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Sacred Space . . .

In Airstream, American West, Colorado on December 20, 2013 at 4:08 am

 

19:12:2013

 

“In my own situation, when I was between the ages of about eleven and fifteen, I was crazy about American Indians. My family bought me The Complete Works of Parkman, reports of the Bureau of Ethnology, and all sorts of other books on the subject. I had a very nice little library, with beautiful, bronze, Indian heads that were bookends, and Navajo rugs, and so on. Then the house burned down. It was a terrible crisis in our family. My grandmother was killed. All of my things were gone.

 

“I now realize that the sacred space I created for myself, the room in which I do my writing, is really a reconstruction—a reactivation, if you will—of my boy-hood space. When I go in there to write, I’m surround-ed by books that have helped me to find my way, and I recall moments of reading certain works that were particularly insightful. When I sit down to do the writing, I pay close attention to little ritual details—where the notepads and pencils are placed, that sort of thing—so that everything is exactly as I remember it having been before. It’s all a sort of ‘set-up’ that releases me. And since that space is associated with a certain kind of performance, it evokes that performance again. But the performance is play.

 

“Work begins when you don’t like what you’re doing. And if your life isn’t play, or if you are engaged in play and having no fun, well, quit! The spirit of the sacred space is Śiva dancing. All responsibilities are cast off. There are various ways of doing this casting off. and it doesn’t matter how it happens. The rest is play.”

 

Joseph Campbell in A Joseph Campbell Companion: Reflections on the Art of Living.”

 

I totally relate, discovering Joseph Campbell in New York, collecting, reading and learning from his remarkable insights. An eclectic library of books sit in my garden studio, paying attention to the space, paying attention to what I buy, what I read. How I interpret. It is my retreat. My sanctuary. My ‘sacred space’. My life. My life has been a search for this moment in time. A time when I am powerless. Buried alive in a body that does not pay attention to my wants.

The question then arises. What is sacred space? Is my body that place today?

 

For years I spun. Out of control. Until faced by a dilemma at age 40. Change or Die! My inner voice, intuition. My life changed. It had to. By discovering the sacred within my self. The sacred that I believed I had consigned to the depths of a metaphoric mythological Scottish Castle. Deep within the dungeons of solid stone walls, surrounded by a moat, protected by a draw bridge, keeping me in and others out. I was dying from within, out of control. Lost in my world. Work became my drug of choice, earning, spending, food, wine, things. I meditated on this for three years then discovered New York and my life took a radical turn for the better, by far. I discovered Mythology. It fed my hunger. Filled my soul. I found acceptance. My career grew in leaps and bound. And yet, underneath all that I continued. To struggle. As a child my father was unavailable. This created a real hunger. I had no male guides. I filled my life with less than healthy choices. I could not manage my finances to save myself.

 

Sacred space has been a curious, challenging part of my life since early childhood. Raised in a ‘Christian’ environment, not relating to religion as we were taught. Hypocrisy? I lived in an alcoholic controlled family environment. I often became nauseous, claustrophobic in church and had to leave, walk outside to breath. The sermons irritated me with their sanctimonious platitudes. I attended at my Mother’s behest. My Father not present. Men appeared to me as bullies and I cringed my life away. Creating my own, controlled environment, my early film studios were my escape. Creative Space.

 

On the contrary I enjoyed Maori school friends, visited sacred Maori places, worked in the Maori Land Court. I felt a connection. I played Cowboys and Indians. I was always an Indian. My art at school was Native Americans on horseback. Today I have a sacred prayer rug laid out on my desk, hand woven by Navahjo women from ancient Navajho sheep. Bought from Indian Traders on Navajo Lands. Along with many memorable memories, spending time on sacred lands of and with indigenous peoples. From The East Coast of New Zealand to the American West.

 

My collection of Joseph Campbell languishes in my studio but will find a new explorer. I am sure.

