Monday, December 31, 2012

What will 2013 bring for you?

Mi  version de "Hands drawing hands" de M.C. Escher
Photo and drawing by Daniel Alvarez
(Click to see original version on Flickr)
 "I frequently said I wanted to do it but I always made excuses not to start either. I was too busy. I didn’t have enough money. I didn’t have the time. I wouldn’t be good enough. I’d feel uncomfortable. I might not enjoy it. I don’t like commitment. It wouldn’t lead anywhere. The list went on and on, but I realized the last two were the big ones for me. I chronically avoid commitment because I associate that with hindering my freedom. (What if I decide last-minute I want to go somewhere or do something else?) Also, I hesitate to give large amounts of time to hobbies I have no intention of pursuing professionally. I realized last month, however, that I want to prioritize more of the things that make me feel passionate and excited—and not just occasionally, but regularly."

http://tinybuddha.com/blog/40-ways-to-feel-more-alive/

Saturday, December 29, 2012

"Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable."

Uncomfortable
"Art should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable." Cesar A. Cruz

Friday, December 28, 2012

so much modern art is the sound of things going out of control...

I choose the music

“Whatever you now find weird, ugly, uncomfortable and nasty about a new medium will surely become its signature. CD distortion, the jitteriness of digital video, the crap sound of 8-bit - all of these will be cherished and emulated as soon as they can be avoided. It’s the sound of failure: so much modern art is the sound of things going out of control, of a medium pushing to its limits and breaking apart. The distorted guitar sound is the sound of something too loud for the medium supposed to carry it. The blues singer with the cracked voice is the sound of an emotional cry too powerful for the throat that releases it. The excitement of grainy film, of bleached-out black and white, is the excitement of witnessing events too momentous for the medium assigned to record them.” — Brian Eno on music production and it’s nostalgia. (Source: Imathers via hitrecordjoe)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

You learn by...

Love heart
Photo by Doug Wheller
(Click to see original on Flickr)
 "You learn to speak by speaking, to study by studying, to run by running, to work by working; in just the same way, you learn to love by loving."
– St. Francis de Sales

Friday, November 30, 2012

true art

"I feel that there is nothing more truly artistic than to love people." Vincent Van Gogh

Thursday, November 1, 2012

School Prayer, by Diane Ackerman

leaves (watercolor)
Fall leaves glowing in the sun

In the name of the daybreak
and the eyelids of morning
and the wayfaring moon
and the night when it departs,

I swear I will not dishonor
my soul with hatred,
but offer myself humbly
as a guardian of nature,
as a healer of misery,
as a messenger of wonder,
as an architect of peace.

In the name of the sun and its mirrors
and the day that embraces it
and the cloud veils drawn over it
and the uttermost night
and the male and the female
and the plants bursting with seed
and the crowning seasons
of the firefly and the apple,

I will honor all life
—wherever and in whatever form
it may dwell—on Earth my home,
and in the mansions of the stars.

From I Praise My Destroyer (Vintage Books, 2000)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Wild Geese, by Mary Oliver

Delaware Memorial Bridge

Wild Geese by Mary Oliver

You do not have to be good.
You do not have to walk on your knees
for a hundred miles through the desert, repenting.
You only have to let the soft animal of your body
love what it loves.
Tell me about despair, yours, and I will tell you mine.
Meanwhile the world goes on.
Meanwhile the sun and the clear pebbles of the rain
are moving across the landscapes,
over the prairies and the deep trees,
the mountains and the rivers.
Meanwhile the wild geese, high in the clean blue air,
are heading home again.
Whoever you are, no matter how lonely,
the world offers itself to your imagination,
calls to you like the wild geese, harsh and exciting-
over and over announcing your place
in the family of things.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

"I tried to find a way to meditate..."

