...and they lived happily ever after. Smith & Lady: poets, artists, photographers & adventurers.
Our relationship was forged to the soundtrack of Yoko Ono's magic,
frenetic, love-laden song, "Walking On Thin Ice." ( play song )
Archive for June, 2009
Tuesday, June 30th, 2009
ego vs id – foto by Smith
I’m in a dark loop of re-evaluating my worthiness. It is a downward spiral. I’m finding myself with a deep vein that’s petty, selfish, shallow. I go along fine as Mr Wonderful while small wounds and slights boil and toil to trouble inside until they coalesce over time and I suddenly lash out at those around me, seldom for any valid reason.
I’m judgmental and righteous, just like the Christian Right. I have in fact become one of the very people I’ve always railed against. There’s anger within, a smoldering rage at the unfairness of life on earth where the rich eat the poor after first picking their pockets.
I have to do something about my lack of inner light. I’ve worked at becoming a better person at least since the late 1960s, but for every two steps forward I take at least one back and a couple sideways. Some would say “Welcome to the human condition,” but I’m a mutant, I don’t want to be human, I want to be good outside and at peace inside.
And now to complicate my shortcomings, I’ve gotten an email from my younger sister whom I haven’t heard from in almost two decades. In 1990 she disowned the rest of the family after having her memories “recovered” by a religious cult who told her my mother, father, grandmother and grandfather had all been in a Satanic cult and had sexually molested her.
Not true of course, but her lies broke mom’s heart and killed any feeling I had for sis.
I thought of ignoring her, but I’d just been delving into how selfish and self-centered I am, so decided to give her a chance, hear her out, see if there’s any relationship to salvage.
Not sure where this is going to go, but it is a chance for me to be a slightly better person.
jicculf – foto by Smith
Monday, June 29th, 2009
“your days of plenty are numbered” – foto by Smith
Today makes three years Lady and I’ve been blogging on WalkingThinIce.com.
We’ve been together nearly 4 years, and all but our first nine months is online in an almost daily visual and textual diary of our perambulations.
We got together, Lady gestated 9 months, then gave birth to our blog.
I was against it, asked her why she would want to blog. She said it would suit me. Now I’m hooked.
We’ve posted 1,502 blogs and some 4,000 fotos since then. 2008 saw almost a million pages viewed (948,601).
I personally know maybe 24 of our readers. The who why what where when of the rest is a mystery.
I’ve noticed one result of all this blogging is I’ve become even more quiet among people because I’ve already said what I have to say.
seduced by flavor – foto by Smith
Monday, June 29th, 2009
trail of spheres – foto by Smith
First I got a fortune cookie which said, “Life begins in enigma, ends in ambiguity.”
Then I saw the Collective’s Conscious file that summarized my life – it had but one line: “Enigma in, enigma out.”
Enigma in-between too. Lady says what first attracted her to me were the enigmatic tee-shirts I wore at poetry readings.
Sometimes saying less gets you more.
Lady through plastic lightly – foto by Smith
Sunday, June 28th, 2009
night and day – foto by Smith
The Lady, or the Tiger?
Big bats flying, black scorpion crawling.
Blood pollen on the silent keys.
Candy worship in the Temple of the Prom Queen.
The price of right.
Is One the end of Zero?
total sale – foto by Smith
Saturday, June 27th, 2009
THE BEST OF ALL WORLDS
I do not know the names of local birds. Anonymous, yet there all my life. I am oblivious of the trivia of what little shred of nature is made available to me. More important to me to see how a bird hops, to capture a streaming real-time experience. Anything can be looked up and tallied. Better to experience the poem of it, lazily wonder if it is a sparrow, save this for a future mystery to be solved.
Today an aspect of my best self fought with another aspect of my best self. The cat woke me up at 5, the anonymous birds having signaled dawn. She called outside my door until the irritation of it broke through my threshold of tolerance. Stiff legged, nipples hurting and mentally fogged, I rose to feed her food out of a can. She wanted to play after eating, but I thought first of how my best self thought it good to walk outside in the early morning, and how I’d planned to use the cat as an alarm clock.
