May 2005 Archives

It was good not to have to take the F train to manhattan this morning, as there had been a derailment on Smith and 9th Street. Hmm, maybe I would not have known about it anyway, as I would have probably taken the B or the Q... Hope my neighbors did not get too annoyed with me, as I managed to listen to about 10 hours or so of David McCullogh's 1776... he reads the audio edition himself, which is great, as he knows that the text is brilliant enough and that it does not need some ambitious reenactment. (Oh, how much do I hate it when somebody tries to hard to play all the characters in a book, by clumsily adjusting their reading style.) (Books on tape allow me to draw while it listen...good, no?) I was very interested in the book, as I live on a battle field here, hundreds of americans died in this very street, trying to keep thousands of British and Hessian soldiers from taking over New York. While the book does not go too deep into the details of the Battle of Brooklyn (Or the battle of Long Island, you know the one of August 26th 1776), it was really quite excellent at presenting a bigger picture, one that at times made me wonder why there is George Washington on my $1 bills and not Her Majesty, Queen Elizabeth the 2nd. (Aren't we all looking forward to money with William on it?)... Well, let's say the Americans did not look their very best in 1776... and whenever I am going to look at the fireworks on the 4th of July being fired in the New York harbor, I will now always imagine the 400 or so british ships docked there, with international troops, ready to land and bring back order into that actually incredibly rich place called America... hmm... You know... King George the Third was a really kind man... and the troops were here to bring peace. (I kid you not.) Oh, and Washington having the idea of burning down New York?... hmm... it was nice to hear that not everyone shared this opinion... hmm... yes, the book is a rather good one. It made me feel good again about my Audible subscription. Walking around what were portions of the battle field, just two blocks or so up from my house, I lost myself in the ravine, then spent some time sitting on a boulder, near the shore of a little lake. I then walked through some other made to appear wild area where I kept running into men who also seemed to be just exploring the park. It was not until one of them winked at me and called me "sexy" that I felt a bit less comfortable and a bit too much by myself. Brooklyn is beautiful and I have recently been somehow obsessing about what places here will look like in 10, 50, 150 years? As Manhattan (formerly known as York Island,) turns more and more into a glitzy shopping and entertainment disney land, what is going to happen to places like Kensington for example... and doesn't dumbo look a bit like SoHo with a cool waterfront?... That trip to coney island the other day was also a nice mind expanding experience. I seriously live about twenty minutes from the beach... crazy somehow... I think I will have to take a walk there some day. Ocean Parkway was designed for just that... and wasn't it also one of the routes taken by the british troops? or the hessian troops? Or did they take the path of the D train?... So fascinating... Then, on the other hand... when in germany (in Hanau), I would wait for my bus to my High School every morning standing next to this plaque. How is this in any way related?... I never really know these things...

in a single day... today.

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So much can happen in a single, simple day. And it even started on a rather quiet note... then there were the ceramics up the block, more mystery objects, miles walked, fish, birds, turtles, shrines, plants from the farthest corners of this planet, walking on an amazing lake, objects lost and found, a storm, a quiet subway station, and more, more, more, more, so much more I can even think of right now... i will now sleep. what could i possibly dream of tonight?

the beginning is near...

it is raining on the morning of my last day at work. And I watched some commercials, then watched two (wait, three) short movies by ray and charles eames and now ate three lebkuchen, still from that giant metal box I received as a present last year. (And I am not feeling too well after the meal.) Watered the flowers, including the surprise pepper plant with its three inch green pepper and several tiny candidates. okay... last day of work... i do not think i would like to be late. ; )

almost awake...

It sounded as if the sparrows were protecting their nest. The birds were sitting on a branch very close to the building and a bit deeper in the tree were two juvenile starlings. It took a while for me to locate the actual source of the screams. Two young starlings were going at each other in a turned around cover of a trash can, all the way downstairs. It looked like a major fight. The cover looked like a beige high tech arena. The birds' black and rainbow bodies twirling in it as if they were parts of some strange engine. I am just glad to be my size, and to be inside, and to not be a source of food for these guys. They flew away as unexpectedly as their fight had begun. And I was awake. And have been awake ever since. It is interesting how many tiny interactions and emotions take place throughout the entire day. It is one thing to track the ones inside of oneself, but just imagine one would track the emotions that touch us... the external influences, stored, live, subtle, powerful. I get my paper without saying a word... oh no, I actually always say thank you. Coffee is the same thing. I just enter the shop on the corner and the guy in the yankees hat or the girl with the pony tail just do not even look at me anymore, they just grab a paper cup, mix whatever I have been ordering in the past and hand it over to me. I thank, I pay, the tip jar gets a feeding... I take my daily combo of paper and paper with liquid inside back up, up the stairs, just to open up the paper and to see, between the lines, the emotions stored in various articles. And the articles can be about emotions too, of course. Often hidden in unexpected places. Between words sometimes. Sometimes inside of a letter, or maybe behind a coma. I looked at some photographs in Bransch yesterday, and when the F train pulled into the Smith and 9th Station, I opened the page to one of the Photographs by Christian Stoll and the picture seemed to portray the street just below the station (including Smith Street Sign.) And I kept opening new pages as the train moved and the landscape on the pages seemed to adjust to the movement of the train. We lost synch a few pages and two stations later, but it was a good feeling to be somehow in this parallel pocket of time. Since the images were obviously not instant in any way. And the location was also relatively approximate. My cough has not been the greatest thing to have. The aftertaste of blood is only fun a few times. Eventually it gets annoying. The iron in the blood makes the saliva taste as if it had been filtered through a rusty decanter. Or as if somebody had stirred my tongue with a screwdriver... Though most often the opposite is the case... okay, this was not very funny. I do not like to cough any more. Allergies? Is this the reason here? The only birds I can here now are giant steel containers with people in them. I should let go of this computer now and just go to that trailer room and draw. My writing here is a bit of an illusion of progress. It feels pleasant... but does anybody actually get anything out of this?

