Two Tuesday Quotes: de Kooning and Rauschenberg

This week’s quotes are dedicated to my good friend Chris Gandy. A great benefit in surrounding one’s self with educated companions is that they often feed you when you are hungry. Chris’ love for philosophy, literature and art presents a gold mine of historical figures who otherwise would have been unknown. Inspiration to research these two artists came from this NPR piece: Two Ways to Think About Nothing.

The attitude that nature is chaotic and that the artist puts order into it is a very absurd point of view, I think. All that we can hope for is to put some order into ourselves.
– Willem de Kooning

The artist’s job is to be a witness to his time in history.
– Robert Rauschenberg

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Getting By With A Little Help From My Friends

Image courtesy of

One of the difficult things about being a cynic are those moments of beauty which, like a religious experience, cannot be explained away. The moment washes over you and even upon reflection the desire to redefine it is absent of any appeal. When this happens the cynic can only smile and appreciate the hope which on other days would escape him. How can the mirror serve as a companion after this? Has it not become a judge which silently interrogates him at every glance? The poor cynic must forget, falling back on the comfort of his doubt and turn his gaze from every reflection.

And still his friends stand their guard.

This is a small celebration of their solidarity. This is a thank you. From the hallowed walls of Facebook, my timeline reads these. Some are direct or funny while others have a history or underlying meaning which requires explanation.  For example, when you read Chris Gandy’s it must be within the context of a fellow cynic returning the cursed blessings of the abyss we call Facebook. That he returned and “friended” me was a comical sigh of relief. Wade Baugher’s is one which has a nice depth to it.

Don’t get me started on the great pictures!

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Dirty in Public

My first mud run with my friend Chuck Schoonmaker and his family.

A rough last few months had the site on life support. Neither Chris nor I had time or inspiration to move outside these thin walls. I guess it never occurred to us that a simple push or punch would relieve us from the congestion. As my friend Josh McTiernan has always told me: “Just write.” How is it that the things we “know” are the things we forget? A failed philosophy of individual exploration trips on over its own ideas. But pulls itself back up an moves onward.

The job of the pilgrim.

I would like to say we have codified our philosophy and have moved on from our humble beginnings. The sad truth is that as small as we thought our idea was it still lacked vision and a plan. So while we maneuver through our own mistakes and ignorance there is only the art of “doing”. We will write. We will photograph. We will share positive to invoke change. Beyond that the road is unknown but the effort is not lost.

There are many things being experienced and considered.
But while we wait, here are things that have happened:

* I took the GRE. Top percentile in Qualitative. 4.5 out of 6 on the essay. 19th percentile on Qualitative. How do you get into graduate school with that? Math has humbled me.

* My first mud run with my daughter. Started writing about it. I will finish it.

* 13.1 trail run in Pelham, AL with my friends Brian and Philip. Another experience worth sharing. It will come.

* My wife attended a youth counselor seminar in Atlanta. Some great theological inspiration…even for this agnostic.

* My friend Josh returns from Kazakhstan. He was in the Peace Corps. His story is quite enlightening. Another share moment.

 * I have learned a lot about addiction. But I have so much more to consume.

I guess you could say the “changing” and “charity” has been a bit more introspective. While I watch others help out Haiti, the homeless and other areas I try to remind myself of those small dots and that beating the self up serves no purpose other than building the wall. The checklist is a work in action.

Chris and I appreciate all who visit this humble site. We hope inspiration can be found amidst the mess. More-so we hope you take the time to share with us what is going on in your world. Yes the internet is littered with sites much like this but maybe this will be the one that changes the one. If you don’t try you fail.

Be well.