stopping with eyes wide opentoMake™ Press & Editions

THE 45th PUPPET

Beautiful spring weather passing through the valley. . . time to change the bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™ with pages from The Nation. Stop by and say hello over a cup of tea of coffee. Or use the link on the right to buy me some beans.
In the upper left corner is a copy
Emory Douglas(The fiercest and baddest art director of all time is Emory Douglas, who as Minister of Culture and Revolutionary Artist for the Black Panther Party designed and illustrated the Black Panther newspaper from 1967-1980. His bold, provocative graphics and illustrations were a signature for the era, and with his designs for the party’s posters, buttons, banners, and publications he created one of the most memorable and lasting visual brands of all time.) cover for the September 21st 1974 issue of The Black Panther Newletter with Gerald Ford proclaiming ‘I Gerald Ford am the 38th Puppet of the United States.’ Remind you of somebody‽ Now our monopolies just have new names like Amazon, Face Book, Exxon Mobil, and Fox News.
I developed a deep appreciation, better understanding and respect for the Black Panthers during my tenure in Oakland.

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The Bulletin Board in the Alleyway at toMake™
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Emory Douglas 1974 Collage for The Black Panther Newsletter

EARTH DAY

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First stop above the “M” before crossing the face of Mount Sentinel to the Pengelly Ridge climb.

Dancing on the hills, this morning a 12+ mile 2,100’ climb up Pengelly Ridge to Mount Sentinel and then down a very icy snow packed covered Smokejumper trail to the river corridor and back. What a joy, a deLight, breathing hard, legs tired, softly touching earth I wore the Sokra/moccasin shoes.

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Pausing on the climb up the ridge to Mount Sentinel.

The 1200’ ascent up the exposed Pengelly Ridge is the most challenging for me. I have to walk sections of the climb. I was reminded that today is Earth Day and that 48 years ago while a student at Oberlin College I invited Gary Snyder to speak for the first Earth Day, introducing him before I set off for Canada later that year. Those years we had such hope and held such vision for a “future to be possible.” A future not bleak or dark like the oil-gas-coporate dominated agenda today. . .but one where the #EarthToo is held in high regard, in reverence and in respect.

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The climb up Pengelly Ridge.

On the way I pass a startled deer, chickadees, buttercups and later on icy snow in the shadows. After the climb up the ridge and before you get to Mount Sentinel (which is actually lower that the ridge top) you pass through a quiet forest grove. I go slow here and listen to the pines and grasses and wind. . . and Gary Snyders poem dances past in the shadows.

Piute Creek

One granite ridge
A tree, would be enough
Or even a rock, a small creek,
A bark shred in a pool.
Hill beyond hill, folded and twisted   
Tough trees crammed
In thin stone fractures
A huge moon on it all, is too much.   
The mind wanders. A million
Summers, night air still and the rocks   
Warm.   Sky over endless mountains.   
All the junk that goes with being human   
Drops away, hard rock wavers
Even the heavy present seems to fail   
This bubble of a heart.
Words and books
Like a small creek off a high ledge   
Gone in the dry air.

A clear, attentive mind
Has no meaning but that
Which sees is truly seen.
No one loves rock, yet we are here.   
Night chills. A flick
In the moonlight
Slips into Juniper shadow:
Back there unseen
Cold proud eyes
Of Cougar or Coyote
Watch me rise and go.

©Gary Snyder, "Piute Creek" from Riprap and Cold Mountain Poems.

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Mount Sentinel above the Missoula Valley and just above the lake shores of Glacial Lake Missoua.

PRACTICE RESURRECTION

Sunlight on the north hills open space trails; dancing on a run this morning. “I sing the body electric” indeed. Liberation on the hills. Resurrection.

