Friday, August 12, 2011

Russian Convent Winter 1977 - you know it makes me want to shout

This picture is a souvenir from a trip to the former Soviet Union in around 1977.  I took it and hung the print on my bedroom mirror for years.  It makes me happy.  One knows that the Christ is in mid-cruxifiction but somehow the gesture is more a reaching up.  I think of this as an aurant pose rather than a body suspended in agony.  In addition to the gesture's hint of joy, the stone itself has lost weight and offered some light by the contrast of the recessed areas to the more prominant damp or dirty areas.  The figures seem luminous.  Rising and luminous.

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Art of the Book Proposal

Holy moly.  Where did 10 days go.  Into parenting and day job and housekeeping.

I mentioned that my plan for the summer involved working on a book proposal.   The book I'm using is The Art of the Book Proposal by Eric Maisel.  
The Art of the Book Proposal

This book was among a number of books on the topic which I picked up some months ago from my local library.  It distinguished itself by seeming to have read my mind and my old journals.  Having chosen this one from the pack of advisers in print I'm not surprised to find from further research that the author is very well appreciated and successful.

One of the hitches in my git along is the whole problem of myself in the middle of everything. 
It's awkward.  Here is a snippet from an old Taxi episode that comes to mind in relation to this:

Storyline (from IMDb)

Latka's girlfriend Simka is back in New York, but can their romance be successfully rekindled once his other personalities - especially lounge lizard Vic Ferrari - begin to vie for her attentions?
Simka Dahblitz-Gravas: You were wonderful, you were charming, and you said your name was Vic.
Latka Gravas: Vic! Oooh, that - Vic! I am not Vic! I don't even like Vic! Listen, sit down, please! Tell me everything! What did you do with Vic last night?
Simka Dahblitz-Gravas: You mean, you don't remember?
Latka Gravas: No.
Simka Dahblitz-Gravas: [guilty] Well, I don't know what to say. I can't say that...
Latka Gravas: I knew it! You made love with Vic!
Simka Dahblitz-Gravas: Well, I did, but...
Latka Gravas: You made love with another man right under my nose!
Simka Dahblitz-Gravas: Well, there *was* no other way! Besides, that was you!
Latka Gravas: Was I clumsy? Did I whimper?

There is no other way.  At least not at this point.  The mystery of my own response to certain ideas became my breadcrumbs out of the forest.  My interests in Christ, in thinking itself and in art go back so far I can't find the source in this world at all.  I just know that there has been in my life a long series of interjections into my train of thought which sometimes caused great enthusiasm and sometimes left a puzzle I was compelled to pursue.  The majority of my childhood memories involve thoughts and ideas without much event surrounding them.  
For instance, a great deal of emotion and frustration were stamped on my little soul when the word 'digit' came up but no one would explain the meaning to me.  I remember I was standing in a doorway seeing someone off.  There were a number of adults all in the process of doing adult stuff.  The need to know what digit meant was overpowering.  I'm not even sure I could read yet.  
Another time I was on a field trip to the Smithsonian and became pretty much enraptured among my classmates looking up at a painting of Ceres/Demeter and soaking in the docent's lecture.  I was looking around at the other kids to see if they were aware of how important this was and if it made them happy too.  I feel pretty sure it was this painting at the National Gallery of Art.

There is a writer of best-selling books to whose web universe I have  provided a link on this page.  Her name is Susan Ariel Rainbow Kennedy or SARK
Make Your Creative Dreams Real: A Plan for Procrastinators, Perfectionists, Busy People, and People Who Would Really Rather Sleep All Day                                                               One little step I've made recently in connection with my renewed dedication to writing was to listen to one of her downloadable and free conference calls.  In it she touched upon a cornerstone of her method which is to delight yourself first.  Another cornerstone is simply that people like stories and that sharing them isn't egotistical.  One of Sark's heros is Henry Miller.  He was famously linked to Anais Nin whom I read hungrily when her diaries were being doled out in a tantalizing manner about 30 years ago.  (eek)  Anais Nin said "The personal life, deeply lived, always expands into truths beyond itself". Or something like that.  So when someone is 'reading in the book of himself', he will certainly discover other peoples truth in his soup.  Reflection becomes a form of idea farming.

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