You take the good, you take the bad...

Tiana - 123112
... because you have no choice.  
I recently heard on NPR a great show on meditation and mindfulness.  While I do need to include much more of each into my life, I heard a sentence or two that hit home.  In essence the spokesperson said, "In Buddhism, you must acknowledge that both change and tragedy are unavoidable in life.  This is something that was forgotten by many Americans prior to the financial collapse."  This was true for me and 2012 was a great reminder of the changes.

I am going to briefly describe the good, the bad, and the changes I experienced in 2012.  One overall influence was Las Vegas.  You will see my new part-time city as a reoccurring theme through the year.

The good.

I got to meet up with blogger buddy Terrell in Las Vegas a number of times, once as recently as this week.  On top of being deep in the local Las Vegas photography world (he is a local legend with the old timers - I learned of an interesting story of him and park ranger), he is a genuinely nice and true guy.  I hope we get to collaborate in the future.

I got to know my new sister city better by spending the equivalent of a month total time here in 2012.  I initially had a crush or infatuation with it.  It turned into a steamy affair quickly.  I am now in the growing in love with it, while starting to see the warts in the relationship.  Sometimes it is the flaws that are most attractive.  During that time, I got to meet three lovely ladies who modelled for me.  Thanks to Gabbi, Fae, and Jolene for blessing me with your beauty.   You will see a few fresh photos of those beauties below.

Starting in January, I included alternative processes into my art.  These included cyanotypes, van Dykes, digital negative to chemical paper printing, gel transfers, Polaroids, toy cameras, assemblage, collage, and multiple other fun techniques.   I am pushing my art into areas I've never considered before.

Below is a small portion of my "I objectify women..." series, where I used discarded packaging as surfaces to affix my photos of women I have taken over the year.  It was a very personal series for me as I know I am part of the objectification of women.  I am going to take higher quality photos of these pieces and present them here.

IOW - 123112 - Photo by Jackie Pruitt

In October my family gathered to celebrate my parents' 50th anniversary with 100 of their friends.

In the last three months I got my work into four shows.  That was great exposure.  On the downside, a woman called asking to buy one and balked at the price.  She needs to learn there is a difference between a fine art print and a photo calendar.  Let us see her get an original Ansel Adams for the price of the cheap copy she could get at a book store.

I went to England and Switzerland for work in May.  While the working situation was good, the trip was pleasant, and not much more.

In February, I worked again with the great Candace Nirvana.  This September and October I worked with Tiana and Rain deGrey.  I hope to work with all of them again in 2013.

I am helping a friend start her blog.  I am also starting a new blog with an old friend.  More news on that in the 2013.

The bad.

My health is slowly deteriorating.  It is starting to get noticeable.  Sadly, the cause is purely self induced.  I need to get in better shape and take care of my self before I pass the point of no return.

My relationships with my family are drying out.  I am starting to realize that there is a reason my friends are close, we chose each other.  As my relationships with my family age, they contain less commonalities or areas for us to be close again.  I don't know which is more sad, the fading relationships or that I am not as bothered as I probably should be by the situation.

A close friend of mine died within a week after visiting us in Las Vegas.  LV had nothing to do with it. That was just a month ago and still feels raw.

The changes and the neutral.  

My wife and separated due to her starting a tenure-track position in Las Vegas.  We see each other a couple of times a month.  I am proud of her getting the position.

It is interesting being quasi-single again.  I have a home in California all to myself.  I find I spend almost all my time in my home-office, bedroom, or kitchen.  The rest of the home stays dark.  This time alone makes the times when we are together both fun and difficult.  It is hard to go from single to instantly together again.  On a positive side, I have more time than ever to work on art.

I want to thank my blog friends - Carla, Terrell, C.D., D.L. Wood, Joe, and many others (sorry if I didn't include you.)  You continue to inspire me to create and write more.

I will be back in 2013.  There is much more art to create, life to live, sex to be had, and just general life stuff.  Happy New Year and Ciao.

Some new stuff.
Candace Nirvana - 123112

Fae DeCay - 123112

Gabbi- 123112

Jolene- 123112

Rain- 123112

A little party music for dancing into the new year.  I really like a quality remake like this.


A day of Rain.

Rain - 1222812

Rain - 122812
A month or so back I enjoyed an afternoon photographing Rain DeGrey.  She is a local legend in the modeling industry.  I wanted to photograph her again since the first time we worked together was not an ideal situation (not at all her fault).

Rain is a hardworking, well prepared model.  She has a fun and funny style that can quickly turn to as serious as you desire in the photo shoot.  She is willing to try new things and stretch to what I wanted to try.  Some things worked well due to her.  Others failed, not because of her, but because the idea was weak.

I look forward to working with her again.  This was a pretty vanilla shoot.  She is willing to go dark and gritty and I am thinking about where that will take me in creating stuff.  As with all models, it takes time to get to the level of collaboration and trust.  I feel this is going to be a good partnership.



Valya - 122412

Over three weeks ago I wrote about my growing up with James Bond.  I am only seven years younger than him and to the extent that movies can influence how I view myself in relationship to the world, Mr. Bond was a big part of it.

I now want to write on the recent Bond offering, Skyfall.  I went and saw it alone on opening night and again a few weeks later with my wife.  In it, I noticed four key themes and observations.  Below are my thoughts on each.  Warning - tons of spoiler alerts.  Don't read if you don't want to know.

Bond is aging.  Daniel Craig took up the role in his mid-thirties and is now in his mid-forties.  I feel that Bond is living a parallel age to both Craig and me.  Mr. Bond is still probably in the top 1% of fitness for men his age (and any age) and looks amazing, but all the wounds, bumps, bruises, drugs, alcohol, travelling, stress and age are catching up.  He has to contend with loss of martial mastery, a young quartermaster who thinks he is barely of use, and his own cynicism taking hold of him.

As a man his age and only a small part as fit and adventurous, I feel those wheels grinding too.  I can still do many things I did at half my age, but I will be sore for a long time after.  I know that in the not-so-distant future, I am going to not be able to do those things to the same level or degree.  James was feeling that too.

In Craig's first Bond movie, Casino Royale, he used brute force to get his way through physical trials.  M even called him, "... a blunt weapon."  In this movie, he had to learn that his physical prowess is starting to fade and he has to fight smarter, not stronger.

On a side note, this was the first Bond movie where I saw him shot.  He was shot twice in the first part.