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Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front
Love the quick profit, the annual raise, vacation with pay. Want more of everything ready-made. Be afraid to know your neighbors and to die. And you will have a window in your head. Not even your future will be a mystery any more. Your mind will be punched in a card and shut away in a little drawer. When they want you to buy something they will call you. When they want you to die for profit they will let you know. So, friends, every day do something that won’t compute. Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing. Take all that you have and be poor. Love someone who does not deserve it. Denounce the government and embrace the flag. Hope to live in that free republic for which it stands. Give your approval to all you cannot understand. Praise ignorance, for what man has not encountered he has not destroyed. Ask the questions that have no answers. Invest in the millennium. Plant sequoias. Say that your main crop is the forest that you did not plant, that you will not live to harvest. Say that the leaves are harvested when they have rotted into the mold. Call that profit. Prophesy such returns. Put your faith in the two inches of humus that will build under the trees every thousand years. Listen to carrion — put your ear close, and hear the faint chattering of the songs that are to come. Expect the end of the world. Laugh. Laughter is immeasurable. Be joyful though you have considered all the facts. So long as women do not go cheap for power, please women more than men. Ask yourself: Will this satisfy a woman satisfied to bear a child? Will this disturb the sleep of a woman near to giving birth? Go with your love to the fields. Lie easy in the shade. Rest your head in her lap. Swear allegiance to what is nighest your thoughts. As soon as the generals and the politicos can predict the motions of your mind, lose it. Leave it as a sign to mark the false trail, the way you didn’t go. Be like the fox who makes more tracks than necessary, some in the wrong direction. Practice resurrection.

Wendell Berry

WE HAVE TO START AGAIN

“Everything’s already been said, but since nobody was listening, we have to start again.”

André Gide

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My Grandfather made this, by his hand, from locally sourced renewable materials. Circa 1920 SE Iowa.

THE PRESS OF MY FOOT

This past four weeks has seen that not-yet-spring | no-longer-winter weather come and go across the intermountain west. A high of 58˚F, low of 21˚F with a mean just below 40˚F day & night. The relative humidity has been about 74% more or less but that should change with daylight now more than 13½ hours. The trails are soft and muddy in places this time of year. It’s a new moon today. When was the last time your naked feet touched the earth ‽

“The press of my foot to the earth springs a hundred affections.”

Walt Whitman

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THE RIVER IS A STRONG BROWN GOD

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Eighteen seconds pouring 31.5 grams is too quick I do admit. Need to adjust the grind!


Over a freshly made cappuccino this rainy April day I thought of and reread T.S.Eliot’s masterpiece, the mystical poem Four Quartets. “Midwinter spring is its own season” (the opening lines of No.4 Part 1 of Little Gidding) . . . like today half spring, half winter.
But the excerpt below is from the first of the five sections of No.3 Part 1, The Dry Savages, where, I believe Eliot begins to address our human pain which is connected to the way we think of ourselves and act as goal-driven, greed-driven, self-obsessive individuals instead of as part of a larger whole, a much larger whole . . . letting go of our ego is a death, a small and continuous dying, a challenging process.

“The poem discusses the nature of time and what humanity's place is within time. Life is described metaphorically as traveling in a boat and humanity's fixation on science and future gain keeping the travelers from reaching their destination. Within the poem, Eliot invokes the image of Krishna to emphasize the need to follow the divine will instead of seeking personal gain. . . Krishna's and Arjuna's discussion from the Bhagavad-Gita on acting according to the divine will along with allusions to Dante's Paradiso, the philosophy of Heraclitus, and the Book of Common Prayer. In regards to these allusions, Eliot would mark up his own editions of the works to note where he used quotes or allusions to lines within his work. In particular, his edition of the Mahabharata included a page added which compared battle scenes with "The Dry Salvages.” Wiki.


I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river
Is a strong brown god—sullen, untamed and intractable,
Patient to some degree, at first recognised as a frontier;
Useful, untrustworthy, as a conveyor of commerce;
Then only a problem confronting the builder of bridges.
The problem once solved, the brown god is almost forgotten
By the dwellers in cities—ever, however, implacable.
Keeping his seasons and rages, destroyer, reminder
Of what men choose to forget. Unhonoured, unpropitiated
By worshippers of the machine, but waiting, watching and waiting.
His rhythm was present in the nursery bedroom,
In the rank ailanthus of the April dooryard,
In the smell of grapes on the autumn table,
And the evening circle in the winter gaslight.

