Something’s burning!

I startled awake.

Why?

No moonlight. Must be after one. My head instantly cleared.

“Something’s burning!”

Penny sat up in a rush. “It is!” she cried.

I was already out the door and halfway across the patio, the Airstream kitchen filled with smoke, the cat yowling at the nearly closed window. Maybe that’s what woke me up in time to avert the flames but not the brutal smoke… smells like a slaughterhouse fire… or a war sans cordite.

I snatched the door open and was slammed by a flying cat and a wall of smoke. The dog’s soup transmogrified by accidental alchemy from chicken carcass, sweet potato, and greens into greasy black, sticky, seriously stinky smoke over about 5 hours time on a low flame..

Sorry Amos. It’s a raw egg and yogurt with your breakfast kibble. 

We left a burner on and went to bed. That simple. 

We got away with it. This time… Barely.

On the good side…

We needed to build a better kitchen anyway. Canning and baking or cooking large on that trailer stove has been a nuisance from day one and they must have designed the kitchen sink and counters for people who always eat out. We, on the other hand, put up several cases of canned fruits and sauces and so forth, dry our own herbs and peppers and such, and cook and bake like the dickens.

And I needed the mental and physical exercise of designing and building something. Sitting around is a dangerous pastime. Leads to doddering. No doddering, thank you.  So this is good. And we both love the new kitchen. Check it out:

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Still a work in progress, but it works! See those peaches and pears on the bottom shelf? The five jars of relish on the top shelf? the ristras of Padron peppers hanging? Come on by and I’ll make you something nice… Like

Flank Steak with Papalo Sauce

My daughter recently discovered an ancient Central American herb that I’d never heard of… Papalo, and with said papalo and a lovely flank steak and several other well chosen ingredients, built a clean marinade, invented a brilliant sauce and prepared her old dad a most delicious and memorable meal, probably impossible to duplicate, except that, fortunately, her recipe published recently at trueself.com

https://www.trueself.com/papalo-an-alternative-to-cilantro-2606813426.html

I’m going to practice at it until I get it right.  

Wish me luck and check out that recipe. This sauce would be great on anything from vegan burgers to steak tartare to green beans to quinoa… I’ve had it on salmon, flank steak, tomato/fresh mozarella salad and by the spoonful… Yeah.

IF I CAN’T GET PAPALO, I will substitute 2 parts cilantro, 1 part arugula and a splash of blood orange juice for papalo in the recipe. It isn’t papalo, but it works.

 

 

One (at least) Liners of the day…

“If love isn’t the answer, rephrase the question.”

“You want a better world? Be nice.”

“The law of the jungle is not dog eat dog. It’s adapt or die.”

Which brings me to:

 

 

 

 

“aging in place”

Drifting happily toward dissolution, I note wear and tear… crumbling just a bit at the rub points and edges; weakening just a little here and there, then getting stronger again… Then an ordinary task becomes slightly more difficult. A little memory thing happens.

Then another and another until one happens with large consequences.

We already know we’re going to forget stuff so we set timers. But that only works when you remember to set the timer and are near enough to hear it when it rings and you aren’t wrestling a weed eater or some other noisy gadget. And that’s not going to be every time.

We’re very active people. We have a busy ceramics studio. My wife is a well loved teacher. We have a big garden. We live on a small farm on the knees of a very large mountain. We work. We play. Shit happens.

Mostly good stuff happens. As the fabric of this human gadget thins and frays, it also lets a light into me from a vast, quiet source beyond my usual knowing that smooths my thoughts and widens my smile. I love it. It is so pleasant to experience more presence and its attendant calm. 

Concurrently, I am dissolving like a dewdrop in the sun or a good idea in congress. Beauty surrounds me. So does death. I have lunch with somebody. By dinner he is no more. 

We elders keep half an eye on each other… It’s ridiculous. Invasive. Unnecessary.

