The Return from Texas...
Some observations from an observer...
Already the American economy had been hit hard. Perhaps not as great as the 30's depression, but this economic disturbance is slow moving and is likely to last for a generation.
Three months had past since I had moved to Texas, rather on an "emergency" reprieve from Arizona in hopes of kindness witnessed during the slow suffocation of the American economy which has started to dwindle the perspectives and hopes, dreams and futures for many into a solidly referenced cube, the hope for economic stability, want of some gainful life...or if push came to shove, just a meal, a roof over ones head and some less dreary resting place than the cover of a tent in the desert, an old rusty barge of a car to call home.
This is a long, long way from Europe or the high points in the 80's and 90's when the future was bright and optomistic.
The word Anti-Climactic rings somewhat true. But it was..and wasnt--somewhat in that realm of trying to facilitate my needs wants on a 2000 mile trip, spending all kinds of money (I didnt really need to spend) to make a life, or attempt to make a life, facilititate what needs to be, and streamline the obvious from the past to a new and vibrant future..all guesses where this economy is going, to the hopes of fulfillment and dreams that I had prepared for...humanly and spiritually. There is a claim that 99% of people are in trouble in our economy. I can testify this episode is true to the greatest extent, not shouting wolf, nor giving whimsicle testimony..in many there is that face, which I know well from traveling Central-Eastern Europe--That face of desperation. I hate that face as it speaks to me on so many numbeous levels..that the society as a whole has knuckled under for the benifit of the country, is one observation possible..or that we as Americans are too self-centered to give and lay our addems and propagandistic slogans on other to weigh..get a job, make a living, suffer as such being down as something else goes tyrannically awry in a system of despotism which, unchecked would give us a kind of "Military Socialism Regime-under the guise of Capitalism " a kind of "Corporate Communism" or on another level..a kind of despotism that puts the button of a 5th endowment, and another mistake history is about to make forgetting about the word Facism and what that entails. Yes, there is a feeling of this. Its not there yet, but in some minds the angles of that Hindu sign are loaded.
One can agree, or one can dismiss...but it is looking scarey out there, and so little help for the many if this thing takes on a scarey militaristic face internally, within our country we may be in for the biggest surprise on the history of the planet, an upset which is surely to fall in the face of the future. But lets hope this is not so. Lets hope to God that this is only an illusion and that finally, in some perspective, and in some way that people, real people will hold together the democracy and not the despotism, corporate communism if one might say it, that keeps a small percentage with food, shelter and perspective on one side of the hatchet, and a the other side, completely unknown, and completely targets for a kind of dissapearance that might be the ghost of the past, coming in to our newness of a naive nation..Night and Fog..otherwise known as Nact und Nebel...
Prefering to see this from another possibility is wishful thinking, and often take on some dicipline of power of positive thinking. I certainly hope that people are aware...if not it is going to be a rude awakening for future generations. Now, unfortunately I am in a position where I observe, and record the days, work through my writings and hope, and pray for solutions to everyday matters. Yes, prayer has something to do with it! Onward with accentuating the positive nature..but equally being aware of possibilities being possibly denied...at this point in the travel east, wearing the mask of awareness, and beginning to feel heavy for the future.
Ironicly I had witnessed many people who, luck somewhat absent found themselves prideful but just in this position. Not being the perspective of a 'tough and ready' depression as the 1930's, it was slowly getting that way out west. The rich had it made from their venerable lighthouses, picking an choosing thier company from the many with their talents, if so
accepted. It is clear that 'economics' during the recession-depression were taking a generous toll among all, and most especially things like the arts and sciences that that depend on fertile ground in order to prosper fully. It was clear that it was a generation that had changed completely from traditional culture in many respects, the power of money or the lack there of seemed to grease the machine or halt it completely to a noisy slow grind or permanent stop.