The river is within us, the sea is all about us;
The sea is the land's edge also, the granite
Into which it reaches, the beaches where it tosses
Its hints of earlier and other creation:
The starfish, the horseshoe crab, the whale's backbone;
The pools where it offers to our curiosity
The more delicate algae and the sea anemone.
It tosses up our losses, the torn seine,
The shattered lobsterpot, the broken oar
And the gear of foreign dead men. The sea has many voices,
Many gods and many voices.
The salt is on the briar rose,
The fog is in the fir trees.
The sea howl
And the sea yelp, are different voices
Often together heard: the whine in the rigging,
The menace and caress of wave that breaks on water,
The distant rote in the granite teeth,
And the wailing warning from the approaching headland
Are all sea voices, and the heaving groaner
Rounded homewards, and the seagull:
And under the oppression of the silent fog
The tolling bell
Measures time not our time, rung by the unhurried
Ground swell, a time
Older than the time of chronometers, older
Than time counted by anxious worried women
Lying awake, calculating the future,
Trying to unweave, unwind, unravel
And piece together the past and the future,
Between midnight and dawn, when the past is all deception,
The future futureless, before the morning watch
When time stops and time is never ending;
And the ground swell, that is and was from the beginning,
Clangs
The bell.

T. S. Eliot Four Quartets: The Dry Savages 1941

Eliot then goes on to end the poem with these lines:
And right action is freedom
From past and future also.
For most of us, this is the aim
Never here to be realised;
Who are only undefeated
Because we have gone on trying;
We, content at the last
If our temporal reversion nourish
(Not too far from the yew-tree)
The life of significant soil.
Give me call, text or eMail and stop by the shop to share a cup of coffee, tea or filtered water . . . and freshly shared conversation.

LISTEN TO THE ART


“The whole culture is telling you to hurry, while the art tells you to take your time. Always listen to the art.”

Junot Diaz

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31:March Morning Piece

CAT NAPPING

Meena the Cat takes, yet another, cat nap. . . with me. Not a surprise as it being spring she’s out and about exhausting herself in the sunny backyard hunting bugs and little tiny stuff.

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

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SPRING EQUINOX

This morning was the spring equinox; day and night being equal . . . now daylight is longer than night and my snow piles are melting away.

“I’m so scared. I’m so scared of dying without ever being really seen. Can you understand?”

David Foster Wallace | Infinite Jest

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Spring Melt in the Alleyway at toMAKE™
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Morning Piece

MY GARDEN SEEDS

I take such pleasure in saving seeds from my garden harvests; folding in my hands the dried and mysterious code, and then the planting back into the composted soil in the spring. Little delights me more than this simple and economic act . . . to see the seeds return year after year. I hope to never be a criminal because of my garden seeds.

“Seeds have the power to preserve species, to enhance cultural as well as genetic diversity, to counter economic monopoly and to check the advance of conformity on all its many fronts.”

Michael Pollan | Second Nature: A Gardener's Education

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Corn Seeds 2017

EVERYTHING IS A MIRACLE

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Albert Einstein | Unconfirmed
“Geographer Gilbert F. White, according to his biographer in Living with Nature’s Extremes (2006), attributed this to Einstein in his Journal of France and Germany in 1942. Maybe so; but all he does is invoke “Albert Einstein said”. He says nothing about how he knows this, when or where it might have been said, whether he heard it directly or through a friend, or what the context may have been. With the preponderance of misattributions to Einstein being as large as it is, this is not a good sign. There is no striking reason to assert that Einstein couldn’t have said this; but there is also no striking reason to assert that he did.”

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Spring flow on Heron’s Island :: Clark’s Fork of the Columbia :: Downtown Missoula, Montana

ON THE WAY TO AUSCHWITZ

“On the way to Auschwitz the road’s pathway led straight through the heart of the Indies and of North and South America.”

David E. Stannard | American Holocaust: The Conquest of the New World


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The bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™
On the Press: Letterpress Poster/Broadside :: A Message for the Human Tribe :: #EarthToo

THE #EarthToo MOVEMENT

The bulletin board in the alleyway got a facelift with the Year of the Brown Earth Dog cards (did you receive yours?) and some Bansky. Always more alley news to come. On my run this morning I saw the heron, so I too stop’d . . . just below Higgings Street bridge in a side channel . . . stop’d still and watching, listening, fishing, being stil.

