www.ARTmetaphor.ca: Blog https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog en-us COMPILATION (C) Charles Fisch 2014-2021 [email protected] (www.ARTmetaphor.ca) Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:29:00 GMT Mon, 16 Mar 2020 07:29:00 GMT https://www.artmetaphor.ca/img/s/v-12/u567626610-o809015158-50.jpg www.ARTmetaphor.ca: Blog https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog 120 85 FLOWER POWER https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog/2018/6/flower-power  

Flower Power
By Charles Fisch © 2018

The OrganicDeli’s freshly baked chocolate-cherry tarts
seduced all of my senses. A rhapsody of flavours danced in my head
to an angelic choir. But, my nirvana was being chafed. An elderly woman
in a wheelchair was invading my personal space. We all know stories about
mesmerizing beauties that end with: “until she opened her mouth…!”
Unfortunately, she opened her mouth. I now tasted sour cherries.
Yet, there seemed to be more to her than meets the eye
—and the ear.

She was elusively 70 years of age or more —without a single wrinkle! Her bright orange hair colour was well chosen to accentuate aquamarine gemstone eyes. Of course, her turquoise raw-silk dress was haute-couture. It was a perfect backdrop for the cascading chunks of gold and crystals around her neck, venerating wearable sculpture. But it was her boots that were the fashion statement. And what a statement! They were knee-high, skillfully hand-embroidered in petit-point, with huge pink peony flowers atop green leaves —and, 6" pointy-toed pin-point stiletto heels. Those boots did not fit with an old woman in a wheelchair. Her body may have been broken. But her spirit was not!Her looming had been screaming at me in my peripheral vision. As my gaze turned toward her, my index finger automatically followed. “WOW! They’re gorgeous!” I said, pointing at the boots.

“Thank you Dear,” she replied, with a nails-on-chalkboard screech. “When I got them, they came up to ‘The VAGINA’!!!” Then, with beady eyes she stared at me
—waiting for a shocked response.

She reminded me of myself, having loved to shock people since childhood. Anyone who lacks playfulness and repartee still depresses me. It is rude to not be shocked! But today I just didn’t have time to play.
“Uh-huh,” I said nonchalantly, in spite of her voice still ricocheting in my ears.

Stacked on a nearby rack, the Deli’s famous seed-encrusted breads beckoned me to squeeze them. She followed me with her eerily silent electric wheels, while continuing to describe the purse that she had made from the leftovers of the boots. Then she held it up like a prize. Indeed, it was stunning. Like Romanov treasure from the Hermitage Museum, the peony flowers on the bag had been accentuated with iridescent crystals and tied with a thick golden rope.

“You look lovely,” I said, torn between my fascination with her and wanting to knock her off to steal her boots. But I was already late for an appointment and trying to decide on just one non-fattening delicacy for dinner. The ravenous Pitbull in my belly had been disturbed while feeding! It was about to leap out of me, fangs bared and growling menacingly. But I subdued it with a smile.

“Oh, I knooow!” she continued, fracturing my left ear-bones. “Men flirt with me all the time. Just the other day, in the salad section, a sweet hunk of a man smiled at me. Then some awful hag popped out from behind him, babbling that if he talked to me, he shouldn’t bother coming home! Well…I just…”

“That’s a great compliment to you!” I said demurely, with side-eye. I had to cut her off. It sounded like a never ending soggy-saga cliché about ‘the other woman.’

Her train of thought had been interrupted. She suddenly forgot what she was going to say. But her puzzled eyes soon glowed bright with delight by my flattery. “Oh, what a darling man! And sexy too!” she screeched.

I waved to her, then turned and walked away with a loaf of still warm, Kalamata olives and Mediterranean herbs bread —before she could jump me…

“Don’t feed the ‘Histrionics’ or they’ll follow you home,”
I thought, chuckling to myself. I did wonder if she was manic from happy-pills or from BiPolar disorder, doing the mall. She reminded me of the 75-year-old ladies in $5000 mini-skirts, casting a dragnet over Rodeo Drive for younger men. Those divas insolently defy the ravages of aging with well-upholstered faces and wrinkled breasts stuffed turgid with ‘SillyCones’ gushing from their tank-tops. It is reminiscent of a science fiction movie. Although, this ‘grande dame’ had a more cultured aesthetic. Did she really find me attractive? She certainly had good taste.

But the idea of this woman haunted me. She was a unique beauty —a horny old lady with dangerous, sexy boots. $20,000 worth of ‘assets’ hanging from her, and wrapped around her, was evidence that she could afford to live in sheltered splendour. On top of that, it takes talent to dress with such artistic flair. She had it all
—beauty, wealth and intelligence. Lucky her! I wondered if she had used it selfishly or for the greater good. The more I thought about her, the more I realized that even if she had been unaware of much of the world, she still helped to shape it!

As a Baby-Boomer, her parents would have lived through the Great Depression and several wars. Surely, she had rebelled against their Depression-Era, austere Conservatism, like others of her times. She, may have inherited their millions in bootleg-liquor money and consequently remained shallow from an entitled life without challenges. Had she continued on as a trophy-wife in her mother’s extravagant, nouveau-riche boot-steps? Or had she struggled to make her own fortune in a world controlled by men?

Early Baby Boomers, like her, growing up in the financial booms of the 50s & 60s, were blessed with higher education than their predecessors, as well as on-the-job training to integrate into markets and professions. They could financially afford to reject stereotypically traditional values based on poverty and fear, to experiment with free-spirited counter-culture.

As ‘Flower Children,’ they celebrated the body as a beautiful temple of the soul —not a source of shame, as was dictated by the religious and political ideologies of those times. The ‘Sexual Revolution’ and the Naturist resorts of Europe, where whole families vacationed and freely splashed around on beaches in naked bliss, emerged from their influence. This ‘body is beautiful’ generation became physically fit from dancing to the unstructured, joyful, abstract expressionism of Disco, which in turn freed fashion from muted, inhibiting, stodgy garb, in favour of comfortable and colourful ‘tie-dye’ clothing. Their ‘Hippy’ revolution also engaged with their societies about social causes, ending war and bringing LOVE to the whole world.

As an Early Boomer, our Fancy Grandma had seen the ravages and the end of Communism, and had helped to usher in a new age of ‘Secular Governments’ with Human Rights Charters. Her generation developed the computer and internet into a working reality for the whole planet, bringing connectivity to forgotten corners of the world.

Alongside humanity’s progress, she may have recognized the rise of restrictive forces of Fundamentalist religion and Political Correctness that were once again eroding humanity’s hard-won freedoms. It is possible that she may have ignored it; or, she may have made a conscious effort to combat it with beauty. She may have taught her children and grandchildren to fight the drabness of oppression with physical beautification; to subvert the subtle forces of dark ideologies with glorious colour. Evidently, her soul still refuses to be deflowered by the ravages of time, or history, or political movements.



We need more ‘Flower Power!’ As a society, we are overmedicated into complacency and fattened-up with empty calories to make us sluggish —to keep us from questioning and challenging corporate greed. We need more feisty, sexy old ladies to show new generations the many devious ways that we are exploited.

In the 1960s and 70s, the Early Boomers’ need for dismantling the control mechanisms of political dominance was also responsible for the ‘back-to-nature’ organic and health foods movement. The ever-increasing introduction of plastic foods with artificial flavours and colours, FastFood Restaurants, frozen TV-Dinners, SPAM, CheezWhiz and artificial sweeteners, was seen by Boomers as a way of controlling societies and the very fabric of nature through chemistry. They were responsible for establishing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Good Manufacturing Practices in food safety.

Today, we once again need Boomer Spirit to discern what is real from glamourized fakery. Food manufacturers now rely on scientific studies of the chemistry and neurology of taste to enhance their merchandise, naturally and/or with chemicals. Together with the most unethical industry of all —Advertising— they ruthlessly usurp and monetize brain research to lure us to consume and get hooked on their contrived concoctions. They train us like Pavlov’s dogs to salivate to idealized images of ‘JunkFood’ by rewarding us with fantasies of attractive models eating hedonistically. From childhood to adulthood, they prime us to eat more and more impulsively, based on social media driven tastes influenced by advertising —not nutrition. By creating eating compulsion and addiction in mass populations, they ensure perpetual profits. The side effects are today’s epidemics of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, food allergies and other illnesses that cause trauma and death. Paradoxically, the skinny Cuban poor who subsist on rice and beans are healthier than the obese American poor who are overfed on high calorie, low nutrition junk food.  

At the same time, Americans are consuming mostly ‘In-Organic’ food. 85% of corn, soy and canola are Genetically Modified. As well, other produce is developed with growth hormones, carcinogenic pesticides & herbicides. Animals are fattened up with antibiotics, regardless of the antibiotic resistance it causes in people. They are given growth hormones and lactating hormones that are passed on to humans who eat meat, disrupting hormonal balances, especially of children. Processed foods are irradiated, chlorinated, hydrogenated, brominated, enhanced with artificial colours and flavours, and overloaded with fats, salt and sugar. They are then preserved with carcinogenic chemicals and packaged in hormone-disrupting plastics.

Crop monoculture, chemical poisons and vast animal farms destroy terrestrial and aquatic environments, thereby intensifying climate change. Tons of artificial fertilizers runoff into water, promoting enormous, toxic algae blooms that can be seen from space. Plastics now pollute even the most remote oceans, not only strangling aquatic life but also altering their development. Even antidepressants and other pharmaceuticals are now found in the brains of fish! Our planet continues to be hijacked and defiled!

Boomers are still fighting back against the plastic tide with their buying trends. Their need to ward off diseases and death through healthy foods and lifestyles, continues to transform markets. Grocery stores and restaurants are now clamouring to provide more organic or naturally-raised, healthy foods to meet the demand, and serve it with a personable smile.

Unfortunately, American laws governing food, drugs and farming practices are controlled by backroom deals with corporations. It is mostly through lawsuits that American health laws get changed. In contrast, Europe is anti-GMO and pro Organic. Its laws protect food production from unscrupulous corporate interests. They have realized that growing crops with poison, will poison humanity as well. Yet their crop yield is higher than that of the United States, whose population has been duped into believing that using GMOs and hazardous chemicals like Glyphosate, is the only way to feed the world. By 2018, 38 countries have banned GMOs. Canada is not one of them. It is the 3rd top GMO-producing country in the world! The GMO lobby has infiltrated Canadian governments, which refuse to label GMO produce for their citizens.

Nourishing our bodies with food as it had been grown for thousands of years is now a revolutionary act! Buying food comprised of only one ingredient is subversive. By refusing to eat food laced with myriads of unpronounceable chemical additives, we help to decrease the profits of Multinational food-processing conglomerates. Young people need to be taught ‘Media Literacy’ to help them recognize and subvert the tyranny of ‘Fake Food’ manufacturers in simple ways. Simply stopping to give them money is the most effective way. Bankrupt them! Every time we demand organic food and purposefully avoid GMOs, we erode the economic, political and social power of biochemical tyrants.

