The feeling of motion, spacial and timeless; the secret call to go out and see …
There is a feeling, a blissful connection with self …
Here on the ascension …
tall and magnificent
i stand below
my bike and I
in the flow …
Today was a beautiful day for biking here in Greenville, South Carolina. I am on the Swamp Rabbit Trail. This shot is in downtown Greenville at the Falls River Park.
The city series….
So you think you’re a man….
You think you know what she is trying to tell you. Sitting by the curb with your new Trek bike. With your boys. Trying to be cool.
Looking cool … Being defiant.
Did you even listen? Is there any clue?
Baby Boy Blue
As to why she decided on … you?
Yeah I know, you think it’s because of the ball you play. Or the things you say. Just yesterday she gave you that look. When you helped her with her books. Were you listening then? When it was your hand she took. Yeah I know. It’s all about the tool of the trade. And not feeling like you’ve been made. Is it good to know? Keep the show? Or stay in the flow? Yeah, it’s a tough day and what a blow.
You sitting on the curb with your boys.
Being her toy.
But did you even know
Is not the kiss
Just for show….
This is such a cool video. A quarter of the way through it Farmer Jack decides to give the bike a try with some rather good results. 🙂
burning the bridges…
leaving the memories behind you
or following the yellow brick road
across that new bridge
the bridge of hope and beauty
and colors in transition….
I would like to thank Sheila for inviting me to be the featured artist for the poets at dversepoets. I thought I may write a short poem as well, reflecting my thoughts for the challenge.
Asheville the Paris of the South….
I have had the pleasure and opportunity to travel to some rather unique cities such Paris France, Amsterdam in the Netherlands, and here in America, cities like Washington DC, NYC, and Los Angeles. In these major cities there are never a shortage of great art, fine dining, and exciting culture. The streets are always alive throughout the day and into the night.
But I have also come to love the small to medium-sized cities such as Greenville SC, Burlington VT, and my favorite Asheville, NC. Asheville is very beautiful. Bohemian and unique. It is a gay-friendly city and a haven for those who seek a more spiritual lifestyle. It is nestled in a valley surrounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains. It host for the visitor or long-time resident, diverse experiences to discover the world of art, theatre, music, and outdoor adventure. I simply fell in love with the city many years ago.
Here is my tribute to a great city….
I often wonder where the path of discovery will take me….
before the day begins
it never seems to end
the winding road
the uneasy path
has left what we hold
so far behind
because the dream we find
is no longer here….
Crossing the bridge of discovery we find ourselves….
Some thoughts on ambition and the nature of Self….
How often in life we complete a task that was beyond the capability of the person we were when we started it. – Robert Brault
Ambition is not what man does… but what man would do. – Robert Browning
It is in our nature to discover things and in our will to reach them. – Walter Smith
We have all the means of vast exploration and creativity inside of us….
“You must not for one instant give up the effort to build new lives for yourselves. Creativity means to push open the heavy, groaning doorway to life. This is not an easy struggle. Indeed, it may be the most difficult task in the world, for opening”. – Daisaku Ikeda
Looking forward to a year of art, writing, and contemplative journeys in 2012….
Somewhere in the waking, I will paint with more than one color, write with more than one word, express more than one idea….
This will be my last post of 2011. It is Friday morning, December 30th. I am sitting in front of my computer while listening to Fluid Radio on ITunes. As I begin typing, Fluid Radio is playing a track entitled Shooting Blankets from the band called Two People in a Room. It is a quiet morning. The ambience is meditative. The cats are hanging about; grooming themselves, eating and listening to the sounds. I am preparing lunch; whole grain pasta, and tomato basil sauce with scallops and meatballs. I wanted to go to the gym this morning and do some spinning or weight training, however when the urge to write beckons, expression and creativity governs the day.
I have been thinking for some time now what I wanted to work on and accomplish for the New Year. This past year I feel I have been quite successful. I spoke more in depth about my past achievements in my recent post It Has Been a Year of Blogging – Some Thoughts I Wish to Share. Now it is time to look forward.
