New Rule.....



Coming Home in a Box

What... oh yes, blogging. Well then here i am and here we are and there it all is. I don't know why, but sometimes i just have to take a breather from this whole blog thing.

So, without going into a big ol' story about it all. The fence project, this project, was taken down last month.

Two men on an unnamed crew came and snipped all the names down. A few community members came and gathered it all up, delivering it to the local paper. The local paper dropped it back on my doorstep.

All of the notes and signs and flags and 2500+ tags, in this box seen above. They came just like this. And so, with a nod to Edward Keinholz, I entered it into the 2007 Juried Carlsbad Biennial. I'll keep everyone posted as to whether or not it gets accepted. (my other entries included the Color By Numbers painting below and the Kneeler...)

Now, the tearing down of the "memorial" became quite an ordeal, and again much was learned. People criticized the owner of the lot thinking he was responsible. His name is Hassan, so people wrote in to the paper that he ought to go back to Tehran. And suddenly all of these other new critiques came along saying the fence was an eyesore and good riddance. (i thought it at least a little prettier than most of the streets in Falluja right about now, but what do i know...)

I wrote this letter to the paper in an effort to settle something... but it was too long and they wouldn't print it. I guess searching through all of those letters and putting them one by one into the press is a bit tedious... Anyway, what's a blog for if you can't publish thoughts people won't read. Here you go... My "good night and good luck" moment that never was...

We are the couple responsible for hanging the tags which began the "makeshift war memorial" on the fence outlining the abandoned gas station at the corner of PCH and Cassidy in South Oceanside. We feel it is important to write this in an attempt to assuage the negativity we have been reading in response to recent articles about the site's removal, and return the focus where it belongs.

It was never our intention to make "a war memorial" nor to protest the current war. Our purpose in writing and hanging the tags onto the fence was to demarcate a public space where a community's thoughts and emotions could live and breathe, and to create some reminder other than the practice shells of Camp Pendleton rattling our windows from time to time.

Not sure the tags would remain three hours let alone three years, we were amazed to see the community embrace the fence. People hung flowers, flags, and notes to their loved ones, creating their own experience. All of which remained and grew until recently.

We ask there be no ill will toward owner Hassan Sadeghi as to the removal of the site. We spoke with Hassan after the first year the fence was up. He was very willing to help in any way, and would never have purposely taken the names down.

People have written comments to this paper saying this "was not a real memorial", but merely an "eyesore" that "destructed private property". Yes, the tags crumbled and the flowers shrivelled and the flags were in tatters. It seems gas stations and memorials, like soldiers, will pass. But be sure we make no apologies for how this space may have served to interrupt your days with a moment of grief, anger, or warm heart. These old tags, flowers and flags, were neither an eyesore nor an act of destruction. War, on the other hand, is both. We pointed to the war, yet some continue to stare at our finger.

We now know it is imperative the city has a space to honor the memory of the fallen soldiers, most of whom passed through Oceanside during their training. The fence has taught us even the simplest of acts can serve. We have also seen the importance of having a site that values the lives of real people like the Vietnam Memorial in D.C., as opposed to one that celebrates war like a forgotten obelisk. And we must keep in mind the difference between a place that honors people, and one built for a city's PR and marketing. The difference between a space that has come from the hearts of the community, and one built and labeled " war memorial".

We took a step to create the community we want to live in because it was the responsible thing to do. The community responded and took the next steps to keep it going. Left to the city council to make our city for us, the focus will be on what can bring revenue, and Oceanside could become a mall indistinguishable from any other city in America. As a community, we are responsible for envisioning and shaping the meaning and beauty we want in our world. To us, this is the true sense of "freedom" American's have fought so hard for, and ultimately this will bring the greatest revenue.



A small post that could just change your life

A new friend introduced this to me a couple days ago, and i am in absolute awe. Finally, a reason for the internet...

This project is going to change music listening as we know it. Imagine being able to shape radio to exactly the kind of mood you are in, but without being tied to your same old boring collection... this is it... welcome to "God's iPod". (Say goodbye to the next 3 hours of your life)


Oh yeah... the best part... it's free. I have my laptop connected to my stereo running all day long... i am in love.



oil on canvas. 8 x 10"

this was another wee painting i just finished that i thought i would share. i seem to like having these kinds of paintings going along with anything else in the studio. It is more the place i just get to "paint" and kind of take my mind out of it. The practice of being fully absorbed.

I came to this rather huge and really minor revelation yesterday: true awareness has nothing to do with worry. And they shant coexist or be con-fused.

(and for those keeping score at home, i said shant)