Sunday, May 31, 2015

Havana...some images

The cigar workers deftly roll their particular brands while a reader reads them the daily newspaper or a novel of their choice.
The city is filled with bright 50's models American cars kept running and shiny by inexplicable means.
Music pours out of every bar and club in the Old City in Latin rhythms that demand you dance.
As the hot day cools down, a shirtless man sits on hid doorstep ready to help confused tourists.
The camera obscura atop the hotel in Plaza Vieja provides a live image of Havana at work.
In the Cathedral Square on the balcony of a stately colonial era building, Cubans sit, cool down, hang out their laundry.
Laundry hangs from windows no matter where you go--the Old City, Vedado, on small balconies, on balconies high up on large apartment buildings.
Trees explode with yellow, orange and red flowers and drip with ripening mangos.
Windows along the narrow cobbled streets have no glass, but only iron bars allowing tourists to peek into the small cramped and modest rooms which are appointed with near shabby fixtures.
The elementary school children in their red, white and blue uniforms sit two to a small aged desk in a sadly tiny room. They smile broadly as they greet in unison a foreign visitor.

Saturday, May 30, 2015


Back from 6 days in Havana for Bienal. So I will blog about this experience. Today an overview. There were 11 of us on  the tour, a compatible group as it turned out. We saw a city full of diverse, challenging and exceptional art from Cuba and the world. We visited colonial plazas, the botanical garden, the Old City, the modern city, the forts, many restaurants, the people, spaces of the revolution, the Malecon, the hangouts of American mobsters, a cigar factory, wonderful music. We had excellent guides and drivers and were left with incredible .

It won't be tomorrow when Americans will be allowed to travel freely to Cuba, but maybe in a couple of years or hopefully less. Get ready.

More tomorrow and the days to follow.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Thought for the day

I am off to the Havana Biennial and art tour of this wonderful city. I will resume blogging when I return at the very end of May. Thanks to all of you who give me a few minutes to blog at you each day.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Thought for the day

Do you know anyone who is not in need of healing?

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Thought for the day

T-ball game of 5 and 6-year-olds. The game is in progress. The little guy at third base spies something tiny but compelling in the dirt in front of him. He stoops to pick it up and is in the process of investigating it. The coach takes it out of the kid's glove, looks at it and tosses it aside in the grass.

Is there a lesson of some kind in this?

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Thought for the day

Have you ever given thought to what it means to be an educated person? The answer has personal, cultural, social and community implications.

Friday, May 15, 2015

The professional artist

Our culture makes it easy for us to recognize professionals like doctors, lawyers, athletes and police,  and tradesmen like plumbers and electricians as necessary to the effective functioning of society. They are visible, we know what they do and why they are valued.

But our culture does not do the same for visual artists. Performers like musicians, actors and dancers become present to us simply by performing in front of audiences and media. The visual artists remains to a large degree invisible in a world that is increasingly visual. The visual artist, by tradition or ignorance or default, remains wrapped in the myths of poverty, suffering, weirdness, life on the fringe.

The general public is still too distracted by sunsets, flowers and general prettiness to even know where to look for contemporary art and artists. Schools, colleges, media and the artists themselves provide little help in understanding contemporary visual art, understanding which is essential for appreciation.

I believe something should be done to deal with this issue. I just wish I knew what.

Thought for the day

Arrogance is the mask of low self-esteem.

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Thought for the day

Sit for 5 minutes and just listen to the birds sing.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Thought for the day

What is love?
Is it something we search for like buried treasure?
Is it something we must create from scratch on our own?
Is it something we plant never knowing how it will seed or flower?
Is it a brand we select off the shelves because of its alluring packaging?
Is it something we turn on and off like a switch?
What is love?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Boxes and spires

America's cities take pride in their skyscrapers. They build them bigger, challenge gravity and even put cupolas, domes, little temples and tiaras on top of them. But in the end they are just giant boxes filled with executives and office workers. They physically dwarf the domes, spires and minarets of mosques, churches and synagogues. These monuments to capitalism can point to nothing higher than their physical and technological limits, while the spatial limits of these spititual structures are the mere beginnings of their real meanings. The gravity they call attention to is the gravity of deep human experience.

Thought for the day

Every generation thinks its young are driving civilization "to hell in a handbasket." The problem is they pay too much attention to the hell and not enough to the handbasket.

Monday, May 11, 2015

thought for the day

Being normal is the real aberation.

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Thought for the day

Mother is our first home, our first food, our first banishment into the world of others and of adventure. Mother is the mythic archetype, the Earth, the one to whom we are forever umbilically connected. Mother is who we return to when we must psycholocially crawl back into the womb to regroup and reconnect. Mother is...

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Thought for the day

How long can you be alone with just your own thoughts?

Friday, May 8, 2015

Thought for the day

When do you feel  most human?

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Thought for the day

Life is happy days in lala land, an endless Disney cruise, every girl a princess, every guy a super hero, Publisher's Clearinghouse at everyone's door, everyone a choice of rock star or big silver loving cup, every couple 1.8 overachieveing children. And therein lies the reason we  never really solve our human problems.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Great art

Great art swims upstream.

Great art unearths new dimensions of human experience.

Great art seek out partnerships with viewers in time and through time.

Great art does not house its greatness in the object, but in the meanings the object points to.

Great art moves beyond the artist into humility.

Great art never lacks a spiritual aspect.

Thought for the day

Life is a circus, a bad joke, a tsunami of failed attempts at love, a soap opera, an emotional train wreck, an enigma, a bad vacation, a hope that hope works; and it all ends in one big mystery. But life keeps at it, doesn’t give up, muddles on. And therein lies its glory.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Thought for the day

Great wisdom can come from those who've failed the most.

Monday, May 4, 2015

Thought for the day

Why do we give so much attention to the tragic deaths of individuals and so little attention to their tragic lives?

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Thought for the day

The truth is, we're all strange.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Thought for the day

Ignorance is simply the choice not to pay attention.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Thought for the day

If you read stories, go to plays, attend movies or watchTV, you will find numerous tales of dying individuals who struggle with the task of telling those around them that they love them. But the real task is for them to love themselves. That will take care of everything.