Saturday, July 31, 2010

july in review, the tragic clark lyons, an exhibit of paintings approaching. . . .

julliet 26 2010. 9h21am. the bastille day bum.  i will write about this man further, but for now will introduce him as the aged man who, after yelling "i am the rainman," passed out on the front stoop of our downtown restaurant on bastille day, just as we expected our first guests for the very busy evening. . . a terminal alcoholic, rotting of sour mash, cigarettes, and decay, he slept in spurts, yelling at traffic and horses and the cape fear.  he wore a fatigue jacket with military patches, a pair of swimming trunks that were riding low on his midsection, and a pair of fine wire-rim glasses around which fell red shocks of hair. anyway—he is now dead, having drowned in greenfield lake (where I run twice a week). he decided to “go take a bath” in the lake. clark lyons.  by the grace of god there go i. . . . why our paths crossed strikes me as something to mine for meaning.  here is a story from the local news source. 

Instinct. Intuition. collective unconscious; the delirium of sleeplessness, of information overload, of self-ridicule and inelegant thought. flaccid half-sentences, fragments of awareness, splintered mindfulness. . . schubert’s piano sonata, opus 120. I think of rainy winter days in Wilmington. comforting, comfortable thoughts, vision. black oak cove road in candler nc. intuition should lead into paths of mind—delirium is insight without orientation: savor the ridiculous until it becomes graceful.

thursday july 29. ran 7m this morning and nearly lost a calf muscle to a black (what appeared to be a) pit bull on one of the narrow sand-gravel alleys downtown near the park. . . . behind the trucking company hq, near greenfield & 5th, i heard dogs barking, nothing unusual, and then heard the rhythmic tell-tale chi-chunk of running paws and turned around to see that dog coming right at me. . . . he wasn't slowing, so i didn't slow. then he was at me, and i jumped and yelled (at who? i dunno) 'AYH!" and the dog just stopped. no teeth. shocked. looking at me, he lunged, lazily or half-heartedly, and i turned around--'not supposed to look into an aggressive dog's eyes'—jogged into a run, continued running and the dog turned & went back home. next came, strangely, the quietest moment of the whole run. . . . a god moment for sure. and a fair run but my quads are very tired and my endurance lacks as my breath isn't strong in the wet air. . . what appeared to be dark clouds in distance was actually atmospheric perspective darkening the horizon, and it was hot and steaming.
fine storms now pound and beat, one hears stravinsky or webern, and the tomatoes and peppers will be very happy for this rain. the orchestra of nature drifts into silence.

saturday july 31 2010.   my shoes are being washed. once white, they are now a gruesome dark mud of sweat and soil. and they smell like a summer dog, running wild through fields of fetid ash, lion meat flossing canine-teeth. anyway. . . . end of the month and time for the numbers.
704 miles in 2010. 24 miles for the week (short run today, again due to stomach). 101 miles for the month. not great but satisfactory for an injury-recovery month. next week, trails in berryville va.

show at caprice bistro in 45 days. opening mid-september, the larger paintings begin. rendered as wet-drawings, Pennsylvania landscapes and frenetic dancers dominate the work. I am looking forward to the final results, but savor the abstracts of the process of painting, the medium’s joy and experience of itself.

still cannot believe I have my calf muscle. the dog incident haunts me as a weeping statue might. . . . a personal miracle, probably.

Friday, July 23, 2010

the various levels of endurance in any given day.

the endurance of the day. there is always endurance. whether running through fever fires, insomnia fires, july fires, or family fires, one finds the heat of Life bearing down. . . the fires of the blacksmith, fires of struggle, fires of destruction, fires of a phoenix wings.

reflections on the texts of foucault, hoffstadter, schoenberg, pound, d.f. wallace, naipaul. . . . days on the bus riding to coffee & bookstore. winter coats and gray rain in roadside trenches, coffee steaming in gloved hands, paint-spattered, mindful and bodyless. bus rides with the cross-cut culture of ilm, smells and sounds and characters. material poverty bore creative prosperity.   physical ease yields mind complacency.  the city bus is a symbol of creative craving, of passion, of redemption.

