Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Saturday, September 09, 2017

A Sort Of Goodbye

Dear Old Friend,


Thank you.

I feel like nothing I say here will come close to describing what I want to say to you...but try I must. And try to write this even at the risk of looking like a fool. Bravery in the face of absurdity is something I learned from you and your sister so why not give it a try now. What is more absurd than writing a goodbye to someone you have not talked to in decades? I'm not too proud to be a fool.

You and your sister were like surrogate parents to me when I was young. There hasn't been a time in my life when I didn't use you and her as a yardstick to measure and weigh any decision I have made. I have never felt apart from either of you. I have tried to live my life according to the ethics and common sense I learned  from both of you in each of your individual and unique approaches to living and making decisions. Even how I have voted over the years has come from discussions and perspectives from you. Next to my sister and Oma you are the two single most influential people in my life. You showed me how to live and how to think.

I consider that influence to go beyond time and space. I experience it to go beyond even physical proximity. I did not plan to accept your influence but that influence has infused itself on my life whether I wanted it or not. Your influence has endured.

It is the knowledge that you are going on a voyage that has inspired me to write this note  that if possible by some freak click of the keyboard you might find this post...I want to thank you. I also write knowing you will likely not see this and knowing that thats okay too. I did say these things the last time I saw you and for that I am also grateful. However, saying thank you does not have a limit does it?

I want to thank you for being one of the funniest people I have known. I'm funnier for it. Thank you for being so intelligent and curious about the world with intense arguments and ideas. I'm smarter for it. You have influenced my art work, my family life and my dedication to living in freedom. My life might have become very different than yours or your sisters but that is because I had different work to do. Mainly my life took a different path because I was terribly immature back then. I had a lot of learning, therapy and experiments to do to even begin to be as wise as you and your sister. But the struggle of learning made deliverance all the sweeter.

I am grateful to both of you because I was able to live a good well-adjusted adult life and practice film and art and writing free of any burden of the material world. I had the confidence to make art and live without answering to censorship, fear or social constructs. I got that from you. You are one of the most special and talented storytellers I have ever known. You made me a better storyteller. And, perhaps oddly,  I have never ever felt separate from either of you as your individual personas...helped build me. Love is bigger and more powerful than rules, laws, transgressions or distance. It really is eternal and goes beyond even consent or participation. You and your sister are in the structure of my thinking right into my life, work, meaning and emotions.

Thank you for being part spiritual and part ethical parents. You both made me a better parent and that is probably the most important lesson you gave me.

Love can not be legislated. Love really is everywhere. Love really does not answer to society's norms,  politics or intolerance. Love really is stronger than any other sensation and it is transcendental and transformative. You changed me. Thank you for teaching me this. Love, Candy.

Friday, August 18, 2017

I'm With Stupa



A stupa is a Buddhist artifact that combines aesthetics, sculpture, symbolism and celestial content. A stupa’s architectural symbolism is to spaciality as what myth is to verbality. Myth comes from the word “mu” which means “to speak silently.” Mute or mu, or the Greek word muein means to close the eyes or mueo to initiate silently. The stupa contains an ecosystem of information that is transmitted through history, construction, design, location and spiritual significance rather than words. Stupas can be found throughout Asian countries including Thailand, Japan and India. Stupas have pre-Buddhist origins as they were sometimes a mound covering the remains of sages, nuns or “muni”, ancient ascetics who performed acts of austerity.

A stupa is an object made to stand up vertically from the ground with architectural details not only marking a location but representing directions of the earth, seasons, the pole star and both the moon and the sun. A stupa is built in several sections with it’s square base placed into the ground with each side marking a direction of north, south, east, and west. The design of a stupa has constant characteristics of centrality, axiality astronomical  movements and orientation. The prime essence of a stupa is verticality. Verticality has symbols aligning the stupa in other visual motifs and imagery such as the tree of life, the mast of a ship, a mountain, a pillar, Cosmic Person, a crucifix, a wheel spoke, vajra, ladder/lattice and the smoke that rises from a fire. Janinism, Buddhism and Hinduism all share design symbols of the stupa. Buddhist art-historian Adrian Snodgrass describes the ritual surrounding the construction of a stupa as “the ritual orients and delimits space and in so doing renders it meaningful. It creates special order from disorder, cosmos out of chaos. It sacrileges space, establishing a sacred area, in the midst of profane environs. The periphery of the square separates a frame area, a space with form, from an amorphous surrounding; it marks out a defined, and therefore knowable, space, from an indefinite and inconceivable extension; it specifies a relevant area, a field of ritual operation, from an irrelevant space.” Snodgrass continues, “ The ritual of site demarcation and orientation is to be understood in this context of significance. By means of the ritual the builder identifies the center of his structure with the axis of the universe, by measuring out from the centre he repeats by analogy the process of cosmogony. The space he delineates is a reflected likeness of the total cosmos, its area made meaningful by way of its connection with the supra-physical realms located along the axis that centers it.”