Sunrise
Photo by Nguyet Vuong
 "I tried to find a way to meditate throughout my teenage years including going to Buddhist temples, parks, candles, baths and none of it worked. It was probably because my mind didn't know what to do. Until I took a modern dance class in college that I find a method that worked for me (of all places). We had to write a paper about our unconscious thoughts about our body.

"The assignment was to lay on my back for an hour, with my eyes closed, consciously and mentally describe everything I could think of about my body's position and how I feel. If I am uncomfortable, how would I move or change my body's position. And then in my mind, imagine myself going on an adventure, doing something outrageous...for a whole hour! Then, get up and write a short story about what my body just went through in my imagination.

"It worked, because for a whole hour, I didn't think about myself in context with my past or future, rather just being conscious of whether I was physically comfortable or not, and then going on the adventure for myself was exhilarating.

"Our mind is powerful; it makes such an amazing survival tool. Use it well and your body will thank you."

~ Nguyet Vuong

Monday, September 3, 2012

Artists! Free ads!

Craft Night!

Artists, free ads in the Crafty Bastards section of the Washington City Paper (on a space-available basis). Or pay $5/week and guarantee a spot.

Free ad

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Set her down.

Guadalupe River Crossing - Summer
Sharon Tschirhart
Two monks stood by a river and saw a prostitute trying to cross. She was having trouble and couldn't make it so one of the monks offered to help. He picked her up, carried her across, set her down and then rejoined his friend.

The monk who didn’t carry her got more and more agitated, finally saying, “Why did you do that? You know we are not supposed to even touch women like that!”

The monk who carried her said, “I left her by the river. Why are you still carrying her?”

Saturday, September 1, 2012

"I like to wake up pretending..."

Our Blue Planet

"I like to wake up pretending I’m an alien. My mission from the mother galaxy is to land in random bodies across the Universe and figure out where I am and solve their problems. Today I woke up in this body. Odd, I feel anger about something. I explore it in my body. Oh, it’s nothing. Better to focus on getting this body in shape, happy, productive. I have 24 hours in this body. Who is this beautiful woman lying next to me. What food can I eat today? What’s the best things I can do with it. Clearly the wrongs I suffered in the past are not worth spending time on. I’m an alien only here for 24 hours after all." ~James Altucher

Friday, August 31, 2012

starting over

Temple of Bacchus
Photo by Stefan Sonntag (click to see original)
 "Though no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending." ~Carl Bard

Thursday, August 30, 2012

change

Mortals use left door, Gods right door, please.
Photo by Steven Sonntag (click to see original)
"Not everything that is faced can be changed. But nothing can be changed until it is faced." ~James Baldwin

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

"When one door closes, another door opens...."

Door to the Church

"When one door closes, another door opens; but we so often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door, that we do not see the ones which open for us." ~Alexander Graham Bell

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

"This delusion is a kind of prison for us..."

Cow Bay
Photo by Christopher Morley (click to see original)

"A human being is part of a whole.... He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings as something separated from the rest -- a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures, and the whole of nature in its beauty. Nobody is able to achieve this completely, but the striving for such achievement is, in itself, a part of the liberation and a foundation for inner security." ~Albert Einstein

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Will I be pretty?

Katie Makkai
National Poetry Slam, 2002  
Pretty

 

When I was just a little girl,
I asked my mother
What will I be?
Will I be pretty?
Will I be pretty?
Will I be pretty?
What comes next?
Oh right, will I be rich, which is almost pretty, depending on where you shop.
And the pretty question infects from conception,
passing blood and breath into cells,
the word hangs from our mothers' hearts in a shrill of fluorescent floodlight of worry:
will I be wanted; worthy; pretty?

But puberty left me this funhouse mirror dryad;
teeth set at science fiction angles, crooked nose, face donkey long and pockmarked where the hormones went fingerpainting.

My poor mother.

