The Weather Report
All the Best in Gossip, News, and Weather :: a blog by Steven & Meena the Cat.

What the thunder has to say

I find, after all these years, I am a believer—
I believe what the thunder and lightning have to say;
I believe that dreams are real,
and that death has two reprisals;
I believe that dead leaves and black water fill my heart.

I shall die like a cloud, beautiful, white, full of nothingness.

The night sky is an ideogram,
a code card punched with holes.
It thinks it’s the word of what’s-to-come.
It thinks this, but it’s only The Library of Last Resort,
The reflected light of The Great Misunderstanding.

God is the fire my feet are held to.

by Charles Wright


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Edition #109 Generosity relief block proof on Kozo with flocking.

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Edition #109 Generosity relief block proof on Kozo printed in varnish on draft of print.

Process & Progress

I used #4 and #5 Korns crayons to draw the shimenawa on the aluminum plate matrix. I under etched the crayon drawing using just gum but did put TAPEM on the non-image areas. After an initial rollup, hopefully successful, I’ll re-etch the plate with a stronger etch.

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Topology

You might conclude that my “maps” are fictional imaginings or inaccurate by today’s mapping paradigm standards … but this is not at all true. I spend a good amount of time to insure that they are topologically accurate. Not only are they responses to real places where I have stop’d to see and to experience but I also consult other materials both historic and current. In the case of the current edition all the passes that I can identify as supporting human crossings are marked in their respective topologically correct location. The matrix that depicts the shimenawa wrapping of sacred space also indicates a correct topology of the access corridors into and out of the space. It is likely that this is why so few people understand what I am doing when I construct a mapping response to a place. The response is not a typical map in the modern sense of the term. Below is the mylar draft showing the shimenawa and access points. This process of making a response takes time, care, and, I believe, is an original map making (a rejection of modern gis-gps-cartography).


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Shimenawa :: the wrapping of sacred space. Mylar draft for the edition #109 ‘Generosity.’

Sacred Space

I read somewhere that Calder worked every day in his studio. I wish I could say the same. Somedays I suffer such depression it is difficult … everything is difficult. I thought today that I would see the ‘divide litho’ run completed on the ‘Generosity’ print but I was slowed by a scumming plate and I stopped the run to re-etch the open areas. The first print went fine, just the plate scumming during subsequent inking.

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So I proceeded with the layout for my initial idea of a shimenawa; used to indicate a boundary to something sacred, thus there be a sacred space called Glacier-Waterton International Peace Park! This is indicated in a stylized manner on the companion print ‘The Way Across’.

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There are places, like this, that must be wrapped by shimenawa. We are such a selfish species. In her “Memorandum to the Animals” Amy Leach says “If you are concerned about the devastation of your genetic type and you do not see your name on the Keep-Alive List, you might think about clumping some vegetation together into rafts on which to rescue yourselves… Anyway, we need the space for our works and wonders. Many of you are being superannuated because we must give priority to our machinery, our televisions and computers and refrigerators and cars, trucks, airplanes, combination microwave/convection ovens with auto-time zone adjusters. We will still bring a few of you with us, especially those of you with rumps and ribs (please refer to the Keep-Alive List). But we are not going to waste time holloing for the bush babies, waiting for the mayflies to drift in and the kiwis to materialize. We are certainly not going to stand around until the tortoises figure out what’s going on.”

Mixing Ink

I spent some effort today mixing the ink for the continental divides matrix (I transferred the relief print onto a litho plate) on the ‘Generosity’ edition. I had anticipated flocking the wet ink but decided instead to use of stiff black, Graphic Chemical Crayon Black, mixed with Litho Varnish #5 and Hanco Master Palette Fire Red. I’ve got to stop this seemingly endless matrix making. Now I want to add a border to the edition as I am not using the ‘The Way Across’ border on this print. You can see the ink draw on the lower right on the mock-up below.

“It is not down in any map; true places never are.” Herman Melville | Moby Dick

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May 4th 1970 Kent State Massacre

Warm weather and working on several editions right now both maps and prints. I hope to get a complete font of lead type for the letterpress someday. It would be nice to start on the book of birthday poems book. I’ve yet to come up with the plan for the illustrations. A series of block prints would work well with the poems; maybe one each decade 20s 30s 40s 50s 60s … Meena the Cat and I have been spending together time. Aside from the head bumping, nibbling and kissing that happens around 5AM we are having a good time together. She stays close by. In 1970 I was nearby the Kent State Massacre; 13 seconds and four students murdered (Agnew’s words). This present moment changed it all for me.