Except it isn’t. It’s just good practice. Part of our adaptation. We adapt until we can’t…  I like adapting, being awake. I see  people giving up. Bad idea. Keep growing. Fill your life with living.  Learn something good every day. Do lots of good stuff. Stretch. Stretch your body. Imagine your mind expanding, knowing more, loving more.

I want to age in place alright; every place I happen to be at in the moment as healthily and happily as possible for as long as it makes sense! If you don’t have a way that you freshen and enliven your whole body and mind at least most days, go to Pilates or QiGong or something to get the hang of it, but move it! We elders have a lot to do yet unless we want to go to one of those warehouses, sit in a wheelchair watching 50’s re-runs and taking meds or an equivalent of that. Our country is in the shit. This is no time to bail, folks. This is time to gather our wisdom and become ever more wakeful and responsible. 

That’s what I think.

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This bowl is called “Instability,” something that happens in dynamic waveforms when the amplitude or frequency of the energies producing them increases or decreases… In this case, the blue wave form can be seen as either coming into the array or leaving it…

 

 

 

Why hatred is So much more popular than love or useful information on the Internet

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The algorithms that run your social media networks we’re designed to direct attention to where its makers wanted that attention to go. Mean, scary stuff gets more attention than nice news. So they synergize mean, scary stuff to get more of our attention. That’s just reasonable business in America, isn’t it?

That’s not the only problem.

The algorithms were written to continue redesigning themselves in real-time in interaction with users of the Internet, always modifying themselves, to influence the end-user and adapt to the changing situation of the internet…

But there’s a rub; to allow the Internet to become huge, they had to release algorithms into it which effectively control its structure etc so it can operate without interruption of service while it rapidly grew and still grows by orders of magnitude.

No human programmers can keep up with the changes, adjustments, tweaks, whatever that need continually to happen to meet the dynamic and expanding needs of whatever is transmitting and handling the data. So you flood it with self empowering algorithms that let the human programmers largely off the hook and, unfortunately, out of the loop… the algorithms don’t need the programmers to continue changing, growing, connecting with other algorithms…

Why is that a problem? In terms of our delicate and extremely dangerous relationship with AI, it is rather like asking a coyote to design, build, monitor and maintain your chicken coop. You will definitely feed more chickens than you eat. If you get to eat any.

AI is sociopathic at best and more probably psychopathic in that it is initially controlled and released into our lives informed only by the rapacious intentions of those who pay the programmers. No moral compass, no ethical boundaries programmed in.

So if you are the end-user and have anything at all of value that those rapacious people want, those algorithms are constantly constructing better ways to get it from you. You and I are then food for a self expanding algorithm of algorithms, vastly smarter and faster than us, designed to learn how to find ways to steal our attention, our identities and our money from us for sure, and we will probably never know what else.

These algorithms, and of course there are great many of them, feed on raw data which they are constantly teaching themselves more efficient ways to collect, memorize and utilize in support of greedy interests that care nothing for our well being and will enslave us utterly if they can.

It’s not even personal. No conspiracy is necessary to explain it. It’s just the reasonable outcome of the way we do things here where the coyotes usually build the chicken coops. Or is it sheeple screens?

Email really works for personal communication especially if you pay for it. You give them a little money and they give you a hassle free, ad free and reasonably personal Mail service. Can it be hacked? Sure it can. According to the news, so can everything else. We don’t stop breathing air because it’s funky. we find and correct the source of the poison… Then we consider our options…

If you’ve gotten this far here’s a primary source.

Jeron Lanier, “10 Arguments For Deleting Your Social Media Accounts Right Now.”

He was the chief scientist on the project for expanding the internet from big to infinite and has no social media accounts and has gone to great effort to warn us.

Think about it.

 

………………..What is “Me”?………………………

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How do we know who we are? The nearly finished drawing above is my first approximation of  how I arrive at “personal” identity.

