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Week 47

IP WK 47

Image Poem, Week 47

November 21, 2020

227.2 lbs

… the shit show continues, Trumpublicans refusing to go home, what a sorry lot, would be comical if it were not so destructive… up extra early, seem unable to sleep more than six, six and a half hours… don’t seem to suffer too much for it… my daily Rumi reading, this:

These words I’m saying so much begin to lose meaning:
existence, emptiness, mountain, straw: words
and what they try to say swept
out the window, down the slant of the roof.1

… in the distance the horns of a freight train, the faint rumbling of its cars over the tracks, it is across the river, the river itself a ten minute walk from my door, my window is closed, yet, in the stillness of the early morning i hear it, sound symbol of journeys to the center of the soul… and then there is this:

QUIETNESS

Inside this new love, die.
Your way begins on the other side.
Become the sky.
Take an axe to the prison wall.
Escape.
Walk out like someone suddenly born into color.
Do it now.
You’re covered with thick cloud.
Slide out of the side. Die,
and be quiet. Quietness is the surest sign
that you’ve died.
Your old life was a frantic running
from silence.
The speechless full moon
comes out now.2

… i stop at this speechless full moon, thinking about the song, the Moon’s a Harsh Mistress… i knew the version Judy Collins sang… Cooking with Max Rocha: Roasted Pear, Mascarpone and Walnuts, looks delightful, perhaps for TG?… film by Werner Herzog and Clive Oppenheimer, Fireball: Visitors from Darker Worlds… blog posts from S, i read and respond to one of them, i may be about the only person who ever comments on them, but i like S and her posts… suddenly my Feedly feed is gone, scheduled maintenance, back in less than 30 minutes it says, that is an eternity in my mornings… Muriel Rukeyser on Willard Gibbs via Brain PickingsJosiah Willard Gibbs

Commentators and biographers have remarked on the contrast between Gibbs’s quiet, solitary life in turn of the century New England and the great international impact of his ideas. Though his work was almost entirely theoretical, the practical value of Gibbs’s contributions became evident with the development of industrial chemistry during the first half of the 20th century. According to Robert A. Millikan, in pure science, Gibbs “did for statistical mechanics and thermodynamics what Laplace did for celestial mechanics and Maxwell did for electrodynamics, namely, made his field a well-nigh finished theoretical structure.”3

04:00 AM – dining room

November 20, 2020

04:17 AM – my studio

… 45 blatantly trying to steal the election, arm twisting electors and legislators to overrule the will of the people in their states and appoint him president for another four years, all pundits i listen to say it has almost no chance of succeeding, and extreme long shot, but they don’t say it is impossible, and with 45, one has to fear the unlikely improbable… i believe my new hole punch tools will arrive today, if not today, then tomorrow, it is my intention to make some books to give as gifts… it’s Rumi time, i am intrigued with his concept of god, which does not seem to be an authoritarian god, but rather, god as in the whole cosmos being the fabric and body of god, which is a concept of god i can accept, it goes with the pansychic point of view, for example:

What is the body? That shadow of a shadow

of your love, that somehow contains

What is the body? That shadow of a shadow
of your love, that somehow contains
the entire universe.4

… what is the body, that shadow of a shadow of your (god’s) love, or is it the lovers love?, the two are indistinguishable and both contain the entire universe… these passages of Rumi are quite beautiful, ineffable, yet clear about the ineffability, floating on the edges of the infinite, but still moored in the finite… i have tried to read Rumi before and did not get far, it failed to hold my attention, but now, i feel as though i am wandering through a garden of beauty that is the universal seen, that the cosmic life force pulsates through me, in me, around me, that i am the cosmic sea… i have to set it down to move on to other information feeds, as i do, i wonder, does this appeal to me because i am a romantic at heart?, the accusation hurled at me in book making workshop a couple of years ago, it wounded, has not left me, as if there is something wrong with being a romantic, it’s not the same as naive, to be a romantic at my age is an accomplishment… an article in Politico about extreme masculinity being the country’s current problem, which makes a lot of sense to me, the white patriarchy is in question, toxic masculinity is rising to the top to defend it, the interesting part of it relative to my own sense of masculinity, is that the psychological researcher in the article suggests that all men can be brought to bristling if their masculinity is questioned in any way, even gay men, but i think about the examples and think to myself, well, no, i don’t think that would get the hairs on my neck to stand up… another article on Mimi Plumb’s new bookDan Burkholder on iPhone photography