Flowers are a perfect symbol for resisting mercenary oppression through fake food, especially if they are organic, edible flowers. The use of wildflowers in natural medicines throughout millennia validates this idea. As we smell flowers and welcome them into our bodies, we need to become conscious of their beauty. We need to become conscious of beauty, not only in our outer environment, but also in our inner environment. We must keep beauty in our hearts and minds, even while wandering through bleakness caused by uncertainty, depression, or any totalitarian ideology. Beauty heals.

I wonder if I will ever again meet that elderly vixen in her sexy boots. Would she live up to my fantasies about her? Would she end up shocking me after all, with some delightfully nasty Politically Incorrect quip? Either way, I will be thinking of her next time I have the privilege of buying Organic food and sprinkling the salad at my birthday dinner with edible flowers.


[email protected] (www.ARTmetaphor.ca) baby boomers chemicals delicious edible flowers elderly epidemic fashion food gmos growth hormones health mercenary obesity organic pesticides processed food industry senses taste https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog/2018/6/flower-power Sun, 17 Jun 2018 22:24:12 GMT
Elements & Principles of ART https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog/2017/9/elements-principles-of-art



The vocabulary of Art

Charles Fisch © 2001 

Design Layout is the division of available space.
Objects &/or text can be placed into the various areas of space
in a satisfying way, using the Principles of Organization of elements.
It is like arranging things in a room for practical reasons & aesthetic
reasons depending on the purpose of that room.

Type is an example of objects in space.
Areas of text create areas of tone. Areas of bold type look darker 
—have darker value— than areas of plain text. Type with spacious leading
& tracking
, has lighter value than tight leading and tracking.
Leading is the space between lines of text; Tracking is
the space between individual letters. Alternating
Bold & Thin type creates rhythm.

“Some things are more important than other things.”
A “Hierarchy of Vision” helps the eyes to make sense of things.
What is largest is seen 1st — & meant to be seen 1st— such as a Title
or a pictorial focal point. Of secondary importance are SubHeads
in bold font to focus attention to sub-topics in the text, and also
to guide the eyes around the page. Similarly, objects
of secondary importance may be smaller. 

Elements of Design
• Line • Shape • Value • Texture/Pattern • Space 


The path of a moving point that is made by a tool,
or medium, as it moves across an area.
A line is usually made 
visible because it contrasts
in value with its surroundings.

Line defines shape • Separates • Gives direction

• Edges of objects create lines
Contour (edge) / Cross Contour (across)
  often changing: thick to thin, dark to light
Hatching / Cross Hatching (shading lines)
Implied LineNegative line
• thick • thin • dotted • curved • jagged • dark • pale
A swan’s neck, a flower stem, a piece of string,
tree branches, edges of buildings, chem-trails
—all guide the eye & create a sense of motion.
Lines can separate areas of a page, connect information, define or outline a shape.
Curved lines/edges are elegant, sensuous, calm;
Jagged lines/edges are scary & dangerous.


Shapes underlie every object, drawing, painting, architecture, or graphic design…Unusual shapes attract more attention than square ones.

• Actual shape: areas clearly defined
  by edges or lines 

• Implied shape: a shape suggested or
  created by psychological 
connections of dots,
  lines, areas, or their edges, creating 
  visual appearance of a shape that does
  not physically exist. Our brain creates shapes.

• Biomorphic shape: (organic): irregular shape
  that resembles 
the freely developed curves
  found in live organisms.

Geometric shape: a shape that appears
  related to geometry (circle, triangle, square)


The amount of light reflected by a surface
An area of Tone

Local Value: natural value of a shape
  regardless of lightsource

Highlight: 10% brightest spot in the
  lighted area of an object

Shade: the absence of light
  on a side or surface of an object

Cast Shadow: a dark image/area caused by
  an object blocking 
light. The dark area takes
  the shape of the object (absence of light)

Chromatic Value: the lightness or darkness
  of a colour

Achromatic Value: no colour —grayscale
  lightness or darkness

Decorative Value: a two-dimensional pattern
  of light and dark 

Gradation: gradual change of value
  from light to dark

Texture & Pattern

The surface character of a material, that can be experienced through touch —or the illusion of touch, through sight or sound.

Texture is produced by natural forces, such as:
the growth of 
cells, or erosion by weather, drying,
freezing, or the mixing of 
certain chemicals.
These forces act to raise or depress the surface 

of any living membrane, material or object
creating shallow 
elevations and/or depressions
on their surface.

Pattern: in the form of repeated shapes
&/or lines provide an 
imagined sense of touching
a surface. This creates feelings of 
richness &
depth, especially as backgrounds.


Colours affect the emotions & physiology,
create moods, imagery; invite or repel 
Colour Symbolism is based on physiology:
Red: blood, danger; ripeness (fruit), 
Blue: calming, water;  Violet: spiritual
Colour detirmines the foods we choose to eat
Out of Context Colour: catches attention
eg: Blue bananas, Blue area on a human face…

Colour Harmonies (The Colour Wheel )
Analagous: 3 related colours side-by-side
Complementary: opposite colours = 2 colours
   180° accross the Colour Wheel
Split Complementary: colours on both sides
   of the opposite colour = 3 colours
Triadic: 3 colours  @ 60° angles
   equal distance from each other on the wheel 


Space is the container for other elements.

Lots of space around an object, brings focus
  to that object. Such as leaving spaces between
  words…Leaving space around groupings of
  objects, such as dining table + chairs
  Eyes/eyebrows are separate from hairline 
Reduced space between objects creates
c o n n e c t i o n s between them,
   such as “kerning” of space between letters.

Crowding: Not enough space: Over-crowding
   can create a feeling of discomfort.

Space has *SHAPE*  It forms “Negative Shape”
of the objects it contains.


Principles of Design ( Organization )
• Contrast • Proportion • Emphasis • Repetition
• Movement • Rhythm • Balance • Variety • Unity 

Contrast: high contrast & low contrast 

Contrast = difference of: • shape • value • texture
• colour • size & proportion • crowding/emptiness
• ideas • moral values

High Contrast: a great deal of difference • black/white
Low Contrast: a little difference • shades of grey
High contrast increases visual activity, excitement
& drama. 
Low contrast subdues the mood. 

Use contrast to: • Compare • Emphasize something 
• Subordinate something • Exaggerate something

Proportion Comparative Relation )

Appropriate or inappropriate size & measures of
elements compared to other elements.

Proportion gives the reader a sense of size of
an object to its environment & to other objects
or a part to the whole. Size of an object or space
compared to human size.
Measurements: height/width, size, area, degree
Ratios: 2/3 to 1/3 GoldenSection, Rule of Thirds

Contrast 2 elements –large & small– to express
an idea, such as a child compared to adult’s size.

Hierarchy of Vision: The largest element will
be seen first and will seem to advance in space.
Unusual or inapropriate proportions create focus.


What stands out the most gets noticed 1st*
Hierarchy of Vision of pictures & text: large to small
Focal Point: created by contrast, size, value,
  texture, colour, location, space, Bold text, italic…
• Rule of Thirds: a device for creating a focal point


Repeated elements create Eyeflow & Rhythm.
Eyeflow: Our eyes recognize similarities
in elements & skip from one to the other
Pattern: repeated elements create Rhythm

Use of varied elements to hold the viewer’s attention.


How the viewer’s eyes are guided through a
composition by Design Principles. The objects in
the composition are not moving. It is the eyes of
the viewer that are moving: Eyeflow, Gaze pattern


Created by repeated elements which may be similar 
in: form, size, value, 
colour, contrast or proportion
— or are somehow visually related
They make the eyes move from one to another.
Eyeflow: how the viewer’s eyes are guided  
throughout the composition by design principles
Variety: To keep rhythm active, Variety is essential

Regular spacing (intervals) causes smooth rhythm
& relaxing 
mood —like Baroque music.
Abrupt changes in size (loudness) shape or
spacing (silence) 
makes a fast lively rhythm;
an exciting mood (Jazz, Heavy Metal)


Weight distribution of elements which creates
equilibrium in a composition.

Formal Balance: symmetrical, centred, horiz/vert
  equally weighted between 2 sides of a composition
  —dignified, stately, rigid composition 

Informal Balance: asymmetrical, felt or imagined
  balance through manipulating weights of
  elements and directional axes or lines of sight.

Diagonal movements of elements, eyeflow or axis
  create a modern, open & more musical feeling.

* People with low abstract thinking capabilities or
  unstable lives, 
may be too challenged by diagonal
  movements. The predictability 
of perfect horizontals
  & verticals is more comforting to some.

Harmony & Unity
& Text Integration

Harmony: all the elements are placed in a
  logical way & work together in a satisfying way
Unity: all the elements fit together in style

Text Integration: visuals & text empower
  each other in meaning & style
  (eg: rounded text for round shape objects)
Continuity of style helps Unity 
   Film/video: continuity of elements in scenes 
   props, hair, costumes, lighting, locations… 
• Too much Contrast destroys harmony.


Layout Devices

EYEflow Golden SectionEYEflow Golden Section

[email protected] (www.ARTmetaphor.ca) art balance contrast design elements of design emphasis hierarchy of vision line of pattern principles of design rhythm shape space texture the unity value https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog/2017/9/elements-principles-of-art Tue, 05 Sep 2017 02:54:55 GMT
BABIES https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog/2017/8/babies

by Charles Fisch

A baby was left at Marie’s door.
She stumbled over it as she rushed off to work in the morning.
This was a miracle! A gift from God!

Marie and her husband Nathaniel had been praying for a child for the seven years they had been married. God answered their prayers —but maybe not in the way that she was hoping. She wanted to fulfill God’s highest calling for a woman —to be a mother— and desperately wanted to keep the baby left at their door, at all costs. Yet she had a nagging, eerie feeling that she may have to fight to keep it. But Marie was used to fighting for things that were important to her and to God.

Marie’s childless marriage had made her very angry with women who didn’t want their babies. She had been writing letters to governments to criminalize abortion. Over the years, her anger had spread to issues of child sex abuse —even though she had never been sexually abused…nor did she know anyone who had been.

Her letter writing had proliferated to TV and radio stations and newspapers. She had joined a church group of mothers against abortion, even though she was not yet a mother herself. She went to meetings and baked cookies and pies for fundraisers. She marched with placards in front of abortion clinics and tried to convince women to keep their babies. She and her friends hunted down men facing court dates over child abuse —guilty or not— as well as those who had served their time in prison and had been released. They paraded in front of the men’s homes with placards. Her whole life was consumed by abortion and child abuse issues.

