“I love this glass. It holds the water admirably. When the sun shines on it, it reflects the light beautifully. When I tap it, it has a lovely ring. Yet for me, this glass is already broken. When the wind knocks it over or my elbow knocks it off the shelf and it falls to the ground and shatters, I say, ‘Of course.’ But when I understand that this glass is already broken, every minute with it is precious.” ~ Ajahn Chah

If you do not see the beauty in it, stop looking. -.-

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

 No heartbeat.

This is probably a better goodbye than my severely misunderstood point of view and sense of humor.

Friday, July 3, 2015

Fini; Exeunt; Adieu

As I'm sure you've noticed, I haven't posted in over a month.  I've been drowning in the mundane, primarily dealing with people who don't understand, and fighting with my own purpose and usefulness, which is turning out to be... different.  No one gives a shit.  I've found myself plugged conveniently into someone else's life.  This isn't entirely against my will, nor is it as dramatic as I'm writing, but it is what it is and I have to deal with it, whether I like it or not.
The girl; the girl who distracted me from the girl who treated me like shit; the girl who pulled me out of the banishment and misery of the desert; the girl who had to be too good to be true; she just became 'real', that's all.  People bring with them drama and past and family and various other forms of bearable, and unbearable, bullshit.  This is the primary reason why I stuck it out with the girl who treated me like shit for so long: yeah, there was a list of complaints, but the problems were endurable, mostly.
Maybe I just proved to myself what I could endure. That's the secret to making relationships work; the big elusive secret: endure; make it work.  It is really no more complicated than that: shut the fuck up and make the most of it.  I was technically getting the work done that I wanted to accomplish amidst the chaos.  That was enough for me, but I wanted, and still want, someone to do this with; all of it.  It is difficult to do that with someone who can't see the forest through the trees, which includes just about everyone under the age of thirtyish.  Another huge misconception that I was never able to stomp out: I was always surrounded by 18-23 year old girls, so the average idiot thought I preferred that on some fucked up level, but I didn't; it drove me insane; they simply kept showing up to have a good time and I kept shooting them, but it made me the poetic kind of miserable that I always wanted but can't stand.
The obvious punchline, to me anyway, was that girls my age never gave me the time of day.  No one seemed to understand that.  Maybe no one cared.  My approach to life, most my life, was a shrug and a "whatever."  As long as they were ok with me shooting everything, I continued to let them show up, until they got distracted and stopped showing up, or I seriously got fed up with the immature bullshit, like I did with the last relationship, but she just kept showing up, so I forced myself to love her and find the beauty in it, and I forced you to read about all the misery that ensued.
Appreciate that or don't. I don't give a shit.  It did, however, happen, the way I remember it, not the way you assume it, whether you like it or not.  The marriages were different than the fun, obviously.  I knew I would never have what I needed with the first marriage, so I ditched out; jail for a silly offense that punished me for 12 years helped.  I really thought I found someone who was on my side in the opposite end of the relationship spectrum of my second marriage, and she really did try, like a girl in her early 20's can try, but that was doomed to fail from the beginning; I was flailing at attempting to do something that I wasn't mature enough to explain yet.  I was just so hell bent on accomplishing something; something beautiful; something that no one else saw or understood; something extraordinary.  It still somewhat eludes me.  With the last relationship, which I often joked about being my third marriage, I just let things be and let her go out a do whatever she wanted, but I was none too thrilled about dealing with a girl who would come home at her convenience, and place my worth a distant second to mindless, accomplishment-less, drinking and partying with her friends.  "Second" is actually my being incredibly generous.
Wow, I apparently had a lot to say. Bear with me. I went into this thinking I had nothing to really talk about.  This is kind of big, though.  The recent solstice birthday has left me reviewing my life again and feeling like I have accomplished nothing and hold zero value as a human being.  Neither of those is true, which is completely relative to your own ignorance, but in relation to what I set out to accomplish...I have accomplished nothing and have zero value as a human being: you still don't get it.
