Fall in the Far South: Antarctic Gateways
This journey has facets, legs and branches. For me it is an emotional expedition as well as a
three dimensional one. I am trying to get as far south as I can, to the bottom of the world, to the bottom of my mind and to practice how to travel with ghosts. My traveling partner and I connected at the departure gate at the Dallas-Fort worth Airport. She in her chair and I carrying a pack that must have been thirty pounds or more on my back. Our mutual destination—Santiago, Chile, sub-Antarctica, Patagonia and around Cape Horn to Buenos Aires, Argentina. The big question is will we actually go around the Horn or will the weather be too bad and cause our ship to go through the Straights of Magellan instead?
In Santiago, the airport, we are met by our guide to be, Mark, and taken to the Marriott Hotel where we wait until our room is ready and then freshen up. Off we go on a tour of Santiago’s business and political centers and lunch. I started my day of March 14th at about 5:30 PM take off, flying to Dallas Fort Worth. The length of the flight to was to Dallas, about 2 hours and the flight to Santiago about an 8 or 9 hour marathon in a packed plane where we tried to sleep (with our seats “back” a whole inch, with little success. I was dead on my feet and Cheryl, on her butt. Time for us to hole up, have room service and sleep, which we did. Sunday, a free day, found us spending money at a Lapis Lazuli shop. Otherwise we hung out at the hotel with Cheryl in bed, her legs in two large and long vacuum chambers that forced blood from her feet and ankles to bring down the swelling there. We did, however, get a tour around the city and landed at the central market’s fish market and had lunch in one of the many restaurants in the center of that market.
"The more you see, the more you see."
Identification stops us from seeing. Once we Identify our brain is satisfied and our eyes, through our thoughts, leave the person or thing just identified. "What's that motion in the tree? It's a bird. It's a Cardinal, a Red Tail Hawk, my cat Muffy." Our minds are satisfied. We arise from bed in the morning, walk into the kitchen and see our beloved. Yes that's her, that's him. Our mind is satisfied for we have identified from memory. We have assumed the face. We really haven't seen the fresh face before us. The more I see, the more I see. The same can be said of all our senses. The more we hear, the more we hear, for example. Going beyond identification is no easy process. But once we start trying to see, well, the more we see, the more we see. I use quote marks around this phrase in the title because my deceased mentor, Hazel Archer, said it. So simple as to sound inane. While I play with my photographs in here, the more I see. Come play here with me.
Spring Glow and Summer Fire
number 3 of "the more you see, the more you see" series
All of the photographs in this book are of the area from Nellysford, Virginia to Livingston, Virginia and the New Land, Virginia. They show this beautiful area in all its glory from spring to fall. The photography is done in the style the photographer likes to call photo (photographic) abstract renderings. The Monroe Institute is highlighted in this book both with photographs and journal entries.
The author and photographer is a transplant from Denver, Colorado. The contrast between the high Rocky Mountains, the open spaces of the plains and the visible deep horizons of Colorado and the deep, hugely varied greens and low worn mountains of the Blue Ridge could not be sharper. The photographer and writer tried to capture this great transition.
The Artist, Jann T. Bass, At Home In the Appalachian Mountains of Tennessee
A Photo Book
In Part One of this book are the author's Photographic Abstract Renderings of Jann Bass and her Appalachian home, Grandee Thiccet.
In PART TWO, there appear 64 copies of slides of Bass's work. The creation dates of the Bass paintings span the 40 plus years of Bass's career as an artist and exhibits the mediums she has used. Those mediums are watercolor, acrylic, pastels and oil. She is still creating.
All of the paintings shown here are currently in private collections around the world. Previous to 2001, she resided in Denver, Colorado and now lives in the Appalachian Mountains of upper east Tennessee.