The very first thing on my agenda is the opening of my online store n e w d i g i t a l s c a p e s for selling my art. I have completed the design of the site (Imagekind is my site provider) and I am now in the process of uploading, editing and organizing my art galleries. I am very excited. An online store, I believe, is well suited for my digital art, and should provide a high quality venue for the purchasing of my art. Prints in various sizes, high-end photographic paper, canvas, and assortment of frames are all available. Links to the site will be available on my website and on my blog in January.
I am also looking forward to returning to my love of video art. I just got a HD video camera, and will be upgrading to a semi-professional editing system. I hope to investigate a distinct realm of processing which I call “video as chance”. It is a form of video expression that allows for time, space and subject matter to dictate what come into the lens of the camera. In the meantime, I will continue to create 2-dimensional photographic work. As I hope to continue to find new ways to structure my work in a beautiful yet provocative form.
I will continue to blog as often as I can. In the past year, I have come to appreciate blogging as a great tool for finding a consistency that sustains the creative process. The heavy schedule of creating new art, and marketing my online store may mean less posting. But I always let the mood of the moment carry the day, so we will see.
Another important part of my exploratory nature is my connection with the mind and body through challenging physical adventures. Top of the list is finding new mountains to climb on my mountain bike; long road trips on my road bike; rocking climbing and hopefully sky diving. That last one will take a little courage.
I hope to finish out the year with the publishing of an art book that centers on my blogging experience. Art for Posts is the title.
All in all I am looking forward to expressing ideas and concepts, and continuing the communication I have come to appreciate with so many talented writers, photographers, musicians, and artists.
2012 is a year for us. Let’s do it together.
The city series….
and streets to explore
and all around
by the river
on the pier
stopping for art
ipod in ears
we love the journey
yours and mine
with personal finds
Searching for that time, seeing it just beyond the window….
Do you ever feel like time is slipping by, and the things you love are being left behind? And do you find you must choose between one thing and the other because of the lack of time?
Well over the past year I have found that I must negotiate my time wisely if I am to achieve some of my goals as an artist and pursue my love of outdoor adventure. During this fall period when the weather is so nice, I long for those exciting treks up and around the mountains of South and North Carolina. Yes, the mountains are calling, but then too is the late nights in my studio—in front of my computer, creating art, developing ideas, and writing.
What is one to do? My work schedule provides me with very little time for my personal activities. If I stay up late until 3 or 4 a.m., I do not have the energy for early rising and working out. The choices we make because of limited time, energy, and work schedules all play an important part in how we approach the things we love. A solution that I have found is to break up these different interests into separate yearly periods. With one activity being the most dominate. The past year my personal emphasis has been on my art, website and art blog with a minor contribution to outdoor activities. Instead of the daily schedule of work-outs (that I was consistent with 2 years ago), I opted for the big one day adventures such as all day biking, caving, zip-lining, and long hikes. As I approach 2012 and the New Year, I hope to perhaps find a strong 50/50 mix that includes gym workouts, outdoor adventures such as rock climbing, kayaking and perhaps even sky diving, while simultaneously furthering my artistic endeavors.
Do you find it difficult to juggle the things you love? How do you negotiate your time? Have your thought about 2012 and how to get the most out the New Year?
What do you think?
Mountain biking and Fall weather go hand in hand. My Trek taking a break.
A photo challenge that includes mountains would not be a challenge without a difficult mountain bike to the summit. In this photograph I have just reached the top of the Right Loop at Tsali Recreational Area in North Carolina. The elevation at this point is around 5000 feet.
The popular Tsali Recreation Area has long been a top destination for mountain biking in Western North Carolina, and even the entire eastern US. Containing nearly 40 miles of trails in a system with four excellent loops, it has been rated as one of the top 10 places to ride in the USA. The area is located on a hilly peninsula reaching into beautiful Fontana Lake, at the base of the Great Smoky Mountains. The four long main trails at Tsali wind along the lake shore and onto the wooded, steep interior ridges. There are several connector trails, gravel roads and extension trails that give a few more options for rides besides the main loops. Three designated overlooks along the trails provide sweeping views of Fontana Lake with the Great Smoky Mountains National Park on the other side. The trails are fast, hardpacked singletrack, and they’re extremely well designed and well used.
There is so much beauty that surrounds us. It is a beauty
that can bring us joy when we take the time to “Go Out and See”. This past week, I had the pleasure of being
part of a beautiful day and a challenging bike ride. It provided an opportunity
to see the lovely landscape of farms, rivers and mountains that form parts of
western Haywood County, North Carolina.
It is that time of year when the leaves are coming back as the green
foliage slowly progresses up the mountainside. Winter is being left behind and the
memory of the cold distant mountain is replaced by soft layers of life and
Our journey begins at the town of Crabtree, where we head
west on Riverside Road. Here we bike for several miles next to the Pigeon River
until we reach the town of Riverside. It is here that we start our first
serious mountain ascent. It is approximately 1.5 miles of winding switchback
climbs. Our fast and perilous descent takes us to the town of Panther Creek,
where we begin the long sweeping terrain of hills and straights. Halfway
through our journey we merge onto Fines Creek Rd. In the town of Fines Creek is
the only gas station in more than 15 miles in any direction. We fuel up on
nuts, fluids and protein, and encourage each other for the mammoth climb to come.
One man, who is fueling his tractor,
asks us are we going up the mountain, in which we reply…yep that’s the plan. He
smiles and laughs and says “good luck”. He obviously knows something about the
mountain we don’t. But we know it is a 1.5 mile climb with a 5% gradient. It is
straight up with one or two slight curves. It is intimidating. We start the
climb and there are times when I look up and all I can see is the road horizon
in the sky. There are times when I want to stop, my will in question, my legs
in pain, but realize how difficult it would be to start uphill without momentum.
The descent at speeds nearing 40 mph is
a test of skill and nerve to say the least, but liberating. For nearly 2 miles,
one can only hold on aerodynamically and hope that no unforeseen problems
arise. Finally, after 18 miles, our return to Crabtree is a quick flowing pace
that allows for some reprieve and scenic viewing.
After the bike ride, the best part of the day is the drive
afterwards. We retrace our journey via the car and take photographs. Eighteen of
two hundred have been digitally retouched and included in the slideshow.
So what do we gain when we “Go Out and See”? For me, there
is the liberating feeling of joy that can stay with you a lifetime. There is also the possibility of discovering things
once unknown in my surroundings and in my soul.
What motivates you to take time out of your busy schedule to
“Get Out and See”? What would you like to discover in nature or local history? What
would it mean, and how would it enrich your life?
Take a moment and think about the last time you made the
extra effort to get out and discover. Let me know what you found.