As I noticed, the arts, primarily speaking because I am an artist were thrown completely to the back burner or diminished in energy so that it would be a rarity to see something good, even fair. There were few performances outside the common dance band, fewer exhibitions of good, fair or even that tingling 'bad' art that some call modern or other call junk, routed was the core out of the perceptible apple of semi good (or growing) culture that had its gems a half-century ago and some could figure that the art may be flat lined. Bad art could be seen strewn about in galleries, those pieces that were sell-outs, giclee, poor copies and quickly strewn paint by the best of the beginner calling him or herself 'artist' for a whack at the subject, usually too egoistic to mention, names piled upon names in a general consensus. Gone were the one-person shows that were exposing the myth but laying furniture art sold as the highest art possible and sold as big ticket items. Literature was layden with propaganda and pulp, syndicates chopping together pages of old books for new sensational novels made by corporate clubs, factories under a mysterious writers name. (Of course we dont believe this, we cant...the program says otherwise) There were many, few were actual, many virtual...and the author even standing with grossly mispelled words and traumatic grammar at least felt like a virtuoso in that his product was not a smoothly polished assembly of words in a flashy jacket, vetted by 50 professional writers each having their say to a template of form. If one looked at the media it said one thing. If one observed real-life one could observe the complete opposite, some die-hards attempting to tell the truth, but few listening, accepting the 'programmed reality' for its full potential.
There was no conspiracy however. This is the age we live in.
Even the movies or television was hard to watch because of the pungent and often disgraceful fumigated odor of programed intention, delerious action that was qualified as proper with the exception of most all of the really bright message the movies, television could provide, moving to a third grade level from junior high school sitcoms of the sixties, one has the 'featured film' not to watch right at their disposal by turning the media "on". If lucky one might find an old movie made during the semi-intelligent past on one of the 500 channels offered, or simply on You-tube, but closed variety and shortages of choice were apparent. If one tried to find a live play or classical concert one might have to travel a hundred or even thousands of miles to catch one in New York during the perscribed season, paying a big price for lodging as well as the ticket. For many it was like they didnt care about these things called art, and for many they were put out in left field to blossom with the remainder of the rust of the convictions of society grinding the levers and gears to a halt under the banner of "popular" culture, Culture of the Masses, Street Art or whatever new assembly of 'isms' could describe this. One felt for sure that the days were completely over of the genuine, and that they sent in the synthetic culture, paper machea, mediochre crafters to cover it all a little more than obvious. One would wonder at this time if it were a permanent thing, a time that was referenced in the Calyuga, a time of a gigantic slide of everything into an emense ditch that would never pick up again.
One could say, it would or might but in this case it was generational. At this time 3 generations of former traditional culture turned up missing in the culture of the 60's 70's and 80's, leaving few behind for the 90's and even fewer for the years beyond. No one seemed to care as the years drew on..
First went the art, culture, music etc
Then went the science
The Economy shot up with apprehension and folded under the weight an pressure of the lack thereof..
Values went out the window and despots started to take their roles in the control of population and programming attempting to bring it all back---when it is definately too late for repairs.
One could imagine in history that there were similar times:
These times are especially laid out in the old books which no one reads anymore. Some may find them in Library discard piles or book swaps...replaced by newer books with glossy covers...How to be an Instant Millionaire" or 'what havnt you done to join the greed market!
Sometime even this day will be studied although the outcome is surely not to be a return to the effervecent past, a time of learning, study and common sense or logic.
One can imagine an "illuminate" (conspiracy theroist) with a tire pump to plug in and pull the society back from disaster. Mabey this is not the case though. Maybe its all meant to happen exactly as planned and on time, the unfortunate saddness that one sees out there in our culture being more like the pocks on a measles case...it is only a symptom of what we did take for granted, now being carted away by the Karmic repo man, justice left for a stay of execution in another day, at another time...or not, depending on the observational models, or to those who we see or talk to. Whatever is happening is happening, either ignored or paid specific attention to. People are losing their houses, jobs and homes. This action seems indiscriminate, but its always a loaded question when some of our population, a referenced 1-2% live and are rejoicing their livelihoods as muli-millionairs and billionairs in spite of it all. The hardened faces of many speak another story. We cannot see this face lively, nor the sons or daughters of the generation to come being or having the opportunity our sons had in the 50s or 60's---totally the opposite case rather. A new monarchy is developing rapidly from the ashes of all the ruination about us, taking and discarding, wantnot of skill but want of the harvest of metaphoric green--self evident in what may constitute a new version of the old word "slavery".
