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Saturday, March 29, 2014

Drink Your Spirits: a collection of artwork from February and March 2014

Drink your spirits is a collection of things I made in March and February.  The content is varied from surreal to dreamlike to almost realistic.  I have utilized my "Fire People" characters in many of the pictures.

I think my favorite sequences are Sunny Days and Sunset.  Sunny days on the North Coast can turn to rain squalls in a few moments. Sometimes it rains for days on end.

When it is not raining the sunsets are often gorgeous.

All work Copyright 2014 by David H. Roche

a Clear Running Water state of mind

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Recurring Dreams: three videos with original art

Edit 3/26 2013

Below are three videos and some artwork on environmental and spiritual themes I made recently while thinking about what is happening to the earth.

The unabated use of carbon to fill our unabated desire for novelties is creating a climactic surprise for the next generation. 

The U.S. Government has published this informative piece on the topic of climate change. You can be sure climate change ain't going to be fun. The quality of air is imperiled to the extent one out of 8 deaths is attributable to air quality problems.  Click here.  

Water quality is also imperiled.  From North Carolina to China and I suspect an area near you has endangered water supplies.

Clean water and clean air have become negotiable in today's way of conducting business. This article (I just found this today and added it) explaining a NASA report on the future of civilization places a sobering vision awaiting the decision makers response.  Whether there will appear someone who is willing to research alternatives instead of pursuing business as usual remains to be seen.  So far the decision makers have left us with little more than promises, filthy air and water. 

NASA denies responsibility for the conclusion researchers reached saying:  "A soon-to-be published research paper 'Human and Nature Dynamics (HANDY): Modeling Inequality and Use of Resources in the Collapse or Sustainability of Societies' by University of Maryland researchers Safa Motesharrei and Eugenia Kalnay, and University of Minnesota’s Jorge Rivas was not solicited, directed or reviewed by NASA. It is an independent study by the university researchers utilizing research tools developed for a separate NASA activity.
"As is the case with all independent research, the views and conclusions in the paper are those of the authors alone. NASA does not endorse the paper or its conclusions."

This official response by NASA shows the institutionalized hesitancy to man up to the ecological debacle which is upon us. In the past we've trusted experts who told us DDT was safe to use in the kitchen. It might be time to trust your own judgment in this most important of matters!  We're where we are now facing the consequences we're facing because of experts who are in the employ of those responsible for the life threatening ecological problems we're facing giving 'expert advice'. 

Is it time to step out of line and think, really think, for yourself? 

Recurring Dreams is the video below.

Carnival of the Gods.  I had a difficult time editing this until I came up with the title.  Once I had the title I finished it up quickly.

Post Fukushima Meltdown Stomp

Time to party...keep smiling.

I try and imagine what on earth people are thinking when they deliberately adopt goals which result in an ultimate harm to, if not themselves, to future generations. 

This is the path our civilization and society has taken.  It seems sometimes that the greatest of all world wars is the war against nature.

This behavior baffles me.  Is it possible the problem is a spiritual one? I ask because this is done by conscious decision making processes. Is mankind's disregard for the welfare of the earth a telltale signal of a significant spiritual disenfranchisement?  If this were to be true it would be an indication of the ultimate alienation of the human species. 

Whatever the reason is it is clear the planet and those on it are on a precipice. It's not too late to stop the war on nature.  However, it's unlikely such an idea will be suggested as a remedy.  It used to be a hell of a nice planet.

Have a nice day and keep the water and air clean.

All video and visual images created by David H. Roche. 
 (C) 2014 

a Clear Running Water state of mind

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Crater Lake at Sunset: photography and video overlooking Crater Lake as the light grows dim.

I began the day at sea level and ended the day with my feet still on the ground but my head above 7000 feet in the sky. My son and I took a two day trip on a portion of the Oregon Coast and then over to Crater Lake. Some nice photography resulted.

We got underway on historic coastal Highway 101. Traveling south from Warrenton we passed Haystack Rock, 

and stopped at the breathtaking Manzanita overlook...

and a lighthouse at Cape Meares. 

Crater Lake had not been mentioned as a destination when we left, but somewhere before reaching Lincoln City my son suggested going to Crater Lake. 