 

My first sacred space was reading under the blankets in bed. Romantic Zane Grey Westerns! Then my running, the nurturing of nature. On a hill, in Napier I sat, looking out over the town centre toward the Pacific Ocean where it entered Hawke’s Bay. It was my first remembered experience of enlightenment, filling me with a sense of wonder and mystery as a teenager. I reconnected with that sense of being through my cross country running. Runners high? Euphoria? It fascinated but also confused me. Who was I? In my first and second marriages my sacred space was in sailing boats. An escape to the Pacific Ocean, off Sydney and Los Angeles. Standing at the helm, searching the horizon. Clean salt air, a sense of self, surfing the ocean swells. Adventure. Freedom. Space.
New York’s TriBeCa, I could climb a circular staircase to a separate room on the roof of my loft. Space for writing looking out at the New York skyline. In Venice Beach enjoying an ocean going yacht for my sanity. A classic design. A place of retreat and with which to explore the Channel Islands of Southern California. I treated that yacht as my Cathedral. It was inspiring, serene, with dreams of sailing back to my homeland. Then came a kiwi inspired shearing shed style studio behind my home in Venice. A space in which to edit, write and retreat. I loved exploring, hiking, alone and with friends. The Mountains and Trails of Southern California. The spirit of the trails inspired me. Solitude. In Nature. The Santa Monica Mountains became my sacred outdoor space. The native Indian trails of Point Mugu were mysterious and challenging. The Los Angeles Marathon was another sacred journey. One started at age 18 in New Zealand, unfinished, and finally completed at age 53. Friends ran, cycled and cheered along side me in support, I could not, would not complete it alone.

 

In America my last sacred space was a glistening Airstream trailer. For two years it followed my heart and soul into the American West. Death Valley to Big Sur, Salt Lake to Denver, Colorado. Zion National Monument, Wilderness areas of the Grande Canyon, Kanab and the Coral Pink Sand Desert, Lee’s Ferry, Moab to Ridgeway, Tombstone to Jemez Springs, New Mexico and finally, returning to Venice Beach, California.

 

Searching for my self . . . Navajho guided my adventures into the deserted Betatakin cliff dwellings of the Paiute. Paiute awoke in me, reminding me, of the power in healing the sacred self. Mormons showed me the power of community, of parenting, of commitment. Never have I experienced such loved and happy children. I filmed, photographed, hiked and slept in sacred places. Ancient glyphs of the Navajho. More recent, 1885 carvings by Mormon Settlers. Mormon and the Navajho traded together. Zane Grey wrote of this. I ran across Monument Valley. Parts of Death Valley. I explored the deserted places of Zane Grey’s Westerns. I sat, meditating on the edge of the Grande Canyon at Toroweap Overlook as the sun rose and set. I hiked the trails and peaks high above Ridgway, Ouray and Telluride, Colorado. I sat observing the majesty of the Rockies at 13900′. I enjoyed my experiences with Paiute, Navajho, White River Apache, Hopi, et al. Conversations covering indigenous cultures, healing, faith, native music and dance, even rough riding. Past and present. I was surprised and intrigued by their openness and curiosity. On reflection, always reflecting, I wish I had gone deeper. And longer! Far longer! Travelling with my dog Kiri was memorable. She was my trusty loyal companion. I miss the West. And, I miss Westerners. They inspired, entertained, encouraged me. I felt accepted in America like nowhere else, before or since. However . . . I ran into and accepted my limitations. I had enough funds to continue for the rest of my life. My homeland called me. I longed for a partner with whom to share my journey. Romantic ideas and ideals pulled me toward New Zealand even though I had become ‘one of many’ – an American Citizen. A badge of honor. I found the challenge of ‘aloneness’ daunting. Fearful at times. Hiking Spencer’s Trail high above the Colorado River at Lees Ferry, I hit my limit and froze. I experienced white faced paralysing fear. I recorded my fear on camera. It was a mysterious experience. Did I dessert my sacred self or was it simply hitting my limit. It could have been my sacredness protecting me. It was after all a sheer 3000′ climb up a cliff face. A fear of heights? Possibly!