Yes, dear people its sad to say many, not just some are just surviving off sixty dollars a week for a family of four out there. It may not be surprising to some who know this but to see the challenge of those who safeguard their own jobs as if they were protecting a gold investment, armed to the teeth in this drought of the economy, not a vague perspective but 20/20 as one investigates the outlook that seems dimmer and dimmer as time moves on. No jobs, plenty of ability, but no half-way good paying jobs are the preamble for some new behavior in the rusty riches paradise of whom many have built up for their families who pool millions for their own self interests while the greater fall to the side in the drought of this age, wanting and even begging for a reprieve. In my travels thus far one can see the trouble in the vacant towns festering like a gangreen of sorts. In the major metropolitan areas it is carefully hidden to be out of reach to the media. Two classes as far apart as Mercury and Pluto exist side by side and silent desperate people are winding through the matrix hoping for some bright day when they may marginally prosper feeling like there is a mile-long, mile-wide block of concrete over their head in order to demand conformity to the reason d erte of a new and very prosperous order that want everything seemingly for themselves...and no others.
Sometimes it is better to abandon what one sees in order to just exist as an observer, staying completely away from the tulmut of what is happening, looking back as a refugee of sorts in ones homeland in order to discover some self-centered meaning within oneself. It may be a hard venture since one person affects another in this plague of economics, the end result considered uncertain, less describing more as a new Aristocracy arises, gains and controls the vital interests of everyone and everything in its path...one has a silent cry in ones heart for the problems that are, not that just could be.
Unfortunately young and old have been affected. In Texas however, the potential misery was not yet noticable, especially in the cities. Yet in some smaller towns, outlaying the big metropolis, the effects were seemingly being felt, little by little, but unoticed largely by the media or press. It is ironic however that the process of this economic depression, recession (or whatever one may choose to call it) was variabel according to the media. In Texas the words were posted in the paper as well as in the media of "the worst is over...revival of the economy is at hand!" In the small towns one didnt have to look far for signs that the possibility of things getting allot worse than ever could be imagined. One did not have to look far for the couple who lived out of an automobile, RV or to see those certain faces torn by economic drought that made pictures from the 1930's into a reality of the present.
Asides from the generous descriptions laid in the Grapes of Wrath of people from Oklahoma moving west, now there were people moving East. Texans are rather a very transparent folk, keen with their ability to make many things perfectly clear in some points. However one might not consider the media of "Marlvelous times ahead" to be a barometer, but merely a salespoint from some Transnational media group utilizing the old term "Voodoo Media" to have fluffy safety nets as illusions posted before the holes in the ground open up.
Oh, things were much more sparkly in Texas! In the cities one would almost never see a standing beggar except under a bridge or overpass where one would expect to find one...but there were not just one, but those who took turns in a line to pass out leaflets, sell papers or try to grab attention for a handout. In Phoenix it was ten-fold, other places, the smaller towns almost a surrealistic variety of poverty that couldnt be described here.
In Texas too there were those towns, lost in a syndicate of old decrepit buildings, and lonely vanished streets, visions of some parts of poorer regions of Mexico, where at your eyeballs delight, may view some of the most awkward views of modern township. Outside the glorious vessle of Houston as well as Austin and other towns there were these slings of broken arm towns that still rang of the 1930's era. Vanished from the perspective of the interstate one whould have to travel a few miles back to see these towns, half abandoned and places where old foundations met the sky. Out west one might run into a string of thes near ghost towns that were just such a place, half way abandoned, but where pride lived from moment to moment as the winds passed and the blight of depressed economy continued to entrench the occupants.
But my time in Texas was seeing most of the better things! I did not want to view the drought of civilization, nor the heavy burden of perspectives laid at my feet, but yes they were there, and I could tell you the towns were just out of view from the interstate hidden from view where the ghosts of yesterday were gathering for tomorrow.
As an artist I had difficulty often with the paradox of such lavish modernism in one part of town, and down the road a piece, maybe up the highway, down a long stretch of road, a part of the country that spoke of economic hardship beyond comparison, houses with windows boarded up, entire towns left neatly on the front with caution signs of a folding economy only minutes away from such lavish constructions and jeweled complexs of the opportune variety. It sometimes made me want to do a photo essay...but I knew of the sheer embarrassment of those things that I saw, a tear running down my cheek when I saw a group of mobile homes, so old and disheveled, packed together in a way that was surreal, their occupants fearful of being photographed maybe even to the oncoming slight of a bullet aimed my way to a sign posted: No Trespassing.
