Archive for the ‘hearing’ Category

Looking forward to the end of a very trying day, I weave my way through the maze of empty ugly blue office chairs alternating with filled ugly blue office chairs with students slumped over keyboards, now happily pulling up Facebook since I’ve finished with them. Only one left to go. The student that has pissed me off all semester. The student that I like quite a lot. I love how he speaks perfect German and then seamlessly segways into something British-y or Colonial British. Maybe New Zealand. He mentions New Zealand a lot.

Clipboard and threatening-looking piece of red-marked paper in hand, I sit next to him and ask what I have asked all the others. “So … what’s your project going to be about?” This is the project they will receive a grade for. Without missing a beat he says, “My tattoo.” “Your tattoo?” I say, praying that what is now flashing through my mind is not apparent on my face. But then, it always is. There is nothing I have ever been able to do about that. I am now envisioning an image seen somewhere – time, place and context on the Internet completely, dutifully erased from memory – of a man’s completely tattooed penis. It had literally become a very colorful, quite beautiful, snake. From tip to base and front to back, the testicles, the surrounding thighs and, if I remember correctly, there was even a great amount of detail around the anus. I still shudder in horror at how sedated this man must have been (and for how many days) to have that worked performed. And a performance it was. Tattoo Art at its finest. Looking at my student, I see him fishing with his eyes for me to somehow go on. As if he really knows about the pictures flickering through my brain and how he wants to link them permanently to his own body’s artwork. “Right, well, I’m not sure if I want to know about your tattoo,” was my lame response, knowing full well that if there is going to be any editorial design being done, I’ll have to be knowing about, and looking at his tattoo at some point. This was the boy that had, in passing one day, asked me if I thought the product designers from Apple knew people would have clitoral associations when using the little ball on their “Mighty Mouse”. I tried to respond as dryly as I could, “I certainly hope they considered it. It’s evidently worked on you. I find it to be a positive thing, men thinking about clitorises…” stopping in my tracks right there. Slippery slope with this one. Luckily, I could escape from “what subject” to “which publication” and was able to escape further pain.

I could have left it alone, but he’s my Nr. 1 rebel, so I asked him why he boycotted the last assignment. A shrug not being an answer, I proceed to tell him that he has pissed me off. That he was rude and had no respect. From the get-go. And that I agree with Apple on yet another count, that the rebels are actually more often than not the good guys, the creative souls, the geniuses that motor innovation and create beauty. But doing nothing and just rebelling gave you just as much potential to be regarded as an asshole as it does a genius. Until there is something done. Or performed. Or discussed. So until he did something, his behavior dictated that I must regard him as an asshole. I really like this student. He brings out the best in me. Bullseye.

Today I run away from the school as if the sky were falling. The last day with a group of older students that some uninspired teacher before me had turned totally sour on design. For all practical purposes, i.e. making them realize the true and marketable added-value of beauty, they were lost. Three students out of 14 gave it a good, honest, genuine go, but for the rest I was a petulant and hysterical babysitter howling something indiscernible about aesthetics. The speed and acridness of their retorts took my breath away. The balls of social media-izing while I offered all my deepest design secrets and passions was humbling to say the least, to put it in the mildest words without flagellating myself. As I pull away from the building, all I can think is, “don’t they realize that it isn’t about speed? That, more and more, it can only be about the ability to go s-l-o-w?” I am envisioning the technique that I do, where my breath guides small movements, tai-chi-like but much more fluid and beautiful storecialis.net. I move space and space moves with me – the slower you can pull it off, the more beautiful the dance. Or the fact that advancing adulthood has actually brought an upexpected prize, one I don’t expect them to understand or even try: finding the control and will and the partner with which to take lovemaking to the slowest possible pace. Will they ever be able to recognize the exquisite bliss in that? “Sticks and stones can break my bones but chains and whips excite me…” This particular boy was just repeating a popular song during that last class, but he was repeating it rather breathlessly while taking in the beautiful blonde girl next to him, avidly atching for her reaction. Chains and whips. Is that what it’s coming to? Sitting there, passing time, I bit on my tongue. Don’t say one word about S&M. Don’t say one thing about the state of “sexual education” (for the most part bad porn) in the world. And stop thinking about what Chris Hedges wrote! But I truly cannot stop thinking about what Chris Hedges wrote and never will be able to, ever again, for that matter, when I think of porn. And S&M making it into mainstream music is simply nauseating. Sure, Madonna played with a bit of spanky, but no one really took her seriously. Or, more aptly, no one wanted to really do the things Madonna did. They were always so obviously not her, so obviously staged and calculated that we just enjoyed the show and went home. The chicks singing these things now are different. Certainly hungrier, more desperate, much closer to a slimy truth than Madonna most likely ever saw. My stomach is fully turned imagining this clean-cut soccer-player-physiqued boy actually finding arousal when the blonde girl comes in with her cheap domina apparel, clumsily cracking a whip. And to make matters worse, imagining that these kids may truly be tomorrow’s public relations managers on the side of business that gives me work – that pulls me down deep. Work that is becoming increasingly difficult to do because they choke the elemental conditions a designer needs to do successful work. They choke creativity because they know nothing about beauty. Because they are working so bound and magnetized by tightroped sets of rules, never doing more than they must, and doing it all very, very fast.

