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Week 37

September 12, 2020

08:21 AM – walking, 9D bridge, Fishkill Creek

… feeling much better, a quiet, contemplative walk, lots of images, getting in the grove, only wish i could go home and edit instead of working in garden… still no HCR, she usually lets us know if she needs a break, last time it was a power outage…

07:33 AM – walking, Beacon Falls

… day after 9/11… dogs woke me at 3 AM, i stayed up, got caught up on editing, dogs annoying throughout, cat hungry, dogs chasing cat… no HCR this AM, or, at least, still waiting… feeling sad, frustrated, explained to H my dependency on ritual and routine to keep me from depths of despair, we all have our ways of coping…

September 11, 2020

225.4 lbs

07:22 AM – walking, Long Dock Park

… feeling a little funky this AM, very slight nausea/dizziness, a little bit clammy, no trouble walking… wind pushing through trees, almost as if a storm brewing, weather app did not suggest that as a possibility… cryptic note from S suggests he is or was in the city… the realization last night that i have no friends, nobody who looks me up from High School, i am J but more approachable, at least i hope… i run in to R as i often do, he tells me about going to end of Denning’s Point, right near Bannerman’s Island, i never thought about the island being that close…

04:47 AM – my studio

… reading in Belonging…

The awareness of our separateness is what often brings on despondency and despair. We begin to think of our small human lives as inconsequential, even unnecessary, to the great diversity of things. If we let this awareness unconsciously drive us, our lives can become endless treadmills of desperation. Wishing to create a legacy, to make a mark, to create evidence of our specialness, we build from the lowly perspective of the drop. Forgetting our belonging to the greater ocean body, we become trapped in this cult of individualism, where nothing we achieve can ever be enough.1

… i read this and i think about my dissatisfaction with social media, with sharing my photographs, with not doing enough to support the beauty of other work when i find it, of coming from the perspective of the drop hoping to be perceived as the ocean, of not truly being part of the ocean, my move to want to find and support others in their creative journeys… some time in Flickr, i set up my first gallery, where i collect the work of others, yes, Flickr can be less about our individual selves and more about honoring the creative journeys of others… i like it… i sense that i can fulfill my desire to be in community… the work of Yazmeen P. Loaiza, i am interested in her sales model, licenses to the digital files… how much for prints?…

September 10, 2020

224.0 lbs

03:46 PM – back yard

… had to leave the house, 45 press briefing, cannot stand to listen to his lies, all of them lies… he infuriates me…

02:35 PM – living room

… photo editing done, wine ordered, dinner contemplated, news depressing as it is every day, hoping for a cooler less humid day tomorrow…

08:03 AM – walking, Memorial Park

… raining, poncho and iPhone for walk, i am annoyed because an exercise class has taken over a covered area i had planned to stop at, i choose a baseball dugout instead and decide it’s better anyway… the truth doesn’t matter, what people believe matters, T reminds me…

04:55 AM – my studio

… a chapter on pain in Belonging, being receptive to it, befriending it, this is common wisdom of meditative traditions, as i read it, i think about the suffering i am going through, the suffering we are going through, the pain that a large part of the society of this country want to inflict on people like me, whom they little understand, whom they have villainized, is this the price for moving forward?, for achieving a multicultural and accepting society?, for prying power out of the hands of those who tyrannize?… i have been trying to rethink my engagement on social media and with art photography, i have found my present engagement unsatisfying, in part, i think, because it is all about me, look at me, look at what i have done, am i not wonderful?, and the response is not that enthusiastic, i want to see if i can engage with looking at others, being warm towards their creativity… i am looking at a photo project called Black Space, the photographer tells us he is photographing the streets of neighborhoods inhabited by blacks, recording them before gentrification washes them away, i look through the images and of the ten or so presented there is one, possibly two, that gives any hint it is a black neighborhood being photographed, no indication of the culture being replaced, perhaps the inner city poverty implied is a tell, more likely to be black?, brown?, than white, but there are white neighborhoods that look this way too… the photographs are not inspiring either… it seems unhelpful to hold up work that does not hit its mark… the lead photograph in this project, From a Small Island, is powerful, enigmatic, filled with stories only one of which could be true, the remainder of the project has good photographs, the kind i might take, and seems to tell a personal history, as suggested by what the artist writes about it… Cindy Sherman explores GenderI read about In the Mood for Love, there is a still photograph from the film, instantly i wish it were a photo project and not a film project, i think, ok, right away, this is the way to do people and their relationships, one needs to take control of the scene… it is supposed to be one of the great films of all time, i wonder if H will be interested, does it have subtitles?, if so, no, she can’t follow them, i must read them to her, that is tiresome… Cig HarveyKhalik Allah, this is a portrait project!… a publication ordered at the beginning of the pandemic arrives on my doorstep… Jorg Colberg on Decolonising the Camera: Photography in Racial Time… i order a copy, hopefully, i will read it… Stephen Gill, The Pillar

September 09, 2020

223.4 lbs

05:00 PM – living room

… lost day today, a wave of exhaustion hit me mid morning, i’ve done little beyond editing photos since… daily revelations about 45, one hopes it moves the needle, even if only a little… i so badly want all this to be done, 45 be gone… he will go away, one day, miraculously, he will disappear…

08:13 AM – walking, Fishkill Creek

… forgot to load a memory card in my camera, last week i mistakenly erased all the pictures i made on my walk, i am loosing it on some fundamental level…

