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AS THE ROUND EARTH ROLLS

Back on the press, back to the practice and process of making; the Gift of creativity. I say back because it has been a rather challenging and stressful year in this regard. I’ve been unable to give the attention and care to this essential practice in my life. Life had other plans for my attention this year and now I’m in that wonderfully dark night time of year where the stars are bright . . . and here in the intermountain west the nights and mornings invite me out on a cold run in the hills or along the river. Finding a way back to this grand show, this edition arising from the shinning mountains of Glacier-Waterton International Peace Parks . . . and all the beauty of open space that is currently under siege, under development, under disrespect.


This grand show is eternal. It is always sunrise somewhere; the dew is never all dried at once; a shower is forever falling; vapor is ever rising. Eternal sunrise, eternal sunset, eternal dawn and gloaming, on sea and continents and islands, each in its turn, as the round earth rolls”

John Muir | John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir

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Relief Matrix and Flocking from Generosity & The Way Across | Edition #109

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THRICE ORGANIC

In-season, local and organically grown. WOW, now that’s organic. Missoula Grain & Vegetable Co. supplied eight of the ten ingredients of our vegetable dish tonight. It’s important not to loose sight of the importance of food being grown locally, and using in-season availability as well as the more common understanding of organically produced.

When you eat locally grown, in-season food, you make an impact far beyond your local market.
There’s more to organic gardening than just swapping one kind of input for another. It in fact requires you to change the way you think about the soil, air and water, how your choices impact your local ecosystem, and how this way of growing affects the person who eats the plant. Which is usually you and your family. It involves a completely different way of thinking, called “ethical living”. When we practice ethical living, we make decisions locally which create as little impact as possible on our environment. These local decisions can have a very long tail. Many reading this page grew up gardening with chemicals, myself included. In those days the idea was to blast every garden insect you could find with insecticide and add huge amounts of petroleum-derived, nitrogen-based fertilizers to your plants so they grew ginormous fruits and vegetables. We know now that this was a recipe for disaster and completely unsustainable. We were warned in 1962’s Silent Spring and again in 1971’s Diet For A Small Planet, but thanks to massive marketing and PR campaigns from the Big Ag companies, those warnings were largely drowned out. Now we’re faced with the hard truth that insects have become resistant to the pesticides invented to kill them and so much synthetic fertilizer runs off farm fields that green algal blooms consume thousands of square miles of the world’s waterways …. This is the unfortunate side effect of trying to increase crop yields as arable land decreases, the world’s population increases, and the standard of living rises in what used to be known as third world countries. These consequences of technology now make it imperative that we support local growing and farming and eating in-season food as often as possible. For we gardeners, that includes growing as much of your own fruits and veggies as you can in an organic garden, the very definition of ethical living.

Todd Heft | Big Blog Of Gardening

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THE WORKING CLASS

December’s market share … better we do not wait for our (white male 1% leadership) to pass universal health care, gun control, environmental-wilderness-open space protection, a fair electoral congress system, social and sexual equality and protection, infrastructure investment, medicare-social security . . . .


“The emancipation of the working classes must be conquered by the working classes themselves."

Karl Marx | 1864 Preamble to General rules of the International Working Men's Association (aka: First International) or Communist Manifesto


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HOW THE NATURAL WORLD COMES TO MEET YOU

Winter Grace
by Patricia Fargnoli

If you have seen the snow
under the lamppost
piled up like a white beaver hat on the picnic table
or somewhere slowly falling
into the brook
to be swallowed by water,
then you have seen beauty
and know it for its transience.
And if you have gone out in the snow
for only the pleasure
of walking barely protected
from the galaxies,
the flakes settling on your parka
like the dust from just-born stars,
the cold waking you
as if from long sleeping,
then you can understand
how, more often than not,
truth is found in silence,
how the natural world comes to you
if you go out to meet it,
its icy ditches filled with dead weeds,
its vacant birdhouses, and dens
full of the sleeping.
But this is the slowed down season
held fast by darkness
and if no one comes to keep you company
then keep watch over your own solitude.
In that stillness, you will learn
with your whole body
the significance of cold
and the night,
which is otherwise always eluding you.


Patricia Fargnoli | Hallowed © Tupelo Press, 2017


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INTIMACY

“Intimacy requires courage because risk is inescapable. We cannot know at the outset how the relationship will affect us. Like a chemical mixture, if one of us is changed, both of us will be. Will we grow in self-actualization, or will it destroy us? The one thing we can be certain of is that if we let ourselves fully into the relationship for good or evil, we will not come out unaffected.”