They know nothing about beauty because they don’t want to listen, learn … or … go slowly. At anything.

Whips. And chains. Excite them.

Share/Save/Bookmark

UPDATE:  Thank you for those that sent in early entries for the first presentation that took place yesterday, April 6th, in Munich. That helps us all to get a feel for what it could be – I will post the results of these first steps soon, either here or at another location. Stay tuned! And keep those entries coming!

Pretty much everyone I know (and many people I don’t) seem to agree that, generally speaking, peace is a nice “add-on” to have. “We’re good” when it’s there and – if we can remain alive – we somehow manage to bumble through when it isn’t.

This is the current “branding status” for peace:

120px-peace_symbolsvg
120px-peace_dovesvg
bandiera_della_pace
120px-origami-crane
85px-peace-sign

The symbol with the lines was originally developed by the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament. The dove (with an olive branch in his beak) is an ancient symbol. The “V” sign with two upheld fingers is actually signalling victory and thus - peace. The flag comes from Italy: peace, pace, paz, pax (and in another context shalom and salaam) … all in the same spirit and this time with rainbow colors. Then there is the little origami bird from Japan with its own fascinating history …

… but the symbol I find most fascinating of all is this one:

150px-pax_culturasvg

Having appeared (without the circle) on Stone Age amulets, this one goes back a ways. With the circle, it became the logo for Pax Cultura (Peace through Culture, Cultural Peace) with the dots symbolizing Art, Science and Religion, three of the most embracing of human cultural activities. Anno 1935 or so.

Fast forward to 2010. It just so happens that I know this lovely person who also happens to be a prince. And a prince with a mission.

The idea is to take energy and resources from “developed” countries and bring them to less developed countries in forms that differ from the current status quo (one example: weapons). Currently, the form being not only discussed but actually produced can be found in: tiny little bells. You know, the kind the Salvation Army rings. These little brass babies are bells intended to ring in peace. Become bigger. Figuratively. Literally. If cultural work won’t bring us peace, maybe sound will? Bells to represent peace, to resound in and with peace. Raw materials from Africa processed in Europe, erected in … whatever place needs to hear the sound of peace, if only for a moment. Where I grew up, if you could actually ring a big bell that vibrated through the countryside, it meant you wore a lot of black, swore rarely, kneeled daily. Perhaps that can change. (The who can ring it part, not clerics swearing.) Perhaps the reason for ringing a bell needs to change. And who is actually “allowed” to do so, for though I firmly believe it should still be a “sacred” act – like the singing bowls or the minaret – I think more people should be allowed to step into and experience what “sacred” is, can be…

A foundation has been established, much work has already been done, the prince is running ragged trying to find support for this undertaking. He asked me to help and I am simply extending the invitation out to whoever is interested in finding a NEW SYMBOL FOR PEACE / PEACE BELLS, to be used for anything and everything involved with the ensuing marketing procedures: flyers, posters, websites, banners, brochures, etc., all advertising as an active, positive, pro-active productive force for peace. The romans recognized with the olive branch and dove that it wasn’t just the absense of war, that peace meant active cultivation. I would add to that: at all times, all levels.

Bells ringing may not be everyone’s ideal. In fact, I know some who are extraordinarily irritated by the sound. But I come, time and again, to the symbolism within both the bell, the sound, the logo, the condition and state of being that peace is. Sustaining peace is like sustaining bliss (truth be told, I find them synonymous) – it takes dedicated work, inner and outer.

If you would like to join us on the development of this logo, I’m asking entries to be sent in by May 1, 2010. Low-ish resolution PDFs are fine, with name, country, email on the page. All entries will be handled with the utmost care, authorship respected and credit given where credit is due. By sending something, you are agreeing to it being published/used. Should any type of renumeration ever be possible, that is not ruled out, but currently all work is understood to be pro-bono. Send to meafb at hotmail dot com.