Since graduating from highschool nine years ago, Marie had been working at a small-town WallMart on the order desk. The daily arguments with her co-workers about abortions and abused children had made her less and less popular and more and more alienated at work. Newspaper clippings chronicling abortion and child abuse issues were posted all around her cubicle like a battlefield of mud and dead bodies. She had been reprimanded on several occasions for talking about her issues to customers on the phone. Everyone was so glad to hear her announce that she was leaving to take care of her baby. All the staff at the office turned up with joy to finally say good-bye. Marie saw this as kindness and was considering staying after all. But she finally decided that her baby was more important. They could survive easily on Nathaniel’s managerial income at the Bible printing shop.

The baby never cried.  She was a lovely girl with brown hair and blue eyes, who just stared vacantly into the depths of her new parent’s souls. The doctor said that she had fetal alcohol syndrome; but with some extra care, she could grow up to be a healthy, normal baby. They named her Amy, which means Beloved in Latin. Marie proudly showed off her new baby at abortion protests and bake sales and at the mall. She was finally a mother!

Over several months of caring for the baby, Marie’s anger seemed to subside. She instinctively started to cook and bake more, and wrote fewer letters. She tried out new recipes and always had a scrumptious meal ready for Nathaniel when he arrived home from work. They both gained even more pounds around the middle.

Interestingly, Marie saw abortion as murder, but she did not equate her daily serving of chicken or pork or beef as a similar taking of life, or the killing of animals as somehow unjust. Her understanding of the Bible was literal. And in the Bible, animals were killed for food, as well as for sacrifices offered to God. Although, in Leviticus it states that lame or sick animals, deformed animals, even those missing one testicle, cannot be offered to God. If Marie had had the intellect to understand symbols or metaphors, she may have made the association between imperfect animals not worthy of being offered to God, and her new imperfect Fetal Alcohol Syndrome baby not being wanted by its own mother. Oblivious to Biblical nuances, Marie never bothered to ponder if God thinks less of disabled people, or if they will ever be able to get into heaven.

Marie was smiling and even chuckling with delight at the baby's gurgling and newly waving of her arms and legs. The feeling of joy and laughter in her heart made her feel alive again. She had not laughed in years.  Laughter was not part of her family heritage.  As such, she never really understood jokes or humour.  But, with her visibly happier disposition, some of the neighbours seemed less afraid of her and started saying Hello —albeit somewhat warily.

Marie and Nathaniel also grew closer. They seemed to talk more and look into each other’s eyes more often. Nathaniel had never been physically affectionate, which is something Marie had missed in their marriage. Maybe this was because he had a low sperm count and low sex drive; or maybe because of his Biblical beliefs that sex was only for the purpose of bringing a child into the world. So Marie, twenty years younger than him, was often thwarted in her daily eagerness of trying to conceive, and had felt guilty and shameful that she often felt desirous. When their efforts failed over and over again, year after year, they gave up trying to conceive, and therefore, having sex. One night, Nathaniel suggested trying again to have a baby of their own union. His suggestion of sex was very welcome. They made love, all-the-while praying that they would conceive. They fell asleep in each other's arms like young lovers. They were happy again for the first time in years. They were hugging and kissing again at breakfast like newlyweds. It was now the beautiful and happy marriage that Marie had dreamed about as a young girl. They already owned their own humble home, with a baby's room that they had slowly decorated over the years. Now they had the baby and their rekindled love. God had truly blessed them.

As Nathaniel was rushing off to work, he stumbled over another baby at the front door. They did not expect their prayers to be answered so quickly. Now they had two children. The second baby was also a girl, with dark eyes and southern hemisphere features. But this baby was not quiet. She was very needy and cried constantly, day and night. The doctor said that she was healthy, but seemed to have been traumatized. She would need a lot of care and love to make her feel secure. They named her Laraine, which meant Sorrowful in Latin. They did their best to give Laraine all their love, and to hold her and rock her and feed her and clean her; but she just cried relentlessly. When Laraine started crying, sometimes Amy got scared and started to cry as well. The loving, peaceful calm which had until now cradled Marie and Nathaniel's home was now filled with sleepless nights and tension.

As Marie was going shopping one day, she literally fell over another baby at her front door. With bleeding knees and palms, she brought the new baby into the house. There were now three crying babies in her home. Supper was not ready when Nathaniel arrived home from work. He rarely showed emotion, but the new baby visibly startled him. He tried to smile, but the smile muscles on one side of his mouth seemed to quiver slightly. Marie noticed. She explained to him that God was testing them with a rough patch, which would evolve into the loving happy family with three children that they both had hoped for at one time. This was a blessing in disguise. Nathaniel took care of the babies while Marie ran to the store to buy dinner. He finally had a son, even if he was black as coal. They kept the third baby and named him Korbin, which means Raven in Latin. 


The dark thoughts that Marie was now entertaining towards the crying and pooping babies, once again turned into volleys of letter writing about child abusers. The current news of the baby that was starved and shaken to death for crying, by the mother's boyfriend, made Marie especially furious. Even the thought of hurting a baby was a crime, she thought. Such thoughts could never even enter her head. Her letter writing became once again relentless. Although, her new letters were not as meticulously composed as before…Her primary duties were to care for the babies and to have dinner ready for Nathaniel.

Their friends in the Pro-life movement really admired Marie and Nathaniel Klassen for adopting children who were so unlike themselves. Even their standoffish next-door neighbour offered to help out if Marie needed some light baby-sitting. As the story of their altruism spread around the neigbourhood, more of the neighbours started to warm up to them. They were now accepted into the community and got some help taking care of the babies. The newfound friendships and help gentled them.

The quaint small-town scene of loving home and sharing community was short-lived, however. More babies were arriving on Marie and Nathaniel's doorstep each week —at last count they had seventeen. The babies were all shapes and sizes and colours and races, and most of them were somehow damaged. There were several crack babies with withdrawal symptoms.  One had signs of mental retardation. Another one had a club-foot.  Some had other special needs.  One had jaundice and had to be quarantined. They had to hire help to take care of them all. The humble white-picket-fenced home became a day-and-night care centre. The chorus of crying babies could be heard around the block, and the neighbours were getting pissed off.

Family Services knocked on their door early one morning. The stout big-breasted grey-haired social worker was horrified to see so many babies, and all so different. She demanded to see the birth certificates, or the certificates of adoption. As Marie could not produce any documents, and all she could offer were the babies-at-the-doorstep stories, the woman called the police immediately. The house was ransacked and the babies were taken away. The Klassens were held in detention pending a hearing before a judge. They were released the next day, but without their babies. They returned home to the mess, but didn’t have the courage to clean up. The house was now too quiet and so very empty. A sadness fell over Marie and Nathaniel. For several days, they sat together after dinner in silence, and then went to sleep.

The Klassens were summoned to court to answer charges of running a child theft ring. It was all over the news on every TV channel, magazine and newspaper to which Marie had written letters. Those letters, which until now had never been published, suddenly appeared to have implications in the case, as reported by the news anchors. The Klassens now had inferred connections with the bombing of the abortion clinic and murder of one of the doctors. As no children were reported missing, the charges of child theft were dropped. But they were under suspicion, as the media had stirred up a devil’s brew with their insinuations. The investigation continued…

Where had all of these babies come from? As the news circulated, more and more babies kept coming in. Finally, the Sheriff posted unmarked patrol cars to watch the house. They apprehended several teenage girls in tears, as they were trying to leave their babies on the doorstep. Over the next few weeks, they apprehended more teenage girls attempting to leave their babies. It never stopped. The girls and their babies kept coming. It was an epidemic.

The girls were interrogated. They came from the local town and several outlying regions. They were young prostitutes or drug addicts, or highschool students who had gotten pregnant and had been left by their boyfriends. Some had been raped. None of them wanted their babies. After the local abortion clinic was gone, the girls had no place to turn. They could not get an abortion, so they had their child; but they could not keep the babies. All the young women Marie had counseled not to have an abortion did not know how to take care of their babies.  Furthermore, they had no money to care for them. The schoolgirls would have to leave school, live in shame, uneducated and poor —and their whole life would be ruined. The victims of rape did not want to be reminded by seeing their babies. Some wanted an education and a career, and a chance to have a normal life when they finally met someone to marry.

The police discovered a flyer circulating with Marie’s and Nathaniel’s address on it as a place to drop off unwanted babies. Later, their name and address was published on the internet as the place to leave unwanted babies. Marie had indeed counseled girls not to abort, but instead to give birth to their babies, as killing an unborn child was a sin —but those were just words. After all the rhetoric, the girls were non-the-less stuck with babies, that they did not want and could not care for. Now that they were born, these babies had the right to a good home with loving parents. One 16 year old girl was adamant that everyone who counsels girls to not have abortions should be given those babies to care for, for the rest of their lives. Talk is cheap. Marie had asked for these babies and so she got them.

Marie and Nathaniel had to leave home. Police crime scene notices were placed all around the house, with signs posted, stating “Do NOT leave any babies here!,” along with 24-hour patrol cars outside the house. Eventually, the Klassens had to move away and hide out, like the abortion clinic workers whose names and addresses they had published on the internet.

Police investigations tracked down most of the mothers of the babies from birth records. Some gave birth at home the old fashioned way and could not be found. The babies were given up for adoption. The sick ones and the deformed ones could not be adopted. They stayed with Family Services, destined to grow up —or to die— in orphanages. There did not seem to be any Mozarts or Einsteins amongst them, but maybe it was too soon to tell.

Marie and Nathaniel legally adopted 3 babies. They chose the quietest, healthiest, cutest —and whitest ones.


[email protected] (www.ARTmetaphor.ca) abortion babies black childless children christian disabled fetal alcohol syndrome god mother pro-life religion sex social-worker https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog/2017/8/babies Thu, 24 Aug 2017 21:36:32 GMT
The RELATIONSHIP https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog/2017/4/the-relationship


by Charles Fisch ©

They simply collided
while rushing off somewhere
Disarmed and thrust face to face
now oblivious to time or place

Both constrained
and fragile in their own way
each envisioned the other
as that worn out cliché
a Messiah who would
rescue them from the rubble
of failures rejections
inadequacies fears
all crumbling foundations
of unfulfilled dreeeams

After many fallow years
they now sprung to life
before the alarm clock blared
to dance through the day
and to party late into the night
bodies and souls entwined
in euphoric bliss

But they got too close too fast
or something or other
did not go their habitual way
They got scared
of getting hurt —again

Or was it some lingering trauma
like scraped knees
from pre-adolescent years
which interfered
as residual recurring phantom tears
or some idealistic fantasy image
which disappeared and magically
re-materialized as reality
—with flaws 

They could have tried to compromise
as good relationships necessitate
or see this roadblock as a mirror
to introspect and evaluate the reflection
in their own stagnant pool of fears

Instead they ran away —again
reeking of blame and shame
in the safety and comfort
of their ingrained mundane routines
their predictably scripted rituals
each in the comforting smell
of their own lair
brooding in dark stale air
—licking childhood wounds…



[email protected] (www.ARTmetaphor.ca) POEM RELATIONSHIPS childhood dreams embrace fantasy fear pain rituals https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog/2017/4/the-relationship Wed, 12 Apr 2017 22:41:44 GMT
Eulogy for Simone https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog/2016/6/eulogy-for-simone KINDRED SPIRITSKINDRED SPIRITS<span class="large">The best place</span><br/> <span class="large">to meet Kindred Spirits</span><br/> <span class="large">is on the dance &fnof;loor<br/> moving freely </span><br/> <span class="large">in a stupor of joy </span><br/> <span class="large">smiling eyes embrace </span><br/> <span class="large">souls intertwine<br/> connections blossom</span><br/> <span class="large">without the need </span><br/> <span class="large">~for words.</span>

Eulogy for Simone

by Charles Fisch  June 6, 2016 

The delightful Simone is how I always thought of her…
She made a human connection in every conversation. Always present and benevolent…
A rare jewel of light in an age when people communicate
terse meaninglessness in 144 characters.


