New Mexico

Hi folks

Mom's Memorial Chihuahua
Mom's Memorial Chihuahua

Oola, Mom’s Memorial Chihuahua, and I are on our way to New Mexico to see an artist/friend of mine and maybe revisit Chaco Canyon if flash floods don’t bar the way.

It is time to get some horizons into my eyes after an intense semester of staring into a light bulb (read: computer screen).  Time to smell pine resin, sage brush, wind instead of diesel fuel.  Time to listen to Nothing.

Last night we had LOTS to listen to courtesy of “Sand by the Ton”, the Roaring Twenties at American Steel in Oakland.   To quote them, the venue included “2 one hundred foot water slides, 300 tones of sand, eight swimming pools, nine stages including live music, electronic music state.  Bluegrass and Circus arts, Giant foam wars bathtub. Carnival midway and side shows. Giant sand sculpture.  Thousands of your closest friends…”

It went on all day and well into the night.  Mr. Rioso and I had visited earlier in the week and were highly impressed by a whole lot of Big Art going on that involved heaving moving equipment, steel and fire.  We watched the development of Sand Sculpture by “the Sand Guy” Kirk.

Kirk's Castle
Kirk's Castle

Then there were the Giganomous sculptures that spout fire.

giant sculpture of standing female
Iron Woman who breaths fire
dandylion sculpture
Volunteers disguising the foundations of a 20+ ft. high dandylion sculpture that spouts fire

Mr. Rioso and I went back later that evening.  (Oola was comforting Katrin the Great, our cat, whose ears were laid back most of the evening, at least that’s what we saw when she came out from her hiding place under the etching press.)  There were probably thousands of young folk, many dressed up in 20’s fashion, heading into the giant American Steel buildings to experience Art.  I sensed a LOT of testosterone, but that has worked in a fairly satisfactory manner in the process of keeping the earth populated over eons.  (There was a Deadwood style bordello construction inside one of the halls.)  But the SOUND.  It could be heard a mile away!  So glad they stopped at 1AM.

Is it art?  Certainly art is always evolving, and to remain alive as an artist, one must be attentive to it’s new forms.  Is the Circus an art form?  It certainly can be.  Tolouse Lautrec was making a buck, but we call Jane Avril lifting her leg high to the bass player “art” now.  I am of two minds, mostly because the loudness of it annoyed me.

If the organizers of this event have any sense, they will take it on the road.

But…I digress.  It is now, and we are on our way to see Big pine trees, huge silent vistas, and maybe hear a thunderstorm.

By jandove



  1. “Time to listen to Nothing” Would that relate in anyway to “being?” Not in the Buddhist manner, but perhaps closer to the Existentialists and their stress on the ontological (from the Greek, meaning being) Do you equate being with alive? And, if so (1) alive as in being able to produce activity and to organize certain forms of behaviour, i.e. to move people either to feel or to think, or to act in a specific manner; (2) or a problem or theory that is felt as meaningful or significant, or (3) an “alive” which implies a reference to an act of evaluation or to a judgment of value? Sorry, but am rusty on my Kierkegaard, Husserl, Heidegger, Berdyaev, Sartre…and all those other Existential guys.

    Wondering what rabbit hole this has popped out of? In the middle of a discussion with very oldest friend, over “doing” and “being.” Though, both verbs. the former in my opinion are the activities that fill our day;, “things” that must be done or at least should be done. While the latter is a state of inwardness, a preoccupation with one’s inner self; concern with spiritual or philosophical matters rather than externalities. He had written that, though retired from teaching college English, the one course he still taught because he likes students so much, was taking so much of his time that he was feeling as if there were no road forward (to write poetry and do further research on the connection of the rhythmic phrasing of medieval German poetry and that of the blues – his Ph.D dissertation). I asked Harold what road he wished to take at 70 and where it was to lead him to. I said that I often felt as overwhelmed as he, and wished for time to “be.”
    For two months we have been disagreeing with each other as, as I especially, try to
    catch up on my long lost philosophical reading, and he throws it at me in multi-language form, as he reads and speaks ancient Greek, Latin, some German, French and Anglo-Saxon. It is fun, but also important as I see spending more time with being than doing (no intention to be lazy, as I do not know how, though wish at moments I did), important at our time of life. Our, includes you my dear Jan.

    Feel free to have Nothing to say about the above. Just to hear Nothing. Or, as I would say, “To hear Being.”

    Love, Bob


  2. Your “oldest friend”. Does that mean Harold is the friend you have had the longest, or merely that he has existed more years than any other friend you have? He certainly seems to poked the longest prod into your brain.

    Should one organize ones behavior around words or being? If the first, the Blues come to mind. If the second, the Blues also come to mind.

    Doing the blog thing fills your head with words. You should try it even at this time of life. It makes you long to listen to Nothing.

    Non-sequentarily your middle oldest friend and best remembering student,


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