Friday, November 28, 2014

SETTING SAIL: ARCHBISHOPRICK


Archbishoprick, the thimble.

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The latest member of the Pequod chapbook-binding crew has signed aboard.

POMEGRANATE


"Pomegranate" by Troy's Work Table. Carport chalking for (Black) Friday 28 November 2014.

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I had to do some design work on a worship folder for work. One of the texts used was Deuteronomy 8:7-18. I fell in love with the description of the land. I also wanted to avoid the traditional images of thanksgiving. There would be no feasting, no Pilgrims, no Native Americans, no turkeys, and no pumpkins. I chose the pomegranate from the list.

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In the biblical passage, there was this wonderful land mentioned—a land of plenty and abundance.

For the Lord your God is bringing you into a good land, a land with flowing streams, with springs and underground waters welling up in valleys and hills, a land of wheat and barley, of vines and fig trees and pomegranates, a land of olive trees and honey, a land where you may eat bread without scarcity, where you will lack nothing, a land whose stones are iron and from whose hills you may mine copper. You shall eat your fill and bless the Lord your God for the good land that he has given you. —Deuteronomy 8:7-10.

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I chose the pomegranate because there were so many images and sculptures of it, and they crossed cultures and centuries. I ended up using many public domain pomegranate images from The Collection Online of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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I chose the pomegranate because although it was an unfamiliar Thanksgiving food, it was on a list that demanded thanksgiving. I chose the pomegranate because of its gourd-like nature. I chose the pomegranate because each image felt somewhat similar to the others, yet most likewise differentiated themselves in some manner.

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I chose the pomegranate because it is a likely candidate for the fruit that Eve plucks from the Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden.

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I chose the pomegranate because a few of it's seeds are the food that sustains Persephone in the underworld after Hades abducts her. They are a gift of nourishment as well as what will keep her in the underworld for a portion of each year.

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I chose to chalk a pomegranate because it has been haunting my mind and my dreams for the past few days.

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You can view more pictures of "Pomegranate" HERE.

Monday, November 24, 2014

FERGUSON

TWT is trying to walk a middle path tonight.

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I participated in non-violent religious protests against the World Trade Organization in 1999. We walked down the middle of downtown Seattle streets on our way to protest outside the Kingdome's Exhibition Hall, where the WTO delegates were gathered. The police knew we were coming and put up temporary chain link fences as we marched. We had so many people present that we surrounded the Kingdome and the fences by holding hands and singing hymns.

We could walk down the streets because most of Seattle had been abandoned in advance of the non-religious protests that would follow the next few days.

But I don't understand protesters in Seattle tonight walking onto I-5 to stop traffic.

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I understand anger at a grand jury decision one doesn't agree with, but I don't understand how that anger leads to looting mom-and-pop businesses in the same neighborhood in which one lives.

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I hope that we don't become a culture of trial by social media. Or a culture of trial by the national news media.


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I've served on two jury cases—one an assault, the other a murder. They were both difficult cases. The evidence and witnesses in each led to different conclusions—acquittal in the former, conviction in the latter. But the amount of time and energy the juries spent on each was intense and one side in each case was unhappy with our decision.

The grand jury in the Ferguson case spent 25 days over a three-month period of time hearing from dozens of witnesses and sorting through hundreds of pieces of evidence. I won't presume to know what that grueling process was like, anymore than I will presume to know the betrayal that the family of Michael Brown feels after the grand jury's decision.

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This year, my family discovered that its family mythology, its genealogical record, and its DNA evidence are in a bit of conflict with one another. There was always some mystery and dispute in the former two, but the latter highlighted those mysteries and disputations (without necessarily solving them; in fact, it may have made them even more ambiguous and messy). We knew that there was Native American ancestry (although to what extent has been another mystery), but we weren't quite prepared for the possibility of Portuguese slave traders and West African slaves that now stares at us.

The discovery doesn't make me feel black or want to claim African descent, but it does open my eyes to a world that I am more related to than I once thought.

Native American ancestors and African ancestors stand alongside Western European and Northern European and Southern European ancestors. And now Eastern Europe ancestors also likely stand alongside all of the above. It changes who I am and how I think of who I am.

