Monthly Archives: July 2013

The Look

Older man looks toward camera.

This is the last photograph I have of my father where he appears to be fully aware of who I am and what’s going on. The occasion was a small gathering at a restaurant to celebrate his 85th birthday. In this picture it’s clear he recognizes me and that he knows I’m taking a picture.

My Dad died a year and a half later. He would have been 93 today.

Despite the fact that he was frequently unkind to me, my father took my filial affections for granted until very near the end of his life. There was a brief period where he would call me up and tell me he loved me—unfortunately by then what I mostly heard was an implicit prompt for me to tell him that I loved him too.

I was angry and resentful for a long time. Nevertheless, I managed his finances for ten years and subsequently executed his will over another four after his death.

I am so glad that those negative emotions have begun, at long last, to fade. He was a brilliant, creative, difficult person who (I suppose) in no small part made me who I am. I would much rather remember him with love and gratitude than with rancor.

Two Years Ago: Tingley Twilight

Tingley Beach Park, Albuquerque, NMWe reach once again into the archives today (having a visitor is delightful but can sometimes lead to a reduced production of new material)…
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Welcome to Wamboldtopia

Croc skull and gear teeth

You are entering a santuary of whimsy and wisdom, where beauty and death play together joyfully. It’s the kind of place where a visual pun—two kinds of teeth—greets you just past the gate.

Wamboldtopia is a garden of earthly delights: sculptures small and large, word-bearing artifacts, complex and artful masonry, bones, bells, and found objects are all embedded in a lush and burgeoning landscape—waiting for you to notice them and experience a frisson of pleasure.

If you get a chance to visit this private space (Ricki Pierce and Damaris Pierce are its creators, curators, and caretakers), I hope you are able to linger. Although not intended specifically for young people, Wamboldtopia offers them a cornucopia of discoveries. May you be fortunate to be there at the same time as a child who can enjoy the exploration as much as you do.

Stone angel and flowers.

If you don’t look closely, some of the landscaping and decoration can seem quite conventional.

Masonry with sculpture embedded.

But it’s not.

Garden decorations.

For every bit of familiar garden decoration, there are a dozen or more unexpected strange and lovely items lurking in the vicinity.

Stone and glass bead decorative circle.

There are mandalas and venuses of willendorf.

Small ceramic venus figure embedded in cement.

A weathered sun may shine…

Metal sun on wooden door.

…but the pirate’s pal is hanging out just around the corner.

A soggy, dew-soaked fairy smiles cock-eyed from a fir tree.

And everywhere there is the surprisingly cheerful reminder that in the midst of life, we are in death—or is it the other way ’round?

Boot with skull plaque and gravestone fragment.

I promise you, you’ll be inspired to make something yourself after a stroll in Wamboldtopia.

Carpe diem, baby, seize the day!

Two Years Ago: The Gilded Age

Vesibule, City Building, Asheville, NCThis structure is almost psychedelic…
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Tiny tomato on the vine, with dew.

Spectacular weather arrived yesterday afternoon, and today is more of the same: in the seventies, sunny, dry, gorgeous breeze. I’d be playing hooky but I have work to do this morning and floor duty at Preferred this afternoon.

A Year Ago: Strange & Wonderful

Hibiscus Lace

Wilted white hibiscus with raindrops.

More beautiful and more fragile than any wedding-dress lace, this drooping hibiscus would have been easy to walk by without seeing.

A Year Ago: Brick Coke

Faded advertisement wall for Coca-Cola, Asheville, NCI like places that are layered, where the past is still present…
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Berries & Bones

Vertebrae and white wax berries.

Bob and I visited Wamboldtopia (see also: Facebook) this morning. Damaris and Rick held an “open garden” for a few hours in the morning, and I had been wanting to see this charming, creative place since Damaris first told me about it. That, and there was free ice cream (nutella and rosemary, yum!) from The Hop.

Despite the overcast weather, I took plenty of pictures of the sculpture and masonry, the garden greenery and the flowers. I’ll share some of them in a mini essay/album at a later date to show you a bit of what Rick and Damaris have made together.

This picture, however, is one of the few I took which is less about their work (although *someone* chose to place the sprig of berries there) than mine. It has the texture and abstraction that I love, as well as a hint of the memento mori that always speaks to me.

A Year Ago: Offering

Little Ganesha with flower and food offerings.I consider myself a pretty rational person. I tend to make big decisions after examining the alternatives quite analytically.…
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You Are Here

View of Earth from the rings of Saturn, Cassini spacecraft, via NASA

The little blue dot in the middle right of this image contains everything we are on this Earth. We are small, but we are beautiful.

[And here's a heartfelt shout-out to NASA and Science In General for giving us this glorious perspective on ourselves and the rest of the cosmos. Thank you!]

A Year Ago: City Building Light

Asheville City Hall, NCAmy and I spent about 45 minutes wandering around Pack Square…
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All Loki All The Time

If you WANT to see lots and lots of pictures of the kitten, check in periodically at this FB album (you don’t need a Facebook account to see it).

A Year Ago: Remnant

Head of Diana in forest.Still totally preoccupied…
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Here Comes Trouble!

Loki the Kitten

Well, you knew it had to happen eventually. All blogs eventually wind up being cat-blogs, let’s admit it.

Meet Loki, the new addition to my brand-new household.

No sooner had I dismantled the last moving box than I made my way to Brother Wolf to claim my own little furry piece of two-month-old heaven. His foster Mom had named him Bubbles (of all things), which was EXCESSIVELY undignified and just plain all wrong.

But there’s no denying that he has a pointy, mischievous little face. I knew right away that he had to be named for the Norse trickster. And I like how the name chimes with that of Bob’s altogether more sedate and mature Lucy.

Needless to say, I am convinced that he is the best boy-kitten of all time. (I may be slightly biased.) I will do my best not to inundate you with Pictures Of Kitteh. Here are some anyway.

Loki lounging.

Loki on my lap.

Too Hip By Half

Guy leaning on vintage Plymouth, Asheville NC

Not the car. The car is awesome.

But the guy leaning on the car? Hmf.

At first I thought the tattoos on his arm were abstract. Then I thought maybe they were leaches (an homage to The African Queen, maybe?).

But no. They are smoking gun cartridges.

Not cool, man. Not cool at all.

A Year Ago: Luray Limits

Crossroads before entering Luray, VA.I chose the HD ratio because this looks like a movie still to me…
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Asheville Stars

Hanging star-shaped lamps in shop window.

Just a quick note to assure you all that I’m still alive. Really, really tired, but alive.

Not only am I alive, but I’m in the new house. I’m also inundated with boxes. And the time that I took off from work has caught up with me too, so that I’ve been exceedingly busy. And I had my lovely out-of-town visitors.

It’s been a very hectic time. My main computer is still not set up. All this is to say that posting is likely to be quite patchy for a while. Please bear with me while I get my life in some semblance of order.

Not to complain, however. Things are good.