Tuesday, October 30, 2018


"There is a war between the sexes in this nation, between those who believe they are destined to be predators and those they deem prey. Resistance to gender domination has intensified that war. As feminist thinking and practice looses visibility, many females look to patriarchy for their salvation. More than ever before in our nation's history, females are encouraged to assume the patriarchal mask and bury their emotional selves as deeply as their male counterparts do. Females embrace this paradigm because they feel it is better to be a dominator than to be dominated. However, this is a perverse version of gender equality that offers women equal access to the house of the dead. In that house there will be no love."

~ Bell Hooks

Feminism as we know it failed because they were doing it wrong. I finally understand that, and there's nothing I can do about it. The Zen puzzle and the patriarchal conundrum cancel each other out. You can not destroy something by becoming it, but it is you, so neither it nor you exist, only what you want them to be.

Monday, October 29, 2018


"What does it mean when I'm in a trap that I can't get out of? There's no way of getting out of this trap. Well what it means is that you and the trap are the same thing. You're not caught, because when there's nobody in the trap, there's no trap. See that? As long as you think that you're in the trap, then the trap's got you, but when you know you're the trap, then what has the trap got? If you're trying to get out of the game, you're trapped... no way out... but when you have found that you and the game are the same, there's no game to get out of; there's no one to get out of the game...

... and that is true resignation."

 ~ Alan Watts 

Friday, October 26, 2018

Wirklichkeit Impromptu

Op. 67

Chopin's body is buried where he died, in France, sprinkled with some Polish soil that he kept with him for almost two decades, but his heart, par to his wishes, was removed from his body, taken back to Warsaw, Poland, and enshrined in a container of cognac.


"Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on."

"When one does a thing, it appears good, otherwise one would not write it. Only later comes reflection, and one discards or accepts the thing. Time is the best censor, and patience a most excellent teacher."

Friday, October 19, 2018


“I love people as I meet them one by one. People are just wonderful as individuals. You see the whole universe in their eyes if you look carefully. As soon as they begin to group; as soon as they begin to clot; when there are five of them, or ten, or even groups as small as two, they begin to change. They sacrifice the beauty of the individual for the sake of the group.” ~ George Carlin

This has certainly been the year of model drama, not directly with me, but in general. I’ve worked with more models this year than any of the last eight years, by far, and only one of them could be described as a bad experience, but I still managed to get something decent out of it. I worked with more people last year, but most of them were locals, while this year only gave me one small group of locals. Now we hunker down and try to make it through another winter, while trying not to think about the amount of money I spent on said models... though I'm sure it will come up at some point. I can not even begin to describe how grateful I am to have a family and still be able to do what I love, within reason, but this recent divide that I have reached has left the futility of it all weighing heavy on me. My wife is still hot and cold with it all, while I've never really been focused on anything other than this, so we don't understand each other on a lot of levels. She is still doing this primarily because she thinks I need her to, and I keep telling her that she doesn't need to do it.

Such is the life of art, though. Creatives are generally left to resort to solitude because they are surrounded by souls who don't get the drive, hence the common story of misery and suffering, which, ironically, only pushes the passionate boundaries of the drive. I want to believe Elizabeth Gilbert's take on positivity in creativity, but when you have spent your entire life perpetuating the misery for the sake of story and art, that Daemon seems to nap in times of comfort. I've thrown the word 'art' around here a lot, but I still don't really consider myself an artist, aside from the philosophy that there is an art to everything. I still struggle with that. So many people say they love my work, but it's not really work by societal definition. I call it work because I am always in it, but I treat it less like work and more like life. Life isn't work. Life just happens, and even when you give up on it, it just keeps going. Regardless, very few of my few readers and followers refer to what I do as art. I suppose the fact that I continue to do it despite any sort of real spotlight, for the love of it, makes it art.
...and just like that, the tangents are back. This is what happens when you need to write, but didn't really plan anything out before you get to it. Repeat and fade... 

 More than the 'work' itself, which at this point seems to have even less purpose in terms of style and theme, spiraling off into wider, illegible lines from an over used organic medium that needs to be sharpened, I have always been more interested in hearing the stories from all these wandering works of art. Like maliciously living a life with an interesting plot line, these are stories and plot lines far more interesting than mine, staring into some glass that freezes their moments forever. Each city, each photographer, each frozen moment is a story, good or bad or both or neither. The sub plots of real life intertwine with art and create depth that no one can fake. Beautiful souls are traveled, and I have tried so desperately to become a beautiful soul by creating in my mind what I could never create in my reality. When I met this amazing woman, she was surprised that I never really left my little corner of the world. At the end of the day, no matter what the story, I will always be limited to this.

