Thursday, October 16, 2014

Park Guell - Barcelona

It is April in Barcelona and beautiful. The trip to Antonio Gaudi's Park Guell today left dazzling impressions. Gaudi, who called himself "God's Architect", did not leave a single surface of his sinuous creations unadorned. His collaborations with iron workers, carpenters, masons, sculptors, and ceramicists make his lively creations endlessly varied.

The artistically virtuosic Gaudi's enchantingly realized visions are also engineering marvels. At his Park Guell, there is a path that leads to a magnificent mesa, bounded on its perimeter by rounded ceramic covered benches that coil like a snake or a sea serpent. The area  attracts very large crowds who congregate  there, socialize, and rest on the benches.

The Park is high above the City, so I thought the visitor area was carved into the hillside itself. Instead, the entire visitor area is a raised platform supported by grand columns. The underside of the structure is articulated into many domes that distribute the weight of the structure and its throngs of people evenly onto massive supporting columns. The underside is decorated like an undersea vault.

Downhill from the columns is the head of the snake or lizard whose coils are represented by the seat backs of the benches above. 

Crenelated walls surround the area like fanciful castle battlements or like the spine of a dragon

Beyond the lizard head are two storybook houses adorned with spectacular cake frosting- like tile work. The lower windows (see the first picture above) are sheathed in magnificent curved cast iron coverings that lead the eye upward. The walls themselves are filled with mosaic splendor, from Moorish designs to random shard patterns.

I am a Gaudi enthusiast. His early Twentieth Century organically inspired creations are not intended to fulfill what our time would deem to be "functional". Rather they are intended to feed the boundless imagination of those fortunate enough to visit, so that we may all revel in what is inspiring and comforting and delightful about being alive. Isn't that functional?

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Secrets of SETI Revealed

I want to thank my regular readers for their overwhelming response to my recent blog, The Alien Wallpaper Project. One of my blog followers pointed out that intergalactic beings are not material entities, but are instead non-material beings living in the intergalactic plane. This reader concluded that because they are not material beings, they would not and could not be customers for wallpaper designed specifically for Aliens.

 I think that it would be unfair to the regular readers of my blog, both of you, if I did not at this point reveal the recent findings of the SETI Project (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence). I will discuss the debate set off by these astonishing discoveries, but I want to caution my readers that we’re in Very Deep Waters (VDW) here because these kinds of subjects elicit Very Strong Opinions (VSO) from both the metaphysical and scientific communities.


SETI scientists have discovered a song. The song has reached us, eons after it was originally performed, from the depths of intergalactic space. The complete text of the song is very blurry. Translation algorithms are mightily challenged, but the refrain goes something like this:

My Face and Body
Are Just Fantastic
And I am a Material 

This song, performed by some far off pop star, obviously confirms the materiality of at least some race of the intergalactic population.

The Debate in the Metaphysical Community (MC)

The debate over this revelation in the metaphysical community has been fierce. Doubt is now cast on the veracity of certain channelled entities who have claimed the exclusive non-materiality of all intergalactic beings.

Channelers with VSO (Very Strong Opinions) have become nasty with each other. Some channelers now claim that the entity channeled by one of their colleagues is not fit to carry the lunch pail of their own channeled entity. This in spite of the fact that lunch pails went out in the 70’s.

The Debate in the Scientific Community (SC)

This finding was so depressing to SETI scientists that many of them abandoned the project altogether and went on “benders” of various kinds. The remaining scientist split into factions debating what action should be taken. One group was in favor of removing the “I” from the SETI acronym, believing that  “Search for Extra Terrestrials” would be a more appropriate name for the project. Another group thought the project should be turned over to producers and hosts of  Reality TV in the hope of collecting vast royalties. 

A Sad State of Affairs (SSA)

This already SSA in VDW (Very Deep Waters) was compounded by further SETI revelations that the singer of the song was once again pregnant by another actor after she had already given birth to septuplets. She was said to be taking birth control!

This last finding was too much for the remaining scientists. Many of them thought the experiment would be better designed if in fact it was turned over to chimpanzees. 

The Treatment for the Problem (TP)

Some scientists and metaphysicians sought out professional help for the emotional distress caused by these events. Common antidepressants were prescribed. The following cryptic prescription is the result.