May 4th 1970, The Kent State Massacre
An emotional Governor Rhodes, yelling and pounding his fists on his desk called the student protesters un-American, referring to them as revolutionaries ”…They're the worst type of people that we harbor in America. Now I want to say this. They are not going to take over [the] campus. I think that we're up against the strongest, well-trained, militant, revolutionary group that has ever assembled in America…..” and then the Kent State massacre … the shootings of unarmed college students protesting the Vietnam War at Kent State University in Kent, Ohio …The shootings were ordered by members of the Ohio National Guard on May 4, 1970, agitated by an undercover FBI agent. Twenty-nine guardsmen fired approximately 67 rounds over a period of 13 seconds, killing four students and wounding nine others, one of whom suffered permanent paralysis.


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on the press again

This week I’ve been back in the pressroom working on the changes to the Generosity & The Way Across edition. On wet ink (a soft black on Kozo) gently brush on the flocking pigments then remove from the non-inked areas. Working proof to evaluate the changes to the matrix in the Comeau Pass area.
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YA) The River Again

Here is a proof of the print “River Form” without the collage paper(s). I am still considering a delicate lithograph layer under or within the river form that details the rivers Clark Fork and Bitterroot coming together west of Missoula. The pinkish tint is due to the indoor lighting, but you can see the effect of the varnish tint without pigment, with the gold flocking of the golden mean, and the black outer border.

“When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then… You can’t make them change if they don’t want to.” Andy Warhol
The River

Taxes

Meena the Cat and I are finishing up the taxes this weekend. She has yet to understand the concept of helping. We didn’t do very well financially this year but we did live, share, enJOY, make and participate.

Meena and the Taxes

YA) The River

Work on the ‘River Form’ print continues. It’s a large matrix and takes some time to proof and develop. I am considering a lithograph layer using a water tusche that will show through the varnish of the river form and tint the piece. Although the print right now utilizes only one (relief) matrix, the matrix was inked in two colors and gold flocked (on the golden rectangle) thus the appearance of three separate colors. The green tint comes from a sheet of green Kozo placed beneath the proof (showing stronger beneath the transparent litho varnish), and the water forms on the right side from another sheet, again placed beneath the proof. Both of these sheets are to visualize how might the lithograph tusche develop the edition. I’m thinking of “YA) the river” but that can wait.

River Forms

The World Which Actually Is

The bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™. The world which actually is is a ‘race against time’ … ‘the road not taken’ … and a ‘climate changed’.

“We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is. We are sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas.” Alan Watts

bulletin board

We drink the same water

River Form” is a large relief matrix that I’ve yet to edition. Cut from Sentra a decade ago it depicts the Clark Fork meanders on Kelly Island west of Missoula, Mont. embedded in the ‘golden mean’ and irreverent property ownership. What remains of a place when it is defined by place names of dead white Europeans who never set foot, by pavement covering the soft earth underfoot, by lawns of strange grasses infested with poisons, by houses made from plastics and set on rectangular grids imposed on the land and fenced with signs saying PRIVATE … ? Ink selection trials, litho varnish, gold flocking and black, on Kozo and chine-collé. I have no love for the destruction currently being wrought of this beautiful earth. The earth is not private … we all drink the same water.

ink selection


“Water is good, so is thirst; … shadow is good, so is sun; … the honey from the rosemarys … and the honey of the bare fields.” Antonio Machado

Silly Human & High Water

I got a new old rug for the upstairs studio, cleaned it and set it on a nice pad. This will make morning exercises a bit more comfy. However Meena the Cat has decided that the rug is hers, not mine; silly human. I cannot keep it flat on the floor ! The snow is mostly gone from the river trail making morning runs less hazardous, I was able to go out along the trail all the way to the gate this morning without having to jump snow patches. The Clark Fork River is muddy and high. The river usually crests in late May to early June but right now it is 12,200 cf3/s which is considerably greater than the usual mean discharge for March; 3,490 cf3/s. If I read the data correctly this is a record for this time of year, the previous being from 1972. On another water note; once again our insurance will not cover damages to the flooding in the Parsonage basement. I wonder what good is insurance‽ I’ve submitted several claims over the years always having been rejected. They pay their adjusters a lot of money to find out how not to honor any claims, always in the small print there is a reason. Silly human don’t you realize that insurance is just another word for scam.

Meena the Cat

Waters Beneath

The Parsonage, I am told on authority, has been experiencing an unusual amount of flooding in the basement. The Colville River (and the Chewelah Creek system), more or less a drainage ditch on behalf of the valley wheat farmers, is quite high. Water is really an amazing force; THE element that gets larger when colder. Think about this little detail for a minute. This expanding and contracting accounts for much of the dynamic forces that shape the planet, crushing rocks. One night when, as building and grounds manager in a Catskill resort, as a winter flooding was coming down the Panther Kill I was awoken by a deep low sound I’d never heard before. In the morning I discovered that massive boulders, some 20 and more feet tall, had been carried down the creek in the flooding. Well, water changes things. The basement flood at the Parsonage in Chewelah reminds me of the Derby Street community that sits atop a buried east bay creek in Berkeley. High waters bring flooding to their basements as well. Derby Street II Waters Beneath, a multi-matrix lithograph, is a response to the waters in motion beneath us.

