Reminded again of the imperfection of perceptions, it has happened that the missing geode, Quan Yin's head, became a symbol of my talent for not seeing what I'm looking at. Psychological tests tend to be about interpretation. I don't read facebook article comments. They just make a jumble of chaos. One makes a convincing case that the one writing the article doesn't know what he means, the next one says it's the best ever, the next a string of insults, and sometimes one whose point of view matches mine, so what. I like about facebook that I see what is important to my friends in the posts friends put up. A few I think about blocking for putting up so much fascist propaganda, but don't do it, can't turn my back to somebody I like over his/her political opinion different from mine. Their opinions are equally inert and ill-informed as mine. I'm recalling a moment in the coffee shop a few years ago. I was at the bar talking with a woman I found extraordinary, enjoyed talking with her wit and intelligence. She was passing through and I was wishing she lived here. A time came I began to get a drift she was from the far right and adamant. I realized a time will come, before very long, she'll deduce I'm an anti-fascist. The moment I realized she would reject me for having different thoughts and experience from hers, I lost interest in her. I said, "It's time I tell you I'm a liberal." She swiveled around on her stool, put her back to me and didn't say a word. I had to control the compulsion to laugh out loud.
Had summer tshirts custom printed today. Bought three black tshirts from Gil Thadani at Gil's Jeans n Things. Gil is one of my favorite people in Sparta. He's from Poona, India, the same city Meher Baba was born and grew up in. Gil came here from San Francisco, Hong Kong before SF, and India before Hong Kong. He married a Sparta girl who was in San Francisco when he was and came back to Sparta with her, raised a family of several kids, put them all through college selling clothes in Sparta. I buy all my clothes from him. One, I like to do all my business in Sparta, except for books and cds. And I like to support my friends. I feel like when I buy something, I am offering support to whoever I'm buying from. I'd rather give my money, energy, to individuals I appreciate than to corporate box stores with employees so poorly paid and richly disrespected they act like they're dead, corporations that rape every town they move into. I bought the tshirts from Gil and today took them to Crystal to print them. In white letters, one says, dissident, another says, insurgent, and the third says, the Seduction, my favorie punk band. She printed them and we had a good time visiting. This is my summer wardrobe. The fun in it is nobody but a very few will know what they mean. Though Daniel is from here, whose band is the Seduction, no more than a dozen people in the county ever heard of it, and them family.
I had not realized it before, but it is habit to look when I get home from town and park to see if Quan Yin's head is in place. Birds knock it off the rock it stands on fairly often. I'm experienced looking for it. Home from town, see her head is missing, I'll search for it before going to the house. I feel like it belongs in place. I understand a geode is a powerful energy, the reason I've not had this one sawed in two. I feel like that does harm to the energy. Like a nautilus shell. I have two, one that is striped and one a pearl shell. They look like shells. In a Myrtle Beach souvenir shop I found among the shells some sliced nautilus shells. They were pretty, but had lost their energy and color. They'd turned a dead gray. I wanted one, but realized in the moment shells must have some energy in them. Cut one into slices and it dies. Quan Yin's head is safe. When I leave the body, next time the geode falls to the ground no one will pick it up. It will roll under a fern or daffodil leaves, or it could be anywhere on the ground and no one will see it. It will seep into the ground, covered year after year by autumn leaves and may never be seen again, went home to the earth, just another rock in the ground. I feel a connection with the geode in that way, that we will both go home at about the same time.
Another art project is in motion. This one, like the one before, is made of scraps from Chris Durgin's woodworking shop where he's now making guitars. He was cleaning up the shop and put some sticks of wood by the woodstove to burn them. He let me look through the pile. I took at least half of it. Today he had a bigger pile for me. I loaded it all into the backseat of the car and there it stays. A great collection pieces of exotic woods, small chunks, slices, square dowels three and four feet long. Pieces of walnut, and some I cannot name. And there was a slab of a certain kind of pine with a beautiful grain that swirls. It is coffee table size. Thought I'd let Justin and Crystal have it, if they want it, to make a coffee table for the mancave or to sell. It is old and dry. Brought home some nice wood to add to my parts inventory. A mess of treasures. These two most recent projects feature beautiful wood. One is about two and a half feet by two feet, a big circle cut in three quarters inch plywood, the circle a foot and a half diameter. It so happens I have a sheet of thinly sliced wood found in an old picture frame with a print of Thomas Carlyle painted by Whistler. I took it apart to give the frame to Crystal to fix up and use as she will. This thin slice of wood not quite an eighth of an inch has beautiful grain in this old, dry wood. Some tung oil brought it to life. Glued onto the back, it fits the circle like it belongs there. Looks like the planet Jupiter with the grain horizontal. A ways yet to go. I can play with wood colors and grain now, make fun things never known before on earth.
jean arp himsel