Simone was one of my students at George Brown College Graphic Design Program. And she made the Dean’s list… She was very proud of that. Her charming personality made her memorable immediately and throughout the year. Over the years I bumped into her at various venues. Recently she was showing her paintings at the Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition at City Hall. She was delighted to see me. We hugged and talked for hours in the warm sunlit square amongst hundreds other wonderful artists in their tents. As always, I walked away feeling content. 

So it was a huge shock to find Simone at a PsychPrison of a downtown hospital. Her neighbours had taken her to the police station to get her help, because her words were not making sense. From there she had been forcibly drugged; sedated for over a week with anti-psychotic medication. By the time I visited her she had subdued her demons and was similar to how I had ever seen her before… Although looking very frail and trying to remember what happened… 

Simone asked me to not focus on her “Dis-Ease.” She didn’t want to be labeled or thought of as a sick person, but as a friend. She wanted me to take her to art galleries and talk about art. Of course…That is the same as I would want to be treated. But I never got a chance to take her to any galleries. After being released, she mysteriously died. 

I realized that Simone had suffered privately. Reluctant to show her inner struggles to the world, she tried her best to hide her condition. So many people hide their true selves, whose struggles seem to be out of the mainstream of “Appropriate Struggles” —as dictated by media or religious or medical myths. It is only in emergencies or tragedies that we find out how some people cope with their lives. 

Trying to hide one’s true self is not based on irrational fears. People don’t know how to handle others who are very different —temporarily or altogether. Most societies teach some form of “Othering” through cultural myths… There may be fear due to unpredictability… The stress of not knowing how to respond… Issues of reputation through association… The ones who see the pariah as their “mirror image” or resemblance are the most afraid of the connection! 

Some family members may be ashamed of relatives who are different and shun them —physically and/or emotionally— since childhood. That only adds to their misery. The labels become “Internalized Oppression” —self hatred. It often manifests in fear, low self-esteem, vulnerability, anxiety, depression, feeling ugly, incompetent and inadequate, fantasies of &/or attempts of suicide, even homelessness. Consequently, they may behave “unhappily” at times; even antagonistic… Which may make them more burdensome… But no one can keep it all bottled up consistently. 

The ones who develop psychotic episodes are probably AM radio tuners channeling the blame and hatred of society in the denigrating voices they hear. But it is through inclusion that healing takes place. In many traditional societies these same people may be revered as visionaries and mystics and honoured. I wonder if the voices that revered mystics hear are as hateful as those of imprisoned Schizophrenics in Religious Dictatorships, or those who are homeless in free Capitalist societies? 

About 20% of humanity has “brain circuit” or “Wiring Disorders,” according to the National Institute of Mental Health. It is a more accurate term than the emotionally laden “Mentally ill.”  5% have it to a debilitating level. Anomalies of the psyche seem to be higher amongst creative people than the general population. Artist have had to deal with these issues through centuries, millennia…  Historical records of famous artists showed how they coped with their lives in spite of inner struggles and outer struggles —often caused by their conditions. So many creatives have lived through depression, alcoholism, drug addictions, bipolar disorder, PTSD, schizophrenia, etc. Yet in spite of it all, created beautiful meaningful works which enriched societies for decades; centuries. They mostly did not know how to understand, or cope with, or control the incredible alternate energies they were experiencing. Such things were not taught in schools. Maybe in Shaman school…



Some realized that their condition heightened their creativity. That is what artists live for. The initial stages of a psychotic episode for example, are said to be an especially creative time, which blurs the line between madness and genius. VanGogh painted his swirling masterpiece, “Starry Night”  during one of those episodes in a mental hospital. Apparently he expressed a complex mathematical theory about fluid dynamics, in that painting. Frances Crick said that he had actually “perceived the double-helix shape [DNA] while on LSD.” 

Saints, visionaries, shamans have taken drugs and fasted to increase the hallucinogenic processes of their minds. They wanted to suppress their ego consciousness, to access their unconscious mind; to become receptive to repositories of memories of humanity, which Carl Jung called the “Collective Unconscious.” Actually, all of us naturally produce LSD in our brains. We all have the availability of altered states to heighten our creativity. Sugar suppresses it. Sugar is poison…

Simone had explained to me that she has had this condition before and was taking medication for it, but it had blunted her 3rd eye. She was trying to control it through herbs. That may sound ridiculous to some… Not all of humanity would agree with the concept  of 3rd eye, but some of us would label it as “intuition” or “association skills,” which are another form of non-linear thought. A faster way of arriving at conclusions… Not having those skills is like an amputation of a part of one’s mind. A vital part of every creative person’s process —missing. Limping instead of flying.

Mind numbing “Medical Treatments” with “legal” pharmaceutical drugs or Shock Treatment, all with distressing side effects, is truly unbearable for many people —especially those who live by and for, creativity. If the cure is as debilitating as the disease, naturally they will want to try more benign treatments. A similar movement is happening with cancer drugs vs Marijuana, ginger as a blood thinner instead of Warfarin; ginger and turmeric also lower blood pressure instead of Statins, etc. Whether it be pharmaceutical or herbal, there is always experimentation needed with medication, either to get the right dosage or the right combination of medications. With some conditions there is suffering with or without treatment —only a matter of degree of difference. 

We all try in our own way to improve ourselves. It may not be evident too others on a different path in life, or to those who are in a hurry and think they can actually get anywhere fast… Every change happens one molecule at a time. If you rush by at 100miles an hour, you miss —or dis-miss— the finer details. But, it is what we learn along the way that also counts!

One of the side effects of suffering, after having overcome the bitterness associated with it, is learning compassion for the suffering of others. Buddhists say that it is during a time of suffering that we are most open to learning compassion. In Judaism, the Talmud/Berakhot-5 says, “God gave Israel three good gifts, and all were given only through suffering.” It is common experience that we have greater feeling and appreciation for things we acquire through suffering. In Christianity, suffering is a recurring theme and is considered a necessary ingredient for maturing spiritually and learning to overcome evil with good. Simone seemed to have learned those lessons well. I had only ever known her as a loving individual. That is how she was with me.

I will always honour Simone for her truly lovely spirit. As well she represents for me the struggles of all artists who strive to be creative.

I also realize that I have to re-prioritize my life. Many of us also need to make that adjustment. We need to make time for Kindred Spirits —before they leave their bodies and disperse back into the stars. These are the people we have to cherish…Spend more time with… Enrich each others’ lives with beauty and caring… Especially during their most vulnerable moments. We have to accept every part of them —as we have to accept every part of ourselves. We cannot expect others to live up to a concept of perfection that we cannot live up to ourselves.

Good bye for now, dear sweet Simone until we can dance together again freely as spectral waves; auroras of shimmering colours, painting the universe with starlight. 




[email protected] (www.ARTmetaphor.ca) Art Artists Eulogy Kindred Spirits LSD Mental illness Van Gogh compassion intuition light othering painting psychosis starlight student suffering https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog/2016/6/eulogy-for-simone Thu, 09 Jun 2016 01:53:12 GMT
TWEET POEMS https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog/2016/4/tweet-poems

Tweet Poems

by Charles Fisch © 

Vanishing Beauty

once upon a time
stalkers chased me
up and down the street
with sweet ravenous smiles
and offers of treats
a few wrinkles later
they look past me
at younger fresher meat

Beauty Piranhas

A handsome tall friend of mine
takes me for a walk sometime
all eyes on the street
devour his exquisite beauty
piranhas eat his flesh to the bone

as I just disappear

Useless Veils

Women hide in veils
as shields against
impure thoughts of men
but scents travel through cloth
arousing passionate fantasies
that mundane features
freely exposed may repel

Kindred Spirits

The best place to meet
kindred spirits
is on the dance floor
in a stupor of joy
eyes intertwine
bodies and souls embrace
communications blossom
without the need for words 

Don't Look–But Look

My eyes are up here
she roared with vehemence
but she'll be even more upset
when she grows older
and no one looks at her breasts

Men are Pigs

if men are pigs
then women are sows
we are all born as animals
whether we end up wearing pants
or jewel-embroidered gowns

Abused Animals

Abused animals
— human or any other kind
will attack or run away
if approached directly
even with food in hand
they tunnel vision death
and feel only distress

Hello, Hello

I tried to call you on the phone
but your communication device
—was divisive
it trapped me inside
an insipid mindless greeting

an invisible jail
of utter nothingness


[email protected] (www.ARTmetaphor.ca) Poems animals aphorisms beauty breasts controversial men veil women https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog/2016/4/tweet-poems Sat, 16 Apr 2016 23:18:34 GMT
WINNER ! https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog/2015/12/winner


Charles Fisch©2012

TV news was really awesome tonight ~ custom made for adrenaline junkies.
Right here in town there were several wretched murders, a 15-year-old serial rapist,
a gang shoot-out at the mall and a squad of cops busted for selling confiscated drugs.
How crazy is that? Then, a dictator was psychotically butchered with machetes in the street…
While elsewhere, veiled suicide bombers swooped in like a swarm of black crows
to blow a temple sky-high ~ killing 57 people. Wow! Now the weather girl
was warning of a massive hurricane heading this way.

“Get off my screen!!!” Jerry yelled at the weather girl with a mouthful of hamburger, as he awaited the lottery results.

His vacation started today and the only thing he did so far was to max his credit card. The $100 million mega draw mousetrapped him into buying prize tickets worth several months of his salary. But this time he was really sure he would win. All his hundreds of quick-pick fantasies were signed and systematically laid out on the dinner table while he waited for the lottery show. As he relentlessly ripped apart greasy fast food with his teeth like a ravenous animal, orange ooze slimed down his neck and furry arms.