Thanks to all who have already expressed interest in this undertaking! Much love, M.

Share/Save/Bookmark

Something just wasn’t enough to pull me into a theater for three hours to watch blue people. There was just too much finger-wagging and admonishment going on, consciously or subconsciously, and I am in no state of mind to hear it. Watching the world turn is a bit like standing in a subway without holding on to anything. Sure, sure, sure. I can keep myself upright by simply balancing and keeping myself in-tune with the motion of the train. But one sudden curve, brake or the tiniest lapse in my attention (What is that girl playing on her cell phone? Is she winning?) will throw me against the closest immobile piece. With any luck, it’s a door or a divider, not another passenger wise enough to hang on.

It wasn’t just me unwilling to watch alien planets do it better than we do. The planned birthday party, to take place in the dark with popcorn and fizzy beverages, just wouldn’t take place. Until Alice came along.

Have we all seen Tim Burton’s “Alice in Wonderland”?? This is an absolute must-see film, in my eyes. And it got the birthday boy into the theater! And three kids along for the ride!

Bless the powers that be for letting Burton have his way. And bless Burton for giving us, essentially, the same story that the blue people tried to impart with one very, very, very essential difference: One single soul and one soul alone, sweet, blue-clad Alice, made up her mind. Alice discovered who she really is, what makes her happy, where she wants to be, and with whom! And she fought. She fought against all odds. She had, truly, nothing more to lose and decided to fall into the only thing that could save her: her own strength. She trusted. Whatever “it” is that one trusts, she went for it. All alone. We see the shift. We feel the shift. The entire audience is with her, on the edge of their seats, watching this fragile, beautiful, sensitive creature fight the ugly, ugly, stupid ugly beast. Within this beast are all the Madoffs, all the Tea Party Revelers (strange twist in there, eh?), and all the greedy, power-hungry, resource-sucking, cancerous, demonized me!-me!-me!-ers, my view only, my religion/business/profit only, my expertise only, my way only, twisted, tainted, tar-covered souls (represented also by the Queen of Hearts, though we are given to believe that it isn’t entirely her fault. Mummy and Daddy had something to do with it…) that appear to be turning our precious blue planet into … ultimately, perhaps … a human-less orb. Unless, of course, Alice gets her wits about her. We hold our breath while she recites the six impossible things … A good exercise: think of six impossible things before breakfast … (it’s easy today:   1) world health care for all humans 2) clean, accessible water for all humans 3) strict laws for the humane treatment, feeding and – where necessary – slaughtering of animals, worldwide!! 4) free education for everyone, everywhere, at all ages; no secrets, no tuition, just ideas exchanging for the betterment of mankind 5) limits to excessive personal wealth – the world “billionaire” becomes a bit like the word “pharaoh”; wealthy people get mandatory sabbaticals in the least fortunate areas of the world 6) love becomes a word people use with reverence again - because they understand, finally and truly understand (like the golden rule or E = mc2) the full implications, meaning and potential.)

Ah, yes. Alice gives us a taste of the “Yes, I Can!” mentality. It doesn’t come easily to her. She didn’t believe it, she was ready as ever to peel out and let someone else take the sword. She let us stare at and empathetically embrace the coward in all of us. But there was a tipping point, if ever so gentle …

An inspiring film.

Share/Save/Bookmark

Yesterday I decided I had screwed around enough, read enough, twittered enough, cooked enough and worked enough. I decided to do a few minutes of introspective meditative practice. So here I am, doing my better-than-Tai-Chi stuff - which was indeed wonderful – and then move into the sitting position. Float, one could even say.

And there he was. Since my eyes were closed, I could only guess what he was. Or if it was indeed a she, which is pretty difficult to determine as a lay person that doesn’t specialize in insects. One thing was clear, whatever it was, it had wings. And was pretty pissed. Or frustrated. Or both. Meditative practice being what it is, I refused to “go there”, took it all as part of the immaculate picture of the moment, and finished up.

But the bounce upward once I had determined I was done was pretty springy indeed. I immediately saw what it was: a huge yellow-jacket wasp, perhaps even a queen. Aren’t they the bigger ones? Or is that just with bees? Either way, I knew it needed saving. Watching its predicament, I was reminded of a bee in the same state a while back where I wondered about the frustration such a creature may/must feel. They see the great outdoors right there in front of them. See the trees, the open sky, the clouds, perhaps even smell it all, and they crawl hither and thither and cannot fathom why they cannot get back to that state of openness. It’s just the simple, stupid pane of glass that separates them. Easy enough for us, maddening for them.

