Archive for the ‘Philosophy of life’ Tag

“What I Have Learned So Far”   Leave a comment

Rose-1955 art blogDigital Image by kenne

Meditation is old and honorable, so why should I
not sit, every morning of my life, on the hillside,
looking into the shining world? Because, properly
attended to, delight, as well as havoc, is suggestion.
Can one be passionate about the just, the
ideal, the sublime, and the holy, and yet commit
to no labor in its cause? I don’t think so.

— from “What I Have Learned So Far” by Mary Oliver

Swimp Boats At The Rocky Point Port   2 comments

Swimp Boats-1132_art blogSwimp Boats At The Rocky Point (Puerto Peñasco) Port — Computer Painting by kenne

“The meaning of life differs from man to man, from day to day, from hour to hour. What matters, therefore, is not the meaning of life in general but rather the specific meaning of a person’s life at a given moment.

To put the question in general terms would be to the question posed to a chess champion: “Tell me, Master, what is the best move in the world?”

There simply is no such thing as the best or even a good move apart from a particular situation in a game and the particular personality of one’s opponent.

The same holds for human existence. One should not search for an abstract meaning of life. Everyone has his own specific vocation or mission in life to carry out a concrete assignment which demands fulfillment. Therein he cannot be replaced, nor can his life be repeated. Thus, everyone’s task is as unique as is his specific opportunity to implement it. 

As each situation in life represents a challenge to man and presents a problem for him to solve, the question of the meaning of life may actually be reversed. Ultimately, man should not ask what the meaning of life is, but rather he must recognize that it is he who is asked. In a word, each man is questioned by life; and he can only answer to life by answering for his own life; to life he can only respond by being responsible.”

–Viktor E. Frankl

Changing Direction   Leave a comment

Norfolk Tall Ship-Graphic Pen Art blogGraphic Pen Art by kenne

In the search for your destiny,
you will often find yourself obliged
to change direction.

— Paulo Coelho

Believing In The Importance Of The Struggle — Robert M. Pirsig, Dead At 88   1 comment

pirsig-with-chris-1968_custom-1dfd21fa4918cd9508463228a8dd69566ee06eb0-s800-c85Source: William Morrow/HarperCollins

It’s just a little after midnight in Tucson, and I’m having trouble sleeping. It could be that Joy is having surgery later today. It could be that in this age of hand-held technology it was several hours ago I received news alert on the passage of Robert M. Pirsig at age 88.

In the 1970’s I was interested in motorcycles — own a couple. It was a time in which I loved reading about technology and philosophy. So, in 1974 when I read a review of a recently published book, “Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values,” I went out and bought a copy.

The inside cover jacket begins with a quote from the book:

“ The study of the art of motorcycle maintenance is really a miniature study of the art of rationality itself. Working on a motorcycle, working well, caring, is to become part of a process, to achieve an inner peace of mind. The motorcycle is primarily a mental phenomenon.”

What better way to write about the conflict between science and religion, and the nature of Quality in art than to have it as part of a motorcycle narrative of a trip Pirsig, his eleven-year-old son and two friends took from Minnesota to California? As it turns out, the real trip was not a motorcycle trip, but a philosophic trip that centers on an insane passion for truth.

In February of this year, I posted a blog entitled, The Zen of Visual Imagery – Balancing Passion and Obsession, in which I reference the novel I have worshiped over the years. Whether in my own teaching of educational philosophy or photography, I can’t talk about life without referencing Pirsig for the truth. It is time for a Chautauqua.

–kenne

Sunrise On Wildhorse Trail   Leave a comment

Wildhorse TrailSunrise On Wildhorse Trail — Image by kenne

No valid plans for the future can be made by those who have
no capacity for living now.

— Alan Watts

Female Phainopepla   1 comment

scvn-nature-walk-12-28-11_-female-phainopepla-blogFemale Phainopepla — Image by kenne

Learn to separate the chatter of daily relationships from who you are;

soon you will realize that everything else is just “white noise.”

— kenne

Artist Malcolm Alexander Moves Back To Santa Fe — Continuing The March To A Different Beat   8 comments

When we moved to Tucson three years ago, one of the first people we met and established a friendship was visual artist, Malcolm Alexander. Recently, for reasons of health, the 89 year-old Malcolm moved back to Santa Fe where he can be closer to family and friends.

Malcolm is very missed — sights of the lumbering (6′ 5″) big man walking around the Circle; conversations at the pool; knocks at our door seeking help in finding his cell phone and his proverbial question, “What’s the latest malicious gossip?” There were the times we went to lunch and he would ask me questions about my philosophy of life, or the knocks at the door, just wanting to talk, which for Malcolm meant listening and observing — when it comes to people and politics, Malcolm’s more into asking questions than telling you what he thinks, unless it has to do with living compositions.

“To this day I admit, I’m always arranging and rearranging living compositions in my mind: Always. It can be a bit disconcerting at a dinner party when I’m staring at a beautiful woman attentively and she feels flattered until I say, ‘Could you move three inches to the right and remove that goblet from the frame?’ Or to my hostess, ‘You know that painting behind you needs to be hung two inches lower to complement you, and the height of the candlesticks is wrong for it.’ “

Malcolm AlexanderMalcolm Alexander — Images by kenne

“I distinguish between ‘living’ and ‘life.’ Living is an encounter. Life can be a lifeless existence in many cases. My art has been the conduit linking me to people, people from all walks of life. I have traveled from boardrooms  to blue-collar environments, always looking, listening, and learning that each of us has a story to tell. In articles, I have been referred to as the ‘Studs Turkel’ of the art world.”
— Malcolm Alexander

Malcolm Alexander“. . . most people instinctively choose the security of harmony. An artist will choose chaos so that one can bring a new order and harmony to it.”
— Malcolm Alexander

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Images from our “farewell” dinner for Malcolm.

On August 28th, a few friends of Malcolm had dinner at our house, the least we could do to show our friendship and love for Malcolm. As with his work, we hope Malcolm “. . . keeps moving toward a distant, unknown destination seemingly always just beyond his horizon.”

bocce ball on the greenDiane, Malcolm, Steve and Marsha — Playing Bocce Ball On The Circle, March 2012

“My experiences in nature taught me that we are all One. There is peace and unity in Nature. When we destroy Nature, we destroy the soul.”
— Malcolm Alexander

In the brief time I have known Malcolm, I have learned about the man, an artist with a restless mind, yet comfortable in stillness while desiring a lot of social stimulation. In his memoir, To Reason Why, you can see the influence of his lifelong association with Native Americans —

“For from being a brained-numbed soldier,
our artist is actually our child within,
our inner playmate.
As with all playmates, it is joy, not duty
that makes for a lasting bond.”
— Malcolm Alexander

Yes, by friend — “It does not require many words to speak the truth.” (Chief Joseph Nez Perce) You are a man who excels in what you do with a quiet confidence.

May our paths cross again soon.

kenne

“There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual. Such are the moments of our greatest happiness. Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom. If one could but recall his vision by some sort of sign. It was in this hope that the arts were invented. Sign-posts on the way to what may be. Sign-posts toward greater knowledge.”
— Robert Henri

This is my third posting on our former neighbor:

https://kenneturner.com/2011/02/01/malcolm-alexander-nobody-ever-asked-me-how-i-felt/
http://tanuri.wordpress.com/2012/01/11/sculptor-malcolm-alexander-pens-his-memoir/

You can see images of Malcolm’s work at the Ventana Fine Art Gallery website.

http://ventanafineart.com/malcolm-alexander

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