still life from run today: the snake—laying in road with full body uncoiled, fat and fed, muscled body like rolled copper with rusting cream drops. perfect design, tattoos. head is illusion, Escher-style, milky copper merges crimsoned into black asphault. . . . flat head, dead head, copperhead. . . by my next lap the copper bulk is removed by feasting hawks and squirrels.
(cautious footsteps on mexican walkways.  the abundance of mexican iguanas, camouflaged against sand and stone.)

tuesday july 20th, 11h39am. seven miles downtown. heat and busybusy mind. finished sillitoe’s saturday night and sunday morning. energized language captures vividly the life of english working-class, factory-town characters—told via close third-person narrative with Arthur as main character. the book is a rewarding read. now “the loneliness of the long distance runner,” and am halfway through it. love the character, his lack of resentment, his arrogance, and his messy emotionalism. i recall clockwork orange for some reason. . . . thin connection, but theories of treatment for criminal reformation are presented in both texts through unrepentant antiheros.

kyote has his first soccer ball—a mitre size 3. already a brilliant dribbler, he is working towards a midfielder or even a striker position.

itinerary: in a few weeks, a trip to berryville va for some running and camping and friends and family. . . . triple lakes trail marathon in october. battleship half marathon in november. in november, if possible, i will try to head to georgia for a weekend prior to thanksgiving, do some running with the in-laws near stone mountain.

thursday july 21st. seven-point-five morning-miles with sunheatsun bearing down and rachmaninoff’s third piano concerto on the way home from downtown with a stumped, bent twig of an elderly lady nearly causing me to wreck. her husband sat in the passenger seat behind dark glasses staring blankly, possibly dead, but entirely trusting of his wife’s driving. little does he know. . . . upon returning home, strip salt-starched shorts and cut a thick, chilled watermelon slice. a moment of ecstacy, of quietude.

gonna add it up: 21m/ 71 m/ 677 m.

a few quiet moments in the run. . . . the heavy roots of swamp-trees pour into the green water. a caiman americain drifted on the surface amongst the slow gear-legs of the turtles, their shells swaying with algae like long hair sifting the water. a nice run of still mind; sometimes its ten miles before the mind relents and is serene and quiet. . . . . the ride home gradually crescendos into busy, scampering mind, driving Market street and cursing between vicious clangs and lugubrious adagios of rach’s third (van cliburn on the keys?). frustration-anger is sometimes the worst pollutant of my existence.

sweetened Sumatran coffee with the big B’s on the onkyo: beethoven, beastie boys, bob marley, bluegrass.

friday. four mile run at the summer rest loop and wb park. HOT and Humid: some walking along the way. . . reflected that it is not the numbers, the gadgets, the suffering, the ego, or even the completion of the run that counts. it is the process, the journey—the narrative-- of the run, the experience of motion and body and mind-colors in muscle movement, the burning of legs which is breath ignited, the body-brine frothing in shoes, the poetry of space, the alignment of prayer and Act. . . . to avoid the Deadspace—the mindless passage from point A to point B—and to be present and awake within the act. that is the whole deal. brine bakes on shoulders to dusty brown.

Friday, July 16, 2010

cycles of golden wheat, fields in decay, Sun.

II.  how we relive the furious energies of history—we are accumulations of earth’s narrative energies. . . . God’s transformative organic state, biomorphic & self-celebrating.

Adrenalin & Thrust.

III. running painting cooking working (as prayer).

weds juillet quatorze—bastille day. 10 am. kyote rests for the moment. a thunderstorm harvests the silence of the morning, tearing clouds with bass throbs, slinging rain against window pane where a spider dances in rain-jerked web. coffee dark as the clouds.