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Questions:

Is America the melting pot we like to claim it is?
Or are we different groups of people living next to one another?
Do we really know one another?
Do we listen to one another? (Or do we merely talk (or shout) over one another?)

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I don't have any answers tonight.

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Tonight, more than anything, I'm confused.

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The only thing I can do at this point is pray.

Pray for peace. Pray for understanding. Pray for systems to be changed, for all men (and women) to be treated equal.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

AUTHORITY

"We live in a universe drive by chance," his father had said once, "but the bullshit artists all want causality." Bullshit artist in this context meant his mother, but the statement had wide applications.

—page 38, Authority by Jeff VanderMeer.

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It was the kind of place where he and his father would have gone canoeing when he was a teenager. It wasn't true wilderness, was comfortingly close to civilization, but existed just enough apart to create a boundary. This was what most people wanted: to be close to but not part of. They didn't want the fearful unknown of a "pristine wilderness." They didn't want a soulless artificial life, either.

—page 81, Authority by Jeff VanderMeer.

MELANIE


Melanie the giant Pacific octopus "visiting" with me at Highline College's Marine Science and Technology (MaST) Center and Aquarium.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

SMITH TOWER


Looking west toward Interstate 5 from the observation deck of the Smith Tower's Chinese Room. I set the camera in night mode and let the slight swaying of the building "move" the lights of cars and buildings.

SETTING SAIL: CHAPBOOK BINDING


Pequod, the book binding box.


Queequeg, the paper awl.


Daggoo and Tashtego, the binder's needles.


Moby, the bone folder.


The Pequod is ready to set sail into a sea of chapbook binding.

Friday, November 14, 2014

CARPORT CHALKING: THE HATCHING


"The Hatching" by Troy's Work Table. Carport chalking for Friday 14 November 2014.

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This poor guy never had a chance. It reminds me of the urban myth about the woman with the beehive hairdo from which pours forth an entire army of newly hatched spiders. (Or a jester's cap.)

Sunday, November 09, 2014

BELONGINGNESSES

"But it's not just the person who fills a house, it's their I'll be back later!s, their toothbrushes and not-being-used-right-now hats and coats, their belongingnesses."

—page 276, Black Swan Green by David Mitchell.

Friday, November 07, 2014

CARPORT CHALKING: BLOODLETTING


"Bloodletting: The Third Day of Creation" by Troy's Work Table. Carport chalking for Friday 07 November 2014.

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Inspirations:
The 1587-1597 Pietà of El Greco.
A recently attended funeral.
Mexican murals.
Genesis 1:9-13.
Recent sunsets silhouetting trees.
Early sunsets due to a return to Standard Time.
Donating blood a couple of weeks ago.
Iconography of the Apocalypse.
William Blake.

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The notions of:
Art as act.
Art as creative impulse.
Art as catharsis.

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View more pictures of "Bloodletting: The Third Day of Creation" HERE.

Thursday, November 06, 2014

TO SEA


"Self-portrait, to sea"

Pencil, pen and ink, colored pencil.


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"Whenever I find myself growing grim about the mouth; whenever it is a damp, drizzly November in my soul; whenever I find myself involuntarily pausing before coffin warehouses, and bringing up the rear of every funeral I meet; and especially whenever my hypos get such an upper hand of me, that it requires a strong moral principle to prevent me from deliberately stepping into the street, and methodically knocking people's hats off—then, I account it high time to get to sea as soon as I can. This is my substitute for pistol and ball."

—from "Loomings" (chapter 1) of Moby-Dick by Herman Melville.

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

NO BODE OF DAWN

"His Heart was darker than the starless night / For that there is a morn / But in this black Receptacle / Can be no Bode of Dawn"

—poem #1378* by Emily Dickinson

*Johnson numbering

Tuesday, November 04, 2014

WEST, SUNSET


North Hill, looking west, sunset.

Sunday, November 02, 2014

MILK FAITH

"It takes more than a milk faith to await a death before which most of the saints themselves have been and still are in dread."

—from "Whether One May Flee from a Deadly Plague" by Martin Luther.

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I found a timely read in the wake of the fear of Ebola.

(And from 1527 even!)