Saturday, April 30, 2016


...and I remember thinking, as I sat there gazing at the aesthetic detail of the small chapel, how much they cared, the carpenters of the far past: every joint, every curve, every scroll and support, the selected and honored wood grain, the structural complexity, the craftsmen's love for the very effort, was evident everywhere in that ancient work; and where in the neoworld do you see anything approaching that selfless level of intensity, manifested for all, direct from the long-ago hands and life times of unsigned individuals working alone at their craft for meager reward, unknown even now for the inspiring beauty of their achievement. Nor did distant future renown matter to them; nothing mattered but the greatest beauty and quality of which their hands, minds and skills were capable, the “How could it be otherwise” character of their timeless craft...

Monday, April 25, 2016


It’s hard to weed, it's hard to be young, it’s hard to do the things that have to be done.

Just now thinking, as I was weeding the garden too long neglected, how I’d had to learn (and later teach the grandaughter trio) to tell the weeds from the feeds, and thence in weedly fashion I got to thinking about a defensive critique I’d read recently about the Humanities (they now have to be defended!), how beneficial they are in nurturing the most important quality in living: an interesting and interested life.

Most significantly, the Humanities are not taught primarily in preparation for employment, which seems to be the astigmatic purpose of most education in our time - for a career that ends when you retire - but in an ancient understanding of preparation for life, in laying the groundwork for cultivating a broad mind with interests that sustain imagination and curiosity in new aspects at every age.

In my case, it nourished my hunger to read, and then to write, led me to travel for new knowledge; I'm still exploring after all these years, an 'alien' in 'foreign' lands: what greater source of  ongoing natural education (children, grandchildren, world, peoples, cultures, languages, gardening, monkeys, firewood etc.) as a way of life, unlike linear training that in time becomes outmoded, less and less part of a life that looks forward to retirement... The humanities, in contrast, are integral to life beyond its end.

Which is not to say that other fields of study don't offer these benefits in varying degrees, but the Humanities provide the broadest cast of all. All this flowed to mind (suggestively, while weeding) because the Humanities are being dissed these days as having the least income value, when in fact they are the reliable source of the greatest wealth-- not the external kind that incrementally isolates and uneases, but the kind that accrues within oneself, inner riches to enjoy and share for a life entire.

Saturday, April 16, 2016


The Rock is a work
of quiet atmosphere
and simple exterior.

The Rock defines
a place in nature.

The approach to The Rock
is by footsteps
symbolizing passage
from another world.

To passersby, The Rock seems
nonchalant, perhaps even

Yet once inside, 
the visitor discovers
one ingenious space 
after another.

The Rock is conceived
as a series of experiences,
based on its own
compositional logic.

Rock visitors encounter
emotions they would not feel

The Rock is neither abstract
nor representational;
The Rock is enthralled with
ambiguities of perception.

The Rock evinces 
an uncanny power
to convince the observer
of its spatial impact.

The Rock is the embodiment
of gravity.

A linear path
links all Rocks.

Each Rock is located 
at the center of the site.

Friday, April 08, 2016


Sometimes you gotta go minimal on your dreams. Bugatti or Lamborghini would be good; Ferrari too.. As at various other stages of life, I must now confront a new reality: my cane is beginning to feel slow.       

It’s a welcome problem when you outpace your cane. And notwithstanding my long-term Astaire fantasies, I think a good, fast, sleek walker might be the next interim device to accelerate me down the long, well-paved road without handrails toward cane minimalism, something that will take the curves like a dream and leave my fellow caners in the dust. Plus it has wheels. If Bugatti or Lambo don’t make walkers yet, maybe I can get a genuine logo or hood ornament to put on it, or at least a bunch of decals to stick here and there for when I zip past my ambulatory confederates. 

Dreams take time to fulfill, which is what gives them value. Infants, pure as they are, don’t need value, don’t even dream of walking, let alone squealing around curves to take the lead; they live in bottomline reality (where it is best to retain a foothold); they’re happy to waggle their legs in the air for as long as it takes to get wherever it is they might be going, whatever that might mean. They don’t know until they graduate and get their legs, like I’ll get my Bugatti walker. 

Figuratively, I’m just departing a new infancy. I’m long past waggling my leg in the air, which is boring if you’re an adult and have been to Le Mans. A good Bugatti, though, that hugs the road, with maybe not disc brakes -- I’m no longer into that kind of speed-- but with serviceable stoppers, ‘cause I plan to be veering a lot. I still love the verge of control, which I overdid a few times in the early cane phase and on the old motorbikes now trashed, plus even earlier a couple of cars, more lessons learned and life thankfully continued. But a saner life looms now, in a rather novel way for me: a new life of streamlined walking, with a world-class brand.

Now I have to find a reputable sports walker lot within decent driving distance, where they have a full range of the latest models with all the accessories and options right down to flames and pinstriping, ideally in a nice candy apple red...  I can cane around the lot and view the selection, kick the tires, so to speak, ask expert questions like what's the 0 to 60 for this baby? How’s the turning radius on this model? Can this one do wheelies? etc. Maybe even take it for a test walk, well below the speed limit at first.

Be great to be on the road again, that leads anywhere I choose...