At long last the big-haired, tightly corseted lottery model reached for the balls printed with the winning numbers, as they dropped from the Random Number Generator like bird-poop. With effeminate mannerisms, she bent slightly at the hip to pick up the spherical objects one after the other. Each desperately coveted heartthrob in hand prompted her to take a deep breath ~ lifting her big fake “Silly-Cones.” After several teasing seconds of anticipation, the oracle of fortune revealed the worshipped numeric characters with her freshly injected swollen lips. “And the winning numbers are...3…5…8…13…21…and…34. Good luck!” said the flirty mannequin.  

Jerry had remembered those same numbers, from a long ago school assignment, which had gotten him his lowest mark ever. They were the Fibonacci Sequence ~ the ancient Golden Ratio. And, that set of numerals was glowing brighter than the others on his table.

He won!!!! Jerry just won a $100 million dollars!!  

Silence invaded the room. The TV blared lottery propaganda and cheery music, yet the cosmic quiescence drowned it out completely as Jerry stared vacuously at the screen ~ stunned.

As his breath slowly returned, an intense cold-warm shiver radiated from his solar plexus and enveloped him in a feverish realization that he was no longer a “Loser.” He was finally a “Winner”! Exploding from his seat like a grenade, Jerry was ready to grab the life that he had been cheated out of.

But it was Friday night of a long weekend. The lottery office would not open until Tuesday. He had to keep his treasure and himself safe until then. In a panic, he opened and slammed shut his cupboards and fridge in search of food and booze. Nothing to eat! Yet he must not leave the sanctuary of his home. Outside, a ten ton truck could flatten him. 

However...there were a few 8 year old bottles of fine booze he was saving for a special occasion. This was a very special occasion. Dancing nude in his living room, swigging a dusty bottle of wine, Jerry shrieked with blood curdling joy. His hirsute jelly-belly, man-boobs and whale-blubber buns, were bouncing in all different directions as he danced and kicked the air with pigeon-toed clumsiness and flailed his pudgy arms around ~ shamelessly caterwauling Lady Gaga songs. 

Three bottles of wine later, he was passed out on the floor. When he woke, the house was shaking from the gale outside. He could see the twister through the window. It was headed straight for him.

The walls were trembling. Wooden supports were cracking, shredding into splinters and crashing with a thud. Metallic beams were being twisted like melting cheese. Electrical wires became firecrackers of subatomic light particles as they were being mangled. Then it went dark!

 The house was imploding from the 150 decibel whirlwind. As part of the roof flew away, a pillar collapsed onto Jerry, trapping him under metal, wood and plaster debris. When the dust settled, he could see gloomy grey clouds churned by gusts of wind forming fingers, which clawed towards him. Rain and thunder relentlessly pounded the wreckage as he lay paralyzed. Frantically struggling to get free, he yelled for help but he could not even hear his own voice from the deluge. 

Any minute now a reporter with lights and camera crew would lift the house off him like superman, to interview him for TV. He would deservedly have his moment of fame... Trapped under the rubble, hungry, hung-over and bruised, Jerry waited to be rescued. But no one came.


     With no TV to distract his introspection, he realized that he was experiencing “news” the way no reporter could convey it ~ seeing and hearing, but also feeling, smelling and tasting the news. The television journalism that had so delighted him for decades, he now saw as an abstract cubist portrait of multiple noses, eyes and ears, hacked off, bleeding and collaged together —a continuous ephemeral barrage of horrid events, devoid of context and humanity. Each crisis was just a visual gulp of adrenalin; entertainment for hollow voyeuristic masses to momentarily feel something at a safe distance, remotely controlled, without having to commit to anything. 

As he became hungrier and weaker, he started to hallucinate. Lying in the crumbs of his life, he reminisced about memorable moments of his yet unwritten story. Since childhood he had wanted to become famous, but did not know for what. Flunking acting school dashed his hopes for celebrity. Design training was another embarrassment. His stubby fingers could not master fine skills. And, he was told by one snooty bitch professor that that his creative visions were irksomely mundane. 

At the theatre where he worked as a stage-hand, he memorized each new script and the roles of all the actors, hoping to replace someone who actually did “break a leg,” or anything else. He listened to each utterance and quality of breath. Every emotion of the characters had a visceral effect on his soul as he carried his props around ~ sometimes tearfully ~ backstage. He got into trouble once for whispering the lines to an actor who had forgotten the words. 

Love had also been painful for Jerry. At school he had been the fat mascot for bullying. Brown hair, brown eyes, bald by 25 ~ most people looked past him. But the ones who looked through him were the most hurtful. So, he was eager to please. He was obsessively compelled to gather positive reactions from everyone he met, with overwhelming attentiveness and annoying optimism. A quiet moment meant inevitable rejection ~ hence he worked himself into a frenzied Attention Deficit Disordered chatterbox around people. He was too much, yet not enough, all at the same time. On the rare occasion that drunks gave him a chance for sex or romance ~ they ran for their lives half way through the “date.”

But he now wanted to forget the past and dreamed of being held in a loving warm embrace…

Jerry became aware that he could not feel his legs and was starting to drift in and out of consciousness. Saliva was collecting in his throat, producing a choking, crackly “death rattle.” Then a final moment of lucidity.

Wanting to be rich and famous like the celebrities he saw in the media caused him to chase fool’s gold aspirations based on mass manufactured plastic daydreams. All his beliefs, lifestyle and goals had been clichés programmed by television. The nasty design teacher was right. It was time for a makeover. He promised himself that he would no longer be led around by the nose by mercenary propaganda. Discovering who he really was and what he really enjoyed would be the foundation for his new, intrinsically motivated life, if he could ever distil what that is.

With his last breaths, Jerry started to giggle. Like the Buddha, he was laughing at the folly of humanity ~ and his own. He recognized the irony of winning the mega prize just before he would die and could never use it, nor take it with him. Jerry loved irony, parody, satire and sarcasm. The idea that the cosmos would have a sense of humour was hilarious.

Rain drops on his face washed away all that was ever meaningful to him. Possessions, rejections, dashed hopes, even momentary delights became irrelevant. Nothing mattered. He saw everything, including himself, as just molecules ~ less dense and more dense conglomeration of molecules strewn about in space…temporary clumps of dust, to be scattered back into the universe by earthly, solar and galactic winds. Then his mind went empty. He had reached enlightenment!

Clutching the mega prize ticket over his heart, Jerry’s soul left his body. He died laughing.

On quiet days, echoes of his laughter ricochet amongst buildings, gleefully chased by children
~ oblivious to their mocking prophecy. 



[email protected] (www.ARTmetaphor.ca) dating electrical fiction hurricane identity introspection lottery news prize prophecy story surprise the winner https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog/2015/12/winner Thu, 10 Dec 2015 07:47:58 GMT
Saturday Afternoon at the Opera https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog/2015/8/saturday-afternoon-at-the-opera

Saturday Afternooat the Opera

Charles Fisch©Jan.10, 2011~July 2015

We rarely heard music at home on a weekday.
After dressing and feeding her small children, my mother dutifully disappeared
into her household chores. The usual sounds we were immersed in were water running, scrubbing, clanging of pots, food simmering and hours of tap-tap-tapping
of the antique foot-pedal sewing machine. 

Mom was generally attentive and tender, but lately she had been shrieking at my younger sister and me when she wanted something…Then there was “that silence” again. Sis and I tiptoed around, shushing eachother to avert “the wrath of Mom.” Apparently Dad was having another affair and Mom was consumed by the private thunderstorm brewing in her head. She was plotting something…We knew better than to interrupt.

          As children we were not taught to ride a bike or swim; but we entertained ourselves, as kids usually do. My sister played with her dolls on the front steps, the dog loyally lying beside her. Sometimes I helped to make dresses for the dolls, having learned to sew from watching Mom make our clothes.

          Curious by nature, I preferred to forage in the sunlit garden for interesting worms and bugs: iridescent green beetles, red spotted ladybugs, crickets, butterflies, fireflies, spiders...I had a whole collection in bottles with holes in the caps for them to breathe. With practice I figured out how to pick them up so they wouldn’t bite me ~again. Of course, my favourites were the horned stag beetles. Dad took us to the zoo once where the deer with great antlers reminded me of my beetles. Everyone seemed to tolerate my wide-eyed ravings about the similarity.

          My best friend and neighbour was born on the same day as me. But he was not as obsessively enamoured by bugs as I was. He liked cars better. Sometimes we would jump up and down in delight at the edge of the sidewalk watching the different vehicles that rolled down our street. We chased after our most prized ones and could often be heard screaming with joy when sports cars went by…or screaming with panic as the bigger boys chased us down the street. Our days were full of adventures and games with lots of giggling from dawn to dusk.

          When father came home from working in a factory all day ~exhausted~ we knew not to bother him. Supper was always waiting. In focused silence he swallowed his food whole, like some reptile. Although, he did have a soup-impediment…Giggling at his raspy slurping never got old. But this was the crucial moment of the day that Sis and I feared the most. If Mom attacked him with things that needed to be done, he often agreed impatiently, his facial expression implying that it could have waited until he had finished eating. If they were both silent, there was the tense energy-potential of an explosion ~of screaming and yelling. 

          Having finished eating, Dad lay down to listen to his treasured 33-rpm classical music and opera recordings. My frisky young-boy energy came alive to the music ~skipping, kicking, bending, twisting, leaping, twirling and frolicking around the house…sometimes breaking furniture. For my birthday, Dad had taken the whole family to a special performance of Swan Lake with the “Prima Ballerina Assoluta” of the Bolshoi Ballet. After that, my feet didn’t touch the ground for months ~more accurately a life-time… Dad sent me to ballet school when I was seven years old, hoping to tire me out. Secretly he envied my lithe elastic body type. He was born a bear.

          Every Saturday afternoon, Dad lay on his back on the couch escaping into Dostoyevsky’s dog-eared thick novels, which he held in his right hand close to his face, while his left hand waved in the air, conducting Maria Callas on the record player. His every waking and sleeping moment was spent fantasizing about the life that had been denied him. He should have been playing chess with the élite, arguing literature or politics with intelligentsia and applauded on stage along with Maria Callas. He had a voice. Everyone told him that he should have been an opera singer when he yelled at them. But I never actually heard him sing…

          A high-bred family had employed Dad’s 16-year-old mother ~our grandma~ as a live-in maid. But the head of the household got her pregnant, then discarded her along with her baby. Years of struggles awaited them as they both grew up on the streets. No welfare in those days…Unwed mothers with their “bastard” children were not called “single-moms.” Other degrading names were reserved for them…As soon as she could, she sent him to an orphanage out of shame. For an orphaned child it was eat-or-be eaten. Young Dad grew up to be a street-bully to get by.

