Sunday, January 15, 2012


"Ubuntu", 2'x6', Woodcut print / Rives BFK

south african ethical philosophy,
it's the essence of being human.
you cannot exist as a human being in isolation
it's our interconnectedness
you cannot be human all by yourself.
i am who i am because of who we all are.

So here's to love and 2012
& art, design, elephants and wine.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

heaven & hell

in heaven...

ze french are ze cooks.
ze english are ze polizia.
ze german run ze country.
and ze italian are ze lovers.

in hell...

ze english are ze cooks.
ze french are ze polizia.
ze italians run ze country.
ze germans are ze lovers.

-lorenzo, SRISA professor

and ziiis is why i am in italy.

Monday, April 26, 2010

boots of spanish leather

The most exciting things in life happen when they are inflicted upon you, instead of you seeking them out. Keep up with people in your life, because only through other people and their experiences are we able to understand what we desire for ourselves. Like how Alexander Supertramp desired open air, or how Georgia O’Keefe desired to paint without colour for years until she understood monochrome. Quick decisions are best decisions because they happen in the moment you feel the energy. Elana told me that the Camino was the best time of her life in the hot sun, Seth told me he read all about it. So Arden and I booked a flight and ignited any maps.

The Camino de Santiago de Compostela is a set of hundreds of pilgrimmage routes throughout spain and france, historically beginning at people’s front doors, and leading to the city of Santiago, and into the church of St. James the Apostle. After he died, his body was found washed ashore covered in shells, thus the shell symbol of the trail. Beginning in the 1000 AD, people made this pilgrimage on foot in meditation, penance, and homage, like making a Hajj to Mecca (next planned pilgrimage). In the 1900’s, it became a novelty to walk the Camino as the original pilgrims did, on the unchanged paths through mountains, farms and villages. Some for religious purpose, some for cultural immersion. Some to eat, walk, talk, not talk. I don’t know why I went yet, but how important are a person’s motives to their experience? I guess, all of those things.

We began on the Camino Frances, to walk 106 km to Santiago.

Maps were burned,

Bags were lost (love always, ryanair)

We had our novels, What is the What and The Poinsonwood Bible,

passports, the clothes we wore, and every song imaginable in our heads for entertainment.

That’s all.

sans camera. its a good thing i didnt have it to distill the colors in my mind.

The entire Camino is marked with yellow arrows

Just when you think youre lost, you find an arrow.

Nothing to search for

Nothing to search for but arrows and shells.

Like the wizard of oz and the yellow brick road.

Sleeping and eating cheese in Galician villages,

In albergues equipped with beer and warm ham, bacon and eggs.

People take pride that their homes can be used by pilgrims

They want to do everything for you.

And families to offer you smiles and questions each night.

Spanish comes back to me.

Words are simple,

i can feel the breadth of a human through such simplicity. effort to understand and communicate speaks more than eye contact can tell.

It was cold, but rose bushes lined the ancient stone walls we walked on

(so we pretended they were blooming)

But if we let the cold days or rainy days or muddy feet (or no underwear for arden’s sake) penetrate our skin

it would be like spreading a disease.

So live and let live.

Live through your feelings, those at the depths and the surfaces of your soul

because even in the freezing cold, wet weather, you still know what warm is.

Each feeling you have you must claim to have known and owned.

When excitement drives you more than comfort and safety, that’s when you know love is love, time is right. Because you’re also not afraid to leave it, if you know what you're leaving there.

Maneuvering through ghost towns, highways, farms, forests, brooks.

The camino winds through life.

Some villages make me believe I am the first person to ever be.

Sometimes the side-of-the-highway-cargo-semi draft almost pushes me over.

Everywhere is a secret garden. Everywhere is a cemetery.

Tiny stone houses that have stood since wind.

Cows, dogs, sheep, churches, gravesites, altars

along the trail to receive prayers and pilgrims’ respect.

Like maybe you shouldn’t be let in on these family secrets.

but you are.

Galicians tend their gardens and feed their livestock,

because humans need a routine. It puts life experience into a rolodex.

Smiling is a feasible language. as you pass someone, wish them, Buen camino!

A couple 7 months pregnant walking for good graces.

