Tuesday, July 26, 2011

--"It has a couple of comedians in it that don't suck, but they don't have the power to overwhelm the suckiness of the movie."

--Sidewalk voice, man to man
Lina Wertmuller, film director, said of Fredrico Fellini, film director, "He's like a man running along in a black hat and a black coat and he has a box in his hands and in it is a secret. Every once in a while he stops and seems to show it to you, then goes on running."

I read that quote and thought that is how I felt at the end of seeing Fellini's "Juliet of the Spirits." It made me angry. What did all that intensity add up to? I thought we had a deal that he would let me see clearly and for as long as I wanted into the black box by the end of the movie.

That wasn't his job. He was one to take the confusion built into life and transform it into beauty and wondering and wonder.

The one thing I knew about "Juliet of the Spirits" right after I saw it was that the colors were beautiful. Countless technical reasons for that, and Fellini used all the technique because he cared about and loved every instant of color in that movie.

What he didn't care about was a viewer being able to contain the experience as if putting a period at the end of a sentence.

--Lina Wertmuller was quoted by Donald Sutherland, who worked with Fellini as the lead in "Casanova," in an essay by Mary Blume in her book, "A French Affair," a collection of essays she wrote for the "International Herald Tribune."
Greed is partly wanting re-runs instead of being alive to new good things.
2-D, 3-D, 4-D, 5-D--I see thee, I feel thee, etc.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Suddenly, I had a vision of an old, big fax machine orbiting the planet because the old, big fax machine someone left beside a public trash can reminded me of all our space junk up there.
This day, San Francisco has the underlying gentleness of summer--not a Mark Twain summer, but the other kind.
Live music at 24th and Mission--two bands at the same time. Not catty-corner from each other--across the street.

I like it. Each band totally owns its close zone. I also like the point half-way across the crosswalk where the bands cancel out each other's melodies and leave a bouyant noise. Jump for joy or at least take a higher step.
The steps up to the J-Church stop at 18th and Church.

The wall next to the steps up to the J-Church stop in the corner of Dolores Park at 18th and Church.

That wall has leaning on it a table top, no legs, that has been painted white and then had bold, thick, black lines added--stylized big letters leading to an angry flying bird seen from the side, glaring out between its raised wings..

It's like someone has gone to a place where they might make graffiti and instead brought graffiti and its own dedicated surface and left it there.
It has come to my attention that I don't know anything.
Many more things could be done than have been done.

Some of the missing doings could be just the ticket to better situations for more beings.

It is important to not do the same thing all the time. Hence, generations.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Benjamin Franklin's "Autobiography"--I had gotten the idea that it was immensely long and boring.

Wrong and wrong. The edition I am reading is 180 pages. It's interesting mostly, sometimes very.

He'll tell about something he did, and call it an erratum, or a major erratum. Latin for error, used by printers, like he was. That's a brief, almost straightforward way of saying "In this, I messed up."

People rarely do that so briefly, or so often, in autobiographies. They usually want to make the case for themselves.

He likes to keep things moving, in life and writing, so when it's less than interesting, which is rare, it gets over that part fast because he treats everything fairly quickly.

He was interested in how people worked together to get things done. He was seventy in 1776 when American independence was declared. It's like he spent his whole adult life studying how to be part of a group that stayed together as a group even if they partly disagreed.

When he formed a discussion group about public affairs, the Junto, when he was a twenty something in Philadelphia, one of the agreed upon rules was that people not express their opinions absolutely. No one at the beginning of the discussion could say, "This is what I think."
No one could absolutely deny someone else's opinion.

Access to books was not automatic, even for those interested in books. Very few bookstores. No libraries where you could check out books. The members of the Junto decided to pool their books so they could all read each other's books.

That worked for about a year, and then it didn't, so people took there own books back.

Franklin's response to the end of the Junto library was to start the first circulating library in the American colonies. You paid a fee and could take out books.

Franklin said this, after a fairly short time, made visitors from abroad notice that workers were more knowledgable than their overseas equivalents.

