My Village Blue 2

A Place to gather and smell the flowers

Archive for April, 2010

Clarity: Light, Shade and Shadows

Posted by whisel on April 24, 2010

In a recent discussion, someone mentioned wanting to have some “clarity” about an issue, meaning pausing to wait until the reactive phase of response calmed down.  Wanting to step back and be able to take in the whole situation before coming to a conclusion.

I looked at the shadows on my wall, fascinated by the design they made. Some were dark and inscrutable. Some were moderate, a cream color bordering the dark.  Others appeared to be light blue. And the interesting fuzzy and sharp negative spaces they created.  All shadows of the same objects made by different light sources, different perspectives. 



The morning progressed into afternoon, but still there was no decision, no finalized opinion about what did or didn’t happen, what it was or what it meant. “I cannot know yet, what I want to conclude about this. I can’t see it all…. all the pieces.”

The shadows moved across the wall, while the light moved across the sky. Still the same three values crafted the changing abstract composition.  New objects came into view, some real, some reinvented. The negative spaces tantalyzed, testified to the inconsistencies of time and space. My eyes wanted to label and identify forms, but shadows take no permanent shape. They are not memories to recall.



Finally, as night did fall, she was struck by a certain combination of events.  She felt she could pinpoint the actual origin and succession of actions that led to the situation. She put her words into the development of the case, what had happened and where it all would lead. “Clarity!” she exclaimed, “finally, I have clarity”.

From dawn til dusk, shadows stretch their visual descriptions into improbable dialogues, speaking to those who would transform synchronicity into life, monotones into metronomes, ticking away at mentally imaginative insights, suggesting a glimpse of god through the dark and light mythical groupings of recollection and mysterious evolution. I see what she is saying, but I just don’t know if any of it is true.

Still, one must declare a position to make a point, to fill a void. She said something that captured what it was, as it was, considering the various points of view, the sources of light. I just nodded quietly, accepting what a responsibility and an absurdity it was to be the one who must point to a passage lost in time, hold it up as if it could be contained, hold it up, point to it…. and speak.


Best wishes, Whisel*


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Lesson Plan

Posted by whisel on April 20, 2010

Sunday I browsed around the local art supply store with gift certificates totaling $80. Always fun to go on an unimpacting spending spree. Art supplies being one of my favorite consumables, I gleefully headed toward specific areas. Paint, brushes, canvas panels and rubber cement.

Carting my selections up to the counter, the young cashier rang my purchases up with a smile. “Are you a Teacher or a Student?” she asked. “You get a 10% discount if you are.” I said: “I’m mostly just a painter and pretty much my own person.” I replied. “Are you sure?” she said. “If you’re a Teacher, you can get a discount.” She stared at me intently, yet sweetly, but I really didn’t know what she was getting at. “Wait a minute!” exclaimed my shopping companion, “You ARE a Teacher. You taught me how to draw.”  She went on, “You teach others all the time.”

The cashier nodded her head, as if to imply, ‘See, there you go.’ “What do you teach?” she asked, as a matter of formality. “Um… Art.” I said. “I teach the Art of things. The Art of seeing. The Art of interpreting. Translating Life into Art and back again, though Value, Perspective, Contrast and relationship.” I knew you were a Teacher, the cashier said. (uh-huh)

 Well, what was I to do? I graciously accepted the private credentialing and saved 10% on my purchases. Sometimes your just have to cooperate with the moment when everything around you wants you to win. 

Best wishes, Whisel*, Art Teacher, etc.

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Black Bears

Posted by whisel on April 17, 2010

My 2010 obsession has been viewing the birth of a black bear cub denned in Ely, Minn. Through the wizardry of a live streaming web-cam. I stumbled upon the site when searching out possible areas to see the Aurora Borealis in the Fall. I happened across the North American Bear Center (NABC) in Ely…. and…. Lily’s fan pages on Facebook.

So I dawdled and watched and chatted and posted. Soon I was caught up in the clan of Bear enthusiasts that haunted the North Woods through Facebook and webcams.

On January 22, 2010, Lily gave birth to Hope, a most gorgeous and wonderful cublette and daughter. Along with 96,000 other fans I watched her grow, develop and eventually leave the den with her Mom, Lily. Mother and daughter will den together again next season. For now, the NABC provides up with daily updates and videos of Hope… playing, running and climbing trees.

I must admit being surprised at my own avid interest in these animals. Typically, I’m more of a sea or air animal fancier. But seeing little Hope born and watching her develop and grow, caught my heart unsuspectingly. Now they seem like family to me. Every living thing it seems, has a personality…. a spirit, that has much a right to be here and to be treated with respect, as we do. It is good to know and understand the behaviors of Black Bears. Not at all frightening, even with their giant claws and stature, now that I’ve gotten to know a couple, and have surreptitiously lived in their world.

