Saturday XXV • 22 September 2007

I accidentally flew first class back into Los Angeles late-late on Monday. And for the first time after this restless desultory summer, it feels like a place I want to stay for a while.

So now I will go down to the workshop and construct a machine. This is my life for fall: practice, research, write, relate, sleep, repeat.

Clockwork is what I want. Small little interlocking orbits. From which novelty is meant to emerge.

I don’t know if the machine will work as intended. 

As for Colorado, I’m not going to write about my grandmothers whose selves are shrinking, my 87-year-old grandfathers who are becoming the sweetest caregivers, the avuncular difficulties (me too, ESJ), the good cousins plus the horribly criminal one, or the pair of ghosts that haunted all family events. The trip was a body blow, but not in a bad way. I need to get reality-checked like that sometimes.

Except I could have done without all the Nabisco. That’s the thing about working class roots.

Monday I practiced in Boulder, which contrary to my expectation did not make me want to ply the U of C for a job next year. So much for expectations. But my perfect brother and I did have a good lunch outside on Pearl Street after the rain, and then drove the Hyundai back to DIA. In the Avis shuttle I hugged him and his three bags of Telluride Film Fest paraphernalia, and sent him off to a three month artist residency in Paris. That part is always a little wrenching.

By the way, that last post generated more stats (189 distinct visits a day? Who are you silent people?) and more off-blog email contacts than anything heretofore published here at IO. Maybe it’s just the gossip factor, as Tiff experienced a while back. Or maybe there needs to be a support group on the subject.

Saturday links, for the first time in a while:

? So I keep watching the trailer for Southland Tales. Mike Davis apocalypse-ness with Wm. Gibson plot devices, Pixies soundtrack, Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s flashy teeth, dystopic Los Angeles, choppy reality TV edits and gratuitous color saturation. And, if you are into that, a side of Justin Timberlake.

? Podcast for AF et al. Robert Spellman discusses the “key distinction between the theoretical and the yogic, and how that distinction relates to artistic practice.” Bear with the first few minutes of ham-handed metaphysics, because afterwards he discusses how practice can render a “clarity and accuracy of being.” Good thoughts about the different ways shamatha (one-pointed) and vipassana (insight) methods interact with artistic process. He quotes Chogyam Trumka that vipassana introduces the conceptual mind back into meditation after that mode of thought has been set aside for a period of time.

Spellman seems a reader of John Dewey, which is nice. This marriage of pragmatism and contemplative practice hits close to home.

If the above is inspiring, Anna Douglas has some talks up at Dharma Seed. I have not listened to them, but her understanding of meditation and creative process is interesting and sort of deep. She is a doctor of psychology who has practiced vipassana for 25 years and shows strong Zen leanings.

? I decided to link my Goodreads profile here (also in sidebar) in order to encourage myself to keep it current. Hey you: get in, be a friend.

? Funny entry in the geekipedia: Collins-Dawkins Faith Smackdown.

2 Comments

  • Posted 23 September 2007 at 9:31 pm | #

    If you get that machine up and running maybe you can send me the blueprint… I love the sound of that routine, yet things always get in the middle of it. (reminder to self – you can say no when people ask too much of you.)

  • Posted 23 September 2007 at 9:42 pm | #

    Wait. You can say no?

    Sally, starting next week and through June I’m on a grant that prohibits me from taking any work as a teacher, research assistant or contractor. Isn’t that a horribly twisted blessing?

    Yet my plans for keeping things clean and simple are already (as of today) under threat. We shall see whether swift adaptation is possible….

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