Flesh and Bone

A lot of spiritual  communities and religious institutions talk about if we could see the soul of people we would be different. Kinder. Compassionate. Loving. Caring. This speaks to the idea of a universal  idealized human or Spirit that is of a loftier less imperfect and the true essence of all beings. With out judgement or the hierarchy of social and cultural diversities. That idea seems to be a noble act… to recognize  the Divine  in each other… the bigger… grander… higher .. more evolved… light … etc..  of who we are.

Yet…. what if …..

It is the biology of us… the  wonderous, complex gathering of cells and systems that we are….. This universe of flora, fauna, proteins, enzymes,  chemical reactions, neural impulses, immune defenses, all the things that make up this body and the multitude  of ways it expresses itself…. art, dance, music…

What if we took the time to celebrate that… to love it in all it’s systems and forms… the diverity and the experential.Would we be less inclined  to destroy it? Enslave it? Abuse it? Wage war with and against it?

One of the questions we need to be asking today is….If we are assuming the Divinity of humanity as a soul… a spirit… as the greater truth of who we are…. doesn’t  that in some way say it is ok to discard the husk… the body… to treat the container as less than?

It seems we are exploring this destructive notion in all the things that we are now doing to deny human beings rights, dignity…. love,  nurturing, peaceful existence…. etc… because the biology is deemed less important than the spirit.

Isn’t  that the opposite  of what we say we want?

There is a point  where we need to stop  looking at the idealized human or the magicial  spirit that is not of this world. It’s a archetype. A symbolic human. A dangerous idealogy that leads to exploitation. We need to embrace the very real viseral and messy of who we are. We are not just a spirit…a vapor… a light.  We are flesh and bone. The complex  biology of evolution and accident playing out the limits, possibilities  of life’s many mysteries and ecologies. This process of evolution  has been shaping us and reshaping us for billions of years in a constant  progression  of creation and adaptation.

I do understand the appeal for an idealized human. A divine human without warts and imperfections.

I am personally fascinated by religion, spirituality  and all the ways this ideal is expressed. It is an endless tribute to the curiosity and imagination of humanity. Beautiful  and delusional. Rich in pageantry and sensory stimulation. unifing and ostracizing… conflicting…messy…. very human….

Over time every group of people on this planet has created  a cosmology  about who we are, where we came from, some kind of before and after life story.  They are as diverse  as the places they come from. And we can not say any of them are true. Each serves the purpose of explaining and exploring the mysterious for a particular group. Filling the gaps, defining the moral direction(s) and embodiment of a community.

This dance of divine and earthly human unfolds in how we act and react to the world and each other. The choices we make. The art we make. The stories we create. We are hoping for an answer to our exchange of experiences in a seemingly beautiful and hostile world. We research…. try things out..  We blunder about… and mostly this procesd works.   Yet these idealogies fashion the moral structures and laws we live in and sometimes die to keep in place.

I feel we are at a time where if  we do not explore other perspectives in pursuit of meaningful change on this planet we are escalating extinction  by greed, violence,  neglecting and some kind of self hating. These things are self evident in the ways we are letting the world burn and the recent escalation towards war in the Middle East.

It is up to us to see a new way out of this. These old ideals around who we are and how we are in the world  perpetuate the structures that become our communities/environments and these often come in and under the name of our spiritual  and religious  ideologies and practices. As the world today struggles these same things are becoming the foundations for policy, economic growth and a governmental moral directive.

War

I am sitting here in Florida taking in the recent actions of the President. I can not stress enough how this assassination is fuel for what could be another senseless war where the end is corruption, damaged men and women, huge debt “We the people” will pay for while the war mongers get rich off the backs of soilders, the plundering of resources and vulnerable civilians. We have been down this road before. Perhaps today we will realized the fallacy and consequences of violence as a means to creating peace and stability and take a different course.

These methods might bring the temporary truce of non violence and the appearance of peace yet, it is only a short reprieve from a recalculation to more violence. No one is inclined to make good long term decisions under a pointed gun. Bargaining under the violence only leads to irrational actions that serve for short terms relief. It creates a cycle of power exchange. The delusion of winning.

The atrition of war is not a guarantee of weapons reduction. It is a gamble that enough force will buy time and perhaps  create the space for diplomacy. Rarely, does this work without human casualties, infrastructure damage, the lost of antiquities, and the rise of corruption and the destruction of cultures, societies, and governments.

It is I believe today, our duty as citizens to not comply with any declaration of war especially when it insighted with the intent for the personal gain of a corrupt, incompetent, misleading, and racist president.

Silence = Death

Silence = Approval

Silence = Violence

Silence = War

Banana Flowers

Banana flowers- 2020

The spinning many layered skirt of a woman swirling with fluidity, color and dance

Filling the space with her assured steps and gestures she commands a kind of internal music offering the pollinating scent to birds and bats

2020 Wishes

The road ahead – 2019

I wish that this year brings the world together as a united force to truly address the climate in a meaningful and productive way.

