Where Are You Going?


Amma asks , “There are 86,400 seconds in a day. What are you doing with them?”

She asks, “Where are you going? If you are in a car and someone asks you where you are going, you know. If you get on a plane you know where you are going. Where are you going with your life? To go around willy-mildly is no good”, she’ll say.
“What is the goal of your life?”, she will ask.
“Is it the realization of god?”, she’ll continue.




I am in a cafe when this young fellow walks in with a jaunty step. He’s a lively guy and catches my eye.  My mind is in it’s habit of constantly sizing things up to put them in a place where it interprets in the hopes of understanding. Like any mind. Image

I am not sure whether this guy is hispanic, southeast asian, maybe middle eastern, turkish, philipino, south american or what.  I am lucky this way in that there are lots of people like this in the San Francisco bay area. My daughter can pass for a lot of ethniciities but in fact she’s just a white girl.

This young man has on a terrific shirt. It says, “Everything is Beautiful but Beautiful isn’t Everything”


I get my coffee and as I am leaving I compliment the kid on his shirt. He responds to this and now I can guess his ancestry from his accent but it doesn’t matter.  Just like everything is beautiful, so is everywhere. Inside and Out.


After my son and I biked 600 miles in 12 days, he jumped off a wall he’s often jumped off and sprained his ankle.

That was a week ago because it takes a 16 year old a week to figure out it’s sprained by the fact that it isn’t getting better.

So we know. He needs crutches. Kaiser doesn’t sell crutches but at the doctor’s visit they’ll give them to you. So, a doctor visit is too much as usual, (due to high deductible) therefore we “google” “crutches”.


I do this first and get offers of surprisingly pricey crutches. They are inexplicably expensive even in supposedly cheap places like Walgreen’s. When Noah googles “crutch”, he gets an entirely different response. He gets all this “church” stuff, referring to belief in god as a crutch.

I probably had the word “buy” in my search. Noah says he had nothing but “Crutch”. Maybe. Noah’s relationship since the get go with reading has been to guess the word first and recheck it later if necessary. It’s gotten him this far. He considers spelling yet another storefront the computer is making obsolete. So maybe his crutch is the computer.

I’ll take “god” over the computer. We ended up borrowing crutches from a friend.


Update ~ Explanation

This blog paused at the end of October because . . .

I wrote a 56,000 word novel the month of November.

256,000 people worldwide attempted this. 81,000 won (meaning they succeeded in writing a novel in a month)

NaNoWriMo.org  is the organization that heralds this cause. I highly recommend them and doing it.

In December I prepared for my interactive exhibiton at The de Young Museum in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. (pictured above)

I was artist in Residence the entire month of January. I created digitally drawn portraits of museum guests in a Magic Glass environment which was entirely designed and fabricated by myself, except for the wood-work on the 8 moving mirror walls which was fabricated by Kai Lundgren-Williams.

Myself and my interns also taught museum guests how to digitally draw self portraits. These are the portraits you see in the photo. My portraits are on the opposite wall and projected on the glass screens.

On the left, me explaining my work at museum party (with live music by Peter Whitehead)

On the right, portrait of museum guest.


Now, in mid February  “the kid is back, back on track”  (Brett Dennen)



continues . . .




So, I’m a nice enough guy usually: certainly not a murderer or anything, but would I hurt a fly? Well, that’s where it can get tricky.

One fly comes and I’m cool. Ditto for two and three. Four flies starts to get worrisome. By the time there are seven flies in my kitchen, I am crazy with disgust for them and luckily it is time to go to bed.

I leave the kitchen door open, hoping to not find them there tomorrow. Hoping that they will somehow develop brains in the night that will lead them away from the closed window.

I get up earlier than usual the next morning, before the sun is up. All seven flies are asleep on the ceiling. Unmoving on the ceiling.I feel for them being asleep. I relate to them. I drink my tea and write some notes and they are still unmoving on the ceiling. I feel differently about them.

I leave to go to a cafe and come back to moving flies and, even worse, sitting flies on food left out.

Normally, I start killing at this many flies, but now, I don’t. I’ve seen them sleeping. Upside down.