Jan 25 2011

love s

laurel and mariko…

Jan 17 2011

Thank You

My tea’s gone cold, I’m wondering why
I got out of bed at all
The morning rain clouds up my window
and I can’t see at all
And even if I could it’d all be grey,
but your picture on my wall
It reminds me that it’s not so bad,
it’s not so bad

I drank too much last night, got bills to pay,
my head just feels in pain
I missed the bus and there’ll be hell today,
I’m late for work again
And even if I’m there, they’ll all imply
that I might not last the day
And then you call me and it’s not so bad,
it’s not so bad and

I want to thank you
for giving me the best day of my life
Oh just to be with you
is having the best day of my life

Push the door, I’m home at last
and I’m soaking through and through
Then you hand me a towel
and all I see is you
And even if my house falls down,
I wouldn’t have a clue
Because you’re near me and

I want to thank you
for giving me the best day of my life
Oh just to be with you
is having the best day of my life

lyrics by Dido


it is with great sadness that i “thank you” for having been a part of my life for over fifteen years.

there is a Buddhist story of Venerable  Atisha, whom had a cook that was his constant companion, an insulting and rude man.  Atisha’s cook was a valuable resource because he reminded Atisha of the negative aspect of himself while everybody else was busy venerating and respecting him. Because Atisha was a humble spiritual practitioner he would not have lightly dismissed the cook’s insults, thinking “I will accept these insults patiently but really I know that they are false.” Instead, Atisha would have considered the insults carefully, examining his own self for faults. If the cook accused Atisha of arrogance, heartlessness, or fakery then Atisha would have scrutinised himself, suspecting that the cook may be right. This is why the cook was such a precious resource. Atisha advised us not to think about our own good qualities but instead to think about the good qualities of others, and not to think of the faults of others but instead consider our own faults and purge them as if they are bad blood.

Venus was my cook…i will miss her immeasurably.  om mani pame hum

Jan 15 2011

what matters…

“What matters is not wealth, or status, or power or fame, but how well we have loved.”

President Obama

taken inside the McHale center at the University of Arizona.  pictured above is the president hugging Gabrielle Giffords husband, Mark, and Michelle Obama.  a very emotionally charged atmosphere…i am grateful to have been a part of….uniting and healing of our community.

Jan 11 2011

enter the sandman…


taken at “Metal Physic” in Tucson, AZ.  a working foundry i visited today!!  tony and jay are the two owners who were on hand to give me a tour of the facility and being a newcomer to casting bronze i had a lot of questions…in mind.  what i learned is that this medium is way labor intensive and with the price of copper going up the cost can be quite intimidating!  i will have to save up for a project of this nature…

there are weeks involved in just the mold alone.  depending on what scale the sculpture is to be and the maquette or materials used. there were a lot of monumental or public art works that are created into 3D foam pieces and then the artist will come in and fill or layer over with clay…the shop here can create a 3D by computer or enlarge a maquette by computer/scanner, a negative is made of the positive piece by wax…

after the wax mold it goes into another dry room to be dipped into the above and then covered with 3-4 grades of sand, each dip requires a full day of drying.

coming out of the oven, these molds were first heated to melt the wax out but also to acclimate the mold to extreme heat so it will not crack upon a pour.

these will be cooled down, then sandblasted to remove remnants of the mold and then to welding stations to fit the pieces together…patina’s can be applied here as well as high polish…man oh man what a cool environ on a cold day to visit!!  i will have to give this some contemplation and serious penny pinching…unless of course i can sell this commission!

Jan 9 2011



yesterday was a sad and disturbing day here in my city of 1 mil population. we are a city embroiled in immigration issues being a border state, our state is now second in poverty levels in the US and we are next to last in education…

as a result of violence, divisive speech, hatred and sheer mad ignorance our state has passed laws that of which i’d never thought possible…carrying firearms openly or concealed is an everyday occurrence and it is actually up for vote to allow “kids” to bring firearms onto university campus’!! madness!!
unfortunately with the “cowboy up” mentality the result is a 22 yr old kid shot and killed six people here, 12 others are injured, one of which is a congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords, whom i had the pleasure to meet 5 yrs ago, my mate has known her since a child…i pray for her and family, the parents of the nine yr old girl, the family of Judge Rolls….all this has left me so sad..i rode my bike 2 blocks down the street to the hospital where this image was captured, where Gabby lays in wait…people everywhere in shock….i reflect as a parent and pray the gunman’s parents are safe and wish them peace thru this heinous situation.
PLEASE pray for PEACE.

