Everyone is always going on and on about how, "If it wasn't for all of this water Southern California would be a desert.". They say this like it's a bad thing...Personally, I LOVE the desert. The desert is where things get stripped down and real. Earth forces are elemental. There are flash floods and huge blankets of stars. The plant life and animals are spiky and suited to the dry conditions. The desert meeting the ocean meeting the mountains meeting the city is what Southern California is all about.
Then suddenly the muse took hold and the ink started to flow.
Watchful faces. Mystical visitors. Some wary, others simply being.
Stuttering God Faces emanating from the void. Africanoid Spirits; leering yet gleeful.
I'm so thankful to have found the pathway of visual expression. Art is an upliftment to the spirit and a blessing to the senses. In art (music, drawing, photography, cooking, baking, gardening) I find the truer aspects of life. It puts the REAL in real life. And along with love it's the only thing that matters.
The Fall is a special time in California. You can have soaking rains that last for days and suddenly there'll be a scorching Santa Ana wind bearing down on you. We enter our time of serious fire danger and yet the chaparral in our local mountains is bursting with luscious, rusty color. One constant of the Fall though is the long, golden light of the sun. The cliffs glow with burnt orange intensity. Shadows stretch out forever and the very air is infused with a soft gold. The ocean is particularly lovely. Beaches are uncrowded. The water is just warm enough to still get in with a light wetsuit and in its texture, color and feel, is the essence of Magick...
One of the blessings of living in San Diego is the close proximity to Mexico.
Despite the recent years of drug cartel strife, Mexico remains a vibrant, vital and soulful place.
Art, music, cuisine, writing...Mexico is a hotbed for all of it.
Our co-mingled histories are fraught with miscues and misunderstandings. I guess any meeting place of culture and identity will always be a combination of potential and danger. Maybe the best path is to celebrate the differences and enjoy. There is so much to gain and nothing to lose.
I love the Mexican celebration, Dias de Los Muertos!
The colors, the marigolds, the washing of graves and picnics next to family mausoleums.
But most of all the highly decorated sugar skulls or Calaveras.
This joyful remembrance of those we love who have passed on strikes me as a healthy relationship with death. Altars strewn with things the person enjoyed during their life time (books, music, cigars, foods, booze...everything qualifies). A joyous party like atmosphere and a coming together to show unity and love. Maybe the highlight being when you get to eat a sugary skull with your name written across the forehead. It's a pretty powerful gesture, eating sweet death, don't you think?
I am the Saint of Broken Things. I cherish them and hold them close to my heart. I weep for the worn and forlorn. My tears don't make them new again but still stand in silent testimony that they existed. Lay all cracked and fading objects at my feet. I do so love them. I am the Saint of Broken Things.
I wonder who she was. I wonder what became of her hopes, dreams, fears, loves... Patina The impish spirit of Pan/Puck/Coyote/Loki finds you in the least expected moments. A touch of the strange. Worn out paintings in thrift stores as windows into some past aspiration or obsession. We went apple picking up in Julian today. The amount and quality of the fruit was INCREDIBLE! Along with picking we ate a bunch right off the tree. Jonathans, Fujis, Gold and Delicious and a few others. Such an amazing day!
I've always loved skulls. Ever since I was a kid any time I'd encounter one it would set my motor running. Hard to say what it was or is about them but it's most likely an accumulation of layers; biker-cool, pirates, The Grateful Dead, classic horror movies, The Misfits, Dias de Los Muertos. All of it and more really. I guess the fascination lies not only the amazing shapes, angles and planes but in what the thing actually is. The casing, seat, throne, etc. of the brain. The fact that this hard thing sits just inside the skin as well as moves through our lives and various machinations. I find a resonance with the laughing, colorful and sugary calaveras of the Mexican celebration The Day of The Dead. It's this playful interplay with death, the fact that death is represented as "sweet" and that the dead go about their business just like we do; singing songs, riding bikes, dressing up for dancing that in some weird way fills me with hope. There are similar comical images to be found in Buddhist art where skeletons dance in some never-ending cosmic rave in some Bardo or other. I don't mean to say that death isn't hard. I know first hand the intense impact it can have on one for years after the fact. But while death is intense and scary I've come around to the belief that what's even scarier is a life half lived. A life spent in fear of one thing after another. A life with no chances taken and nothing risked. That's a real death. A living death. People sometimes say that they'd like to live forever and while I get the impulses behind that wish I've come to realize that with out death life would have less meaning. It's the punctuation mark at the end of all of our sentences. So I celebrate the skull. I wear my skull ring and paint skulls on canvas. I honor the dead and even more so celebrate life.