Brahm’s second string quartet, rich and varied.  my current wet drawing series: Pennsylvania landscapes. beethoven’s late fugue quartet. natl geographic road atlas paintings. white and black acrylics with charcoal vine, the dusty drags into wet pigment.  (thoughts of baselitz, keifer, richter.)  oil sticks on paper, yellowing under linseed oil.

made my first sauce with (mostly) homegrown ingredients. a ragu of tomato, basil, oregano, all from my garden. . . . I then added store-bought garlic and spinach, simmered the ragu with rigatoni, pan-sauteed some organic chicken breasts. kyote and kas and I ate luxuriously with some hot black tea and iced water; very gratifying.

friday 11h39am. 6 mile run this morning. hot but fluid, observational and grateful, rather than the recent dread and agony of the work of running. . . . felt good and strong and even braced by the heat, with a cool breeze pouring salty from the ocean.  a massive hawk landed, posed on a nearby branch; a salamander with steel skin skittered. 
thought of philistines, the poetry of a run, the old testament warning against the philistines, where science overwhelms art and natural wonder with systematic efforts to reverse-engineer god. . . . to simply allow the abstract of a thing, its splendor and art, neither unimpeded nor distorted by theory and analysis—but instinct/ impulse appreciation of a canvas or a poetic transformation. to celebrate the organic with rituals of the spontaneous. reckless anarchy of awe.  to love, briefly.

I know my ponderings are paradoxical, self-contradictory, and often completely abstract. but there again, we live in a time in which an ocean--at least the gulf of mexico—is on fire. it is an age of gluttonous rhetoric and imploding paradox and torn wings. it is an age of the initial stages of love-lust: adrenalin and thrust. sturm und drang. it is the politician's language and industry's coaled breath.  loss and dismemberment of memory, derangement of the continuum, of history's narrative, of Whole Life, of Holy Life.  we are the incompletes, children of godel, vacant masks.  gouged galleries, recursive and vague.

god is an ephemeral orchestra of which I am a distinct voice. . . . . a holy joker, an empty vessel or a mute epiphany. the sounds of shoes kicking into sun, charcoal against cotton duck, psalms & ohms. laughter.

Monday, July 12, 2010

lung distance logs. . . .

I.  july 12th. monday, just before 9am and kyote is already napping. shostakovich’s sixth string quartet snakes from the workroom where the onkyo is situated. waking morning brought thoughts of the distant past, other lives passed really; working at la cava ristorante, serving the ornate, artful Christmas feasts, food so rich and gorgeous, spreads & banquets unlike anything I’d ever seen/ tasted before. . . . cooking at rookwood, painting in a garage studio, drinking and sexing and generally epicurean-bacchusilian mad for the essence of life. nauseous tequila pillows and brutal warmbeer dawns. . . . sleepless and tragic, narcotic and frenzied, delirious with Buddhist mindstorms, yet painting as hard as I could, painting voraciously in fact and with a practiced coordination now difficult to realize, impossible to replicate. chasing dope in empty sunday morning backstreets, decayed mind and oyster-shell eyes. books and beers; god and dope.  within my own religious beliefs, i was a devout, orthodox saint.

I recognize now the division of Self, the mental bifurcation of myself:

a. the field of ideas and images and Passions related to drugmad selfless (somehow pure) days of addled paint-pursuit. the raw anger and sorrow of being human and being young and somewhat intelligent and ambitious. the insatiable yearning to learn and know and capture, to be captivated by Anything, whether cantor’s aleph or rimbaud’s rotting winter, the Russian fields of dead soldiers and gulags, l. freud’s handling of paint and rothko’s weariness and motherwell’s aesthetic ideals, of de kooning’s impoverished thirties in nyc, basqiaut and sartre and stalin and de sade, of hunger and hunger, of algorithms in C language for mathematic functions, of salvation and the lives of various saints and the ascetic’s life paralleling that of many junkies and madmen and schiziophrenics. . . . . the intellectual, emotional, artistic, sexual craving to Experience.
et cetera.
(few things will burn one a need for salvation and redemption as a life of horror and infernal torment. there is no more refined propaganda for the next state of grace than the previous state of boschian terror. . . . illustration of the myth of the conversion of saul => paul.)