Today, every day, I just want to be my best self. I want to give in to excellence. But I think of my body first. Am I hungry, I always think. Then I wonder if this is selfish and obsessive, and if I should deny myself more pleasures in my mouth. I am always focused on them, like a spoiled epicure, like a baby. In this iteration of manufacturing my best self I still realize I am not pure; I think too much about my belly. When I am pure I will eat only for sustenance. Androgyny will be a byproduct of my purity. I will say hi to people on the street and if they don’t say hi back, instead of hurt, I will let it pass through. Maybe I will stop caring when I am pure and without ego. Maybe I will lose gusto. Is the best self a netless butterfly net?
The birds–God’s abstract interface–blur and I do not care that I do not know their names. Taxonomy is vanity unless it is needed for a purpose outside of elevating oneself. Even a sentence is vanity, words, chatter. I will not chatter recklessly because I do not want to be drawn into traps, the hypocritical agreements we make to be polite. I will only show my public eyes, clouded over, impenetrable. That is my policy.
But policies make me sick and rigid. Better to blow out, to forgive and flow spontaneous, like the hi and bye in passing, like sitting with others if a chair is there, like stopping and talking when someone indicates it, perceiving talk with the neighbor as an opportunity for breaking bread rather than as a hurdle to my destination. I let myself down off my bike and into your garden, share a cup of coffee with you.
Gotta blow out. Ego is a burden of compression. Why do I feel the need to produce, to heft myself over? This production is not sustainable. In the future, status will be recognized as sin. The most ethical way to exist is to be lazy and slow and indulge in only what is necessary and fun, like community and the backyard garden. It is good to be outside the consumption of production, to be unemployed, to stop lowering the aquifer.
– – –
I know my factual errors and contradictions. I use them as crucifixions, meditation objects. Scourging shame that purifies. Twigs that titillate the ripples in my puddle. Internally, I tally and sum. Externally, my conclusions are doorless, an uncut block of marble. Thoughts of mulberries tasted multiple ways, harvested and frozen while the actual tree drops them in waste, the wasted bounty a blessing, a superstitious omen. This is my romantic rationalization, my carefree driveby lest I suffer the reality of the vertigo of depreciation, the futility of the bootstrap flightwings of ambition.
Thursday, June 25th, 2009
incoming tide – fotos by Smith
Fish feel pain.
In a recent experiment, scientists injected bee venom into the lips of live fish. The injected fish became agitated, and swam down to the bottom of the tank to scrape their lips on the gravel, trying to remove the sensation.
The fish that weren’t injected did not become agitated, did not scrape their lips.
Ergo, fish have sensor cells in their lips that transmit unpleasant sensation. And if they have pain sensors in their lips, they likely have them in their cheeks and mouths as well, so it must hurt like hell when fisherman yank that hook through. It seems the “accepted truth” that fish don’t feel pain is just a lie fishermen spread to make themselves feel better.
Human cheeks have very few pain cells. I read that in 1975, and tested it out myself by pushing a sterilized needle through my right cheek with a pair of pliers. My flesh was way resilient and difficult to push through, but it didn’t hurt – just felt extremely odd.
Same article said ear lobes also have few pain cells.
Looking around at the multitude of metal-studded pierced people, I wonder if that’s not true with the nostril, tongue, and eyebrow areas as well.
Not going to think about folk with pierced genitalia or tattoos.
mad planet – fotos by Smith
Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009
yesterday’s wine – fotos by Smith
Tuesday, June 23rd, 2009
6/20/09 Governor’s Budget Proposal cuts the PLF 50%. Act Now!
Many of the Ohio’s 251 public libraries could close or face significant reductions in operations as a result of the Governor’s latest proposal to balance the state’s 2010-2011 biennium budget.