"How could this happen? You'll have porcelain skin as soon as we can see a dermatologist. You sucked your thumb, that's why your teeth look like that. You were hit in the face with a frisbee when you were six, otherwise your nose would have been just FINE. Don't worry, we'll get it all fixed," she would say, grasping my face, twisting it this way, then that, as though it were a cabbage she might buy.

But this is not about her.

Not her fault.

She too was raised to believe the greatest asset she could bestow upon her awkward little girl was a marketable facade.

By 16, I was pickled with ointments, medications, peroxides, teeth corralled into steel prongs, laying in a hospital bed, face packed with gauze, cushioning the brand new nose the surgeon had carved.

Belly gorged on two pints of my own blood I had swallowed under anesthesia and every convulsive twist of my gut like my body screaming at me from the inside out, "WHAT did you let them do to you??"

All the while this never ending chorus droning on and on like the IV needle dripping liquid beauty into my blood, will I be pretty, will I be pretty, like my mother unwinding the gift wrap to reveal the bouquet of daughter her $10,000 bought her: pretty... pretty.

And now I have not seen my own face in ten years.

I have not seen my own face in ten years but this is not about me.

This is about the self-mutilating circus we have painted ourselves clowns in;

about women who will prowl 30 stores in six malls to find the right cocktail dress but who haven't a clue where to find fulfillment or how to wear joy. Wandering through life shackled to a shopping bag beneath the tyranny of those two pretty syllables. About men wallowing on barstools, drearily practicing attraction and everyone who will drift home tonight crestfallen because not enough strangers found you suitably f*ckable.

This is about my own someday daughter, when you approach me, already stung, stained with insecurity, begging, "mom, will I be pretty? Will I be pretty?"

I will wipe that question from your mouth like cheap lipstick and answer, "No. The word 'pretty' is unworthy of everything you will be and no child of mine will be contained in five letters. You will be: pretty intelligent; pretty creative; pretty amazing, but you will never be merely pretty."

Friday, August 17, 2012

You do not know what wars are going on...

grumpy guy
"Have compassion for everyone you meet, even if they don’t want it. What seems conceit, bad manners, or cynicism is always a sign of things no ears have heard, no eyes have seen. You do not know what wars are going on down there where the spirit meets the bone." –Miller Williams

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Thank you.

Butterfly that landed on her fingers
"If the only prayer you say in your whole life is "thank you," that would suffice." ~Meister Eckhart

What is meant when we use the word "I"?

Lost in thought
Photo by Stephan Guertler (click to see original on Flickr)
"I wonder what is meant when we use the word I. I have been very interested in this problem, and have come to the conclusion that what most civilized people mean by that word is a hallucination, a false sense of personal identity that is at complete variance with the facts of nature. As a result of having a false sense of identity, we act in a way that is inappropriate to our natural environment,... and when that inappropriate way of action is magnified by a very powerful technology, we see a profound discord begin to separate man and nature as is well known, we are now in the process of destroying our environment as a result of an attempt to conquer it and master it. We believe that our environment is something other than ourselves, and in assuming that, we make a great mistake and are now paying the price." ~Alan Watts.

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Closure

PiN lovE 
"I think "a sense of closure" is a notion invented, as a sort of utopian emotional state, to ease ourselves through tough times. If you find yourself eating food, drinking water, sleeping and occasionally enjoying the company of other people, you can learn to live with the arrow piercing your chest, awkward though it may be to wear a shirt over it."
~ Jason Sadler

Saturday, August 4, 2012

the lessons of joy and sorrow

Jump No. 32
"It is only when one feels joy or sorrow that one knows anything about himself, and only by joy or sorrow is he instructed what to seek and what to shun." ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Ocean Beach Sand Circle

“He drew a circle that shut me out —
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
 But Love and I had the wit to win:
We drew a circle that took him in!”