          Then the war invaded everyone’s lives. Dad was drafted into the army and eventually ended up in a prisoner of war labour camp in Siberia; released only years later. He had now lived through 2 great wars, having been born in the middle of the first one. When he returned home, his survival instinct found him work as an upholsterer. Next, he set his goals on Mom ~a successful tailor and an independent woman.





  A confident cocky young man with a steady job, he courted her for years and would not take “no” for an answer. Yes, he was good-looking, and at times charming; but her intuition must have warned her that in the very least they had nothing in common. She told us that she finally agreed to marry him because so many men had died in the war or were never heard of again. Slim pickings…What she regretted most was not wedding the handsome photographer who wanted to take her to America just before the war began.

          Mom may have understood that physical and emotional injuries caused Dad’s impatience and angry outbursts…Or maybe not…But she was now stuck in a distressing marriage, with the statistically correct 21/2 children ~due to a recent miscarriage. In a bombed-to-shreds disaster zone of a city, rebuilding from rubble, and low on food and resources, there was no way out for either of them. They just had to survive.

          Muffled fantasies about missed opportunities and mangled yearnings were their only temporary escape. If their goals or fantasies had been compatible, it may all have been more bearable. But while he was forever searching, she was busy maintaining…Dad obviously overcompensated for having been thrown out with the placenta through the castle window. Not only was he belligerent and arrogant, but also his greatest aphrodisiacs were kitsch gilded grandeur and celebrities. The ultimate romantic, he was constantly ready to give up everything for a torrid affair, desperately seeking the love he never had from birth. Mom, on the other hand, was content with mundane nesting. A bland but devoted asexual accountant would have suited her better. Sex was another duty for her. She was “a virgin martyr,” according to Dad. The death of her father at age 15 was depressing enough, but she was further traumatized by the consequent arranged marriage that she soon escaped. They were both on a leash held by their past.

          Understandably, amongst other of Dad’s less than charming qualities, such as embarrassing Mom in public with his constant arguing with everyone, and dressing like the homeless, his chainsaw snoring could not have been a turn-on…It certainly woke me. Sometimes I was eyes-wide in the middle of the night, watching everyone sleep and listening to Dad’s abrasive noises erupting from under the pillow over his head. His snoring initiated my life-long sleep disorder, amongst others...

          At times they were affectionate towards eachother for short periods; a show-hug or a kiss performed for the children here and there; but never any encouragement or consoling. To acknowledge that they were both in hell together and would support eachother would have helped…But those subtle forms of affection were not part of their consciousness. They could not emulate what they never got or learned in childhood. Instead they constantly reconstituted the pain of previous disappointments and betrayals through belittlement and blame. The past kept flooding back as if it were happening all over again in 3D on a giant screen. Nothing was ever forgotten, nor forgiven…constantly in eachother’s faces, even in withdrawn silence.

          Mother was more difficult to barricade from my father’s bubble of subjugated daydreams than were his children…She felt especially domestic when Dad listened to opera. At the precise moment that “La Divina,” Prima Donna Callas, hit high C live at La Scala, Mom arrived with the vacuum cleaner ~nyiaaaaaahhhhhhh~ drowning out Maria’s spectacular crescendo. Dad would bellow at her with imperial indignation that regularly alarmed the neighbours. She would scream back at him…The children cried…The dog howled…It was literally a “breathtaking,” three-ring, operatic circus.

          Yelling was my parents’ “conversation style.” Sometimes it was scary, but the shouting filled the house. It felt more like home than the dense pregnant silences. {} 



[email protected] (www.ARTmetaphor.ca) Dad Dostoyevsky La Scala Maria Callas Mom Sister classical daydream explosion factory fantasies home music opera snoring story sunlit garden unwed mother war https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog/2015/8/saturday-afternoon-at-the-opera Sun, 23 Aug 2015 20:34:33 GMT
Heavy Date https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog/2015/6/heavy-date

Heavy Date


Charles Fisch ©Jan.11, 2011

My intuition squealed with distress…

The mother I had known and trusted my whole life was no longer herself. The house-broken wife in her usual shabby tent dress suddenly appeared as a crazed spy from hell! Shrouded in an old trench coat, kerchief and sunglasses ~emotionless, yet silently boiling with rage~ she grabbed me sternly by the wrist and pulled me behind her like a bewildered animal. We headed out into the night…As it turned out, I was going on my first date ~at age five~ the worst date of my life.

My mother’s intuition was more developed than mine. Somehow she knew that my father was dating her best friend. So, we all went on “his” date. Mother stalked them like a hungry carnivore, while dragging me along like a piece of toilet paper stuck to her shoe. We hid behind buildings, fences, trees, crouched behind cars, as we followed father up streets and down alleys. When she ran faster than my tiny legs could keep up, my feet never touched the ground. At the slightest whimper I was shushed into submission.

We eventually caught them in the act in a most unexpected scary dark place. Mom shrieked out years of frustration. Dad bellowed back with indignation. The usual screaming match, but more psychotic. We slept at grandma’s house that night.   A restless sleep…The image of my father, naked with another woman in a grungy place amongst murky shadows and my mother screaming, left a Gordian-Knot in my stomach ~for decades.  



While dad was away at work the next day, her panicked girlfriends arrived to our darkened home. Their attention was beckoned by muffled crying, which led them to a candle-lit room with curtains closed ~where mom lay in bed. She rose decrepitly as if she were a patient in a palliative care unit and with arms raised to the sky, yelled, “KURVA !" (koor'-vah = whore). 

The gossipy confidantes kept telling her that her most beloved and trusted friend since childhood had betrayed her. Being loyal to a fault, she couldn't believe that Magda would try to steal her husband and hurt her. She needed proof ~and now she had it...

Mournfully, she recounted her tragic escapade from the previous day with Shakespearian skill, accentuating her soggy saga with furled brows, clawing fingers, throaty sobs and tears the size of eggs smashing to the floor. Her chorus of wailing women completed the morality play.

In the end, mom’s greatest outrage was that dad had sex with Aunt Magda in a patch of grass under a bridge ~he didn’t take her to a nice hotel.

The gossipmongers’ advice ~to withhold sex as extortion~ backfired on mom. Dad was a practical guy. If he couldn’t get it at home, he got it elsewhere…

Aunt Magda became a pariah. But there seemed to be endless neighbourhood “whores” who were enthusiastic about dad’s charms. Mom continued to hunt them down regularly. She could have been so much more than a housewife... Bounty hunter would be at the top of the list.



[email protected] (www.ARTmetaphor.ca) carnivore cheating child father girlfriend intuition jealous marriage mother https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog/2015/6/heavy-date Tue, 23 Jun 2015 01:33:35 GMT
PREMONITION https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog/2015/5/premonition


Charles Fisch ©2011

A comforting warm bath was Jackson’s whole universe 
and timeless prison. He was trapped alive in a horizontal fluid-filled
glass pod, like a preserved specimen. Countless stacks of similar glass containers
with naked living human captives surrounded him
as far as the eyes could see.

Jackson had been sentenced to incarceration at the secret “LiquiCell Institution,” but not for actually committing a crime ~yet.
A fall in the street, which resulted in prefrontal lobe brain damage, meant that he “could” become a threat to society. Countless studies of dangerous offenders in penitentiaries showed that most of them had prefrontal lobe damage or underdevelopment. Many of them had tendencies towards impulsive, aggressive behaviour. Their inhibitions and ability to defer gratification were deficient ~all they knew was what they wanted in the moment. Without consideration of the future or consequences of their actions, these people did not have the ability of moral reasoning. Thanks to science, such sociopaths were now identifiable before they caused damage to living beings or property.

A recent crime-prevention law associated with public safety and security, allowed for people to be labeled criminals based on suspicion. The government was getting tough on crime. Regardless of his innocence or victimhood, Jackson was removed from society.

The new, classified, subterranean “LiquiCell” prison stored human cargo in slightly larger than body-sized clear glass capsules. They were filled with a warmed antiseptic bio-gel, which maintained hygiene. Every enclosed organism was connected to an automated neural network and all their bio-functions were monitored by the central computer. Cardiovascular, hormonal, immunological and neurological activities for each body were measured through wireless bio-nanosensor arrays ~miniature laboratories. Then the system automatically made necessary adjustments of medication through needle-free injection devices, to ensure optimal levels of biological functioning. Cordless stimulation electrodes interacted with various body parts, to elicit muscle contraction, to sustain muscle tone, to prevent blood from settling and to defibrillate the heart in emergencies. Calorie restricted essential nutrients were dispensed in liquid form through feeding tubes; waste removal apparatus was also connected. The only things the perfect homeostatic system could not control were hair and nail growth.

The new “correctional institution concept” secured financial savings for the government in the millions per year. Only one computer network operator was required for 1000 inmates per 8-hour shift, apart from a weekly maintenance crew. A medic perused the daily reports for anomalies and took care of emergencies. Real estate space, salaried personnel and food costs were greatly reduced; but added expenditures for rehabilitation, social programs, education, recreation, discipline problems, riots, or hunger strikes, were eliminated and replaced with thrifty soft restraints for wrists
and ankles.

Several pharmaceutical companies contributed capitol as corporate partners. Their tranquilizers, antidepressants and other medications enabled the success of the venture. Due to the large quantities of their products used daily, the projected returns on their investments guaranteed large profits. Free test subjects for experimental drugs were an added benefit. The mortality rate was not much higher than the national average for confinement facilities. Fatal medical complications were balanced out by the absence of the most common prison deaths: suicide, cardiovascular diseases, illicit drug overdoses and violence.

The bodies were sedated into a near coma state. Floating in and out of consciousness in an opioid haze, Jackson had forever to relive and figure out what went wrong, interspersed with memories of his family and friends and a life that he missed. Over and over again he asked himself how his own country could treat him like this if he had never committed a crime. How could this organization be legal? Had human rights become overshadowed by a fearful and obsessive need for security? Was his country mutating into a fascist state without anyone noticing? Would he ever get his life back? Would he ever see his loved ones again?

A one-way transparent flexible LCD screen was fitted onto each capsule above the eyes, to influence brain activity and rehabilitation through audio-visual means, as well as to block most of the view to the outside. Melodic music was accompanied by images of beautiful landscapes. Additionally, middle-aged female readers from every racial background, recited moral short stories and positive affirmation poems, with tender compassionate expressions. Listening to the soothing synthesized music was a welcome distraction from an underlying anxiety over a fate Jackson still did not understand, nor could accept. 



The trustworthy maternal faces and voices of the storytellers consoled him like his own mother, who had read to him before bedtime during his childhood. It was an ironic paradox that Jackson felt ephemeral torment, yet he floated in carefree comfort, with all his needs provided. He was not unlike millions of people in the world, who feel trapped in their routine daily lives, merely existing in unfulfilled comfortable comas, sedated with alcohol, antidepressants and television ~or religion.