So I wondered why for me-

Myth, friendship, religion, spirituality

im still not sure, but any exploration of the body in its simplest form tears flesh and bones away so you have no choice but to read what is written on your soul. Physically using your body, so there is nothing protecting your soul. Feeling the muscles in your body so you know its all there. These writings could be translated into an entire Religion just as they could to English or Spanish. For some the purpose could be hope to merely see what is written, and for others it could be uncovering the pieces of writing that remain a mystery.

Walking all day on the camino was like water. Your entire body is submerged, you don’t and wont know if anything is actually there- any finger, nose, leg. Unless you think about it, move it around, consciously give it feeling when it is surrounded by the same particles everywhere, same temperature, same amount, same touch. Nothing will make any part of your body feel different until you make your own movements.

Caught between contentedness being outdoors where my feet stand, and turning and moving to walk every path and touch every blade of grass spoken of. I do not want to constellations any nearer, I know they are very well where they are. I know they suffice for those who belong to them.

Wilderness makes me believe that rose colored glasses are actually real eyes.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

palm sunday in florence

they use olive branches rather than palm fronds.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

a sexier darkroom than vickychristinabarcelona's.

black & white photography with simone bacci: lessons learned

the only fault of a photo is that you miss the moment you are capturing when the shutter closes.
even though the sound of it is like all things falling through chaos and landing perfectly in order.
photos in florence are interesting because they have to be the thing that changes, since everything else here always stays the same. it assists in the irony of discovering a place you do not know.
i am envious at light for the clarity with which it speaks to paper. i would like to be able to communicate what is there with as much accuracy as the sun can through an image.
taking photos is taking decisions.
film slows you down. its not a bad thing. and it only asks one thing of you, to be exposed to the right amount of light.
it is not something that makes you think, but react. react using other parts of your being without your rational mind. your photos are a way people can know you.
you will discover something that you own but maybe do not know. maybe you are scared of how wide you are. just because you have to find it with a certain frame of mind does not mean its unnatural.
train yourself when you feel, to grasp the feeling. you can't know how to print the image if you don't know how you felt when you captured it. we are more sensitive than the film we expose.
shooting landscape is hard because there is land, a line, then sky. begin with land so you can understand only that. then move on to sky.
looking at a person and asking them for a photo puts a soul into their eyes.
pretend the only way you can talk is through your picture.
"having dark room for me, like having right arm. without it, i die" -simone.
shoot all the time. rolls and rolls.
its like reading poetry over and over until you finally begin to pronounce the words right.

my midterm grade: "make more room for photo shooting. concentrate on finding. practice a lot. be prolific."

Sunday, March 21, 2010

each place i go i fall in love with something.
then i get home and fall in love again.
it never takes a break.
i thought loving should have to last forever,
but it doesn't!
it might be best when it exists in the moment it stood for
and nothing else. it might be best if it exists where it lived.

in florence, it's the light.

Saturday, March 20, 2010

the most beautiful word in gaelic:

slainte! (cheers!)

ireland's gift to the world is the pub.
where a beer should be like a meal, a pint of guinness should be had in 3 gulps and bulmers enjoyed on ice. we ate roasted chicken and potatoes straight from the county clare farms of shane and mervin, abby's friends from university college corcaigh. we met a college soccer team from letterfrack celebrating their championship win and drank murphy's stout straight out of their trophy cup, singing "whiskey in the jar" and dancing to spoons, fiddles and beer in taffee's pub, galway. (and we decided that falling off the cliffs of moher wouldn't really be all that bad).

good people, good music, and good beer. perfectly simply. especially the people. i am going to name my first child flannery, because it's a beautiful name.

if you play the part of the place you go
eventually it will not be an act anymore.
i found a lambswool tam in galway to wear
and there were kisses on the cheek more times than i can count.
ireland is candidly simplistic, raggedly beautiful
and celebratory of everything.

i crave a heritage like this. how ireland assigns you to find it. i crave a land to pay homage to. i want the ground beneath my feet to speak stronger words than i can speak for myself. i want space only filled with grass and limestone pourous enough to absorb more than my brain can absorb.

the fire that stirs about her, when she stirs. -w.b. yeats (ireland, 1920's)