the bus 2The Bus
by Paul Kirchner

Last Sunday, The Brunette, Belle, and I did a walk thru of our newly upcoming neighborhood.  The buildings where we’ll be living are built in between the main street running thru town and the bay. We weren’t looking for a water view and don’t really have it since we’re on the street side. But the primary attraction was that it was four-legged friendly. The owner – from a wealthy philanthropist family – is quite militant about this. We heard from one of our new neighbors that years ago you had to have a dog in order to rent an apartment there.

We parked down by a marina which also doubles as a public space with a small bandshell for summer concerts. It was still cold and overcast with snow covering anything green. Benches were lined up along the water’s edge which no doubt will be filled when the weather warms up. Belle chugged along the path getting her nose into every crevice and occasionally looking under the benches for future hideouts. We passed one couple with a small dog and both she and Belle sniffed cautiously until it was decided the timing wasn’t right. The humans were embarrassed at the lack of dogness.

It was early on a Sunday so the cluster of shops at the end of the marina were still closed. Next to an old fashioned ice cream and soda shop was a bait and tackle store offering rods n’ reels for rent. And for those who didn’t have the patience to wait until the shop was open:

frozen bailt
Choices ran from squid strips to frozen bunker to ‘Clam Kutz”. I guess branding is everywhere these days.

Small businesses ran along the street-side including carpet shops, restaurants, household supplies and an “integrative healing center”. A “For Rent” sign was hung in a shop window that was doubling as a small gallery with wood and metal works on display in a jumbled environment.

But the best part of the walk was what we found along the way on the bayside walk – the Little Free Library:

little free library PW

The hand lettered words on the blue-framed door read:

The more you read
the more you know
the more you learn
the more places you’ll go

I think we’re going to be quite comfortable here.

Belle is reserving judgement.

the bus[The Bus by Paul Kirchner]

Let’s get this show on the road…

It’s dangerous enough to dig too deeply into the past. It’s been said that we usually bury the bad ones although those 3 AM trips can be rough. The one who, the time that. You’ve earned them all – both good and worse.

We’ve sold our house. Not an easy decision and one that wasn’t necessarily voluntary but necessary. So the past two months have been a period of consolidating, compressing, and uncovering. We’ve found things that had been hidden away in the attic, backs of drawers and impossibly deep in shallow closets. Things we put away over 27 years ago and had forgotten about. Maybe even older than that since we lugged them around in cartons from apartment to apartment each being buried further under the hoard.

We’re disassembling. The shelves are emptying out and the boxes are being piled up against the walls. It’s beginning to look like a place we’re leaving. That I think is the hardest part – the leaving behind. Yes, each closed door leads to an open one. But there’s still that closed door.

There’s a revision coming up – a reprint with changes and additions. We’ve got some pages to fill since we have a contract that still has a few years left to it. And that’s where it gets interesting. Those things we did put away so many years ago can be picked up again.

We’ll live in a smaller space with less opportunity to collect and hoard. That’s probably going to be the most difficult part. But somehow I think we’ll find a way…we do, after all, lean to the creative side…

moving day_tadgellMoving Day Surprise
written by Tina Stolberg
illustrations by Nicole Tadgell


Anais Nin
Anais Nin

I’m not sure why, but I loved this photo…actually I do know why…I’m such a boy…

More authors in the depths of teenagerdom here

From a commenter to the article Why We Need Independent Bookstores More Than Ever:


the hard word agasseThe Hard Word
Jacques-Laurent Agasse, artist
completed between 1810 and 1821
oil on canvas

Consider the story of the young student…who began piano studies with a Master. After a few months practice, David lamented to his teacher, “But I can hear the music so much better in my head than I can get out of my fingers.”

To which the Master replied, “What makes you think that ever changes?”

divider separator
Lesson for the day: vision is always ahead of execution — and it should be. Vision, Uncertainty, and Knowledge of Materials are inevitabilities that all artists must acknowledge and learn from: vision is always ahead of execution, knowledge of materials is your contact with reality, and uncertainty is a virtue.

– from Art & Fear, Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking

children at pianoChildren at the piano
(Дети за пианино)
Nikolay Bogdanov-Belsky

This will be my last excerpt (maybe) from this book. Go find a copy and read. Then think, write, paint, take photos, sculpt, cook, bake, etc. Choose one. Or two…

doonesbury panelsDoonesbury
by Gary B. Trudeau

That about sums up those early report cards…

It’s Monday…get out there and make a statement…

The twenty-first letter of the alef-beis is the shin.

The shin comprises three vertical lines representing three columns. The letter itself looks like a crown.

The dimensions  of the shin’s columns is reflected by the three Patriarchs. Abraham is represented by the right line, Chessed (loving-kindness), as he personified absolute kindness, an outward focus through connection to others, and the per­formance of good deeds. Isaac is represented by the left line, Gevurah (discipline and severity), indicative of his being intro­spective and demanding of himself; concentrating on self-refinement and intense prayer. Jacob is the centerline. This is Tiferes, or harmony, because he took the qualities of Abraham and Isaac, kindness and severity, and synthesized them into mercy.

– from Shin: The Matriarchs


One day, the Meridian having been closely enough establish’d, and with an hour or two of free time available to them, one heads north, one south, and ’tis Dixon’s luck to discover The Rabbi of Prague, headquarters of a Kabbalistick Faith, in Correspondence with the Elect Cohens of Paris, whose private Salute they now greet Dixon with, the Fingers spread two and two, and the Thumb held away from them likewise, said to represent the Hebrew letter Shin and to signify, “Live long and prosper.”

– from Mason & Dixon, by Thomas Pynchon

mason and dixon book

His artistic pursuits — poetry, photography and music in addition to acting — ranged far beyond the United Federation of Planets, but it was as Mr. Spock that Mr. Nimoy became a folk hero, bringing to life one of the most indelible characters of the last half century: a cerebral, unflappable, pointy-eared Vulcan with a signature salute and blessing…

His religious upbringing also influenced the characterization of Spock. The character’s split-fingered salute, he often explained, had been his idea: He based it on the kohanic blessing, a manual approximation of the Hebrew letter shin, which is the first letter in Shaddai, one of the Hebrew names for God.

- from the NY Times obituary

nimoy artistMr. Nimoy wrote poetry voluminously and was also
an accomplished  photographer. “Secret Selves,” a
series of photographs in which he encouraged people
to reveal their hidden natures any way they chose,
was exhibited at the Massachusetts Museum of
Contemporary Art in 2010.
[Matthew Cavanaugh for The New York Times]

The line between the artist and his/her work is a fine one at best, and for the artist it feels (quite naturally) like there is no such line. Making art can feel dangerous and revealing. Making art is dangerous and revealing. Making art precipitates self-doubt, stirring deep waters that lay between what you know you should be, and what you fear you might be. For many people, that alone is enough to prevent their ever getting started…

What separates artists from ex-artists is that those who challenge their fears, continue; those who don’t, quit. Each step in the artmaking process puts that issue to the test.

– from Art & Fear, Observations On The Perils (and Rewards) of Artmaking

Every page is a revelation in this book. Worth a read…

at workAt work
Nikolay Bogdanov-Belsky, artist

© Bill Israel

What I'm reading now...

Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 89 other followers


Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 89 other followers

%d bloggers like this: