IF ONLY . . .

“If prosecutors went after rich people the way they go after everyone else, this hateful vortex of hot tub gonorrhea never would have made it near the White House,”

Samantha Bee


Downstream from Higgins Street bridge, Missoula, Montana

Looking north across the Clark Fork to downtown Missoula, Montana

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HURRICAN FLORENCE

Hurricane Florence; water, weather, wind, energy, the earth in motion. Beautiful.









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SURROUNDED BY WATER

is*land :: a tract of land surrounded by water

After drawing, the stone is etched. Then, when ready to proof the matrix, the drawing is removed, buffed up with asphaltum, cleaned with water, inked up in Shop Mix Black, and proofed. Matrix 123.3 for ‘The Island’.

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LAW :: Lithotine wash out.

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LAW :: Asphaltum Rubbing.

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LAW :: Water and Shop Mix Black Roll Up.

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Mylar Proof over Work-In-Progress checking Registration and Appearance.

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SURROUNDED BY WATER

is*land :: a tract of land surrounded by water

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Korns #3 Litho crayon on Aloys :: Making a Mark :: Edition #123 Matrix #3 :: conte crayon guide markings, gummed out non-image areas

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First Etching a ~6 drop Nitric Acid @pH2.5

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First Etching Detail of the Lake

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SURROUNDED BY WATER

is*land :: a tract of land surrounded by water

IMG_9111 - 2018-07-01 at 14-55-17_wmKorns #3 Litho crayon on Aloys :: Making a Mark :: Edition #123 Matrix #3

LevigatingAloysLevigating a stone clean :: Aloys Matrix #3 in preparation for drawing :: Edition #123

The_Island_123-2Orange Red printing from the big stone Aloys :: Edition #123 Matrix #2

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THE WILD GOD OF THE WORLD

Longest days, the Summer Solstice this past week, the Strawberry moon, and rain rain rain. Saturday a wet market CSA produce pickup.

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The past four weeks we have received 4.3 in. of rain. The river through town remains muddy, turbulent as it moves logs and rocks downstream and builds islands upstream . . . well above mean flow. We have had a high of 82˚F and a low of 36˚F. The cottonwood bloomed with the later second cresting of the river, sending their duff over the trails, and the hills are green.

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On my run last week I came upon a recently fallen hawk. Still warm and breathing I carried it off the trail and laid it in a bed of grasses. I stopped and sat with it . . . then carefully folded its wings and left it to die in quiet, undisturbed I guess. Suddenly it opened its eyes, large yellow eyes and looked at me, opened its talons. I placed some flowers over it and said a prayer, the hawk had more lifetime left, cut short by a power line. But, not unlike Jefffers hawk, was asking my help to die off the trail, in peace and solitude.
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Hurt Hawks

I
The broken pillar of the wing jags from the clotted shoulder,
The wing trails like a banner in defeat,
No more to use the sky forever but live with famine
And pain a few days: cat nor coyote
Will shorten the week of waiting for death, there is game without talons.
He stands under the oak-bush and waits
The lame feet of salvation; at night he remembers freedom
And flies in a dream, the dawns ruin it.
He is strong and pain is worse to the strong, incapacity is worse.
The curs of the day come and torment him
At distance, no one but death the redeemer will humble that head,
The intrepid readiness, the terrible eyes.
The wild God of the world is sometimes merciful to those
That ask mercy, not often to the arrogant.
You do not know him, you communal people, or you have forgotten him;
Intemperate and savage, the hawk remembers him;
Beautiful and wild, the hawks, and men that are dying, remember him.

II
I'd sooner, except the penalties, kill a man than a hawk;
but the great redtail
Had nothing left but unable misery
From the bone too shattered for mending, the wing that trailed under his talons when he moved.
We had fed him six weeks, I gave him freedom,
He wandered over the foreland hill and returned in the evening, asking for death,
Not like a beggar, still eyed with the old
Implacable arrogance.
I gave him the lead gift in the twilight.
What fell was relaxed, Owl-downy, soft feminine feathers; but what
Soared: the fierce rush: the night-herons by the flooded river cried fear at its rising
Before it was quite unsheathed from reality.

