains has determined not to fight my wanderlust, but rather develop in new ways, and will come too. We will have easy access to all of the Mediterranean area, which is rich in history, archeology, and culture. 

About five years ago, after living in Venice, Italy for three months, a shift occurred in my being, and I only wanted freedom like the wind. Since then, I have travelled around the world and become even more like the zephyr. I cannot settle down in one place and have no taste for possessions that most people crave—home, car, television, etc. etc. 

I live in an idyllic town—Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA. It is a tourist destination, and I have a grand situation of owning an art gallery that features my artwork, with a house and studio just steps away. Yet I find the responsibilities a burden and do not want the attachments. I am willing to trade more for less. Heidi is willing to fly with me into the unknown. 

The village in Andalucia is an almost forgotten place with a just a few whitewashed dwellings clustered on a a mountainside. There are no stores in Darrical, and sometimes, only fifteen people live there. But my friends Carol and Rolf have a home with a few casitas, and they have extra space to live in. I have lived with them before, ( see my blog Muy Tranquilo ) and it is a sleepy, ethereal existence perfect for poetry and art without distraction. Last time I spoke with Carol, she divulged the exciting news that Darrical now has internet service.

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Passion And Enthusiasm

12 x 12 inch square abstract that transformed into a piece of the work below
 Society likes definitions, to better categorize and compartmentalize facts into groups and classes. Professions are built upon specific training that produces skilled workers who are given diplomas in arts and sciences. Usually, a class of professionals, such as physicians, has subclasses, i.e. internist, ophthalmologist, gastroenterologist, etc. In art, the categories are fewer, but there are sculptors, painters, performance artists, installation artists, and more. It is generally accepted that an artist finds his passion, develops his skill and becomes known for his excellence within his class of discipline. When the public becomes accustomed to the pleasure of his work, they eagerly anticipate new productions that recall past accomplishments. The more famous the artist, the more public taste demands a recognizable product.

Creativity and commerce can be a difficult marriage. For instance, Norman Rockwell (February 3, 1894 – November 8, 1978) became a beloved American artist because he so deftly and expertly conveyed in his paintings homespun American values and warmth—and the images were reproduced frequently in magazines and posters. But imagine the outcry if he were suddenly to abandon his former path and take up another, say, abstract expressionism.  For the most part, society is about favor and taste, not creativity. That is why so many artists have endured hardship—pursuing visions that often take years before society accepts.

When the impressionists first produced their remarkable paintings in France, they were snubbed and spent years in poverty, because public taste was for academic realism with a historical narrative bias. By passion and enthusiasm, they persevered, until gradually their work was accepted and praised. In art history, this theme of misunderstood art has been a common one.

Occasionally, an artist becomes famous as much for his creative personality as his art. Pablo Picasso (25 October 1881 – 8 April 1973) for instance, could pursue many different styles and tangents, and the public followed along with his “genius.”

The problem for many artists is that it takes years to develop a mature style, and would take more years to change. I have been restless explorer from the start, and have not been willing to follow the commercial advice to find a personal style and make a niche market. I can’t live in a niche. I try many approaches, knowing that I must investigate the unknown. For the most part, I am known for my landscape paintings, but I also explore photography, mixed media, portraiture, drawing, and abstract art.

This week, I made an abstract painting (seen above at top of page), which then became part of an assemblage of three other paintings and transformed into one 24 x 24 inch artwork. Each piece can stand on its own as an abstract, and together, all the pieces make a whole.

Sunday, September 05, 2010

Places Unimagined

“What difference does it make how much you have? What you do not have amounts to much more.” Seneca, (5 BC - 65 AD) Roman dramatist, philosopher, & politician

When death comes, it is most important to have loved well, experienced much and gained wisdom. Possessions, no matter how great, will account for nothing, except as they are given away to others. Our bodies will return to dust and be gathered into mother earth again. So why do people obsess over things?

I have found that in the last few years of my life, especially as I have become a vagabond world traveler, I do not care to be in relationship with physical ownership. Rather, what I crave is freedom of movement. If the wind calls me, I must move with it and go where it blows. For some, this might be reason to say Steven Boone is irresponsible. He does not want to take charge of things and be “responsible”. But that is not entirely true, for it is because of philosophy that I am this way. I think that everything material is ephemeral and transient—only Spirit is eternal and breaks every barrier, including death.