Photo Abstrac Rendering is what I (the author and photographer) do here in PART ONE and is simply to play with my photographs by manipulating light, color and form. If I were a painter I would say my photographs are my canvasses upon which I paint. It is most times astonishing and delightful to take one image and transform it into something apparently quite different, over and over, searching for THAT moment. The end product has everything to do with the original photograph.
Whimsey The Manifester
When someone tells you that a performance was done with a great deal of whimsey, what does that mean to you? In that context it means to me that it was slightly humorous and a bit light-hearted and a tad unpredictable as a result. I have looked up definitions of whimsey and the synonyms for it. I found a lot of variety in both pursuits. So here is my preferred definitions for whimsey and what I consider the most appropriate synonym. An act done with whimsey is playful, unpredictable, not logical, odd, impulsive, maybe humorous, fanciful, and unexpected. Caprice seems to be a good synonym but just a little stronger and more purposeful than whimsey. Logically, from what I have just said, whimsical acts or creations do not stem from the rational mind but from impulse. For me the word has no negative connotation but some definitions do and one such definition is: freakish. Whimsey is lighthearted because it does not get in our face and dare us to "get it." It doesn't beat us over the head. It also does not send us into spasms of hysterical laughter. Whimsey does not direct and has no one idea. It is a kind of juxtaposition of factors that provokes, perhaps, a rueful smile or a thought about how weird certain actions really are. Thus, it is playful and painless as it manifests some insane truth which may be different for each person who takes it in without much fanfare.
My photographic abstract renderings, as I call the process of manipulation I use, are whimsical from the get-go. I play with my images until each one pops out at me causing me to blurt out any one of a number of delighted exclamations. The process informs me and always at least causes me to smile curiously.
The Northern Outer Banks In Winter
Photographic Abstract Renderings™
What are the winter doldrums? They are primarily a feeling of oncoming "blues," a creeping sadness and lethargy caused by the absence of light more than the presence of cold. When my Mother was feeling down she would say she was blue. These days we might say a slight depression of mood. I prefer the descriptor of blues. Somebody was singing the blues all around me and the song was seductive so escape seemed like a good idea.
My traveling buddy and I packed up our two cars, loaded her two canines, and off we went. Pouring rain was our constant companion. Starting from Faber, Virginia, that is in South Central Virginia, and going to Duck, on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, and ending up on or very close to the same latitude as where we left, is not increasing day light. Nor is it decreasing cold. But Duck is a six hour drive and it is a stunning place, with the Atlantic on the east and Currituck Sound on the west. My buddy and I were both 66 years old at the time. We were interested in the beauty and the power of the sea and in discovery and distraction from the blues. Even in the winter the sea fills the soul and energizes the body. It renews a sense of wonder and of adventure. The sea is never the same from day to day. The beach is never the same from tide to tide. No moment repeats itself. Every day is a new quest. This is something that is easy to forget. Back home I have to be silent and watch and listen to catch the ever changing moments around me. I tend to be so caught up in my routines that I fail to notice that everything changes from second to second. But here, about 50 yards from the surf, it cannot be avoided. And the light! I use the word light both literally and figuratively. It is different here, by the Atlantic or by any ocean. The clouds, the wind and the sun conspire to mesmerize the eyes. The question is, therefore, what is it about these phenomena that seem to chase away the blues? We spent 5 weeks, from January to the first part of February, living in , what I called, the Round House, in Duck. During that time we answered the question above and said goodbye to the doldrums. This is a photographic journal of that remarkable trip.
To PERCEIVE and to KNOW
Seeking the Alchemist Inside
This was an exercise to inform myself about what I KNOW versus what I THINK about everything, including and probably most importantly, myself. What am I? Energy, light, perception, consciousness, satisfaction, boundaries, freedom, time, love, joy? How do I learn to sing the stones into being and why should I? I know that the faster the film moves past the aperture, the slower the motion when played back. I KNOW the faster, the slower. I have experienced it once a long time ago. A conundrum right off the bat.