November 19, 2020

225.6 lbs

04:57 AM – my studio

… Fiona only got me up once last night, about midnight, and i did not have to go all the way out, she stayed in the front of the backyard and did her business quickly, still not happy about having to get up, dress, let her out in the cold night air… reading Rumi, The Fragile Vial, about humility, about opening oneself up to the possibility of being in the most profound sense, about allowing god (the cosmos) to write large through you, with Rumi, the relationship to god is personal, individual, direct, one to one, one to the many, each a unique channel of reception, intimately of god, the cosmos, there is not worshiping, there is simply becoming, and it starts with humility:

Now I remember the story.
A True Man stares at his old shoes
and sheepskin jacket. Every day he goes up
to his attic to look at his work-shoes and worn-out coat.
This is his wisdom, to remember the original clay
and not get drunk with ego and arrogance.
to visit those shoes and jacket
is praise5

… i highlight this passage that nobody highlights, because it seems the significant one to me, there are two highlighted passages and they are good, but this one seems to be the heart of the matter, to me at least… one is blind to truth without humility, by letting the universe write on the blank page of self, by letting the seed of truth be planted in the bare soil of humility, how does this translate into a people seeing truth clearly, when all they care about is who’s truth they see, their own truth, not the truth of the cosmos, yet perhaps the truth of the cosmos is that planets will collide, damage will be done, then the cosmos will go on and be sublime, as it always was, always is, always will be, we are, as they say, gnats on the rump of the elephant… an article in The Nation gives me hope, i shared it to Facebook and wrote this comment:

This is a long read, but it gave me some hope, a scarce commodity even after the Biden/Harris victory. It’s about building a society that lifts all boats, not just the luxury yachts, but all boats, down to the humble and dignified row boat. It presents a vision, seemingly delusional, given the present circumstances and atmosphere. But the wildest and most destructive of storms are always followed by growth and renewal. What will that growth and renewal look like? How long will it take? During my organizing days, I helped raise the question of a living wage to the City of New York. Twenty years later, it is still a dream being pursued. I don’t want to live in a country where the measure of success is an ebullient stock market and the ability to swagger our economic might around the planet. I want to live in a country that ranks high in the wellness of its citizenry, where people work hard but are not enslaved. This article gave me some hope that such a vision might be achieved and that there are those working to make it happen.

November 18, 2020

226.0 lbs

10:10 AM – my studio

… i was thinking, MSNBC appeals mostly to the 65 and older crowd, those with nothing better than to watch it all day, it is a continuous train wreck, bad news is more compelling than good news, and every other advertisement is for a cancer treatment, nothing, or very little, uplifting, life affirming…

05:19 AM – my studio

… HCR recount of the day both disturbing and encouraging, the gambit of 45 is to send election to House of Representatives where a one state one vote condition favors 45 staying in power, it is a long, long shot that should fail… more shenanigans, Biden quietly building a competent administration, it is good we have replaced 45, though what put him in power continues to fester… Fiona needed to go out twice last night, had to get up, put on my clothes twice, escort her to the back yard, both times she peed almost immediately… an article on Arc Digital, the damage 45 can do on his way out, from the outside, i note that the author used a pseudonym, s/he lives in a Midwestern state, afraid of consequences?… an Art Blart post, Exhibition: Photography’s Last Century, filled with 20th century masters:

Florence Henri (French, born America 1893-1982)
Windows
1929
Gelatin silver print
14 1/2 × 10 1/4 in. (36.8 × 26cm)
Promised Gift of Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee, in celebration of the Museum’s 150th Anniversary
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Florence Henri (French, born America 1893-1982) Windows 1929 Gelatin silver print 14 1/2 × 10 1/4 in. (36.8 × 26cm) Promised Gift of Ann Tenenbaum and Thomas H. Lee, in celebration of the Museum’s 150th Anniversary The Metropolitan Museum of Art

interview between Blake Andrews and Sinna Nasseri in which this image by Garry Winogrand is shared:

Garry Winogrand, New York City, 1969
Garry Winogrand, New York City, 1969

… yes, there have been tumultuous years before now, we got through them, or did we?… an article on body image photography, 13 different photographers, activists, many compelling images, like this one:

Imogen Fox (@the_feeding_of_the_fox)
Imogen Fox (@the_feeding_of_the_fox)

… an article on 2020 International Juried Show at the Center of Photographic Arts, some compelling images…

Susan Bein, Two and a Half Dogs
Susan Bein, Two and a Half Dogs

November 17, 2020

227.2 lbs

03:49 AM – my studio

… early to bed, early to rise, still waiting for wealthy, reasonably healthy, the jury is out on wise… a passage in Rumi, so often god is spoken of as one speaks of the most intimate lover, the sexual lover, where all desires melt into the act of copulation, this is a sensual relationship with god and god is not a Muslim god, is not a Christian god, is not a Hindu god, is not a Jewish god, is not any particular kind of god, just the god of pure love and clarity, i like the god that Rumi invokes in me, it is not about worship, it is about finding the truth of being… this from I Have Five Things To Say… and this from Acts of Helplessness:

