“In this metallic age of barbarians, only a relentless cultivation of our ability to dream, to analyze, and to captivate can prevent our personality from degenerating into nothing or else into a personality like all the rest.”Fernando Pessoa
Earlier this fall we drove to Winchester Bay and snooped around a bit. I’m fascinated not by the dunes, their height, the way the forest and dunes have this little contest going on to see who will gain ascendency. I haven’t yet gotten out my watercolors as I have been promising myself I will do, but I wanted to ‘see’ this scene more as struck me than as it looked. So, off to my image editing software I went.
My images have never been as much about capturing reality as much as capturing the way I feel when I made the image.
Reading WordPress Reader yesterday was helpful. I linked across to a new blogger (to me). In an article about remaining compassionate in the midst of turmoil I took inspiration for this re-work of an image from our trip last fall with our daughter to South Carolina. If you want to see the blog that triggered my thinking, here it is: Everyday Gurus! That blog also inspired part of this entry’s content.
I realized something about myself through that blog….
My middle name should be “Antecedent”
I’ve always been a problem solver. It’s who I am. Mostly, I solve problems was because those who preceded me failed to look for causes: antecedents. That which went before.
My co-workers (in those early years before I discovered self-employment) would get angry with me. They would schedule meetings at which little or nothing ever changed. Too often I’d sit through an entire meeting thinking about the first topic under consideration — also the first topic to be tabled till the next meeting. About the time the meeting was ending I would have worked through the details of the first agenda item, diagnosed the cause, formulated a solution and just when the boss wanted to gavel the meeting to a close I’d suggest returning to that first item….. (and at least we took that item off the agenda for the next meeting.)
The blog I referred to was about compassion. I don’t hear that word very often. But it reminded me of things I’ve forgotten. And of the fact that compassion is (at least in my mind) linked irreversibly to “Being.” It’s easy to lose compassion when we aren’t in touch with our own humanity. If we don’t see other people as unique personalities who hurt and laugh and ache then we don’t realize that we can, or have, hurt them. That happens for most of us when we are pressured, stressed, under duress. But the definition of compassion also includes a sense of superiority/judgment — that we have a right/ability to determine what is suffering or misfortune. As if we can decide what is good for them. Or what they need. Or should have. And sometimes when being compassionate we forget that someone else has the right to make their own decisions — good or bad — and that we don’t have the right to interfere with them being them.
COMPASSION: Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others: “the victims should be treated with compassion”.
I came to realize that the antecedent in this housing delay is my pacifism. I believe in peace. At my absolute core is a dislike for anything confrontational.
Furthermore, I believe that people buy from people — a boss several decades ago taught me that and I believe it to this day…. we tend to connect with people in ways that we don’t connect with machines. (Whether that will still be true in 20 or 30 years with the insinuation of computers into our life has yet to be seen. Heck sometimes you can’t even get a hold of a human on a phone line anymore.) The point is that for millennia the decision to purchase has been a function of two people interacting between themselves.
Perhaps that dislike for confrontation is why I dislike lawyers: they presuppose that any two parties are at odds. It is an essential assumption of superiority. I realize now that my dislike for lawyers oozes over onto real estate agents too! Real estate people have a reputation for not wanting buyers and sellers to meet face to face. That is diametrically opposed to how I think.
I can see some of their reasoning. But only some.
Not everyone is honest. Sellers might say too much. Buyers might expect too much. One party might tick off the other party. If buyers and sellers talk all sorts of things could happen to screw up a sale. And we can’t forget that a salesman’s prime directive is in closing a sale, not in making friends. They may make friends as a side effect of good service but who likes a friendly real estate agent who can’t sell a house?
This old geezer (me) who genuinely likes people (in carefully controlled doses), believes that two people can work things out if they sit down together and talk things through. I want to sell the house and get a fair price. The buyer wants to buy the house at a fair price for what they are buying. There is nothing wrong with what either side wants. But show me any situation where two people who want to communicate — but are forced to do it through the interpretation of two additional people — will have an easier time understanding each other than they would if they just talked face to face. Somehow it just seems that adding people to that communication chain makes things harder.
I think that our two agents have finally figured that out. They now agree that the seller is acting in good faith (that’s us) and the buyer is acting in good faith. Hooray! A conversation today seems to have sorted through the remaining sticky details. We are willing. He is willing. We have two people who want to do a deal — I’m hopeful we can get this sorted.
Tomorrow we leave for Elkhart: to deliver Journey for her new floor and sofa — I’ll have to work on the sticking points next week. But we’ll do our best to get it twigged!
First I thought I’d share the image my daughter sent me. She does know how much I love Bullies, and who wouldn’t love such a lovely English Bulldog face?
And to that sweet dear and her hubby — I say, a happy anniversary to you both. 22 yrs of marriage! You guys are terrific — you’re 22 years behind us. 🙂 Keep up the good work!
The weather’s been nice so Journey got some exercise today. We didn’t go quite as far as we usually do on a winter’s day exercise. No particular reason for the shorter trip other than simply our state of mind, but it was a great day for a drive. Continue reading
My pursuit of simplicity in images appears to be taking a two pronged approach. As I wrote earlier I do intend to work on my hand drawing techniques. But I don’t have to be blind about the concept and this morning when I cranked up my computer I decided to give a shot at one of my Birds in Flight images. A couple years ago I had an idea for image processing based on the old cubist style. Not inherently cubist, but borrowing from some of the lines and concepts. [example here] and diverging into areas of minimalistic lines that I find interesting.
In connection with working on my sketching I mentioned my graphics tablet and this is a process that uses that tool a lot — so all I can do to improve my manual dexterity will help. Funny, I can type up a storm (70+wpm) but don’t ask me to draw an accurate circle. I always end up lopsided…. Anyway. Here’s a start on a new series.
I have this thing about minimalistic lines — enough ink to convey the meaning but not so much as to convey the details. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Francois DuBeau’s work. He specializes in super-simple nudes but I love the simplicity of his lines:
DuBeau’s simplicity does not work for birds and my subjects. But it’s the simplicity of his images that encourage me to find a different metaphor for simplification. I’ve been working towards a mathematical reduction of original images using cubist forms. In most cases the artist lays down ink/paint and builds based on what they want to capture. I’m looking at a reverse process: reduction of the original based on functions internal to the image itself.