Rollo May | The Courage to Create


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RESTORING MY SOUL

I go for a run this morning; dancing and stopping and restoring my soul.


“Whenever you are creating beauty around you, you are restoring your own soul.”

Alice Walker


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SURROUNDED BY WATER

Starting over, cutting my losses of time and materials . . . but regaining my artistic voice and control of the edition.


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An island or isle is any piece of sub-continental land that is surrounded by water

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LOVE ALL GODs CREATION

I just fill with joy and deLIGHT when I go to the market. Our winter market started yesterday, and it’s only a couple of blocks away, … and a nice walk to pick up our ‘winter share’ of weekly vegetables right from the hands of the growers! I just feel such gratitude for the growers, the seeds, the water and the earth.

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“Love all God’s creation, the whole of it and every grain of sand. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light. Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things.”

Fyodor Dostoevsky

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ALLEY ACTIVITY

. . . and in the alley news :: Trump and the Triumph of Fear, the Future of the BLM?, Democracy on the Line, Fake News, the Rage of White Folk, the Succession Movement & Education, Taking a Knee, and and and Climate Denialism Kills.


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THE UNSPOKEN

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“What matters is precisely this; the unspoken at the edge of the spoken.”

Virginia Woolf | from a diary entry, 21 July 1912

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MIXING INK

Mixing ink and trying to make some sense of the world that surrounds, penetrates and encompasses me while editioning one of the three water matrices for ‘The Island’ edition. Imperial Blue + Tint Base + Litho Varnish #7 . . . . each their own spatula inky !

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“Don’t let us forget that the causes of human actions are usually immeasurably more complex and varied than our subsequent explanations of them.”

F. Dostoevsky | The Idiot

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SATURDAY

Saturday and in the early first light I go on an 8 mile run along the river stopping at the bend to watch the mist, I do the laundry, bring back a bounty of our ‘winter harvest’ vegetable share from the market, walk endlessly about with the cat on my shoulders in the afternoon sun, count the fallen leaves, pick a few remaining apples . . . YA) my life is burning with beauty.

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“Beauty is something that burns the hand when you touch it.”

Yukio Mishima | Forbidden Colors

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LITTLE TRICKLES OF SILENCE

Time to make your reservation for a chat and visit to toMAKE™; now through November 19th M-Sa 10 to 5 you’re invited to stop by during #coffeeneuring and I’ll make you a cup of coffee; espresso, cappuccino, pour-over, caffè latte or tea. I don’t do cup art and there is no charge. . . but you do have to stop and drink it in the shop with me. Please make a reservation; so eMail, text or call me beforehand. Just click on the mug to the right for the link if you do not already have my contact & location information; introduce yourself, your liquid preference, and suggested day & times.

“—I have drunk fresh, cold little trickles of silence.”

Federico García Lorca | Meditations and Allegories on Water (tr. C. Maurer)


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'the blue of the always unpublished sky'

the 68th birthDAY trip . . . ‘my heart went to a church whose location it doesn't know’

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I'm writing on a Sunday, late morning, on a day filled with soft light, on which, above the rooftops of the interrupted city, the blue of the always unpublished sky closes the mysterious existence of stars in oblivion . . .
It's Sunday inside me as well . . . My heart is also going to a church whose location it doesn't know, and it goes dressed in a child's velveteen outfit, with its face red from the first impressions of smiling without sad eyes over its oversized collar.


Fernando Pessoa (1888-1935) | The Book of Disquiet #68 [n.d.; after 1923]

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SUNDAY BESIDE THE CREEK

We took our Sunday walk along the Rattlesnake Creek and it was slow, quiet, enveloping, the present moment ours. We had to stop and said nothing or what we said was forgotten in the creek corridor being washed downstream with the leaves and the rocks and the wind. On the way back it was cold in the early evening shade, days are shorter now; less than 11 hours of daylight and growing shorter every day.

“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


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on the planet the winds are blowing

Beside, stop’d and listening . . . the river Flathead, waters sourced in the crown of the continent. June 17th traveling west. Using the Real-So-Subtle 6x6 120 format pinhole f/135 with RVP 100 film.