Jan 7 2011


You take the blue pill, the story ends, you wake up and believe whatever you want to believe. You take the red pill you stay in wonderland and I’ll show you just how deep the rabbit hole goes.”


headin to a local foundry today…touring facility…with alchemy in my mind….

Jan 6 2011

loss ~

“Thousands of candles can be lighted from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared.”


dedicated to Babette Henschel

Jan 4 2011

self vs authenticity

“In philosophy, the conscious self is seen as coming to terms with being in a material world and with encountering external forces, pressures and influences which are very different from, and other than, itself. Authenticity is the degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, despite these pressures.”  Wikipedia

me sitting under my namesake…my father’s mother. an identity i rarely think of…and yet i was chosen to carry forth her name, actually this name or label has been used by many females around the world. it is not unique unto myself nor that of my grandmother.  do we define authenticity by our labels? personality? physical body?
a beautiful friend sent me a link i’d like to share because one, it’s a rare treat to hear a scientist with humour and second to find a researcher acknowledge their own vulnerability (self) and misunderstandings publicly and stay the path towards  introspection of self and lastly because it’s an empowering message .

self is defined by the dictionary:

1.  a person or thing referred to with respect to complete individuality: one’s own self.
2.  a person’s nature, character, etc.: his better self.

Philosophy .
a.  the ego; that which knows, remembers, desires, suffers, etc., as contrasted with that known, remembered, etc.
b.  the uniting principle, as a soul, underlying all subjective experience.

In all definitions and even in the video “i, me, myself” are to be understood as separate.  a self as an identity/form existent from others, however, science will show you that is incorrect.  i have been reading a book about our understandings of “self”, and the truth is that we are all, every sentient being….the same!  we come from the same elements; earth(solid), water, air(wind), fire(energy) and space, we only borrow from them to return to its source. Brene Brown’s talk is important because she addresses the importance of humanity in that we are all connected and it is in connection with our true selves that we become liberated (free) to make choices out of wisdom rather than fear. if you look at the 500 million users of the social media site Facebook it is easy to understand our need for connection..however, as a race i fear we have lost how to truly connect human to human, human to animal, human to plant…it has been replaced by human to technology.  she speaks about vulnerability being the emotion to which unlocks our doors to be able to connect. in Buddhist terms we have a saying “accept defeat and offer the victory” , which translates to vulnerability, to make choices not because we are right(pride/separateness) but out of compassion(heart/connection).  whether or not we understand the levels of our connectedness to each and everything on this planet we can understand that there is no such reality as a “self-made” person…i hear it all the time though!!  how can anyone possibly be “self-made”?  life (another word undefinable) is a dependent relationship. i am made up of cells and DNA from my mother, her mother, father, grandmother, her brother before, the waters from the earth, the earth itself, the plants ingested, cheetos…its endless and its mind boggling!  ”i” am not the same person i was at five years of age nor am i the same as i was from two minutes ago! i create sculpture through the kindness of my mate who helps financially, the metal shops who bring and work the metals, the tools/equipment some magicians whipped together, the stores and their keepers, the car mechanic…i am dependent upon countless beings to work, live and learn how to love.
i write about “self” because as of late i have been struggling with my own perceptions of what constitutes “Hazel”…who am i, why and what do i want to become …though i have intellectual answers, what i have learned thus far is that the more i practice connection (equanimity) with wisdom and universal compassion (vulnerability) there is less obsession with self, my focus has no other direction but to look towards others and my environ that surrounds me. it’s progress…slow…mindful progress. as described in the book i’m reading, self is truly a verb, not a noun! i am becoming Hazel! how do you define self?