UP FROM GROUND

so my artwork has been selected

for an exhibit in Los Angeles

titled UP FROM GROUND.

it will be held on May 8th

at a vintage warehouse gallery

called La Founderie. amped.


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Snowtone, L.A.

in the coming months I will be photographing my favorite LA locations, part one

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new site

new site ► snowtone.org

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an interesting take on healthcare

a complete media compendium

001 ► personal beliefs

002 ► hawaii

003 ► the apparent trap

004 ► pregame

005 ► the summit

006 ► senator interview

007 ► new gov idea

bonus ► from last dec, highway to health

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sparrow

We lost the baby. The last time I lost one, I wrote a check, changed my phone number, and moved to Boston for school. Misplaced might be a better word. Willfully misplaced. Sort of like ‘losing your phone’ so you don’t have to be bothered with it. I watched Erin’s stillness, her breathing at 12 cycles per minute, the same rhythm ocean surf waves against the shore. Three sleepless nights, and finally a veneer of peace. I wanted to contact the baby soul depository and barter a trade. I was usually good at that sort of thing.

I walked to the nurses station and borrowed the area directory. No listings under ‘soul’ except fish feeders and palm readers. I called a palm reader named Regina’s Revelations, but got an automated recording. I flipped through to ‘punishment.’ An ad for requestlegalhelp.com. Then ‘justice.’ A listing for the Boston Association for Justice and Peace. I called. They were closed. I walked back to Erin’s room and the sea of cards, quietly reading from an already-opened stack. I wanted to tear into new envelopes and find one that said ‘gangrene,’ or ‘ovaries,’ or ‘feet.’ They were all positive, which was a lie. I looked up at the half of Erin above the sheet-line, the part that was human. I followed the curves of the blankets that covered a mess of tubes and army of sensors that spilled from her lower intestine and replaced her legs, like a mechanical jellyfish. The large blue box beside her fluttered two small blips, Erin stirred and settled, her torso alive for a brief moment. Everything below her waist had been black, her uterus was gone, her stomach blown apart and hanging in tatters beneath her skin. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner would be through her arm, not her throat, for the rest of her life. I hope her life is short. I hope mine is too.

Another bouquet with a note about hope and prayer, but Erin likes flowers, so I carefully lifted it and moved across the room. It would look good on the empty ledge beneath the window. The city was busy today, but the sky was quiet. The trees tried to blend the silence into the city, but it didn’t work. I need a tree, perhaps it will blend silence into me. Two commercial airliners traced scars across the sky, I wondered if I could call them and they could pick me up. Or perhaps I could take the hospital’s chopper, it had been sitting on the helipad for the last three days. People would say, ‘Why did he take it? It should be used for saving lives!’ They wouldn’t know that it would be saving mine. A small bird smashed into the window and I dropped the vase, petals and stems exploding on the glossy white floor. Erin yelped and tried to sit up, arms flailing against the blankets, almost like she was swimming. But I just watched the sparrow fall, pinwheeling with shattered wings twenty stories to the ground, its broken body disappearing amidst a sea of moving people.

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not black or white. or gray. color.

the past few months, i have been quiet. marginal.  listening and watching.
i have been looking for hope.  love that breathes.  a world that isn’t black or white or gray, but color.
i am beginning my Mix.
my scene. interp. midrash. explanation. perception. yoke. way.
parsing reality, arranging the universe.
i draw on the walls.
and if you are going to trust me about the depths of reality,
i need to know what i’m talking about.
trusted with not just a few things, but with many things.
psychology, sociology, anthropology, technology, media, film, music, economics, geology, astronomy, physics, culture.
transparent, legit, no showtime switch.
never diva, never poser, never pretentious.
not out to win a popularity contest,
with nothing to prove,
knowing who i am and why.
my job is to pull from the world and ‘make of it something more.’
what i have read. what i have studied.
i started a me map, tracing experiences and mistakes,
what i’ve learned and what i still need to learn.

my Mix  starts with five elements. they are a beginning, not an end.

ONE ► I’M WRONG

i am a learner, student, novice.
there are many things i don’t know or understand.
i will encounter new things.
i will have to let go of some of the things i thought were true
in order to grab hold of these new things.
humility. perpetual imperfection.
never leaving the wide-eyed wonder of discovery.

TWO ► HUMANITY

i do not consider myself a Christian. i do not consider myself religious.
i consider myself a pastor. and a disciple.
i have a worldview.
and a rabbi.
religions always begin, even today, when spirituality is hijacked as a control.
and it’s not surprising that many religions
have grasped different aspects of the human story.
i trust that our world is good, and headed somewhere better,
that the story of humanity is a dance that hums with the heartbeat of the universe,
embracing original Eden wherever it can be found.
i believe that i have a role in the story.
and so do you.

THREE ► HEALING

i have learned that in a room of any size, there is great pain just under the surface.
i believe that the world needs healing.
individually.
systemically.
completely.
sometimes we need soft words,
words that remind us that there is no need to compete or compare,
no need to be thinner, faster, smarter,
words that create a space to breathe.
other times, we need a kick in the throat stiletto-heel style.
we need to be asked difficult questions,
and we need people who expect us to find the answers.
we need to be pushed,
and reminded that we don’t exist just to be loved, but to spread the love.
the dialectic tension between pastor and prophet.
sometimes we bring the thunder.
sometimes we bring the rain.

FOUR ► KEEP IT CLASSY

this idea has had many names over the centuries. honor, chivalry, nobility.
not birthright or classism, defined by one’s actions.
a way to interact with the world in mutual respect, and gravity of soul.
a peace that is wider than circumstances, and deeper than emotions.
family argument?
keep it classy.
breaking up?
be classy.
public humiliation? false accusation?
divorce?
keep it classy. honorable.
living love.
if you have a heartbeat, a pulse, a brainwave, it’s the right time to love.
at no time, in no place, with no person
is it ever appropriate to toggle off the love button.
with others,
and with yourself.

FIVE ► MIXED DRINKS

this only works with all of us.
you have knowledge and wisdom that we need.
your experiences can teach us, shape us, and drive us forward.
the human family is unnecessarily dysfunctional at the moment.
and while there will always be a level of conflict, disagreement,
and needed resolution,
there is a difference between healthy tension + alternative perspectives,
and a nuclear wasteland of soul trashing.
we crave unity, and we don’t have it.
the diversity of humans is infinite,
and therefore styles, preferences, and opinions will always be infinite.
we are one body, but can we walk as one body?
because right now we’re not walking, we’re sort of having an epileptic seizure,
spasming while attempting self-mutilation,
trying to chop off the parts that we don’t like,
or that don’t look how we think they should.
we can fix that, we can make peace in our Self and coordinate our movements,
and thoughts,
and connections.
and when we finally get the walking thing down, then we can try running.
and maybe eventually leaping.
and twirling.
and discoing.
what if instead of fixating on all the ways that we are different,
we focused on all of the ways that we are the same?

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with the wild things, wherever they are

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Attending a screening of Where The Wild Things Are tonight at the Arclight in Hollywood.
Eggers and Spike Jonze will be there.  Amped.

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