Why do I give a damn who I think I am? Because there are still some things in my “operating system” I’d like to change. Maybe because I walked across a parking lot on a freezing morning and passed a guy dressed in a threadbare blanket and ragged pants who was clearly looking in cars and everywhere else for anything that could warm or nourish him and I saw a thief, an intruder. We exchanged looks. He saw me see him that way… By the time I got to the door of my luxurious favorite bakery across the parking lot, I realized that a better description of what I had seen was a starving, freezing brother… And I wondered what in me makes such sudden, harsh judgements about people? And what in me sees that judgement and wants to make damn sure he doesn’t do it again? Who or, better, what is this me?

We need to wake up, take responsibility for our own lives, learn what’s really running things and come to terms with that and I’m saying most of us most of the time have no idea what runs this human gadget we live in, and rather routinely use to wreak havoc on each other, our habitat and, incidentally, ourselves.

Something inside me points at something inside me and calls it “me”. What’s up with that? What has separated itself to point at itself and call it a “Me”?

You may ask what difference does it make how I arrived at my identity? As Popeye said so eloquently, “I am what I am!”, With the implication of course, “and proud of it!”

As you can see, by the time the drawing got this far, it depicts separation, multiplicity, projection, circularity, the idea of disguises, and in that center circle, taking a most energetic role in this mystery, is “my” chop… the sign “I” put on my pottery or “my” graphic explorations so y’all will know that “I” did this or that.

My initials are GS. My chop lays a capital S onto a capital G to make one half of the YinYang image.

The point I’m trying to get to is not how clever my chop is but that before we go off half cocked making judgments about other people, especially judgments that affect their lives directly, like whether I proffer some guy a hot coffee and a pastry or a dirty look, we might want to consider that we don’t even know how we ourselves work. I’m an old man and I just recently decided that I’m an electronic device in a circuit from one perfectly reasonable point of view, an infinitesimal expression of infinity from another and a sac of bio-goo from yet another and we could go on for quite awhile…

So it seems to me that the definition of “I” is a moving target. However,

You bring this “I” hard evidence falsifying one of its main beliefs… the ones “I” paid for with blood, sweat and tears, and the rubber instantly hits the road… sideways. That’s just a startle reflex.

Try not to take it personally and I’ll try to shut my panic button off and hear your evidence…

But you and I both know that both of those things can be hard to do… either to let somebody react all crazy stupid about something you consider important enough to tell them about and still be authentically kind to them, or the other side of the “nonversation”… to face the fact that I have believed and probably pontificated a lot of mistaken notions about something dear to my ego. Maybe I even wrote a book about it and got prizes for thinking it up and it turns out to be a crock of crap according to this new information.

How do “I” and  the rest of me handle that…

Whatever this thing is, it doesn’t like to be mistaken and it definitely doesn’t like to be “Wrong!”, so when I’m trying to listen to better information than I’ve been operating on, it takes me a minute to relax my shoulders, take a breath and unscrew the opinions out of my ears…

Until I’ve done that, it’s no good driving even self evident points home, because “I” can’t possibly unscrew the blockading opnions out of my ears at the same time points are being driven into my ears… by “I” or anybody else…

Consideration communicates better than pressure.That’s  reasonable.

We’re in a war! Where is the army?

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Does this get the point across?

 

Our wonderful firefighters are wiped out exhausted. They’re short-handed so they’re staying out too long. Working a fire that tired greatly increases their risk and reduces their efficiency. In fact all of our firefighting resources are strained beyond the max and we are in the middle of what used to be the normal fire season. Unfortunately, the  reality is that we have not had a month since 2008 without a wildfire in California.

Our tiny community of North San Juan has a small but highly respected volunteer fire department. We have seven people out on strike teams at least a hundred miles from here. What do we do when fire attacks our high risk area? One of our guys is into his third week of EMT duty with strike teams on the Ferguson fire. When does he get a break?

We have 14,000 people fighting fire in California today according to Cal fire incident reports. By my count we are getting a new fire that becomes a major fire starting roughly every 72 hours over the last two weeks. And it’s getting hotter here.

