I had a good day! – An Accumulation of Positive Tidbits

I’ve been generally getting back into step after Spring Break (self-imposed, but also, serendipitous). 

What have I learned after having spent quality time with mom, dad, brother and brother’s gf? Mmmmm. .. Definitely that there is quality; Such high quality. Quality of experience, and of connection. So what do I do now that I’m back to my usual without their guiding influence? Here’s goes some notes to self.


I was up early. Incredible drive up the PCH. Eventually winding our way up the the Hindu temple. The large windows framed views of the mountainous valley while we sat in still calm for fifteen minutes taking in the experience of going to temple as well as doing it for the first time (myself) on the West Coast. Clusters of clouds rolled over the mountains that at their deepest distance shone a shadowed and saturated blue-violet where they mingled with the mountain’s peaks. We sat on the red and gold rugs covering the entire floor. The smell was familiar, like that of used agarbathi, hot coconut oil and other natural accompaniments. It was a morning to go up to this somewhat remote location and just feel gratitude for being alive and for what life has so far made of us.

We visited the farmer’s market down at the base of the mountain before zooming past the vast Pacific Ocean shimmering a blue I had never ever seen before as light rippled a billion melodies simultaneously off of crisp, crashing waves. It was the start to a day that declared its unequivocal intensity of perfected-dom with each wave of its own unfolding.

My boss was glowing, certainly not because I was twenty minutes late, but because I was twenty minutes late and was coming from temple, this signifying a new fold in what can safely be said from her perspective is my sheer and utter mysterious quality of developing. She has always been of the position in favor of people who have grown up with a religious upbringing. Very old school. Very school indeed. It seems she feels that people who practice religion are morally superior. As offensive as this has always been to me, I cast that aside for now and can say I don’t even know how I feel about religion personally. I would say though, that the sound of Sanskrit chants being performed in temple, when done well, have the potential to bring out something fundamental about myself- as if I become witness to an ancient tomb of heredity experience unspooling from within me into my cultural past. It is something mysterious, like I must be to Lydia: A true curious specimen.

We packed my mom’s paintings up. Over the last two days, Lydia and I have been clearing out the storage area. We have done this in stages over the last seven years. You can’t even imagine how impossible it was to move around in that place. After this morning, it was a work of art in and of itself, something to be exquisitely proud of. But more so, this pride of accomplishment is the first we have shared in seven years. It was like, all of those seemingly lost years of hating each other, hating life and generally being miserable had somehow reversed its momentum, halted periodically, and now we found ourselves deep into the sixth or seventh iteration of this storage war—I had been the gopher, wheeling out stacks of overstuffed and yellowed boxes that looked more like gnarly and epic sandwiches in another world—For while she more easily moved about this time around, I caught her becoming decisive and sure to let go of that that had bore its administrative weight on her through both the ugly, the gloried and the dark years of her non-profit organization. I piled the boxes on top of the dolly and eventually filled the newly-emptied dumpster well above its brim. Sometimes, it’s sad to see the entirety of one’s life being thrown out as surely as that, but noticing Lydia’s effulgent disposition, I couldn’t help but see someone who at eighty-four years old, was looking toward the future or at least, letting go of the past to some degree. Is it possible that the unknown, the end of your life, can also be a new beginning?

The Thai artists arrived with their works of art in suitcases. I had had the walls freshly spackled, sanded and painted as I do before the beginning of a show that is about to be hung. We hung the show easily, but only because I sensed a certain shift in my attitude that in recent times had become one of letting go also. Moving forward was the key now to which the root of this actual moving forward begins consciously, with the breath, and letting go of it. Though the conditions are most of the times never ideal, learning to breathe (something my yoga teachers have been repeating forever now) is the key to operating out of love rather than out of selfishness. So that when the day is ideal as this one today, operating on this basis transforms it into a killer song.


Nzuji De Megalhaes – Sick Paintings

Rare is the movement, a rustling of leaves deep inside the jungle and all of a sudden; flashes of brilliant! and saturated! Hues appear so bright as to blind.

The lava-like flux of mostly primary and secondary color combinations charge a broad array of fully-fleshed forms not fully here or there, but stretched across like taffy, occupying both real and unreal, personal and dystopic. The faces adapt to mirror the system that harbors them, their indigenous faces and facial features evolve a decorative screen, switched on at command by the receptor or receptee.

Faces; charred, scarred, inner history pulverized.

Conjoined character between society and the individual, the ruptures, faultlines, idiosyncrasies, impulses and features dampened or at least (and at last) whose boundaries remain perpetually and with increasing momentum, unclear.

A new history. Out with the old, in with this; a tornado-like revolution of identity aspect. The technological takes a razor to the organic and mutates it into its exacting vision, less the colonizing entitlements of a deservingly dying breed that has created the monster in all of us.

photo (1) photo (2) photo (3)

What About Perfection [and what ever else I did today]

1. Why Gagosian is successful:

Gagosian saw Warhol—and large portions of his oeuvre—as an undervalued commodity.

He was also in the right place at the right time. Why do I take an interest? Peripherally, I wanted to know the psychology of this super-successful person. Success to me, is probably being able to go into one thing (making art in my case) very deeply and innovate my creativity so that I am always blowing my own mind by creating the world around me. If this could be a viable career opportunity, it would allow me to live in a minimal, sublime way where everything is beautiful and free of suffering. This is an ideal of perfection. I once wrote an essay in English on perfection. We had to choose a word and just expand and expound on it for 5 pages. I found it some years ago – and realized, “Hmmm, this is rather incomplete.” This would be a word I would find exciting to come back to because I think I am ultimately, so drawn to a kind of perfection that I now know to hunt for it. I get this instinct from my mom, whose instinct is so keen and refined that she plainly recognizes something awe-inspiring beautiful. For instance and in and of itself, perfection conjures a sense of the ideal in all of its glorious totality, (however that pertains to one.) It could be the removal of all that is unnecessary or extraneous in one’s view or mind to lead toward clarity. And if it were a state of mind, it might conjure vast, endless beauty or a deep sense of exaltation or connectedness. I would not have thought about these things in high school because I was too busy negatively reacting to the mainstream media’s dissemination/prescription of beauty and ideal of perfection. But now however, I am devout in reaching perfection in something I do, not only for myself, but hopefully to put out into the world and to be an activist for the possibility that a place of unadulterated perfection still exists. I had moments of such perfection seeing art in Germany, London and New York during and after my undergraduate college days. After that it became enough to understand that a certain kind of object of art was like a capsule of a kind of perfection that existed for that time, in the maker’s mind. How does one know when they are looking at a great piece of art? It is probably when they are aware enough to recognize when they are in fact directly; physically and emotionally connected to humanity past and present through the sheer materialization and transformation of the maker. Great art is indeed alive. Vicki recently sent this to me: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kvcq5Ge8sHY

I sensed that when she sent this to me, that she was profoundly absorbed to the point where she had forgot about time passing. I was moved especially because of the maker’s indeed, clear statement when I heard it too.

When I was really moved by art, I realized it was because of the maker’s purity of intent to make something that characterized the amount of his or her own humanity, captured in one single work of art. Wow. How can you do that! I wonder all the time, but seeing as I have stepped onto the tracks of such an endeavor, I realize it begins with discipline, concentration and determination. Without  these three very necessary foundational elements, you simply cannot have sustained passion and/or inspiration. With this all realized in the last few months, every part of me is beginning to focus on making that determined, clear statement.

2. Best story…


3. Best Follow-Up picture..


Source material…


Morning with Mr. Liashkov

I did not want to get up this morning. But I had to fulfill an obligation to Mr. Liashkov, that I would sit for a portrait. So I tore myself up onto my feet, looked around in a daze for my things, washed my face and headed out. It was my day off. Mr. Liashkov greeted me at the top of the stairwell with his usual stern disposition, yet I see where this is directed: Into the journey of his soul, so I do not take this personally though it had been slightly alarming at first. After an amazing breakfast at a nearby cafe of brick toast topped with marinated veggies, kale and an egg with coffee, we leisurely conversed about Zarina Hashmi’s work, how things at work are going for me, how my acting class has been going etc. During the sitting, I asked him about a question that was being pondered a few nights earlier which was: how do you define intelligence? Now Peter as I remember from before, does not like to talk during a portrait session. But this particular morning, I could see we were at a different place; comfortable in each other’s company – realizing there was no need for guards to be up. He acceded his control to conversation and began to discuss this question of intelligence. It became apparent to me how subjective we really are when I ascribed a measure of compassion that is inherent in intelligence. “Well,” Peter disagreeing, “What about Hitler, or what about Stalin? They had incredible intelligence but to what end?” True. So much for an absolute truth!

As the drawing moved along he commented that the drawing was making me a romantic hero. I was humored. When I asked him what he meant, he talked about Lord Byron, the concept of love being identified around the time of the Enlightenment, British landscape painting – where feelings took precedent over the scientific reasoning. I understand. But I am a fan of science too. By the time he was done, I was a bit taken aback, not expecting at all the semblance. It was like looking in a mirror, but through someone else’s eyes. Can you imagine if you asked your friends to draw you? It would be a kaleidoscope of interpretations, a reflection of who your are in accordance to how another person sees you. It would probably be very different from how you see yourself. I wonder now, how people see me.