Not only does the stupa represent a marker for location and time but it is also a figurative representation of the Buddha. The square base of the stupa represents the crossed legs of the meditating Buddha and the circular top of the stupa represents the head of the Buddha. What does this design begin to tell us about who or what is Buddha? And what is the purpose of designing a sacred object that marks seasons, the moon and the sun and represents the Buddha? A stupa is a Buddhist building and it’s simple symbology can give us insight into more complicated forms like towns, tombs, palaces and temples. I love to do volunteer work in sacred spaces in part because of studying the the construction of stupas. The logic behind a stupa offers  insight into directionality,  and practical operations in a  church or temple. One of the possibilities of doing service in a sacred building is the design helps expedite (upaya) comprehension and experience.

A boat also has a design that derives and relates to nature, location, verticality, time and astronomical movements aligning some of it’s symbology in literature with a stupa. I grew up on boats and as a kid I used to catch salmon and crabs to bring home to feed our family. No matter how much fun it is to to be out on the ocean or a lake to sail, or swim or fish, my family always instilled a serious attitude towards the practical side of boating and the design and outfitting of a boat. The ocean is beautiful but it is also dangerous. The next selection for movie night is a Robert Redford film called All Is Lost. Remember the root of the word of myth being “mu” mentioned earlier? Mu means to speak silently. This Redford movie filmed in 2013 is basically a contemporary silent film. Redford is outstanding and every bit as profound and monumental as Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton. Redford brings a similar pathos to his clown living alone on the ocean on his expensive sailboat. Is he stupid or entitled or full of grace? The premise of the film is that for some unknown reason to the audience Redford is sailing alone in the Indian Ocean and we meet him the day his boat has been rammed and seriously damaged by a shipping container. In the same way that Keaton or Chaplin captivated their audiences with brilliant physical work and the pure charisma of their personas, Robert Redford does the same here. It’s difficult to believe only one actor in a  limited setting can produce so much angst, passion and fear in an audience but this film does so. Both a boat and a stupa are like proto-gps units. The idea of location and direction are powerful survival needs and their different designs depend and contain ways for the human to navigate and live with directionality. They are both a literal manifestation of the Dharma path and powerful symbolic objects of the Dharma path. The stupa is literally and metaphorically the embodiment of the Buddha. A boat is literally and metaphorically the embodiment of the human. I hope you will join us exploring how a boat can symbolize the human body, the womb of the Great Mother, a journey, a moving home and the human condition in an unlikely adventure story. 



Friday, June 02, 2017

Double Standard

 So Matt Groening and RR Martin can depict beheaded presidents with almost no reaction. (at least not from politicians)
 Did Kathy Griffin get all this heat because she is a woman?
Yes. This is the country-wide, liberal and right wing reaction of a religious and oppressive regime.

Two signs of fascism....

- Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts -- Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts
-Controlled Mass Media -- Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or through sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in wartime, is very common.
http://www.rense.com/general37/char.htm

Thursday, June 01, 2017

What Is Censorship?

 "Judith Slaying Holofernes" is a painting by the Italian early Baroque artist Artemisia Gentileschi completed between 1614–20. The work shows the scene of Judith beheading Holofernes, common in art since the early Renaissance, as part of the group of subjects called the Power of women, which show women triumphing over powerful men. The subject takes an episode from the apocryphal Book of Judith in the Old Testament, which recounts the assassination of the Assyrian general Holofernes by the Israelite heroine Judith. The painting shows the moment when Judith, helped by her maidservant, beheads the general after he has fallen asleep drunk. Wiki
Two aspects of Fascism
- Disdain for Intellectuals and the Arts -- Fascist nations tend to promote and tolerate open hostility to higher education, and academia. It is not uncommon for professors and other academics to be censored or even arrested. Free expression in the arts is openly attacked, and governments often refuse to fund the arts
-Controlled Mass Media -- Sometimes the media is directly controlled by the government, but in other cases, the media is indirectly controlled by government regulation, or through sympathetic media spokespeople and executives. Censorship, especially in wartime, is very common.
http://www.rense.com/general37/char.htm



Wednesday, May 31, 2017

The eye and missing eye motif is pretty cool. In film noir there is a recurring motif about the femme fatale's eyes. In the descriptions or dialogue special attention is paid to their eyes. This occurs in Maltese Falcoln, Bladerunner and Chinatown for example. The eyes are what we know. So in film noir the femme fatale actually knows what's going on, or has seen something behind what the detective can see and is trying to learn. In classical mythology warriors have lost or sacrificed an eye. In seeking wisdom the eye is symbolic for perception. Also....one is trading in one mode of seeing for another. The meaning is that a "lower self" has been traded for a "higher self"....so the warrior has more vision in another format. One mode of perception is traded for a another form of perception. In the collage below Laura Palmer is looking inside with one eye. As an audience we are trading in one mode of perception for another. We are trading our intellectual or rationale perceptions for the aesthetic or artistic and spiritual perceptions. Lynch is showing us our own sacrifices for wisdom, the time we spend following narratives.

Friday, April 28, 2017

An Acting Family

 I am participating in another group online discussion of HENY VIII. I started looking at one thing or another during Act 4. I was curious about performances in the U.S. because the political game playing in the play reminds me of contemporary politics. I found there was a 63 week performance on Broadway produced by English actor Herbert Beerbohm Tree in 1916. I looked around at his biography and his whole family is so fascinating. Above photo is him, below is his wife Helen Maud Holt, also an actor.

 Their three daughters were also actors and poets...and one a bohemian. Above Violet, below Felicity.

 And here is their daughter Iris, a poet, bohemian and artist's model, for no less than Modigliani.
Mr. Tree had seven illegitimate children.I almost fell over....when I read... His grandson was Oliver Reed. I adored Olive Reed he is really one of my favorite actors. When I looked at his Wikipedia page...I was shocked that he died so relatively young. In theory, he could be in his 70's right now...and still working. Oh that feels sad. I just loved him!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Jiro Dreams of Sushi









"Get obsessed and stay obsessed" THE HOTEL NEW HAMPSHIRE.
I've worked with volunteering since I was a kid. My parents raised my sister and I to do community volunteerism whether it was with environmental issues or with humanist issues. Sometimes through civic approaches (Greenpeace) sometimes through spiritual approaches (religious groups or meditation retreats). One of the things I have noticed living in the United States is that many people in the city do not seem to understand that there is a potential for ecstasy when doing volunteer work. This is especially true in the disciplines I grew up practicing within Hinduism and Buddhism. Many Buddhists I have worked with for decades...in Canada...we would fight to be the first one to wash a floor, clean a toilet. It was considered so lame to just wipe off a counter or type a letter. The dirtier and more labour intensive the better the possibility for excitement and sublime peak experience. Working with a group of other people also taught to feel happy emotions while volunteering for Habitat For Humanity, or building a stage for the Dalai Lama...we would stay up all night and work work work. The Sanskrit word (yes there is a word for this!) is upaya. I have had that experience at my friend's church for born-agains. But the surprise of working with several different Buddhist organizations in Chicago and hearing people name-calling or complaining about the work, or not volunteer at all...is something I was very much experienced a cultural shock. People have tended to volunteer to do work that is familiar to their carreer...or puts them in a position of power...not realizing that the more crazy stuff you do always you to take a risk and be vulnerable...taking the ego off guard...and expediting an opportunity for a profound experience.Why don't people want to have fun working together outside of their jobs? A mystery!! One of the things about doing Cook It Forward...was to try to teach and share the bliss of working for a cause that was't for one's ego. And to see if that concept could be introduced or at least hinted at. I believe we did have some success...while serving unhoused persons. This is not a merit based thing...it is a spirit thing...learning an attitude of doing suffering work and feeling like you can laugh about it or bond. And here comes a documentary...that has gripped me. I thank my friend Greg for suggesting this movie. What a revelation. The documentary JIRO DREAMS OF SUSHI introduces an idea to mainstream American culture through Netflix of a fascinating artisan concept of shokunin. It's a little tiny bit like the Sanskrit word upaya which means skillful means. The idea that work done while applying very intense emotion and labour to details....to mindfulness....and it giving one a life lesson....is similar to the lessons in Robert Pirsig's book ZEN AND THE ART OF MOTORCYCLE MAINTENANCE. The idea that a practice can give a person a set of philosophical, mindfulness skills is one that is slowly becoming an idea in the United States, but it's not just here... Contemporary industrial society everywhere has lost this relationship with the art of practice and enlightenment. (or if you prefer self-awareness, self-examination, transforming if one needs to transform.)The negative side to studying and practicing a craft could be called "tunnel vision"...however...all of the artists I know have only had the best attitude to making paintings or writing and sculpture. It is the combination of attitude and work...to align the work of the body to the spirit of the will. Here is a very interesting breakdown of the Japanese word shokunin, as well as the trailer for this documentary. I will probably watch it five more times.
"1. A serious attitude toward one’s work
2. Aspiration to improve – to strive for perfection
3. Cleanliness (which includes a proper order in one’s life and work)
4. Lead rather than collaborate
5. Bring passion to one’s work, (and through that passion to discover moments of ecstasy)"
Marahiro Yamamoto

Monday, March 27, 2017

Painting With Shakespeare

 I am watching a 2009 version of LOVE'S LABOUR'S LOST filmed at The Globe. And I'm making a few paintings.




Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Two Excellent Articles

"Why is my life so hard"



"Most of us feel we face more headwinds and obstacles than everyone else — which breeds resentment. We also undervalue the tailwinds that help us — which leaves us ungrateful and unhappy. How can we avoid this trap?"




"Taking a big picture view, hedonistic sustainability is what happens when you stop thinking about buildings as structures and start thinking about them as ecosystems."

  • Hedonistic Sustainability


  • From Freakonomics
  • Why is my life so hard?


  • BBQ At The Buddhist Temple Of Chicago




    Monday, February 27, 2017

    Guest Speaker


    Dr. Shabana Mir was a guest speaker for Interfaith Sunday Service at the Buddhist Temple of Chicago yesterday. Dr. Mir visited the temple from the American Islamic College and she told some very good stories and shared her personal narrative of being Muslim. One story she told was so insightful and puts perspective on how culture changes. She told us about an uncle of hers who moved to South Carloina from Pakistan in the 1950's. Her uncle, who everyone called Mo, was a tennis player and everyone knew him as the "brown guy who played tennis". Her Uncle Mo became interested in a woman he met and he wanted to date her. Since it was the 1950's Mo wanted too be very respectful so he went to the girls parents and asked to speak to them and have their permission to date their daughter. Mo meets with the girls mother who asks him questions. She asks, "What religion are you?" Mo answers, "Muslim." The mother says, "What's that?" and so Mo briefly explains his faith and ...the mother says, "So you're not Catholic?" "No" says Mo. The girls mother says, "Okay you can date my daughter." Part of this delightful story was to demonstrate how fluid religion is and how relationships and attitudes to religion change depending not on religion or faith, but on our various cultures and our culture's beliefs. Dr. Mir was very thoughtful and a charming speaker bringing anthropology and her own personal life into her lecture.

    Friday, February 24, 2017

    Answers To Random-Assed Questions

    These questions are from The Shameful Sheep
    and 27th Street blogs....

    1) Who are you named for?
    My dad's first car, a Hillman Minx.

    2) Do you like your handwriting?
    Half of the time....if I can take time to write....but after so many years on the computer I find it exhausting to hand write and I feel like I have forgotten how

    3) What is your favourite lunchmeat?
    Turkey

    4) Longest relationship?
    With my husband Stagg

    5) Do you still have your tonsils?
    Yes

    6)Would you bungee jump?
    No fucking way (However I have been known to ski so it's not like I don't like adventure)

    7) Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
    Most of the time

    8) What is your favourite ice cream?
    Chocolate

    9) What is the first thing you notice about people?
    I don't know. I guess body language.

    10) Football or baseball?
    Meh. Hockey. I'll watch almost any sport if it's in playoffs though.

    11) What colour pants are you wearing?
    Bright green velour

    12) Last thing you ate?
    Open-faced cheese and avocado sandwich

    13) If you were a crayon what colour would you be?
    Purple

    14) Favourite smell?
    Coffee. Followed by roses, gardenias, vanilla...

    15) Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?
    Vivien a community organizer

    16) Hair colour?
    Blonde

    17) Eye colour?
    Blue

    18) Favourite foods to eat?
    Artichokes, pomegranates, nachos, curries

    19) Scary movies or happy endings?
    Yep


    20) Last movie you watched?
    Now You See Me 2

    21) Favourite holiday?
    Halloween!

    22 Beer or wine?
    Yes

    23) Night owl or early bird?
    Night owl. I can totally function in the morning but I'm faking it.

    24) Favourite day of the week?
    Don't have one

    25) Which three of your favourite bloggers do you want to know more about?
    I don't want to put anyone in a spot, so I don't usually tag....but I would love to read my blogger friends answers t this...so if you do this list, let me know in the comments please.




    Wednesday, February 15, 2017

    How Do We Talk?

    A few of us are facilitating an event where people who are concerned with the lack of communication between different voters can share perspectives with each other.