~ Edwin Markham

Monday, July 30, 2012

For Strong Women, by Marge Piercy

89/365: Strong Woman
A strong woman is a woman who loves
strongly and weeps strongly and is strongly
terrified and has strong needs. A strong woman is strong
in words, in action, in connection, in feeling;
she is not strong as a stone but as a wolf
suckling her young. Strength is not in her, but she
enacts it as the wind fills a sail.
What comforts her is others loving
her equally for the strength and for the weakness
from which it issues, lightning from a cloud.

~Marge Piercy, "For Strong Women"

Friday, June 15, 2012

It's the only compass you've been given.

laugh
See original on Flickr
 "Whatever you do, make sure you're doing it out of desire. It's the only compass you've been given in this world, and you can trust it. It may not lead you where you thought you were going, but it will never lead you astray." Nicole Daedone

Sunday, June 3, 2012

burnout

burning a candle at both ends
Photo by Amy Veeninga (original at Flickr)
"Everytime you say “YES” to something you don’t want to do, you will resent people, you will do a bad job, you will have less energy for the things you were doing a good job on. ... Every time you say “Yes” to something you don’t want, your fire starts to go away. You will get burnt out. ... Instead, igniting the fire on the inside burns a light so fierce it can’t be burnt out. You will become a beacon, a light that attracts abundance, instead of a flickering fame that is eventually smothered." James Altucher

Friday, June 1, 2012

Love the questions themselves

Shadow person with shadow balloons
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves, like locked rooms and like books that are now written in a very foreign tongue. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps you will then gradually, without noticing it, live along some distant day into the answer.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Give. (advice to someone who wonders how to survive the loss of a child)

Feeding the birds
Photo by Robert Grove (click to see original on Flickr)
"Give. Immense sadness and misery is unfortunately also a valuable teacher. Your sadness has given you the unfortunate gift of greater empathy than most people have towards those who are suffering. Wake up every day and say, “Whose life can I save today.” Your sadness is beyond that of mere mortals. So the unfortunate gift it has given you is also beyond that of a mere mortal. Use that gift to help people. Every day you will save life. The first thing you do in the morning say, “I will save a life today.” It might be small. Walking a blind person across a street. Helping a co-worker. Recognizing sadness in others and listening to them. But you will give and it will be returned to you. That’s the best way to accept the horrible sadness of a lost child. That’s what your child would want you to do with that sadness." ~ James Altucher

Friday, May 18, 2012

Loneliness

"Loneliness is never more cruel than when it is felt in close propinquity with someone who has ceased to communicate." ~ Germaine Greer

Friday, May 4, 2012

Insecurity

"The regrettable thing about insecurity is how dearly everyone else must pay for it." Yahia Lababidi

Friday, April 27, 2012

Horses at Midnight Without a Moon

horses in fog
Horses in Fog By Wally Hofker (click to see original on Flickr)


Horses at Midnight Without a Moon 
by Jack Gilbert
 
Our heart wanders lost in the dark woods.
Our dream wrestles in the castle of doubt.
But there's music in us. Hope is pushed down
but the angel flies up again taking us with her.
The summer mornings begin inch by inch
while we sleep, and walk with us later
as long-legged beauty through
the dirty streets. It is no surprise
that danger and suffering surround us.
What astonishes is the singing.
We know the horses are there in the dark
meadow because we can smell them,
can hear them breathing.
Our spirit persists like a man struggling
through the frozen valley
who suddenly smells flowers
and realizes the snow is melting
out of sight on top of the mountain,
knows that spring has begun.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Traveler (a poem by Heather Sommer)

Pansy petal edge
Petal's edge of a yellow pansy (I took this last week).
Traveler
by Heather Sommer

Your first time out of the country
of your own skin, I didn’t bring a map.

You always hated that I’d been lucky
enough to pick my way through streets

I couldn’t pronounce to find cathedrals,
graveyards. If you were a city, you said,

I’d only like to know your suburbs.

If you were a city, I said, I’d like to know
your poor neighborhoods, your inner parts.