I couldnt be the photographer in this case, and neither was I feeling that heroic inside to become a photojournalist on some of these short jaunts from my house whether in Houston or an outpost up, a small cabin, north -near the Lousiana border.
Now for the time being, I was trying desperately to concentrate on my own life, leaving the economy out of the situation, as if a shift of perspective, teasing the imagination to hope a willful hope, to have a plesant dream and pull my own life together here in Texas with the hopes and dreams as well as perspectives given to me.
I did not need tales of hardship. For many out there is was totally obvious. With what I could muster within myself, a graduate of some of the best schools in the United States, I certainly felt there was a "go of things" for once.
Onward across the states...
There were Notes: Wow! Sudden crossing of three states in a van that could barely make it down the road!! This is another one of the artists adventures. Spring Texas. A nice little dot on the map, seemingly from the distance being traveled. From Sedona Arizona, a risk with my van, the long distance drive. Needless to say it was a "chance", perhaps at making things balanced with the Lord, or such subsidy where balance in the Universe is achieved on a scale of "right" or "wrong" being the determinate issue.
When I started this venture to Texas there were certain questions. I was sure that this trip was worth it from what I could glean from promises included in the set-up. Although I as an artist have heard promises jut left, and then right, ending somewhere up in the middle, I was not totally immune to mistakes. I felt this trip was worth it in the final analysis, or should have been in the straight path of inquiry, possibility only to have some outcome to it all dangled suddenly in my path after a number of successes that were very minor in comparison to others.
That traveling to Texas could possibly be a bridge to my art after some very difficult situations. What I had seen was a plus. That some problem might exist from the build up of promises, a ghost to the matter of cause and effect. Things looked good...but I do remember one time too when things looked good in reference to a contract overseas in Europe only to travel there and find out it was exactly the opposite of what I had hopes, dreams and signatures representing.
In ones life one recognizes a word called a "foil". A foil is a very simple operation which one may utilize to cloak oneself. Hardly obvious, a foil is a mystery sometimes. When one finds oneself foiled one knows it, the presence of this foil. One time in Czech Republic I was hired for a position and had signatures bearing on a contract that was literally not too bad and included room, board and a salary under Czech conditions. I flew all the way to Prague and interviewed the third day after arrival for this position only to find a "foil" written in to the contract...something about visa restrictions having to be met within the country of origin, but positively nothing about the job itself...I had the job, just had to satisfy the restrictions...I was lucky to have accomodations as that foil pulled up, another larger university providing me with accomodations that were met while the school that contracted me in the first place slipped into the mist including signatures, offers and placement. Spending a winter of -20 temperatures could have been a hassle to many if fate didnt have its way sometimes, one supplying what another is lacking. Fortunately everything was taken care of by the medical department of one university in Europe to supply me with a place to live while I tried to jump through the hoops of legal stamps and customs. That took time!
Unfortunately the foil, a deceptive reason, is sometimes alive and well in our society. Caviet Emptor to all who encounter!
Needless to say I was aware, that if something happened along the line on this particular trip to Texas I would have to be prepared. In all cases one must be prepared!
If things went well as the angels said it could be, I would have no problem. If there were things I didnt know about, but should have been aware of, things could go every which way in minutes!
During the months of my residency I was working up a series of music and art, the numbers of which are concious, evident, and explainable on CD and DVD from the silence of my mind which was in contemplation and delivery of such music and art that was private to me in its certain sectional work.
The work took place in a remote cabin as well as the home of my sponsor during the weeks and months of my residence.
I needed silence, and contemplation for my work. This was a must in any circumstance. I was never the person, (as stated before many times in this "Story of My Life" journal) who would make a public, or even a pressured private showing of my work, either public or private. I didnt practice in an environment where people would be meandering in and about. This was difficult for me, moreover the privacy when I was working on my own art had to in some way be a protected environment in a studio of my own, or such a place where I would not be disturbed. I had plenty of time when I worked in private on my own music, hoping to make, write and compose each piece and accordingly put it to Digital Disk for the experiment of this concept of art called music. This was also the case with my painting. In the month of December 2012 I had such a silence and environment to work in Houston, having most of the comfortable dwelling to myself for such works as well as a digital and manual keyboard to work upon. The days and nights during December 15 forward until the first few days of January were repleate with the essence of creations being made as well as 'work' via my computer to make a more permanent situation of the journey to Texas. However it was December and for the most part "The Holidays" when there were no attendants to take resumes or perform interviews at schools, other attempts being made with several hour journeys to hope to solidify a long journies vision of a permanent residence in Texas. "The Holidays" were a difficult time to rush situations. Every letter out was answered with a notice to re-apply or call after the New Year. In the interim I had the space and time to work on my own pieces, art and music and to generate a new impression of the "reason d erte" on this planet Earth in relative freedom, and silence to my expressive needs.