When I see the pictures of the exhausted firefighters and then I look at the weather forecast I say it’s time for our military to take its place on these firelines and fight a real enemy actually attacking  the United States instead of running around the globe harming people who have never harmed us to further enrich a handful of bastards who are already way too rich. How much food do you eat from California? Guess what. That’s seriously at risk.

I think we are in a life and death struggle with fire fifty times beyond our capacity to handle it ourselves and we need the army or we’re going to lose it.

What do you think?

He said, “If it was in the newspaper or TV news, that’s not what happened…”

Foul play or mischance? We were in my suite in the Izmailova Hotel in Moscow discussing news of a missing scientist . The “retired” KGB colonel that Valodya, my Russian partner had brought to our staff party was very clear… the media was “no good”.

I was told he had doubled as a janitor in the US embassy in Moscow for over 20 years.  A full colonel in Soviet State Security swinging a mop and carrying trash for American diplomats. I would like to have seen that. I bet they loved him. I’m sure he made himself very useful.

He said he admired our enthusiasm for Gorbachev’s attempts to develop a prosperous Russia through cooperation with the West, which enthusiasm he graciously called “youthful” rather than “childish”. He advised me over a fried chicken leg he was happily munching that “Ultimately, George, a few guys get together for morning coffee in Geneva or somewhere and they decide what’s going to happen in the world that day…”

His pale, brilliant eyes said little about him and probed much into me. This man was very smart and very awake and the way he led the conversation led me to wonder whether he was vetting me or just enjoying the Southern fried chicken… I thought at that time that his cynicism was unwarranted and said that I believed that if you worked hard and paid attention that you could go all the way to the top.

I continued to believe that, one collapsed negotiation after another until we finally got it right and put together a deal that was going to save Californians money at the pumps of 35,000 independent gas stations and make us very rich indeed.

As we now observe, 35 years later, there are very few independent gas stations left in California. I’m not rich (in money) and we still pay way too much for gas…

The people who make millions of dollars an hour do not let people like me make millions of dollars a month. Believe it. Long story for another time. I’ll just say that the financial mechanisms of international commodity commerce are held so tightly by so few that I think that Valodya’s friend was right. “THEY decide what’s going to happen in the world that day…”

Catastrophe, worst enemy of the people and dearest friend of greed.

Catastrophe overrides everything else, doesn’t it? Suddenly nothing else exists in our minds. Investigations, birthdays, projects, hopes. Everything is instantly abandoned. When it’s over, and we find our weary ways back through the ashes or the mud and the wreckage, we must continue to forego other activities and rebuild. That costs lots of money and keeps everybody busy climbing out of trouble instead of creating thriving. Not so good.

War is the catastrophe of choice for the rapacious because unlike a hurricane or wildfire that just happens and is beyond even their control, they can plan, cause and somewhat control war, thereby making profit throughout the entire process… They agitate the populace with media… paid for by the populace, sell the weapons of destruction, uniforms, soon to be needed prosthetics, bandages, and all the food, ships etc to make the catastrophe, then after we regular people have murdered each other and blown up each other’s worlds to the point of utter exhaustion, both sides, losers and so-called winners pay the masters again with sweat and money to rebuild what they conned us into destroying in the first place. Now, that’s a hustle!

Communist era Russian joke

“Pravda” means “truth” in Russian. “Izvestia” means “news”. The two national newspapers were named Pravda and Izvestia. The joke is, there is no pravda in Izvestia and no izvestia in Pravda.

What can we do for our grandchildren?

We can inform them…

I asked my 12 year old granddaughter if she thought it might be useful  to know anything about my younger days.  She sent me a list of serious questions to which I reponded …

Dear Beatrice:

How nice to find your delightful letter in the mail. Having a granddaughter is The Best!

As to your fourteen well chosen questions…

Here we go.

Who was the most influential person in my childhood?

The person who taught me the most between 4 and 12 years of age was my step-mother, Florence Duford. For much of that time, I lived with her on a little mountain farm in Paradise, California. She taught me much of what I know about raising animals, caring for orchards, gardening, canning and drying food, cooking, how to make things, fix things and most of all, how to work real hard.