    Gathering people who voted for Clinton, people who voted for Trump, people who voted for Stein or Johnson, people who wanted Sanders and compromised to vote for someone else….people who voted for Green party, Democrats, Republicans, or refused to vote at all….to share what they believe and think in a friendly, respectful manner, We will meet and agree as a group on ground rules for discussion and have a professional facilitator chair the discussion so everyone has a voice. 

    Most people every where around the world want the best for their family and friends. Wanting the best for our family and friends is a a natural appropriate emotion and need. But it seems many of us disagree on how to achieve that wish. How do we communicate and find out our differences and our common ground? Let’s meet in person and humanize our opposing views.


    This gathering has the potential to be a door opening and a chance for us to begin dialogue. We might even be able to set a recurring meet up to reach out to more people or inspire more people to open such discussions. Please consider joining us. Message Candy Minx to RSVP. Location to be messaged back to participants only.


    You can find out more here at Facebook...and RSVP to me via Fb messages if you want to participate.

    Facebook Event

    Is It Possible?

    Something I've been wondering about...and it's difficult for me to vocalize...because in the emotional mood people saying or taking one indelicate step...can anger each other so easily. My voicing a different perspective on friendship, communication and politics...has actually cost me some friends. I guess I found out that the people I thought were cool...were actually not cool...they were very rigid in their ways of thinking and not able to disagree compassionately. Not a fun lesson to learn about people one thought were friends. 
    So I proceed understanding I am vulnerable...but I am also strong enough to risk being vulnerable. I believe the only way to create social change and to participate in a revolution is by being vulnerable.
    My query is....is it possible that the political climate right now...might be the first time some citizens have ever experienced political and social betrayal? Is it possible...that part of the split we are witnessing in this civil war between the country and the city....and people who people other people are stupid versus the so-called "stupid" belieiving the others are "selfish". Yes, it seems there is a split between one group believes the other is stupid...and the other group believes the others are selfish.
    Is it possible that President Agent Orange (thank you Busta Rymes) has triggered a sense of failure and betrayal to a group of the population that has never experienced such betrayal before?
    I see a kind of difference in the older senior population...they literally approach the political climate as "business as usual" i
    n the United States. Yes, they think there is a sense of chaos and speed to the outrage on social media.....but they also say..."this is politics, it's been like this for a long time" where...the younger people I know...have a sense of feeling so betrayed. Is it possible that the people who are older....have lived through Vietnam, Reagan, Clinton, Bush Sr and W and so many tramatic administrative crisis that they feel less optimistic and they never expected a positive outcome from an election? Many of this group I have interviewed perceive the last administration s failing in many ways too. The idea of politics and "hope" is naive to them.
    An example I use came across was the sorrow expressed to me about a five year old boy bing put in handcuffs a few days ago and separated from his parents for five hours. I was so surprised that would be upsetting to anyone here in the United States...because where I sit...thats business as usual for the United States. I know people here who were traumatized by a young child being ripped away from their family by SWAT team and confiscated and deported. 
    Is the outrage about politics right now....partly a case of more people coming to understand how many people IN THE PAST felt about a President and their administration tearing a child away from their family by a SWAT team? Is it possible that a new generation that may have either not been so engaged in feeling betrayed by government and politics..either because they were too young to witness Vietnam, or Clintons sexual predatoriness, or Bush W. obsession with war, or a Sat team confiscating a child...is now seeing these kinds of events for the first time...and feel this is "new" a new outrage a new corruption. For many U.S. citizens...they have lost hope with politicians and government a long time ago. part of the civil war might be that more people are feeling betrayed....but they disagree on what that exact betrayal is for each other?

    Sunday, February 05, 2017

    A Painting In The Works

     Here is a small commissioned painting I have been making. It's not finished yet...but close...





    A Make Up Plug

     If you feel like trying something new...here is some facial and cosmetic products I use and sell. The skin and foundation tools are really incredible. https://www.youniqueproducts.com/CandyMinx1/business/presenterinfo#.WJdBUxjMxcA


    Friday, February 03, 2017

    More Reno Pics

     The place is looking more and more amazing. It will be fun to post a before and after....soon...



    My Artist Site

     I've got my Artist Site up and running. If you wondered what my short films look like, or what I have written for conferences...you can see them here: Candy Art Site

    Thursday, February 02, 2017

    Renovation At Work

    I work part time at an Italian American restaurant down the street from where we live in Pilsen. They have been closed for renovations....but it's really getting close to re-opening! I'm excited to get back to bartending there. These pics are the first week of demolition.