Monthly Archives: September 2012


The movers have come and gone. There are still piles of stuff, packed and unpacked, strewn about my place. In the next couple of days they’ll be stowed or donated or abandoned or tossed. Already I wish I had let go of more.

I’ll be benefiting from the kindness of my friends during this interim period until I have a new fixed residence. There will be another trip to Asheville starting in the middle of next week.

I am so tired I could puke.

A Year Ago: See-Through

Layered reflections in glass.Digital makes it easy to have it both ways…
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Flowers on coffin.

It seems fitting that my packing to leave Washington should reach its apogee in the days of Yom Kippur. As I make decisions about keeping or discarding big chunks of my material life, I’ve found myself remembering my father—who threw away the vast majority of his creative output as being insufficiently excellent—and feeling a special tenderness for him and an upsurge of sorrow, four and half years after his death.

He and I had a difficult relationship and I never mourned him in the way I have for my mother (who died ten years before he did). It is a bitter joy to feel loss and sadness for him now. He was a good man who made the best of a rough beginning in life. I honor him as an artist and treasure him as a husband who loved his wife profoundly. He was an ardent advocate for the people and causes he believed in.

I acknowledge that my need to see beauty and my desire to make something beautiful that matters come as much from him as from my Mom. And—both for better and for worse—that is far from the only way that I am my father’s daughter.

A Year Ago: Decorated

Close-up of butterfly with color palette.You could take your eyedropper tool and pick a pixel just about anywhere on the surface of this butterfly’s wings and find a beautiful color…
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How To Pack

Evening gibson.

Consider this a pro tip.

A Year Ago: Boyz Doing Stuntz

Music to Pack By

The packing mania continues. Enjoy this Glenn Gould mash-up/pastiche/composition!

A Year Ago: Old-Fashioned Landscape

Brookside Gardens, MDI wonder what the aesthetic status of an image like this would be if the first photographs had been in color…
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He’s right: smart guy with yo-yo, verah sexay!

A Year Ago: Artificial Nature

Interior decoration at Thai Pavillion, Rockville, MDA subset of this area’s Thai restaurants have highly-designed interiors (there must be a favored decorator amongst the restauranteurs)…
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Packing Hell

I’m putting my life in boxes. While I’ll try to post as often as I can, right now the priority is to pack All The Things.

Please bear with me.

A Year Ago: Diplomat

Aaron Tovish on the telephone.This is my brother Aaron…
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The key insights—that we want to think of ourselves as good people, and that if our behavior becomes so egregious that we can no longer do so then we say “what the hell, might as well go for broke”—are modeled over and over again. We see them in the rise and fall of political leaders. We see them in economics, and in religious institutions. We see them in our own lives.

This is a very human cycle. Understanding psychosocial realities is essential if we are to develop just and functional institutions. The “priming” effect that Ariely describes underscores just how important it is to teach ethics both by word and example at every opportunity.

Gandhi was right: we must be the change we want to see in the world. It’s not easy, but it’s a beautiful thing to make the effort.

A Year Ago: XXXX

Window reflections on a brick wall.I don’t know about you all, but I need a break from the butterflies…
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God’s Coffee

Thai iced coffee.

Personally, I thought it looked more like something brewed in Sauron’s Tower. But dark, heavy with real cream, and very sweet as it was, my companion assured me that it was fit only for divinity.

A Year Ago: Om Nom Nom Nom

Butterfly Guzzling NectarIf this butterfly were any more in to its meal…
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Yellow pinwheel-shaped flower.

Isn’t it marvelous that this bright pinwheel, with its asymmetrically notched petals, can grow so casually by the sidewalk?

Isn’t it marvelous that I can photograph it… with a camera that I carry in my pocket, which is also a telephone and a dozen other insanely wonderful things?

Please don’t take this stuff for granted.

A Year Ago: Not For The Shy

Loud leaves.Fed up with tasteful earthtones and mild pastels? How about this in-your-face color mix?…
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Autumn Arrives

Seed pods against telephone pole.

Summer is over. Today was wonderfully warm, clear, dry, but with that wine-like edge of autumn already in the air. I’m not sad to see summer go. In fact, I’ve long since been ready to kick it to the curb and move on. I welcome this passage.

Harder, though, is the bittersweet acknowledgment that today was the last in-person lunchfest with the ever-marvelous Crystal for at least a good long while. I’m hoping that we’ll keep our tradition going through the miracle of modern technology, and I’m counting on her trekking to visit my new scene at least once before she and Dan decamp to their own new adventure on the Left Coast.

A Year Ago: Muse

Owl butterfly.This is not the photograph I wanted to show you…
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