Almost sleeping...

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Much of the weekend was spent sleeping. It might be the allergies. They tend to knock me out in the beginning of May. Yes, drugs would probably be the answer here. Sleep ends up being a seemingly healthier choice. Seemingly healthier, until I have to move a bit faster, until my back just does not want me to, until the lights dim even when there are no lights anywhere, when the blood pressure lets me know that I could have spent the day running. Running, or running something. And the dreams were very strange and simple this weekend. They were great reminders that my skull is just a home of one of those average brains that are stimulated sometimes, but not always. In psychoanalysis veritas... no cures for cancer found in these assemblages of blamage. And maybe it is okay this way. I should not be upset with myself for having had less than brilliant dreams. I can imagine that even Goethe dreamt of some pretty trivial stuff now and then. And I am not comparing myself here, just trying to find an excuse for something I only barely influence. Or maybe completely after all? A "Piano Man" was found in a mantal institution in England. ANd I immediately asked myself what would have happened if anybody found me. They would have given me a piece of paper perhaps, and then another and then another... and I would have probably just ended up in a giant room with some other people who just fill page upon page with drawings... On the other hand... I am waiting for the "trumpet man" to emerge ("He drew a trumpet and we gave him one and he played wonderfully for seven hours.") or the "telephone man" ("he drew an elaborate picture of a telephone and we gave it to him and he immediately called his lawyer and spoke with him for seven hours.") I need to spend some time locked into the smallest room of my apartment. I call the room the "trailer" as it remotely resembles one by shape. I should just draw for hours and hours and days and nights. Yes, this is what I should do. And this is what I am going to do. I resigned my job almost two weeks ago. I have one more week to visit the office in midtown... and then it is going to be all drawing. And maybe this will be when the dreams finally stop being about advertising. And I hope that this will be when I will finally stop having all of those health issues related to stress. I will probably see that pathetic number on my back account shrink with unstoppable determination. I will probably see my credit card bills be more and more ridiculous. I will maybe have dreams of drawing. And draw some of my dreams. I am really looking forward to this. It had to happen. If not now... when? Much of the weekend was spent sleeping. Not all of it was spent sleeping. And the time awake was quite magical. And this morning, when I went to the mexican place to get my breakfast, the neighborhood between the park and the cemetery felt like Holland, or the Belgian coast. Maybe England? It felt definitely European. I enjoyed every moment of this and all the other positive illusions. I just need to work on those strange fears and things... but maybe not. Maybe these are the things that ultimately help to keep me alive. Oh, good. I think I am very ready for the next few weeks.

please bear with us...

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By the time you read this, there might be a new gallery of pictures of the bear over at The Morning News. The gallery this time is actually very different than the first series of bear pictures published by The Morning News. And no, the photographs are not all taken in Paris. And if anybody is reminded of a particular "conversation"... maybe it's a good start... hmm... size does matter... and so does context... and time... and...
The birds outside of my window had their volume settings turned all the way to 11 and it was really perfect this way. I woke up before sunrise and yet did not leave the house to see the downstairs, the street, the park, the sky outside. The light wandered over the walls of kitchen and living room and now everywhere. The food had prepared itself over night and the tea almost made room for another tin box. It is cool outside and bright. What a day. As I was sitting by the window yesterday, replanting my still sleeping seven trees into their new home on the fire escape, the black squirrel from across the backyard came over and looked as surprised as only squirrels can. He then went on to explore the roof. I have seen him make really incredible jumps from buildings onto trees which i know are right there in the street. Daring little guy. There are several more squirrels here, but the black one is the most wicked. Imagine... he just jumps. Long, daring jumps. A sparrow watched me draw this morning. We stared at each other for a good while. I then pulled out the camera which was perceived as an insult to our interspecies bond, I guess. Next time. Or maybe the time after that. Or maybe by the end of the summer. Or does it really matter? The walls in the apartment are slowly but surely collecting drawings. Some of them do not want to stick to the wall, which is encouragement to draw more. The windows in all rooms are open now and I want the wind to come in and maybe take down more of the work still... If not now, when?
It is fascinating to realize that both pictures below were taken in "my" street (that would be third street in Brooklyn), and both just a few blocks away from here. Clearly the second image will at some point have the poshness of the first one. The area around fourth avenue in park slope has just been rezoned and it is not going to take long for those with even deeper pockets to establish an even fancier entertainment park for themselves here.

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