Work was slow in the beginning. When I had arrived in Texas there was a concert to prepare for. I had been months without touching a keyboard for any sustained time, and then (Nov) I had been reactivated. When I arrived I slept seemingly 4 days and then had a stack of music books from Liszt to Rachmaninoff given to me as a matter of perusal, and maybe even to learn. On the 4th day I was back into practicing, preparing for a short recital, and other events that would take place during the "season" where I would play, receive what it was that a performer receives, repeat the gesture of playing and then hopefully continue my journey of learning pieces for my own domain, for the future if one will say that this "could be" a future. It had looked good. (read-the concert..for a brief outline of what it was like to prepare, and a signature of story of this time)
I had prepared "Set I", the usual set of pieces I did for small-medium performances of 20 minutes duration. Among these were pieces of Chopin, Moskowsky, Rachmaninoff (If the case may be the G Minor Prelude-Elegy-Melody, if time allowed and music was there to re-learn and perfect these) also were a few Liszt pieces and Ginestera Preludes, selections of which had to be practiced to be played, and not really successfully done "off the cuff". I was alive with the metronome in practice, and when the few times that I played were finished, I gave a sincere sigh of relief. I had partially relearned parts of the "Set II" which included Rapsody 5 of Liszt and #19 (a bruiser needing very technical practice), also some slow enduring practice of #13 17, and #7 (a sigh that "If" rushed with a metaphorical "gun to my head", I could pass these off with a slurry of mistakes, but that is not what it is about. This was slow prepared practice and two or three months before I could bring them out since they had not been played for a very long time. I had stopped playing on any steady ventures (as one can recall in 2007) for various reasons, and was quite vigilant to get everything back at this time. I wanted it to be a reasonable time, and it should be, to engage in practice without being pushed out there on stage with a quick gesture or no warning. (Some people think that playing the piano is quick and easy, and technique comes back instantly, or that one simply resumes the keyboard as a matter of nature. I can say fervantly and without reserve that this is positively not the case and that performers have to practice every day continuously to rattle off those difficult pieces, not having a break of even a day, never a month, and positively not a year-without practice-unless one is due for a big surprise. Like a figure skater, like a boxer, or a professional athlete a musician must be allowed--And I say "Allowed" to practice in order to play, and not shot out on stage, with indecency to encumber a metaphorical slipping on ice as a figure skater, or a un forseen blow for the boxer. The musician must be allowed to practice at their own pace, within their facility and the sponsor must not push them too much into a corner as the performer...the person who will go out on stage knows best as to what needs to be done. Im sorry to say, the society as a large-whole [not really knowing art, but pretending very well as though they do, not frequently apologetic to the matters of arts] is not responsive to the artists needs, and begs and peads for instant gratification, and weighs heavily against the artist if the needs are not met. I had seen this, and knew this for years almost vowing to myself to stay in the background for the most part, and have limited appearances unless the arrangements were made as well as the energies of pay were presented. Unfortunately when one is in the tight corner for vision--or an improved life, style and source of living one might just take into consideration that one may "play for food" being the apt monkey on a string...or dismiss this in its entirety.
I came, I produced what they wanted for the time they wanted, and gave it my best for the allotment of time given...that I would be paid in some way was genuine and gracious. I had thanks for the generousity to have this time for my music (I was looking forward to quantum leaps, but thankful for the little pleasant gestures) I provided the music, and practiced it...now it was my time, to have the silence to do what I as an artist am supposed to do...create. And this I did in the silence of the holidays.
I found a venture to provide a podium for my new work in art and music with (Private International Corporation/Group) at this time. I had been at this project several months making possibilities happen. This project was to include a "Solo" Exhibition of my artwork as well as a generous display of my own personal music.