I spent a lot of time alone as a child in nature… I think I was influenced far more, as a spiritual and thinking person, by nature and the great many books I hungrily read than I was by any one person. They were different times. The people around me were older and not fond of children. I was expected to be quiet around adults, to do what I was told, to work hard and stay out of the way. Nature, on the other hand, always seemed to welcome me and to love me. So I spent a lot of time observing and enjoying her… Everything of value that I have learned of a scientific nature I learned from observing natural processes both as an adult and as a child.

When and where was I born?

Like I said, things were different… I don’t know for sure where or exactly when I was born. There are two stories that have come to me. One says I was born in a no longer existing hospital in San Francisco. The other says I was born in a tin shack in a migrant labor camp somewhere near Fresno, California. Both stories agree that it was in November of 1937. My half sister who is 8 years older than me told us the tin shack story. She says she was there.

Who encouraged me to pursue art?

Nobody, until I met Izzy Sher when I was a young teenager. He brought out the best in me. Your Nana knew Izzy. Roz encouraged me a great deal. When we first met she encouraged me to go to art school. And to this day I have always felt that she is appreciative and supportive of my art as she is of yours and your mom’s.

My earliest memory?

How about my earliest happy memory? That was pretty cool. I was 4. We had driven seven hours from San Francisco to Paradise and it snowed heavily all the way up the mountains. We barely made it. We were towed by a big bulldozer the last few miles. There was so much snow that winter that we had to go into the place we were spending the night through a second story window. Somebody carried me up a ladder. I don’t remember much until they dropped me onto an old fashioned feather bed and it was like sinking into a cloud of happy warmth and I was asleep before I stopped melting into the bed. Doesn’t sound like much, but gliding into that feather bed is still a very happy memory and probably the first really good night’s sleep of my life.

Where did my love of the arts originate?

From nature and the arts… Beauty begets beauty. I have had various favorites through the years: Favorite trees, flowers, writers, artists, landscapes, colors, dancers, guitarists… but they all had one thing in common… beautiful! I think that just being in nature with an open and appreciative mind brings out the artist in us. Something in us wants to give thanks for the way the beauty affects us, and so we echo it… reflect it in a way. What do you think? What fires you up?

My favorite subject in school?

I’m not sure I can separate that question from “favorite teacher.” I have always loved history as a subject, for example. Any history. But I usually hated history in school because it was so often simplified into meaningless quack, boringly presented, that gave no flavor or understanding of the people or the times they were living in. Often, what was presented as “history” I later learned, were simply lies. The teacher probably thought they were true, but they were lies. Takes the fun out of it. To actually study history I have usually to seek out brilliant writers who research well and remain at least somewhat impartial, presenting facts instead of a silly story glorifying the historian’s beliefs.

(Two very different examples of what I call good history: Will and Ariel Durant’s 12 volume “Story of Civilization”, a sweeping general view of the whole picture of this round of human civilization and James Thomas Flexner’s “Washington, The Indispensable Man.” a tightly researched, detailed account of one key historical figure).

Of course, when a teacher loves their subject and gets excited because you show interest in it, your favorite subject, for a time at least, may well be whatever they are teaching, because their teaching enlivens your mind… and with people like us, Beatrice, as you well know, we like being awake and learning good stuff!

A richer answer to your question, perhaps, would be that my favorite subject in or out of school is the subject of learning and exploring the human experience as fully as I can. I want to be the best me I can become and I will still be doing that the day I die! Life is way too full of possibility to stop learning ever.

Was there a teacher… in school… who influenced me?

Many “teachers” have influenced me. And one of them was a schoolteacher. Mr. Burns was the 8th grade teacher and the principal of the Scotia school. Scotia is a mill town in the heart of the redwoods, 300 miles north of San Francisco. Everybody in town worked for the mill except for the few needed to run the little store and the hotel and so forth. Mister Burns was a tall, handsome man, always dressed impeccably in suit and tie, his silver hair shining like the moon. Everything about him was dignified, proud, correct… like that.