Franklin thought there should be an academy to train young people. He started the process and was important in it happening, though he always referred to it as the product of a group. He thought that was the way to get stuff done, not the "I" approach.

What he and others founded became the big deal University of Pennsylvania soon after founding.
It became a big deal fairly soon after it was started because it was so needed.

Benjamin Franklin's father first thought to send him to college (which would have had to be in a different colony, not Pennsylvania.) He started him at a grammar school--a middle school-high school aimed at university prep.

Benjamin was there two years, and his father decided he'd rather have him be an income producer. He put him to work in his business, making candles (at a time when candles were the light of night.) Benjamin hated it.

******Benjamin kept wanting to go to sea. His father had already had one son do that, and he really didn't like it. So he both argued with Benjamin about what he might do, and worked to help him find something that Benjamin would do and stay on land.
His father showed him a number of trades which he might be apprenticed to. His father would get money for offering him for apprenticeship. Benjamin didn't like any of them, but said that being exposed to them helped him do things for himself throughout his life. He said he had an excellent memory.

Benjamin ended up being apprenticed to his brother James, a printer. He didn't love it right off, but found advantages.

Access to books-the books the printer had, and the books of fellow printers.

Time to read. Benjamin Franklin implies though he doesn't say outright (he really valued tact) that printers had a strong tradition of drinking. While his fellow printers went forth for long lunches and long breaks, he stayed in the shop and read, and later, wrote.

And later, had the easy ability to print what he wrote.

Being a printer's apprentice gave Benjamin access to books. Another thing that gave him access to books is that older people were often impressed with his abilities and his tendency to work all the time, and they let him use their libraries.

So, he had access to books.

He did not look at others who might have wanted access to books and who didn't have his trade or his ability to have his abilities easily seen.

He thought democratically. Access to books is great. How can more people have it? Hence, a circulating library.

Benjamin Franklin didn't have anything faintly like a university education. He read, and that worked. But he didn't demand that that work for all, but helped start what became a university.

Franklin was a projector--a person who made projects happen. People had there food and shelter needs met, but there were a lot of institutions that could exist that didn't. He helped fill those voids and moved on to fill other voids when one void was filled.

He thought the first step always was to get people to talk about the need for the new thing.

The man he referred to as a projector--he didn't actually use the word about himself--was the man who thought Philadelphia needed a hospital. The project worked, but first the man made two mistakes.

He didn't start people in general talking about the need for a hospital. He went to important people and asked for their support. They asked him what Benjamin Franklin thought of the idea. His second mistake is he hadn't asked Benjamin Franklin, but he took the cue.

He went to Franklin, got him involved. People got to talking, with encouragement, and the hospital started existing.

In his autobiography Franklin is riveted with finding out how to communicate in a group in such a way that communication continues--people don't fall out with each other, and how to communicate in a way that leads to things happening.

He doesn't say so, but I think one reason he was focused on communication is that he had already worn out one city--Boston, where he was born, grew up, and apprenticed as a printer for his brother.

He'd argued with his father. He'd been part of ticking off the religious authories. His brother printed words that made them angry enough that they said the brother could no longer print the newspaper. So for a while, Benjamin was the newspaper publisher of record and still secretly apprenticed to his brother.

He learned about publishing from the business angle as well as the setting type angle, and soon he left town for Philly, where he thought about how people could communicate in a way that they didn't get super-angry at each other.
There is an occasion in the Korean War when the main character in "The Moviegoer" by Walker Percy is on the ground and in peril.

He promises himself that if he gets out of the situation alive, he will start on the search.

He gets out alive, goes home, and forgets the search.

Years pass, and one day when he empties his pockets at the end of a calm day in his calm life, he looks at the contens of his pockets like he's never seen the objects before.

"They looked both unfamiliar and at the same time full of clues." He knows it's time to start the search.

"The search is what anyone would undertake if he were not sunk in the everydayness of his own life. This morning, for example, I felt s if I had come to myself on a strange island. And what does such a castaway do? Why, he pokes around the neighborhood and he doesn't miss a trick."