 

Before returning to Aotearoa, while hiking the Colorado Rockies, I bought, over the internet and sight/site unseen, a Roger Walker designed tree house with its very own Jungian Tower in which I spent countless hours writing and reflecting. Now, ensconced in the South Wairarapa I have created a garden space for my self in which to create and reflect. To me the concept of a Tower, a Studio, is a place to retreat forward, to close off access to others, pulling up the ladder, creating a safe sacred space. Today, I smile as my Power Wheel Chair appears to be my sacred space. Ironic. I spend all my daylight hours in this sacred space. There are no mistakes in life! I love ‘doubting’ Thomas’s “god is within us and all around us”. The sacred never leaves me it is me that leaves me. Amen.

 
The Guest

 

Two who had loved in each other’s eyes met strangeness.
Wonder at loss. Distance. It seemed as if

 

(we pondered alike) a third party, a guest,
who knew us both, and lived, or seemed to live,

 

in our relation (shadow), grew as we grew,
suffered what gave us pain and breathed our breath

 

or ardor, had grown between us like a thorn.
An apartness. Or lifted (perhaps) subtly and secretly

 

away, as a feather in a light wind, a thistle
disengaged… In our eyes, knowledge of loss.

 

Wonder at absence. Vacancy. Terror at peace,
at acceptance—easy adjustment to unspeakable emptiness.

 

—Laurence Lieberman. ( does he refer to MND! )

 
Today, I am learning that my true Sacred space is my Heart, all else is EGO aka Edging God Out!
Each morning I am drawn to the rising Sun, the Sun of God. I enjoy lying still, like a child, beneath the cosy covers of our bed. In dialogue with the Universe. Asking that my heart be open. To give and receive. My bedroom window is a cross like frame which I see as a compass guiding me forward. A full moon filled that space last night. I love it. Sacred Space is Within us and all Around us. It has simply taken time for my Self to become aware, accept, embrace and explore.
The Mystery of Life revealed through reflection on the sacred spaces explored in my Life Long Journey. And, it continues. Gratitude

 

 

First Light

Ten Years Ago . . .

In American West on December 19, 2013 at 5:22 am

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Grande Canyon

In American West on August 4, 2013 at 2:09 am

http://www.richardclarkskiwicafe.com/album/grandecanyontoroweap?p=1&s=UA-31489845-1#1

Time to get the show on the road :)

In American West on January 16, 2013 at 6:03 am

This is the year this film gets made or put it to rest. I am approaching funding ideas and crafts people whom I have worked with and respect. I have entrusted Costa Botes as my film maker. I love his work and his attitude. Annie Collins has also offered to be a consultant. Thank you both. I love you both :)

Chapter One, first rough draft!

In Zane Grey on December 4, 2012 at 9:03 am

From December 2003 to December 2005 I went exploring the American West. I went searching for Zane Grey’s America.

Growing up in New Zealand I guess I would be safe in calling myself a ‘bookworm’. It’s certainly the label my family branded me with.

Zane Grey was referred to as “a then-unborn hack writer named Zane Grey” by Wallace Stegner.

I discovered Zane Grey in the Western section of the local Public Library and found, as a teenager, that his adventurous romantic novels appealed to my view of life. Today I own a very large collection of Zane Grey novels. Almost complete. I read and re-read them over and over. Each time I learn something new, I ‘see’ or experience his characters with my own evolving maturity. I have learned that much of his writing was based on historical fact. In 2004, I sat with Dr. Loren Grey, son of  the so called “hack writer” and we talked about the underlying philosophy of his father. Over a couple of glasses of Rose and a very large serving of Strawberries and Cream he shared openly of his troubled relationship with his father and I gathered that Loren never forgave his father, very much like myself in that regard. And when I suggested to him, “you appear to have followed in your fathers footsteps” he was at first dismissive and then somewhat reflective. Dr. Loren Grey was Emeritus Professor of Psychology at UC Riverside in Los Angeles.

He wrote the definitive book on Alfred Adler, another American Psychologist. We followed that line of thinking for a while and, much to my surprise he finally nodded his head and admitted that he had never looked at his father’s writing in that way. But yes, there was that possibility. He appeared rather bemused. Of course I looked at him thinking he was kidding me but the more time I spent with him the more I came to see that what I read in Zane Grey’s writing had a large element of truth. As a somewhat naive and troubled teenager, I simply went to the rear of the book and if the guy got the gal and it all ended happily ever after, then I was hooked and I signed the book out the library.

I read Max Brand and other Western writers but none stuck like Grey. I became addicted I guess. It was not challenging writing but the romance of the West stuck with me and I guess guided aspects of my life.

In 2003, 5 days after graciously hosting my 60th Birthday at Hal’s Bar & Grill in Venice Beach, my wife, a Psychotherapist, comes home and calmly informs me, as we sit over coffee and pastries,

“I have rented an apartment in the Marina and I am moving out next week”.

Bloody hell! A 15 year marriage and now this.

After I picked myself up off the floor, I sat in my studio, phoned a close friend and poured my guts out, “tell her to leave” he suggested. I went back inside only to find she had already left the house. I phoned her cell phone and suggested she not come back and I was changing the locks! Wow, that seems pretty dramatic today. Maybe it was a bit over the top. It certainly closed any door to us continuing our marriage. But then again, I thought her pronouncement was pretty ‘over the top’. I had sensed issues, on both sides, but to be told so bluntly, whew! It hurt in ways I had never, ever experienced. We had enjoyed fun, adventure, challenges and more. I was prepared to seek help. But it was not to be and as time went by the pain only increased. I was done, I could do no more. And then one night, sitting propped on pillows in bed one evening, looking at a  road map of the United States, Canada & Mexico, I was writing a list of places I would love to see as in a giant road trip that I could do before retiring wounded to my homeland, New Zealand. The idea of doing the Grand Tour really excited me. The possibility of lifting me out of my despair. Now that is interesting, spelling despair had me go from dispear to dispeare, to disspear without getting out of my chair and grabbing my Oxford English Dictionary that is my Bible. I guess I had better intrude on the story line to state that I was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s Disease some 6 months ago and so I am more comfortable sitting that walking. The period I am writing about is 2003. The year of my 60th birthday which I was going to hold as a self funded surprise party for friends. It became known and I gave up on the idea but my wife graciously took over and we held a great gathering at Hal’s Bar & Grill in Venice Beach. It was on a Sunday. My sister Jennifer flew in from New Zealand. My friend Dan had a stroke so couldn’t attend but the turn out was awesome. I had a ball. The following Friday, my wife dropped the bombshell “and I am moving out next Saturday”. Expect the unexpected I hear often. Life on Life’s terms. It’s still bloody painful when it happens in reality. And so there I sat, propped by pillows, feeling somewhat sorry for myself and in a great deal of pain. I actually phone a doctor friend and told him what was going on because, you never know, “could it be a heart attack?” Nope he said. You are experiencing what is known as Broken heart Syndrome. Bugger! As the list of places grew and grew and I looked at the map I experienced a sudden “aha!” moment and leapt out of bed, I could in those days and went to my library of books and grabbed a couple of my favorite Zane Grey novels. To the Last Man. Shepherd of Guadaloupe. Light of Western Stars. And there I sat, pondering. Searching for America became Searching for ‘Zane Grey’s’ America. Yes! I possibly did yell it out aloud. A project. An idea for a trip.

But first I had a movie to edit, a rehash of a Dogma Lars Von Treirs style movie, American Reunion and so for 3 months I edited this film and buried myself in what I love, story telling. Out of the material shot and material I suggested they shoot the producers, Director and me created a pretty damned good little indie Film and it saved my arse, big time.