b. then there is the other aspect, the current paradigm, the more compartmentalized existence. parental foresight & protective awareness, measured responses, measured emotions. . . anarchy is replaced by gravity and composed environment. the destruction of the body becomes not admixtures of chemicals but long runs, pushing one’s endurance, the sleeplessness of parenthood, the burning eyes of study against sleep. the release of ecstasy is tender and sublime, cautious and savored, rather than explosive and rapacious and raging. . . . although elements of angst remain, one walks more Aware through the day, less guerilla encounters and private rebellions & revolutions than the yogi walking still-faced across embered coals. there is the quiet, gracious, equanimous suffering of the mature. beauty is subtle and almost private. and this existence is also pure and suffering, if deeper and more tender. grief and happiness; nurtured growth rather than looted gain?

riotous and raw. to be sober divorces me from the mindpursuits and harvests of those years in group a. no real crossover but music and torndown body. . . . not that one must manufacture inspiration and passion, but drugs & drink certainly cover the need to suffer that one craves salvation and highest Grace. to drink one’s self into sainthood, or at least into artistic creation, is really an ephemeral notion, while preserving the body with health and sanitary acts is as earthbound as a farm.

moving on. . . . reading now sillitoe’s saturday night and sunday morning. finished cat’s cradle, vonnegut. spain won in a brilliant final world cup game y’day. a suspended 120 minutes of work for those elite athletes.

runs are back in a zone. y’day was a strong six miler at the beach, a cooling breeze counteracted the direct sun as footfalls circled the coast and summer rest trail, uncrowded with few others out and about. the run’s focus was a strictly physical act, meditative in the sense of pilates being a meditation. not transcendental or whirling dervishes, but the patterns of muscular movement felt, breath in lungs sizzling out through burns in quads and calves and heels rolling onto the kick of toes and the eyes pushing into grass and sky and sand, hips roll rhythmic and the back poised and straight, and constant dropping of shoulders. . . . last weeks total was 22 miles, 24 m for the month of july, 630 miles for the year. the new week puts me in line for 25 miles, and a clearing of 650 miles. . . . no anton, but a proud effort and a necessary expenditure.

y'days mantra: lung distance logs. . . . a bit abstract.

how we relive the furious energies of history—we are acculumations of earth’s narrative energies. . . . God’s transformative organic state. . . .

Friday, July 2, 2010

thirty six years of age.

june 30 2010.   final day of my 35th year. let it rain.

recently the notion of self-image rises as important, an honest autoportrait-type awareness lost in the years. a torrent of loss, of vision, of material crap, of ideas, of inspired images. . . losses of all kinds pockmark my history. loss is almost a form of alchemy, except that it is purely undirected by my actions—it is not a conscious decision-- rather my loss is an external consequence of my choices.

grilling on my birthday eve.

july 1st. 36 years of age. reflections on birthdays passed. . . . . . six miles in rain, pleasant upper 70’s. . . downtown run, at nun street to Greenfield lake loop and back. a good run with my body feeling good most of the time. . . . . . healing continues. meanwhile I killed the car battery by leaving on the lights.

run for ray half marathon. . .

last year brought a coupl'a half marathons, the purchase of a home, a decent exhibit of my paintings, and a ton of other happenings worth remembering. . . . what accomplishments would I like to see this year? more writing—writing on art, writing on food, family. . . . run a 50k. . . . paint the upcoming show with passion and fresh imagery. . . . visit a country in central or south America. . . . learn Spanish and work on French. . . take care of self, kyote, home, family. . . spend time with family, art. Immersion in life and passion and god-work.

july 2. 611m/ 16m/ 11m.
questions of loyalty emerge from various fronts, mostly professional. . . . how many levels of a man's identity do others wish to possess? to control?

cherokee purple, rutgers, two early girls.

identity is how we respond to adversity, equally how we respond to support. . . . identity is the sequence of acts spawned from our passions.
five miles at coast—cool and breezy. . . . . Brazil vs. Holland now, with some strong Columbian coffee, sugar and cream, & egg quesadillas. . . .