‘OH, MY POLITICAL POSTS ARE ANNOYING YOU? Sorry, I assumed the future of THE EARTH was worth discussing.’

The Magna Carta Of American Environmental Law Is Under Siege . . . “Citizens need to stop being passive. They need to put pressure on their elected officials, letting them know they are aware that selfish interests and greedy gluttons are pushing an agenda that is not in their best interests or that of their children’s best interests and they are not going to stand for it anymore. What does America desperately need?  There needs to be a #MeToo movement started for the environment.” —Michael V. Finley

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The Bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™ :: end of February

TO THE FULLEST

Once again, I made Run Wild Missoula’s 1200 Mile Club, running more than 1500 miles last year.

“People sometimes sneer at those who run every day, claiming they'll go to any length to live longer. But don't think that's the reason most people run. Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you're going to while away the years, it's far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive then in a fog, and I believe running helps you to do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that's the essence of running, and a metaphor for life — and for me. . . I believe many runners would agree”

Haruki Murakami | What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

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My favorite shoes, moccasins, to touch the earth gently underfoot.

srh running
Spring of 1968 48.9 440yds.

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Summer 2013 Lake Superior 50M Ultra.

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Autumn 2014 Blue Mountain 30K.

TO BE ALIVE

“The meaning of life is just to be alive. It is so plain and so obvious and so simple. And yet, everybody rushes around in a great panic as if it were necessary to achieve something beyond themselves.”

Alan Watts

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I LIKE MAPS, BECAUSE THEY LIE

Map

Flat as the table
it’s placed on.
Nothing moves beneath it
and it seeks no outlet.
Above—my human breath
creates no stirring air
and leaves its total surface
undisturbed.

Its plains, valleys are always green,
uplands, mountains are yellow and brown,
while seas, oceans remain a kindly blue
beside the tattered shores.

Everything here is small, near, accessible.
I can press volcanoes with my fingertip,
stroke the poles without thick mittens,
I can with a single glance
encompass every desert
with the river lying just beside it.

A few trees stand for ancient forests,
you couldn’t lose your way among them.

In the east and west,
above and below the equator—
quiet like pins dropping,
and in every black pinprick
people keep on living.
Mass graves and sudden ruins
are out of the picture.

Nations’ borders are barely visible
as if they wavered—to be or not.

I like maps, because they lie.
Because they give no access to the vicious truth.
Because great-heartedly, good-naturedly
they spread before me a world
not of this world.

Wisława Szymborska Winner, Nobel Prize | Map: Collected & Last Poems,
translated, from the Polish, by Clare Cavanagh & Stanistaw Baranczak

Milk River TR

Milk River T&R :: Edition of E.V.15

EXPLANATIONS

I put down a second color, a transparent orange-red, on ‘The Island’ edition. I’m considering titling it ‘Surrounded by Water’. I don’t want to explain my maps, my visual responses anymore. There isn’t always an explanation! And next week Lent starts, as well Chinese New Year of the Dog, . . . this is a good time to touch that door knob that hasn’t an explanation.

“There isn’t always an explanation for everything.”

Ernest Hemingway | A Farewell to Arms

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Surrounded by Water. Second color from stone lithograph matrix.

AS LONG AS YOU'RE DANCING

This being ‘The Weather Report’ I thought I should address the weather in the toMake™ Missoula valley. During the past 12 months we saw a high of 100˚F and a low of -7.1˚F, approx. 20 in. of precipitation and some peak winds of 30+ knts. The most interesting was the summer; hot dry and smoky. There was 12 weeks where the weather was dominated by cloudless, but smokey (from nearby fires), noticeably low humidity, little change in the barometric pressure, and little or no rainfall. Remember to dance if you want to break the rules.

Three Things To Remember
As long as you’re dancing, you can break the rules.
Sometimes breaking the rules is just extending the rules.
Sometimes there are no rules.

