Archive for the ‘Philosophy of life’ Tag

What if . . .   3 comments

Sunset Over The Tucson Mountains — Image by kenne

“What if our religion was each other.
If our practice was our life.
If prayer, our words.
What if the temple was the Earth.
If forests were our church.
If holy water–the rivers, lakes, and ocean.
What if meditation was our relationships.
If the teacher was life.
If wisdom was self-knowledge.
If love was the center of our being.”

— Ganga White

Tourist In Other People’s Reality   Leave a comment

OtherPeoplesReality-2-72Tourist In Other People’s Reality (1974) — a caricature of kenne

In 1974 an artist friend I worked with at a publishing company drew this caricature of me trying to include all the things he felt identified with me. For a long time, it hung on the wall in my office(s). One day I used a sharpy and wrote on the glass of the framed poster, “I’m a tourist in other people’s reality,” which sums up my life. I borrowed the line from Susan Sontag’s book (On Photography), “The camera makes everyone a tourist in other people’s reality, and eventually in one’s own.” 

— kenne

Pinned on the wall in the drawing is the Edmund Burke quote:

“No men can act with effect who do not act in concert;
no men can act in concert who do not act with confidence;
no men can act with confidence who are not bound together
with common opinions, common affections, and common interests.”

 

I Went To The Desert . . .   Leave a comment

Sonoran Sunset-72Catalina Foothills Sunset — Image by kenne

I went to the [desert] because I wished to live deliberately,
to front only the essential facts of life,
and see if I could not learn what it had to teach,
and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

— Henry David Thoreau

Cartoon Du Jour — If You Are Not, Then You Are Dead   2 comments

76794033_23843863021640067_4394636800992215040_n.pngnearlywildcamping.org

If you are not, then you are dead!

— kenne

 

Rose Canyon Lake On Mt. Lemmon   Leave a comment

Rose Lake August 2012Rose Canyon Lake On Mt. Lemmon — Image by kenne

“But I’ll tell you what hermits realize.
If you go off into a far, far forest
and get very quiet,
you’ll come to understand that
you’re connected with everything.”

 – Alan Watts

Sunset After The Rains   1 comment

Sunset-Edit-1-72.jpg

Sunset-2-art-72Sunset After the Rains — Photo-Artistry by kenne

The search for happiness is one of the chief sources of unhappiness.

— Eric Hoffer

Desert Globemallow   Leave a comment

Globemallow-72

Globemallow-2-72Desert Globemallow — Images by kenne

Balance

learning

new lessons

with learning

old lessons

again and

again to

become wise.

— kenne

 

The Miracle of Life   Leave a comment

Female Phainopepla-Edit-1-art-blogFemale Phainopepla Photo-Artistry by kenne

It is necessary to run risks.
We only properly understand
the miracle of life when we
allow the unexpected to happen.

— Paulo Coelho

 

“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   2 comments

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 a 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 journey 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   9 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 general 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 compliment 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 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 are 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, my 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 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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