One thing he disagrees with about movies is that they often amount to the people in them being in a different situation at the end, and showing every sign of being ready to sink into this new everydayness. He's looking for way to live a no to that. He wants to stay in permanent awe of the little.

Monday, July 11, 2011

All the air inside the crown of a tree has a shape, which is always changing. The leaves and branches carress it and transform it.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

Don't say yes. Be yes.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

Feel free to see your city. Feel free to be your city.

Wednesday, July 06, 2011

"Go to Nevada, buy a bunch of land, and hope it ends up being ocean-front property."

--sidewalk voice, one man to another
On a beautiful day in the park, I heard a man talking to another man about spiritual truth, endlessly, pauselessly. He'd thought about it; now he knew.

People get a theory they feel deeply about the universe and then say to the universe in all its aspects, "No more input"
Watched her paint it, liked it, like it now. On a long boarded up theatre front, hair running parallel to the sidewalk. Enlarged, looking black and white, meaning done in blacks and whites and greys. I like it for a month before I got that it's on the old Strand theater and is a bunch of strands.

Most of the strands are horizontal, but one makes a backwards C and if you follow where it's pointing, it's pointing to the first letter in "Strand" above the blank marquee.

The artist is Paz de la Calzada; the piece is called "Central Market Dreamscape." It is part of an effort to make better the partly crummy neighborhood we are now supposed to call Central Market--Market 5th to 10th. The cool thing is that painting strands of hair on public places is something Paz de la Calzada has done more than once--it's just that this is the time she has done it under the word "Strand." Currently, a Google search for Central Market Dreamscape shows some of the process of making the piece and pictures of other pieces.

Maybe the Arts Commission sponsored art on boarded up storefronts in Central Market has helped unofficial painters on walls, graffiti folk, thinks bigger and more unified.

There's a new construction boarded up area at 6th and Market which the paper says is the intersection in San Francisco with the most crime. It's different than the storefronts in that if it's construction, there is a definite time limit on the boarded-up-ness. The Strand theatre has been boarded up for years.

The boarding goes around the corner at 6th and Market, and the new art/graffiti is on the 6th Street side. It feels unsponsored, which would make it graffiti. It feels undefinably excellent. I keep thinking about it. I don't get it, and I think there's something to get. I also think that it is partly pretty. Pretty is not thick upon the surfaces around 6th and Market.

There are big letters, which I can't quiet read. I can read the letters, sort of, but I can't make them be one thing, or remember them, when I look away even briefly.

There is light purple used to unify and emphasize the letters. And the whole unified assemblage of purple and letters seems to be spewing out drawn objects at one end. It's clever something or other factory that looks like letters. Or something. I really like the purple and how it's used.

Central Market, which was called Mid-Market the last time there was a campaign to make it better, can feel like a place where nothing is happening and nothing changes. Different alcoholics show up to rant on the sidewalk and eventually die. New immigrants come to raise their kids in a partly scary neighborhood.

The idea of and the execution of great bit images and often good art on the widely available in the neighborhood boarded up spaces creates actual change and an implication of more change to come. And is something for the kids to look and and know they can do.

One of my favorite murals in the city is on the 25th Street side of a corner store at 25th and Mission. It combines the art and the look of the art that was done in Mexico in the 1400's and before with the look of graffiti done now. It's all well done. Part of my fondness for it is that it was painted, and it's pretty complex in half a day, maybe three hours. All that graffiti practice, I assume, and a jolly good reminder to practice, plan, and when actually doing it, don't assume that anything important has to take forever.

The Aztec/Olmec/ graffiti now combo is a kind of utopia. Also a utopia vibe is had by a mural on Howard at 14th. A couple of extremely perspectived streets lined by white stucco, red tile houses and at the front of all that women serving food, all somehow having the feeling of the ideal dream community.

Semi-utopian is the mural blocks away with an extreme perspective Mission Street painted the colors of the rainbow and brown. The movie theatres that have been closed forever are operating with names like Cine Latino. A store has Esperanza as it's name and across Mission is Cafe Hope.