Sometimes my life feels just like that. I see it all, I feel it all “out there” - and yet, the pane between makes me do all sorts of things that get me nowhere. Of course, you may think, “just open the door/window”! Were it so easy for the bee or the wasp! The door is opened by something bigger than either of us, that much was clear that morning as I fumbled for a glass and a piece of heavy paper to transport my co-meditator outdoors.

Sit and wait? Hardly. I find myself in the unusual position of having not one but two elderly “patients” - people I visit on a regular basis. For whatever it’s worth, both seem to benefit from our sessions. The one, a 97-year old man, is alert, alive, vital - just old and frail. The other, a 94-year old woman, is blind, slightly dement, not very vital, but usually pretty healthy and perky. On my last visit to the woman, another elderly woman sat next to me and began to talk about how her life used to be (being outside), how she was in charge of her own household, etc., and how it is now (being on the pane) about her many fears, and how awful it is to be so frail…

Sitting on the other side of me was the blind woman. Essentially crawling on the same pane of glass, “my” 94-year old said that “She can’t complain. She’s healthy mostly and what more could you want? Sure, she’s old, but that’s just how it its.” (For the record, that is pretty much the same sentiment that comes from the 97-year old man, though he lived - and lives - a life of relative luxury…) And there you have it, I thought.

There’s the door. It’s as easy as that. And I took her hands in mine and looked in her blind, glowing, beautiful, toothless face and was full of admiration, love and contentment. Just being.

Share/Save/Bookmark

“Beziehung ist eigentlich Energie, etwas, was zwischen zwei Menschen entsteht, wenn sie aufeinander treffen und zwar ganz von selbst.
Es lebt sich das, was leben will, wie immer das aussehen mag.
Aber wir rennen los mit Vorstellungen im Kopf davon, wie eine Beziehung sein soll.
Statt zu spüren, was uns in diesem Moment anrührt, suchen wir mir dem Kopf - wir zwängen unseren Geist in ein Korsett aus Werten, Normen und Regeln.
Und wir glauben, wenn wir finden, was dort reinpasst, wären wir glücklich.
Aber wir wären glücklich, wenn wir den Mut hätten, all das fallen zu lassen und einfach zu spüren, was jetzt ist, herauszutreten aus dem Gefängnis beengender Vorstellungen… das ist es, was ich für den Weg halte, für den einzigen Weg, Liebe zu erfahren.

Sex ist eigentlich Energie, etwas, was zwischen zwei Menschen fließt, wenn sie aufeinander treffen und zwar ganz von selbst.
Da lebt sich, was leben will, wie immer das aussehen mag.
Aber wir rennen los mit Vorstellungen im Kopf, wie Sex aussehen soll, zählen uns unsere sexuellen Vorlieben auf und meinen, sie müssen erfüllt sein, um Befriedigung zu finden.
“Was magst du?” Mir ist die Frage zuwider.
Ich mag alles! Und nichts! Denn ich mag nichts immer und nichts nie.
Es geht nicht um die Vorstellung im Kopf, es geht nicht um die Form, es geht um Energie und die produziert ihre ganz eigenen Bilder, wenn sich entladen darf, was sich entladen will.
Wenn dieses Loslassen gelingt, dann ist wirkliche Ekstase möglich… das ist es, was ich für den Weg halte, für den einzigen Weg, Befriedigung und Erfüllung zu erfahren…”

Share/Save/Bookmark

Interesting poem from Dylan re: Guthrie with wonderful visual accompaniments…

(Due to Absurd Copyright Laws – Sony Music Entertainment, in this case – the performance is lost to posterity.)

Share/Save/Bookmark

This is a performance by Perpetuum Jazzile, an a cappella jazz choir from Slovenia doing Toto’s 1982 hit song “Africa” - especially moving is the beginning. How amazing is THAT?!

Of special note is the guy doing the air drums and percussion (with his mouth!!). This was the geeky, pimply dude annoying you with that sort of thing during high school, right? You know the types I mean. All he needed to do to become brilliant was to find the context that worked for him and he becomes glorious for everyone. There’s a lesson in there…

Share/Save/Bookmark

Sitting smack in the middle of 2009, I wonder.

