Thursday, September 25, 2014
This is a ode to Dan ™ Wang.
The web is a place for pretenses, pretty things, and the shiny side of life, especially blogs. Bringing reality into focus is maybe not something we turn to the web for, but reality it is. Shit has certainly reigned. Two weeks ago, we lost a great friend; and at the risk of being too personal, forthright, whatever, I'd like to take a minute to immortalize him on the web.
Ro and I met Dan at a birthday party four or five years ago. He was awkwardly standing around, and when the dancing started, he awkwardly danced along. His gumption to join in the dancing while being so painfully self-aware made him instantly likable and highly relate-able. As we began to see him at numerous social occasions, it became clear that despite his discomfort in social situations, Dan was quite possibly the most social person we'd ever met. He was always leaving the party/movie premiere/New Years celebration/dinner to run to another function. We enjoyed giving him a hard time whenever he tried to make an exit.
He was a part of innumerable, and I do mean innumerable, social and environmental activist groups. The Occupy Movement, Non-GMO advocacy, the community garden, city beautification, the yoga center, Burning Man, the list has no end. I have no idea how he was able to be involved in so many diverse projects.... But he was a doer and a believer in community. He was always frustrated by the complacency and isolation of those around him. Whether he knew it or not, he had a huge community; people came out en masse for him at the memorial held at the garden last weekend.
The crowd was as diverse as his range of interests. Any given topic would take steroids when he entered the conversation. Chatting could take an abrupt left turn and end up considering web-savvy Afghan weavers who listen to rockabilly or anarchist post punk (that was a real conversation). He worked in computers, so Ro and he often splintered off into riveting conversations about Linux and remote servers. His embrace of all things nerdy, computer software, Simpsons, Burn Notice clashed well with his ride: a loud, but Eco-friendly motorcycle.
Coming out of the memorial I was inspired by two strongly positive thoughts. First, it is hard not to take notice of Dan's vigilance and consistency in millions of small ways to make his community and the world a better place, one parking lot, one sign, one label at a time. Secondly, as we all traded stories and stepped back to see him from this twisted perspective, I was again inspired by his sometimes comical, but always constant individuality. How many bread-baking Led Zeppelin and acid metal rocking, pothead Chinese-American, environmental biker activists gardeners do you know... only one.
This is an uplifting ode, so I will leave it at that.
Sunday, September 21, 2014
Death ends a chapter or begins another, it's never just a text-heavy page. For how much time people spend thinking about dying, it might as well be an errand to run or a TiVo episode to watch. Probably yet another reason why, when it happens, expected or not, it's always shocking.
Its presence dominates the psyche like a master ninja, striking hard and retreating to invisibility. The aftermath is a tornado of loose thoughts, unchained emotions, and shifting perspectives. Expressing grief (or not) is as disorienting.
Memories start to playback on a constant reel. Alone or together, so many details come to the surface. Taking stock of all those quirks, th important and the nonsense on equal ground, is cathartic and seems honorable, sending off a soul with respect and recognition of all that happened here.
Wednesday, September 10, 2014
I had some requests, so I finally got some of my travel landscapes up on Society6. As far as frame + print goes, the price cant be beat. Most of these are from last summer when I put almost 6000 miles on my car(s), stretched my vagabond muscle, got real intimate with cruise control.
My brother came to visit, and I gave him the grand tour of California including Yosemite, Big Sur and the Californian coast. Then my friend Mie and I drove from Virginia to back to California mapping a ton of locales I'd always wanted to see, including Colorado, New Orleans, and Utah.
These landscape squares would look super chic in your bathroom!
Thursday, August 14, 2014
"All of nature in its awful vastness and incomprehensible complexity is in the end interrelated - worlds within worlds within worlds: the seen and the unseen - the physical and the immaterial are all connected - each exerting influence on the next - bound, as it were, by chains of analogy - magnetic chains. Every decision, every action mirrors, ripples, reflects and echoes throughout the whole of creation. The world is indeed bound with secret knots."
~Thomas P. Kelley
Monday, August 11, 2014
Saturday, August 9, 2014
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Pulvis et umbra sumus. (We are but dust and shadow.)
It was after 7pm; the sun was low behind the mountains. Wind was fiercely rolling through the barren valley; we got tired of the swerving18 wheelers and pulled off into Manzanar. Loud whooshes of sand and dust pummeled our car as we inched along the cracked roads, branches and dead weeds flying. We made our way back to the monument.
Tuesday, August 5, 2014
Nacimiento in English means the origin.
Perhaps the worst situations are just clearing the way for magic.
Crummy camp spots were taken from Monterrey all of the way down to San Luis Obispo. We were stuck south of Big Sur without a dirt path to lay our heads, the sun set, and a dwindling tank of gas. With no idea what to do, we found a stray road and instead of heading north or south, we timidly went vertical. Climbing nearly two thousand feet in elevation, we came to a large curve in the road where some fellow stragglers were parked. We stopped and basked in the most etheric view possible. Silver clouds ebbed out over the water a thousand feet down, two oceans lain on top of each other. It was a full moon.
We felt like aliens.
Monday, August 4, 2014
Storm rolls in over the lake where we spent a relaxed afternoon playing water Fribee with local kids, eating Little Debbies, and driving around the entire lake with all of the windows open. Perfect days; my father says we should spread his ashes here. I hope he never dies.