Why not? So we left the coast and headed inland.  It was a long tedious drive. If memory serves me right we left the coast about 2.  I know we got to Crater Lake just prior to the sun going down. You'll be able to see that in the video.

Crater Lake resulted from the volcanic explosion of what is named Mount Mazama. The elevation of the caldera rim forming the ridge above the top shore of the lake is between 7000 and 8000 feet above sea level.  The depth of the lake itself is in excess of 1900 feet allowing it to be designated the second deepest lake in the western hemisphere. 

Today the lake sits atop the mountain at an elevation between 7000 and 8000 feet.  But at one time the mountain was approximately 12,000 feet high. That's almost a mile higher than at present reaching over two miles into the sky. 

When the volcano subsided it had caused nearly a mile of the mountain to disappear from the top leaving it little more than half its original height. In doing so it also scattered ash over an area of eight states, and three Canadian provinces choking the sky and covering the earth in a grey gauze of ash.

Having taken place about 7,000 years ago it is reasonable to expect the event was witnessed by human eyes. I wonder what went through the minds of those watching as the top of the mountain began screaming and fire from inside the earth turned the night sky hellish.  Did they fall into a fearful sleep waking to find the ash had turned the soothing blue skies and luxuriant green earth a deathly grey? 

Did they have any information warning them of the impending cataclysm? Were their shamans aware the world would be changing? How did they communicate it if they were aware?

During the preceding 7000 years the planet and resulting climate change allowed the earth to emerge from a covering of snow and ice. The inexorable process of melting away the massive glaciers covering most of the land continued. Click here for a timeline of the last 100,000 years prepared by NOAA

The land emerged degree by degree out from under an almost entirely glaciated landscape as the last ice age receded. This was already taking place about 7000 years before Mount Mazama caved in on itself according to this Wikipedia report.

Today the lake has the appearance of a swatch of blue sky laid down allowing some some of the mountain underneath to poke through.  It truly is this blue; the color of a chicory blossom, a turquoise stone, the sky.

Below is Crater Lake. The island in the photograph is named Wizard Island.  It is the result of volcanic activity which took place after the major eruption caused the top 5000 feet to fall into itself. Subsequent volcanic activity helped seal off the bottom of the caldera making the retention of water and the lake possible. (That's how I understand the way this happened. I could be wrong. Check it out for yourself, it's a fascinating history.)

The National Parks Service has produced an informative brochure on the geological history of the area and the formation of the lake. Go ahead and read it.

The impact of the volcano's eruption on the
environment was immense and suddenThe entire world was already on the cusp of exiting an uncomfortable period of glaciation which had lasted the previous 100,000 years up to about 12,000 years ago. It was, like today, a time of climate change with an impact of unknown, but immense proportions. 

The sudden removal of the top 5000 feet of Mount Mazama created a unique geological feature which has come to be named the Pumice Desert

The desert owes its existence to the demise of the mountain. You will find a fascinating reconstruction of the geological history leading up to the last major explosion of Mount Mazama at Wikipedia click here.

I'm left wondering if the ongoing change in the climate during the earth's emergence from the last ice age may have had any bearing on the eruption of the mountain 7000 years or so ago. I haven't found any support for that idea. But climate change certainly was going on at that time.

An insightful scientific discussion of the end of the last ice age is to be found at the Scientific American in an article titled "What Thawed The Last Ice Age" by David Biello

The article doesn't mention any causative involvement with volcanoes. But it is an interesting and informative read I found while looking for info on Crater Lake. 

Below you will find a video I made of  photos and video taken during a few minutes overlooking Crater Lake as the night drew on removing the colors from the sky and our eyes.  

My son and I arrived right at the beginning of the sunset. It was accidentally perfect timing. The sky was bright powder blue and dusted with pink and tangerine, but slowly turning dark.

I snapped a lot of pictures in the few moments before darkness took the colors away. Many of them are in the video.

This little chipmunk we found here the next morning having breakfast. 

Photography and text (C) 2014 by David H. Roche

All information in the linked material belongs to those who provided the material.

  a Clear Running Water state of mind

Monday, March 10, 2014

The Inner Beauty of The Peter Iredale: a visit to a shipwreck

Photographs of the wreckage of the Peter Iredale in Clatsop County on the North Coast of Oregon.