Robinson Jeffers | The Collected Poetry of Robinson Jeffers: Poetry 1903-1920, Prose, and Unpublished Writings

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GO FOR A RUN ANYWAY

Along the river trail this morning; cold (37.5˚F), fresh snow on the mountains, rainy, wet and ankle deep on muddy trails. Oh well, go for a run anyway.

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“Photography, as we all know, is not real at all. It is an illusion of reality with which we create our private world”

Arnold Newman

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THE WORLD IN A DIFFERENT WAY

I’ve been working to complete several prints but things keep getting in the way. Like this flooding of the shop sink. But it’s all dry and put away now. Back to work.

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“Derby Street II : Water Beneath” Edition of E.V. 1/12 - 12/12.

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“I have to connect things in the world in a different way”

Anselm Kiefer | answering the question: “Why are you an artist?”

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HIGH WATER

Warm weather and rain and above average snow pack = lots of water rushing down the river corridor. 25,000 cfs of muddy brown water with debris, mud and the burnt logs from last summers fires. The Clark Fork reached flood stage this week racing past between the dikes below our place. What a marvelous thing; water alive, water in motion, water free and water wet.


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THE RIVER IS A STRONG BROWN GOD

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Eighteen seconds pouring 31.5 grams is too quick I do admit. Need to adjust the grind!


Over a freshly made cappuccino this rainy April day I thought of and reread T.S.Eliot’s masterpiece, the mystical poem Four Quartets. “Midwinter spring is its own season” (the opening lines of No.4 Part 1 of Little Gidding) . . . like today half spring, half winter.
But the excerpt below is from the first of the five sections of No.3 Part 1, The Dry Savages, where, I believe Eliot begins to address our human pain which is connected to the way we think of ourselves and act as goal-driven, greed-driven, self-obsessive individuals instead of as part of a larger whole, a much larger whole . . . letting go of our ego is a death, a small and continuous dying, a challenging process.

“The poem discusses the nature of time and what humanity's place is within time. Life is described metaphorically as traveling in a boat and humanity's fixation on science and future gain keeping the travelers from reaching their destination. Within the poem, Eliot invokes the image of Krishna to emphasize the need to follow the divine will instead of seeking personal gain. . . Krishna's and Arjuna's discussion from the Bhagavad-Gita on acting according to the divine will along with allusions to Dante's Paradiso, the philosophy of Heraclitus, and the Book of Common Prayer. In regards to these allusions, Eliot would mark up his own editions of the works to note where he used quotes or allusions to lines within his work. In particular, his edition of the Mahabharata included a page added which compared battle scenes with "The Dry Salvages.” Wiki.


I do not know much about gods; but I think that the river
Is a strong brown god—sullen, untamed and intractable,
Patient to some degree, at first recognised as a frontier;
Useful, untrustworthy, as a conveyor of commerce;
Then only a problem confronting the builder of bridges.
The problem once solved, the brown god is almost forgotten
By the dwellers in cities—ever, however, implacable.
Keeping his seasons and rages, destroyer, reminder
Of what men choose to forget. Unhonoured, unpropitiated
By worshippers of the machine, but waiting, watching and waiting.
His rhythm was present in the nursery bedroom,
In the rank ailanthus of the April dooryard,
In the smell of grapes on the autumn table,
And the evening circle in the winter gaslight.

The river is within us, the sea is all about us;
The sea is the land's edge also, the granite
Into which it reaches, the beaches where it tosses
Its hints of earlier and other creation:
The starfish, the horseshoe crab, the whale's backbone;
The pools where it offers to our curiosity
The more delicate algae and the sea anemone.
It tosses up our losses, the torn seine,
The shattered lobsterpot, the broken oar
And the gear of foreign dead men. The sea has many voices,
Many gods and many voices.
The salt is on the briar rose,
The fog is in the fir trees.
The sea howl
And the sea yelp, are different voices
Often together heard: the whine in the rigging,
The menace and caress of wave that breaks on water,
The distant rote in the granite teeth,
And the wailing warning from the approaching headland
Are all sea voices, and the heaving groaner
Rounded homewards, and the seagull:
And under the oppression of the silent fog
The tolling bell
Measures time not our time, rung by the unhurried
Ground swell, a time
Older than the time of chronometers, older
Than time counted by anxious worried women
Lying awake, calculating the future,
Trying to unweave, unwind, unravel
And piece together the past and the future,
Between midnight and dawn, when the past is all deception,
The future futureless, before the morning watch
When time stops and time is never ending;
And the ground swell, that is and was from the beginning,
Clangs
The bell.