The deal was obvious, and what I needed to do is to produce, filter, refine and record. This international group had been interested in me for 2 years now. (I will refrain in the mention of the name) Now was a time I could go ahead with the work and produce my work as it should be, as allowed to be in a concious effort forward. I had made three DVD's of sketches for my own work forward in a series of improvisations and bits to be laid out. This would consume my days and evenings till the wee hours of the morning. I did not talk very much about this project for it was mine, and for the most part "secret"--The artist was moving for the first time in years again, having the space to create his images and work for an exhibition..the time given forward to an uncertain date of completion. (This was open and not a deadline)
Over 3 hours of music had been created for this project in sketch form and 12 works of art in oil--mixed media--and a wide assortment of nearly 100 Digital works which were on the line for this project. Spending hours splicing and putting things together on my computer was not a whimsical point, but a must. At the end of December this project seemed closer to fruition than ever before. I was more-or-less fully facilitated with the best of what I now had, at least the basics. I had been given a New Kurtzweil Keyboard for recording, and hopefully-in time- playing for the project as it might be considered--I was buying materials on my own dime, and putting them together piece by piece, in the slowest most methodical way to consider the art of the matter. I certainly thought I had all the "Time" needed to do what I had to, and there would be no rush, or involvement to push the project ahead at a harried pace or just whack it into formation as with so many rather indecent proposals which I personally had seen in the past, and which I did not do when it seemed a rush job (or would likely look good on a resume, wasnt paid or was another gypsy type of deal where they would take this music, put it out there and wait for response...too many of these I had seen, and I was the last person in the world not to be absolutely aware of the word exploitation in the arts or anything else...as this happens too much in this current avarice of economic disturbance and ususary culture of art and artists for corporate or individual exploit) I had hidden myself away for this particular project, certain that all promises were possible and concerted possibilities, ethical ways and means, goals that could be attained without quandry as it was more-or-less guarenteed that I could have time at this point. If six months were needed, I could have six months...or even a year. Of course I was trying not to lean on my sponsors, and indeed was certain that at the pace given I could have this project underway in three months beyond December and finished by the beginning of Summer. I was told I had time.
I spent many days at the cabin in the outlook of this project-
In the cabin, that location up near Livingston Texas, I had my time of departure again into that beautiful realm of art and away from the helter-skelter universe of Houston. It was calm up there and I found great meaning every time during my visits to "The Cabin" for a variety of reasons. For me it was tranquility, that least known element, to our current social convention, where one can focus on ones work and be in dispose to it. As a matter of my own thoughts could reference, there was a clarity there that was not around the busy body mindset, that convention of wrapping things up in ones self and surface that could be found here. It was this cabin where on the second visit, and one weeks stay that good thoughts were coming through for a number of expressive and creative works that were in captivity in my brain and that must be expressed. I had bought canvases and many more to provide an output to the ideas that were still inside my head, waiting for that crucial point of release that only a creative artist knows. As an artist one knows one is not an automoton or able to work creatively on command. It is absolutely unreasonable to configure this matrix for creativity of all sorts is an inspired reason, a reason for God to come through us and provide His provision through the aspect of our work.
There was peace at the cabin. The land and trees as well as the overwhelming silence helped in the generation of good thoughts, fine creative thoughts that would provide that measure of creation crucial to my work ahead.
I forged ahead first in the creation of five works, and through that beginning of output a dozen or more followed in the days that followed. I felt it was not necessary to tell of the production of my work to others, but commonly relayed this to the lady who provided the cabin in thanks for letting me use this facility for bringing myself back to the makeshift but doable studio at this remote but beautiful location in its simplicity.
My works from Houston during Christmas were brought up and worked on during the days and nights. Soon enough a dozen or more canvases followed...inspiration followed for the near completion of these works after their initial onset.
During times when the paint (and art) was drying (or curing) I would shift to my keyboard, now set up so that it was playable.
Oh so thankful was I for this experience of having silence around me to focus on my work, undisturbed from the back and forth walking, or talking, or onslaught of suggestions that I really should be immediately applying for jobs (directly counter to my lifes work), left right and center. I was working on some more Chopin, some Liszt Hungarian Rapsodies, relearning #5 and #19 which were still gelling, so to speak, in a generation of new thoughts for my own work that would be recorded during the night. Sedona seemed far away. The life there seemed strange now as reported by a friend who still had to matrix situation after situation as well as jumping one living condition after another in a long line of dramas. I was here in Livingston, and there was the almost sacred "Cabin" in Livingston. The days were wonderful and the air was fresh. No better circumstance could be afforded at this point for furthuring my art, exploration and "life thoughts".