Did I say there were no mistakes in Life?

Well, believe me, there aren’t, not in my book. Life on life’s terms.

Christmas 2003 approached and I decided to wet my feet by taking a couple of weeks to see what the West was. So, with my good mate Kiri as in te Kanawa, a Chocolate Lab/Whippet cross, my Landrover, named PAKEHA, my camping gear, a tiny Sony still camera and a tiny Sony Video camera I set out on a large loop. Basically I went looking for the Valley where ‘To The Last Man’ was set. Pleasant valley in Central Arizona.

I left Los Angeles feeling very nervous. I had not done a road trip in America by myself. In Australia, in the outback, yes. In New Zealand, on various visits, yes. But this is America, Land of the Free, Guns, Religion and Crazies. I was introduced to Steinbeck and William Least heat Moon, Blue Highways and Travels with Charlie. The first, far too long, Steinbeck I wanted more.

Leaving Venice Beach, hitting the 405 North, past Santa Monica,  the 405 becoming the 5. Santa Clarita, exit to the 14, Palmdale to Mojave and onto my first night under the stars at Red Rock Canyon, home to many Hollywood films.

You know, it fascinating writing about my journey. Up till now I have been working on the Video of the Journey. That was going to be the be all and end all. Visions of Academy Awards plucked my egoistical strings. A full blown Symphony :) But! My health, the universe, my daimon, my guardian angels, whatever, they knew more that I. They had better plans. More exciting and, damn it, challenging plans. And so here I am, writing the book to go with the film to go with the images that will pepper this book.

One thing I have done for years that worked well for me on this journey was the ability to drive and have a dialogue with myself. No, I never talked back. I guess I was talking to what I consider g*od, my higher power, whoever! I did it on trips back to visit my Mother in New Zealand. I loved being able to express myself as I drove. I would even burst into song or prose, words just popping out of me, seemingly making sense. And so, Red Rock canyon, standing before the stove, my camp light running out of fuel and the darkness, black as black could be.

Sunrise inspired me to begin filming and talking and tripping, no drugs, I simply didn’t tie my shoe laces. And where was I actually camped? Ricardo Ranger Station, as I said, there are no mistakes.

The 14 became the 395 with the Sierra Nevada rising on my left, covered in a light first dusting of snow. I love California. An explorers paradise. Wilderness Reserves, National Parks with names that teased me with an allure as a kid. Westerns were my favorite movies. Saturday afternoon matinees with Zorro, the Lone Ranger and on and on. I was hooked and very rarely missed the next episode. Played cowboys and indians and even then, I preferred dressing as an Indian, the Noble Savage. Little did I know. I grew up in the British Empire. Stiff Upper Lip. Battle of Britain. Winston Churchill and a world map we gloated over with all the Red countries that were “OURS!” We ruled the World. Or so we believed.

At Olancha I paused and turned right toward Death Valley. The light was magical, the landscape, moonlike. It wasn’t until recently that I realized I could have driven North a few miles to Lone Pine and Mt Whitney. Missed opportunities. But I did buy a copy of Bad Day at Black Rock, shot at Lone Pine way back when, a favorite movie of mine.

Death Valley. Romantic, scary, life threatening and a magnet to loners as Zane Grey found in his research. Wander of the Wasteland is a great place to read in depth of the characters this part of the Planet attracts.

Panamint Butte at 6585’ overlooking Death Valley. I parked and stood with my jaw dropped. The names say it all. Emigrant. Stovepipe Wells, Tramway. Chloride. Furnace Creek. Echo Canyon. Greenwater. Dantes View. Hole in the Wall. Artists Palette. Zabriskie Point. From -282’ below seal level to over 11000’ of Telescope Peak, Death valley is a place of extremes. Romantic and Deadly.

Setting up my tiny camera on my cars mudguard, I shot a rambling interview about life, love, death and dying. Then drove on to Stovepipe Wells and camped in my small alpine tent for a couple of days while I caught my breath after 6 months of living in chaos.