Mary Oliver

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TASTING OUR INSUFFICIENCY


“Francis of Assisi says in his Testament that when he kissed the leper, “What before had been nauseating to me became sweetness and life.” He marks that moment as the moment of his conversion and the moment when he “left the world.” The old game could not, would not work anymore. That seems to have been the defining moment when he tasted his own insufficiency, and started drawing from a different and larger source - and found it sufficient - apparently even more than sufficient.”

Richard Rohr | Falling Upward

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Meena the Cat getting ready to read the morning paper; Support The Nation.

GOING SLOWLY

Never mind the weather; get up, get dressed and go out for a run. It was wet (a light but steady rain making the trails icy), cold (29 ˚F) and windy (10 knts from the canyon). Going slowly, I got in a 10km run followed by a warm bath.

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

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The view from the east window into the canyon.

PUT EARTH FIRST !

I’m always happy when Meena gets on my shoulders, but when I read The Nation I get very very upset. And so should you. This weeks bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™, as is often the case, is full of pages ripped from The Nation. I’ve been busy with Meena the Cat in the pressroom mixing inks and printing all week. And the big news is we are almost done paying off the loan on the house we were forced to take out to repair tenant and prior owner damage; Ugh! and Yea! Although we are still unable to afford to live in our own house at this time, maybe someday I’ll get my studio back. And I’m working on the ‘PUT EARTH FIRST !’ broadside and hope to begin printing of these later this month.

“When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can’t make them change if they don’t want to, just like when they do want to, you can’t stop them.”

Andy Warhol | Andy Warhol in His Own Words

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Meena the Cat often escorts me, making sure I stay in line.
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Mixing ink and ink draws
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There is always something new to stop and read on the bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™

IS THE BELOVED GREEDY ?

The 2018 toMake™ Calendar, I know it’s already February, is available. You can download the PDFile and print it out yourself, or I can send you a print [13x19in. Epson K3, PostPaid N.Am. $25] just ask. Better yet, why not visit toMake™ studio, share a cup of coffee or tea with me, and avoid the tube+postage costs. If you are so inclined and enjoy the calendar, consider making a donation by check or through my PayPal Account. The poem is from Gregory Orr’s Concerning the Book That Is the Body of the Beloved. The image is a lensless image taken using a 1.5in. focal length cigar box pinhole camera on film; Strawberry Creek, UCal campus in Berkeley California.


2018_Calendar_WM

SEEN THROUGH THE VEIL OF THE SOUL

Second matrix for ‘The Island’ edition. Drawing with rubbing crayons and an alcohol tusche.

“If I were called upon to define briefly the word Art, I should call it the reproduction of what the senses perceive in nature, seen through the veil of the soul.”

Paul Cezanne

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Layout in conté crayon and gum arabic
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Painting out non-image areas with gum
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Alcohol tusche
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Rubbing crayon application
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Ready to etch. 12 drop nitric acid etch.
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Etched stone. Gum buff and ready to roll up.

THINGS THAT ARE UNKNOWN

“In the universe, there are things that are known, and things that are unknown, and in between, there are doors.”

Ray Manzarek | often attributed to Aldous Huxley

If the doors of perception were cleansed, every thing would appear to man as it is: infinite.

William Blake | The Marriage of Heaven and Hell

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Old Man Lake [from the Dawson-Pitamakan loop trail] in the Dry Creek Valley headwaters, Two Medicine drainage
Glacier-Waterton International Peace Park

A STILLNESS IN THE MIDST OF CHAOS

I stop’d in at the Missoula Art Museum and did a walkabout. . . there was no boring art [“I will not make any more boring art”] that I could find therein or out.

“I feel that art has something to do with achievement of stillness in the midst of chaos. A stillness which characterizes prayer, too, and the eye of the storm…”

Saul Bellow

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The bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™

I DO NOT NEED TO EXPLAIN

Work in progress; drawing on the stone and two test proofs posted on the bulletin board in the alleyway. YA) It is even more difficult to reveal yourSelf.


“ … I do not need to show my work, and I do not need to explain it. If the work doesn’t talk to you, just relax. Do any of you have to define yourself? It is very difficult to define yourself. It is even more difficult to reveal yourself.”