Public libraries in Ohio are funded primarily through the Public Library Fund (PLF), which receives 2.2% of the state’s tax revenue. Since 2001, public library funding has been on the decline. As a result of the current downturn in the economy and decreasing state tax revenues, public libraries are currently experiencing a drop in funding from the Public Library Fund (PLF) estimated at 20% or more as compared to 2008. At a news conference on Friday, June 19, the Governor proposed an additional cut in the PLF of $112.5 million in fiscal year 2010 and $114.8 million in 2011 as part of his “framework” to fill the $3.2 billion gap in the budget that must be balanced by Ohio General Assembly’s Conference Committee by June 30. This will mean a more than 50% cut in funding for many of Ohio ‘s public libraries.
With some 70% of the state’s 251 public libraries relying solely on the PLF to fund their operations, the reduction in funding will mean that many will close completely, close branches, or drastically cut hours and services.
The Governor’s proposed funding cuts come at a time when Ohio’s public libraries are experiencing unprecedented increases in demands for services. In every community throughout the state, Ohioans are turning to their public library for free high speed Internet to access information on employment opportunities, children and teens are beginning summer reading programs, and people of all ages are turning to the library for information and entertainment.
Ohio ‘s public libraries offer CRITICAL services to those looking for jobs and operating small businesses. Public libraries are an integral part of education, which Governor Strickland says is critical to the state’s economic recovery. But it is unlikely that many of Ohio ‘s public library systems, especially those without local levies, can remain open with these proposed cuts.
About 30% of Ohio’s public libraries have local property tax levies that supplement the state’s funding. However, with the Governor’s proposed drastic cuts in the PLF, even those libraries will face decisions regarding substantial reductions in hours of operation, materials, and staffing.
During the next nine days, the Ohio General Assembly will decide whether or not to accept the Governor’s proposal. We cannot allow that to happen; we cannot wait. ALL public libraries throughout the state should immediately notify their patrons, by e-mail if possible, of the Governor’s proposed library funding cuts and the devastating effects that will result. Patrons should be urged to contact their state legislators and the Governor’s office by phone or e-mail to voice their strong opposition. We have no time for letters. Library boards of trustees should meet as soon as possible to evaluate the impact of the proposed funding reduction and formulate plans to reduce services or shut down their libraries. Make sure your patrons know immediately the actions you might have to take. This is a drastic measure proposed by the Governor and it will require a dramatic and immediate response from the libraries and our patrons.
The General Assembly Conference Committee will likely make their decision about this proposal this week. Here are the things that you should do IMMEDIATELY:
E-mail your patrons and ask them to e-mail or call your state representatives and the Governor (614-466-3555) Immediately!
Make signs and handouts for all of your buildings. In some cases, it is appropriate to say “This Branch May Close If The Governor’s 50% Cut Is Approved – Call the Governor at 614-466-3555 and State Representative(fill in yours) and State Senator (fill in yours).
Contact your editorial boards on Monday and ask for a meeting as soon as possible.
Hold an emergency meeting of your board to discuss this cut and make sure to invite your local press.
Put a message on your Web site and include links to your state legislators e-mail address and the Governor.
Do a press release on the impact this will have on your library. Remember this cut begins July 1!
Work together with other libraries in your area.
This must be accomplished THIS WEEK.
The OLC is working with the Ohio General Assembly to make sure they don’t accept this proposal. We are developing a press release for Monday morning (we will send that to all directors). We are working with Jon Iten on a memo that will review the legal steps necessary to close or merge libraries should that become necessary. We will keep you apprised of the situation.
For more information, contact:
Ohio Library Council – (614) 410-8092
Doug Evans, Executive Director – (614) 216-0678 (cell)
Lynda Murray, Director of Government and Legal Services – (614) 746-0895 (cell)
Mackenzie Betts, Director of Communications – (614) 203-2656
To find your Ohio Senator:
To find your Ohio Representative:
â€œSAVE OHIO LIBRARIESâ€ RALLY SCHEDULED
WHAT: Press conference and rally designed to demonstrate public outrage and opposition to Governor Stricklandâ€™s proposal to cut $227 million from the Public Library.