T. S. Eliot Four Quartets: The Dry Savages 1941

Eliot then goes on to end the poem with these lines:
And right action is freedom
From past and future also.
For most of us, this is the aim
Never here to be realised;
Who are only undefeated
Because we have gone on trying;
We, content at the last
If our temporal reversion nourish
(Not too far from the yew-tree)
The life of significant soil.
Give me call, text or eMail and stop by the shop to share a cup of coffee, tea or filtered water . . . and freshly shared conversation.

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EVERYTHING IS A MIRACLE

“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.”

Albert Einstein | Unconfirmed
“Geographer Gilbert F. White, according to his biographer in Living with Nature’s Extremes (2006), attributed this to Einstein in his Journal of France and Germany in 1942. Maybe so; but all he does is invoke “Albert Einstein said”. He says nothing about how he knows this, when or where it might have been said, whether he heard it directly or through a friend, or what the context may have been. With the preponderance of misattributions to Einstein being as large as it is, this is not a good sign. There is no striking reason to assert that Einstein couldn’t have said this; but there is also no striking reason to assert that he did.”

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Spring flow on Heron’s Island :: Clark’s Fork of the Columbia :: Downtown Missoula, Montana

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GOING SLOWLY

Never mind the weather; get up, get dressed and go out for a run. It was wet (a light but steady rain making the trails icy), cold (29 ˚F) and windy (10 knts from the canyon). Going slowly, I got in a 10km run followed by a warm bath.

“Smile, breathe and go slowly.”

Thich Nhat Hanh

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The view from the east window into the canyon.

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IS THE BELOVED GREEDY ?

The 2018 toMake™ Calendar, I know it’s already February, is available. You can download the PDFile and print it out yourself, or I can send you a print [13x19in. Epson K3, PostPaid N.Am. $25] just ask. Better yet, why not visit toMake™ studio, share a cup of coffee or tea with me, and avoid the tube+postage costs. If you are so inclined and enjoy the calendar, consider making a donation by check or through my PayPal Account. The poem is from Gregory Orr’s Concerning the Book That Is the Body of the Beloved. The image is a lensless image taken using a 1.5in. focal length cigar box pinhole camera on film; Strawberry Creek, UCal campus in Berkeley California.


2018_Calendar_WM

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CROSSING THE RIVER

Ten miles run and ten crossings of the Clark Fork River this morning. The challenge was to approach and cross each of the five bridges twice and from opposite directions with no backtracking. I had to make up a little plan prior to leaving. The only portion of this downtown run that I don’t care for is along West Broadway between Orange and California Streets. Otherwise three of the five bridges are foot bridges and most of the run is along riverfront trails. There are still icy sections and in the counting I did also cross a sixth bridge over Rattlesnake Creek. There are, or is, simpler route solutions but I wanted to get in ten miles!

“You must accept the fact that others don’t see what you do.”

Louise Bourgeois

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Crossing the River

Adding in Russell Street bridge is a possibility but the sidewalk there is narrow and close to fast traffic, still I might give it a try and make it six bridges and twelve crossings. I’ll have to redo the route plan not to backtrack across a bridge & cross each bridge from opposing directions. Here’s a possible plan:

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THE REASON THAT ART IS VALUABLE

It’s cold today -9˚F with a headwind, and it was cold on my run along the steaming river. Upstairs we note just one more winter share market until spring. While downstairs work on the lithograph “The Island” goes slow. We’re listening to carols today, Christmas Eve Day and wrapping a few last minute gifts for each other.

“The reason that art (writing, engaging, and all of it) is valuable is precisely why I can’t tell you how to do it. If there were a map, there’d be no art, because art is the act of navigating without a map.”

