Rocky is recovering nicely from his stomach surgery. To read about dog bloat, click here.
Here is Rocky sleeping off the pain meds.
Rocky's bad-ass scar.
There have been rumors in the matriarch that a trip to New Orleans is in the making for Poppa Neutrino's funeral. Poppa Neutrino died at 77. Click here to read about Poppa Neutrino. He was a philosopher, adventurer, sailor, musician and father to some amazing children.
Despite all the traveling I've done, I haven't visited New Orleans. I've many friends there, but I've always been a bit fearful of the neighborhoods from the stories I was told of 15 year boys mugging drunks at gun point and one too many of my female acquaintances getting brutally beaten and raped.
So if my home girls decide to go, I will venture bravely for the first time into New Orleans. It will be good to face my fears around the place, see my friends, and honor the loss of a great man with a New Orleans style funeral. Then I can ride back to Vermont with the matriarch.
The last couple weeks, four themes have been on my mind: love, the violin and art, the stress money brings, and happiness via sense of self. I have discovered through my thinking binge that these themes are all related. When I finally find what I love to do and who I love to do I would naturally expect the world to comply with my path by paying me. It doesn't work that way though. Reality is a bitch, but to make up for it, life is both frightening and enchanting. The enchanting part is what makes it all worth it.
It still astonishes me how money has the power to make me feel like I was punched in the gut. My entire life has been a struggle; I don't know why I still expect things to be easy. I must still pay rent and bills in Vermont while continuing to support myself here in Austin. Luckily, I got my tax return for rent and some donations to the Rocky relief fund for Rocky's surgery, but then there are bills that I am still responsible for. On top of all this, I have to figure out how to get back to Vermont without getting too terribly cold.
While all this reality is churning, my artistic mind frame continues to change and grow. I ask myself why I bother to continue to play the violin when mediocre status is all I will ever attain. The answer lies in the benefits I gain from playing for myself, the meditative trance that music allows for. It is that moment I try to attain when my mind shuts off. It is the same with painting and pottery. Meditation is what I seek in art. There the problem is again with getting paid.
Now you'd think the trick to happiness would be to align myself with what I love to do, who I love to do, where I love to live, with a paycheck and then the happiness would come. You'd think, right? WRONG!! Ha. The conclusion I came to and will come to over and over again is that I could die tomorrow! I could die today! And then what? The trick is to be happy with where you're at, no matter where that might be.
Here is a picture of Austin.
Some cloud shots.
Here a a sweet little fox whose picture I did not take. I decided to copy him in pencil and then possibly paint.
A raven whose story is similar to the fox.
December 1931, Anais wrote the following passage shortly after meeting June for the first time.
A startingly white face, burning eyes. June Mansfield, Henry's wife. As she came towards me from the darkness of my garden into the light of the doorway I saw for the first time the most beautiful woman on earth.
Years ago, when I tried to imagine a pure beauty, I had created an image in my mind of just that woman. I had even imagined she would be Jewish. I knew long ago the color of her skin, her profile, her teeth.
Her beauty drowned me. As I sat in front of her I felt that I would do anything she asked of me. Henry faded, She was color, brilliance, strangeness.
Her role in life alone preoccupies her. I knew the reason: her beauty brings dramas and events to her. Ideas mean little. I saw in her a caricature of the theatrical and dramatic personage. Costume, attitudes, talk. She is a superb actress. No more. I could not grasp her core. Everything Henry had said about her was true.
By the end of the evening I was like a man, terribly in love with her face and body, which promised so much, and I hated the self created in her by others. Others feel because of her; and because of her, others write poetry; because of her, others hate; others, like Henry, love her in spite of themselves.
June. At night I dreamed of her, as if she were very small, very frail, and I loved her. I loved a smallness which had appeared to me in her talk: the disproportionate pride, a hurt pride. She lacks the core of sureness, she craves admiration insatiably. She lives on reflections of herself in others' eyes. She does not dare to be herself. There is no June Mansfield. She knows it. The more she is loved, the more she knows it. She knows there is a very beautiful woman who took her cue last night from my inexperience and tried to lose her depth of knowledge.
A startingly white face retreating into the darkness of the garden. She poses for me as she leaves. I want to run out and kiss her fantastic beauty, kiss it and say, "You carry away with you a reflection of me, a part of me. I dreamed you, I wished for your existance. You will always be part of my life. If I love you, it must be because we have shared at some time the same imaginings, the same madness, the same stage."
"I, with a deeper instinct, choose a man who compels my strength, who makes enormous demands on me, who does not doubt my courage or my toughness, who does not believe me naïve or innocent, who has the courage to treat me like a woman."
— Anaïs Nin
— Anaïs Nin
"We write to taste life twice, in the moment and in retrospect."
— Anaïs Nin
— Anaïs Nin
Loving in men and women not their strength but their softness, not their fullness but their hunger, not their plenitude but their needs." Anais Nin
"From the backstabbing co-worker to the meddling sister-in-law, you are in charge of how you react to the people and events in your life. You can either give negativity power over your life or you can choose happiness instead. Take control and choose to focus on what is important in your life. Those who cannot live fully often become destroyers of life."
— Anaïs Nin
— Anaïs Nin