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

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

gardeb statur

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

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