Nature Inspires Life Inspires Art No. 1

Earlier this year in April, I moved to Spain to attend the Escuela de Ceramica de la Moncloa located in Oeste Parque in Madrid. Two months ago on October 1st I put my hands back in clay. For the past ten years I’ve been living life, having taken a 10-year sabbatical from ceramics. Technically my work was good but it and I were missing something.

I couldn’t quite place my finger on it but now I know.

Now I know, who I am. Now I know, what I want. Now I know, my own soul.

I share my soul with you in three parts:

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7.30.14

Fresh for day
Past tall aspen trees
Down windy mountain roads
Cold sunny wind shining on my face
I think of you

I hear your song
On wind rushing by
Calls of early morning birds
And the low rumble of the car engine
Navigating turns

 

Utah Aspen Forest

GCHQ’s Rainbow Lights

What’s that over there? *snapsnap* Look, look! Over there!

GCHQ:Public Affairs Office

Look at the pretty rainbow lights!

We’re not exploiting social issues for our own selfish purpose? Nope, cooperation is wonderful! And by cooperation we mean your compliance. (happy smiley face) Because your interests aligning with ours is a wonderful and beautiful thing! (happy smiley face, thumbs up)

Rainbows are pretty! Just like all of you! Support our fascist reg…I mean, our gay communities and celebrate! (martinis cheers, smiley face, party favor exploding)

GCHQ:Public Affairs Office

Aren’t those lights pretty? Just look at them. (happy smiley face) Aren’t we so open-minded and accepting? Isn’t the world wonderful? Aren’t we all so wonderful?

Well, except for those people.

And those ones.
And those, and those and those and those. (frowny sad face)

But never mind that. (happy smiley face) If they were as open minded and as accepting as we all are, the world would be such a better place! Gosh, we love rainbows!

GCHQ:Public Affairs Office

We have every color to show our openness to diversity! (martinis cheers, smiley face, party favor exploding)

Oh, black is missing? So is brown, you say? (sad frowny face) Well…we all know they’re pretty much the same color. (happy smiley face) They are the same color. (happy smiley face) Let’s call them ‘blawn’ to make it easier. (happy smiley face) And, and, ‘blawn’ just doesn’t really work well in making a pretty rainbow. (sad face) They’re just not as pretty as we are. (sad face) But look, look, the rainbow is surrounded by ‘blawn’ so while they’re not -actually- part of our rainbow-happy-time-diversity-celebration-of-compliance-cooperation, they’re still there all around us, pressing in on us, trying to extinguish our beautiful and peaceful light! (happy smiley face, happy smiley face, happy smiley face) If only they could see how important our rainbow-happy-time-diversity-celebration-of-compliance-cooperation is to creating peace all around the world!!!!

GCHQ:Public Affairs Office

Look! Here comes Justin Bieber, Miley Cyrus, Katy Perry, Kanye West and Rihanna! Let’s sing! Everybody!

“We are the world….”

GCHQ:Public Affairs Office

Photo: GCHQ/Public Affairs Office

David Whyte on Friendship

“FRIENDSHIP is a mirror to presence and a testament to forgiveness. Friendship not only helps us see ourselves through another’s eyes, but can be sustained over the years only with someone who has repeatedly forgiven us for our trespasses as we must find it in ourselves to forgive them in turn. A friend knows our difficulties and shadows and remains in sight, a companion to our vulnerabilities more than our triumphs, when we are under the strange illusion we do not need them. An undercurrent of real friendship is a blessing exactly because its elemental form is rediscovered again and again through understanding and mercy. All friendships of any length are based on a continued, mutual forgiveness. Without tolerance and mercy all friendships die.

Shop display at Who Is Sylvia? in Woodstock Vermont. Photograph by Nichole Hastings.

Shop display at Who Is Sylvia? in Woodstock Vermont. Photograph by Nichole Hastings.

In the course of the years a close friendship will always reveal the shadow in the other as much as ourselves, to remain friends we must know the other and their difficulties and even their sins and encourage the best in them, not through critique but through addressing the better part of them, the leading creative edge of their incarnation, thus subtly discouraging what makes them smaller, less generous, less of themselves.

The dynamic of friendship is almost always underestimated as a constant force in human life: a diminishing circle of friends is the first terrible diagnostic of a life in deep trouble: of overwork, of too much emphasis on a professional identity, of forgetting who will be there when our armored personalities run into the inevitable natural disasters and vulnerabilities found in even the most average existence.

[…]

But no matter the medicinal virtues of being a true friend or sustaining a long close relationship with another, the ultimate touchstone of friendship is not improvement, neither of the other nor of the self, the ultimate touchstone is witness, the privilege of having been seen by someone and the equal privilege of being granted the sight of the essence of another, to have walked with them and to have believed in them, and sometimes just to have accompanied them for however brief a span, on a journey impossible to accomplish alone.

In New York City cafe in Chelsea after an early AM film shoot. Photograph taken by Nichole Hastings.

In NYC cafe in Chelsea after an early AM film shoot. Photograph by Nichole Hastings.

HEARTBREAK is unpreventable; the natural outcome of caring for people and things over which we have no control…

Heartbreak begins the moment we are asked to let go but cannot, in other words, it colors and inhabits and magnifies each and every day; heartbreak is not a visitation, but a path that human beings follow through even the most average life. Heartbreak is an indication of our sincerity: in a love relationship, in a life’s work, in trying to learn a musical instrument, in the attempt to shape a better more generous self. Heartbreak is the beautifully helpless side of love and affection and is [an] essence and emblem of care… Heartbreak has its own way of inhabiting time and its own beautiful and trying patience in coming and going.

 

A friend going through a divorce,  lost in thought, while strolling along a West coast beach after two week of driving from East coast Vermont.

A friend going through a divorce, lost in thought, while strolling along a West coast beach after two week of driving from East coast Vermont. Photograph taken by Nichole Hastings.

Heartbreak is how we mature; yet we use the word heartbreak as if it only occurs when things have gone wrong: an unrequited love, a shattered dream… But heartbreak may be the very essence of being human, of being on the journey from here to there, and of coming to care deeply for what we find along the way.

[…]

There is almost no path a human being can follow that does not lead to heartbreak.”

Read more of the original post by Maria Popova here on brainpicking.org.

7.16.14

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At 3pm, although our plan had been to meet here and they weren’t here, I wasn’t worried.  I drove up to the William T  and the Happy Hill trailheads to look.  Alas, they weren’t there.  I left a note.  Nor did I hear from them at 5 or 7.  But I had left a note.  Surely they would be in touch soon. At 9pm, I had an uneasy feeling that something had gone awry…