05:20 AM – my studio

… i read Heather Cox Richardson’s post, the bilious behavior of 45’s administration keeps piling up, i frame a FB post in my head, “Tell me again. Who are the suckers and fools?,” the reference being to supporters of 45, which is perhaps harsh, but in light of all the evidence surfacing, that they continue to support him is mind boggling, Occam’s Razor people, Occam’s Razor, oh right, you don’t believe in scientific method and product… because i am up late, i read my news feed, it is distressing, i should not have done that, even after just a few news stories i get to the photography and i realize i haven’t the patience, so it is saved for later…

September 08, 2020

226.0 lbs

08:48 AM – walking, Long Dock Park

… social upheaval, never a comfortable thing, often a destructive thing, creative/destructive… the divine feminine, shop window display of femininity the goddess shrines of the present moment…

05:23 AM – my studio, with Fiona

… i am reading in Belonging again, i am reading about all the ways we get lost, get stuck, i am thinking about the times and the deep anxiety they are producing, in me, in everyone i know, i am thinking about the things that i want to do and how i am stuck, unable to do them, caught in my own fear, shame, inability to shine in dark times, for myself, for others, it is a wonder that i make my work at all… i think about my desire to burst out, or just change my head, i know i can, but the mire of the times, of life in these times, keeps sucking me back… i have much to be grateful for, i am healthy, there is H, the dogs, the cat, a day to day life that is not a struggle, other than to defeat the pessimism of the times… it is interesting to me that my reading in the morning frames my mental attitude for the day, read something positive, the attitude is more positive, read something negative, the attitude is more negative, the world is filled with a lot of negative right now, reading and being positive would seem to be in order, not to ignore the negative stuff, some of it needs to be known, but to not let it command the day… my computer freezes, crashes, reboots…

September 07, 2020

227.0 lbs

01:31 PM – back yard

… 45 came on and I did not want to listen so I came outside to read, continuing with Belonging, i read this:

Stripping things of their spirit makes it easier to exploit them as ‘resources,’ and liberates us from our accountability towards them.2

… or, as i would put it, without a concept of the sacred, everything is subject to violation, there is no reciprocity… but how do we return the sacredness of things?, how do we return the reciprocity required to be part of a sacred world?…

08:33 AM – walking, Fishkill Creek, near closed bridge

… Rocky came on patrol but didn’t come to say hello, i think he wasn’t sure about me… need to jeep going, getting late…

07:44 AM – walking, Beacon Falls

… out with only the iPhone today, frustrated with the Lumix, dust has accumulated inside the lens, strange that nobody mentions this problem… it is out there in forum discussions… thinking more about the feminine, Democratic Socialism, is that a yin/yang combo?, Socialism the feminine, Democratic the Masculine?, what does an economics and governance that is strong on the feminine look like?, reciprocity?…

05:28 AM – my studio

… i am reading again, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home… it has me thinking about my empty Flickr account, about how, as an artist, i am self centered, about how all my interactions with people in social media are around wanting them to see and appreciate my art, and about how that has not been all that successful, i need to construct a different story, a different relationship with fellow creatives, find my way to reciprocity…

We are at our most vulnerable when we’re in defiance of the status quo, and they can smell it. All that has been controlling us from the shadows now comes into the open, rearing up twice as fiercely at the threat of dethronement.3

For many, this means facing dreams of predators, rapists, landlords, Nazis and imperious bosses. These are the henchmen of stasis, sent to ward off any threat of growth.4

… in these two quotes i see the moment our culture is in, a struggle between the patriarchy and a more circular, inclusive way of being, the epithet being applied to the change that would happen is “Socialism,” which is, in fact, an inadequate name for the feminine, one that brands it a witch so that it can be burned at the stake… it is not clear what the present moment is, whether it is an inflection point or whether it is only a major battle, one of many, with more to come… as i read Belonging, i realize that all of the dreams recounted are dreams of women, that there do not seem to be men on the path of discovering and honoring the feminine in her universe…

September 06, 2020

226.0 lbs

08:40 AM – Walking, Madame Brett Trail

… thinking about S and the painting postcard she sent, it asked for a response which i did not realize till days after it arrived, the response asked for upon arrival, when i realized response was asked for i was unable to give one, thinking a lot about that, i am embarrassed and irritated, embarrassed not to have given the requested response, irritated because i thought originally it was a kindness to share art with me, rather than ask me to become part of an art project, as i walked this AM i realized i am annoyed because i have helped in the past with little more than thank you in return and that S only reaches out when something is wanted from me… my emotions around all this are complex…

07:09 AM – walking, Pete and Toshi Seeger park

… the idea that the patriarchy and capitalism are one and the same, i wonder what a feminine economic system looks like, not transactional but reciprocal?, there is not money or product b but gestures of kindness and community, this is how H operates… i think about changing my approach to sharing my photography… i cleared out the photographs on Flickr, i would like to have community, exchange, interaction, not just posting and hoping for ego gratification, which is what i do… interact with the Beacon Photography FB group?… how do i go about it without ego?…04:14 AM – my studio

… a good night’s sleep, was tired, a nice evening, food from Quinn’s, lots of activity on Main Street, we worked in the garden, did a border along the driveway, turned out to be an easy project as it had been done before, a row of brick, defining the edge, buried 2-3” down… reading about yin/yang and the loss of the feminine from the world, its systematic repression by patriarchy, thinking about my own experience of the feminine, which is strong… we watched a movie last night, The Lincoln Lawyer, it was good to watch a story that proceeded from beginning to end in less than two hours, more satisfying… i read about cancel culture, something liberals are supposedly guilty of more than conservatives, something most in effect on the far left?…

  1. Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home
  2. Toko-pa Turner, Belonging:Remembering Ourselves Home.
  3. Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home
  4. Toko-pa Turner, Belonging: Remembering Ourselves Home

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