Sunday, March 17, 2013

Random musings about an ancient esotric mathematician

"For as long as men massacre animals they will kill each other."
~ Pythagoras

I wonder why there is a cultural implication that this quote of his is absolutely a bad thing... I base this supposition on the means in which I came upon this quote today... as it it were a call to action for mankind to stop hurting itself and other carbon based life forms. I would link to that place that I saw the quote, but it just does not feel appropriate to do so as they really were not trying to engage in a conversation about this matter I am putting forth.

As I understand it, Pythagoras belonged (heck, he started it) to what we would now probably call a cult... mainly because there were lots of secret stuff, giving money and goods away to a "collective pot" and a hierarchy of participation.

Some think that the group, who are referred to as the Pythagoreans, advocated vegetarianism while others think it was limited animal products... I don't know that it makes a difference.

Nature is inherently cruel. From the mean girls in high school, college, and beyond to the complete concept of the food chain. I wish I could read this quote in its original language, pay attention to the subtle nuances of the translation... "massacre" is an ugly word and I am curios if that was Pythagoeas' intent. Perhaps, it was more of an observation than that of a judgmental call to quit killing other animals. Based on the extremely little amount of experience I have with ancient Greek and more upon the lifetime of translating that I have lived... I am skeptical.

The rational scientist part of me really thinks that as an observation it is rather keen, there is a simple statement that looks at this idea that as long as men kill animals they (and who is the they in this concept) will keep at it... that there is a continuity of death and destruction in our world. Things die so that they can become part of the process... I think that there might be something to this as it is believed in the transmigration of the soul (aka reincarnation)... so it follows, in a logical sense, that destruction breeds destruction as there is a process that has to happen. I am not aware if Pythagoras believed in a concept like karma which might temper this acknowledgement that death happens (both violently and not), I don't get a sense of that part of our current cultural concepts of reincarnation and karma... so, I remain skeptical.

Now, keep in mind that I am referring to the meaning that Pythagoras had in mind in the quote above. I am too much of a simpleton to make any harsh overarching pronouncements on the way that anyone should feel. I do think that animal abuse it horrid and do so with my own reality. I am sure that the discussion would lie in what constitutes abuse. However, that is not something I want to discuss at this time.

Again, these are my own personal musings and as such I extend an invitation to enter into dialog about what the intent of that quote was. Do you live and breathe Pythagoras, do you deeply understand his philosophies, do you understand ancient Greek and are familiar with this quote and its context... please, enlighten me... because I don't...

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Painting part 2, a study in Scarlett and a few cowgirl metaphors...

Scarlett is the name we have given the bellows camera my husband uses...

I spent a few hours working on Arizona Gothic last weekend.

It, the process, has gotten painful. I'm not happy with how it looks. To make it worse, I know that it is all my fault.

My aunt kept talking about building values while I worked on it and boom, the next morning I woke up and realized that I don't think I had a clue about what she meant.

I thought I did, but it's pretty clear to me that I was making assumptions and was full of some unknown and completely ridiculous hubris.

I'm pretty disappointed in myself. Which now means I have to keep myself talked into keeping on with this... and because I am such a goofball, I also will have to work on sticking with the music project.

I  put the horrid scene up there for any of you to look at.. I am just so saddened by that bulbous object that is supposed to be an old fashioned camera... I look at it and the travesty I see it as and think to myself, if I can't get this down, how in the world will I ever manage the faces... I just don't know...

I do want to quit, put this behind me to the extent that I can pretend it never happened and I never set out to try and paint something that wouldn't look like an 8 year old painted it... I want to invoke a series of expletives that have nothing to do with this piece of canvas and are more about the human body and some of its functions... but, there is something of a cowgirl/explorer in me that really won't give up... If you fall off the horse (or in my case if it runs away with you), you get back on. If it nips at you, you stand there and stare it down.

Maybe, just maybe...

It is a distinct possibility that the music project is managing to keep me in the cycle of sticking with this crazy mixed up scheme I set my self on... maybe it is because the music project is still so intensely private. Only Squink and Schatzy have heard me sing. They are forced to listen during long drives either a cappella (saints help the two of them) or with my music tracks helping me keep what I think is pitch... I am so green.

I suppose this is really, in the end, a project to help me move past crippling self doubt. The process, however, is a painful one, one that gives me little to stare it in the face and tell it that it can't own me.

So, here I go with putting the music project out there to the world (of most my family, who I am pretty sure all get my blog in a newsletter format)...

I am doing two songs the first is this one:  Black Cadillacs

It is a song written and sung by someone I have met and deeply respect... I might also, with great deference, think to call him a friend... and this friend graciously gave me some alternative forms of the song that I could play with. That link plays a different version than the one I am attempting. There is one version I really like and while I was going to do something completely different before he sent it to me, when I heard it I thought I want to make this a duet and OMG it has a BANJO!!!.

Dear me. Holy Guacamole. WTF was I thinking!!!!!

So, the other song is one I grew up listening to, it is one both my parents have sung to me, or maybe it was that they often played the old school pre Frida movie Chavela Vargas version... anyway, it is almost completely my version of this song:  La Llorona

I have loved the song for as long as I can remember and it has so many different lyrics that I actually had to write a version to sing from out of all that was available via the internet (thank you ethers)... I am nearing a completion in putting the various selected lyrics in a coherent order that makes sense to me. I am also tempted to really push myself waaaaaaaaaaaaay out of my comfort zone and record it with a musical back-up and then to follow up by shooting myself in the foot and make a stab at singing it alone.

Hello comfort zone, I need you to step aside and let completely miserable and awkward go first.