Monday, July 29, 2013

A Summoning of Fireflies

A new short film.

A Summoning of Fireflies. 2013.

Video, sound & music by Arthur Durkee.

Music: "Summoning" by Arthur Durkee
AD: Animoog, softsynths, bass guitar, live recordings, effects.
All Rights Reserved.

In June, when I was out shooting footage of the wind in the grass, as dusk fell the fireflies began rising from the verge. They pulsed alongside the road ditches, in the trees, and over the fields.

I have spent several evenings this summer filming fireflies at dusk, gathering a lot of good material. This short film is the first in a series.

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Sunday, July 21, 2013

Queer Art Show in New York City

I was very pleased to participate in this Qweer Arts gallery show in New York City, that was put on by the gallery and RFD Magazine, in celebration of the magazine's new issue featuring lots and lots of great art. I have artwork in the magazine as well (look for Dragon), which is why I was invited to participate in the gallery show. I'm very glad for the opportunity, and very glad I was able to participate.

I sent six works of homoerotic photography and digital art for the gallery show. One work was purchased at the gallery opening, which is very exciting.

So I regard the RFD Magazine "Qweer Arts" show to be a big success. Six prints of my photo-based digital artwork were shown in a gallery in New York City, and one of them was sold! Adding these elements to my artist's resumé brings me a lot of joy.

Thank you.

This is the third gallery show that my work has been shown in, in 2013. I hope this might be viewed as a good omen of Things To Come.

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Saturday, July 13, 2013

stars in grass alongside bright sky fade

cool of evening
walks alongside silence:
this waving grass

a good year for fireflies, now late at night off in distance
howling, maybe coyotes, over the fields and far away
along the river shore lights pulse green-gold on darker emerald
trees and grasses along the verge a knot of possibility
high summer wet warm wearying while cicadas mourn
singing long desperate howls in midafternoon sunblaze
nightsong distant lonely voices of desert dogs wandering
up alingside verdant river green liffull beneath a purpling dusk

in small blue above tall forest tops a crescent moon licks silver
light from azure blue indigo to carve a sickle caul across black night

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Monday, July 08, 2013

consort, with fireflies

An evening of Renaissance winds in a cloistered tent on prairie's edge. As dusk deepens to blue, fireflies rise from prairie fields and grass and tall flowers under cypress. Green pulse on stem of tiger lily, cupped in hand reflecting. Bronze lions watch these moving lights. Whine and throb of ancient pipe and reed. A skirl of dance marks time to the finger-tapped drum. Redwing blackbird in the bower sings counterpoint to sacred chant, while crickets drum in corners. Unbroken consort of recorders. Voices tuned to rhythm and pace of breath. We are still as rapt grass in windless rows. Night's shadow line crawls high behind this brightened stage. Long intertwined counterpoint of melody weaves spirals and leaves in air filled with weaving pulsing light. Long past the blue hour in still twilight lights scatter along the road. These darkened fields full of life turn to rush towards light. All alone in the alien darkness of empty backroads winding past lost hearths, I drive homewards through crowded firefly constellations.

prairie evening
concert lit by fireflies:
ancient music

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A Thousand Words About Endings

(A Spiral Dance essay.)

Not for the first time in my life, nor even the third, an important relationship in my life ended because the other person had an idea about me that was wrong, or thought I had done something that in fact I had not actually done. This has happened more than once, and in quiet moments of self-reflection, I wonder. It's been on my mind today, sadness and bitter regret and anger and hurt and contemplation and acceptance all mixed together.
More than a misunderstanding, the event itself, that has been said to happen, can be a matter of perspective and interpretation, and sometimes viewpoints are so relative that they seem to exist in different universes. But people get very attached to the narratives that they create for their lives, especially those in which they become locked into being in the right, so that you must be wrong, and so justification and rationalization come into play. Most people have egos that need to be fed, and are not capable of suffering much contradiction. So your viewpoint might not even get a hearing, or might get dismissed, and if you insist on creating a dialogue, which takes two or isn't real, sometimes you get rebuffed. Nowhere.
So what did I contribute to the situation? It's a reasonable question. Yet when the other party accuses you of something you know you didn't do, and won't listen, it's a question impossible to answer. I've considered it often, and with no feint towards justification I can honestly say I don't know. Both parties feel wronged, but only one wishes to work it out.
For my part, I know well that I live my life at a level of intensity and passion that some people simply don't like, and don't want to engage. So maybe the other felt provoked. Yet sometimes the rationale for a break-up is dishonest in that an excuse is found rather than the truth being told. People look for an excuse to conceal their real, even unconscious, intentions. Sometimes people think that's the best thing to do, or the least likely to cause suffering, which itself can be another layer of delusion or self-deception.
For my part, I always prefer telling the truth. It's easier, it's simpler, and you don't have to waste time trying to remember which lie you told to which person. But not everyone feels that way. Most lies we tell are self-supporting justifications, or rationalizations that appear to make sensible our most irrational urges and compulsions. Learning to live more consciously means first of all that you have to stop lying to yourself.
And that can be the hardest work you've ever done on your own self. I know for a fact that on at least one occasion, probably two, the person pushed me away, or rather found a reason to break up with me, because my presence was requiring them to stop lying to themselves about something in the core of their being. I made them uncomfortable. Not deliberately, not because I wanted to, but because of my insistence on honesty, and my refusal to go along with the lies they were telling themselves. Lots of people do not like very much honesty.
But in a relationship that's what I have to give. Honesty. I do not do codependency, and the reason I do not do it is because it's always built on lies we tell ourselves, like the idea that we don't deserve anything better. People often reject honesty when it doesn't serve their self-aggrandizing interests. Our illusions can seem more comfortable or pleasing to us. We are all guilty of that, me too, once or twice in our lives. But codependent people live within an even deeper tangle of delusions and despairs. They often believe that love is supposed to hurt, so they work subconsciously to make it painful even when it doesn't need to be.
Which is why I find it so fascinating that this pattern of being rejected for something I never said or did keeps happening, in my life, that people shove me out of their lives because they have decided to believe something about me that isn't true. Of course, you don't always get a chance to tell your side of a conflict.
I must consider if this is a flaw in myself, of which I am not conscious. That's why I mentioned intensity and passion. It has been pointed out to me by a few friends that my personality can, without my knowledge or intention, dominate a room. I've been told I can change the mood of a room just by walking into it. I have learned to be much more aware of that, since it's not something I want to do, usually. I hold myself back. I rarely let show the full force of my personality. I've gotten used to being invisible.
Maybe I just keep choosing complicated, damaged people to love. Maybe the reason I end up alone is because I am in their lives for the period of time it takes them to grow up, and then we're done, and we grow apart. Maybe I should just open a finishing school.
But there is another possibility, if you examine life from an archetypal, symbolic level, a level of oversight that floats above the everyday and can look down upon events with dispassion and honesty, that the relationship was already done, and it was time for me to move on. It wouldn't be the first time I was severed from some situation and person that made me feel comfortable and accepted, but like an eagle fledgling needs to be pushed out of the nest so that it could learn to fly, I needed to be pushed out of my comfort zone.
So maybe when the job is done, some higher purpose forces me to move on. You are of service, and you must go on to the next job. Maybe this functions on the archetypal level of sacred contracts. Maybe that's my purpose, here, my job. An unarticulated and secret function, as healer and shaman. Not all healings are obvious, and you don't always get to know the outcome.
At this point I do not expect to ever have a permanent, long term love relationship. It doesn't seem to be my fate. If I'm honest with myself, it's not the way I'm wired. I will probably always be alone, which has its own challenges. I don't seem to be wired for monogamy, anyway, nor shall I be permitted its pleasures. Who cares? I've survived thus far, and who knows what the future might bring.
All I know for certain is that here is a pattern. Patterns always mean something. You have to pay attention whenever you discover a pattern, or there is no chance of altering it. No doubt these musings will mean nothing to anyone but me. So be it.

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