Louise Bourgeois | Statement, 1989

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Drawing on the stone; Gum block out, Korns medium rubbing crayon and #3 Korns lithography crayon

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The bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™

THE IMPORTANT THING

YA) ’Making the unknown known.’ Must listen, stop and carefully listen, discard the baggage and see the unknown, known the unknown, experience the Other. . . .
Recently I’ve not been successful on the press and after another difficult & stressful day of disappointments Meena the Cat came into the pressroom, got on my shoulders, and nuzzled, kissed and comforted me as I was cleaning up. We go on with the practice, the effort, with making the unknown known.

“Whether you succeed or not is irrelevant, there is no such thing. Making your unknown known is the important thing.”

Georgia O’Keeffe

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DIFFCULTY IN THE PRESSROOM


“Painting is easy when you don't know how, but very difficult when you do.”

Edgar Degas

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The big stone ‘ALOYS’ is named in honor of Johann Alois Senefelder

Alois Senefelder
Johann Alois Senefelder (6 November 1771 – 26 February 1834), the inventor of stone lithography.

IMPOSSIBLE THINGS

"There's no use trying," said Alice; "one can't believe impossible things."
"I dare say you haven't had much practice," said the Queen.
"When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast."

Lewis Carroll

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In the toMake™ pressroom mixing ink

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One can not have too many pencils, ever.

BEING GRATEFUL DOES NOT MEAN

I managed not to slip and fall today; making a challenging 9 mile loop around town, up into the north hills and along the river corridor. But winter running means cleats, keeping a watchful eye and a slower pace. Meena the Cat seems to be professional couch cat these days. I’m grateful for many things and many people these days; especially my wonderful wife, the cat, my feet . . . and a warm place to live and work.

“Being grateful does not mean that everything is necessarily good. It just means that you can accept it as a gift.”

Roy T. Bennett

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The bulletin board in the alleyway at toMake™ . . .

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Winter walking & running is dancing of a sorts.

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We take a cat nap together.

MAKING MISTAKES

Working on the edition ‘The Island,’ a five-colour/matrix stone lithograph from the large stone ALOYS. It will bleed off the bottom of a full sheet of Somerset Soft Velvet White. It feels good to be back working in the pressroom. Making mistakes and suffering is indeed an essential part of being a living member of the human tribe. ‘Not to undo suffering’ . . . but ‘to make it inform our lives.’ So I made some mistakes in the process of this edition, and it wasn’t happiness or easy . . . neither is life.


“My argument with so much of psychoanalysis, is the preconception that suffering is a mistake, or a sign of weakness, or a sign even of illness. When in fact, possibly the greatest truths we know, have come out of people’s suffering. The problem is not to undo suffering, or to wipe it off the face of the earth, but to make it inform our lives, instead of trying to ‘cure’ ourselves of it constantly, and avoid it, and avoid anything but that lobotomized sense of what they call ‘happiness’. There’s too much of an attempt, it seems to me, to think in terms of controlling man, rather than freeing him.”

Arthur Miller


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Lithography drawing materials

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Shop Mix Black proof of ‘The Island’, Edition #123, Matrix #1

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Stone Lithograph matrix #1 for ‘The Island,’ preparation for edition run.

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The Island,’ edition #123 edition notes and ink mixing. Primrose and Hansa Yellows with Tint Base and Litho Varnish #7.

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‘The Island’ matrix #1 notes.

THE TREASURES THAT ARE HIDDEN


“So this, I believe, is the central question upon which all creative living hinges: Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?”

Elizabeth Gilbert | Big Magic: Creative Living Beyond Fear

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Sunrise run along the ancient Glacier Lake Missoula shoreline above Missoula.

WINTER IN MISSOULA

Our life in the studio is cozy and sweet so, even tho it is winter in Missoula, we spend time out and about ! This is good; we all come back to our little black cat and cuddle up on the bed together.

“Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.”

