30"x 48" mixed media on canvas
It has been September 11 all day. It's a day I don't pay attention to the news. It's all 9/ll corporate news-speak. I'm sympathetic in my heart for everyone concerned who survived or left the body by surprise one morning at work. I'm sympathetic with everyone in NY that day and soon after. I have no patriotic feelings around it. I don't believe anything we're told about it. Don't know what happened and will not know in this lifetime. I only see it as first day of American police state. It miraculously gave birth to the Patriot Act, the virus that deleted the Constitution. After WW2, Remember Pearl Harbor justified perpetual war thereafter. Now Remember 9/11 justifies police state and eternal war on poor people around the globe. Keeping Wall Street booming. It's been a major disappointment in my life to see the American people throw away democracy with such a popular zeal. Even in the most jaundiced moments I'd have never seen it coming. In hindsight, it's clear as 1-2-3. 9/11 makes me question why I pay attention to the news at all. I do, however, see certain progressions acting out step-by-step giving a sense of what's coming and explains much of the noxious malaise in the air now. It helps me understand the senselessness that seems to be in the air. It's everywhere. What was bad before, like poverty and prisons, is worse now. I've not seen a single honey bee this year. Have seen some bumblebees, though so much smaller than usual they look unhealthy. A lot of flowers that seed this time of year have no seeds. I saw a relative few butterflies this year. The Joe Pyes in flower used to be covered by shimmering halos of butterflies. This year I'd see one butterfly, sometimes two. We're in serious trouble. The television has kept us asleep while Capitalist excess swept us aside. We'll lose hi-speed internet soon, as Comcast and Time-Warner are spending millions on lobbying to take what democracy is in the internet away from us. It will happen. USofA is about money, not us.
This is where 9/11 takes me. I can't get any feeling from the incident having to do with flag waving and memorials. It's too serious a matter for me. It's not something to celebrate. I know, three thousand plus. It makes the event all the worse. I don't even want to go into it. It's too dark and murky a place created by mis- and disinfomation. I must let this go, must separate self from concerns about it. I've come to see 9/11 a moment in a country on a downhill run that kicked in the nitrous oxide, NOS. I'm glad to be in the last years of this lifetime. Maybe next time I can turn up in the mountains of Romania with parents who play traditional music of the region, a place that hopefully has nothing America wants. My greatest disappointment with Obama is that he did not charge Bush, Cheney, Rummy and Rice with war crimes. He symbolically accepted their war crimes into American infallible exclusionism. It wasn't like he really had a choice. He, too, is a corporate marionette. I must concede that what I wanted for the USA all along has been its own ideals, the ideals we're taught in school. Like much else we're taught in school, it must be unlearned to function out here in the world, so to speak. I'm naive of what is going on. I live in a world that I see diminished day by day so fast it makes the head swim. On the one hand, I would like to be like my friends who aren't interested in anything on the news, pay no attention to politicians, don't vote, just live their lives at home with the family bringing up kids, work, hunt, grow a garden, have a riding mower and a pickup and ride the economy's ebb step by step. On the other hand, I like having some insight into the "big picture." I didn't realize before today what a gloom 9/11 brings over me. So much died that I thought was good with the falling men and women and others who didn't make it. The planes did not implode the buildings. That's the beginning and the end of it for me.
Swing down sweet chariot stop and let me ride, Swing down sweet chariot stop and let me ride. I hear George Clinton in my head and see him on stage with the Funkdelics, Swing down sweet chariot stop. The world would not be real without George Clinton and his beautiful song, Fantasy Is Reality In The World Today. Just keep hangin in there, my granddaddy used to say. Something like that. I'm ready to start calling for a chariot to pick me up and take me to what's next, be lifted up like Ezekiel into a ufo and zoom away at light speed to a place where people have evolved past conflict and killing, and die there. Sounds like Costa Rica. I'd rather die on my mountain. I could not leave my mountain. I could not leave my culture or my friends or Caterpillar without dying. The corporate takeover of our government sideshow is in my mind. Lord Have Mercy. Why do I want all that shit in my mind? All I have to do is turn off that channel in my mind, switch channels. I have control. I could change my focus to the Paris Surrealists, look at pictures and read the writings, read books about the Surrealists. Were I to give as much attention to them as I give to our DC government, I'd have something a whole lot more interesting in my mind after a year. Yesterday I ordered a cd by Boubacar Traore, a singer and guitar picker from Mali. It's the lope of the music, the walk of a camel, a long walk on foot, that pulls me to this music now. He's from a city in the desert near the Niger river. His music flows into me from another world, from outside the world of my experience, foreign, exotic to my ear as a one-string violin. Something new. A new musical experience. I could take myself on my own light-speed flight by switching channels of my focus of attention. I could be reading a biography of Constantin Brancusi or the new biography of Vincent van Gogh. Or have a funkathon listening to George Clinton.
I found the picture at the top, the angel painted today, September 11, on facebook by my facebook friend Diana Toma. She said she had been working on it, was dissatisfied, washed the image off and went after it to satisfaction. A friend who saw it said he saw the towers and the scene on the ground. Diana suddenly saw it. She did not know she had painted the towers, nor did she know she'd painted the chaos on the ground. She was painting an angel making no association in her mind with 9/11. She said she felt like she must have channeled it from the energy of the day, but her mind did not see it. I love the image without the association, but its way of happening without the artist knowing it, slipping around conscious mind, gives it a quality that makes it live. Diana's paintings and drawings have the spirit of life in them. As in the angel's face, Diana's faces are living, individual faces. First time I saw the image, I made no connection by association with 9/11. I saw it an angel between two worlds. The instant I saw the facebook comment about the towers, there it was, like a Rauschenberg silkscreen. I can still see it without seeing the towers. I see it back and forth, with and without, and see it both at once. The image on the one hand is independent of the 9/11 association and on the other hand could be a poster for the Oliver Stone movie. The quality of being both at once, yin and yang together in the turning circle, gives it life. In the angel's face I see a child's innocence looking to God in a beseeching prayer for her mother's life. It's a powerful image. Diana's images are so powerful with feeling they have a living presence. She can paint a cat such that I feel the presence of cat. This is her gift, the power of the feeling in her work. It's a feeling in the heart. The faces she paints show an individual face and an individual feeling. She has a website www.artbydianatoma.com. I found a variety of images googling diana toma artist and clicking on images. And there's a photograph of her favoring Grace Slick in the time of Surrealistic Pillow. Diana's angel painting that happened of its own lifted my spirit about the day. It shows such tremendous compassion, you know an angel like this was there.