Posts Tagged ‘arts’

The summer was slipping away. We had been busy all summer, a canceled trip gave us a chance to participate in what I hear some call a stay cation. We woke up late drank coffee read the paper and then went into the downtown area of our thriving “metropolis”. Alright confession time, our city has just over 34,000 souls so we are not exactly metropolis status but there is an art gallery and because it was a Thursday, said art gallery was open.

We walked in and we were immediately greeted by the gallery’s keeper. She let us know that this week the gallery’s display was work by the students of her and the gallery’s one other employee.  She then turned on the overhead lights so we could get a better look at the students work.

The gallery does a Saturday class and this employee teaches the Robb Ross oil painting glass. The other younger employee teaches different classes.Right away I notice an oil painting with a tree, a creek, a barn and a fence. The picture is a green landscape with the creek cutting the landscape into two parts. Some of the creeks are wide and I imagine me as a child wading in and skipping stones. Other creeks are a thin dark blue line and I imagine myself again jumping the rushing creek. The thrill of almost not making it exhilarates me.

In one painting the tree has no leaves at all and is more black than brown. It gives the picture a beautiful and ominous effect at the same time.   Another painting  has a long tree with distinct bright green leaves you feel like nature is ordered and beautiful. One more painting has a more stout bushy tree and it makes me feel more visceral.

I see Bright red barns and other barns are more brown than red. Some of the barns are large and a major focal point of the landscape. You are tempted to jump into the painting and open the door.  Other barns are a little more than a dot on the painting.

The fence is broken in some paintings, others look as though a farm hand just finished shoring the fence up.

One landscape painting, one class, many students. A tree, a creek, a barn and a fence.

We spend a great deal of time in the gallery. I am surprised at all the subtle and not so subtle differences in the painting  and I think about people. The diversity of man has to be one of our greatest strengths.

So many people so different, physically, mentally, spiritually. Sometimes at home or work you can be dealing with something that seems impossible but rest assured it isn’t.

You may have tried what seems to you like everything, but it is important to keep in mind that you and your reality is one of many realities and what seems like infinite possibilities. Reach out socialize get to know more people. Through speech and written word impossibilities will become possible and your life will be far more rich.




Nothing is impossible, the word itself says ‘I’m possible’!
Audrey Hepburn
Last weekend Felix Baumgartner fell from a height of 24 miles and landed safely on earth. Eight million people watched the Red Bull Stratus jump live on You Tube. The nine minute sky dive broke many records including the speed of sound in only a space suit as well as most concurrent viewers in a webcast. With hard work and science I am convinced that the limits of man and woman are endless!
Sometimes we can feel as though everything is impossible and we will never accomplish our goals, short and long-term, it is then that I like to recall my own and other people like Felix and Red Bulls victories. Another very important thing to remember is


Sixty years ago today Harper & Brothers published E.B. Whites manuscript which was a story called “Charlotte’s Web“.   I heard about this birthday just this morning on NPR. The story on the radio had as a special treat, some excerpts from the author himself reading his, “story of a bar”. Hearing E.B White speak about the sights smells and sounds of the barn yard, you can’t help but yearn for a simpler more pure time.

In 2000 Charlotte’s Web was called the most popular children’s literature piece to date. Charlotte’s Web and Stuart Little are children literary tales which feature animals as the main characters. Children and (be honest) adults too, simply love stories featuring animals.  In the U.K. the movie “War Horse” (really good movie!!) topped the charts for weeks. Some psychologists argue that children love stories about animals because they can relate closely with the animals, because both children and animals fall victim to living in an adult world without  being an adult.