Pablo Picasso

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out and about by the railroad tracks

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our Christmas tree this year

TO SEE OUR OWN LIGHT

It wasn’t as cold this morning as had been, 8.1˚F with a light 3 knt wind, but there was a wonderful cover of fresh snow everywhere. Early light I ran slow along the river trail out and back six miles, the only tracks through the deep snow until . . . somewhere along the going a coyote and I made eye contact on the trail. YA) the animal leaving only tracks mingled with mine. Then it was Christmas.


“We cannot live in a world that is interpreted for us by others. An interpreted world is not a home. Part of the terror is to take back our own listening. To use our own voice. To see our own light.”

Hildegard von Bingen l from Selected Writings

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Morning Piece

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Christmas Shirts and Ties

THE REASON THAT ART IS VALUABLE

It’s cold today -9˚F with a headwind, and it was cold on my run along the steaming river. Upstairs we note just one more winter share market until spring. While downstairs work on the lithograph “The Island” goes slow. We’re listening to carols today, Christmas Eve Day and wrapping a few last minute gifts for each other.

“The reason that art (writing, engaging, and all of it) is valuable is precisely why I can’t tell you how to do it. If there were a map, there’d be no art, because art is the act of navigating without a map.”

Seth Godin

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Water Tusche on Stone Lithograph; inked and etched but not editioned

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Meena the Cat goes for the sun and goes out

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At the Saturday Winter Market; from our winter share



SO THIS IS WINTER

This week is the Winter Solstice, longest nights of the year. And it is also the Fourth Sunday of Advent [Love] tomorrow. The Equation of Time is 4min 17sec fast. The 2018 Calendar from toMake™ is in the works. We found all this new snow this morning. Along the river, after a bit, mine were the only tracks beside the deer, the rabbits and other small peoples . . . quiet/hushed all the way out to the gate by the railroad tracks; a snowy eight miles. ‘So this is winter’ with the sun now rising at 8:15 MST and days 8hrs 32min. long. Just two more winter share markets, but then comes spring!


“So this is winter – and what remains of the world now that autumn has left us, gone underground with the once luminous grasses and the husks and seeds of all the left-behinds. This is the cold season. Learn to endure it.”

Laura Lush | “Winter,” The First Day of Winter


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LONG NIGHTS

It was nice to see the ‘Made Faire’ with all the local vendors but I didn’t get anything, too cold and I was much the more interested in the Christmas Concert at the University Congregational Church with Judith in the choir. The two major attractions (inner story of the dark season and light, and the outer hustle of consumerism and appearances) here side by side. At church I do get a bit tired of the same readers all the time, making it appear that the church is more of a Junior HS in-group than it is in reality. And I shouldn’t complain because it was really nice concert with choir, orchestra and bells. I just feel more and more an outsider these days with so little success as an artist, declined entry in shows and residencies, and clearly excluded from the local art and environmental organizations . . . . Perhaps things will be different, passing through this dark season into that opportunity and presence the abundance of the world of Joy and Beauty brings to us. I like Advent, and this week marks the days of the Long Night Moon (days just 8hrs and 34min long) and the Earliest Sun Sets (4:47pm Missoula).


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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

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

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

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

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

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

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]

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

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.

Flathead Stop
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

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”

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

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.

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

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.”

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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practicing

When life presents the inevitable challenges and disruptions, as it is currently doing, it is the personal practice(s) that become so important. It is too late in the game to start, only the hopefully long and fully embedded practice(s) can help and help they do. I meditate & sit, do a morning piece and I run. This past weekend I managed a beautiful ten mile trail race on single track in Lolo with 2,000 of elevation up and then down. My legs got a bit tired on the downhill so I slowed carefully and took in beauty of a cold spring rain. I’m practicing still.



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An Uncertain Future

With spring announcing itself with a violence of weather, flooding, rain, snow, and a not altogether unexpected but nonetheless unwanted forced departure from Chewelah and the Parsonage, we look to an uncertain future. Meena the Cat and I went out in the blue sky sun today and watched a train make its way south past the meadow.
Just a few more times to run in the valley. I made a nice circumambulation this morning, 7 miles and stop’d to watch the mists lifting effortlessly off the fields and dance away. Mid-sixties with little savings and no jobs we are nevertheless blessed with many strengths, even a nice studio space, and faith that the Joy and deLight and the miracle of life and beauty will cary us on.