Read your graffiti. Drink your tap water.
Feel your smog and dirt stick to my sweat.

Hear your orchestra of sirens and gunshots.
I’d know which of your streets to walk.

If you were a city, I’d expect to be robbed.

— Heather Sommer

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

27 top bloggers on fear (incredible link)

I Am Not Afraid
By Taylor Dawn Fortune (click photo to view original on Flickr)

27 top bloggers and writers share their thoughts on fear. Like:
  • "Love is what we were born with. Fear is what we learned here. ~ Marianne Williamson
  • "...We can learn to manage [our fears], to quiet them so that they don't get in our way.... When we do this, we live fearlessly in the presence of fear." ~ Farnoosh Brock
Read more --> 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

You are enough.

Berries
From Katy Woolrich (click to see original on Flickr)

This is a snippet I'm reposting from Kate Elizabeth Conner's post Ten Things I Want To Tell Teenage Girls; a beautiful message for us all:

You are beautiful. You are enough. The world we live in is twisted and broken and for your entire life you will be subjected to all kinds of lies that tell you that you are not enough. You are not thin enough. You are not tan enough. You are not smooth, soft, shiny, firm, tight, fit, silky, blonde, hairless enough. Your teeth are not white enough. Your legs are not long enough. Your clothes are not stylish enough. You are not educated enough. You don’t have enough experience. You are not creative enough.


There is a beauty industry, a fashion industry, a television industry, (and most unfortunately) a pornography industry: and all of these have unique ways of communicating to bright young women: you are not beautiful, sexy, smart or valuable enough.


You must have the clarity and common sense to know that none of that is true. None of it.


You were created for a purpose, exactly so. You have innate value. You are loved more than you could ever comprehend; it is mind-boggling how much you are adored. There has never been, and there will never be another you. Therefore, you have unique thoughts to offer the world. They are only yours, and we all lose out if you are too fearful to share them.


You are beautiful. You are valuable. You are enough.

-Kate Elizabeth Connor

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tulips on Route 1

I screeched to the side of the road on my way home from work tonight when I saw these beautiful tulips adorning the side of the highway. I had to photograph them. (This is why I always carry a camera!) Here are some of the shots:


"Deep in their roots, all flowers keep the light." ~Theodore Roethke



"All flowers in time bend towards the sun,
I know you say there's no one for you, But here is one." ~Jeff Buckley


"And the heart that is soonest awake to the flowers
is always the first to be touch'd by the thorns." ~Thomas Moore

(This pic had a watercolor effect applied.)

"We are all treading the vanishing road of a song in the air,
the vanishing road of the spring flowers and the winter snows,
the vanishing roads of the winds and the streams,
the vanishing road of beloved faces." ~Richard Le Gallienne



"By cultivating the beautiful we scatter the seeds of heavenly flowers,
as by doing good we cultivate those that belong to humanity." ~Robert A. Heinlein


"Stretching his hand up to reach the stars,
too often man forgets the flowers at his feet." ~Jeremy Bentham

Monday, March 26, 2012

Procrastination

Wait.............
By Amoo (click to view Original on Flickr)

"Procrastination. What does that word really mean? It means you are doing something you like to do because you don’t want to do something you don’t like to do.

"Hmmm, that sounds pretty good to me!

"But….but….what if you have to do the other thing. The thing you are avoiding. DON’T YOU HAVE TO?

"When a baby touches an oven it pulls its finger back and says “OW!” It learns not to do it again. Physical suffering is a great teacher. The same thing happens with emotional or mental suffering. We say “OW!” but we forget to learn not to do it again. Procrastination is a way of telling us what is causing us emotional and mental suffering.

"If you feel yourself procrastinating, shift directions a little bit. You don’t have to go 180 degrees on us. Go 10 degrees off-course at first. Think of things in a slightly different way. Then go 20 degrees. Try it on. See how it feels."
~ James Altucher, from Be Honest With Me

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Hope.

