On Attending a Fundraiser for Standing Rock

I feel the pull, the draw of the spectacle, the energy of a movement, the making of an important moment in history, the power in the rising of wronged people, happening right now while I sit here in a warm house, the sun setting on a holiday where we flew and drove and gorged ourselves, we, the “consumers” as we are now known, buying more than our fair share, driving the wheels which churn the oil. 

Still, we want to help.  We want justice.  We want to be absolved of the crimes of our ancestors and our politicians. 


Goodbye to a Deep Listener, Pauline Oliveros

Pauline Oliveros passed away in her sleep last Thursday, a devotee of deep listening who advised "listen to everything all the time and remind yourself when you are not listening."

I saw her in Appleton a few years back, playing with Stuart Dempster, overtones in the chapel.

Pauline spoke about growing up in the 1930's and being most interested in the sounds between the radio stations and the sounds the chickens made as they pecked about the yard.

When she got her first recorder she hung the microphone out the window and was shocked to hear on the recording so many more noises than she heard while making it.  And that was interesting too.

She was an originator of electronic music.

She played the accordion.

She founded the Deep Listening Institute.

Pauline Oliveros made vibrations that if we listen we will continue to hear for a long long time to come.


Notes on the Mindful Artists Workshop

We arranged objects on paper.  
We arranged dots in the room.

Then we drew.

We showed our drawings 
then stood and noticed
our sense of the floor,
the ceiling,
the walls,
the door.

We noticed our sense of the river,
of our homes,
of our birthplaces.

We arranged ourselves in the room.
We paused for the bell
then rearranged ourselves again.

We wrote and shared.

What did you notice?

A man from across the ocean said he sensed the river running through his hometown.
One woman teared up talking about the energy by the window.
One woman wrote nope all over her paper.
One man sensed an entrance where there was none, 
then discovered there used to be one and sensed a new opening.

What do you arrange?

A life.
Scraps of paper.
A room.
The alphabet.


Reflections in Wire Sculpture

"That's your art?" the first one says, flicking it aside.

"That's your art?" the second one says, as if surprised.

"That's your art?" the third one says, laughing and jolly.


36 Questions for Take Me to the River

What do you hear when you listen to the river?
In the currents can you hear voices from your past?
When the seagulls cry do you hear the ocean?
In a storm, broken hearts?
What sound does the river make in the thick of night?
When your thoughts turn to your deepest concerns?

What do you see where the river meets the sky?
How deep beyond reflections can you see?
What is the opposite of now?
Can a river flow more than one way?
What secrets does the river conceal?
What stories do you read in its waves?

How to reveal the meaning of the river?
Why is our awareness so fleeting?
Can you feel the river in your bones?
How long do you sit by the river before turning to other things?
How to understand that my arm is not mine?
What makes a river what it is?

What is your connection to the river?
What is the song you sing whenever i’m around?
If we walk by the river, will you hold my hand?
Can you imagine a time before this river was born?
When the sky and earth were one?
Can you imagine how a river is always home?

When do you think about the river?
When do you crave its song?
How often do you make your way to the river?
Have you ever been to where the river is born?
Have you ever floated its length?
Have you ever traveled to its end?

Have you considered this river of thought?
This river of vein? This river of sewer?
Can a rock be a river?
Is the sky a river?
What about this moment?

Are you and i a river?


A Few Facts About Me and The River

Sometimes I forget there's a river nearby.
Sometimes I forget to look at the sky.
Sometimes I find myself churning over useless worries.

Sometimes I walk by the river.
Sometimes I look at the sky.
Sometimes I find myself letting go of useless worries.


Tranquility and the Revolution: Moondog

The long anticipated Moondog: A whimsical short film by Len Borruso

With many special thanks to:

Tad Neuhaus for always playing and selecting the perfect accompaniment,

Elyse-Krista Mische who made Moondog's costume on very short notice,

John Fleckner who agreed to play Moondog with even shorter notice,

Len Borruso who agreed to film, direct, and edit the whole thing on the shortest notice of all,

Therese Joanis of Top Spins and Luke Jacobs of Jacobs Meat Market for their willingness to play along,

Dane Richeson for letting us play his beautiful instruments,


Andrew Dane and Rory Olson for always being game.

Moondog from Ekphrasis where you can view all the Tranquility and the Revolution short films and discover where the cassette tape binders came from.