Seth Godin

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Water Tusche on Stone Lithograph; inked and etched but not editioned

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Meena the Cat goes for the sun and goes out

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At the Saturday Winter Market; from our winter share



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INSIDE THE RIVER

It was just 15˚F with 5knts wind when I went out for a run along the Clark Fork this morning; eight miles wearing the lightweight Skora moccasin-like shoes so it was a nice quick pace. Then laundry, cleaning the floor, cleaning the cat box, emptying the recycling, etc. . . Saturday housekeeping. And, of course, picking up our winter vegetable share at the market, always a delight. After all that I had some time to work on the reassembly of the espresso machine. There was a tiny grain of the de-mineralizer that was clogging up the solenoid and . . . I hope I got everything back in the way it should. I kept looking at the inky black water of the river, the icy edges and the flows of ice moving downstream. So what stories inside the river remain untold and unsung ? Such things pass along absorbed into the cottonwoods and willows. This time of year a rawness, exposing stories too lost and fragmented to put back together. In this manner they hide from assembly unfinished.


“Inside the river there is an unfinishable story and you are somewhere in it and it will never end until all ends.”

Mary Oliver | “What Can I Say,” Swan: Poems and Prose Poems

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PRINTING & MAKING


Checking the registration on ‘The Island.’ Editioned the water base in [ Imperial Blue + Litho Varnish #7 + Tint Base + Setswell ].

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I made a relief matrix from cardboard. Gaylord Lake will be printed on the chine-collé in a clear tint base or varnish.

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Proofing the varnish matrix of Gaylord Lake and the island.

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IN THE SHOP TODAY

There really aren’t a lot of events as magical as water; and a lithographic wet tusche is just that, magical and amazing. I spent time mixing inks for the base plate of ‘The Island’ today. Edition of ~16 using 6 aluminum, relief & a photopolymer matrix with chine-collé.

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SUNDAY BESIDE THE CREEK

We took our Sunday walk along the Rattlesnake Creek and it was slow, quiet, enveloping, the present moment ours. We had to stop and said nothing or what we said was forgotten in the creek corridor being washed downstream with the leaves and the rocks and the wind. On the way back it was cold in the early evening shade, days are shorter now; less than 11 hours of daylight and growing shorter every day.

“We are living in a culture entirely hypnotized by the illusion of time, in which the so-called present moment is felt as nothing but an infinitesimal hairline between an all-powerfully causative past and an absorbingly important future. We have no present. Our consciousness is almost completely preoccupied with memory and expectation. We do not realize that there never was, is, nor will be any other experience than present experience. We are therefore out of touch with reality. We confuse the world as talked about, described, and measured with the world which actually is. We are sick with a fascination for the useful tools of names and numbers, of symbols, signs, conceptions and ideas.” Alan Watts


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YA) the river

Monday, after Easter, I journey east with Meena the Cat, along that blue highway 200 and stop again along the Flathead River. For only a short time, put feet on the soft earth and walk off the highway down a small path overlooking the river. And for a moment everything stops and I stop and enter the place itSELF. YA) and all this disturbance, all that is unsettled and set in motion … is just. I move downstream with the river.

Flathead River April 17 2017
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Sunrise Dance

For the past six years to get to the Easter Sunday sunrise service I have used my wonderful feet dancing about upon the earth. I’ve had this practice running every day during lent and ending with this six mile run, the last 2 miles of which is a long uphill. I leave at 5:30 and cross the Colville River before sunrise. This year under waters of a 100 year flooding in the valley. Early morning, it was just 20*F with fog in the hills and Venus rises, the waining gibbous moon setting, daylight & the earth turning, deer, silence. Everything in motion, turns, now.