Dew
Photo by Chao Huang (click to see original on Flickr)
“Hope is the feeling that the feeling you have isn't permanent.” ~Jean Kerr

Thursday, March 22, 2012

This is what you shall do.

Earth from Space
photo by NASA (click to view original on Flickr)
"This is what you shall do: Love the earth and the sun and the animals, despise riches, give alms to everyone that asks, stand up for the stupid and crazy, devote your income and your labor to others, hate tyrants, argue not concerning God, have patience and indulgence towards the people, take off your hat to nothing known and unknown." Walt Whitman

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A heart which is burning with love for the whole creation....

Horse eye
"What is a charitable heart? It is a heart which is burning with love for the whole creation, for men, for the birds, for the beasts... for all creatures. He who has such a heart cannot see or call to mind a creature without his eyes being filled with tears by reason of the immense compassion which seizes his heart; a heart which is softened and can no longer bear to see or learn from others of any suffering, even the smallest pain being inflicted upon a creature. That is why such a man never ceases to pray for the animals... moved by the infinite pity which reigns in the hearts of those who are becoming united with God." --Saint Issac of Syria

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Please Write, Don’t Phone, by Robert Watson

Me writing at Deception Pass State Park, in the Puget Sound (Washington State)
Please Write, Don’t Phone, by Robert Watson

While there is mail there is hope.
After we have hung up I can’t recall
Your words, and your voice sounds strange
Whether from a distance, a bad cold, deceit I don’t know.
When you call I’m asleep
Or bathing or my mouth is full of toast

I can’t think of what to say.
“We have rain?” “We have snow?”

Let us write instead: surely our fingers spread out
With pen and paper touch more of mind’s flesh
Than the sound waves moving from throat to lips
To phone, through wire, to one ear.
I can touch the paper you touch.
I can see you undress in your calligraphy.
I can read you over and over.
I can read you day after day.
I can wait at the mailbox with my hair combed,
In my best suit.
I hang up. What did you say?
What did I say? Your phone call is gone.
I hold the envelope you addressed in my hand.
I hold the skin that covers you.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

"Beauty, Part 3" by Carvens Lissaint (inspired by Mega)



He said
Hey yo, fat ass, yo, biggie mcfatfat, yo, you so fat, I'm gonna blow all the motherf*cking fat people up on one island and make a big ass bowl of chunky soup.

He said
you so black you gotta eat oreos with some white gloves.

He said
you so fat it look like you got two midgets in a headlock.

Oh he said you ain't have no nipples.

She said, I mean, Carvens, I mean like, you're handsome and everything but like I mean like, you're like my brother, we can't...

She said
OMG how did you get your skin that color?

She said
She said
You know what? This is what she said.
I swear to god this is what she said.
She was like Carvens, you're so ugly you should kill yourself.

He said
how do you stop black people from coming to your house? You hang one in the front.

He said
yo fatass I want you to have a stroke from you running up those steps.

She said you should kill yourself.

And when I was in the fifth grade, I wrote a suicide note.

That was the first time, I believe, someone loved my writing.

In the fourth grade, my valentine told me that I couldn't be seen with her because all the kids might actually think she liked me.

In third grade I ate lunch by myself
every day.

In the second grade
a kid punched me in my mouth at the end of recess.

Two of my teeth fell to the pavement
I laid on the ground, blood spilling from my lips for fifteen minutes before anyone asked if I was okay.

In the first grade, a white girl at snack time told me that my skin looked I never took a shower, she's never seen something so black.

In kindergarten, I was the only student who stood awake
during nap time.

You know, feeling alone is not foreign to me.

In the classroom, children spoke the harsh language of tear gas
I cried in more bathroom stalls than I can remember learning

My bullies were swastickas dressed in Catholic school uniforms

The machete eyes,
the machete eyes of my peers would carve smiles out of my face like a jack-o-lantern

They always needed an overweight, dark-skinned target to dart through,
a pinata to hang in the nucleus of the playground while each kid took a swing.

