Thursday, May 24, 2018

Just looking.












Dear Fellows,

Your song for today is a fabulous slice of the road, the times, the places, and the people.  This song is pretty much perfect, except for the fact that there is also this song (the orange bled the blue), and this one, competing for pre-eminence in the Paul Simon oeuvre.

Play them all and send me your preference by pigeon, or bottle; or leave a note at the Greyhound station for me.  Mark it 'For Catherine.'





















Sunday, May 20, 2018

Thinness, Openness, Perforations, and Wrinkling.












 
 
 


 
 



 
Details of Ten Views of a Lingbi Stone, Wu Bin,
China, Ming dynasty, Wanli reign, 1610.










Dear Interested,

These compelling images show a scroll detailing Spirit Stones.  These special rocks are thought to be living and able to change shape.  I am pretty certain they could do it.  This scroll is on display at the LA County Art Museum right now.

Here are a few examples of these stones, and here is a short film detailing the history of Spirit Stones. 

And here is a song that is only tangentially related.  Try it on your guitar, the chords are not too tricky.  Until next time, keep your eyes open for a stone to study- they're built like light.












Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Fred (or, Friends and How to Spell Them).












Dear Peers,


I met with my beautiful group of women artists recently, and the notion of friendship came up, and Mr. Rogers.  It reminded me that I have been meaning to talk to you about Mr. Rogers. 

Fred Rogers had a wonderful sense of ceremonial time and ritual.  There were several distinct worlds, circles, of intimacy.  There was the outside world, which he would enter from, and the inside world, which he would change garments for, and then there was the Other world, the imaginary world, where a cat could look at a king. 

These spheres were close neighbors.  The Neighborhood of Make-Believe was just the other side of the wall of his house. Right next door.  It was these sections you really looked forward to- the royal family and the castle, the beguiling architecture of Make-Believe.  There was a kind of elder in the land, a witch, a shaman really; she had supernatural powers.  There were kindly animals, too; cats, tigers, an owl.

Mr. Roger's put a very high value on friendship, and there were many examples and parables to demonstrate the proper way to be a friend, and there was a wonderful song, to further ingrain the ideology.  I loved it especially because it was helpful to me in spelling the word friend, which I always tried to spell f-r-e-i-n-d.  I had a great love of writing when I was young, and I wrote letters and cards to friends, so I had need of spelling mnemonics.

He would speak low, only to you, or rather, to me.  It was an intimacy of the kind that certain radio voices possess.  He suggested, I remember, that you do something without being asked.  That you seek out a way to serve, find something to do for those you love, and do it- without prompting or cajoling.  It was a kind of astounding notion to me.  I tried it, secretly, to see if it worked, if people would respond in gratitude and happiness as Fred Rogers suggested.  I remember I did something for my Mom, but I don't remember what it was specifically.  She was thankful, and happy, and I saw what a powerful societal tool this was.  I tried several things, and I felt very deflated when I found that people didn't always notice that you'd done something for them.  I kept at it though, and I reasoned that the more you did these kinds of things, the less you'd be disappointed in people who might not notice.

Fred Rogers is in vogue right now, and there will soon be a film.  I don't know that I will go to see it.  Many years ago I heard some criticism of the Mr. Rogers show, and it didn't fit my personal narrative.  I guess I am not sure I want to take the time to reject whatever they tell me my experience of my childhood really meant.















Limited Time Offer.











Dear Tuned In,

Good golly Miss Molly, my dj was burning down the house yesterday evening!  She played an awesome set of songs all from 1978.  Hear it, but hear it fast, because it's only available until next Tuesday.













Monday, May 14, 2018

Seen.











 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 


 
 
 
 



 
 

 
 
 
 





















Thursday, May 10, 2018

Brand New Key












Dear Rollers,

Here is your song for today.  A dear pal of mine got new skates this year, and I am so happy about it-  I am always working, you know, trying to get ever more feet onto wheels. I am shopping for a new helmet, in a leisurely way, and I still want to get one of those keen little tin suitcases for my skates.

It looks like many of us will be putting some new and delicious boot colors on our want list.  Take a look at this new Pineapple pair of skates, if you dare!

Here's another little something we will all want for our skates: spiffing new sparkling laces.
 

























Friday, May 4, 2018

To coin newly.



















Dear Rocketeers,

You are going to want to take a look at this more closely.  I bet you are wondering just how I came upon it in the first place.  Well, it all started yesterday when I was contemplating Jay DeFeo and trying to remember her name.









Her paintings are unforgettable, but I misplace her name fairly regularly.  The following night was punctuated by a repetition of the word 'neologism,' which I could not recall the meaning of.  I would wake frequently, and remind myself to ask my bedmate about it in the morning.  The next day I received this image:










This image is an 'amuse-bouche' by artist Spencer Finch.  Looking at Spencer Finch's work, I was reminded of Edward Tufte, whom I thought I ought to check in with, and that's when I found his great sculptures.

But what of 'neologism?'  I believe it may have arrived by way of another recent human interaction defining the word 'larping.'  Or, maybe it was because I am looking for a word to describe the kind of pseudo- or quasi-scientific art projects of some of the aforementioned artists.  Jay De Feo might need a new word, too, to describe her use of paint as a means of attaining sculpture-scale mass.