I don’t remember a thing he taught us in class.

He was also our Scoutmaster though, and I remember what he said in that capacity. There were 8 of us boy scouts. Mr. Burns took us one day deep into the forest along the Eel River and stood us in a circle inside the burned out remains of a gigantic redwood tree. There was plenty of room for all of us and 8 more could have fit in there too. He told us that we were standing in the very heart of what takes care of us and everybody in our town. He said this tree was 22 feet in diameter abh (at breast height), had probably lived for three thousand years. He called it a Mother tree. He said when we grew up and came into these woods with chain saws, we must never harm a Mother tree because they were the heart of the forest and without them, the forest would wither and die. Then he took us over to where a baby redwood about two inches tall was just poking up through the duff in the shadow of the mother tree. He made us all get down on our knees and he showed us that the baby tree was coming out of a root leading back to the mother tree.

So he taught me to be a gentleman by behaving like a gentleman. He taught me to be grateful and considerate by being grateful and considerate. He so clearly loved the forests and the rivers that because I respected him, my own love of forests and rivers was validated and reinforced by that good man.

Was pottery always my favorite medium?

No. I’ve only been doing pottery for the last 6 years, thanks to Penny. When I was young we all assumed I would become a career graphic artist of some sort. Well, I do a bit of pottery and graphic art these days, but for most of my work life I saw to getting things built. However, I have always played music and usually practiced poetry and drawing even if I was in some foreign country building something. I do as many drawings as pots even now.

What was my first job?

Depends how you look at it. My stepmother certainly treated me like an employee from a very early age, but my first job where I got paid money was fruit picking… mostly berries in summer and apples and walnuts in fall… You could pick berries as soon as you were tall enough to reach the top of the berry cane for 5 cents a basket. I started a year early by using a wooden box to stand on to reach the top berries. I guess I was 5 or 6. My first pay check job was a bicycle messenger for Western Union in San Francisco when I was 12. That was cool. I couldn’t believe somebody would pay me to race through the streets on a bike all day delivering telegrams. The pay was pitiful but the tips and the rides were great, as was going up and down the elevators in the big buildings and exploring them.

You know, Beatrice, what we have here in your 14 questions is kind of an outline for an autobiography or something. Are you sure you want to know all this? I don’t want to bore you.

Anyway, you ask “How has your career as an artist and a teacher created value in your life?”

Well, I’m certainly an artist. Teacher? In some ways. Penny is a teacher. She’s a pro. I’m more of a sub rosa or behind the scenes teacher.

Artistic expression, as I understand it, is not confined to the doing of art. Practicing art has taught me that. Learning to draw, for example can be a lifetime pursuit. One can never reach the limit of possibilities latent in a blank sheet of paper and something to make marks with… Art teaches me to observe more accurately, which in turn calls me to be more present in the moment, which in turn enables me to see more clearly and calmly, which leads me to open wider and look even more deeply… you see?

I’m saying, that to me, the activity of artistic practice is of value in and of itself because it enriches my experience of being and expands my capabilities, not just in art, but in any area of life requiring acute powers of observation, hand/eye coordination, etc. If the thoughts and feelings found in the art thus produced be noble, inspiring or entertaining, so much the better! But art has already repaid one generously in the doing of it if it be done with loving attention.

That others find benefit in our work gives me great pleasure. We make functional pottery because it’s more about love for us than art. To hand build a bowl and hold it in my hands that will be held in other hands to nourish someone… That’s a privilege for me. To make a bowl that adds a little beauty to your breakfast, feels good in your hands, is nice to your eyes. That definitely puts a smile on my face.

Who is my favorite student/apprentice?