Above the mural, Mission Street, at 23rd and Capp, with the actual Mission Street a block away, hovers the word Value, written in the same kind of letters as the sign Giant Value on a Mission store. The word "Value" hovers above "hope" in two languages, above a store called "Dream," above the Mayan glyphs that are around the scene, above the woman carrying two armloads of flowers, one in a white plastic bucket, and the man pushing an ice cream bar cart.

And down in Clarion, an alley near Seventeenth and Mission tranformed by murals, there's the anti-utopian guy who seems to be staring in despair out of a window, maybe of one of the SRO hotels nearby, maybe of a mansion that isn't working for him.

Across the alley from him is a fairly new mural about respecting a man who died recently and did a lot--a despair changer and preventer about whom I need to follow instructions. Respect. Respect by learning about Pico Sanchez

The despair guy, if you drew a rough rectangle around the Mission District and its many murals, the despair guy is in the lower right hand corner of the rectangle and a utopian, hopeful school door with three hopeful kids looking around it is in the upper right hand corner, on Flynn school, which has much art on it.

The despair guy didn't go to a school that effectively showed him how to hope. These kids looking around the edge of a door expect the very best of learning. May the kids in that school get it. So very much art is a hopeful sign about what goes on inside.

Another mural on Flynn school is right on Cesar Chavez, which is named after one founder of the farmworkers union. The mural is about the other--Dolores Huerta. It's a march with her and many others, including kids, all together, equal, gleaming. It is a mosaic some pieces being pieces of glass so the mural and the march seems to move with the walker as the walker walks by.

The 24th and Mission McDonald's is covered with terrific art. The stuff in front looks like art by kids. I saw a four year old or so girl running over to a sun painted near the front door and petting it and patting it. The sun was about as tall as her. I think maybe this is real little kid art enlarged and painted by adults.

On the back of that McDonald's which occupies its entire building is sort of scarier stuff, like the content of an adult's waking or sleeping nightmares. Sort of whooshy cloud beings who don't seem friendly, for example. It's sort of utopian to have balanced up and down good art on a McDonald's. The art is by the Precita Eyes mural appreciation and creation group.

A little down 24th from McDonald's, in the direction of Potrero Hill, not the Noe Valley direction, is a perky, upbeat mural that includes UFO images. That feels good, because often UFO images are presented as bad news or very serious news. These are much closer to being good news, but good news you don't have to get all serious about.

It's at the corner of 24th and Cypress, an alley. There are hills and mountains. There is a calm guy meditating. There is an underground, I think, lovely river or lake. There is a UFO hovering above, but not overpowering the scene. There is one of those big eyed, triangular faced UFO folk being there, seeming happy among the various things happening. With the UFO being is a being who looks like an angel and being who looks like either a human in a zebra suit or a human-zebra combo. It's Utopian in that it all looks pretty merry, and UFO and their beings are digested and found nourishing and not exactly a big deal.

I was saying I liked the use of purple on the graffiti style art at Sixth and Mission that also seems like a mural because of feeling unified. It's not done yet.

So now I like the use of purple and red. Red added in the last couple of days. Two passion colors at a high crime corner, at a place that feels despairing and angry. The red and purple and the broad, black lines imply that you can get intensity without doing things that cops might feel that have to take action on.

The addition of red has made the items that I feel are spewing out of one side of the piece, being somehow created by the piece itself--the red makes those items look better.

I like this piece, painting on plywood around construction or remodeling, better when I see it when I going by on a bus than when I walk by it. I see unity and intention more from the bus. Close up, it falls back closer to graffiti says this is my name. On the bus, it seems to say something about the mystery of life and the mystery of creation.

Finding the right distance is good with art and other things.

I like the use of purplish red or reddish purple on the birds being painted between 21st and 22nd on Barlett.

The emerging birds are around an old, maybe seventies or eighties sign that says Mission Market and has a stylized chicken between the two words.

The new birds are much bigger, and are not chickens but magic stylized tropical birds. Their general style is like the chickens style and also makes me think of the bird god who used to be and in some places still is important around here.

Two birds today are done. They are happy, purplish red and blue and yellow, long tailed. Their tails aren't as long as Quetzacoatl but I think they've met Quetzacoatl.

Another bird isn't done, but is well on the way--yellow and orange, same kind of body. Another bird is just sketched out with lines. The way space is being used implies more than four will be the total number of birds.

Art walls call forth art walls.

This wall, the bird and Mission Mart wall, is between some kid wall painting and some adult wall painting. The kid paintings are little and close to the ground and look like little kids stood at the wall and did them.

The adult painting was more complicated to do. It's a painting of an old, 1790's altar at Mission Dolores which is now behind the current altar. The old altar can't be seen. The space it's in is narrow. The people who made this mural first photographed the old altar in pieces by letting a camera down into the narrow space. They put the photos together,and painted it how it looks now. Worn, layered, powerful is how it looks now.

What can't be seen in Mission Dolores can be seen blocks away on Bartlett.

The mural includes wornness, a recurrent curly pattern with a floral feeling without explicit flowers, a heart with a sword through it, another heart with three arrows through it, the feeling of power.

"Rest in power," it says at the beginning of the Pico Sanchez mural at Clarion and Mission. It says "Please Respect. Pico Sanchez. Rest in Power" next to a painted portrait of Pico Sanchez. The next panel of the mural over says, "Remembrance Is Power" over Pico Sanchez name in big letters made of bright colors.

"Please Respect" here means two things, at least. It means respect Pico Sanchez. It means respect this mural and don't mess it up.

I recognize those words in the same handwriting from a mural on the retaining wall a parking lot for the Mission National Bank. The mural is for kids and runs along a, in many ways, outstandingly cruddy alley near Sixteenth and Mission--Caledonia. Parallel to Mission and Valencia, running off Sixteenth near Valencia. I often go a little out of my way to walk down that trashful alley and see the mural.

It brings out the little kid looking in me. I look and look and like it, but can't quite figure parts of it out. It reminds me of when I was a little kid trying to figure out some visual images that got my attention, and couldn't quite figure them out.

Sometimes I couldn't figure them out because there wasn't that much to figure. I, young, assumed that everyone putting forth things in public was making there best effort. Not always true.

A good thing about murals is that usually people are putting forth a best effort, and there efforts are worth looking at repeatedly and mulling.

The kid's mural on the playground retaining wall by the same muralist who did the Pico Sanchez mural feels like it's from a complicated and well-thought utopia appropriate for kids. There's a Kids At Play sign and around it many kids playing, and with them, a dinosaur smaller than they are. I imagine that that is a real living small dinosaur that is their pet.

Next to that on the long mural is a series of images that are sort of like hills rounded off on the bottom as well as the top. And sort of like letters that don't generally exists. There's lots of room inside these entities for images like four red circles of increasing size that may be a new planet growing. There are also blobby images with events inside that seem kind of like what might be happening in our body cells right now. Maybe the images of the regular kids playing is followed by these images of what's happening inside the kids' bodies and minds, and their universe. Maybe.

Further down the mural, a little girl is next to the words "The day is saved." She looks like a super-hero mural painter, to me.

I keep wondering how it all fits together-- the images in the mural and the thought behind the images. I think and think and am about five as a think. I don't solve, but I improve my synapses, partly by spending some thought time being five.

I can see that mural again and again, easy. The current prices of getting into art museums don't encourage again and againness. The day is saved by us leaving lively gifts around for each other to find, among things.

If your wisdom about the world comes to you in pictures you can paint, and if you get good mural paint and owner's permission, your outdoor wall picture could be there for people to see again and again for a good little while. Entering into a child's early strong memories, making an adult's daily routine different and more artful--with a touch of something different than today's problems, and what to buy or not buy.

Murals do not last forever, though good mural paint makes a huge difference, but while they last they are seen by many.

A painting seen more by night than by day has two moons in it, and a thinking human. Night is a good time to be thinking, and seeing art in public where you don't expect it is a good time to think.

