Sunday, August 30, 2009

some things you can't do by yourself

i'm not sure what they are. i mean, you can dance alone, cook by yourself, walk along the beach, even sex... no, i won't say it!

however, they say you never really do anything alone. after all, someone had to write and play the music, grow the food, crawl out of the ocean (years and years ago), and... well, enough said.

alas, that doesn't really solve the problem. supposedly orangutans the only primate that thrives in solitude. (why they look so sad in the zoo.) baboons scratch each other's back, chimps play with jane goodall, even gorillas have the good taste to fight each other over who gets the goods.

no, no, i'm not sure about any of this. yes, people (lovers specifically) perk each other up. somehow all those glances, laughter, touches, fights, they make the circulation go faster and the immune system resist depression. of course, the ending isn't always happy. some people do ruin each other's lives (if they try to prolong the endorphin attack), yet we always have a choice. and if our challenge is misery, that's fate.

no, no, that's not it. i mean, what about those who actually help another realize him or herself, their ambition, their dream? for example, i just saw the film julie & julia, two cooks who made it to fame and fortune because of their husbands. and isn't the power behind the throne...? my better half, haven't we all heard that?

so what is it exactly you can't do on your own? you can't get out of yourself, perhaps that's it. and why would you want to? cause you're a smuck? no, i mean seriously. probably it has to do with lightning. they say it created life. maybe the spark has to jump, even if it creates a forest fire and mayhem. and we grab the happiness, the energy, as it flies.

so here are a couple of examples, theater and dance:

Saturday, August 22, 2009


do people really have their pictures posted, them standing next to jaguars they don't own and swimming pools they actually clean, in order to impress? i guess it is that easy. how do you separate the fakes and forgers from the true? maybe you can't. love's a desperate game of need vs. fantasy.

lately, i've been watching a lot of romantic comedies: notting hill, kiss the bride, love actually, about a boy, runaway bride, and so on. a happy ending makes me feel good, yet i'm suspicious. do people only really change in the movies?

for that's what it takes. the busy, the self-obsessed, the high-roller, they need to be hypnotized by a man or woman who takes both their breath away and their self-assurance. resistance, that's what it's all about, resistance overcome. and maybe memory, a memory of childhood when love actually existed.

i do like movies about france and ending up on a vineyard in the south. no, i have no desire to get my hands dirty. alas, french kiss and a very good year make me wish i could be a wine baron with the beauty of my life! (for friends who've actually done a great winery, california style, check out ) i suppose it's the weather and romance that give flavor to it all.

trouble is, you do have to make room for another person. live alone too long and you fill up all the spaces, no room at the table or in the bed. and those who use dating services often those with no time, who'd simply like to add a little spice to their life. i learned that when a roommate years ago started such a service in chico. helping to review the forms and match people up, i soon discovered the unavoidable fact: people who can actually (financially) afford ecstasy, prefer to keep their lives comfortable and normal, and not rock the boat with anything more than sex!

yes, movies like something new give me the hope i may one day open up, make a space for the other, if not in this lifetime, then the next.

obviously, i'm too obsessed with making photographs. perhaps we can only have one real passion at a time. in the past the spark always ignited when i wasn't writing. maybe my imagination must go blank before reality can stir it up. here are the latest pictures:

Friday, August 7, 2009

nobody knew what was coming

that seems to be the essence of the human condition.

i spent the day with the photos of andre kertesz. they span 1912 to 1987. only the early ones have heart. the move from paris to new york took away his eyes. in hungary and france soft, round figures balanced the sharp shapes of the background, war and the city. america gave him too much geometry and not enough sympathy.

ach, that's a tangent. what i meant to say: those times before wars, between wars, the disasters and the peace, people acted as if this moment would last forever. and given the photographs, it has.

that said, it's so impossible to know what will come. how do we cope with this fact? well, we try to learn something about how to live. for example, in 'don't sweat the small stuff' richard carlson says, 'thoughts create emotions.' hmm, a very buddhist perception. put this way, it's hard to swallow. yet, if we can let the thoughts go, the emotions do calm down.

or, i toiled many years through books on zen and therapy. finally, i decided they both led to the same place: assuming your own authority. that's what enlightenment is. suddenly, you no longer have the passion to please and you don't fear death. realizing only you have the answers for yourself (not for others), you awaken to the moment in which you're living, and you stay there.

okay, the bottom drops out of the bucket, and the zen adept hears the crows. that's all there is to it. the responsibility for yourself conquers all.

let's take another tack. only a child can love, so you must become like a child. this doesn't exclude selfishness. after all, the desire to survive is part of love. and parents love to brag about their children. most wouldn't care to confess, 'my son's in san quention. killed a couple of people. the poor kid, he always did have a temper.' that story most likely goes untold. however, if he has five children, runs a corporation, well, that you can admit with love.

what would we do if we knew what was coming? even death up for grabs. eternal salvation, bliss, return, non-existence. the hope of the suicide is the resolution of inner tension. alas, the violence involved seems to cancel the advantage! if we knew what was coming, could we really be carefree?

my favorite saying found on a men's restroom in berkeley, california: the price of freedom is loneliness.

i don't know if i agree, however it always makes me pause for thought.

new photos at: