Posts Tagged ‘words


a week of cymbidiums, thursday

can you ever truly escape cliché?


do you ever find yourself struggling to say something original, but it’s something that has been said so many times before that the very act of writing it makes you wince? “oh, i can’t use that, they’ll think i’m uneducated and uninspired,” you might whisper to yourself as you hit the backspace bar erasing what you’d just written because it was the first thing (or maybe even the 5th thing) that had cut to the front of the line of your thought (elbows flailing, if i may use personification for a moment. you can see cliché as a rude, aggressive schmuck, can’t you?)

if you were expecting resolution to this post, you’re going to be disappointed. cliché does that to a person.


landscapes in the early morning light (shortly after sunrise)

a few days ago when it was still in the 80s and the santa ana winds were blowing from the northeast and out across the ocean i managed to get over to the other side of our coastal mountain and watch the sunrise over the mountains to the east, the ones that cradle the orange county valley and separate us from the desert.

this weather event (it’s what they call it here, an event) produces stunning sunrises and sunsets (see my week of one day’s sunset, 2, 3, 4, 5 here), but the timing of your arrival can be a bit hit or miss, especially if you’re walking a dog, which i was on this day’s early morning.

as much as i wanted to get to a point where i could see the sun actually top the mountains on its rise from the eastern world, my canine companion was more interested in the early morning smells of dogs and rabbits and coyotes and birds and grass blades and cracks in the sidewalk and the sprinkler timers and a tree or two and succulents and gravel and streetlights and a stone bench and had to stop several times and sit down to scratch an ear that’s been aggravating him recently and while he was down he might as well lick his penis, cause that’s what dogs do and then he’d look at me like “what next?” because he’s blind and i have to keep him heading in the right direction so he doesn’t run into trees and large rocks and junipers and stone benches and succulents and cacti and sprinkler timers or off into the street or down the wrong driveway as they slope away from our community’s circular main road so i set aside my needs for his, after all, he means more to me than the opportunity to take photographs of the sun rising over the eastern mountains of orange county so that i can post them on my blog(s) and facebook in order that people who pay some attention to what i’m doing will ❤ or comment or re-blog or whatever it is they do when they find something i’ve written or photographed moving or funny or ironic (irony having not died as many felt it would when “seinfeld” went off the air in 199? or was it 200? who can remember or care for that matter it was so long ago and that hair of elaine’s drove me crazy), so we continued on our way and all the while i could sense that i was missing that moment, that special time when the sun is just creeping ever so slowly up and over the mountaintops and its radiant crown (think crown like the statue of liberty’s) moves into view and everything takes on the golden glow of apollo’s chariot as it races across the heavens toward the darkness in the west. too many metaphors <sigh>

the trees turn toward the light, a move so subtle that you may miss it should you be distracted by the glory of early morning sunlight, lining up along the parade route like ensor’s acolytes in his “the entry of christ into brussels” from 1889–have you seen that painting? it hangs at the getty center in l.a. and has always been a favorite of mine, you can see and read about it here–crowding around the sunlight without fear of igniting themselves, self-immolation not on their card for today.

this is the apocalyptic eucalyptus from my 2009 post “trees that i am friends with” which…i cannot believe that i’ve been contributing to my blog for over three years now. i admit it seems as if i’ve been doing this all my life, but only recently realized that i have committed tens of thousands of words to, to, to what exactly i have no idea, but i will say it has brought me some comfort and joy.

and at last, with some flag-waving, the dog and i turned our backs on the sunrise and the fog laying quietly in the valleys and arroyos as the grand landscape unfurled at our feet.


variations on a theme (stare down)

1. it’s a good thing that a lot of words have come before because i’m not sure where they’ve gone to now.

2. but speaking of the words that have gone before: now i have to make them into something.

3. which means that i have to re-read all of them with a more critical eye.

4. which means the self-love portion of the task has come to an end.

5. and that the true me must emerge in my quest to share what happened to me.

6. i think i can do it.


Fill in the _____ (captions ‘r’ us)

okay.  this is how this will work:  i am posting several photographs that i took yesterday.  i will start the caption below each photographs leaving one or more spaces empty for you to add your suggested insertions.  everyone will be a winner! not that you’ll receive anything (well, anything tangible) for your efforts, so some of you may feel that’s a lot like losing.  but!  you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing you contributed to this worthy cause.  and that’s winning, isn’t it?  (if you need to win, at least it’s something.  there may be those of you for whom the idea of winning and/or losing as the be-all end-all might be somewhat distasteful.  i mean, the very idea of striving may be anathema to you (you know who you are.)

so.  let’s get started.