These days, when I need to be in one place for any length of time, I find a furnished dwelling that I can inhabit and then easily leave. I wonder, will there come a time when I will want ownership and have a house with a garden, and collect things? Then I will make my surroundings my own. For now, I do not want title because it requires caretaking. In short, to be like the wind is to travel without care over the wide terrain and go places unimagined.

“The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.”
The Bible, John (ch. III, v. 8)

Soon my six month lease at my casita in Santa Fe will be finished. I can either stay or move, and because I am an artist, I can move anywhere I want and continue working. I feel a surprise is close at hand, and might take me somewhere remote. For now, the next few weeks will be the most colorful of the year and this artist has plenty of inspiration close at hand to keep him busy.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

An Ounce Of Blood

“An ounce of blood is worth more than a pound of friendship.” ~Spanish Proverb

The last several years I have been single and living alone, so now, temporarily sharing my parents home for a month makes me more aware of family and how bonded are human beings by blood lines. Sharing ancestry brings a familiarity so fundamental that it is different from other friendships. “You don't choose your family. They are God's gift to you, as you are to them.” ~Desmond Tutu

I am strengthened by my parent’s wisdom, and while I am here, we enliven, support and extend possibilities for each other. Mainly, I am readily available and present to my mother and father for support, and because I am their son, it is comforting. I am teaching my mother to use a computer, and being a companion for my father on a daily brisk walk to keep up his conditioning. While we walk, we share good conversation and are invigorated.

Nations are like families, and I dare say that nations that are open societies that allow the free flow of ideas and encourage bonds of love and trust between their citizens prosper the most and are strongest. This is why it is disconcerting to see one of the biggest countries, China, choosing to maintain strict control of its peoples communication with the rest of the planet. Certainly, the masses of Chinese yearn to be free and broaden their intellectual horizons and awareness of other cultures. This is so easy these days because the Internet exists. Recently we have learned that Google is complaining of Chinese government censorship and meddling that is so offensive and unjust that it might have to close operations there; and this would be a blow to our fellow human beings that want to have easy access to all the information we in free world take for granted. (See article in Wall Street Journal)

Iran is another nation that can be likened to a family with a controlling, abusive father that keeps everyone cowered and afraid. Information is strictly controlled as the government tries to insulate its people from ideas coming from outside. Even new ideas coming from within the family are disallowed. Iran is the birthplace of the Baha’i Faith, and although it is the second fastest growing religion in the world with adherents in virtually all corners of the earth, still, Baha’ís in Iran are constantly under threat of arrest and even execution.(See a recent NY Times article about Baha'i Persecution in Iran.)

In the end, I believe, as Baha’u’llah has said, “The earth is one country, and mankind its citizens.” We are all one family and although there are disagreements and even quarrels, truth will win in the end and civilization will blossom as it is destined.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Lovingly Present

Today is the tenth anniversary of Naomi’s death when she was nineteen years old. She is a touchstone for my life. Her spirit inspires me to live to the fullest with joy, and care for all living beings. At the cemetery, her mother, step-mother, uncle, a friend and I all gathered and laid roses on her grave, remembering her, and read passages from her journals. She had such remarkable strength and devotion, and was precocious as a child, starting her first diary when only eleven years old. Later, as she was struggling for her life, she wrote: Show up and be lovingly present, no matter what it looks like out there or inside of yourself. Always speak the truth of your heart. To read more of Naomi’s writings about life and death, go to:
I am leaving for Thailand this Tuesday, July 7. I will be there for about two weeks, then go to Vietnam for another two weeks. I have friends in both countries, and I am considering moving to one or the other because the cost of living is low and quality of life is high. Here in the USA I am not earning enough as an artist because of a soured economy, and my cost of living is high, so that I am spending my savings. I am not worried, but neither am I stuck in a rut. I enjoy flux and trust that I can be homeless and happy . . . I can live where the wind takes me. I can be creative anywhere.
I recently finished a new art piece. It is a mixed media diptych on canvas attached to board. I used encaustic (hot wax) as a medium, and enjoy the process, although it is difficult getting a handle on it. The wax must be hot in order to be fluid, and as soon as it cools, which is immediately, it hardens and is impossible to work with. So I have to use a heat gun and hotplate to keep the process flowing. After I return from Asia, I will continue producing new work in this fashion and make a collection.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Pavlov's Dog