Slowly, slowly, the ugly head of doubt is beginning to wipe the sleep out of its eyes – as messages filter through that drowsy, still-flooded sea of dreamworld impulses that are all too captivating – giving itself the last little nudge into wakefulness… slowly, slowly. It has, quite clearly, no choice.

Is doubt the right word, I wonder, again? Perhaps we could term it “reality” - or simply the “is-ness of now” or perhaps even – dare I think this? - “awakening”?

There are things to be done, places to go, people to meet, choices to make. Every little, last relationship, big or small, minute or grand - the taxi driver, the stinging bee, the lover, the sister, the cashier, the sunny day - weaves in and around us and affects how we go about our “NOW.” Each day, every day, every second, these interactions shape who we are. We shape who they are. It’s a non-stop dance that we are always, always in the middle of, patiently watching. Stoically bracing for the next twirl, the unexpected twist, the uplift and a tango-ic sink. Without this patient, clear and passionate observation from a mysteriously unflappable center, life would be painful, even unbearable today. These days.

Are we indeed learning that “Virtue consists in a will which is in agreement with Nature.” Nature being everything around us, everything we plant, destroy, walk upon, breathe, touch, see, eat. Agreeing with all of that is obviously not a small task. Especially with challenges like this:

I posted two short tweets back-to-back a few weeks ago. The first one was a very stinging article related to torture. Pertinent and timely. I would link back to it, but due to internet posts now rapidly becoming a “let go” phenomenon, the link is lost to posterity. Whatever you do, don’t try to hold on to what you say. Or what other people have said or written. It’s very zen, actually. To give an impression, though, this link works just as well for more on the topic of torture.

Everyone has an opinion about torture. Some are very vehemently opposed. Others have a more blasé - as long as it doesn’t affect me - attitude. Others are all for it in the name of whatever sees that route as a means toward a cause (stopping/fighting/ridiculing terrorism, for example).

I rather expected the response I got. People looking up. People re-tweeting.

What I didn’t expect was that the tweet that followed, one about a family that was forced to choose between keeping their home or paying for their cancer-stricken son’s medical treatments, got virtually no response. You could hear the virtual pin dropping in the great void of buzzing digital activity.

My point was, and still is, that torturous situations are rampant this year. Perhaps it was that way EVERY year from the get-go of becoming humanoids. You don’t need to be a prisoner of war, or a prisoner at all. You can be a very normal human being, going about your business and WHAM! it hits you. The leather belt of foreclosure from the right. WHACK! The steel-studded whip of unemployment. Or BOOM! the din of debilitating illness coming upon you or yours that you cannot find appropriate treatment for because you cannot afford it - despite having sustained so much pressure, for the profit of others, for so long.

In agreement with nature means, for me, in agreement with human nature. There are, of course, common-sense charters and proposals (from the United Nations, for one) that agree on some basic premises like the fact that all people should have enough food to eat. Which is, quite obviously, not the case. Isn’t hunger a form of torture? Doesn’t it make sense that now would be a good time to take a look at making sustainable humanity more than a buzz word? Making that “virtuous will” a basic skill set for going from “politically correct“ to “human(e)ly correct”? 

Failing that, it’s all anyone can do - myself included - to focus on the unflappable center. To stoically brace while the madness whirlwinds around your ears.

Share/Save/Bookmark

So I’m not alone!! I am so thrilled about this news

The video has been absconded by unnamed armies of lawyers and bureaucrats.
Maybe they were offended about her dress. Or her hair. Or something. At any rate,
it wasn’t her voice. Sorry.

Share/Save/Bookmark

Susan Boyle, may fame and fortune come your way faster than your cat named Pebbles can sneeze! This should trumpeted on every blog worldwide!! Watch as Susan takes the stage like a pro. Confident, steady, proud. Watch the judges (and the audience!!) sum her up, instantly putting her in the loony bin, what with those eyebrows, fizzed hair, white pumps and less-than-TV-suitable measurements. She states her case, says what song she’ll sing…

… and makes history.

Piaf herself, I assure you, would have had tears in her eyes.

Tiger, indeed.

Sorry to report that I have effectively screwed up the link. Lost it forever. YouTube should have enough material on her, however. Enjoy.

Share/Save/Bookmark

Sensualability
Imagine
typography.jpg Bild008.jpg MI.jpg front.jpg pleasureme.jpg DSCF4432.jpg NEWDAY.jpg BAMI.jpg
Tweets ...

Posting tweet...

Powered by Twitter Tools.

Dreaming
Get the Flash Player to see the slideshow.