SF in VDW: SSA and VSO in MC &  SC. TTT & SMM

SETI findings in Very Deep Waters: Sad State of Affairs and Very Strong Opinions in Metaphysical Community and Scientific Community.

Take Two Tablets and See Me in the Morning

Saturday, May 10, 2014

The Alien Wallpaper Experiment: How to Succeed in the Arts

    I have been an oboist for most of my life. You can just imagine the fortune I have acquired by playing and teaching the oboe. Well, maybe you can’t. It is noteworthy that a former teacher of mine famously told his freshman class that of the five or six oboe players entering the conservatory that year, maybe, just maybe, one of them would make a living by playing the oboe.

    With the daunting circumstances of my profession in mind, I mulled over how to develop an alternative money-making plan. Since I have always enjoyed drawing and designing, I thought to make it big by striking it rich in the art field. Now, I realize that visual artists, like oboe players, do not make much money.  This led me to several considerations that have guided my most recent artistic efforts.

First, the markets for art here on Earth are just too limited.

   To make it really big, it is necessary to have a market that extends beyond the confines of this solar system. To make it truly, truly big, one would need to serve the galactic market. Why think small? With this in mind, I decided on a course of designing wallpaper for aliens.

    I thought a good name for this effort would be, “The Alien Wallpaper Project”. I truly love this name, and I became quite attached to it as frequently happens to me when branding a product. For instance, when my Baroque Trio musical group was in the process of finding a name for itself, I suggested, “The Vivaldi Marching Band”. Sadly, this name was soundly rejected in favor of a more formal name, but I have remained attached to it ever since! Ah Well! But back to The Alien Wallpaper Project. It occurred to me that if instead of “Alien Wallpaper Project”, I used the name, “Alien Wallpaper Experiment”, then I would have a terrific three letter acronym,  AWE.

Probing the Alien Marketplace

    Having accomplished my branding, I thought I’d probe the alien marketplace. I decided that in order to maximize my brand, my customers must be upscale aliens. They must be aliens with galactic capabilities, at least technologically advanced enough to mine asteroids, and able to extract Helium 3 from the atmosphere of planets like Saturn to fuel their spaceships. They must be capable of faster than light travel to come here to buy my products, and they must use quantum entanglement to communicate about my products to the folks back home.

    It occurred to me that this kind of abundance and capability monetized must mean that one of their universal drachmas has got to be worth, let’s say, a billion of our dollars, maybe more. This is just logical, is it not? This led me to consider that I would only need to sell one swath of AWE to a private alien, an alien corporation, or an alien non-profit, to be set for life, or at least until my competitors successfully market to the aliens, and the value of alien currency is rebalanced by more trade with Earthlings.

    With this in mind, I have produced AWE I and AWE II. I have yet to produce AWE shucks, but AWE III is in progress. 

Alien Wallpaper I

Alien Wallpaper II

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Rules and Filters

Everyone’s mind has rules and  filters layered upon us by life and by our teachers, and by our contact with the other people in our lives. These rules and filters tell us what we can and cannot do, what we can and cannot be, what we can and cannot attempt.They are the basis of our self-limitations. For instance, I may have an architectural idea. My rules and filters tell me I an not an architect. I have a concert idea. My rules and filters tell me I am not a good enough musician to pull it off. I have an art idea. My rules and filters tell me I do not have the skills to accomplish it.

It may take a major blow to our lives to open the gates in our minds so that we can proceed in the direction of our callings and set aside the rules and filters for some area of our lives; to accept the ideas that bring us to our joy in life, to declare ourselves willing to risk time and effort and emotional energy for love and accomplishment and fulfillment, to willingly engage in the creativity that makes time seem to vanish for us.

When we are able to accept the urges of creativity in ourselves, and able to override our rules and filters, we are transformed. Any sense of boredom is gone, replaced by challenge. Any sense of uselessness is gone, replaced by flow, and we discover a reservoir of strength to overcome negative self-evaluations, and relegate them, at least temporarily, to the compost heap of creativity where they belong.

Negative self-evaluations are voices that can be transformed. The energy of the limiting and shaming voices can be used instead to create positive and encouraging voices because this energy is our own energy, even if we think we have lost it. We can create positive voices in ourselves, affirming, loving, caring voices. We can give these voices validity and strength and living energy, and we can learn to accept praise and encouragement from those around us.