I never had a relationship; I never simply had another human being around who I was living my life with.  I was so determined (to fail, apparently), that I didn't allow anyone into my life who I wasn't accomplishing something with. In that futile journey, I threw away plenty of perfectly good human beings, and dealt with a lot of unbearable bullshit to get a product.  That is the work that I put in that no one truly appreciates.  It doesn't help that most, if not all, of the product prior to 2010 is unpublishable.
I did learn a lot, which is all I ever really wanted anyway.  I learned something that you can't learn with a photography degree, or most other degrees, either: I learned people; as much as I hate them, I am good with people.  That being said, I give you a post with a bunch of boring photos in it, containing no people.  What the fuck? Right?  Well, aside from the first two.  I should probably explain what's going on at some point, with what appears to be completely random photos: after my recent return to the wonderful world of unemployment, we went on a little road trip up the coast.
Something I have always wanted to do but could never afford.  No one cares.  The trip was cut short by extenuating circumstances, but it happened, so now I have a bunch of boring photos to share with you, and some words that will fade off into the void of the useless corners of the internet.  This one, while she does appreciate my work, isn't much interested in modeling, or photography, or much of anything, really, which could be good for me, and which could also drive me insane.
This road trip was basically an ante up to see if we could hack each other.  We didn't kill each other after being stuck in a car together for a week, so that's a win in my book.  The return left us living together, more specifically, my returning to the little mountain town that hates me and banished me to the desert over two years ago.  I'm back.  Deal with it.  I am none too thrilled, believe me.  This town has caused me nothing but grief since my parents moved me here 25 years ago...very well documented.
***My thought was completely derailed. She came home and wanted my complete attention so that she could complain about things that only exist in her head.  That's my life now: she says she loves my work and my writing, but if I'm working or writing I'm doing something horrifically wrong that could tear the very fabric of the universe and destroy life as we know it, which is also why it now takes me weeks to complete posts.  This "new" misery has nothing to do with her, mind you, but people in general.  The reputation I earned in my twenties should be negated by my reality, but it isn't, because people are people; they've always been people; simple, stupid, scared, insecure, mundane people.
Which is fine; it's all fine; it is completely contradictory to the mindset that I demand to be surrounded by, but it's fine.  Apparently the universe still needs to punish me; I was apparently that bad, in my trying to do the right, beautiful thing; that's fine.  Part of me still expects to find that beautiful, cool, calm, Zen community of creativity, and part of me is just done.  I'm drowning in this feeling while taking my punches from a girl who, in one of our first experiences, took me to the Zen Center up here.  The time since has been so not Zen that it is downright comical.
All I can really do at this point is laugh about it, which is an amazing feeling: I can finally take the malicious attack of this ridiculous species, an attack at it's finest, in an environment where I have no escape, refuse to engage the negativity (which really means I am done having the same fight with different faces), and smile; like, genuinely smile at the absurdity of it all; a new smile that glows from the center of my very being; I am finally learning to sit calmly in the hurricane.  The obvious downside to that, when dealing with those stuck in the samsara cycle of misery, is that making light of, or joking about, something that they are allowing to affect them, especially when dealing with such a dominant personality, is that it only pisses them off more.  Then you get more amused, and they get more angry, ad infinitum.  Maybe her interest in calm and serenity is enough?  Maybe that's why I'm here?  Maybe not?  That is not for me to decide.
The basic understanding here is that we get what we want; that is the only absolute.  All I've wanted for a while now is to be happy.  I am happy, and will remain so.  If people around me want to be miserable and conflicted and contradictory and afraid and critical and full of self hatred, they are free to have that.  I'm not going to pretend like it doesn't affect me.  I have always been crippled by my empathy.  You not only know that already, but the you I'm talking to will likely never read this because you were driven away by the unconscious rantings of a madman.  I have simply learned to feel things differently.  Not that I have achieved any elusive goal.  I'm still an idiot: the campaign I went on in 2010 that no one seemed to understand.  I still have nothing figured out.  I am still on that daigo path that I've been striving for my entire existence: almost forty years of pointing out the obvious to souls who are neck-deep in the shit-storm of societal delusion, making myself a fool; the smiling fool.

Conundrum: admission of idiocy, openly knowing nothing, means understanding something.

I'll give you a minute to collect the scattered pieces of your blown mind from the floor and surrounding areas.

Good?  I'll proceed.

Most of my emanating smile, that she can't see, has been caused by what she has accidentally already taught me: watching such a beautiful human soul systematically fade into another "potentially" beautiful human soul.  It didn't take long.  Well, it never really takes too long if you are capable of seeing past the courting ruse, which is specific to everyone, always, not my isolated situation in the vast infinitude of human sameness.
Don't mind me, 
I'm just strolling on the beach, 
walking my pet fish.

Everything will turn out exactly how it is supposed to.
I still have not completely learned that joking about things is the same as introducing thought, even though that was my primary tool as a budding sociopathic child.  Or, maybe I completely understand and am still just having a good time, whether you get it or not.

Digression: there have been a lot of ultimatum-esque absolutes in this post, id est "like it or not," et cetera.  Deal with it?  =)
Anyhoo, earlier in our relationship, I let this little literary gem slip:

"She is like an amusement park ride that people die on sometimes, but you still stand in line and strap yourself in, because everyone's a little bit crazy."

The prophetic streak continues, or maybe I'm still getting what I want?  *cliché winky face*
This is the point in a normal, everyday post, where I wrap up the mundane seriousness of my mind vomit, make a flailing attempt at a joke, and leave you for the night, or hour, or minute, or however long it takes my synapsis to misfire again, but there is more, and this isn't just another post: this is it: six years of beautiful, misunderstood, human evolution, slipping like a massive fault line that has been building pressure for thousands of years, giving way to a new landscape.

The beautiful little unmentioned twist; the extenuating circumstance.  Taking a road trip with a one and a half year old is like traversing a tight-rope using only your teeth.  Every place we went, every little thing we did, and time spend in allowed places and things, were delegated by a screaming soul who is not yet capable of truly understanding the significance of the reality that we are graced with.  That all seems to fit my story line beautifully: the universe finally gives me a chance to explore a part of my world that I have always been desperate for, but, between the two of them, throws a stick in my spokes, sending me skidding home on my chin, days and distance short of potential.
The feral child.

The road trip was also an opportunity for her to get used to me being around.  There were a few beautiful little moments, slivered between the chaos and hell-fire of toddlerdom.  I spent most of the trip attempting to explain to TWO people that everything was going to be alright, when neither of them could understand me, for their own unique reasons.  It was ............. fun.  It was fun...like paying taxes is fun; like being forced to live in this delusional society is fun. Weeeeeee.  =l
The screaming child is also a beautiful allegory to my life and work: trying to share the beauty that I see in my world to the choir of emotional children screaming their distaste for something that they aren't capable of understanding in a society that only exists as their ego-centric, delusory reality.

I joke because I have to. To quote a fellow cast member from the last show I ever did seven years ago: "I smile to keep from crying."  In a world where everything has been said, claimed, or pissed on, I am attributing that quote entirely to her.

In all honesty, while my getting along with this girl, knee deep in the ruse, bordered on surreal, the child was a definite deterrent to my allowing anything more to develop.  You simply can not take jumping into a relationship with someone who's got children lightly, for far deeper reasons than human selfishness: to take one on, you take on all.  I say that, but I still live in a world where people don't understand me when I say I married my son when he was three.
There was a pretty complicated process I forced myself to go through, most of which was abandoning the elaborate storyline that I was completely committed to with the last girl.  It is not easy to give up on something like that after being so diligent about proving a point, even if no one was paying attention.  One of the bigger deciding factors, before I even met the screamer, was conversations about societal ideals and realistic development: this girl wanted to raise her child the way I wanted to raise my children, but was not allowed to.
That is all also thoroughly documented.  I started to see this as a chance for redemption; the opportunity to make a child's life as beautiful as I thought I could, elaborating on the core beliefs of parents who, in theory, were doing what I wanted to do, but couldn't stomach each other enough to make it work.  I could easily argue here that you can make it work with anyone, but I'll refrain.  On top of all that, I have been trying to have more kids for over a decade, from the second marriage on, and have been unable, which was an argument the wife gave for wanting to leave me, and the go-to excuse for the last girl to perpetuate relationships with other people while I was sitting at home waiting for her to show up.
BAM. I thought I would blindside you with a dead seal(that isn't dead) to see if you're still paying attention.

Bottom line, at the end of this part of my story, I had to come to terms with the fact that I couldn't have children, and I saw this as the universe giving me a last chance to make the beautiful difference I have been denied for the last 15 or so years.
Then this happened.

Obviously, this shot is a bit exaggerated in relation to the overall time-table, but this is happening.  Hence my approaching the telling of this bit of my story in a matter somewhat more tragic and end-all, choking on the jokes and attempting to excuse the negative aspects, which are no more complex than those that exist with everyone, while forcing myself to learn something from whatever positive I can find.  These are things we must do.  I can make it work with anyone.  Whether she can make it work with me is entirely up to her.  I have, however, proven, through all my kicking and screaming, that I can endure whatever the universe throws at me.  I still have a snapping point, I am still very much a human being and I still demand what I demand, but I couldn't script a better point to jump into whatever the universe holds next, whether it be the beautiful I demand, or the dysfunctional misery that others seem to be so proud of.......like I was for so long.
This is all, as per my norm, somewhat less dramatic than I make it out to be. There are plenty of glimmers of a beautiful future, as well as a miserable future.  I will get what I want, even if I have to spend the rest of my life laughing at the utter ridiculousness of life, knowing full well how such individuals look to those in the cycle.  Or, maybe this is not per my norm?  Maybe I'm already gone?  Maybe I'm rocking gently and drooling on myself in a padded cell at this very moment?  Regardless, my confident truth in reality lies in the fact that no one cares, including myself.  Happiness, aside from being, simply, penis proceeded by "ha," is not something we find, but something we are.

