Tuesday, November 22, 2005

The background is done. Also finished the shading on the tail of the large koi, although you can't see it very well from this angle. Next session - color!

Sunday, November 20, 2005

The other day I was introduced to man at a bar, we'll call him S. S was tall and thin, greasy hair tucked behind his ears almost touching his shoulders. He wore loose linen pants and a multi-colored wool parka with some sort of geometric pattern on it. There was a musty smell in the air. It reminded me of a story someone once told me about touring with the Grateful Dead. "Those damn hippies," he had said, "they always smelled like wet wool and patchouli. To this day the smell of fucking patchouli makes me want to fucking puke."

S stared from across the table, and the look in his eyes - he gave me a look like he was about to eat me for lunch. Someone leaned over and whispered, "I think S has a crush on you."

"I have a little bit of a tattoo fetish," S proclaimed with a grin. A friend had lifted my shirt to take a peek a few minutes ago, and I guess S was watching. I shifted uncomfortably in my seat under the weight of his stare. Heaven forgive me if I've ever made a woman feel objectified!

"Your tattoo reminds me of the rainforest in Brazil," S continued.

"Let me tell you about when I was in the Amazon rainforest. I went there with a friend of mine. She was sick, sick with Parkinson's. The doctors here couldn't do anything for her, so we went to the rainforest to do Ayahuasca. The shaman there, he said 'You will die if you continue to take those pills, and you will die if you stop taking those pills.' So we took the Ayahuasca."

"Did the Ayahuasca help her?" I asked.

"Yes, but.." Silence. A moment of blankness in his eyes. He shifted gears.

"Do you know anything about Tarot?"

"Sure, a little," I lied.

"Zero is the number of the Fool. You've got two zeros on your shirt so you're doubly a fool. Do you know what the Fool represents?" Before I could lie again he launched into an explanation.

"The Fool is a part of the Court, but he's separate from the royalty. An outsider on the inside. There have even been cases where the real power is hidden in the Fool, but that's rare. Why, it's only happened two or three times."

I shook my head as if I understood. "So..Ayahuasca?"

He continued: "I took Ayahuasca three times, and the first thing she told me is 'I am ancient'. She is ancient and she is everywhere. You think you're ever alone? You're not because there she is, right underneath your feet. The Earth's alive. We're trying to kill her, but she's still alive. Scientists can't figure out how the Indians discovered Ayahuasca. You know how? The plants told them. They can talk to the plants."

This part I'd heard before. The active ingredient in Ayahuasca is DMT, but it's not orally active. You need to combine it with a MAOI like harmaline for it to be effective orally. Somehow the Indians managed to figure that out. As I pondered the implications of this, I turned and noticed S had disappeared. He was replaced by an awful smell.

A voice behind me said, "I think that guy farted and ran out of here, man. I tried to warn you. Jeez that fuggin stinks."

Sunday, November 06, 2005

This past week I was lucky enough to not only enjoy unseasonably warm weather, but also some of the greatest collections of art in the world at the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum. I particularly enjoyed a collection of Van Gogh drawings at the Met and an exhibit of Edward Burtynsky's photographs in Brooklyn. But visiting a museum is always a bittersweet affair for me, particularly when viewing treasures of antiquity. I am overwhelmed by the beauty of these objects, but at the same time I feel such sorrow when I wonder where the modern equivalents of these treasures are. Perhaps they are tucked away in the houses of the rich, and maybe that's the way it's always been. But even the most mundane of ancient household items seem to be infused with culture and craftsmanship. This is not just adornment for adornment's sake - no, the hand of one who's life is steeped in tradition cannot help but impart that subtle fragrance on everything it touches. Our age of mass-production has brought about mass-mediocrity. Which died first - craftsmanship or the myths and traditions which inspired craftsman? We've traded our old myths for new ones - the myths of Man and Technology - and it is these myths which inform the stuff of our everyday existence. But if Man and Science are at the center of the new mythic universe, how can these myths inspire? Surely it is not possible for us to lift ourselves up by our own bootstraps. One need not look further than the isles of a supermarket or a row of strip malls for evidence of these failures.

Friday, November 04, 2005

The Autumn leaves show me how to die today. Their life culminates in one brilliant instant like the last flash of a star before it grows dark, crimson and vermilion exploding from within. A season's worth of sunlight is released at once, and each leaf bursts forth with all the fiery glory of a hundred dawns and dusks. And after this moment of splendor and triumph, the leaves let go. They willingly drift into the waiting arms of the wind, that sometimes roaring and sometimes rustling pallbearer. To face death without fear is something only the rarest of men achieves. To welcome death joyously, like a long lost lover - that is something only saints, madmen - and perhaps leaves - can hope to achieve.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

Halloween was a blast this year, perhaps my favorite holiday for going out here in New York. I hit the Rubulad and Wolf+Lamb parties, both of them were great. Here's a pic of me in my Halloween costume with my roomate Eva..

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?