Spring Texas and the times there seemed far away. Nature seemed right at my door as well as the creative spirit which grew more apparent every day, my guide, my reason d erte for being.
There was a kind "Spirit" at the Cabin. This spirit would talk to me and guide me in my work without reservation. As an artist I found such places very rare.
One day I awakened to the dawn light and commenced on my work lined up and working on the outside balcony of the cabin. Each piece was beginning to gel on its own after several weeks of work on these landscapes.
Perspicacity (also called perspicaciousness and perspicuity) is a penetrating discernment - a clarity of vision or intellect which provides a deep understanding and insight.
In the 17th century, René Descartes devised systematic rules for clear thinking in his work Regulæ ad directionem ingenii (Rules for the direction of natural intelligence). In Descartes' scheme, intelligence consisted of two faculties: perspicacity, which provided an understanding or intuition of distinct detail; and sagacity, which enabled reasoning about the details in order to make deductions. Rule 9 was De Perspicacitate Intuitionis (On the Perspicacity of Intuition). He summarised the rule as
Oportet ingenii aciem ad res minimas et maxime faciles totam convertere, atque in illis diutius immorari, donec assuescamus veritatem distincte et perspicue intueri.
Yes it takes perspicacity!
We should totally focus the vision of the natural intelligence on the smallest and easiest things, and we should dwell on them for a long time, so long, until we have become accustomed to intuiting the truth distinctly and perspicuously.
In his study of the elements of wisdom, the modern psychometrician Robert Sternberg identified perspicacity as one of its six components or dimensions; the other five being reasoning, sagacity, learning, judgement and the expeditious use of information. In his analysis, perspicacity was described as
; can offer solutions that are on the side of right and truth; is able to see through things — read between the lines; has the ability to understand and interpret his or her environment.
—Robert J. Sternberg , Wisdom: its nature, origins, and development
Being perspicacious about other people, rather than having false illusions, is a sign of good mental health. The quality is needed in psychotherapists who engage in person-to-person dialogue and counselling of the mentally ill.
The artist René Magritte illustrated the quality in his 1936 painting Perspicacity. The picture shows an artist at work who studies his subject intently: it is an egg. But the painting which he is creating is not of an egg; it is an adult bird in flight.
In all things there was a contingency
Sudden changes with sudden plans--Angels redirection to the Road Across--A return to Sedona--The Artists having to make sudden and unexplained plans--An Angels sharpened fork--Prayer--Deepened Prayer--The Bible on oneside--God behind those pages- Psalm 19--
In all things there lay a contingincy. For the record, nothing goes on forever, and sudden changes sometimes address situations
being faster to contemplate, than first reasoned.
It was the first week in January that I went into town a very productive stay at the cabin to retrieve my emails and do some business on the practical side of life. I would always spend two hours or sometimes three hours on internet on the occasion of doing business. Of course there was coorespondence with friends and the concept of "Facebook" which was new and sometimes time consuming. I had a battery of posts of articals which I wanted posted during interludes of writing letters, assuming coorespondence and trying to make the best of the "Office Session" which had become a regimen of my day as well as practice (of the piano) and Studio work.
During one such session there was an alert of a new incoming message from one of the other emails that I had on another server. As usual my server was open on several different levels. I opened it to the exact coorespondence of the lady who was my sponsor in Houston.
I thought at first it was a little joke, or something that couldnt have been taken seriously, but in retreiving the message I looked for some obvious measures of intent. At first I laughed. Then the message grew to inquiry and concern that maybe my letters and coorespondence, time on the internet was being "timed".
The letter is exactly as posted:
I am getting concerned about you when I saw how often you posted on Facebook while you are at the cabin and on the way to the cabin, and wondered if you had to make three trips into town today or just stayed there 5 hours. I have wanted to help you but am getting concerned that you may not be putting your creative energies toward helping yourself. This is awkward and I don't want to discuss it but want you to be aware that I am beginning to think something is amiss and this is not a permanent situation that I will support . Think about it.