Haircuts Today on Mission between 18th and 19th offers haircuts for the whole family when it's open. When it's closed, and its rolling metal security gate is down, it offers a picture painted on the gate of a woman with long dark hair looking sideways, thinking, smiling a little, with a crescent moon on her right and a full moon on her left. She's being pretty, being smart. Her hair spreads to cover most of the security gate. Her hair is filled with stars. She was painted by Pico Sanchez.

Stars are there, above Mission Street, but it's in a lit part of a lit city, and they can't be seen. The many stars in the thinking woman's hair are showing a fact that can't otherwise be seen.

Blank walls and blanks faces can make a city dweller think everybody else is simple and you're the only one roiling around, like an ocean, like a rain forest, like a wetland, like the sky.

It makes sense that Pico Sanchez site ends in dot net, picosanchez dot net, because he cast a very wide net, by being alive all time. He was an artist, creator of images, and person who was there for people. He did a lot, by always doing.

The serene picture of a woman, two moons, and stars at Haircuts Today is part of Pico Sanchez noticing the sky in different ways between 18th and 19th on Mission.

Two doors down from the serene woman who is a reminder that serene comes from Serena, a goddess of the moon, is a non-serene view of the sky with no people. It's churning, the sky. It feels like sky orbs are being created, like they are emerging from big sky, big bang energy when Vimy Electronics is closed and the security door is down. It's a powerful swirl, and up in the corner is the sun, loving it, with a big grin.

There's a smaller store front between those two sky pictures. It's security door is the kind that folds up and spreads out to close. You couldn't paint a picture on it.

When the two sky pictures on either side are visible, and you look at the from across the street, it looks like the little, pictureless storefront feels left out. "Where's my sky?"

Across the street is also something to look at, a picture of the part of the sky between sitting people and orbs being created. The part of the sky with air in it that birds can fly in is on the security door of Eagle Loan Co., Pawnbroker.

An eagle is flying. It's long door with the Eagle flying in from the left and lots of sky ahead of the eagle, room to move. The way the air molecules are dottily made, they look look like they are enthusiastically supporting the eagle's flight.

Room to move and support--hope on the door of the pawn shop.

All the near 19th and Mission sky meditations of Pico Sanchez are shown at picosanchez dot net under Commissions.

Pico Sanchez lived in a utopia, which is a lot of work, and he took on a good chunk of that work. He lived in Project Artaud (are-TOE), a long-time artist live-work space in a great old brick building in the Mission near 17th and Alabama.

Ideal collective situations are great moves against our culture of individual striving and suffering. And they take much maintenance because USA people don't have that much experience with serious cooperation, generally. Discontent that might be vented at a landlord or boss is instead available for cooperators to direct at each other.

Some people also kind of expect, without maybe knowing it, that being in an alternative situation could or should heal all their wounds.

All this inexperience and expectation can get run through meetings about the mundane everydayness of keeping things going, keeping the physical from falling down.

The process can be talk intensive and wisdom intensive. When he died, Pico Sanchez was president of Project Artaud, president of a old brick building, former American can company factory small-scale utopia.

"Strand" is a word that goes way back, Old Norse, and first meant the edge of something, a boundary. Going from there, it means the edge of water, river or ocean, and specifically, sometimes, the area between the high tide and the low tide. Strand came to mean running someone, in a water battle, up on the land where you can get them, in an unfriendly way.

Which led to strand meaning abandon someone. The Strand in London follows what used to be the edge of the river. I had in my mind the idea of Strand as a fancy street when I first really thuoght about the name of that long boarded over theatre on Market.

But I didn't think about it's name at all until Paz De La Calzada painted her strands on the boards below the sign. She woke me up. She paints strands in city places in different cities, which sometimes have the effect of making things seem pulled together by something human.

There's something about hair strands and painting them big that only Paz De La Calzada knows, and which she shares.

Sometimes we strand each other in the city by keeping our knowledge inside and our faces blank. My family was good and supportive about me reading and reading, but the kids at school thought it was pretty weird. I like that the mural on playground retaining wall includes a super-heroine dressed little girl flying and zapping energy and support to a little boy who is leaning against a tree reading. Kid-to-kid rah-rah for reading for kids seem utopian, based on my experience, and it's lovely to see.

The fourth bird riffing on the chicken in the Mission Market sign has arrived, and it's standing on the ground, where little kids can see it eye to eye, and can touch it if they want.

The other three birds are up in the middle by the logo and oriented toward it. This bird is on the edge by the sidewalk and looking out, sideways, towards the images painted by little kids. Some graphic artist, maybe a decade or two ago, did a fine job, but not too noticable, in designing the chicken in the Mission Market sign, and now, much later, another artist is playing on and on with it, outstandingly, dramatically, in a way that makes that bit of wall rewarding of much study, when there used to be barely anything to look at. From "This is the back of Mission Market" to color, grace, flight, and still, "This is the back of Mission Market."

Three more birds have been painted in now, and the ones who seemed to be flying now have strong dark branches underneath them. They are supported. Like we the humans are supported all the time by nature and branches and the skills of those who know how to keep this complex nest we've made working.

The building of Local 38 of the plumbers and pipefitters union on Market near Van Ness is next to a parking lot. The big wall facing the parking lot was blank for years.

Now it has a big "38" on it and a few big red and white stripes, as from the flag running along the bottom and big people, doing what plumbers and pipefitters do. The big people working on the wall echo faintly, just loudly enough, 1930's superheros.

They wear dramatic costumes with masks when they are welding. The painting of sparking flying off welding look also like super-hero power marks. The big wrench looks like it has the power to do anything.

It's easy to imagine a child looking at the mural saying, "I want to do that."

When it's your time to put something you know on a wall, good mural paint helps. Owner's permission, or enthusiastic support helps. Preparing the surface helps, so the good mural paint can stick.

Clean off, maybe scrape off the surface. Put on your best version of something you know.

If we put our unique knowing on cleaned surfaces to be seen, we help each other have better, more healed depths, depths we're happy to visit and learn from. We have depths we don't run from but take walks with.

What's right by the bird on the ground on the back of Mission Market, what it's looking toward, in the painted by kids section, is a painted green stem about as tall as a toddler, with seven light purple flowers on it and five light purple buds. Above it, a little sun and moon, about the size of the flowers, are shining, and above the sun and moon, a dove is flying, blessing everything.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Dreaming of an efficient American dream.

Historically, there have been a lot of times and places where the people were divided into the very rich and the very poor. The rich were usually wasteful.

The American dream partly has to do with everyone having a chance to have a decent, comfortable life and being able to do things they like and things that interest them.

For that to have a chance of happening, people who have a decent, comfortable life need to not be as wasteful as the very rich in extreme situations.

People need to learn to recognize comfort and enough when they get there, and not inefficiently and wastefully overshoot.
Thinking it's possible and thinking it's possible for me are two different things.
Cross the lines quietly.

Sunday, July 03, 2011

Living here is a rich source of privilege, guilt, and responsibility. Happy Birthday.

Saturday, July 02, 2011

An interesting thing about Frank Sinatra, the singer, is that he had the same name his whole life.

He was very ambitious, and a couple of different times when he was starting out, people told him he's never get far unless he changed his name to something that didn't sound Italian.

He said yes to that at least once. But his forceful mother said no, forcefully, and Sinatra never changed his name.

His mother said he could call himself either Sinatra or O'Brien. He stuck with the name he had, Sinatra.

O'Brien was not her name. Her name before she married was Garavante. O'Brien was the name her husband, Marty Sinatra, used to box under. He boxed professionally as Marty O'Brien and went by Marty Sinatra in private life because Italians weren't allowed in the gyms.

When they were dating, Dolly Garavante dressed as a man to see Marty fight, because women weren't allowed at fights.

The people who told Frank Sinatra that he had to have a name that didn't sound Italian to succeed (Satin was one suggestion) were incorrect.

--information from "His Way: The Unauthorized Biography of Frank Sinatra"