I learned how to hate myself
at such an early age.
I wrote "God doesn't love me" on the inside of all of my notebooks

I would pray, every night, to be a superhero, asking anyone who watched over me
if they could grant me the power of invisibility
so I could vanish off the face of humanity
each time my confidence was steamrolled to the concrete

You know
My freshman year of high school
my stomach and muffin top was so big I could barely see my feet
I used to breathe like a coughing motor cycle

My sophomore year
I wanted a girlfriend so bad
I used to practice making out with the mirror
just so it would be perfect when I finally fell in love

My junior year
I grew a foot taller,
I lost 30 pounds but still was heavy with self-consciousness

My senior year I was the most popular kid in school but still saw a sea of faces cackling at me whenever I turned my back

My freshman year of college I started having sex with women in the hopes to find
myself in the museum of their pelvis
so gyrate my hips under the bodies of their sweat and of temples crashing
I used to pound bodies into the spine of mattress
screaming at the top of my lungs
what's my name
just so they could remind me who I was

Depression

Depression

Depression
can drive humans to very hollow places

Places where flocks of vultures lurked in the things I found beautiful
and I often asked myself

Am I beautiful?
Am I worth glancing at twice?
Can anyone love me as much as I love God?
Does everything really happen for a reason
or am I just some laughing stock
of this inside joke the whole world is in on but me.

It took almost two decades of living on this earth
to finally love myself.

If you only knew,
If you only knew how hard is was to write this poem

How hard it is to embrace every stretch mark like a life line when I feel dead inside

To say, to say that my skin color is a shade of armour that can never be bruised
to say, to say that my smile is a page of the bible
that my face is a halo that spent its entire life basking in the sun

I learned how to love my weakness
I wear my insecurities like a good suit to a job interview

I'm awkward, I'm awkward, I'm awkward, I'm awkward
And I love it

I make a fool of myself

I make a fool of myself
but still have the confidence of a firefly buzzing in the gut of a cave

I cry
I cry
and I fight and I cry and I fight and I cry, I cry and I fail and I fall and
I get the f*ck back up.

I,
I'm no longer afraid to stumble,
to fall flat on my face and look around like nothing happened
to turn the center stage into a playground

Have you all looked at me, lived in my own skin, and wake up every morning
look deep into the mirror and say you know what,
you know what Carvens, I love you
I love you so much
And you are beautiful.

..................................

Another beautiful video poem is "Bullies Called Him Pork Chop" over on Upworthy.com.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

On insignificance...

insignificance

"They do read [your] site, they just don't know it by name. And why would they? This is the Internet, where we're all information junkies. We want the facts, and we want them delivered in the most efficient way possible, maybe with some jokes thrown in. If someone is clicking on an article called "Six Farts That Changed the World (And Four That Didn't)," they're not clicking to see a byline or the personal theories of some author; they're clicking to see if the time Gerald Ford non-sexually farted into Rita Hayworth's open hand made the list (it didn't)."

(So, make sure you write well. -ed)

Quote source: The 4 Worst Things About Writing for the Internet

Monday, January 16, 2012

Why parts of the Internet will go dark Jan. 18

Have you heard of SOPA - the Stop Online Piracy Act? It *sounds* like a good idea -- piracy bad! -- but a closer look at this act reveals something terrifying that may change the Internet as we know it.

Google (this includes blogger!), Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Wordpress, Reddit, The Wikipedia, The Cheezeburger Network, Boing Boing, Twitter, Ebay, LinkedIn & some other major players are considering going dark to take a stand against SOPA because the wording of this proposed bill is so vague & penalties so steep that there may be potential for much abuse. Like, just *linking* to something might be enough to get you in trouble.