I scratched my head, continued my work and perhaps didnt really pay that much attention to the email.
"What was this about?" I had no idea! Things were going well, in fact better than could be singularly concerned about. How many times I posted on Facebook was of no concern of anyone else except me...and rationalized, a little bit, or a great deal it was part of my business to be on internet.
I responded politely, thinking nothing of the situation...really.
A couple of days past and a second message came in, repeated in the text somewhat a mystery, a repeat of the words, as though a warning...not to be on internet...or so that I was watched.
The second warning came in while I was polishing off a chapter of this chapter in an elongated journal...right online, as I am now.
Facebook, Email Monitoring..the fact that few understand from the old school about the importance of the computer an intenet use.
I felt like a grade school child who was drawing pictures instead of his intent on the math or science lesson. It was very strange, and moreover...kind of weird, this next email. But instead of feeling nine years old, I kind of laughed it off with the jest that I thought this was intended and continued my work to return home to the cabin to continue on my art, make a recording in the evening and live life normally.
The next day I expected the land lady to come up and visit. I never mentioned the email, or its response, kind of generally not giving it any additional focus, afterall I had talked with her once a day to maintain communication...everything seeming well on the up-and-up.
At about 3 pm the next evening she arrived for a visit of an hour or so and to deliver some papers, talk and have general conversation. She asked if I read the email at that time. I smiled and told her yes, without too much to remark about. Nothing was out of line with my work or what seemed to be the balance of the equation artisticly.
Everything was fine...but her last words before she left were that she was having visitors and some things were changing, mentioning a financial situation she was encountering in a concerning matter, but altogether relayed nicely. I was wondering what was going on but did not challenge the peace to find out what may or might be in the works for the future.
Then one day...
I had this uncanny feeling that things were about to change. I do not know where it came from. Things with my art, music had been peaceful and productive in the silence of the cabin. There was this uncanny message in the silence of the cabin that seemed to break the silence. It was a kind but uneasy message that came to me, this change. I do not know where it came from but it was easy with me...giving me some focus, beyond focus in ways I cannot completely understand.
I received confirmation of several good things that were in the works via internet. I was thankful. There were positive results from a group of applications too that seemed to come forth. Unfortunately there was that uncanny feeling that I would be on the road again, and this feeling I couldnt break. One day the landlady came and we talked a bit at the cabin. Assuring me that things were ok, I continued my work...one day feeling as though I have to, repeat have to.. bring it to a comfortable finish in the next days. I felt worried about this energy, or message I had felt, rather received as it seemed to rush a project where more time was needed. I returned to Houston on the weekend, I looked back into my car only to find I had packed all my belongings and recordings, equipment in the seat behind me. I had intended to continue...gently I asked myself, why I packed up everything. It seemed almost like a wind that had overcome me. And from this inclination I did know that within days I would be heading again to Arizona..How I did, I had no Idea...
Sudden discontinuation to the project, and a pleading message from my sponsors to have the works complete before September 2012 for exhibition. I was assured I had the time the land lady told me...I found myself writing back to the sponsor of this (Project with my music and art), that for this particular projects completion it is uncertain the time-frame I am dealing with---
Sudden change when I reach Houston. I realized that I was in trouble when the landlady had other projects which I had been sidelined to, that I had little or no preparation for the security of my project or the projects future...and that I was on my own again in Houston, a large city with little or no preparation for a disturbing fact and the only possibility was to return to Arizona immediately with reserves from what I had over the sale of some pieces of art...almost not enough to take me in gas alone across the states Texas, New Mexico and back to Sedona, where I would find the situation exactly as I left it...undisturbed, but this all a very expensive venture, utilizing my skills, feeling generously used up, some kind of loose joke seeming to come from the Texas venture...Now suddenly on the road without a definate reason and a project ( a good life project with my music and art that I was looking forward to completing..and had not one second to spare beyond filling my tank with gas, loading my van and continuing on to Arizona--again.
As I look back, It was a long trip told to me in a vital interest of what I had possibilities to do when I reached Houston. It initially seemed fully facilitated to the basics that I needed...but then suddenly cut off, my hands held up in a disturbing feeling of injustice that I was indeed like the old statement of the "horse ridden up and laid up wet.."
The Road Across Continued...