I look at the film footage today and accept that I had no plan, no idea for a book, a photographic collection or a film. I simply needed to get out of LA, get out of my head and get back to the great Nurturer, nature. It works every time for me. As a child I wandered the hills, I ran cross country rode my bike with camping gear, I was a born gypsy I guess, my fathers genes but my curiosity and hunger for knowledge I guess.

Death Valley Junction, left or right? It’s great having choices, as I have said, there are no mistakes. If I turned right my life would be different from what it is today. Not better, not worse. Different. I turned left toward the I95 and Las Vegas but with no desire to drive thru Las Vegas. I visited once, from New York I attended the 1988 NAB Convention, film and video geeks, I spent 50 buck gambling and asked myself what the hell was I doing. Gave the other 50 bucks to a Vietnam vet I believe and went back to my sleazy Motel and wrote my thoughts, my first published piece.

Over the Nevada Line into Clark County and on toward Valley of Fire. December is winter. Winter in the desert is magical, the Mojave especially. Wherever there were mountains there was a fine layer of white, nothing heavy, no skiing, simply beautiful to observe as I drove and drove. Red Rock Canyon. What can I say. America is amazing. I have heard it said in New Zealand that around every corner is a drop dead view. Well I am here to say that America is huge and it is this hugeness that encompasses so many varied and magical landscapes. Death Valley was my introduction. Mind blowing. Mind you, many people I have talked to simply look at me when I talk about about the majesty and mystery. I love the isolation and the sheer drama of these grand places. You have to be prepared to get off the beaten track, they do not find you. And so I drove, down into the mysteriously named Valley of Fire with no expectation, which is how I love to travel. A general outline with no research. Late afternoon, raining, cold and a wind gathering steam. I pitched tend beneath this huge overhang of desert rock. Cooked simply and went to bed. Kiri, my pal, my traveling buddy, tried to get into my sleeping bag but I was having no way of that. Sharp claws and not totally cuddly. The wind grew in pitch, I lay dozing, dreaming, wondering if the overhang would break of during the night. I could see the headlines “Crushed Kiwi” yeah right. The wind would die and I would doze and then, sounding like an approaching freight train the wind would build and come barreling down the canyon and  simply clobber the tent and then a few seconds later would come the rain to lash the tent and have me grateful once more for good gear. It was then that kiri really made her presence known and her intentions clear, let me in the sleeping bag or else. She won. Early the next morning, as I often do, I was up really early video camera at the ready for the first rays of sun. Nothing at all had prepared me for the spectacle. Valley of Fire is named because the sun hits the red rock and explodes with brilliant a red, orange glow that I have never previously experienced. Overwhelming. I simply let the camera run. Then, as I walked down the canyon, I discovered a fully assembled two man camping tent tangled in the mesquite. I managed to set it free and took it back to camp just as a couple of young tourist came looking. They had got up in the middle of the night, scared and prepared to abandon their tent. The tent beat them to it as it sailed away. They spent the night in their car. Alls well that ends well I guess. We certainly had a good laugh around it.

Spending time in Red Rock Canyon and Valley of Fire, exploring the rock formation had me realize once more that early man was fearful, superstitious and that the shapes I was seeing in these places would have, under the right light, scared the living hell out of them. I have seen it before in the Santa Monica Mountains while hiking the hidden canyons behind Malibu. I love it.

Next stop Moapa on the I15. An Indian Trading Post with the main goods for sale being booze, cigarettes and fireworks along with plastic nic nacs, Indian implements, Made in China. I felt quite depressed but accepted that this is simply not me and I don’t need, hard as it can be, to judge others life styles.

American Highways are awesome. Long, multi laned, full of traffic, 24 hours per day. Tractor trailers, the new Prairie Schooners.

Mile after Mile after Mile I drove. Looking left as a big rig loomed in my rear view mirror and roared on by. I was in no hurry but you cannot screw with a big rig. Give way. Period! I very rarely saw a speeding driver, this is the long haul out between LA, San Diego, Salt Lake City and on to the East Coast. A long haul.

