Posts Tagged ‘Jiddu Krishnamurti’

Betrayed and wronged in everything,
I’ll flee this bitter world where vice is king,
And seek some spot unpeopled and apart
Where I’ll be free to have an honest heart.

― Molière, The Misanthrope

Sorry I’ve been away for a couple of days but it was unavoidable as I had fallen into a small Black Hole that formed in a closet in the studio, just behind a stack of records. I was transported by it to the 7th Dimension of the Time-Space Continuum and was stranded there. I had to wait for the bus that brought me back here just minutes ago.

What have I missed? Anything important?

Actually, I just didn’t want to record any reaction to what was happening. Early Wednesday morning, I knew my emotions were too raw and that the process was not far enough along to make any real assumptions. If I had written it would have been too angry, disappointed and disillusioned.

It would have been something in the vein of the lines from Moliere’s The Misanthrope, shown above. 

It looks like this phase of the process is coming to an end and the reign of our wannabe dictator will come to an end. I thought this would make me want rejoice and yell out “Hallelujah” to the heavens. But it doesn’t. My happiness is dampened because, of course, of the weariness of the battle and the fact that there is much more danger and division ahead in the phases to come. Hopefully, we endure the rough ride and come out on the other side, where we can try to patch things back together, try to somehow repair the extensive damage this abomination has inflicted on this country.

But can we? Has he done irreparable harm?

I certainly don’t know. I can only speak to how he has affected my small world. 

And I worry that the damage he has done to my own view of my country and my fellow citizens is permanent.

And therein resides the greatest part of my immense loathing for this creature.

I have survived this world thus far by clinging to small bits of hope, to pursuing ideals that were based on some sort of goodness. Honesty. Empathy. Generosity. I have tried to find the better part of those folks I come across.

I have believed that this country did indeed have greatness but that it was never in our past. We were only on our way to greatness at any point in our 250+ years of history as a nation. I believed that our greatness was in the future and that we would slowly approach it so long as we pursued the great ideals of equality and justice for all. 

And even then, we might never reach it. But so long as we kept moving forward, that it would be okay.

But this creature has made me doubt my beliefs, made me question even the possibility of future greatness. How can any nation survive and progress towards any sort of, to use the words of the Constitution, a more perfect union when it is broken into two halves that seem to share few beliefs and values? How can it go on when  half wants to move forward and half wants to return to some imaginary point in our past? 

Because of this creature I find myself becoming more and more like a misanthrope. He has me feel judgmental and bitter towards people I don’t even know. I find myself asking how anyone could embrace his brand name hatred and vitriol, how they could blindly accept his ludicrous accusations and lies. How could they turn a blind eye to his barely veiled racism and open corruption? How could they think that the road to any sort of greatness ran through this soulless, selfish creature? 

Is this how I will forever be– angry and distrustful? Will I ever be able to restore the belief in the ideals and virtues that have sustained me for the many years of my life? Can I ever believe that these values are still shared with the vast majority, that we are willing to work as one to move forward toward that more perfect union?

I truly don’t know.

There are too many balls still in the air, too many potentials still out there for both disaster and redemption, to make any sort of determination. I doubt that I will ever be the same as I was before this creature slimed his way into our lives. I will always have doubts now, even greater uncertainty in who and what we are as a nation and what we might one day be.

In the words of the always wise Jiddu Krishnamurti:

When you once see something as false which you have accepted as true, as natural, as human, then you can never go back to it.

I am certainly going to try to maintain my optimism, try to regain my starry-eyed idealism. But I do not know if I will ever fully be the same. His words, his actions and his effect on the people of this nation have changed me.

And among his many crimes, that is one I will never be able to forgive.

But now, I am off to try to recoup some of that which was lost. Off to the easel where, as Moliere wrote:

I’ll flee this bitter world where vice is king,
And seek some spot unpeopled and apart
Where I’ll be free to have an honest heart.

Be careful out there and have a good day. Now get off my lawn!

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Truth has no continuity. It is the mind that wants to make the experience which it calls truth continuous, and such a mind shall not know truth. Truth is always new; it is to see the same smile, and see that smile newly, to see the same person, and see that person anew, to see the waving palms anew, to meet life anew. 

― Jiddu Krishnamurti, The Book of Life: Daily Meditations with Krishnamurti


I was looking for some words to put with this new painting that is part of a group of work that is going with me to my Gallery Talk at the Principle Gallery next Saturday, September 15. I came across the words above from the late Indian philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti and at first kind of scoffed at the idea that truth has no continuity. I immediately thought that truth, above all things, has continuity. It’s this idea that truth is some sort of nebulous form, always changing and never set, that has us in the situation we now face as a nation.