I wish the hate, fears, phobias about race, sexual orientation, spiritual/religious beliefs, and poverty end and we find ways to collaborate with our diversity to create a stronger healthier humaity.

That we get over thinking that being different is cataclysmic, dangerous, or immoral and learn to see strength in Diversity….

That war is no longer profitable, useful or the way we solve problems…

We recognize that we need to be good stewards of the planet and take the necessary steps to fix the problems of our progress…

That we stop using violence as a way to peace…

That we learn to share resources in a sustainable way…

That we be come more kind…

That we stop confusing entitlement with enlightenment…

That we all learn to love more and act on that….

What Do We See?

Rain Glass and the Sky – 2019

It’s easy to dismiss the reality of what is there. Most of us do this to some degree. It’s a kind of filtering to generate a useful focusing. In doing so much of the beauty of the world is lost. When it does seep in we might have projections and feelings that are based on the level of convience the experience it evokes.

Because of this we tend to place value on the usefulness of observations and not the enriching qualities they offer us. We are in a sense cutting off our connections to the world through a kind of censorship that we have been entrained to believe makes us better at being in the world

I would suggest challenging that. Being present in all it’s applied and implied definitions is about this moment. Be here now. This is the point in time where all we embody is getting an opportunity to engage in this life experience. So, often we wrestle our thoughts with the past or future and even more so the societal constraints of acceptable behavior, observation and objectivity. These might give cohesion to the group in uniting a kind of unified directive. Yet, it requires the individual gives up freely experiencing for gathering information to produce in supporting the group/community/ cultural sustainability.

Art has always been a way or tolerable social niche for letting individuals explore the environment and the unfolding experiences of being in a place and time.

Sun Light, ripples and Water – 2019

Rain and Trees

Rain on he windshield with a view of trees- 2019

We can see rain drops as obscuring or distorting the trees or the interplay of them to give us another kind of experience.

What Remains

Gingko leaves – 2019

What Remains – Is a photo essay on the elegance of transformation, death, dying and decay in the natural world. These subjects are often taboo in our western cultures. We have a fascination with living and life to the point of not seeing death and the process of dying as part of it.

My intention with the composition of these images is to show the beauty, elegance and giving the subjects an aesthetic resonance. I want the audience to spend time looking deeper at the beauty of it. I don’t want the to tone to be morbid. I’m looking to invoke the curious and the perhaps the inner story teller to be invited to explore. Giving the subjects a memoir that is everyone’s story

These images are taken from my travels across the country in over the last two years. They represent the diverse ways that nature is transparent, honest and transforming in its process of moving from one state of existence to another. This set of images also has the remnants of life. These are the shells and nests that speak to the safe place where life is lived and nurtured. Now they are empty left to the weather and time to also become the stuff of new life

Life and death are part of the great journey we all take on this planet How something dies and is slowly repurposed into new life is one of the great mysteries we need to be paying attention to.

All these photos are original works and are available for purchase.

Dolphin Outer banks North Carolina- 2019
Large Dead Fish Dalphin Island Gulf Coast Mississippi – 2019
Deer Neck Bones -2019
Nest – 2019
Spiral Shell – 2019
Seaweeds – 2018
Horseshoe crab – 2019
Shells from the California coast – 2019
Seaweed Oregon Coast – 2018
Sea bird – 2018
Seagull -2019

Red Sky

This morning’s dawn – 2019

” Red sky at night sailor’s delight,

Red sky at dawn sailors are warned….”

Unknown

I grew up a long the shoreline in Connecticut. The beach was down the street. There were shells to be found. Horseshoe crabs to save between the tides. Blue fish to catch. Bright sun for that native tan. Disorienting foggy days and storms.

Once in the mid seventies New Haven harbor froze. A rare event. The ice was thick enough to walk. It was amazing to see a solid ocean with out waves. The wind blew with out the constant rhythm of the tides. I imagined that is what the Artic sounded like.

Living near the ocean I was a constantly reminded the everything could change in an instant. The ocean has a complex full set of conditions and seemingly endless emotional states that ran from one end to the other. The ocean was not shy about expression. She feels full and raw everything. She hides nothing. The ocean embodies the Goddess. She and her 10,000 names uttered from every shore line. She gives everything and takes everything. Life starts with her and she will be the resting place for what is left to start again.

Ocean waves – 2019

The sky and the ocean are a team. What separates them is a thin undulating line of molecules. This is where particles exchange. Like a cell wall and osmosis, the sky and ocean are perpetually sharing information, nutrients, and particles. One could say the oceans and the sky are lovers constantly in entangled, emeshed, expressions of passion and indifferent stillness. The sky’s vastness is uncontained, reflexed and controlled by the moisture and warmth from the ocean’s constant ferment.