Excuse my wandering.
How can one be orderly with this?
It’s like counting leaves in a garden,
along with the song-notes of partridges,
and crows.
Sometimes organization
and computation become absurd.6

… and this, from Be Melting Snow:

Lo, I am with you always means when you look for God,
God is in the look of your eyes,
in the thought of looking, nearer to you than your self,
or things that have happened to you
There’s no need to go outside.
Be melting snow.
Wash yourself of yourself.
A white flower grows in the quietness.
Let your tongue become that flower7

… just read HCR, i fucking hate Republicans, conservatives who do nothing but wreck anything that is not them, we must win Georgia Senate races, must win them… come on Stacey Abrams… this book looks interesting to me, Ghost Witness, by Marten Lange… the work of monitizing Saul Leiter’s body of work continues, now it is the painted nudes… i love all things young feminine and naked, as most heterosexual men do, objects of desire, yes, objectification, it is primal, do my best to keep it just my fantasies… i am tired, so tired, didn’t sleep that well, alcohol, well, i’ve done my best to hydrate, will continue that, hope the day goes better, just tired…

November 16, 2020

226.0 lbs

04:53 AM – my studio

… woke up at 02:30 AM, fitful sleep after that, a dream stemming from an image i made, dark, silhouetted landscape, single star, Venus in the sky, in the dream the star moved suddenly, rapidly, off to the left, then there were Air Force jets and they seemed to be trying to battle and weren’t doing well, then i woke up, not long after i got up… a good start to the morning so far, it’s a good day, it’s a good week, i am ready to engage, most importantly i will do the medical things i need to do this week, skin exam, blood work… Fiona snorting in her sleep… Rumi, i read this:

But listen to me: for one moment,
quit being sad. Hear blessings
dropping their blossoms
around you. God.8

… i think of the situation my country is in, i think of the relentless news, i do my best to quit being sad, hear the blessings, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t…

November 15, 2020

226.8 lbs

06:57 AM – my studio

… and so, we are at six weeks left in 2020, possibly worst year ever, right up there with when i separated from M, but that year had getting together with H in it, on balance, death and immediate rebirth…

Every object, every being,
is a jar full of delight. Be a connoisseur,
and taste with caution.9

… this passage from Rumi is highlighted, it says, pay attention, but be selective, notice, but only let certain things intoxicate… Rumi goes on top say…

Any wine will get you high.
Judge like a king, and choose the purest,
the ones unadulterated with fear,
or som urgency about “what’s needed.”
Drink the wine that moves you
as a camel moves when it’s been untied,
and is just ambling about.10

… Ulysses has changed, getting use to changes, waisting time learning how to get back what i had, in this case, larger type, can’t find a command to enlarge on screen… oh, there we go, command +… reading HCR this morning, a history lesson, we are very much like the period leading up to the civil war, similar efforts by the wealthy to suppress the lower classes and, essentially, enslave them… The Ayn Rand approach… the master class and everyone else, i say BS…

  1. Rumi, Jalal Al-Din; Barks, Coleman. The Essential Rumi – reissue (p. 22). HarperCollins e-books. Kindle Edition.
  2. Rumi, Jalal Al-Din; Barks, Coleman. The Essential Rumi – reissue (p. 22). HarperCollins e-books. Kindle Edition.
  3. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josiah_Willard_Gibbs
  4. Rumi, Jalal Al-Din; Barks, Coleman. The Essential Rumi – reissue (p. 15). HarperCollins e-books. Kindle Edition.
  5. Rumi, Jalal Al-Din; Barks, Coleman. The Essential Rumi – reissue (p. 15). HarperCollins e-books. Kindle Edition.
  6. Rumi, Jalal Al-Din; Barks, Coleman. The Essential Rumi – reissue (p. 11). HarperCollins e-books. Kindle Edition.
  7. Rumi, Jalal Al-Din; Barks, Coleman. The Essential Rumi – reissue (p. 13). HarperCollins e-books. Kindle Edition.
  8. Rumi, Jalal Al-Din; Barks, Coleman. The Essential Rumi – reissue (p. 8). HarperCollins e-books. Kindle Edition.
  9. Rumi, Jalal Al-Din; Barks, Coleman. The Essential Rumi – reissue (pp. 6-7). HarperCollins e-books. Kindle Edition.
  10. Rumi, Jalal Al-Din; Barks, Coleman. The Essential Rumi – reissue (p. 7). HarperCollins e-books. Kindle Edition.

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