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” Albert Einstein

Meena the Cat
train passing by

The Creek is Flooding

All this muddy rushing water in my (our) life right now. I know the cottonwoods thrive on this nutrient rich high water, likewise the flooded fields. Just look at the deLight in the colors dancing beside the creek I ran past earlier today. Stop’d to admire the flow. Our lives are rushing past, swept up in an inquisition of petty and malicious gossip, the true smallness of a small town. But all this water, a flooding in the basement, ruined books and the stench of mildew and mold … and the cottonwoods and willows dancing along the creeks’ high waters. YA) water; I am carried by this beauty. I fear not the smallness of this town, but it hurts nevertheless.

I am searching fragments of an old poem about a flood on the Mississippi River . . . but all I can recover are some missing water soaked pages from the book caught in the flooding.


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self and other

Snow, rain, hail and the wonders of weather blowing past greeted Meena the Cat and me as we made our way west along the beautiful Flathead River yesterday. Birds and swirling patterns of green water and the ubiquitous trash were in abundance.

“At root, there is simply no way of separating self from other, self-love from other-love. All knowledge of self is knowledge of other, and all knowledge of other knowledge of self. I begin to see that self and other, the familiar and the strange, the internal and the external, the predictable and the unpredictable imply each other. One is seek and the other is hide, and the more I become aware of their implying each other, the more I feel them to be one with each other.”
Alan Watts, The Joyous Cosmology

Flathead at Perma

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

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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.

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“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

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

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Sucking Wax

Saturday at the Parsonage is quiet. I did the laundry, took a long run with some hill work covering a good 8 miles, fed the cat, vacuumed the house …. but all along I’ve been thinking about different kinds of food. What comes to mind are summer trips into the backcountry of Glacier-Waterton International Peace Parks. It’s an amazing and generous place with all that rock, water, sky and the weather. It’s food. Not so far distant from oatmeal really. Because, as Ali Akbar Khan said about music, without this I die. AND, it being spring, between a long winter and summer and a lot of soft earth … I’m like Meena the Cat, dreaming of that summer paradise.

“When spring comes, go to the flowers — why keep on sucking wax?” Antonio Machado

Meena the Cat

snow and the robins

Later there were a dozen or more robins in the backyard but first there was the morning snow. Thick, big, soft and furious between 7 and 9. Snow that covered everything for a short while, covered as well the ice and made it very very slippery in places. As for me, I took a couple spills on my run; down to the hard ground. Now, a bit beat up tonight but not defeated, just sore.

“Love one another or you perish . . . . We have reached a decisive point in human evolution, at which the only way forward is in the direction of a common passion, a ‘conspiration.’” Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

RR Snow

Saturday at the Parsonage

Saturday is laundry day and the blue sky said; ‘hang the cloths outside’. Running this morning was sloppy wet with all the melting but I did manage 8 miles. Last night the temperature remained above freezing so spring is indeed on the way. Lent began this week and so, once again, I’ll do forty days of running. I’ve also been re-reading Buddhist texts and deepening my practice. My legs and heart can use the effort of the running and likewise a deepening of my practice(s). Otherwise … it’s a quiet day at the Parsonage.

“I and all beings are of the same essential value.” Zhuang Zhou

Parsonage living room

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

Flathead River


camera bag

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

top soil

Speaking of practice … I do a morning piece. I’m sure a Jungian therapist would love to ‘read’ through the thousands of pieces I have done over the years. But no need, it is a practice in the morning to open my eyes to something more in the world, in me, in everyBody and everyBeing.

“Despite all our accomplishments we owe our existence to a six-inch layer of topsoil and the fact that it rains.” Farm Equipment Assoc. of Minnesota & South Dakota

thursday morning piece

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

Three-Forks-Poster

atheists and lies

“Half the people in the world think that the metaphors of their religious traditions, for example, are facts. And the other half contends that they are not facts at all. As a result we have people who consider themselves believers because they accept metaphors as facts, and we have others who classify themselves as atheists because they think religious metaphors are lies.” Joseph Campbell


Dance Anywhere BAM