The Sun will heat the surface of the water and the sky will recieve the ocean’s droplets and amass huge storms of winds, lightning and rain. Traversing miles and miles at the whim of ocean currents. An atmospheric tango. With the land masses acting as the tables in a crowded night club as these two impassioned dancers maneuver between.

Some mornings when the droplets hang just right in the sky and the sun rises at a certain angle. The sky turns red. Over time we have learned that this means a storm is coming. And sailors didn’t sail and people waited it out.

The End of the Year Message

Dr. Adhi 2019

2019 started with a journey and ends just the same. I’m getting ready to travel across the country again for work. . The odometer on the car shows 114466 miles. When I bought it new in 2016 it had 13 miles on it. Lots of roads and sky. Many generous and interesting people. Beautiful things. Ugly things too. Life on the road is a mix of adventure and survival….

For full disclosure, I have become completely homeless this year. Not my choice. The reality of a changing living situation, travel, expenses and the rising costs of rents have basically left me with out a permanent place to live. For me this is not a comfortable place to be. I like home. A nest. A place for stuff and kitties. I am doing my best to keep it real and just keep doing the right thing. That’s all I can do. So I do. I am looking to up grade into a van. This will afford me more of a living space. This takes time in order to do it right. For now I live out of my car and stay with people as I travel. It’s humbling and I know I’m not the only one struggling with this issue. I am fortunate for what I do have. I have many many Blessings.

Life is all a learning curve. Traveling as a woman alone has its risks and rewards. So far nothing bad has happened. I have been fortunate with my work to have people I know almost every where I travel to stay. I live pretty simple. I eat pretty simple. My only real vice ( although it is not a vice…) is good coffee. I have many methods to make coffee in a bag I carry. It’s kind of a super power. I can make coffee any where and under any circumstance. (There might be a coffee blog some day)

The hardest part of the mobile life is things like a regular shower, having enough drinking water when the weather is hot, finding shade in the summer in the flat lands of the midwest and Texas, keeping warm in the colder weather. There is a bit of mythology about it costing less. It doesn’t. You trade paying for a space with paying for daily gas. There are still bills to pay, storage locker, and cellphone, groceries, etc…. I have my concerns about the environmental impacts of driving all the time. All and all I’m making it work. I have to. And like all things this to shall pass. One day at a time.

From this perspective I have seen the country in a different way. Driving puts one the level of everyone. I drive through towns and cities. The rural and empty places. The rough and dirty…The dried dead places where metal doesn’t rust and the sky is huge and blue. The red rocks and the mirrored reflection of the sky in the salt flats creating a surreal landscape in Utah. Tent cities along streets, in empty lots in Oakland and Santa Cruz. The vacant buildings, gas stations, faded rusty signs, worn down homes of people struggling and forgotten under a merciless sun in the flatness of Kansas and Oklahoma. Wind mills in Texas.. The blooming valleys of almonds and oranges in the Spring as the snow cover mountains rise above them in California. The snow covered peaks of alpine ridge in the Rockies…. trucks carrying bees to pollinate nut and fruit trees. The stirring colors of yellow, purple and red in the Sonora desert in Southern Arizona… Oil refineries, flooded fields, mountains of rotting soybeans… Sunset in the Mojave desert, the Mississippi river swollen far beyond it banks… the insane traffic in Houston. Sun rise traveling on the Tappanzee bridge over the Hudson river… grid lock in Boston… a small quirky art colony in Lucas Kansas….

So much diversity and richness. Love and fear. Life without surrender. It chugs along. Clanking and sputtering… coughing… and weezing. Then shifts gears. It finds its pace and purrs along… covering time and distance. Buildings rise. Fields are harvested. People commute to work. Networks hum. The remains of the day set with the sun to sleep it off until next morning ready to repeat it again.

Lucas Kansas – 2019

All that life force and more mixed with the kindness of strangers and the opportunities to witness people living their lives as best they can. Some are racing a clock that is counting down their usefulness and defining the worth of their spirit. Some fear a God who knows all their failings and bargains with them a heaven if they turn themselves over to his son.

Great Cathedral of the Plains – 2019

The long slow sunsets across the midwest that burn the sky down along a seemingly flat earth giving way to a great arch of the milkyway from horizon to horizon….

There are days when it feels like I am timeless. I’m passing through the world in a different kind of time. There are the deja vu moments, lonely moments, silly moments and in awe moments. Each of these moments linking up to make the pattern that becomes the road ahead of me materializing… mesmorizing… disappearing behind me. I’m this traveling strange figure of androgynousness rolling through places curious and aware of the fragile persistence that holds all this together.

Dawn rainbow – 2019

2019 has been amazing, demanding and asking me to push beyond what I know into a lot of unknowns. I am wondering what 2020 has in store for me.

I want to give a shout out to all the wonderful people who have been generous and kind.

You rock my world. Thank you.