WHEN: Wednesday, June 24
10:30 â€“ 11:00 a.m.
WHERE: Steps of the Cleveland Public Library Main Building E. 6th and Superior in downtown Cleveland.
Monday, June 22nd, 2009
I’m reading a good book from my friend’s book list, ‘Notes from the Underground’ by Dostoevsky. Here are some passages that struck me:
The characteristics of our romantic type are: to understand everything, to see everything, and frequently to see it incomparably more clearly than our most distinguished intellects; not to be reconciled to anyone or anything, but at the same time not to balk at anything; to get round everything, to concede to everyone, to behave expediently towards everyone; never to lose sight of his useful, practical aim (some state apartments or other, pensions, medals), to keep his eye on this aim throughout all his enthusiasms and little volumes of lyrical verses, and at the same time to preserve inviolate the ‘beautiful and sublime’ within himself to his dying day, and incidentally to preserve himself completely, wrapped in cotton wool like some little piece of jewelry, which might for instance be for the benefit of this very same ‘beautiful and sublime’. He’s a person of breadth, our romantic, and the greatest of all our swindlers, I assure you of that…
The direct, legitimate, spontaneous result of consciousness is inertia, that is to say consciously sitting with folded arms. … All spontaneous people and men of action are active because they are dull-witted and limited. How can this be explained? This is how: as a result of their limitations they take immediate and secondary causes for primary ones, and in this way they are more quickly and easily convinced than others that they have discovered an indisputable basis for their activity, and so they rest assured; and this is important. You see, in order to begin to act one must be completely assured beforehand that there are absolutely no remaining doubts. But how am I, for instance, to reassure myself? Where are the primary causes that I am to take my stance upon, where are my bases? Where am I to take them from? I practice thinking, and as a result any primary cause I have immediately drags another one in tow, one that is even more primary, and so on ad infinitum. And this is precisely the essence of any kind of consciousness or thought process. Again this must be a law of nature. And what, finally, is the result? Always the same thing. Remember, I was talking earlier on about revenge… It was said: man takes his revenge because he finds justice in it. This means that he has found his primary cause, he has found a basis for his action, namely: justice. Therefore, he is assured on all fronts, and consequently seeks his revenge calmly and successfully, being convinced that what he is doing is honourable and just. But, you see, I fail to see the justice here, neither can I find anything virtuous about it, and so, if I start to seek revenge then it’s really only out of spite. Spite could of course overcome everything, all my doubts, and therefore it could serve quite successfully in place of a primary cause for the very reason that it is not a cause. But what can I do if I lack even spite… Once again, as a consequence of these damned laws of consciousness, my spite is subject to chemical decomposition. Look–and the subject evaporates, the basis vanishes into thin air, the culprit is nowhere to be found, the offense is no longer an offense, but fate, something in the nature of a toothache, for which no one is guilty, and consequently one is left once again with the same way out–that is, to beat harder against the wall. And to give it up as a bad job because no primary cause has been found. But just try letting yourself be carried along blindly by your feelings, without reason, without first principles, banishing consciousness at least for the time being; hate or love, anything rather than sit with folded arms. The day after tomorrow, at the very latest, you will begin to despise yourself because you have knowingly fooled yourself. The result: a soap bubble and inertia. Oh, gentlemen, you know perhaps I only consider myself to be an intelligent person because all my life I’ve never been able to start or finish anything. Very well, very well, I’m a chatterbox, a harmless, annoying chatterbox, like we all are. But what can be done about it if the direct and single purpose of any intelligent person is to chatter, that is to say the deliberate pouring of emptiness into the void?
Sunday, June 21st, 2009
wheels within wheels – fotos by Smith