Sunday, March 29, 2009


I'm exploring FORGIVENESS---as an ideal, as a practice, as a virtue, as an ability and as a solution...
Approximately every seven years or so, I become imbroiled in some sort of irrational, unnecessary and unfortunate clash of personalities---with someone who holds an intimate and important place in my life---leading to a breakdown of communication, a loss of confidence, the threat of a lawsuit, an ignominious "divorce" (marriage or partnership) and/or a lingering sense of failure. These clashes affect my dreams, my solitude, my business, my future, my financial security, my very well-being.
Perhaps there is another way of being in this World!
I might very well be exaggerating--to make a point---but let me get to the point I intend to make and then we can judge. Perhaps all these lamentable situations are the result of some sort of a forgiveness error. I say "perhaps" because I write, live and think with an ever-present "element of doubt." Hiding or languishing behind the word "perhaps" (and sometimes the word "maybe") is perhaps the best way for me to muse on truths that may be beyond my ken. Maybe not!
It took me a long time to contemplate forgiving the person who (practically) swindled my family out of their home. It took a long time to befriend (even marginally) the people who constructed a one-sided real estate contract (in their favor) that ultimately caused me to lose my Canyon Road Gallery. I still can't quite forgive former Gallery partners who took advantage of my distaste for (read: ignorance of) contracts, accounting, budgets and other good business practices to force me to confront that distaste (and that ignorance) in a critical, bankruptcy-impending moment.
It's comforting to have a place to place blame when the pain of one's own mistakes is too weighty, too thorny to acknowledge! Perhaps (?) that's my point. And it's a point for me to consider in the middle of this contemplation on forgiveness.

Accuser/Victim, forgive thyself!!!

...As she lay in her coffin, all powdered and combed and unfamiliarly regal-looking, I forgave my Mother. Finally. Belatedly. I put my small (and treasured) ruby ring on her finger and I asked her to forgive me.
I think she did.
I know that all the debilitating pain and the decades-old angry stuff floated away...up, up through the sparkle-y, plastic ceiling of the Funeral Home somewhere in South Jersey.

But...Did I forgive myself for being the primary architect, contractor and project manager of the formidable wall between us, the wall that would not, could not be breached?
?Quien sabe? What did that wall "wall out" of my Life?

Time out for a quiz!
Which comes first??

1) Asking for forgiveness and then being forgiven?

2) Being forgiven and then forgiving?

3) Forgiving yourself and then forgiving the other/others?

4) Wanting to be forgiven?

5) Being ready to forgive?

6) Understanding the Power of the act of Forgiveness?

7) None of the above/All of the above?

8) Something else? (What?)

Forgive me if, perhaps, this slightly disjointed, highly personal, Dear Diary-style rambling is not quite what you wanted to read when you visited this Blog...I acknowledge that (perhaps) I've included too much exposition in this entry...exposition that was originally intended to lead to a musing on the importance of Forgiveness in our world and the utter lack of authentic forgiveness in our world. We hold grudges. We point fingers. We assign blame. We resist looking at our own responsibility. We compromise our integrity to hide our complicitness (is that a word?). We do all that (some of it, some of us, sometimes) in our homes, in our workplaces, in our communities, in our countries... We do that in our one and only world. We blame. We ignore. We refuse. We impede. We deny. We exclude. We defend...When, all along, the blaming, ignoring, refusing, impeding, denying, excluding...prevent the grace and the beauty and the opportunity for peace that come with...

I forgive you, them, her, him, us, myself...
At least, I want to...and, perhaps, that is a pretty good start!

Saturday, March 28, 2009

When We Buy Art...

This week I completed Phase II* of an exhaustive study on the importance of Art in our troubled world economy. It is clear to me---and I want to make it clear to others (to everyone!)---that when a person (corporation, museum, foundation) buys Art---especially from a reputable Gallery or by a living, breathing Artist---he, she or it is helping to improve the global financial picture in countless ways!

My study included consulting an extremely savvy and thoughtful group of facebook cognoscenti. The question I posed was: What businesses/professions derive a substantial or measureable (?) part of their income (read: livelihood!) from the sale of Art? The response from the facebook cognoscenti was overwhelming---three or four times the response received by me, from any subject or question previously posted to my hundreds of "FoFs."**

In the interest of Time and Space, I will present a partial list of those who benefit--directly or somewhat less directly--from money derived from the sale of Art. For the purposes of this research and in the interest of full disclosure, my findings focus on "contemporary" (that means now or nearly now) Art and Artists.

Herewith the aforementioned list: framers, photographers, lighting specialists, psychiatrists, appraisers, interior decorators and designers, graphic designers, art supply stores and manufacturers, landlords, teachers, shippers, chemists, second-hand shops, bars, restaurants, coffee shops, Internet cafes, book stores, hardware stores, animal shelters, art consultants, insurance companies, mortgage companies, supermarkets, astrologists, massage therapists, automotive supply shops, gallery owners, gallery staff, not-for-profit organizations, hotels, spas, bus drivers, truck drivers, train conductors, airline companies, airline employees, match-making companies, mailorder catalogue companies, journalists, magazines, newspapers, advertising executives, housesitters, tarot card readers, gardeners, window washers, dentists, doctors, daycare centers, environmentalists...

And, mind you, that is just a partial list.

I am making the point that Art and Artists are a critical and integral part of our society, our economy...When I read or hear that Congress considers Art and Artists to be mere "earmarks" and when the National Endowment for the Arts (practically) has to hold a bake sale to raise money for support of painters, poets, sculptors, actors, photographers...Well, to use a technical term, it really "pisses me off."

And so, I implore you to Support the Arts, please!
Take a poet to lunch. Buy a drawing. Hire a faux painter. Purchase a sculpture.
Give Art a chance to enrich your surroundings, to elevate your spirit and to make the world go round! Perhaps ART can succeed where Wall Street, Politics and Big Business have failed...

* Phase II is an essay contest on the value of art in this economy, sponsored by LDCA. $500 first prize. The essays are currently being read by a panel of three experts. Details to follow!

** Friends on Facebook

Friday, March 27, 2009


To distract myself. To attack myself. To challenge myself. To confuse myself. To lose myself. To expand myself. To sandbag myself. To upset myself. To re-set myself. To ambush myself. To bamboozle myself. To forget myself. To beget myself. To re-write myself. To ignite myself. To delight myself. To fight myself. To amuse myself. To excuse myself. To lose myself. To expose myself. To unclothe myself. To de-frost myself. To get lost in myself. To review myself. To renew myself. To acknowledge myself. To polish myself. To abolish myself. To spill myself. To thrill myself. To chill myself. To re-build myself. To re-direct myself. To inspect myself. To allow myself. To disavow myself. To replenish myself. To finish myself. To share myself. To spare myself. To be myself. To free myself. To flee myself. To embarrass myself. To harass myself. To explain myself. To contain myself. To re-frame myself. To re-draw myself. To withdraw myself . To define myself. To align myself. To refine myself. To unwind myself. To remind myself. To inspire myself. To re-wire myself. To teach myself. To reach myself. To preach to myself. To work on myself. To jerk on myself. To re-fuel myself. To re-school myself. To re-tool myself. To prepare myself. To scare myself. To command myself. To abandon myself. To play with myself. To stay with myself. To pray with myself. To sashay with myself. To forgive myself. To re-live myself. To unburden myself. To unfurl myself. To uncover myself. To unnerve myself. To berate myself. To celebrate myself. To elevate myself. To liberate myself. To exasperate myself…

And...To communicate to you!

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Destruction and tragedy are everywhere in Gaza!
Buildings have been bombed. Homes have been bulldozed to smithereens. Schools and hospitals have been damaged or destroyed. People have been killed or maimed! The basic requirements for a simple life, in this densely populated piece of Earth are in short supply (or totally missing) for the millions who are living in what has been called "the world's largest outdoor prison." And still, it is a beautiful place--because of the people!
On International Women's Day, I had the honor and privilege of celebrating with dozens of Gazan Women in a community center in Rafah City, Gaza. This supreme opportunity came as a result of responding to an e-mailed invitation from CODE PINK that simply said:

"Come With Us to Gaza...
Humanitarian Delegation to Gaza for International Women's Day
Pay Tribute to the Women of Gaza..."

"...Program: Meetings with UN and government officials, local women (including victims of Israeli violence), humanitarian and development agencies, journalists, health workers and politcal analysts. Visit areas devastated by Israeli attacks."

The actual program included everything that was stated and much more---so much more, in fact, that a week after returning to Santa Fe, I am still processing and remembering and questioning and wondering how to contextualize the experience. Perhaps it's not possible.

Perhaps it's not possible (for an everyday citizen of this country) to begin to contain the experiences of standing in the rubble of towns and settlements, listening to the gentle Palestinians tell their stories of loss, of torture and hearing the professional reports and assessments of what the damage (physical, economic, psychological, environmental) has done/is the the the fishermen...

It is my nature to wonder. And so I wonder what can be done? Who can show up to relieve/remedy/eliminate the horrors that are being inflicted on this culture, on these families, on the innocent children tenuously surviving on this little piece of disputed land?