June 17 2017 West

“What else is going on right this minute while ground water creeps under my feet? The galaxy is careening in a slow, muffled widening. If a million solar systems are born every hour, then surely hundreds burst into being as I shift my weight to the other elbow. The sun’s surface is now exploding; other stars implode and vanish, heavy and black, out of sight. Meteorites are arcing to earth invisibly all day long. On the planet the winds are blowing: the polar easterlies, the westerlies, the northeast and southeast trades. Somewhere, someone under full sail is becalmed, in the horse latitudes, in the doldrums; in the northland, a trapper is maddened, crazed, by the eerie scent of the chinook, the sweater, a wind that can melt two feet of snow in a day. The pampero blows, and the tramontane, and the Boro, sirocco, levanter, mistral. Lick a finger: feel the now.”

Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

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My Astonishment

Stop’d while traveling east along Mont. highway 200 beside the river Flathead, watershed of the Columbia. Intentional stop to see, and observe and to experience my own astonishment; #34. Leonardo pinhole camera and weather gauge, RVP 4x5 in. iso100 film exposed 2 seconds f/250 up and down stream.

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Flathead Pinhole

“You were made and set here to give voice to this, your own astonishment. “The most demanding part of living a lifetime as an artist is the strict discipline of forcing oneself to work steadfastly along the nerve of one’s own most intimate sensitivity.” Anne Truitt, the sculptor, said this. Thoreau said it another way: know your own bone. “Pursue, keep up with, circle round and round your life… Know your own bone: gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw at it still.” Write as if you were dying. At the same time, assume you write for an audience consisting solely of terminal patients. That is, after all, the case.”

Annie Dillard, The Writing Life

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The Moon Is Alive

We’re spending the summer all together here in this northeastern Wash. valley; recovering, processing loss, wondering what the future for us holds. I miss my press, creative work-space & the river . . . but the present moment brings me here together and to say goodbye.

Meena and Me

“Under your skin the moon is alive.”

Pablo Neruda, “Ode to a Naked Beauty”

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Live or Die

Every Event is a GIFT … however some events are challenging, difficult, involve suffering; most, perhaps. Get up, do my practice, run 10 miles in the early deLight, respond to a blank sheet of paper … take action, and live. Ann Sexton (1928-1974), in her most celebrated collection of poetry, Live or Die (1966), a fictionalized memoir of her recovery from mental illness, ends the sequence of poems with Live. I heard her read from ‘Live or Die’ and ‘Love Poems’ in the autumn of 1969 in Cleveland OH. This is what we need to do; live … but don’t poison everything.

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“With one long breath, caught and held
in his chest, he fought his sadness over
his solitary life. Don’t cry, you idiot!
Live or die, but don’t poison everything . . .”

from an early draft of Herzog by Saul Bellow

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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.

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Again, the Song

A sunrise run in the north hills. YA) what places my feet take me. Again, the song. Shirt off but then the weather comes; cool and a light wind. Stopping, stepping, stillness into this wonderment of a day. I always try to go too far ….

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“Always go too far, because that’s where you’ll find the truth.”

Albert Camus

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the Keep-Alive List

Meena the Cat has been keeping me company here at toMAKE™. To imagine that, as Amy Leach suggests In her “Memorandum to the Animals” and our current lifestyles indicate, there is no intention to find a place for Meena’s tribe in the Keep-Alive List … troubles me. After all she told me one night she had consciousness, whispering in my ear to wake me in the dark still silence; informing me of her place and importance. That our objects and vanity are more important than Meena’s tribe, or any other tribe, is to profane the miracle of life leaving ashes and toxins and little pieces of plastic everywhere. This essay of hers, the Keep-Alive List, the round revolving watery blue we inhabit … are you acquiring more objects that are displacing the other tribes from the Keep-Alive List ‽

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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.”

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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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stopping; again

Driving west on the blue highway 200, Missoula to Chewelah for Ash Wednesday services, I stop’d, again, along the Flathead River nearby the Perma bridge to Hot Springs. The snow was wet walking down to the point and a strong, fierce wind was blowing upstream. I could hear the waters’ living surface dancing and leaping. I had just one slide of 5by7 in. film in the bag. I took 5 second exposures, one upstream and one down with the #65 camera. Back in Chewelah I read off the max/min temperatures for the past couple of weeks; low 6℉ - high 52℉ … spring is here. Still reading Thomas Merton.

"My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so. But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you. And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road, though I may know nothing about it. Therefore I will trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone." Thomas Merton from Thoughts in Solitude

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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"

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Bullletin Board in the Alleyway

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