The lighting was consistently dim; there was no day and night punctuated by light and dark. But after some time, Jackson recognized a schedule of waking with music, followed by muscle stimulation, then medication and movement of liquid in the feeding tubes, and readings. He counted units of time through his heartbeat, which was amplified in the liquid. At 60 heartbeats per minute, each musical piece lasted 5 minutes and each reading was 15 minutes long. During the day, readings were alternated with a set of 3 musical pieces, interspersed with movement in the feeding tubes and dosing of medication, ending with forced sleep. Then it started all over again ~presumably the next day. By his calculations, he had been subjugated for 726 days ~or longer...

As Jackson became accustomed to the tranquilizers, he regained some lucidity. He tried to send neural impulses back into the system through muscle contractions using Morse code —just a plain S-O-S of long and short intervals. Due to a glitch in the system, he eventually got back a faint Morse code reply. Apparently, there was another prisoner in the building who knew the code. They sent messages back and forth. Another man was also unfairly taken from his life and confined. There was general injustice here. Something had to be done about it, but they were trapped and useless, which caused them more despair.

Jackson’s neighbours caught glimpses of him and started imitating the Morse code messages, with nonsensical meanings. They intuitively understood the mechanism of sending messages and felt the responses, but did not know the language system of Morse code. Soon all the captives were trying to communicate in the same manner. It gave them hope to know that they were not alone. These were human beings who needed something meaningful to do with their lives, something or someone to interact with, other than to just lay there like living corpses. Before the supervisors could diagnose the irregular electrical activity, the wiring overloaded and burned out. The prison was no longer functioning. As the medication wore off, more and more people kicked their way out of their glass cells, ripped off the restraints and tubes and helped others escape. 

A thousand naked slimy angry men were marching down the highway towards the city. The scandal of the century was about to erupt in the news media…

Jackson awoke in the hospital in breathless bewilderment. The nurse tried to reassure him that he had been sleeping and was having a nightmare; but he was safe now. His wife and three children were sitting at his bedside waiting for him to awaken and greeted him with loving hugs and tears of joy. He had been in a coma for 3~months. During this time, his spouse, children, his parents, siblings and friends had been taking turns sitting by his side every day ~waiting and hoping. They entertained him with stories, poems, soothing music and informed him of what was happening in the world, knowing that he would hear everything. They also gave him daily massages to keep his limbs from atrophying. All his loved ones felt blessed to have him back. Since he could now eat by himself, the nurses happily removed his feeding tubes.

A doctor came in and explained to him that he had been hit by a car, which had put him into a coma. Luckily, no broken bones were found, nor was there any organ damage. Unfortunately, the results of neurological and brain imaging tests showed that he had suffered frontal lobe brain injury, for which there is no cure.

The physician also mentioned that while he was sleeping, the government had enacted a new preventative safety and security law. Jackson would have to stay at the hospital until he was well enough to travel. Then he would be moved to a new rehabilitation facility.

As the doctor was leaving, a security guard posted outside his room came in and handcuffed him. He was wheeled off to a segregated hospital wing, while his family was left behind crying in confusion. Awaiting his transfer to the LiquiCell Institution, Jackson’s nightmare was just beginning... 





[email protected] (www.ARTmetaphor.ca) dream family fantasy frontal-lobe damage hospital premonition security https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog/2015/5/premonition Thu, 21 May 2015 23:40:38 GMT
Adam's Dream https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog/2014/11/adams-dream

Adam’s Dream

Charles Fisch©2011

Adam finally got his wish to see reality as it really was
—when he was struck by lightning and died.

Once resuscitated, everything looked the same as before, yet it felt different and unreal —as if he had landed in a parallel universe. The significance of everyday objects, events and relationships that he had known all his life elicited new questions. Adam now saw all of life with many possible meanings and outcomes. Even the simple act of eating toast became a mind-expanding experience.

“LightningBoy” suddenly became popular at school, further complicating the existence of the shy, average-looking teenager who had walked unnoticed down the same corridors and streets for years. Now, everyone wanted to know what it felt like to be struck by lightning. He was invited to speak at functions and asked to hang out by people who had ignored him before. His new popularity was enjoyable; yet at the same time, everything was too overwhelming for him. Then a few weeks later the visions started…

A library book aroused his curiosity and gave him some hope of understanding his condition. Excerpts from Christian and Buddhist scriptures stated
—without explanation— that we do not see reality the way it really is. Luckily, his Psychology studies offered theories of how we perceive it. After converting colour and sound from nature into patterns of electrical pulses —the language of the brain— we then re-interpret the signals thus created by “giving” them meaning. Yet, we are able to see, hear and smell only a small percentage of what various animals perceive. We are missing a large part of the world.

Did the scriptures mean that our incomplete perceptions —which we re-interpret based on cultural norms and past experiences— cause us to have a deficient, misconstrued understanding of our universe? If so, what is reality?

Adam’s perceptions began to change. He saw everything on a microscopic level, as clusters of molecules. Air was less dense and objects and living beings were more dense —conglomerations of molecules. Light separated into multitudes of colour waves, bouncing from object to object. There was no space…no emptiness. Everything was astir with brilliant chromatic waves and molecules. All living and inanimate objects were in constant motion, somewhat similar to a Van Gogh painting of stars —but much brighter, more detailed and more explosive.

Listening to Adam describe his new visions, people became suspicious of him. His parents were the most alarmed. They took him to various specialists, who labeled him Schizophrenic and prescribed medications. He refused them. They made him feel sluggish, like a zombie in a fog.

He was not suffering without the meds, but daily life required a great deal more energy for Adam to process and to understand. He could not screen out anything anymore. Everything was happening all at once, non-stop —sight, sound, smell, sensation, coming at him from all angles. He was afraid to go outside because there was too much to handle. Often he stopped while walking and stared into space, fascinated by what he saw.

Sometimes he fell asleep from exhaustion in the middle of a conversation. People were bewildered when he went into contortions and screamed with fright —obviously in an intense dream state. One of the doctors at the hospital recognized complex foreign language structures in his somnolent utterances —ancient Persian, Khoisan, Inuit and dolphin speech, amongst other unidentifiable languages. Specialists studied and prodded him with every possible scientific test, with no conclusions.

His dreams seemed to be revelations about social struggles that pitted harmony and justice against power needs and greed. The dormant visions involved fascinating people and creatures made of light, gasses, liquids, and materials other than flesh, such as bodies of subatomic particles with intelligence. Incredible energy weapons killed individuals and populations, while others harvested their life-force. The most advanced weapons did not harm —they healed people. Upon impact, life-forms felt orgasmic beatitude and were able to release all of their pent up fears, pain and indoctrinations.  Afterwards, they were able to make more benevolent decisions.

Adam was an observer in the dreams, but equally vulnerable to physical experiences. The visions were so real —every tiny detail in 3D hyper reality— that apart from sweating profusely, sometimes he had injuries when he awoke.

One day his anxious mother was examining his lesions as he tried to explain his new dream-life to her, when he fell asleep again. This dream seemed to take a different turn. Bacteria on his skin surface became visible to him. Then, he could see inside his torso, noting his heart, lungs and stomach moving at different rhythmic rates. He recognized cellular structures in his organs and he shrank to become the same microscopic size as the cells. Inside his blood vessels, he was carried off by platelets and digested by macrophages. Shrinking further, he then observed molecules as they interacted with organelles within his cells. His own DNA strands became a jungle-gym for him to swing about. This was fun.

Amongst molecules, he could see electrons whirling around the nuclei of atoms, with a great deal of space between them. The nucleus contained hundreds of subatomic particles, shooting, swirling, bustling, exploding, transforming from one into another in a bubbling stew. Further magnified, all the particles were made of various forms of light glowing brighter than Adam could withstand. He marveled that everything which existed was made of light. He finally understood the scriptures’ allusions to our illusory world —nucleic and electromagnetic forces created the semblance of solidity, while dieters would be happy to hear that weight is an illusion of gravity.            

Suddenly his dream changed. Adam was now full size and traveling at high speed in space; across our solar system, to other solar systems and through other galaxies.

The same pattern repeated itself from microscopic to macrocosmic. Planets orbiting the sun were like electrons circling the nucleus of atoms with an equal proportion of space between them. The sun was volatile like the atomic nucleus. Star systems grouped together to form galaxies like multi-branched molecules which form living cells. Super clusters of galaxies connected by filaments of Dark Matter were reminiscent of the cell clusters that made up organs of living beings. Everything was in constant motion
—rotating, expanding, exploding, contracting and transforming from one thing to another in a streaming soup of radiation and atomic particles.

On his journey, Adam saw planets with skyscrapers and orbiting satellites. There was life on other worlds and there were civilizations more advanced than ours that he recognized from previous dreams. Curiously, time slowed near sources of gravity. Planets seemed trapped in their own time bubble.

At one point, galaxies and nebulae started to dissipate. Beyond all the galaxies there was utter emptiness. As he was now far away from all matter, he could make sense of the structures of space that he had traversed. They seemed to be the cells and organs which made up a very large living being. He realized that he had been living inside an enormous entity and was part of its makeup, like bacteria inside another organism. The life form that he was obviously part of —and we are all part of— was floating in space and glowed with a magnificent multicoloured light, brighter than the sun. Only an indirect gaze at it was possible without pain. It resembled human form, but also had tentacles and exotic textures and patterns across its surface. The creature seemed to intermittently separate into many other similar individuals and then recombine into one, like an expanding and contracting universe and parallel universes.

Adam became aware that inside the creature he
had felt whole and satisfied, but outside the creature, he felt only void —utter emptiness. A sad, forlorn feeling that he had never experienced before, now weighed on him. It felt similar to a very deep depression, a feeling of disconnectedness, timelessness and hopelessness. But now, this feeling was magnified to its ultimate extreme. He felt like he was devoid of any life-force —dead!


For a long time Adam and the creature stared at each other. He wondered if this being was God. Are we all a part of God? Are we like symbiotic or opportunistic bacteria, or are we passive content, predisposed to “ITs” processes? If we are like molecules in ITs belly, is IT even aware of us?
Do our prayers matter? 

The creature began to speak, but the sounds that came out were too overwhelming and unintelligible for Adam to understand, or to even bear. It sounded similar to musical sounds of an immense contemporary orchestra playing a carefully composed cacophony of satisfying melodies. There were trillions of units of information in each phrase. Adam was inundated by the sound as if he was hit by a tidal wave. It carried him further away in space, tumbling head over heels.

At some point he began to understand some of the meaning on a purely emotional level. He could not put it into words or make out details, but he felt comforted. Then the creature grabbed at him with huge hands and drew him inside.  