All I can do is explore perhaps in an oblique manner, teasing whatever I am into revelations, however small until I KNOW, if I ever do. And yet I suspect I already contain the information. The trick is to bring it forward.
This book is personal. I used the making of it, playing with my photographs, as a tried and true way to get me out of my left brain and logical, scientific mind and let whatever creative juices and higher energies, like maybe a higher consciousness, be evoked. It is this process that illuminates any wormholes in my particular reality. A dreamlike pronouncement was given to me recently: "Sing the stones into being." So I search for the metaphoric meaning of those words along with answers to countless other of my endless inquiries. Perhaps this little book might be a fleeting guide for someone else's need to find his or her own process(es). Who (or what) KNOWS?
Seeking Stillness In The Garden
A Personal Quest Little Photo Book
The Garden is nature, the place from which western civilization was expelled according to Christian, Judaic and Islamic ancient writings. Of course this is a generalization and an exaggeration. But the core of the statement, metaphorically, and thus culturally, is substantially true. I and my ancestors accepted this place outside the Garden. The Garden became dangerous and foreboding before I was ever conceived. I learned quickly that I must fight nature and dominate her. My mythology told me that I was separate from her and not intrinsically a part of her.
It seems to me that to find stillness I must reunite with Nature. I would like to think that my personal love of the natural world and the peace nature gives me causes me to stand out from others. But it appears to me that most all of us, including me, long to be in or on the brink of her wild beauty. Reuniting with nature, for me, also means I must inherently understand that I live on a planet that is unique in the Solar System and perhaps the galaxy. I am furiously speeding around the sun, and with the solar system, around the Galaxy and with the Galaxy, I am going rapidly somewhere. Our little blue planet has a fragile atmosphere that supports life and Nature supports the atmosphere and I am merely a product of both which are products of the stars.
There is another garden and that is the garden of my soul, still fertile I hope, and awaiting my attention. To me nature harbors stillness but not quietness. As I walk in nature's domain all my senses become alert. Her scents are endless and my body tingles from the touch of a breeze or from
the sun's warmth on my neck, or the chill from an instant shower.
And the sounds of bird songs, insects noisily fulfilling their fate, rivers rushing and falling, brooks mumbling and the sudden gusts of wind whipping against my ears mesmerize me. Wild berries sweet on my tongue, quenching, ice cold spring water down my throat and the visual feast of textures and colors, long vistas and close up tiny details of life's comings and goings make me crazy with saturation. My senses overload and my mind, my thoughts are crowded out left lying on the garden floor. I physically expand and know I can fly over the canyon like the hawk and even as I walk stillness stalks me.
My Life as a Backdoor
Commit or Run A Personal Quest Little Photo Book
It appears to me that I see few people anywhere who are beaming, joyful, or generally unafraid. What I do see are people that appear to be dissatisfied with their current lot in life, wanting more things which means more money and wanting respect but most of all desiring something that will ignite them now and spark their future. The future is the next moment, after work, the weekend, next year, things to look forward to that will make them happy, engage their whole heart. I know these people because I have been one of them, and still am at least a lot of the time.
I have had a life-long itch that I have been trying to scratch. This annoying bodily irritant has led me continuously astray, chasing shadows that promise a revelation of my destiny which is tantamount to revealing the mysteries of life and of the universe. Do we humans have destinies? Good question. My instinct has always told me yes even though I can't subscribe to a fate that is unchangeable. Perhaps I have multiple destinies as some espouse, and have the innate ability, if I can find it, to pick the best one for me, to revise my fate. I have come to discover that there are road signs, cairns, billboards, strange people who pop up here and there, chances to take that open to me unexpectedly. Some call these events déjà vu, synchronicity and my mentor called the big ones metanoias. I see them as stepping out of time so that I may get instructions albeit however veiled they might be. I have learned never to sluff off coincidences, especially the big ones. But when I get very close I tend to run away and go through a backdoor I have neglected to lock.