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Crossing the Chewelah - Colville River Valley before sunrise Easter Sunday

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Crossing the flooded Colville River sunrise Easter Sunday

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The Creek is Flooding

All this muddy rushing water in my (our) life right now. I know the cottonwoods thrive on this nutrient rich high water, likewise the flooded fields. Just look at the deLight in the colors dancing beside the creek I ran past earlier today. Stop’d to admire the flow. Our lives are rushing past, swept up in an inquisition of petty and malicious gossip, the true smallness of a small town. But all this water, a flooding in the basement, ruined books and the stench of mildew and mold … and the cottonwoods and willows dancing along the creeks’ high waters. YA) water; I am carried by this beauty. I fear not the smallness of this town, but it hurts nevertheless.

I am searching fragments of an old poem about a flood on the Mississippi River . . . but all I can recover are some missing water soaked pages from the book caught in the flooding.


Chewelah Creek

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self and other

Snow, rain, hail and the wonders of weather blowing past greeted Meena the Cat and me as we made our way west along the beautiful Flathead River yesterday. Birds and swirling patterns of green water and the ubiquitous trash were in abundance.

“At root, there is simply no way of separating self from other, self-love from other-love. All knowledge of self is knowledge of other, and all knowledge of other knowledge of self. I begin to see that self and other, the familiar and the strange, the internal and the external, the predictable and the unpredictable imply each other. One is seek and the other is hide, and the more I become aware of their implying each other, the more I feel them to be one with each other.”
Alan Watts, The Joyous Cosmology

Flathead at Perma

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YA) The River Again

Here is a proof of the print “River Form” without the collage paper(s). I am still considering a delicate lithograph layer under or within the river form that details the rivers Clark Fork and Bitterroot coming together west of Missoula. The pinkish tint is due to the indoor lighting, but you can see the effect of the varnish tint without pigment, with the gold flocking of the golden mean, and the black outer border.

“When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then… You can’t make them change if they don’t want to.” Andy Warhol
The River

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YA) The River

Work on the ‘River Form’ print continues. It’s a large matrix and takes some time to proof and develop. I am considering a lithograph layer using a water tusche that will show through the varnish of the river form and tint the piece. Although the print right now utilizes only one (relief) matrix, the matrix was inked in two colors and gold flocked (on the golden rectangle) thus the appearance of three separate colors. The green tint comes from a sheet of green Kozo placed beneath the proof (showing stronger beneath the transparent litho varnish), and the water forms on the right side from another sheet, again placed beneath the proof. Both of these sheets are to visualize how might the lithograph tusche develop the edition. I’m thinking of “YA) the river” but that can wait.

River Forms

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We drink the same water

River Form” is a large relief matrix that I’ve yet to edition. Cut from Sentra a decade ago it depicts the Clark Fork meanders on Kelly Island west of Missoula, Mont. embedded in the ‘golden mean’ and irreverent property ownership. What remains of a place when it is defined by place names of dead white Europeans who never set foot, by pavement covering the soft earth underfoot, by lawns of strange grasses infested with poisons, by houses made from plastics and set on rectangular grids imposed on the land and fenced with signs saying PRIVATE … ? Ink selection trials, litho varnish, gold flocking and black, on Kozo and chine-collé. I have no love for the destruction currently being wrought of this beautiful earth. The earth is not private … we all drink the same water.

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“Water is good, so is thirst; … shadow is good, so is sun; … the honey from the rosemarys … and the honey of the bare fields.” Antonio Machado

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Waters Beneath

The Parsonage, I am told on authority, has been experiencing an unusual amount of flooding in the basement. The Colville River (and the Chewelah Creek system), more or less a drainage ditch on behalf of the valley wheat farmers, is quite high. Water is really an amazing force; THE element that gets larger when colder. Think about this little detail for a minute. This expanding and contracting accounts for much of the dynamic forces that shape the planet, crushing rocks. One night when, as building and grounds manager in a Catskill resort, as a winter flooding was coming down the Panther Kill I was awoken by a deep low sound I’d never heard before. In the morning I discovered that massive boulders, some 20 and more feet tall, had been carried down the creek in the flooding. Well, water changes things. The basement flood at the Parsonage in Chewelah reminds me of the Derby Street community that sits atop a buried east bay creek in Berkeley. High waters bring flooding to their basements as well. Derby Street II Waters Beneath, a multi-matrix lithograph, is a response to the waters in motion beneath us.

Derby Street II Water Beneath

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