I believed that truth- especially objective, fact-based truth- was a straight unwavering line running from its inception until the end of time.

But the truth he describes is a different sort of truth. It’s a subjective truth based on our perceptions. How we see the world around us. To see truth, especially these subjective truths, as something set in concrete closes off the mind. We begin to look at the world with blind eyes and a mind filled with the truths of yesterday. We fail to see the beauty and freshness of the renewed truth that is before us in every present moment.

We may have seen yesterday’s sunrise and that has its own truth, its own set of conditions. Today’s may seem to have the same truth but it is always different, slightly changed. The same goes for each of us. We were one person yesterday but in some small and almost imperceptible way  we have changed. We may feel a bit older. A bit wiser. A bit happier or sadder or any number of different things. But we are not the same today as we were yesterday.

Our truth has changed.

And there is something wonderful in that. Oh, I know we would often like things, our truths of the past, to remain the same as we remember them. There’s reassurance in those static touchstones that clutter our memories. But today is a new truth under a new sky and a newly changed sun. The world is freshened and made new. It has a new truth of its own and it is our task, our hope and our joy to discover it anew.

I find that thought to be a fine basis for this painting, an 18″ by 36″ canvas that I call The Freshening. Winter is a perfect example of this idea of constant renewal. The falling snow creates a new truth, alters our perceptions of the world we see. It creates a new truth. And its melting creates yet another revelation of truth. As does the rising of the new day’s sun.

Maybe that seems a naive way of looking at the world in these complex times where truth means something different to so many different people. But there are simple truths  that make up our existence and looking at them in a simplified manner might not be such a bad thing.

Like looking at the world in the first light of day after a snowfall– freshened and new.


My Gallery Talk at the Principle Gallery in Alexandria takes place on Saturday, September 15, beginning at 1 PM. There will be a painting giveaway, some other prizes, surprises, good conversation and puppets. Lots of puppets. Okay, that last part isn’t true. But you won’t know for sure unless you come.

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If you begin to understand what you are without trying to change it, then what you are undergoes a transformation.

Jiddu Krishnamurti


The painting, Apex, as shown above on the left had been bouncing around galleries for quite a few years. It was one of those pieces that kind of gnawed at me after awhile. There was so much that I liked about it and it felt complete yet I began to feel that something was lacking.

The color bothered me. It looked washed out and pale. Now, I have done pieces with that sort of color and it can be very effective but in this instance the lack of intensity in the colors seemed to handicap the whole painting. The more I looked at it over the years, the more I saw the blue of the sky looking dull and lifeless.

And it felt like the trees on the ascending path were too sparse. I don’t know much about musical composition, can’t tell a quarter note from a half note, but when I looked at the hill with the trees I felt like I was looking at a piece of music and some of the notes were missing. It wasn’t saying what it should be saying.

And the central character, the Red Tree at the top, felt dark and small, not bursting forward as it should, at least in my mind.

The whole thing just felt like it was on life support– barely alive but but with no vigor, no spark.

But it was still alive and there seemed to be something in it that really pulled me in, I decided I needed to intervene, to either reinvent it or completely kill it. So I went in and deepened the colors of the sky and the hill dramatically. This created a nice contrasting tension and made the tree that were added to the upward path stand out more. The Red Tree grew larger, brighter and bolder while the clouds in the sky slimmed a bit.

It was  dramatic transformation. It was like Charles Atlas’ 97-pound weakling transforming, with the aid of his patented Dynamic Tension, into a beefy he-man who takes on the beach bully and gets the girl. I know that last sentence means next to nothing to those of you under the age of fifty but if you ever saw those old magazine ads, you’ll get it. You can click here to go to an old blog entry that shows that ad.

That might be a goofy comparison but as I sit here and look at the transformed painting, it’s hard to imagine that that it once was that old version of itself.

And it all came about thanks to Dynamic Tension. Thanks, Charles Atlas!


This reinvented painting will be with me at my Gallery Talk at the West End Gallery in Corning this coming Saturday, August 4. The talk begins at 1 PM and it should be a good time. In addition to the great conversation and plenty of prizes, I have also procured a monster truck act– Truckasaurus Rex— as well as a T-shirt cannon.

Okay, maybe that’s not quite accurate. Or true in any sense of the word. You’ll have to come see for yourself. 

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