Right now the bill looks like it's going to be approved as the majority of senators are in favor of it. We need to reach 41 more senators to make a difference. The senate votes Jan. 24. Here's what you can do:

This page lets you put in a zip code and click a button to notify your local senators.

Please help keep the internet free.

https://wfc2.wiredforchange.com/o/9042/p/dia/action/public/?action_KEY=8173

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Focus: the key to achieving your goals

"The key is every day focus.... To be focused on goals. To not be tempted by seduction to move forward. It’s like the image [above]. It’s an optical illusion. The circles are all diversion and appear to be constantly moving. The black dots are your goals. Focus on any one dot and all of the circles will slowly stop moving. Every time things start to move around you, taking you off the road, think about these black dots you can focus on."

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

quote on cats

My BFF's kitty gazes into the distance.
"Cats seem to go on the principle that it never does any harm to ask for what you want."
- Joseph Wood Krutch

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

it lives in the wild...

flower watercolor
I took this photo in Arizona and then turned it into a digital watercolor.
"Sometimes I try to write about you, about us, and the words just crumble. Ashes, dead petals. I go aphasic, although I'm supposed to be skillful with words. I sit here broken. I make a move to put it all down, and a million marbles skitter across the floor and into crevices and down vents. I can't whip our story into some tidy, domesticated thing, so it lives in the wild and scratches at the window when I dream. I can't make it come here when I call it, or be what I want. I never could do that." -- Christie Chapman

Christie Chapman, on her quote above: 

"Here's what I guess I am trying to say. Let's say you lived some big, poignant story with a person. You shared some adventure with someone. Then it ended. It lives in the past, for all sorts of very good (if painful to think about) reasons. Yet the memories creep into your mind and even into your dreams all the time. It feels like this great, meaningful story... and you feel that if you could just somehow weave these experiences into a coherent piece of writing that resonates with others, you would not only do the story justice but finally move past it a little. You would have tamed it, or at least translated it into words. You would have won out, at least a little, against its tyranny over your emotions.

"Only, you can't put this big, amazing story into words. It's elusive; it lives in the ether and won't let you translate it (put it into a labeled jar). So the story is this wild, untameable force. And for that reason, you worry it will always have power over you. Sometimes domestication is a good thing, dammit."

Monday, January 2, 2012

Learning to draw: sketches from 2011

I started taking an intro to drawing class around this time last year -- here are the sketches from my year of experimenting with learning to draw.

I ROCKED a pear, yo.




We did a lot of still life studies in class. This is pen & ink, not charcoal/pencil like the others.

It's harder to capture the white balance than I thought.

The best thing in class was seeing how many different ways people drew what they saw.
No drawings were even remotely similar. Angles & shading can change the entire picture.

Experimenting with different ways to shade.

Here I was trying to draw a body that contained a bit of a belly to see about different physical forms.

Another pen & ink.

I enjoyed trying to draw Edvard Munch's Madonna but it's on the flat side.
I need to learn good shading techniques to add dimension.

I struggled with the face here (and you can tell) but I was mostly concentrating on the body since
it was one of the first times I was branching out to a whole figure.

Here, experimenting with different postures.

Heart-shaped face.

I drew this after I came home from class itching to draw more. We'd been doing freeforms
all night and I drove home seeing lines and shadows in everything. It only took me 15 minutes
to sketch this out but only because I'd spent two hours "warming up" with freeform drills.

A quick 5-minute sketch of my hand.

Eyes are extremely difficult for me -- getting the right proportions is a huge challenge.

Charcoal drawing of fruit on a cloth setting. Capturing wrinkles in cloth is also extremely difficult.
Here I introduced color to add dimension.

I didn't intend for this to resemble Julia Roberts -- if I TRIED, I'm pretty sure it would have failed!
But kind of neat that it turned out that way.

Mug shot! Not really, but that's what this looks like.

This reminds me, in retrospect, of Mad Magazine's Spy vs. Spy series, for the outfit and rushing inference.