Best wishes, Whisel*

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Southern Comfort

Posted by whisel on April 16, 2010

Something about fried green tomatoes and southern style biscuits with honey brightens my mood, lightens my step and relaxes my breath. Not quite as good as actually being down south, but an agreeable substitute for an up-northerner.

It’s a good thing I’m not a practitioner of the culinary arts, cuz I would pull out my cauldron and dabble in grease and carbos all day. But it was mighty fine to dally at the Dixie Southern Style Cafe today.

Best wishes. Whisel*

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Intelligent Design?

Posted by whisel on April 15, 2010

What is intelligence? Is it knowing how to manipulate a system? Is it the ability to discern a vulnerability in a situation and exploit it for benefit? Is there a narcissistic or self-aggrandizing element in its composite?
(i) from Mainstream Science on Intelligence (1994), a report by fifty-two researchers:
A very general mental capability that, among other things, involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems, think abstractly, comprehend complex ideas, learn quickly and learn from experience. It is not merely book learning, a narrow academic skill, or test-taking smarts. Rather, it reflects a broader and deeper capability for comprehending our surroundings — “catching on”, “making sense” of things, or “figuring out” what to do.[2]
In my research on intelligence, I find it to be a capacity in and of itself. Just that. But when I search for intelligence applied for the greater good of humonkind, it links me to SOCIAL intelligence. There’s that bad word again. from Social, it’s just a tiny leap to Socialism and all the scary stuff under that heading.
So maybe, the American Way of Right is to display intelligence in a singular spotlight of charming self-sustenance and reward. In politics, one way leads to the Queen of Diamonds and the other way leads to the King of Hearts. Oh I don’t know if it’s just my impression of people at the podium. Or if the beauty of the babbler really CAN substitute for the depth of the mind required to reason, plan, solve problems and think. Beyond oneself. For the greater good.
Just my ramblings after reading certain political articles today. I need to stay away from that stuff.  Call me “Old School” if you want, but I think Theater of the Absurd was meant to entertain the masses. Not to become a philosophy of practical application.
Samuel Johnson said:  “Almost all absurdity of conduct arises from the imitation of those whom we cannot resemble.”

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The Party. I Saw…

Posted by whisel on April 6, 2010

The decoraters. The cooks. The minglers. The clusterers. The young ones and old ones. The middle-agers. The familiar ones. The new ones. The laughers. The participators.

The watchers. The sitters. The stand-arounds. The active ones. The helpers. The gifters. The giftees. The food servers and the eaters. The loners. The quiet ones. The easy-goers. The entertainers. The introverts and extroverts. The first comers and the first to leave. The tarriers. The talkers. The listeners and the nodders. The clean-up and carry out to the car ones. The huggers. The goodbyers.

 Those that have someplace to go after that. Those that hurry home to take a nap. And me.

Best Wishes, Whisel*

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These Bones

Posted by whisel on April 3, 2010

The rain is coming. These bones tell me so. These bones so sharp, dependable, well-traveled, seasoned and worn. They’ve taken me hiking all over this country and touring many other parts of the world.

Up the Statue of Liberty and the sandstone hills of the Garden of the Gods, Colorado, they climbed…. almost reaching the top of both, but retaining the wisdom to stop just when enough strength was left to get me down safely again. Down, down into the winding, steep caves of Wisconsin, Kentucky and Texas. These bones played hard: softball, tennis, badminton, swimming numerous lengths of the pool and dashing along the shores of the Gulf of Mexico. They had a blast dancing the night away. These bones were born in the Land of a Thousand Dances, and I would venture a guess…. that they knew every one.

My happy bones walk me around a little more cautiously now, but still determined to transport me to my next adventure which I hope will be browsing the Art Supply store in April.  With Age comes acuity and often, arthritis. These bones can predict the rain with amazing accuracy, biting at my joints, reigning in my unchecked momentum. Without their instinctive perception about changes in weather, I’m sure I would grind myself down into powder in no time flat.  Best bones ever…. I would say.

The clouds roll in with a flash of light and a bang of thunder. The rain on my window taps: It’s Spring!

Best Wishes, Whisel*

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22 Minutes Past April

Posted by whisel on April 1, 2010

Time whirls on. Lo and behold…. Spring! It came rather early this year, but who’s complaining? Not me. The buds and the petaled beauties aren’t quite up yet, which is good because a drop in temps is predicted for this weekend. Still, I celebrate the season.

And I celebrate all those good people in the world that are coping with illnesses, knocked down, but not out. I celebrate the attitudes of humor, cheer and optimism, whether they are in recovery or in a day-to-day negotiation with an eventual, early transition. No one knows what time it is in the greater scheme of things, so I say the timing is right now to draw out the brightness from within, if it has become dimmed through the winter months.

Just so, says Mother Nature, waking us to each newborn day. I celebrate the day, the night and all the gradations in-between. Walk with me to the pine trees. They are steady and weather worn beings that just don’t know how to quit. Alive! Alive-o… they whisper. Sweet beauties even in the toughest storms.

Best wishes, Whisel*

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