Bond can not love anymore, except for his "Mum".  In Casino Royale, James loved and lost Vesper  after she betrayed him and died.  He spent a good part of Quantum of Solace avenging her death.  In this movie, after he has been shot by a fellow agent and left for dead, he goes into a drug-and-alcohol induced cocoon.  It feels like he can not love anymore until the headquarters of MI6 is destroyed, many of his fellow agents die, and M is endangered.  He slips into her apartment drunk to announce his return.

Both the Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig Bonds had the same M, played by Judy Dench.  In the Craig versions, you could feel their complex maternal/child relationship unfold slowly.  She is about the only woman... the only person he loves.  As with Javier Bardem's brilliantly acted villain  Silva, the relationship with M is complicated and not all beautiful.

I first noticed in Casino Royale, and every Craig Bond movie since, all of M's subordinates call her "ma'am", but with the British accent it sounds like "Mum".  She is the tough-love mother that all her people respect, fear, and are very loyal to.  She is the tough mother that knew she may have to sacrifice one of her boys (James) in the beginning by telling the agent with the sniper rifle to take the obstructed shot at the bad guy.  The shot missed the baddie and hit James leading to his above mentioned disappearance.

It is this same relationship that caused Silva, a former agent of M's, to seek revenge.  He was her favorite until he went outside of boundaries and she left him for the Chinese to torture.  Her betrayal of him served almost like a foreshadow for Bond that while she will have his back, if he steps out of line, he will be dealt with.

Bond lost both of his parents when he was young.  M became his Mum, for better and for worse.  When she died in his arms at the end, his tears were for real as he lost another mother.

Bond finally gets a new villain!  In almost every prior Bond, his arch enemy has fallen into two main categories; Dominators or Countries.

The first is the genius villain striving for some type of world dominance, whether with money, resources, or land, he will go to no end to dominate the world.  This is the cliche villain that often has a huge secret base with hundreds of soldiers and scientists working on the plan to rule the world.  He is usually very brilliant, but stupidly sets up some overly-produced death for Bond and leaves before seeing Bond die(why he never thought to just personally shoot Bond himself always confused me).  Bond escapes, grabs the girl, blows up the secret base, kills the baddie and has a post-battle coital reward with said girl.  It is no wonder that Mike Myers channeled this villain so well as Dr. Evil in the Austin Powers movies.

The second is a country/state trying to steal secrets or weapons that will let them hold world power.  There have only been a few of these movies, including For Your Eyes Only (my favorite Roger Moore movie).

In Skyfall, Bond gets a brand new villain with Bardem's Sylva.  As mentioned above, Sylva was one of M's favorites in the 90's, but was left to the Chinese as part of handover of Hong Kong.  While he does create a powerful terror/financial empire.  It is on a tiny deserted island.  It is mainly one big super computer.  He doesn't have a massive army or a bunch of scientists.

Sylva's main motivation is to deeply hurt M by setting the explosion destroying the MI6 headquarters, releasing the names of undercover agents around the world, and eventually hunting her down.  He outright calls her Mommy.  His motivation is deeply personal.  I wonder how his character would have moved on if he had been successful.

I appreciate his complexity.  He respects Bond and feels a kinship to him.  He hates, yet cares for  M when he sees she has been wounded.  He wants her to kill both herself and him at the same time to end the pain.  In ways, he is a more effective agent than Bond because he better  knows his limitations and plans around them and also has far fewer scruples.

During Sylva and Bond's great meet up scene, you learn more about both characters back story, history, feelings through some of the best character development written in a scene lasting less than 10 minutes. This included the great firework...

...Bond is bisexual.  In one very homoerotic scene, Sylva gently caresses and admires Bond's shoulder, chest, and collarbone.  He is caressing Bond as a lover.  There is the sense he is messing with Bond to fluster him and confuse him.  Even though he may be playing mental tricks on James, I feel Sylva was attracted to him for both his great physique, but also their shared life stories.  As he caressed the inside of Bond's thighs, James utters one of the best statements ever in a Bond movie, "you assume this is my first time."  (I am only paraphrasing since I can't remember the exact words).

For many years, I (and many others) have wondered if Bond has every seduced men as an agent, or even for his own pleasures.  From his response to Sylva I get the feeling both are true.

Other stuff - The movie itself had some major reoccurring themes and aesthetics.  They include how it was filmed and nods to Bonds passed.

Blue eyes, blue shirt, golden grass, and an ill-fated Aston Marton DB5 - Movie Still from Skyfall

ColorsThe director, Sam Mendes, also directed American Beauty and Road to Perdition.  Both are beautifully filmed.  In Skyfall, he used color palettes and selected imagery and icons to enhance the story.  I first noticed colors.  In most scenes, there were two dominant colors - either or both blue and gold.  The blue matches Craig's eyes.  You see both Ralph Fiennes and Bond wear blue suits or grey suits with strong blue shirts and ties.  In the assassination bit in the Shanghai high rise,  there is even a scene where Bond enters a hallway with shifting mood lights between alternating blue and gold.  The bar in the Macau casino is a warm gold, as is M's apartment.  The inside of Skyfall is a cold blue, much like Bond's eyes.   After Skyfall explodes and M and the caretaker, Kincaid (played by the great Albert Finney), escape up the hill, the hills are golden in the light of the fire as they run to the old church.  There are many other examples of gold and blue in the movie, but I think you get my point.  These two primary colors are as vital as red was in American Beauty.  Watch the official trailer below to see many of the uses of blue and gold in the movie.

Nods to Bond History- 2012 marked the 50th birthday of Bond movies.  In an homage, this movie had many little bits that referenced many of the older movies, but with new twists.  This is a list off of the of my head and is not all inclusive.  Please share more you observed in the comments section.

Bond shags three women in almost every movie - There is a brunette beauty he is with during his time-out phase after his "death".  We can assume that he and the agent who shot him and turns out to be Ms. Moneypenny was number two.  His last conquest is Sylva's temptress Sévérine.  As a twist though, he doesn't end the movie in bed with any one of them.

Motorcycle chase through a bazar and the obligatory crashes through fruit stands and an amazing jump.-  The twist in this cliche is that instead of jumping the motorcycle onto the train, he crashes it head first into the bridge rail to flip him uncontrolled onto the train.   