Mesquite. Amazing. A town in the Desert. Green lawns, lakes, golf courses, casinos and churches. Billboards offering cheap meals. Steak Dinner $9.99 all you can eat. Paid for by the cash flowing through the Casino. As they say, every Cloud has a Silver Lining.

So, without stopping I cruised on by toward St George via the Virgin River Gorge. Now I have to say, here I am barreling down the highway in my bright yellow Land Rover Defender 90, living the dream, talking to my pal Kiri and video at times as I go with the I15 flow. I see mountains ahead, a range of mountains that I guess I will travel through or climb over. I really had no idea. Just going with the flow. I cross the Utah State Line from Arizona and finally the road takes a slow curve to the right and there, wham bam thank you ma’am, ahead of me is a slice into the mountain range that becomes the Virgin Rivers path from the other side. The Highway is a man made structure of epic proportions that winds through the centre of the gorge. Rising on concrete pylons it weaves along the river course while sheer granite cliff climb hundreds, thousands of feet above. It is truly magical as the traffic glides between these granite outcrops. On and on and on. One side of the Gorge are the Beaver Dam Mountains and the other side is the Paiute Wilderness Area. Two sets of continuous bridges, one coming one going. In fact it was so awe inspiring I kept my camera running the whole way and then, once through I turned around and drove through the other way to do it all over again. I am sure most people sit in their car and don’t embrace the experience. Possibly, quite possibly one of the grandest roads I have travelled on. Second time through I also videoed and was just as awed. I guess drivers of Big Rigs take it in their stride, but not this kiwi. I guess what really got to my soul was the detailed cross section of rock strata, I guess that’s what it’s called. Like watching a huge Californian surf up the Big Sur Coastline. Colors varying between brown and grey and changing constantly in the fading afternoon light. I have no idea the length of the Gorge but it seemed to take forever. The cost of building the 12 mile highway was 1 million dollars per mile and it was completed in 1973, it is considered one of the greatest engineering feats in American Highway Construction. Amazing.

Out the other side, St george and snow storms, actually more Blizzard than Storm. I crept into Hurricane late afternoon, crashed at a Motel 6 where they welcomed me and my Dog. I was not looking forward to Motels as the whole point was to tent and hike but every now and then a clean sheet, a shower and shave can lift the spirits. And it did.

 

Next comes Zion :)

 

Driving gives me room to spread my thoughts. Driving long distance adds to that and driving through the American West expands my thinking. It gets me going beneath the surface of every day conversations and has me rummaging around for ideas. As I drive my thoughts will go toward the environment I am passing, the environment I am in. And I have to say, these past few years I see my environment as far larger than what I used to consider my environment to be. My life, my relationships, my home, family, creativity, friends, all part and parcel of my environment. It is the outdoor environment that allows this expansion, encourages me to think outside the box. Be it driving or hiking, it is the movement of myself through the outdoors that stirs me. This trip had me talking aloud into my camera as I filmed my driving but on listening I have deleted much of what I said from the  film. To drive through this magical landscape is enough. My mind going ten thousand miles an hour with words coming forth doesn’t work for me. Sounds like oral pollution. It makes me wonder what I was really thinking or was I thinking and speaking to disengage myself from being engaged in the physical environment. Entirely possible. Verbal Diarrhea I believe.

 

Trip One . . .

In American West, Land Rover, Pakeha, Zane Grey on December 3, 2012 at 4:31 am

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Simplify,Simplify,Simplify

In Studio on May 5, 2012 at 2:24 am

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finally, getting rid of excess Domain names and getting myself into a simpler state of mind so i can manage my diminishing functions :)

YEEHA!

In American West on January 29, 2012 at 3:03 am

There is an old saying, where it comes from? I have no idea . . . .

