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Archive for the ‘Photoshop’

The (un)Civil War

January 14, 2010 By: admin Category: Abandonment Journal, Faith, Family, Going Home, Happiness, Health, House, India, Living, Love, Molly, Mom, Photoshop, Valet Battleship Parking

When Ken Burn’s The Civil War was broadcast on PBS it quickly became a family event for my father, my mother and me. My brother was still living in Boston at the time, and so he didn’t watch it with us. In the film there was one much-quoted character who stood out: Mary Chestnut. I loved her first because my favorite actress, Julie Harris, played her voice, but then grew to love her for her words and herself, even though she was a Southern secessionist. 😉


As I mentioned in previous posts, since Mom died I’ve been reading mostly about death, but exclusively non-fiction. As I come to the end of Isabel Allende’s latest book I panic wondering what could possibly come next. Then I get another cryptic, from-the-universe type of message and before I know it am pulling out books I’ve been carting around for years and have yet to read. All are books that had been originally inspired by The Civil War, one being “The Private Mary Chestnut,” Ms. Chestnut’s “Unpublished” civil war diaries.

Last night, returning from a concert of Hindustani classic music with friends, I glanced over at my livingroom bookcase for no reason at all. Something drew me to the stack of books hidden in the back row of the top shelf, the place reserved for books of no current importance. There were four books in total that I pulled out: “The Private Mary Chestnut,” “The Granite Farm Letters,” “Bullwhip Days,” and “Richmond During The War.” All are civil war rememberences, diaries or oral histories, and will be my next reads. Why? I’m not sure, but do feel there’s some connection to be made between my recent sense of closure, however odd it is, and the struggles and losses of those who, over a century ago, walked the earth on which I now live. They struggled in a conflict that tied up their hearts and caused them to tear each other apart. The connection I feel to that may have to do with a new sense of gratitude and grace. Like the folks in these books, who lived on this land, I have a choice in this moment. Incredible. As my friend Maninder said: “It’s like a game show, you can either take the $100,000 you’ve already won and walk away, or play it and possibly lose it all.” Like the folks who survived the Civil War, I am trying to eek out a new life from ashes. No, my war(s) weren’t waged with guns, but they did last too long and covered a lot of ground. And there was emotional pain. I’m luckier in that no one died.

I will be remade this year, whether by my own hand or others’. I’m looking forward to it, but it will change a lot, I think. Whatever this phase is that I’ve been in for so long is now, finally, over. I think it started when I was 26, when I first started having intimate, committed relationships. I’m not sure, but hopefully Mary Chestnut and the others will help me find clues and, ultimately, answers. Why not? Worked for Nicholas Cage in National Treasure… 😉

See? Still looking behind me for answers. Hidesight, something-something-something… :)

Day 1

September 06, 2009 By: admin Category: Abandonment Journal, Body, Faith, Family, Food, Happiness, Health, House, Living, Love, Meditation, Mom, Photoshop, Running, Valet Battleship Parking, Yoga

I don’t know if this is Alanis Morrisette’s response to the breakup of her engagement to actor Ryan Reynolds, but she’s always been an artist I admire for her emotional candor, and with this new song she certainly speaks word-for-word for me. It’s been a struggle, but the clouds are starting to part. Discipline and faith, family and friends are getting me through what will likely be the toughest breakup of my life. I doubt even Mom’s death will have had as much impact as this last relationship and it’s subsequent demise.  There’s so much still to look at. I’m going over it all, step by step, from the beginning, and just “facing” it. There’s no value in hanging on to the desire for revenge even though I want to. The knee-jerk reaction is slipping away. Sometimes it tries to make an appearance… I’ll be reading and it’ll pop up, but I won’t notice it for a few moments. After a bit it’ll bounce up and down: “Look at me! Look at me!” it’ll yell. “What…?” I’ll ask, annoyed be pulled away from my book. “You’re upset. You want to do something,” it’ll continue. “I am upset, but all I want to do is read my book. Now go away.”

See, Depression & Revenge like it a lot better when you drink or perform other acts self-sabotage. They hate it when you evolve…

So, like Alanis, I’m putting my experience into my work and every day life. Making practical use of all the pain. Every day I meditate, do yoga, run, eat well, make something in Photoshop and/or edit something, read at least 2 chapters of my book, and spend some time conceptualizing a part of the house design. I don’t ignore what’s going on at all, I use it against itself. After all, it’s energy, right? :)


March 06, 2009 By: admin Category: Photoshop, Randomosity

This is how I’m going to survive the “economic downturn”:


I’m going to fuck around in Photoshop. :) This is a fictious band, “Instrument Flight Rules,” and our first album “this book will get you started.” It’ll be available on iTunes….um… never.