For years, the stories I got from models were of beautiful and terrifying personal journeys. In this year of drama, the stories have been more gossip related. 'He said, she said'... 'I heard...'.. 'this is what really happened'........... 'that's not what really happened'... blacklists and backstabbing. At first I appreciated it, really learning about the community, but I have heard so many different accounts of the same events, so many different perspectives, that I just have to slouch down in my corner and accept that we are all just painfully human. George Carlin nailed it: "I love people as I meet them one by one..." This creative community has certainly began to clot, and hearing all the stories about 'who did what to who', 'who doesn't like who and why', has made something I love even more depressing, especially the 'who is sleeping with who'. In my really getting into this on a professional level, I had to rewire my brain and stop pursuing relationships to get a photograph, which means taking the relationship out of the work, and most of what I see is still perpetuating that negative paradigm.
I realize that we are all human, we all have basic desires and needs, but I genuinely feel that when you demean the beauty by reducing it to base desires, you negate the work on some level, unless that's the level that your creativity exists on. I shoot my wife, sure, but she's my wife first, and I'm just lucky that she happens to be all amazing and shootable. When I work with souls who travel the world as works of art, I am incapable of seeing them as such basic creatures, especially within the conundrum of so many creatives complaining about how they are treated, sexually... then you hear some stories, tilt your head, and knot your brain trying to figure out why so many people want both... at their convenience.
Now that I do know more about the seedy underbelly of this potentially beautiful community, I feel even more distanced from it. The attitudes of most of the creatives who really get attention and are followed by the masses are not representative of how I see the world, but they get the work, they get the praise, they get the likes and shares, they sell the prints and the books, they're in galleries and magazines, they have models lined up to be demeaned by them, and I am left the fool for being proud of evolving past that life, my 20s. I use the word 'most' broadly, and try to keep those who I believe appreciate what I'm talking about in my news feed, but this is all so very very depressing. I am the charred remnants of hope, waiting patiently for this forest to replenish itself. The creative community that I always dreamed of, where everyone loves each other, and takes care of each other, as the beautiful works of art that we are, will exist for me some day, even if I have to fall completely into delusion to find it.

Tabula rasa armonioso con anima.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018


“…many men caught in patriarchy’s embrace are living in a wilderness of spirit where they are utterly and always alone.” ~ Bell Hooks

This book is making sense of a lot of things for me, but I only get to read about once a week.  I obviously get to write even less.  So often I formulate a post, and set aside time to write it, only to find I have too much shit to do, or little humans poking at me.  Such is the life of a creative with children.  I remember reading Bradbury's Zen and the Art of Writing, and him describing having a wife and children who separated from him to let him write, even having a desk in the garage, and his kids tapping on the window because they wanted to play.  It doesn't really work like that, and I don't necessarily want it to, but... even now I have a two year old running figure-eights through my legs and pulling at my pants, while I write, standing, at work because our power is out.  It's cute... until it's not...but I love it... until I don't... then I'll miss it... just keep going.
I don't want my kids to ever have to tap on the window of my office because they are so desperate for attention.  There is something very sad about that.  Where is the line drawn, though? So many people have said that you can accomplish something while having everyone pulling at you, but most of the creatives I have read up on only accomplished something significant by alienating their families.  What I was going to write a week ago is gone now.  The only way it could have existed in my endless train of thought is if I would've sat down and written it then.  Even if I were to remember the premise of what I was going to write, it's going to be different a week later, because everything is different a week later.  In order to be genuine, you have to write it now... you have to shoot it now... it will never be what it is right now.  On the other hand, when I go through my writing, as far back as high school, I am basically making the same argument, slightly altered to account for experience and understanding, so maybe just waiting until the kids are old enough and my wife is bored enough to leave me alone is fine... if I'm still alive...
...pick up the oldest from school and drop her off at art class... what was I talking about?

Yesterday I started a post with the proceeding quote and went into my often joking, in the past, about having never been more alone than when I was married.  That elaborated into expectation that people put on relationships, and inability to accept people for who they genuinely are, which I thought was poignant and necessary... but I can't post that.  Who the hell am I, anyway?  What do I know about human relationships, other than the observation that they perpetually fail and no one can really seem to understand why?  Regardless, that argument was ranting on only the last word of the quote about patriarchy, which I hoped to tie in later, but what was I going to write?...because I didn't write it and have no idea where I was going or why.  I highlighted the quote because I have always felt that way... living in a wilderness of spirit where I am utterly and always alone... we're running low on diapers and the two year old just blew out the second one in a couple hours.
Were you to ask my father about how I was as a child, he would tell you that I cried a lot...not that I felt a lot... because I'm a boy.  If I were a girl, like my mother wanted, it would simply be written off as me being an emotional child.  Truth is, we're all just human beings.  We all feel, and the more you coddle girls for feeling and punish boys, the more you are perpetuating this system that is destroying itself.  Feminism is so much more than demanding equal rights and treatment for women; It's about demanding equal heart for men.  When the heart equalizes, everything equalizes.

Another basic observation to ponder: aside from the "locker-room" jobs I have worked in, and being unable to escape this sexualizing of the human body in the fine art world, it has been the women in my life, often "feminists", who have perpetuated the patriarchy in my story; they fell in love with the character I was playing to fit in, not with who I really was.