1.  a rose is a ________ and by any other name may ___________ as ________.

2.  the devil and _ were talking the other day.  “what were you thinking,” he said, “when you _______ that?”

3.  as i was walking down the _________, i thought about ______ and ______, but no sooner had i _______ than those thoughts ____________.

4.  “but, he cried,” in some distress, “that is not what i _______.  you have taken my words and ____________.”

5.  i stood a bit, the cool wind brushing against my face and contemplated ___ existence of ______ and how nature seems to be the __________ of all that is good with the world.

6.  and, as if on cue (the stage manager sotto voce) i turned to the ____ and realized that it was true what they _________   _____ ______.   it somehow assuaged the despair i had been feeling earlier.



neither here nor there (betweens)

stuck.  like suck & other ‘uck’ words, the sound carries as much meaning as the word itself.  mired.  like tired & other ‘ired’ words, the sound carries as much meaning as the word itself.  there’s some anger in those sounds.  oh.  & some resignation.  a shoulder shrug, a sagging of the shoulders, a downward cast to the eyes, skin is even drooping, gravity (the force of it) making you smaller.

diminish.  like finish & other ‘ish’ words, the sound carries as much meaning as the word itself.  it is the action of gravity, pulling downward, pinning you to one spot.  desperation.  like exhaustion & other ‘tion’ (shun, need i say more,) the sound carries as much meaning as the the word itself.  it is how gravity makes you feel, raw emotions bubbling toward the surface in spite of everyone’s good intentions (another shunning word, i might add,) which are intended to lift you up & away from the effects of gravity.

surcease.  like decrease & other ‘ease’ words, the sound carries as much meaning as the word itself.  gravity determines ends, never beginnings.  the fall of your footstep is an end, it is a miracle (should they exist) that you are able to lift the other foot up & place it in front of the other & that forward movement is not mired in your diminishing.  the goal of gravity.  the end of time.

between here.  between there.  stuck.  suck. uck. mired. tired. ired. diminish. finish. ish. surcease. decrease. ease.  with which gravity pulls you down.


on collecting (an anniversary)

sometimes when you start a project (artistic or otherwise) you may think you have one goal in mind, but as the project unfolds, you find yourself drawn in other directions & oftentimes those paths all lead, in their meandering way (o’er hill & dale) to the result you may have wanted but at the beginning may not have been able to voice.   (i shy away from saying “put into words,” this is after all a blog of the written word, albeit accompanied by photographs & images as illustrations, but it wouldn’t seem an accurate accounting of my ‘vision’ were it limited to just ‘words’.)

2 years ago when i started this blog i had every intention (good or bad) of writing about art, artists, collecting & aesthetics & although i have, on occasion, turned down those roads (some less traveled than others,) but to my surprise (& chagrin at times) it has become much more of an exploration of my past, my present & possibly my future.  interestingly, for me at least (and a few readers, i believe & quietly hope,) this delving & digging & divining, this wandering, & roaming (with quick side trips/tangents to this vista or that historical marker)  has been,  & what i now know to be the truth (and will continue to be, one can only hope) more of an explanation of how i’ve gotten to this point in my life, surrounded as it is by art & artifact & this word & that one (collections all.)

after all then, it has been about collecting art, about artists & aesthetics & about one personal approach to & understanding of what it means to be a collector — a reflection of my character in images, words, people, objects.   at times,  i’ve held the mirror up so i can read the writing from left to right or magnify through a lens  discernible differences in the subtle textures & interwoven shades of color & the patterns created through composition (it’s that looking askance that brings clarity in unexpected ways.)

so this evening, new year’s eve 2010, i am marking time  (should you need celebratory imagery, please pause a moment and imagine a pop of the champagne cork,  the tickle of its bubbles as you lift the glass to your lips ) something i don’t often like to do (oh, i like my anniversaries mind you: birthdays, meetings, passings, & holidays,) but tonight as i write my 185th post i realize that it is still more beginning than end & that gives me some pleasure.



Twitter Updates

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Copyright notice

© Robert Patrick, and Cultivar, 2008-2013. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts, photographs and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Robert Patrick and Cultivar with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

%d bloggers like this: