Friday, June 23, 2017

ap170623  Saving Earth’s human life sustainability 

Why write an autobiography? 

When I came into the world, the belief I met was that any little thing was a chance for growing conscious of humanity in a relationship with Nature. By the time I had lived twenty years, my belief encompassed all Natural things—stones, trees, animals, birds, fish—and I took my role to be that of an artist and a teacher. To be an artist, I had to teach. Survival of that element of humanity to see every little thing as a chance for growing conscious of humanity’s relation with Nature depended on me teaching cultural arts.
Mechanization was constantly growing, too; and often the demands of mechanization were counter to consciousness of Nature and our dependence on Natural forces. By the time I was forty, I had been adopted, it seemed, by a being showing me both Natural and mechanical forces and they are enemies.
By the time I was sixty—around the year 2001—I could see the balance of survival tipping to the mechanical. Now that I am seventy five, the victory in the contest between Nature and mechanization is almost won by the latter. Humanity no longer controls the forces of mechanization. It is a fact, as one of the authors said in a book I read when I was in my ‘thirties, that mechanization takes command.
Mechanization has disrupted even the simplest human reactions—such as one human making eye-contact with another human meeting on a sidewalk. Plugged in—either with ear buds or only mentally—most people I meet walking avoid showing any signs that they know I am there. I feel like a ghost; I can see them, but they cannot see me it seems.
People acknowledge a dog, yet do not acknowledge another human being. Humans put out extreme efforts to husband their vehicles above all else—devoting huge sums of money to buying and maintaining their cars while wasting and ignoring Natural things such as humans.
Is it only Americans who behave this way? Probably not. However, among the inventions of Americans is entertainment and the mediums to distribute the power of mechanization overwhelming Nature, so that billions of non-Americans fall under its power, too.
The endowment of cultural arts allows those who practice and teach them to see the others’ meaning, and to sense an understanding of the reasons that people hate Americans for having destroyed so much of Nature that was good.
Therefore, when I was in my ‘fifties and my thoughts encountered those of a few other Americans by way of the mechanical means of communications—TV and books, mostly—I believed that my teaching and artistic role had found a value that transcended my expectations as an ordinary, limited Natural human. The mechanics of goal-setting is a helpful method to keep one’s bearings when the forces of mechanization overwhelm me.
What is this writing - this blog - worth? Six months ago I made a commitment to write my autobiography. This project is conditional, however. If I wrote my autobiography within the same framework as autobiographies were written in the past, it would be like wasting Natural resources. It would be like a person facing a walk in a desert and pouring the contents of a water canteen into the sand as if this were the first step toward a successful journey.
It would be a waste of the most precious of all resources given to me: Time. Therefore, in the spirit of human creativity, creating an autobiography must have an artist and teacher’s touch. It must use the best of what mechanization has to offer to achieve the most human of goals—Earth’s human life sustainability.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

os170606 Tiddlywik-ing my autobiography  

Inspired by an onyx apple  

I am writing my autobiography, and I have been at it for about four months. I work on it every day—sometimes all day—when I’m not corresponding with people about printmaking and my Halfwood Press line. When I tell people about it, I’m probably guilty of humble bragging. That’s when you brag about yourself behind a mask of self-deprecation.
It’s something like this: “I have to realize that writing an autobiography today—if you’re not somebody famous—is foolish on two counts: One, you’re not famous so who cares? And, Two, no one reads books any more.
It could be that I am famous, but not famous to millions of people—only a few hundred. The only big number I can claim is the number of people who have watched my videos on Youtube. One of them got over 22,000 views the last time I looked.
There is another reason for writing my novel, and it’s a secret—even to me. I am what people call a visionary, or a creative person. I’m not happy about that because there’s no demand for people like me. (Humble bragging again?). Since there’s no demand, I’m lonely—an outsider to most peoples’ circles of friends and professional associates.
In other words, I don’t know what I’m doing.
On the upside of this, however, is that I’m free of encumbrances, such as non-business telephone calls and social obligations. Even my close family members leave me alone to do what I think is important to me (and what I hope, in the end, will be important to them, too).
Here’s the point of this essay—I have in my collection of memorabilia a red onyx apple. It’s one of the things that will be discarded when I die because it’s of no apparent value. They sell for about $20 from carved gemstone suppliers. Here I paraphrase one supplier’s claims:
“Onyx apples remind people of the magic and mystery of fairy tales, and the legend of good versus evil as in the Garden of Eden. Their properties are ever-potent, a symbol of trust, growth, sustenance, and bearing fruit. Apples have also historically been used for happiness and drawing love, as well as divination rituals. Onyx is a stone of inner strength, persistence, willpower, and concentration. It keeps you focused, to develop into a master of self-realigning perceptions, emotions, actions, thoughts, and more. It purifies your inner monologue, to help you think more positively. Because as we think, so we believe and behave. This is a stone that can change your life.” – Sage Goddess
Yet I wouldn’t throw away this apple as long as I live. It was a gift to me in 1965 from my teacher in graduate school, Professor Geoffrey Bowman. It is a souvenir from Mexico, and he brought it back because I took care of his house and cats while he was gone.
Now, writing my bibliography, the onyx apple is mentioned in connection with my description of the two years I was in graduate school. As I said above, there are two reasons not to write an autobiography—being unknown and no readers—and the onyx apple, as the Sage Goddess wrote, has the power to focus on becoming a master of self-realigning perceptions, etc.
This I interpret to mean that the apple onyx may lead me to a reason to write an autobiography, which is to realign the emotions, actions, thought and more. The “more” is to create an autobiography that is a game more than a mere tome. It might be simple: make the apple, including its image, part of the autobiography and then use a wiki platform to provide the user (reader?) with an interesting experience in pursuing the links associated with the onyx apple.

Online I find several types of wiki platforms, one of which gets high ratings by writers. It is a called tiddlywiki.  I'm going to download it and try it.