It is Race Day
Take what life gives us
Let us meet under the great pavilion
Where the sounds of aspirations
Are heard in the ballet of bikes
It is race day
Clutching our forged carbon loves
Sinewy muscles tense with sweat
We dream the dance
The dance of the mountain
It is race day
There is life in every breath
Let us meet silently at the starting gate
The noise of wind and sky to shatter our thoughts
While colors merge
A kaleidoscope forms
A kinetic fleeing pursuing blur
Rotating wheels and quick descents
Gorges rivers trees and falls
Pick yourself back up
Your pain body calls
And look up into the crying sky
To a transformative end
Finding yourself deep inside
It is race day
Transcending our weekday life
We are here to meet in joyous celebration
The sound of Kopeland
The sound of music
Victory for one
Pleasure for all
While arms and smiles embrace
Here at Tsali North Carolina
Its sure to be
A great race
One of the best places to road bike is along the Blue Ridge Parkway in North Carolina. The BRP stretches for hundreds of miles (approximately 470) through North Carolina and Virginia. It is one of the most beautiful scenic rides in the country. The parkway follows the Appalachian Mountain chain. From Shenandoah National Park the parkway follows the Blue Ridge, eastern rampart of the Appalachians. It then skirts the southern end of the massive Black Mountains, named for the dark green spruce and fir that cover them. Then it weaves through the Craggies, the Pisgahs, the Balsams to end up in the Great Smokies. I had the pleasure of staying at the famous Pisgah Inn located on the southern end of the parkway, at Mount Pisgah about 30 miles from Asheville, NC. You can marvel at the forest-clad mountain peaks, mist filled coves, and the slopes of fragrant balsams, rhododendrons, mountain laurel and flame azalea. It was a great week of biking, hiking (Graveyard fields to the Upper Falls), art galleries (Blue Spiral and galleries in the River Arts District), independent films (La Vie En Rose, the story of French singer Edith Piaf) and fine dining (organic, Thai and Indian). But I must say that for a spectacular view, and good food, the restaurant at the Pisgah Inn with its panoramic view overlooking the Blue Ridge Mountains is unsurpassed. And finally, a perfect end to an evening is sitting on your private back porch watching the sun set beyond the mountains.
I am very fortunate that were I live, I can immediately access miles of rural back roads to immerse myself on my road bike. I spoke earlier about the sense of transformation that is achieved while biking. Here on these winding roads and gently sloping hills, I pass by farm lands, historic areas, woods and beautiful estates. What enhances a great ride is the right music. There is a distinct difference in the selection of music for road and mountain. On the road there is a need to be able to hear your surroundings for safety measures. Hence, my selection is always, soft, slow dancing ambient. My favorite band for a ride is the neo-classical ambient band from Austin Texas, Stars of the Lid. In fact, this has been the most prolific band for me in the past two years. This is aural mastery of the highest order. In contrast, when mountain biking, there really is no need to be conscious of your surroundings. Now your music can flow anyway you like. For the mountain, I prefer long flowing electronic sounds from bands like AES Dana, Bombay Dub Orchestra and Near the Parenthesis, or French Pop artists like Etienne Daho, France Gall, Charlotte Gainsbourg, and Alizee to name a few. It is here on the mountain when you need that extra aural drive to push your rhythm to its fullest—to make that climb.
And to achieve a great ride you’ve got to know and trust your bike. I ride a Trek 4300 on the mountain and a Giant OCR on the road. Both bikes have served me well and have maintained their riding integrity in spite of the miles and punishment I have put them through.
Biking in the big city is quite different from biking in rural areas such as here in South Carolina. In the city, it’s about taking your time and blending in with your surroundings i.e. talking with strangers (girls mostly), stepping in and out of stores (got to have a lock), cruising downtown (looking cool), and going to the park for that “getting away from it all feeling”. Philadelphia has one of the largest city parks in the nation called Fairmount Park. It embodies four sections of the city, with beautiful trails and drives (most notably the East and West River Drives). Rivers, creeks, long stretches of trails and scenic vistas can be found only by biking, horseback riding or hiking.
In Philadelphia, growing up as a teenager in the 1960’s and 70’s, I enjoyed the freedom biking gave to my friends and I. We had back then what we called “Vroom” bikes. These were the bikes with the big V-shape handlebars (before the smaller BMX). As a group of young riders we were very competitive. We often challenged others boys from rival gangs in competition to see who could do the longest “wheelies” (lifting the front wheels and pedaling for blocks at a time, turning corners, and riding backwards). Needless to say, we sometimes found ourselves in fights, arguments and riding for our lives. Gangs were a prominent fixture of Philadelphia in the 60’s and 70’s and although we were quite young we were not immune to the violence in rival neighborhoods.
There is something about biking on a trail or on the road that leaves one breathless—sometimes literally breathless. The energy consumed, the movement imposed, and the feeling of space and time standing still. In all of this there is the sense of traveling without moving, yet always a feeling of perpetual flight.
I love biking, then and now…