“In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children.  The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted.  The result is unruly children and childish adults.  ~Thomas Szasz

I read the story of “Charlotte’s Web” a long time ago and I learned about friendship and compassion and I had thought for the longest time that I had no more to learn from this tale but I see today that I had much more to learn. Children and animals have to learn to live in the adult world but adults must learn that, life with kids is all about balance often time we have to step back and let kids be kids and adults be adults and enjoy the magical moments when the two worlds collide.



oh yeah happy birth again

Simple enough question right? I like mottos. I love the joke from “The Rocky  and Bullwinkle Show” when Bullwinkle is asked. “What’s a motto?” He replies “Nothing, what’s a motto with you?” I know corny but I like it.

For our purposes a motto is: the guiding principle, of a person, organization or city.  So my favorite motto  is “Do only good”. Did I steal this motto from Google? Yes and no. Oh the dichotomy!! I liked Googles unofficial motto which is “Do no Evil” but I didn’t think a motto should be a what not to do for a person. For a corporation this is an ingenious idea. Because a corporations first goal is to provide a product and post a profit, so having that as the foundation a motto that states what not to do makes perfect sense and doing no evil is well good (lol).

A person is not a corporation a person is born and lives but lives are lived in so many different ways that I felt a better motto for me would be what to do instead of what not to do. Doing good is well good.

Is it simple? Yes, but most of the best things are simple.

Simplicity in character, in manners, in style; in all things the supreme excellence is simplicity.”

I do! I would love to take the colored pencils and put them in the hole in the gear and run the pencil all over the larger circle. With every pass of the pencil I could see a shape that was distinct and beautiful appear. The shape despite what seemed like random movement from me was not random at all.

I would use different colors, put the pencils in different spots, press down harder and sometimes move faster. This simple children’s toy besides being a lot of fun was also teaching us. We learned that results from our actions are not random at all we all function within a set of parameters and if we want things like the drawing design to change it is often necessary to change the parameters the designs are made with.

In life we are often faced with a design we do not want. That design is not fate, or random at all. That design was made because of a combination of our actions and parameters. If you want a different design you will have to change one or the other and sometimes both. i.e. You can’t swim in the ocean if you live in Oklahoma.. (ain’t I cool using i.e. (I always thought cool smart people used those letters))

So much thanks today to the spirograph.





“This meeting is scheduled till 12 but, Don’t worry I will be out way before then. Maybe 11:30 or even like 15 after.” I could hear the fret in her voice as she responded with the warning. “You know it’s going to run over now, right?” I answered back with as much self sureness as I could without becoming a jerk. “I don’t believe in all that mumbo jumbo.”



Well the meeting ended well after 12. John 0 universe 1. “I will do this a different way, we can skip the testing step and save time.” I was sure this would bring the project I was working on to closure and nothing bad would happen as I spoke I did not even consider what my assumptions earlier in the same work day did to me. “Well if you are sure go ahead and do it and let me know the results.” Well long story short (I know I know too late) the results were not a project closing and a shorter time line but a still open project with at least an extra day of work.



Sitting on the couch last night after work was over and I had eaten what was quite possibly one of the best steaks ever! I found my self watching with my girlfriend the second episode of a great, now cancelled, (you can watch the whole thing on Hulu +) tv show called “Life”. The show is centered around a police officer,Charlie Crews  and his partner Dani Resse, Charlie was set up and convicted for a crime he didn’t do (yeah I know captain redundancy here set up would indicate that he didn’t do it). DNA evidence exonerated the detective and got him his job back. While in prison the police officer discoveries the Zen philosophy. The zen philosophy makes for some interesting dialogue throughout the series like this gem from the second show in the series last night:




  Correctional officer #2: Are you making fun of us?Charlie Crews: It is the universe that makes fun of us all.[turns and faces other guard, walks away. Reese gives them both a look]

[as they walk outside the prison]
Dani Reese: Why would the universe make fun of us all?
Charlie Crews: Maybe it’s insecure.




So do I believe in the universe? Of course I do, I mean it’s out there. I can’t think of anyone who has not looked up at the stars in amazement and awe. Do I believe the universe makes fun of us all and that through assumptions we play into this comedy and it’s assumed insecurity? Well after yesterday I wonder.


What do you think?