We spent a couple days in Santa Cruz with the beautiful souls I began this beautiful year with, and I was finally able to patronize Logos.  I was immediately overwhelmed by this beautiful lingering connection to used books and music, and frustrated by the toddler timetable.
In the breifest of glances I found Judy Dater's Imogen Cunningham: A Portrait.  I very much needed to read this, and not only to understand the futility and uselessness of photography and art, especially in modern society.  I have been harping on Weston for years, because of the dynamic of Charis, but I was never really a fan of the work itself.  I relate completely to Imogen, for the time being.
“The formula for doing a good job in photography: Is to think like a poet. There are many choices, but at the moment, I recommend Tagore, who wrote: ‘My soul is alight with your infinitude of stars. Your world has broken upon me like a flood. The flowers of your garden blossom in my body. The joy of life that is everywhere burns like an incense in my heart. And the breath of all things plays on my life as on a pipe of reeds.’”
That was the genuine attitude I set out on this journey with; the photography journey, not the blog; the blog was the byproduct of self-absorption and hatred, and never became what I wanted it to be, while becoming exactly what it was supposed to be.

This is my all over the place, long-winded goodbye, with a tinge of sadness, and a glimmer of hope.

I am not giving up with the writing, mind you; I can't.
Plus, I kind of own idiedatbirth.com (still under massive reconstruction), so I'm allowing that to evolve into the project that it was meant to be, with which there will be blogging on more of a project level, with maybe a brief overview of what I've been writing this whole time.

The mundane, daily meanderings, will transfer over to the empty lavanyamaya.blogspot/tumblr. Lavanyamaya is sanskrit for "consisting entirely of beauty," so I suppose that will happen when...well..... when it happens, as opposed to the current, "consisting entirely of drama and fear."
“Let the mind beware, 
that though the flesh be bugged, 
the circumstances of existence are pretty glorious.” 
- Kerouac

Laugh More.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Happy Birthday, Mom

 To celebrate my mother's 65th birthday, I spent yesterday morning with a couple moms.  We met up in Redlands, after a gorgeous, early drive off of my little mountain into the clouds, beautifully blanketing the rest of civilization below, and went for a short hike somewhere on the road to Big Bear, more territory that I've never explored.  These weren't simply a couple moms who asked me to shoot them, but a huge part of my absurdly controversial past, so I went into it a little terrified.  Ella you may recognize from photos that I posted from my "past."  She lived with me for about six months, eleven years ago, under shady circumstances.  That is a story I would rather not tell again.  She was also the subject in the pregnancy project that ended after three sets because she was "fat."  Also, not a story I want to hash up.  This was completely different than all the old shit; this was a kind of "where are they now" type project that I've been kicking around lately.
 At one beautiful point they compared stretch marks, which I didn't treat these photos to showcase, though, to be honest, I wanted to.  I did not, however, blatantly hide them, because I believe they are a beautiful roadmap to the soul.  These two have known me and my work long enough to have no reason to hide what makes them beautifully human.  The only thing that really made the day uncomfortable for anyone was the hiker traffic right above us.
When I say "they've known me long enough..." I mean to go back further than Ella's 11 years.  Blondie, whom I never nicknamed, was in the theatre, dance, music, and legitimately learning photography phase of my life that sank my first marriage.  During a production of The Tempest that I dropped out of because the photography class I had to take was on two of three rehearsal nights, this girl and I, during a break in her rehearsal and my having left early from class, ran off to an elevator that led up to the dance studio and shot a couple rolls of neked film.  The immediate punchline, relating to the overall story, was that she was 14, though she remembers being 16 (14 is better story), and the only surviving photograph is an 8x10 shot of her torso focusing on the lines of her hip, which I half-assed at trying to reproduce yesterday, but I fucked it up, and was also one of the photographs that the Sheriffs left behind when they raided my place looking for things that didn't exist.  She asked me if I had copies, because she wanted them; I asked her if she still had the copies I made her, because I wanted them; we came to the conclusion that destroying the photographs was stupid, because they weren't bad, at all, but my wife punished me and society's punishment terrified me.  This was one of the main reasons I left that wife and spent the time since flipping off society.  It was not that big of a deal.
As per my life, the day following I received news that negated the extraordinariness of the event.