A presentation of the wreckage in a way that allows its inherent beauty to become apparent.

Sunday, March 09, 2014

A Couple New Videos

The First is an illustrated meditation on the first seven verses of chapter 38 in the Old Testament book of Job. The entire story line of book itself is a literary masterpiece of philosophical and spiritual introspection opening up for discussion the most basic queries of the human being.

So I put together some artwork to go with the text and it came out pretty good.

I took the title from the passage.  It is called "When The Morning Stars Sang Together"

The one below is a whimsy titled "A Taste Of Ambrosia" which is also created from my imagination. 

Thursday, March 06, 2014

The Other Shore: a story with no words

A story told with pictures to which you add the plot.

Featuring Jack and Qkjea as conductors to the other shore.

Go ahead and watch.

Sunday, March 02, 2014

Resurrection: some thoughts for the Easter season


Resurrection is a component of many mystical traditions, (see the preceding Wikipedia link) including, but not solely inherent in Christianity.  

This phenomenon of dying and living again is a universal concept found the world over in diverse spiritual traditions.

The western world is most familiar with the Christian explanation of the death and resurrection of Jesus. Having been raised in a Christian church I find it easy to think of resurrection in the terminology I received there. This does not mean I consider myself a Christian, I don’t.  But this understanding does not keep me from finding insight into the human condition and release from the grave which is everyone’s destination.

I am grateful for the insight into life and death which I have found in the teaching of Jesus; particularly the concepts regarding resurrection.  I am grateful to Paul of Tarsus for his insights into the meaning of Jesus’ life, death and subsequent resurrection. 

The insights brought to view in the Christ Event flesh out the resurrection myths which precede it and of which it is a part. 

I am not exclusive in my partaking of spiritual insight.  I find much in the Dharma of Buddha.  I find in the Dharma the insight available to understand the predicament life has me in.

In the Tao of Lao Tzu I find the same insight but explained in a different way. I love the poetry and simple yet profound beauty of this text. I remember it when I see geese flying overhead or landing in the pond across the street.

For me the most philosophically inspiring and engaging spiritual text is found in the Upanishads (part 1 and part 2.) This is a must read for anyone who wishes to see into the nature of what it means to be alive.  The text is not difficult, it reads like a series of stories anyone can understand.

I know little about many of the dying and rising Gods.  However their existence in the mix of human understanding speaks to something which transcends the obvious trek to the grave.

Having been raised in a Christian tradition I like the way Jesus talks about this. It is obvious life ends in death. It is equally obvious many men and women consigned to sleep in the grave have decided that life is merely a trek to the grave and the most that can be hoped for is to die with the most possessions.  This is the rule of life exposed by the current financial debacle of bank fraud in western society.

I disagree with the current and dominate concept that life is able to be valued by wealth. Many Christians accept this premise and that is one reason why I do not consider myself a Christian even though I find solace in the teaching of Jesus.

Life is an existential affair.  It is indeed a trip to the grave. There is no way out of that ending. However it is possible to see through the scrim of this miserable business of hiking to the grave by taking another look at the nature of what it means to exist. This is what the concept of resurrection speaks to.  It is why the concept of resurrection is not only a Christian concept.  It is a concept indigenous to being human.

I like the way Paul of Tarsus explains it.  We are made alive in Christ.  This, ultimately, turns out not to be merely a Christian doctrine but a statement which refers to the many great traditions of spiritual insight into the nature of the human condition that preceded it.  The revelation found in Jesus and the gospel of the kingdom is accommodated by each of the preceding revelations. The parables Jesus told were keys to understanding the nature of the human experience.  I find that the human approach of Jesus in teaching this singular ‘truth’ is most appealing and accessible. But I do not disrespect the others. I appreciate them for the insight they provide.

I was moved to make the video with Jack and Qkjea because of the concept of the resurrection which is a much better explanation than dying with a fist full of gold and calling that a success. I realize this qualifies me as a fool in the way that the status quo places its values.  So be it.

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A practitioner of the art of living with the intent of learning how to die without fear.