No Aston Martin goes unharmed.  Ever since the infamous DB5 appeared in Sean Connery's Goldfinger and Thunderball, Bond crashed many Aston Martins as well as they were, blown up, rolled, wrecked, tortured, and destroyed.  Each Aston Martin is tricked out with weapons and protective equipment. I love Aston Martins and cringe watching their many deaths in these movies.  Another one is destroyed in Skyfall.  The twist starts in the appearance of the vintage DB5 with all of the Goldfinger original kit, including machine guns and ejection seat.  The big twist though is that it is the simplicity and age of the old DB5 that is needed.  It can't be tracked electronically.  It is too old and out of sync with the new world, much like the aging Bond as mentioned above.

The return of Q.  I never knew "Q" stood for "Quartermaster".  Q is the master of weapons and gadgets.  There are two twists in this version though - Q is a youthful computer geek/genius that has little respect for Bond and his old, brutish ways.  The only fancy tech he gives Bond is a Walther that will only let Bond shoot it due to a palm print lock and a radio transmitter that broadcasts his location.  As Q says leaving the museum, "Were you expecting an exploding pen?  We don't do those anymore."  Another poke at Bond's age.

A few more things - the women's perspective.  I've talked about this movie with a number of women and below are some of what they shared.

Liked/loved - Bond swimming in the pool in Shanghai.  Bond in a suit.  Bond doing chin ups.  Those weren't shockers, but all of them felt thrilled when the old DB5 appeared.  I tried arguing for how beautiful the new Aston Martin DBS that appeared in the last two movies is.  They just smiled and continued their appreciation for the old car.  One other thing they appreciated was his relationship with M.  It added depth.  One female viewer though felt tired with the continued cliche that it always takes a male (Bond) to save the day.  One last comment from a female - she loved Adele's singing of the theme song, but wondered if the late April Winehouse's voice would have had the grittier edge that matched the movie.

Final thoughts.  It is obvious I loved this movie.  I wouldn't have written all this fanboy stuff about it otherwise.  Look at the list of great actors, Dench, Fiennes, Bardem, Finney, and Craig.  Throw in some of the best dialog, character development, and action of any Bond movie, and add that most of the movie takes place in Great Britain.  This modern noir movie is my favorite Bond movie staring my favorite Bond.  My only hesitation is that I worry about how the next movie will do after the greatness of this one.  


I promise to get back to Skyfall soon.

Rain - 121712
Life is getting back to normal at the personal level.  At a national level we have tragedy, politics, and politics of tragedy playing out around us.  My deceased friend's family came to get her.  She is now ashes and on her way home to the UK.   The authorities are initially saying food poisoning.  What a weird and random way to go.  She was a pretty fastidious food preparer.

I have three shows coming down soon.  It will be good to get onto new stuff.

Speaking of new stuff, I got the chance to work with the beautiful Rain DeGray again recently.  Above is an early image from our recent session.

I will write about Skyfall in next.  Until then, a little Neko Case to keep me in harmony.


It's been a bad week.

Dead Thistles - 1206

A few weeks ago a good friend came to visit us over Thanksgiving weekend.  We all had a great time.  She flew back to her new home in the Pacific Northwest.

On Wednesday morning, I found out this close friend died in her apartment.  She had been a very healthy 36 year old less than two weeks ago and now her light just blinked out.  No news on cause, but the family shared that there were "no signs of violence or self injury".

My friend who died lived her life full of adventure, fun and freedom.  I am trying to figure out how the loss of her will impact me and what I should learn.  The main lesson so far is to never assume I have a tomorrow.

This evening I got a message from another friend that both hurt and pretty much brought back the rift that we had filled in over the past few months that had divided us before.  It is amazing how fast a few lines in a message does that.  The lesson from this event is sometimes rifts just can't be filled without having a little storm wash it out again. 

 My second part of the Skyfall series is on hold.  I will write more when I get back into the mood.

The darkness of this video feels fitting today. 


"Skyfall" and a life in Bond-age. - Part 1

Valya - 120112

I just read a friend's posted review of the newest installment in the James Bond series, Skyfall.   After finishing her well written critique, I wanted to share my own.  It is based on my own Bond history and how I feel about this movie.

I am forty-three years old.  The James Bond movie franchise is fifty.  There have always been Bond movies around me.  I grew up with James as my fantasy uncle that I could live vicarious adventures through.  I love the Bond movies.  I love what he stands for and is.  He is the alter ego I wish I had.

My mom is a huge Bond fan and while raising me, she made sure I was as well.  I can't remember my first Bond movie, but I think it was one of Sean Connery's movies.    My mom has a big crush on that guy, much like her crush on Leonard Bernstein.  I know she enjoyed them both for more than their artistic talents.

My first Bond movies were all from watching TV.  The ABC network would play them on a Sunday night and they would go 2.5 hours instead of the usual 2 that most movies would get.  I had to get special dispensation from mom to stay up to 10:30 to see them.  I watched them for the fantastic action, the exotic scenery, and to try and follow the story.

As I got old enough to watch the movies in the theater with my mom and brother, I saw them on the big screen.  Even though Moonraker was my first in-theater Bond movie, the first one I remember and noticed something new was For Your Eyes Only.  I noticed the women.

Almost every Bond movie has two important bits with women.  The first is the opening title and theme song section where the women are usually naked and silhouetted.  It was the first time I remember seeing a naked woman, or at the negative black field of her, on film.  Seeing that may have been one of the little bits of my sexual experiences that made me appreciate the beauty of women in their natural state.  The second were the Bond women themselves and their silly names.  By my mid-teens, I was rolling my eyes at their horrible character names such as Pussy Galore and Octopussy.

During my young years, Roger Moore was my favorite Bond.  I liked his casual and slightly snarky approach to the character.  As I got older, I went back to liking Connery since he was more of a macho Bond.  In college I watched the subtler Timothy Dalton's Bonds and felt the franchise had gone into a slump.  It wasn't him, it was the stories and over-the-top lines and action sequences.  I had to ask if Wayne Newton should have ever been in a Bond movie (License to Kill).

By the time Piece Brosnan took up the helm, I only watched the Bond movies by renting them on VHS.  He was good, but each story felt like a retread.  Brosnan's Bond was a unique mixture of Moore's snarkiness and a darker side that included hints at James' alcoholism.  While he did well, I lost track and missed the last two or three of his performances.

In 2006*, Daniel Craig took on the Bond role in Casino Royale.  According to a recent Vanity Fair article about him and the role, Brosnan gave him a bit of advice, "Don't fuck it up."  Craig said he learned what that meant after his first movie came out and suddenly felt not only the weight of the role, but also the weight of the whole Bond universe was on him.

