Log Book


Silliness, a thing which may be natural with good fortune, is no less a hazard and perhaps more so as we do not expect in moments of success and relief to feel ourselves to be agent of own destruction. Farming teaches that the deliberate maintenance which grants semblance of stability and preparedness is a habit which must be maintained at all cost. Hold to care, hold to husbandry, hold that there might be future.


Thought of those thirty dozen weeks of youth when certainty of vigor would propel. Most often promise of launch without target. Ah, but when the peculiarities collide, goals for others do confuse.


Spectacular morning. Full moon fragile and settled in its slow hang, there in that desert blue sky. Our livestock crisp in their pasturing movements. Full and filling. Goodness, at least in our hard-working lives, does prevail as we love and appreciate ourselves forward.


Always holding to ‘close in,’ small circles, avoiding the wider world which changes now at a screaming pace. Yet I so often dress for that wider world.  Contradictions abound. I believe depth is a province of ‘in close.’ I believe the wider world does not exist in value.


Full-on spring months ahead time, the march of climate change grows more pronounced…

Home, I went to field and did first bit of field work – oh so grand the work and working, all itself,  the magnificent dirt and its moisture. I could plant but the likelihood, historically, of a killing freeze is still strong. So I improvise. And in all of that is a balanced and balancing mind. States of mind war in me. I crumble from worry. I stand for the work. There are clues everywhere, far too many, I gorge myself on clues, and revel in each lingering moment of congratulatory peace.


…there is always time to take measure of that which we are grateful for. For the love and depth and soul of family. For all the splendid golden days of shared adventure and triumph. For the deep-set conviction that we have done some abiding good.


Some lives are aimless and avoid all forms, complexities, allegiances, responsibilities. Others force form on themselves to odd ruination. The fortunate ones find their ship of form, of discipline, of blended belonging mystery.



Finding myself through cracks in the mucilage-covering these times have punished on me. I think to see such a condition in Faulkner’s ‘Hamlet’, where he pushes words and twisted sentences through his thick, slime coverture from alcohol and southern syrups, only to have them alter and miscue, forcing him, chained to his inevitabilities, to constantly reshape his purpose.


…yet when I imagine the ‘apparency’ of imagination applied here I wonder at the tonalities which will fly away. ‘Truth’? Who knows? But ‘actuality’ everyone feels. “It feels as though it actually happened and just that way.” Ah, grand – and illusive – and dangerous, for most are unequipped to hear “truth”, doubtful either in its appearance or in its realm of value.

I think about and feel this “truth” business in painting. There, in that, is the critical factor of “whence”. Where does this painting start from? What is the actuality at its core-beginning?


Thought about how so much of the useful power of art seems to require the sort of courage (or trust) in one’s instincts that is often informed and emboldened by education – not necessarily in formal sense but most definitely as it presents itself to rationalize fullest appreciations. There is loft in that. Twice now I have had intelligent people make the observation that today folks are turned-off by too many words? Not sure how to use that. But suspect it may apply to art – which is to say people may be turned off by what they cannot see (as in seeing – the bridge to understanding.)


We took day off to go to Clear Lake to fish. No activity there but did do two small watercolors I am pleased with. Thought of Homer and a little of Emily Carr – her paintings wanting so desperately to be allowed free of afterthought. Looking now on my two lake paintings I am struck by their freedom from the deliberate me. Allowing myself this brings me back to a temporary solace – that reflective place that is the gift of my painting – the wonderful gift.



The embrace of deception in the pursuit of truth, unbalanced and dangerous as it is, requires more courage than the acceptance of embarrassment in the embrace of truth. Truth looks ugly in embrace.


What a complainer I am! So long as I am able, all that is required is that I work hard at it. The oystered world gives off signals, secretions, murmurs, and we are but to allow them to register in our instinctual pelvis. The ‘zone’ works in all things. Have faith in the ‘zone’.


Morning light is sharp, day will be hot. Many warnings of lightning to come this week, threats of fires. Another pending calamity to add to the rising mountain. This summer’s weather here and now is insidious in its new intensities and yet all the powers that be remain helpless against the boardrooms and private jets that have brought this upon us. The world will succeed but humankind not so certain, for the skills that will be required, sans ‘infrastructure,’ are locked away in the closet of embarrassments.


The life of the mind, wherein it leads rather than follows? Is that a fiction built on ego sweep? Or is it the advantageous zone that comes of balance? But then, I am so consumed with business and financial worry that the life of the mind seems an extravagant digression, save for the obvious fact that the mind in terror-sized compression is worthy no less.

LRM, Paris, April 2000