I have always needed openness to feel good. When I feel closed in or surrounded, I tend to get uncomfortable. Certainly there are many people who are my opposite and tend to need the comfort of familiar surroundings, and like being enveloped—and this is the wonder of humanity, that each being is unique and has special qualities all their own.
When I was a young man, I did not want to have a tie around my neck because it felt constricting. The ocean makes me nervous because it can swallow and eat me. There have been times when I have been in groups that demanded my involvement and unconsciously my body rebelled so that I felt nauseous or had to frequent the bathroom.
In work too, I can feel trapped, even by success; in my case, landscape painting. Repeated success combined with financial reward can lead to what I call “Pavlov Dog Syndrome.” Ivan Pavlov, (1849-1936) was a Russian scientist that made his famous discovery that dogs salivate before food reaches their mouths and that they learn by association to salivate even when a lab technician comes into view if they expect that the technician is going to feed them. In Pavlov’s experiment, the technicians always wore white lab coats and the dogs learned that people who wore white lab coats would feed them, so after awhile, they associated white lab coated people with being fed, and just the sight of them would make them salivate. So too, after repeated success selling certain types of artwork, an artist can become conditioned to “being fed” and even salivate at the thought of the food that is to come to his table when he produces more of what people like and will buy. For me, this is claustrophobic because soon it can be like living in an artistic box of limited dimension. Like a prison cell. But some artists say that this cell is actually a finely decorated palace and they are quite comfortable doing what people like and to be paid handsomely.
Lately, I feel unsettled creatively. After being so free, traveling around the world, what am I going to do next? I cannot seem to attach myself, or be attached. I do not want to own anything and do not particularly care if what I have comes or goes. Just the ideas for projects make me restless and I fear being trapped. So this is what THE DREAM is presenting me with now and I am treading lightly, just observing where the flowing water wants to go as it makes its way through the landscape to the sea. Soon enough, the energy will gain strength to carry me into a new unknown.
"Good taste is the enemy of creativity." Pablo Picasso (1881-1973)

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Division Bells

I imagine I know what a prisoner feels like when he is released from confinement and walks out into the big, bright planet as a free person. Suddenly, he acutely appreciates everything, and especially marvels that he is free to touch the world once again. The sun warms his flesh, colors are vivid and true, and he drinks deep the fresh air, relishing life as if he is born again. Now that the nineteen-day fast is over until next year, this is what I felt like yesterday, when I began my day and could eat or drink whenever I wanted. I had been a willing prisoner, but now my aim is accomplished and I have a fresh and vital perspective going forward.
I pulled into my driveway today just as a song came on the radio that held me so that I just sat and listened. It was Pink Floyd’s composition called High Hopes. It begins with the chiming of bells, which reminded me of Venice, Italy. The first stanza goes,
Beyond the horizon of the place we lived when we were young

In a world of magnets and miracles

Our thoughts strayed constantly and without boundary

The ringing of the division bell had begun

It made me think. Children in their innocence see the world as if dreaming. The universe to them is whole and fluid, with moments effortlessly flowing one into the other. Imagination imbues everything with possibility. Then, the bells of rationality and discriminate thinking sound, and so the perception of the world changes. Slowly, children become less magical and more grounded in opinion. The ego develops and so do feelings of separation. People develop alliances and choose labels for themselves and others, such as; nationality, color, status, profession, sexuality, and many others.
To me, THE DREAM is the same place we lived when we were children, in a world of magnets and miracles, . . . without boundary. To stay there, is to not listen to the division bells that cut and dice the world into separate and unequal parts and makes us prisoners. It is to be, as Bob Dylan says in his song of the same name, "forever young."

May God bless and keep you always,
May your wishes all come true,
May you always do for others
And let others do for you.
May you build a ladder to the stars
And climb on every rung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May you grow up to be righteous,
May you grow up to be true,
May you always know the truth
And see the lights surrounding you.
May you always be courageous,
Stand upright and be strong,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.

May your hands always be busy,
May your feet always be swift,
May you have a strong foundation
When the winds of changes shift.
May your heart always be joyful,
May your song always be sung,
May you stay forever young,
Forever young, forever young,
May you stay forever young.