Sunday, November 29, 2009

me, me, me, me, me

Throughout this period without paid employment (now five months) I have often been disheartened by the fact that there have been no great flights of imagination or grand projects. But my drawing has definitely moved forward and I have learned to relax more. I see the world a little differently. I had hoped for more coherence in my reading, the further development of views, to build thoughts more, to pray more, to find new things to do, for things to make more sense. These have happened only very haphazardly. I am sometimes unhappy with myself w/r/t the lack of activity and other times forgiving and understanding. Being without work is hard for anyone. Me no less than any one else.

I wonder if the blog, which is nearing its first anniversary, is an accurate reflection of what has been on my mind and heart. I have deliberately shied away from sharing most day to day activities and autobiography. But I do happily hope that the personal stuff comes across in the posts anyway, even when there are no or few words (which is most of the time). I have not taken the time to go back and reflect on the whole (as I recommended for The Insatiable Moon blog in my last post) but I am glad that there is something to go back to. And that it tells a story. Maybe not the story that I would have chosen to tell but definitely my story - the threads that continue to get woven in to the whole and the ones that have been dropped. I find grace in all of this. Receive it happily.

The one consistent drawing theme that I have managed to keep up since switching notebooks at the beginning of this month is that I frequently draw myself. Only one picture made it on to the blog so far (those first notebook pages). I decided to run some of these images together - the drawing here. I don't look like all these guys but they are all me. In this, and in the Echo Chamber post, which was also a more personal drawing, I can feel some new direction. This is slight but makes me very happy indeed.

for the backstory and the ongoing drama

I have been following the wonderful Mike Riddell as he blogs the (very high) highs and (very low) lows of putting together the film of his book The Insatiable Moon. Filming has begun. Worth reading the blog from the beginning - or at least looking over the journey of the last few months. Mr. Riddell and his supporters are overcoming the seemingly insurmountable odds against them in real time.

Mr. Riddell has played with the novel form several times over the past few years. I have not been able to get a hold of The Insatiable Moon but did find Deep Stuff to be wonderfully thought provoking. Must be read slowly.

my happiness bears no relation to happiness

This poem is an movingly powerful statement, I think.
I read about Taha Muhammad Ali here.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

'echoes on bare walls'

Music sounds better in here than anywhere else in the apartment.

somewhere between what you need and what you know

Charlotte Gainsbourg - Heaven Can Wait from Charlotte Gainsbourg on Vimeo.

The other day, this made me feel good, in a Gallic California sort of way.

Monday, November 23, 2009

people have the power

A few nights ago I met Patti Smith.
She was lovely. I waited 40 minutes for her on the corner of Madison and 34th St. (it was my assigned role as part of a larger event to whisk her from the street to a dressing room). Her taxi went to the wrong address. Looking for a car, I see this punk earth mother crossing the street with a guitar strapped to her back. At this point I was quite nervous because I knew there had been delays and that she was meant to be dropped off in front of me so that I could carry her stuff. 'Hello, Ms. Smith', I said, 'I'm Derek'. She said, 'Hello Derek!' and it was immediately clear that she was going to be very cool about everything and wonderful and warm and open-hearted - everything you would hope for. Our conversation was very mundane but I am on a buzzy inspired high even now (and I really am not very into meeting celebs - or at least find it all very awkward).

And at the event she shone.

There is a really great interview with the author, illustrator, fabulist, Shaun Tan here. The Guardian also has posted one of his stories, which Neil Gaiman linked to the other day. Definitely worth a read.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

keep a notebook

Yohji Yamamoto looks like the happiest, wisest person in this photograph.

I really liked Wim Wenders' documentary, Notebook on Cities and Clothes, which focuses on Yamamoto's philosophy and on Wenders' own changing relationship to film with the advent of video.

The care that Yamamoto takes with his words is deeply moving.

paul & tom

Lots of thoughts about these verses, and ideas behind them, this week. I am currently a big mix of churning emotions - trying to pay attention to these and keep the bigger picture in mind too.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Green and Yorkston.
Really happy with the way this looks on the page in the notebook. Less so with the scan - but here it is. Mr. Yorkston is not so thick lipped. Maybe Mr. Green could use this in place of his passport photo.

you're never too old for a revolution

I watched Schultze gets the blues in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Set in Saxony Anhalt (for the most part), it's quite a strange film full of grace, good humour and a lot of love for the characters. Recently forced into early retirement, Schultze finds inspiration in a piece of zydeco music he stumbles across on the radio.

All a lot more low key and less pat than the trailer suggests. The post title is from the film.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

first notebook pages (almost) which I make my first appearance. I did not mean for the pope to look so angry.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

from where i sit (sometimes)

From where I was sitting the other day, down in the doldrums of my joblessness, it was good to come across a radio show on genius entertainer, playwright, observer, Ken Campbell. (For just a few days more, the show is available here.) Since then, I have been wondering where all the KC wonder came from - as well as his insatiable curiosity and wordiness. This all leads to some happy and unhappy self-examination, prayers, musings, doldrum-sittings and conversations with myself, wondering about my place in the world. Part of me responds, Just get on with it! But then with, Get on with what? Then a sigh. But, for today at least, a cheery sigh with a twinkle in me eye.

This is the last drawing posted from my second notebook.

abdolkarim soroush