Derby Street II Water Beneath

Equal but Slow

This morning, 3:19am MDT, was the Vernal Equinox, day and night being equal in length … a waxing gibbous moon and the EOT at -7:24 slow … the sun transiting toMake™ studio at 1:43pm MDT, rising at 7:38am and setting at 7:48pm … the meaninglessness of DST persisting. Melting snows and high turbulent waters. I am sad today about the ongoing loss and consumption of beauty and wildness.

"The most intimate thing we can do is to allow people we love most see us at our worst. At our lowest. At our weakest. True intimacy happens when nothing is perfect.” Amy Harmon, The Song of David

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Stop Acting So Small

When the snows melt and the temperatures warm the alley comes awake. Talking with neighbors becomes all the more frequent and out & about small delights emerge hidden all winter. I passed this small display today; the welcoming of smiles and perspectives made me stop and remember I am a participant in the great ecstatic motion.


“Stop acting so small. You are the universe in ecstatic motion.” Rumi (b. 1207)

Many Many Buddhas

Storytelling

A job on the press today; for the Reverend on her travels. Ink on paper. Mixed Red #32 and Reflex Blue and set type, made some changes, in Century 12 point. Basically the only serif font I have in a text weight. Ran 100 and cleaned up and oiled the 19th century Gordon press. Feels good doing this tactile stuff. I only wish I could have started earlier in life. I met Robert Bly back in the late 60s at Sigurd Olson’s place in Ely, Minn., one night over dinner; both of us having made a surprise visit to Elizabeth and Sig’s place. We became friends and exchanged poems and stories. Once, we fell asleep under a tree in the autumn in a park and later he sent me the most wonderful book I had ever seen. A small book, hand printed, letterpress, bound in a beautiful blue cover. Just one three line poem. I have kept it close now all these years because he told me a story that found its way inward and inward and is still traveling ….

“Storytelling, you know, has a real function. The process of the storytelling is itself a healing process, partly because you have someone there who is taking the time to tell you a story that has great meaning to them. They’re taking the time to do this because your life could use some help, but they don’t want to come over and just give advice. They want to give it to you in a form that becomes inseparable from your whole self. That’s what stories do. Stories differ from advice in that, once you get them, they become a fabric of your whole soul. That is why they heal you.” Alice Walker

type locked up in the chase

Love One Another

Lent begins tomorrow, Ash Wednesday; the theme we (Chewelah UCC) are using to guide us is “Love One Another” taken from John 13:34. It’s a wonderful and a good reminder. I got on the letterpress and did a small run of cards to hand out to the congregation tomorrow evening. I also cleared off the bulletin board in the alleyway at the toMAKE™ studio … it feels good to start this spring season on a clean slate. If you’re wondering about that big inky splash on the board; that’s the ink clean-up from the run.

"Fear narrows the little entrance of our heart. It shrinks up our capacity to love. It freezes up our power to give ourselves." —Thomas Merton, from his essay, "Ash Wednesday"

Love One Another

Bullletin Board in the Alleyway

between seasons

Between the seasons, I think that is where we are right now, somedays melting and raining and others snowing and cold … as I started to say, between brings up all the unsettled and unresolved. I was out and about and pass’d my old voice teacher, the most wonderful of radiant voices, and we got talking and spoke of the practice room. YA) the practice room. Returning again and again. What is it I have intended to do this lifetime ?

“…I seemed to do none of the things I intended to do — I didn’t seem to be quite present anywhere —” Georgia O’Keeffe, in a letter to Margaret Kiskadden

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snow moon

It’s the full moon; the full snow moon. And we have snow, lots of wet snow! The EOT is slow at -14min 15sec. … because we orbit round about the sun not in a circle but eclipse. Local noon today at the Parsonage is at 12:05 PST. The sun rises at 7:04 and sets at 5:07 with about 10 hrs and 3 minutes of daylight. Local noon today at toMAKE™ in Missoula is at 12:51 MST. The sun rises at 7:46 and sets at 5:55 with 10 hrs and 9 minutes of daylight. Missoula is so far west (36 minutes or 6 minutes into PST) of local mean time (MST) that it should be in the PST; this means that evenings in Missoula lat a long time in the summer.

“There are stars in your dark side brighter than the sun.” Andrea Gibson, Hook Line

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analemma for toMAKE™ February 10th ©steven r holloway