Monday, December 31, 2007

art and memory

so, another year! and i'm feeling reading 'crime and punishment'at age twenty, lying on my family's living-room couch for several days, has left a stronger impression than love-making or traveling. which goes to say, art is an experience which may be more powerful than anything else we do.

i can't say why. maybe it's the intense effect of form, missing in most parts of our lives. or perhaps it's the fact we fill in the blanks. a great story becomes our story, our possession, or our being possessed.

on the way to mexico we listened to the story of a flyer over africa. i can barely remember the real road we traveled.

and this xmas last summer's obsession with the painter francis bacon met one of his paintings in the berkeley art museum. suddenly, i felt inside it - and the paint so beautiful.

how vividly art expands our memory, our desire, even our dreams. at times i don't know what was 'real' and what i imagined, and i'm not sure it makes a difference.

i'm posting some photos taken at a graduation ceremony several years ago. the pictures seem to me to have this indeterminate quality. yes, it really happened. did it happen this way? darned if i know.

these thoughts come during the last hours of the old year. and on the other side of the earth it's already tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

the magical landscape

a friend just asked: "what do you think of the harry potter phenomenon?" hmm, took me a minute. then I remembered reading a book on children's lit years ago. the author said english books different because of their magical landscape, a long history of figures rising up thru the earth, or an adventure in another land set off by a ring, stepping through a clothes closet, or falling down a rabbit hole.

americans, being at heart pragmatic and wedded to science, don't have this hidden world around, below, inside them. (the indians did. it opens up too much that is ambiguous and frightening. our land is mostly raw material with a few mystics thrown in (thoreau, for example). but the need for this kind of magical feeling doesn't disappear from children or adults, tho it becomes submerged in our education.

well, this made me realize my whole creative endeavor has been to get in touch with these unrealized worlds. I've just posted 'in the mystery of a room' which you are invited to peruse: and if you look elsewhere on the general site you will find many manifestations of this experience: 'epiphany at peet's,' 'the secret life around us.' and I've done a black and white version of the chico dance theatre's photoshoot which shows in black and white the unsuspected stories evolving, yet never explained:

also in writing I suppose I am in the magical realist category, attempting to show our lives as surrounded by magic as any in mexico or great britain. take a look at or my hope is that a more mysterious connection with our own home will push us to take better care of it.