“it’s been a long time between drinks”

Books, I have a library of books, photographic, philosophical, literature and then there is my collection of Zane Grey Westerns. I guess the latter category is where I began to discover my love of both Zane Grey and the American West. Before returning to Aotearoa NZ in 2006, I spent 16 years living in the American West.

California mainly and then the last 3 years were spent truly and passionately exploring the West as portrayed by Grey, searching for his America. The America I read about as a child in the Public Library of New Zealand. Now I have my own Library in my own Studio looking West toward the local mountain range. The Tararuas.

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29 January 2012

4.00pm

My collection of Grey novels is close to complete, I also have some of his, many :) of his fishing tales and to top it all I have A Photographic Odyssey – Loren Grey. Zane Grey’s son Loren died a couple of years ago but I spent time talking and lunching with him in California back in 2004. Like his father, quite a character, to say the least. So that book sits amongst my photographic collection and continues to inspire me to get on with my Documentary, Searching for Zane Grey’s America aka Zane Grey & Me aka Pakeha & Pearl.

This past week I have been inspired to get back into my editing mode and work away at my hours and hours of material. I managed to post a short sequence up on You Tube . . .

>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BY5P7y1P_5k&list=UUHpunYk53idq5QtUActqYpg&index=1&feature=plcp<

Follow that link and feel free to comment, please, the more feedback, both positive and negative I receive, the more motivated I become :) seriously. Communication is the key. So, January is over, the holidays are over, muy lovely lover is back teaching, my part of the bargain is to get on with my editing and get this film to a stage where I can sell it. Follow me . . . .

Starting?

In Zane Grey on December 2, 2011 at 10:56 pm

My words are not always going to be positive, my moods not always up and I also know I don’t need to Blog everything I write.

Yesterday was good, glorious spring weather, managed to create a schedule for my day to day endeavors, it’s not hard and fast but an outline of what I would like to achieve. I wish I had come to that realization some 40 years ago, then I simply powered forward, working hard, playing hard, relaxing hard. Today, aaaah, mellow, I watch the clouds from my chair on the deck, I walk round the garden, I even mow the lawn, photograph flowers and stuff and write while looking longingly at my film editing studio. I am afraid to venture there for fear that I will come up against my physical limitations, but hey, it will either happen or not. The film, Pakeha & Pearl, aka Searching for Zane Grey’s America is shot, that is the good news, I have it selected down from 220 hours to 17. That could be the stage for another editor to come in and take on the project. But how to fund? Is it an interesting idea? Is there a market? I cannot answer any of these questions alone, I need another pair of eyes, hands, another intuitive soul to take it where it needs to go. I guess that is all I need to say right now, trust in the universe. Amazing what happens when I sit to write, my whole demeanor changes, I can go from down to up in a nanno second. I guess I love to write, that’s it. It does come naturally, I hardly ever need to think of what will come next, all I need to do is . . . Start :)

Time for a Change?

In Zane Grey on October 12, 2011 at 3:44 am

How important is it to change direction or create change for me to grow?

It seems to me that, after 40 years of editing film, after 5000 television commercials, a handful of features, documentaries and the rare but fun music video, it’s time for me to open myself to new directions. Photography and Philosophy come to mind. Today on my Google web site I saw the following quote;

 

‎”You cannot speak that which you do not know. You cannot share that which you do not feel. You cannot translate that which you do not have. And you cannot give that which you do not possess. To give it and to share it, and for it to be effective, you first need to have it. Good communication starts with good preparation”
- Jim Rohn

 

And so, my writing aka philosophy and my image taking aka photography become the new arenas for my thinking and capturing.

Years and weeks and long hours of working over a film editing bench and learning new digital technology whilst editing on and with Apple products has taken it’s toll. Even my own film project, a feature length documentary is now languishing. Maybe I simply need a break and come back to it in a month. Life has a huge emotional quotient today, my partners health issues, in tandem with my own, are weighing on me. I know I/we will come through stronger but whilst in it, it’s tough.

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