Bond's transgressive coming out of the water.

Vesper Lynd from Casino Royale still.

Casino Royale was the first Bond movie I went to see in a theater in over a decade.  I really wanted to see it for many reasons all of which concerned the new Bond, Daniel Craig.  First, he is barely a year older than me.  he is the first Bond my age.  That is important to me.  I feel connected to him because of that.  We were both in our upper 30's when that movie came out.   Second, he is the first blond Bond.  I am a blond too. 

In that movie he broke so many Bond rules.  First, he didn't have the sex with the usual three women in it.  Second, he drove a Ford Focus as his first car.  Third, instead of having a beauty like Ursula Andress or Halle Berry come out the water dripping wet in a swim suit, he came out buff and hot as ever.  I think even every straight man had to feel his privates twitch at that scene.  He represented masculinity and its raw beauty in that magic moment.  Fourth, he was rough.  In the famous parkour scene where he is chasing a villain through a building site, the baddy vaults over a half wall, Bond runs through it.  As M says in that movie to him, "You are a blunt weapon".  Fuck subtlety.  Sometimes you have to break through to the other side.   Fifth, Bond fell in love.  Vesper (which inspired the invention of a great and butt-kicking drink) was played by the unbelievable beautiful Eva Green who becomes his love and his heartbreak loss as well.  Her loss hardened his heart.  You could feel this happen with him and understood why he went cold to love and emotion after that.  This movie soon became my favorite Bond movie staring my favorite Bond movie.

A few years later, Craig's second Bond movie came out, Quantum of Solace.  It sucked for so many reasons I wont go into.  I was worried for the franchise after seeing it.  The only saving bit was Jack White and Alicia Key's them song, Another Way to Die.

In my next post, I will finally write about Skyfall. 

*I always wondered why they didn't wait to release the movie in 2007... as in 007 in 2007!


Little deaths.

Leila and Hana - 111612
Little deaths around me.
This memory, that relationship, those opportunities.
Some die slow and quietly from neglect or lack of need or use.
Others snuff out instantly, screaming or just a soft whimper.
Some by my hands, some theirs'.
Leaves falling from a tree can't go back.


Sex and death

Valya - 111012

Memento mori is a Latin phrase translated as "Remember your mortality", "Remember you must die" or "Remember you will die". It refers to a genre of artworks that vary widely but which all share the same purpose: to remind people of their mortality, an artistic theme dating back to antiquity. - Wikipedia
Maybe it is watching the dead leaves fall from the trees.  I am feeling the connections between life and death more and more.  I've written about the connection between sex and the universe, spirituality, and connection to the greater.  I also wrote briefly about the French term for orgasm, le petit mort, "the little death" or the "...spiritual release that comes with orgasm or to a short period of melancholy or transcendence as a result of the expenditure of the 'life force'" (Wikipedia, again)

I am now going to write about the connection I feel between sex and death.  It isn't that sex can kill or lead to death for me,  but more of an overall acceptance of both in my life.  Sex is a part of me as much as my heart, my eyes, my penis, and my soul.  It is part of me and I am part of it.  For me, sex is life and life is sex, but also a cousin to death. 

While some may argue that the opposite of life is death, death comes only from a life ending.  Life has no real meaning if we don't face death.  Sex is part of it all.  Sex creates life.  Life leads to death.  The circle seems a perverse threesome. 
Death is just a tad bit younger than life and it is one of the oldest organic conditions in our existence. Maybe by connecting sex to creating new life, the opposite of death, the orgasm gives us a taste of both in the blissful moment.- me
Sex makes me feel more alive than ever, especially during it.  Afterward though, during the post-glow quietness, I feel closer to my mortality.  It is an acceptance and a reminder that I am a little closer to it, at least one orgasm closer.  It is not a morose feeling, just an acknowledgement and acceptance of it being in my future.  Maybe that is why I feel closer to the universe during and after sex.  A small part of sex plays a role in the painting of my life.  It is the little skull in the corner acting as my momento mori.  It is me feeling alive and in some small way dieing just a little bit inside me.


Our American City - New York

From Hoboken, NJ - 111012

If you read my stuff, you know I love, am in love with, and have an infatuation with New York City.  I've walked the streets, ate the food, photographed the place, and always feel a longing to return.  I can't claim I know it or am from there though although I feel myself desiring it again.
Valya - 111012

When the news kept coming back about Sandy's devastation to it, I instantly felt my heart sink.  I was there almost exactly a year ago and enjoyed the brisk November weather.  Now, I worried about all the people I know there.  Some had damage, some are cold and in the dark, but all are holding up.   I emailed Valya and she said her power was out, but she and her family were OK out in Brooklyn.

New York has a resilience that is unique to itself.  It can take one right on the chin, get up, tell the hurricane to, "go fuck itself", and then eventually go back to being New York.

New York - once you get back up again, I will be back.  I love you.


Does size matter?

Tiana and Truck - 110912

What is the right length for a blog post?  Should it be as long as the stories published in Vanity Fair" that go on for pages with densely written text deeply exploring a topic?  Should it be closer to a newspaper article that provides a solid overview of a topic, but not going into depth?  Should it be closer to a Facebook update that pretty much is status update?  Should I even be comparing it to written things and look to other expressive outlets like tv, movies, podcasts and vodcasts?

A good friend of mine from high school and I are thinking of starting a blog.  It will be for artistic growth and sharing knowledge and will also be for promoting our collaborations with commercial goals.  I've never done a partnership blog and am very excited about this opportunity.  One aspect we need to address is what is the best way to lure in readers, viewers, and potential customers with content that is rich, valuable, and appreciated without either giving away too much or going too deep without being too shallow and vapid?

We are at the very beginning stages of all this.  One thing we need to work on is defining our audience.  This will help us determine what we write and share.  We want smart, sexy, people that appreciate art, erotica, and are not afraid of exploring edgy issues and will want more.  What are the right hooks to attract them?

We need to think about how much do we give out and how much do we sell.  If we create a book, we would be stupid to show all the images online and give it away.  If we have erotic stories or essays about the topic that will be compiled into something more, we can't give it all away either.

This morning, I watched a trailer for the new Bond movie, Skyfall.  It is a very good trailer.  It showed just enough to get the idea of what the movie promises without giving away the story by showing all the key developments.  I hate seeing  movie trailers that pretty much synopsizes the whole movie by showing all the good bits.  While this trailer is great for a singular offering of one movie, an online equivalent for a blog requires a bit more than a tease.  Blogs are periodicals, movies are events.  We will need to find that balancing point of giving richness to our readers and yet leaving them wanting to go beyond the blog and explore what we created and buy it.  Where is that fine line between just stringing someone along vs. giving away the whole cow?