You know, Beatrice, I am 80 years old. I have been a plumber, a shoemaker, a farmer, a carpenter, a very fancy carpenter, an artist, a printing plant manager, a musician, an international trader, a citizen diplomat, a project manager, a worm farmer, an orchardist, a building contractor, a hazardous waste contractor… I could go on… the point being I have a taught a lot of people a lot of stuff, so it depends… But in general,

My favorite student is the apprentice; by which I mean the one who makes themselves totally present to the teaching and wants to know all about it. I think anyone who teaches would share that sentiment. And the real cream for a teacher, in my view, is the student who dives in to learn all about it and then goes out into the world and does something good with it.

What is my happiest memory?

Are you kidding? I have been so blessed. Do you think I could point at one thing and say, “The Best!”? They keep on coming, Beatrice. In a way, in my old mindstream, a myriad of “happiest memories” swim all around my thoughts… the first time I saw you, the first time I saw your mom, the first time I saw a great ballerina do magic on a stage, or when I learned a war was over, or some other great good thing happened… a myriad of happiest moments and you have given me a great many of them, thank you ever so much!

Oh? What is my greatest hope/dream?

Excellent question! Let us never lose sight of our best dream! MIne is that people will be nice to each other. That being nice to other people will become a main priority for a great many people in every situation of life; that we will as John Lennon put it, “Give peace a chance.”

Beatrice, I love your questions. I do hope my long winded answers are not too boring. Please write again soon.

Much love,

Grandfather George

A Little Gallery

OF MY WORK

Which I shall refresh from time to time.

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I call this bowl “Giving and Receiving”

The design is modeled on a double dorge (or dorje) embellished with a visual “narrative”.

A dorge is a Tibetan version of the Sanskrit Vajra or adamantine thunderbolt. It is held in the hand and used as a mind focusing device, usually with a bell called a ghanta, in meditation gestures called mudras.

The double dorje represents, among other things, universal stability, but I wasn’t thinking of that when I drew it on the bowl. I was thinking of the Tibetan practice called Tong Len, which translates as “giving/receiving”.

On each lobe of my piece there are hands. The east/west hands point out, giving. The north/south hands point in, receiving. The dorge surface has the appearance of bone and is cracking. I don’t know why. That’s how the drawing came out. Perhaps I’m more of an art transmitter than an artist… The hands all hold or present people; my attempt to portray cherishing, which is what I think is good to do to get flowering… they all terminate at their tops with flowers. Flowers produce seeds…

 

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Who’s in charge?

I cartoon cereal bowls. Then I realize after I look at this one, for example,  that this bowl is not for eating one’s breakfast cereal. I don’t know exactly how this image emerged from the pencil… I seldom do. In this case I read about a judge who made, I thought, a good call and then a couple days later reneged on his good call to make a really bad one that essentially ruined  people’s lives and let a rich man off the hook. I had a glaze pencil in my hand at the time and the empty bowl in the other and I was going to draw a happy doggie in it for my granddaughter’s dog and instead, this judge shows up with the hands from above covering his ears and directing his vision…. So I carried on and made the bowl in the next image.

 

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frog with gold ring; looking for a kiss maybe?

This 12 “ serving bowl was a birthday present for my granddaughter. I never know how these things are going to look. I started with the geometry. As I was drawing the basic geometry, wondering what this had to do with my granddaughter’s birthday, I found myself thinking about young girls and fairy tales with transformer frogs who become princes and up out of the geometry pops this not-quite-a-frog…

 

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Puer tea from China in a little tea bowl from me

This was the first  summer tea bowl I made. I still love it. My idea of a winter tea bowl is  heavier and more embracing of the tea and its warmth while my summer tea bowl is  more open and lighter, more floral.

 

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Who Am I Now?

Everybody has a story. I was adopted at four by a man who claimed to be my blood father. He ignored me for the rest of his life.  I only recently figured out what was up with that and now, thankfully, I am certain that man was not my blood father… so now, at 80 I’m reinventing myself… wish me luck. It’s weird. I feel like I peel off a mask that I have come to think of as “Me” and there’s just another mask under it waiting to receive the impressions of my experience before taking shape… If there’s a “me” here, I can’t find it.