Everything is changing.

I don't even know anymore.


Monday, May 25, 2015


I received a letter from a “concerned parent” regarding the tasteful nudes I had shot of their daughter causing a kind of upheaval in their family.  Under normal circumstances I would go to whatever length I could to ensure that everyone is happy and content with the work, but, in this particular case, the daughter involved is 30 years old, which somewhat reduces a letter that I should respect to absolute absurdity.  I did what a professional should do: I presented the concern to everyone involved, weighing the impact and opinion of everyone involved, gauging all possible solutions and results from choices made, and came to a conclusion that abided by the wishes of those directly impacted from the work.  The conservative mind might view this as a kind of intellectual middle finger toward the wishes of the “wiser.”  This was a decision not taken lightly, but a discussion I am sick to fucking death of having.  If you don’t see the beauty in it, stop fucking looking at it, honestly.

I wrote a three page letter as a gut, initial response.

I didn’t send it.

Tomorrow; old friends: the old me collides with the new me.  

I have been missing from this; I have had a thousand and one things spinning through my mind like creative razor blades, severing anything and everything.  Change is never easy; rewiring your brain is never easy.  Change that involves a new paradigm, even if it’s one that you have been fighting your entire life for, is near impossible.  What we “want” and what we have found comfort in wage war with each other in a mind already cluttered with epic, life altering paths to choose from.  When a simple mind pops in to such a huge transition and seems to say, “bewbs!,” you can’t help but want to respond with the back of your hand to the side of their face and, after a lifetime of struggling against such juvenile observation, an unconscious, instinctual scream: “Shut the fuck up!  I’ve got this.”  I’ve spent every day of my life fighting to figure things out, and I hope that is a journey that never stops.  I outgrew the ignorant, societal silliness when I was about seven, and developed an irrational hatred for those who don’t seem to understand what’s important: it has never been, nor will it ever be, what you are wearing or what you look like; all of that is temporal aesthetic, id est, only important to you, right now, because someone told you it was important; you have wasted your life on something that you didn’t decide upon, but followed upon.  I “decided” to challenge mundane a long fucking time ago;  I “decided” to demand extraordinary a long fucking time ago; I “decided” not to settle a long fucking time ago; and I “decided” to pull away every time simple minds attempted to grab me by the proverbial shirt and hold me back, under the suffocating tides of their quotidian reality.  I would rather drown crossing the ocean, than die of boredom and fear, only daring to go out far enough to still allow my feet to reach the bed of shifting sediment below me.

These are the things that distract me.

These are the tangents.

When I put my foot down, it is on a plane that you don’t seem to understand exists.

Abre los ojos.

Everything in my mind is flickering at this point.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

The stormy sky

The calm sea

The birds in between

Where are we?

Wednesday, April 29, 2015



Lingering in the creative void between this and I don't know what.  I suddenly hate the way I've treated photos.  I suddenly notice the gradual hate.  Hate.  Why?  I believe my boredom with photography and the human body drove me to do something different.  I wanted to capture the world in a way that the human eye couldn't see it, when I should've simply been capturing the beauty that I find, not how I creatively filter the beauty.  If everything is beautiful, then why do I change it so drastically?  Anyone can press a shutter button; the art of a landscape is getting there; the art of shooting a model is being able to afford them or being fortunate enough to have them as friends; this is a cynical approach that I need to let go of, but it is reality for me: none of this is that difficult.  How does one simply let go of practical reality and redefine it, and does the delusion lie in thinking your interpretation is better in some way, or thinking that life... boring, mundane life... is good enough?
 I love the short series which included the above photo because the bone-chilling wind kept knocking her over and she kept trying.  Knowing that, you can see the calculation of her arms to find and hold balance, but you're not supposed to know that.

For some unknown reason I was driven to capture this random tree near Sunken City.  Why?  It's just a fucking tree.  Then K pointed out that she saw what looked like bodies with their arms reaching to the sky.
In the void, I'm not sure if I'll "treat" again, or treat less, or ditch digital and go back to film, or...*insert drastic creative, life-altering event here.  I was supposed to shoot Keira again last Monday.  She called it on account of forecast.  The weather turned out being beautiful.  Now I'm looking at a potential little road trip to transport a model from LA to Phoenix and shoot on the way.  That's what I've been wanting to do for years.  All in my creative void.  I'm at that point, on an unfamiliar hike, where you look at where you think the trail is supposed to go, in contrast to where you think the trail might go, and you have to decide whether the miles ahead are really worth the energy.

I don't know.