Where have you been?

Tiana - 110912

I've been a busy boy/photographer.  I wont bore you by regaling you with all the arduous details.  The big thing is that I have my photos up in two galleries and a local coffee shop.  They are three very different series out there, so I am proud to have so many different pieces out there.
ECHO Gallery - Calistoga, Ca

I am excited that I am getting my stuff out there.  It feels good that others are seeing them.  While they are my tamer photos, some still have an edge to them.   I need to find venues for sharing my nude/erotic work. 

In other news, I got a new Epson 3880 printer.  There is something rich about holding a physical print rather than just seeing its pixel sibling.

None of this post is too deep or profound.  I need to get into some meaty topics in the near future.  I also hope to have my "I Objectify Women..." series completed in the next month and will have to share some of it here.  There is also the election to write about.  Oh  yeah, erotica, sex, sensuality, and carnal mayhem are always fun too.

Java Jax - Vallejo, CA
Java Jax - Vallejo, CA

Photo note - Tiana was a great model.  I hope to work wither her again in the new year.

I love the energy of this song.


Sunshine on my shoulders...

Tiana -  101712

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy
Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry
Sunshine on the water looks so lovely
Sunshine almost always makes me high.
- John Denver
John Denver's somewhat sappy song makes sense at times.  I grew up listening to my mom's John Denver album and always paused to soak in this song.  It wasn't so much that the lyrics had meaning to me, but the Taize nature of the song pacified me for the moment.

If you know me, you know I am not a big fan of standing out in the sun.  I actually hate just standing or sitting in the sun.  It is hot and it makes me cranky.  With that said, there are times though I appreciate turning my face to the source of all organic energy on earth and relishing in its warmth.


The price of branding and exposure.

Valya - 092612

I am in a conundrum.  To become a better artist and to try to make a living from it I have to promote myself more. I appreciate and understand that, but where is the balance?  How much of this exposure is about my product or about my own personal brand?  What is the price of branding and exposure?

A friend gave us an beautiful original platinum print a few years ago of a young Mexican woman standing by a fountain in a plaza.  That is a definite description of the product and could mean the print is worth a few dollars or a few thousand.  With just this description though, I would only pay the lower end of the spectrum.

A friend gave us a beautiful original Edward Weston platinum print of Frida Kahlo.  Just that sentence alone increased the photo's value substantially.  It has two very powerful names with Edward Weston as the photographer and Frida Kahlo as the subject.  It bears both their brands.

When building a personal brand, the creator's personality, accomplishments, failures, challenges, likes and dislikes, and creations are built into the brand.   Think about Edward Weston's brand - black and white modern photographer and pioneer of the art, fine-art nude photographer pioneer, lived in the US and Mexico, often took photos of his lovers or had intimate relationships with his models, part of the California photography movement, co-founder of the Group f/64, and so on.  He was temperamental, had estranged children, and other personal challenges.  All of this has become part of his legend and his brand and helps ensure his art continues to hold or gain value.

Out of all the prints I've sold, I've never heard anyone say, "I own a Sutphin photo."  I would probably hear, "I have a great photo of horses and windmills that I bought from this guy in California."  Only people that know me personally and know my work have a chance of looking at a photo of mine and being able to identify it by style, content, etc., that it is one of mine.  Most others just see the content.   My branding is weak in two ways, no one recognizes my name to my art and no one can look at my art and identify it as mine. 

Rocky Mountain Front near Heart Butte, Blackfoot Indian Reservation, Montana - 092612
The answer appears very simple - get my work and name out there.  Promote, promote, promote.  The cost of it though is what do I associate with my name?   I see I can have at least two very different categories of clients, starting with portraits and erotic fine-art photography.  I doubt my clients for either group really care of or for the other type of work I do.  Do I hide one (probably the nudes) to grow my other brand and business?  Am I ready for my personal history, warts and all, to become part of my brand?  Is my history exciting enough to add to my brand?  I think about this because as someone's notoriety grows, so does his/her exposure and discovery of personal history.  Both my friends/clients and my competition are going to want to know about me if my art star rises.  How will this information of my work and life affect those around me?

It is sad that we can't embrace sexuality, sensuality, and eroticism as an open art form without worrying about fall out from it.  I greatly lament this, but it is the reality and I must figure out my niche and how I can exploit it.  It's easy for me to think I wont worry about what others think of me, but if I want to grow my brand, I need to be concerned about it's value and appearance as well.  As much as I am growing into accepting who I am and trying not to worry what others think, that nagging worry will always be there. 


And the winner is... charisma

False Idols - 092312
"Charisma is a sparkle in people that money can't buy.  It's an invisible energy with visible effects."   - Marianne Williamson
Here is my attempt at a non-political post about the presidential election. I predict President Obama will win and my theory is not based on politics. It has to deal with the personality traits of his challenger.

Mitt Romney doesn't have the personality traits of prior successful presidential candidates that beat an incumbent president. He is not charismatic or communicates a well-articulated vision for the country. I am basing this off my memories of all prior elections I've been conscious of.

'72 - Do you remember who ran against Nixon? George McGovern. I was only three, so I don't have memories of this, but I know McGovern's name is pretty much forgotten in regards to this contest for me.
'76 - Ford was an incumbent and lost to Carter. This was partially due to the taint of Nixon's resignation and Ford's lack of time to build a track record. I throw this one out as a fluke due to the crazy events leading up to it. Carter still won though.
'80 Carter lost to Reagan. Reagan was the most charismatic Republican president in recent history. He had a vision for how he would lead the nation and shared it very effectively.
'84 - Reagan wins over Mondale. Other than Mondale riding on the power of having the first female VP nominee, he lacked charisma and vision.
'88 - No incumbent.
'92 Bush 1 looses to Clinton. Like Reagan, Clinton has plenty of charisma and was very effective in communicating his vision to the country.
'96 Clinton beats Dole. While Dole had a very distinguished military and political career, he didn't show his charisma, charm or vision.
'00 - No incumbent
'04 - Bush 2 beats Kerry. Kerry is not known for charisma or vision.
'08 - No incumbent
'12 - We will see. Romney is no Reagan or Clinton though.

I recognize this over-simplifies the details of prior elections and there were many more influences on the outcomes. With power of celebrity and popularity being such a key part of American culture (American Idol, America's Got Talent, etc.), the power of charisma and vision can't be ignored.

So with this, I bring a close to anything more I want to say about the upcoming elections and the issues/people involved. The current political climate disgusts me and I don't want to add my $.02 of poison into the mix.


Fall love

Katie - 091912

Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns. - George Eliot

I love autumn.  I fall in love with it every year.  I lust for it when the first inklings of its approach become noticeable in August.   I love the colors and light the most.  They make me excited for the winter and the angular sunlight making everything look both dawn and dusk at the same time  I love driving around the countryside a little too fast and watching the leaves swirl behind my car in the invisible air currents.  I love that one of my earliest, and most favorite photo shoots took place in late November, in the hills outside of Berkeley.  Katie was a super trouper leading the way to that magic spot to capture the glorious light. 

Katie - 091912
I wonder where my soul-love for this time of year comes from.  Part of it is the excitement of childhood and going to school with all new crayons, pencils and clothes.  Another part is how beautiful Montana becomes in October.  I should also acknowledge my Scandinavian ancestry a bit.  I think that old blood of living in dark and long shadowed lands courses through me and makes me yearn for those beautiful moments.  Maybe the turning of the leaves and shifting of the light turns me into a different beast much like a full moon does to the werewolf.  Awwoooooo

At times I think I live through spring and summer so I can thrive in fall and winter.  I feel more alive during this time.  I know my own life is shifting from late summer into early fall.  Maybe I am finally aging into my personal time where I feel most at home.  I am not afraid of what my own fall and winter brings.  I know the shadows will grow longer and the light more beautiful until everything becomes a shadow and night consumes me. 

Katie 091912


The mirror of memory.

Valya - 091312
I looked back in the mirror of memory
for a guide to which lanes are still open
to merge, swerve, and pass in.

The mirror showed me this lane was closed
due to too much time and too little use.
The mirror also showed me that lane was empty
but would take me down a precarious exit.

I looked forward again, through the windshield
of nearing destinations and arrivals,
nudged on the turn signal
and didn't bother to check my blind spot
for those dangers I can't let myself see.


What do you care?

Valya - 091212

What do you care about me?  What do you think about me?  These questions are the basis for many of my behaviors and how I interact with others.  What I chose to let out of my mind and share with others is greatly regulated by my concerns of how I am perceived by others.  That bullshit needs to stop.

I am in therapy.  With that statement, I am opened up to many prejudices, stereotypes, and misconceptions.  I don't really care anymore if people know about it.  I don't wave a therapy flag or force this bit of information in a moment of too-much-information.  I  find it humorous to see their reactions.  They are usually slightly shocked, hold and awkward pause, then very cautiously ask me, "are you ok?" For many, they are concerned, for a few though, the judgements start coming.

Why am I sharing this "devil may care" attitude about my personal life?  It is because of therapy.  During my last few sessions I started discovering that due to my concern of how people view me and by the potential of me letting them down, I am not truly living with the real me.

This self sense of being Mr. Nice Guy and trying not to ruffle feathers, smooth those that are ruffled, and avoidance of delivering bad news has held me back too long.  Because of this I tend to take on too much onto myself when others should be doing their job or make their expectations more realistic.  I lose track of too many tactical, cultural, familial and other types of obligations. I am spending too much time on this shit.

A year or so ago I had a dream where my wife told me "I am not going to help you clean up the façades you built around yourself."  This profoundly hit me and cuts to the core of my tendencies to placate.  I build up all these façades to keep the peace from falling into pieces.

While that revelation is big for me, it took a simple observation from my therapist when I told her of that dream.  "Those narrations in your dreams are written by you, not the person represented in your dreams."  Whoa...  For the past year, I've subconsciously believed that statement represented something from my wife.  While it may be something she believes, it is my projection on her, manifested in a dream.  Since it is my dream script the message is directed at me... from ME. 

I know that should be very evident and elementary in terms of psychology.  I have a degree in the subject.  Unfortuntely, I never thought that those things said in my dreams are my script and messages my soul, spirit, and intellect are trying to convey to me.  I may get inklings of the messages during awake time, but it takes a dream to live those messages.

Out of all of the therapy cliches, here is a big one - the role of my parents in my current psychological health.  I will put that net out wider to include all family, many close friends and coworkers.  For years I've said "yes" to many things while suppressing my real thoughts, ideas, and desires in fear of hurting and disappointing these people.  Once my therapist got this out of me she asked the next huge question --

"How does this affect your art?"
I have two self-identified types of art I create, the secular and "sexular".  The "sexular" is all my nude photos and those images that have overt erotic elements.  The secular is pretty much all my other stuff, portraits, landscapes, commercial work, etc.  If you go to my commercial website, you will find most photos are my secular works except for a harmless, tiny, implied nude of Candace.

Back to my therapist's question, "How does this affect your work?"

For my secular art , I am concerned that the craft and art in it are not strong enough to be appreciated or accepted by those who are important to me (see list above).  I love making these photos.  Most do not have deep contextual artistic meaning, but they are fun and rewarding to make.

For my "sexular" art, I am very concerned by how I am perceived by it.  I've published publicly very little of my work in this area other than on my blog.  I think all this angst over showing this work and how it is important to me to those who may condemn me makes me put up even more façades. 

This subconscious drive most recently manifested in my newest series I am creating - I Objectify Women.  In this series, I am grappling with objectification of women, and how I am part of it.  I am hoping it will help me answer some of my own tough questions and self-doubts.  In the end though, it is becoming a statement piece saying, "This is my art and this is who I am."  Maybe it is time for me to live that mantra in more areas of my life.

"This is my work and this who I am."
"These are my desires and this is who I am."
"This is my sexuality and this is who I am."
"This is my body and this is who I am."

It's time to drop so many of the facades around me.  I need that energy for more important things.


Why are they hidden?*

"What do I remember about med school?
'This is my air hole (pointing to her nose)
My sound holes (pointing to her ears)
My food hole (pointing to her mouth)
My pee and baby holes (pointing to the front of her pants)
and my poop hole (pointing to her tush)'
All other stuff is related to those holes. " Dr. Sylvia

I got that great quote from one of the physicians I used to work with after asking her a technical medical question.  All the other doctors and nurses in the room laughed as hard as I did.  She pretty much summed up most of internal medicine right there.

 I recently had to train a group of employees about retrieving key information from a drug side-effects database and I came upon two sticking points.  The first was an acronym I didn't know and the second was a medical term for a symptom to multiple potentially dangerous conditions.

I came across the term LMP and had no idea what the acronym represented.  I asked one nurse I work with and he blushed.  I asked his boss, another nurse who is a no-nonsense and just out right said, "LMP - Last Menstrual Period. "  For some dumb reason I blushed.  I knew though I had to get over my blushing since being descriptive is a needed part of medicine.

The second event concerned doing a search on the symptom - "blood present in urine."  I chose this term for a training exercise since it brought up many interesting bits of information from the data base.  One employee warned me that it could be an awkward topic when training fellow global coworkers in certain cultures and locations.  I ended up keeping the term in the class and push through any initial emotional responses from the learners.  In my opinion, its part of our job, get over it.  It wasn't like I was saying the event in crude terms like "blood in your nasty piss".

We all have these body parts.  They all have functions and purposes, yet we are shy about them.   I know some of these body parts have less-than-idyllic functions and purposes.  We still have them though and they are a part of us.  This need to censor our natural bodies goes to all parts of our culture, especially art.

I have an anus.  I also have testes and a penis.  All my nude models I've photographed (so far) have vaginas and anuses**.  We all have the holes (in one form or another) that Dr. Sylvia mentioned.

In my photography, I captured (both intentionally and inadvertently) all of these bits and pieces, however, have you really seen any of these in the photos I've posted before today?  Nope.  In our "fine art" world, many consider them off limits as elements of acceptable art.  Why do we hide these bits of ourselves that make us human, that makes us male or female?  I am guilty of hiding them by putting them into shadow, covering them, etc.  Why?  Why hide them?

Parts of this argument can get into the porn vs. art debate.  Other arguments may include the crassness and baseness of the subject matter pulls the attention away from the art and makes the appearance of these parts the only noticeable element of the piece.  I can see both points.

I have no societal answers to these complex questions on showing our basic parts.  For myself though, I've am evolving my own aesthetic on when to include or occlude/obscure them.  It needs to come down to my intent of the piece.

I am growing more willing to include these items in my "published" art (my photos that are going to live out in the world, beyond the film negatives and my hard drive).  This applies to anuses, vaginas, genital labia, penises, etc.  For me to include them, they have to:
  • be integral to the purpose of the piece
  • not overwhelm the piece, unless there is a purpose for it to overwhelm
  • be acknowledged and/or approved by the model, knowing that this part is being shown.
I think all parts of human body can be beautiful.  I haven't photographed a nude male yet (other than myself), but find all parts of the male anatomy to have a purpose and role in art as well.

I guess much of this has been hashed out in the porn vs. art debate?   Is my intent of showing these bits for profit and exploitation, or is there an artistic reason behind it.  I am hoping for the latter.

* As much as I've enjoyed the deep metaphysical/cosmological/chronological posts of the past few days, sometimes it is important to explore the basic and close-by things in our lives as well.

** Latin scholars may stipulate that plural form of anus would be ani, but after a google search, it appears anuses is the modern accepted term.


The "big" of it all

Time (featuring Gabbi)* - 090212
I want to focus on the big picture as a conclusion to my series of posts on time.  It is easy to focus on the now, the world within a few feet of me, and the people I can see around me.  Even though I have a well established sense of object permanence, I still tend to disregard the big world around me that I am not immediately interacting with. 

My mind knows that my wife is at a church a few blocks away.  I know that my parents are probably getting in the car for their trip to their church.  I am sure President Obama and Governor Romney are talking about the election to some other people.  Even though I know all this stuff, I am not really thinking about it. 

Right now I am looking out at grassy area on the UC Berkeley Campus, drinking a tea (trying to soothe a sick stomach) and writing this.  A wall is behind me, a number of men are sitting in a random pattern in tables facing away from me.  My whole world can easily be summed up by what I am seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling and tasting at this moment.  This sense of "immediate-me" creeps into all my senses, including one of the senses we don't really count as a sense - the sense of time. 

When I was getting my first undergraduate degree**, I took two influential courses in the same quarter, geology and and astronomy.  It was in both of those classes that my concept of size, space, and time were challenged.  I held a rock that was over two billion years old.  I learned I was made of dust from stars long dead.  One night, my astronomy class used a telescope and I became a speck.    We looked at  a very faint, distant object and my professor mentioned that it was a very old star and that I was looking back in time, probably a few billion years.  He then told us that star probably didn't exist anymore and if it had a solar system, all its planets were burnt up and dust.  After looking back in time, I let my eyes adjust to the dark while standing in the cold mountain air and looked at the Milky Way floating above.  I got a glimpse into how long time really is.  The enormity hit me and I had to sit down and felt tears run down my cheeks due to the magnificent grandeur of it all and how damn insignificant I really am.

Someday you will have to say "goodbye" to the sun.
You will bid farewell to the moon, the sky, the clouds, and the stars.
As all things that live, we dim out to a smoking wick, our quiet goodbyes to those things that were  always with us acknowledge we were the grain and they were the beach.
They may not hear our goodbyes, but their existence in our beings need to be recognized and bid proper adieu. 

After that moment, I felt so insignificant in the great sense of time and space.  In the universe, I am less than a grain of sand and in the dimension of time I am less than a atomic flash.   When compared to the extreme greatness of both, there is no microscope powerful enough or time piece precise enough to measure or observe my existence.  This was (and sometimes still is) a pretty depressing realization, until I learned of another truth - the order of it all.

Our universe is spread across time and space.  It isn't haphazard or random.  Invisible forces keep it in order and can help us theorize on what has happened and predict what will happen.  Stars form from the dust of other dead stars.  From that, solar systems form, life my grow on a few planets, then the star dies out, one way or another and it starts over again.  The same is for humans, we are born, we grow up, some of us procreate, and we die.  All I have to do is live in the time I have, try not to harm others, help where I can, enjoy and experience the awe of it all, and die.  In the grand scheme of things, I really don't have much to do.   The weight of the universe is not on my shoulder and I am a tiny piece of lint on its broad shoulders.

* Please click on this to see the big picture.

** I am not bragging about my number of undergrad degrees.  I pissed away my first (psychology) by not getting good enough grades by being lazy.  This laziness cost me the chance to get into grad school and finding a job.  I went back for a second degree and did much better because of the hard lessons learned from my first one.


In a century...