Don't tell me bombs and tanks and bulldozers and white phosphorous are the answers! Don't tell me the aggression towards these people is simply the result of their aggression towards others. I know in my heart that all these horrors and all these tragedies are, in large part, the result of ancient fears and modern greed. What I want to know, what I do not know, is how do we rid ourselves of those fears and that greed? How do we understand our actions and how do we forgive ourselves for our transgressions? And when will that forgiveness show up in the form of Love? Generosity? Understanding? Cooperation? Who in the World is condoning the torture and destruction that is being delivered upon our brothers and sisters here, there and everywhere on this beleaguered planet of ours?

Of course I can't contextualize my experience in Gaza! It's unfathomable!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Money, Money, No Money!

This morning, I am remembering an honest, non-decorative painting that I showed at the inaugural exhibition of my Canyon Road Gallery in 1980. It featured three worried heads, with furrowed brows and rheumy eyes, set against a garish orange background. Across the top of the canvas, in big black letters, was the refrain, "Need Money, Need Money, Need Money." I wish I had purchased the painting*--but I didn't have the money!
Decades later, in the privacy of this Wednesday morning, I imagine that painting hanging on a wall opposite this writing desk. It wouldn't look nearly as good as the gold-framed painting of a Myanmar Tribal Woman that hangs in that place. And surely it did not/does not have the etheral beauty of the Richard Hogan oil that is winking at my peripheral vision and intruding into my consciousness. Had that painting been hanging there, next to the fireplace, it would no doubt be contributing to the creeping fears about my economy that I am working to erase. I take a moment to look at another work of art in my collection: Eugene Newmann's work on paper of three abstract heads (coincidence?? there are those who say there are no coincidences!) It is mesmorizing in its intelligent beauty. Over and over again, in one way or another, ART restores my confidence in Life. It refocuses my mind from worry to wonder.
Sometimes it takes an hour or so--like now!
At sunrise today, walking down the driveway with my dog, I found myself repeating, mantra-like, the refrain from that long-ago, orange painting: "need money, need money, need money."
But, I have money! Perhaps I should have been repeating "need more money, need more money..."
Now, with the sun beginning to shine through the window to my right, I widen my internal gaze to look at my whole picture. I am beginning to concentrate on the broad perspective of my financial reality. What can I do? I know! I can call forth my optimistic self--the self that has served the Gallery and me for over thirty years. This self notes, this morning, that although my bank accounts look and feel skimpy this month, there are countless options at my disposal. My best option is optimism.
Focusing optimistically, I begin to list the considerable professional assets of LDCA: a great staff; excellent artists; a beautiful space; the synergy of a creative team; a vision of a successful April, May, June...And I utter aloud my favorite cheerleading couplet: "Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it: Boldness has genius, power and magic in it."** And I move my thoughts away from the doom department into the place where ideas and opportunities are waiting for me.
Yes, these are tough times for most of us. We have difficult decisions to make. We have lost stuff: money, energy, faith...Promises have been broken. But we must, must, must find ways to retrieve those things. I want to do just that!
I am imagining a painting---exactly the same size as the "Need Money" painting---but instead of a garish background with troubled faces, this painting has a soothing green background and the three faces are smiling, confident and inspiring. The words, in GOLD, say: "Have Grace, Have Courage, Have Love." With those traits, along with a healthy dose of optimism and some energy and strength (physical/emotional) and the vision to see through a few veils of fear into an expansive view of a positive future, TODAY will be (already is) a wonderful day!

* by Clayton Campbell
** by Goethe

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Let the Blogging Begin!

Now that I've navigated my way to the posting page of this brand spanking new Blog Site, I vow to write (almost) every day. What will I blog about? Fair question. I will blog about the important things that come to my attention...I will blog about truth and courage and adventure and optimism and problem-solving and risk-taking and memories and travel and fears and cultural awareness and human rights and the Art World and poetry and fear and loathing and renewal and reinvention and candor and politics and friendship and discovery and family and forgiveness and the hero's/heroine's journey and money and pets and childhood and secrets and chance encounters and memories and failures and aging and trancendence...
In other words: everything that I can and do think about as I wander, skip, slog, dance, sleepwalk and cartwheel through my Life. When I learn how to post pictures, I will post pictures!
This is my Inaugural Post!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Doves land on Golden Grenade.

At some point over the weekend, an unknown person
or persons attached two dove figurines to artist Martin
Cary Horowitz's golden grenade sculpture in front of
the gallery.

LDCA gets a big, fat pink kiss.

February 12, 2009 the front door to the gallery was
tagged with a paintball gun.