A dear friend shared a link to Darya Dadvar, Golshifteh Farahani performing with Steve Shehan and other musicians. Click on the link for more information and to enjoy the performance. It enchanted me, and Darya’s profile in particular called my attention, so much so that I was prompted to render it using a still shot from the video as a reference in a side by side, freehand drawing in Procreate. Thank you Maryam.

A Prayer by Rumi to Commemorate Cowboy’s New Dog Door

First of all, that’s the rear end of a Belgian Tervuren named Cowboy going through his very own, brand new dog door. It took him around six cheese-assisted tries before he got the swing of it independently; it took me about five hours to install the door…with additional help from Ann!

It was well worth the effort! Cowboy now has direct and immediate access to the fenced-in, outside world, but because of the dog door, he can also take air-conditioned refuge from the Central Valley summertime heat. This is an appropriate development for a dog, who before our move to Merced, California, lived in an upper-floor, downtown Des Moines, Iowa loft! Three times a day, at least, for almost two and a half years, season after season, Cowboy would suit up, walk down the hall, get into and out of the elevator, walk through the lobby, out the front door, and continue for another 50 yards before he could finally get down to business! And he never complained once!!

This prayer goes out to Cowboy and all the other love dogs who teach us how to pray: (Link to YouTube Love Dogs by Rumi…or see it embedded below from my YouTube channel, plongeaux.)



Smoke and Mirrors

Hold on to the smoke for a moment, and consider how mirrors are revolving doors between complementary sides.  A professor of biblical spirituality once parenthetically stated in a class I was taking that we’d all be much better off approaching sacred texts not so much like answer-providing crystal balls but rather as question-provoking mirrors. Rumi asked: “If you are irritated by every rub, how will your mirror be polished?”

OK, you can exhale now.  I toy with mirrors from time to time.  This morning I decided to play around with this artifact in Fifty Three Paper.


It’s all practice.  I’m not sure what it means if it means anything at all, but it was a study in a new technique and an opportunity to play with the familiar image even though I usually have two mirrors facing one another partially.  The colored outlines on the mirror frame were my attempt to loosen it up after the fact; I find the drawing tighter than necessary, and I hope to relax over time. I started with the cigarette because it was the first related image that came to mind. I was searching for an image that could stick out the same way it would stick “in,” you know, kinda’ like a two-handed saw.  I went with a cigarette instead. I tried to capitalize on the notion of inside vs outside smoke.  Then the ashtray happened; and here’s where I tried something new with the lighting and reflection and variegated coloring, something unusual for me and my black & white, stick-figure imagination.

I’ve done some mirrors in the past. In the above drawing, because of the iPad drawing app and the corresponding techniques at my disposal, I deviated from what had almost become an irreversible pattern, as depicted in these examples:

IMG_1934 Snapshot 2008-11-28 17-04-40 Snapshot 2008-11-28 17-50-26 Snapshot 2008-11-28 17-58-11 Snapshot 2008-11-28 18-08-45 Snapshot 2008-11-28 19-01-28

You exhaled, right?