Candace Nirvana -  083012

"For what its worth, in 100 years, there will be all new people." - Men of a Certain Age

For the past few posts I've written about life changes and my perception of time.   Time is intangible, but is felt.   I am realizing the number of autumns and winters (my two favorite seasons) are fewer ahead of me than behind me.  It is making me think about destiny, legacy, and fading out.

I started reading Game of Thrones a few months ago.  I just finished the third book.  In this series, it chronicles the many dynastic families as they battles for the throne of the fictional kingdom.  The aspect I am appreciating is how certain families rise to power, and then after time, fade out (or are annihilated)  I am seeing my family is doing that.

There are no male children in my direct line of the family.  I have two beautiful nieces.  If they stay with tradition and have children, their children will not have the same last name.  This branch of the Sutphin line will die out.

At first I thought this feeling of temporary existence was similar to watching driftwood float by in a river's current.  We see it upstream and watch it speed by, floating around the next bend.  Now I am seeing time as me being the rock the in the river and the years are passing me by.  The river roaring about me now isn't the same river a moment ago.

We are not our born physical selves.  All of the cells that made up my body when I was born have died and been replaced countless times.  At some point, that ability to regenerate will be gone as well, either due to old age and the limited amount of times the cells can do that, or some other intervening influence.  My bets are stroke or heart attack.  My kind don't live to ripe old ages.

My Portrait in 100 Years - James Ensor
I saw James Ensor's self portrait sketch in an art history class.  We were discussing his art and his sense of humor.  It reinforced the quote above - "For what its worth, in 100 years, there will be all new people."  Like my body not having any of the original cells I had since conception, the world will be filled with all new people as well.

I am accepting that my life and fate will be forgotten by then.  My nieces will be long gone, their children will probably be dead as well.  I wont have a headstone for someone to read and wonder who I was.   I will be dust.  Right now is my time.  One hundred years from now will not.

The time is gone, the song is over,
Thought I'd something more to say. 
- Time - Pink Floyd


A diferent time piece

Gabbi (Noon o'clock) - 082212

I saw the first red leaf of fall today, and I was also thinking about change - it's cyclic and reflects nature.

A few days ago Carla mentioned noticing the changes around her in a comment she shared on my last post.  Recently I've felt tick-tock time is losing its meaning to me.  I am losing my ability to feel the seconds go by and know what part of the clock the hands are resting on.

If people have super powers, I have had two.  I can almost always tell where north is.  From that I can usually point toward any direction.    I am sitting in a windowless room right now, and just pointed north and then checked it on my iPhone compass.  I was off by less than 5 degrees.  This doesn't mean I don't get lost.  It just means I usually get un-lost pretty fast. 

Sadly, my second super power, being able to intrinsically tell tick-tock time without looking at a clock and being accurate within 15 minutes is fading fast and is nearly gone.  For many years, I only carried a watch when to-the-minute accuracy was needed.  Now I wear a watch so I know which hour it is in tick-tock time.

I use the term tick-tock time to represent the human-made time measurement system based on seconds, minutes, and hours.  While it is dividing a solar year down into 365 days (not including leap year) with 24 hours in a day, with each hour consisting of 60 minutes, and each minute containing 60 seconds.  That is 525,600 seconds in a year.  I have no mechanism in me to note the passage of a second, minute, or hour anymore.

If we are healthy, our resting heart rate is around 60 beats-per-minute (bpm).  I can't trust my heart to tell time though.  When I sleep, it drops to less than that rate.  If I am excited, it can easily double.  Without having an internal mechanism anymore to tell tick-tock time, where am I getting my cues?  The natural universe provides it.

The earth's daily rotation provides a good basic visual time piece, light or no light.  My next favorite is the 28 day lunar cycle.  I know that if it is a new moon now, it will be a full moon in 14 days.  I am always looking up at the moon, when visible to give me a clue as to it's path.  Here is a link to learn about the phases of the moon. 

For the past few years I've felt the seasonal transitions more and more.  I like some more than others, preferring fall and winter to spring and summer.  I feel each one though.  Every August I can tell when autumn is coming by noticing the lengthening of shadows and the quality of light around me.  I feel the winter solstice by enjoying the long, dark, cold days of winter.  The seasonal changes are one measurement of time I feel deep in me.

Maybe my spirit is trying to tell me something with my loss of ability to internally tell tick-tock time.  It isn't the second that separates present me from past and future me.  It is the changing of the universe around me affected by the cycles we physically go through.  I can't control these cycles.  All I can do is recognize them and make sure I live as much as possible through them. 



Life changes (as a verb)

Candace Nirvana - 082012

Time may change me
But you can't trace time 
~ Changes - David Bowie
Life changes so quickly.  It isn't always the change we need to focus on, but the fact it is changing.  I sometimes overlook this important part as my days whiz by me.  I only  look at what is changing (i.e., my waist and hair lines, my bank account balances, the new color on the walls, etc.).  I rarely look at the fact that things are changing, I am changing and what does change mean to me.  I need to ask myself , "Why am I changing?".

For the first time in 21 years, I am sort of a bachelor again.  My wife and I are still together (we just had our anniversary last week), but I also helped her move during that time as well.  We are purposely living apart now.

She is finishing up her PhD in Spanish literature (final revisions) and earned a tenure-track position in Las Vegas at a college down there.  She is going through orientation today and classes start next week.  She was offered this job a month ago, so this change came fast.  Fortunately, we have a home there, so the move was minimal - one car load of books and some additional clothing.

I am really proud of her and am contemplating what this means for us.  We are going to be flying a bit to see each other until I can get a decent job down there.  I also have to figure out what to do with our under-water home in California and all the stuff stored in it.  What about my desire to get an MFA in photography and teaching art and photography while developing a business?  Once again though, I am focusing on what the change is, not on the act of change.

Why are all these big changes coming down?  Many of the changes are due to manifestations of earlier goals.  Some are due to financial limitations and abilities.  A few fall into the change-(or shit-) happens category.  I still need to think  about what the act of changing is doing to me.  Am I control of my change?  If "yes", how much control do I have and how can I control it more?

Maybe I am getting too deep into what my evolving life is doing and I should be content and ride the wave.  That though gives away control.   I think I need to allow myself time to sit on the side and watch the change and see if it is taking me where I need to go and how I can change on my own terms and not just living with the changes.

I watch the ripples change their size
But never leave the stream 
~ David Bowie

Photo note - Candace Nirvana delivering a quiet moment.  Sometime powerful stuff can come in subtle messages and moments.