Tuesday, November 29, 2011

I need someone to occupy my brain this week

"I have got to make everything that has happened to me good for me."
— Oscar Wilde

I feel like the wolf that is always running after the road runner. you know when he  turns the corner, something hits him in the head and then the head starts to spin, the stomach to churn, there are little starts and wiggles as he tumbles away because the ground beneath his feet wont stand still.

I need the ground to stand still. I need the earth to stand still. I need to catch my breath or I will vomit anxiety and the weight of the earth on the carpet. And I don't want to have to clean it again.

I need someone else to be the mom and the wife while I go to my room to do my homework to the beat of the Go-Gos while I draw "I heart F.B." on the sides. 

I need someone else to Occupy my soul this week. make my decisions. and while you are at it, can you finish my report please?

You may be wondering how the text relates to the photo. Well, partly it doesn't, it's a photo I took back in March in Peru and just edited it. But the woman at the center of it personifies who I would like to be right now. Someone that can always see the bright side to anything. Someone that can smile no matter how much it hurts.  And who by the way happens to be the great grandmother of all those kids and a few more.

So yeah, I want to be her this week, and while I'm at it, wouldn't mind being her at the beach.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


back in NYC. always amazed by how photogenic this city is. You can feel the creative energy seeping through its pores

Monday, November 21, 2011

social taboos, untouchables and the evil eye

People in this village have done pottery from time immemorial. Potters in Ethiopia are untouchables considered to have an evil eye. They must work alone so not to be harmed by other's evil eye. 

They can make the pots, but at weddings or other such social events they cannot eat from them but instead eat from leaves. If they touch what they created it becomes unusable. 

Many die digging the clay from underground. Girls get raped as punishment for  taking clay from other’s land. If a man or woman falls in love with a potter he/she will be disowned by the family. 

The pots cost nothing. They’re taken to the market, what is not sold is left behind. They don’t have the means to take it back. 

while digging out the clay there is always danger of the earth collapsing. Many have died this way

the holes can become quite large, increasing the chances of the earth collapsing over the workers

a group of men remove a piece of earth that has fallen over the entrance to the cave where they are extracting the clay

pottery is mostly undertaken by women. It is usually done alone as potters are believed to have an evil eye that could harm those around them

potters continue to use traditional methods for burning the clay

these are used to hold the hot injera bread, an essential part of traditional Ethiopian diet, and can be sold for 80 Birr at the market, less than $5 US dollars

usually entire families will work together in the same industry

continuous exposure to the high temperatures burn the skin and the eyes

as well as soil degradation, there is contamination of the air and the lungs are often afflicted.

Friday afternoon, pots waiting by the side of the road to be taken to the local market. Whatever is not sold will be left behind as the workers cannot cover the cost of transporting it back

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Thin Line

Kohar Kevorkian b. 1976
The thin Line in between, 2010
Mixed media including coffee powder and gold dust

Recognizing a thin line in between everything in life. There exists a thin line between love and hate, weakness and strength, positive and negative. Seeing how  in the deepest depth of feeling, there exists a thin line in between; a line which we can cross over at any given time. This painting is a celebration of the diverse forces which unite man and a sliver of a line, which divides the glory of heaven from that of hell.

Art from Ethiopia.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Friday, November 11, 2011


Send love to everyone you know,
Send love to all you don't know.
Love makes the difference.

at 11:11am and 11:11pm send your love, meditate,  pray, or whatever tickles your fancy, just give 3 minutes of consciousness to the world. lots of people will be doing that today... you have to admit that it sounds beautiful. 


Post Data:

this was 11:11 am Ethiopia time. I was in a government building and all my gear had been confiscated. Photographs are not allowed in the building ... they missed the fact that my iphone has one, but of course I was not up for taking very public pictures. so this is the ministry's toilet.... 

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

yes, every single one of those threads got manually put there by someone

Today I had to go to see a weaving factory in the outskirts of Addis Abbeba (Ethiopia... just in case). It's  pretty impressive to see how those things you haggle for at the market are made

the color string is put on a little wooden boat like vessel that gets pulled and pushed from side to side by forcefully pushing and pulling a rope hanging on top. While the feet push pedals sequentially so that the right strings are on top or bottom. The new string gets tightened in with the rest manually.

Sophisticated designs can require up to five foot pedals

 it was the sheer number of  sticks and strings and levels that I found overwhelming

the intricacy with which each detail is made...

painfully slow step after painfully slow step

even the thread has to be hand weaved onto those little sticks

PS: honey, I bought those curtains you said we needed...... 

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

on (mental) transit otherwise known as time travel

there's something about this photo that I really love. I don't know if it is the colors or the texture...
BTW, in the back the hood is up and someone is trying to get the motor running

Apologies for the radio silence. I'm stuck in a  time machine, after several  days run up where my left brain was preparing a dinosaur party while my right brain was trying to ensure that I was fully prepared for my mission to Ethiopia. 

In short, my left brain rocked, my right brain did not.

I thought I was arriving 2 pm  Monday and decided to take it easy and start on the following morning. Instead I arrived 2am, which gave me a full day to myself to prepare and maybe even go for a stroll before getting on the conveyor belt. Unfortunately, it was 2am on the following morning, so a couple of hours after I’d gone to bed I got a call from the Lobby as I was already late for my first meeting.

"but it's Monday??"
"no mam, it's Tuesday"

when's the last time you had that conversation...

My clothes are completely inappropriate. I went with the “I’m going to Africa. I will be warm”

Africa - 2
Right brain - love  

I brought no socks and no back up flu meds, and have of course picked up the flu on the time machine (otherwise known as plane), as well as a sensitive tooth…

I am attaching a photo of the crank needed in order to open and close the window in the car that is providing me transport….