Adam suddenly awoke, smiling and humming a tune. Apparently he had been in a coma for 2 years. His parents and friends were notified that LightningBoy had awakened. Everyone surrounded him in the hospital with great joy. They all wanted to know what he had experienced.

He recounted the story of his travels and of meeting The Creator in person, which imbued him with a contentment that he had never experienced before in his previous lives. He assumed that the image that he had encountered was merely a symbolic representation given to him so that he could have some tangible grasp of his experience. God, neither male nor female —IT— is expansive beyond our comprehension, not actually a creature that we humans can see or experience with our small limited minds.

Adam returned from his journey with a great amount of information that the Divine Being had placed in his mind, with the purpose of sharing his illumination with the world. He knew it would take him a lifetime to unravel it all. So he started writing a book of all that had been revealed to him.
This would be his life’s work, knowing that this “Book” was the most recent lesson or inspiration from God to humanity. The significance of messages in God’s previous “Books” had lost their value, as a large number of humans had now evolved past the need for threats and punishments to guide our social evolution.  

This new Book was called “The Invitation.” In this anthology, threats of eternal punishment did not exist. No hands or feet were cut off, nor eyes put out, nor any other form of mutilation practiced. There were no proverbs about shunning or expulsion or slavery, nor about stoning to death, nor turning to stone, nor poisoning, stabbing, hanging, burning, crucifying; and definitely no explosions, nor any other cruel punishment for breaking commandments —as there were no commandments. Neither were there plagues, nor locusts, nor rivers turning to blood, nor babies killed, nor requirement of animal sacrifice. Purity was associated with altruism and compassion, not virginity. Teachings of hatred against nonbelievers and incitements of killing in God’s name, or any form of reward for killing —on earth or in heaven—was discouraged. God, being omnipotent, did not need any puny creatures like humans to wage battles for “IT.”  

Adam recognized that God simply invited everyone to enter into ITs realm of love and peace. The choice to connect with The Divine was available to everyone when they were ready; and no one was required to wear theatrical costumes or masks or hats to signify that they were believers. There were no punishments for rejecting God. Understanding and believing in ITs Principles willingly, was its own reward.

By not following God’s Principles, humans will continue to create more poverty, disease, war and misery for ourselves and for other species. Hell is on earth… Heaven could be as well...

Those who embrace The Creator’s message to relinquish all aggression, adopt compassion and live by ITs Principles, will enjoy the energy that naturally flows throughout the universe. They will help to revitalize humanity. Those who have not yet understood, obstruct the free flowing energy of their own life and impede the life force of others. But they can try again and again in new bodies, until their essence is cleansed of fear, hurt, guilt, shame, greed, narcissism, power, hatred…and pure enough to want to open to God. True believers are not necessarily those who profess their beliefs in words —they purely express them through deeds and imbue others with joy. Those who call themselves atheists, but practice God’s Principles, can also pure of heart.

Adam wrote God’s words for all to read, based
on “The-10-Principles” which would enhance
life on earth:

1.   Fundamental rights of everyone to life
and the resources of life: 
security, healthcare, education, air/water/food,
regardless of citizenship

2.   Undeniable Freedoms: 
• Belief • Expression • Association • Intimacy
• Freedom to pursue life goals and to travel
• Freedom of information and communication
• Freedom of religion • Freedom from Religion
• Freedom from intimidation, cruelty, exploitation
• Freedom from political/social/chemical or mechanical/electronic control of free individuals,
groups and populations

3.   Equality, Respect and Dignity: 
fairness and justice for all regardless of age, sex, social status, ability, sexual orientation, belief  

4.   Inclusion: 
all individuals are members of humanity and need inclusion in society, social life, equal access to work/employment, education/skills equal access to economic opportunity, ability to run for public office

5.   Non-violence: 
• always seek peaceful solutions to problems
• No killing    • No vendettas or retaliations
• No psychological or social violence

6.   Contribution: 
all individuals should contribute to their community, 
or to the world, any way they are able

7.   Responsibility: 
• Societies are responsible for every person
• Each person is responsible for every other person 

8.   Self development: 
• Impeccability • Striving to live up to one’s potential  
• Lifelong Learning encouraged at school, home, workplace, to be made possible for everyone by governments

9.   Atonement and restitution for causing suffering or destruction:   • should be taught from childhood

10. Respect for nature: 
• non-polluting energy sources should be used
• Non-tampering with species through genetic
   modification or hybridization 
• Humane treatment of animals

Adam traveled around the world and taught God’s newest message to everyone who was willing to listen —and in their own language! Multitudes of lives were enhanced and redeemed by The-10-Principles. Where once there was dictatorship and war, people freely celebrated joyfully and danced in the streets. Where there had been poverty and famine, those who were able could work towards a fruitful harvest; and everyone had enough to eat. Where once there was loneliness and pain, people rejoiced together. Land that once was brown with drought grew vibrant green. The air was sweet with the scent of crops and flowers. Eden was reborn all over the earth.



[email protected] (www.ARTmetaphor.ca) DNA brilliant chromatic divine dream electrical pulses fantasy gravity light molecules music perception reality revelations space time https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog/2014/11/adams-dream Wed, 19 Nov 2014 00:36:02 GMT
Photography is the 'Folk Art' of the 21st century. https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog/2014/8/new-ideas Photography is the 'Folk Art' of the 21st century.  Charles Fisch © 2014 Camera images frame ideas by focusing on a detail of the universe.
They also extend memory and allow the sharing of experiences across space and time. 
Yet, all that the camera does is focus light through a hole and then create a stable image from it.
In essence, images made by cameras are mere documentation. 
X-ray machines are big cameras… 

A hundred years ago a photographer was a highly skilled professional. But today, "Point-and-Shoot" automatic cameras effortlessly reproduce what they see without the need for skills. We now have proof that even a monkey can do it. A macaque ran away with a man's camera and took hundreds of well focused pictures of himself before the camera was recovered. *

These cameras allow anyone to make a recognizable copy of something that already exists —or existed for an ephemeral moment. A majority of posts on social networking sites and photo-sharing sites seem to have used automatic cameras. Somehow, they remind me of Folk Art, or Naïve Art.

Folk Art is often distinguishable by a naïve deco-rative style that tries to illustrate things the way they are seen in nature, usually devoid of rules of perspective or proportion. These works portray rural or urban scenes with people doing familiar things —caricature copies of generally accepted reality of that era— using unsophisticated self-taught techniques in paint, clay, wood-carving, etc. William Kurelek and Grandma Moses come to mind for painting. But no doubt someone will correct me by pointing out that there are now University art programs teaching Naïve art as an academic discipline. "Faux Naïve"?

While point-and-shoot cameras usually depict perspective, the images they produce are Folk Art or Naïve Art —without style. The "selfie," the group shot, pets, kids, travel, fashion, sports, the shocking, political activism, and various cultural imitations of one another… These portrayals are the commonly accepted
day-to-day visual narratives of this era. Immortalizing them has a mostly utilitarian nature —memory, sharing and promotion. Like Folk Art, they are not meant to be
high art.

Point-and-shoot artists just want instant gratification without skill, effort or commitment. Yet some believe that the haphazard documentation of their environments using cell-phone shots decorated with automatic filters, actually compete with highly skilled professional artists' works. In today's climate of inclusiveness and celebrating the mundane, they fit perfectly. Hopefully, "Automatic Naive Art" will not become the new standard in aesthetics.

Before cameras became common, painters were saddled with the task of learning painstaking artistic skills to be able to reproduce three-dimensional reality in two-dimensional form using paint. After the camera became an acceptable tool of art, painters decided that the camera can do a more accurate job of reproducing or documenting recognizable reality. Thus, they freed themselves from artificial classical themes and idealized portraiture of wealthy people, in order to paint light, colour, emotions, ideas and abstraction with or without form. They started to explore their craft in a new way. Instead of trying to hide brushstrokes, the strokes and paint became a three-dimensional texture of the composition. The way they manipulated the materials became their unique fingerprint and trade-mark. The invention of a technology —the camera— revolutionized painting.

The camera allowed the creation of recognizable images without having to learn to paint. New pro-fessions and industries emerged. Automatic technologies further democratized image-making and the documentation of reality. Both initiated communications and political revolutions. 


Since Guttenberg, printing presses generated empires of influence through persuasion of the masses, but the affordable point-and-shoot camera and digital social media, in effect, put printing presses into the hands of amateurs. Automatic cameras gave average people a voice and a rewarding pastime that celebrated the pleasures of "creating" even with minimal skill. Cultural imperialism, old dogmas and oppressive ideologies are now being challenged as much by point-and-shoot cameras as by weapons. Of course some are better at it than others…

As new technologies emerge, previous ones tend to fade into history along with their inventors and expert users. They were necessary stepping-stones to the present, as the present is to the future.

For most of the 20th Century, printing of the black-and-white image onto paper was an integral part of photography. Limited image manipulations were made during the printing process. Today, the act of taking a picture is a separate operation from adjusting or creating a final image, and separate from printing —even as listed job descriptions.

Digital tools have greatly expanded the ability to manipulate images and to print them. We can now print incredibly detailed colour images with a variety of printers and permanent inks and onto diverse materials, including metals. We can also publish with light on digital screens that easily fit into the hand or barely cover the eye, or conversely are the size of buildings (Jumbotron) —and can be instantly streamed to the other side of the world. Holograms and 3-D printing are also a form of publishing photographic images. Of course, displaying one's work on a Jumbotron with perfect clarity does not make it art…

Painters re-evaluated their art-form with the invention of photographic technology. Now photographers need to re-evaluate their work to include the new technologies of image manipulation, printing and publishing. For example, "How will the work be displayed?" is an important question. The answer will be determined before the image is shot, by sensor size and resolution of the camera. If a small image is enlarged, it becomes more blurry as it increases in size. Professional photographers are faced with similar dilemmas daily. This idea may escape the point-and-shoot naïve artist, who is satisfied by an online digital album or 4x6 paper prints.

Art improves only through experimentation. Today, this is not even a choice, but a necessity as "legacy" (old) technology no longer works with the newest products. Just keeping up with software and hardware upgrades are costly and challenging. Yet one has to be aware of the concepts and names of the advancements, if only to get the quality of printing one wants. The technicians may be just pushing automated buttons as they were trained to do —without true understanding. But those who revel in the newness and integrate it into their work will benefit with a shift in their thinking and creative processes. We are so lucky to have free internet tutorials available for those who want to learn.

Although, there is no automated function for solid design principles and colour harmony. And, the use of technology devoid of ideas and meaning, creates meaningless expressions… Meaningful images are the most memorable.

* http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/aug/06/wikipedia-monkey-selfie-copyright-artists)


[email protected] (www.ARTmetaphor.ca) Automatic camera Naïve Art new technology painting selfie https://www.artmetaphor.ca/blog/2014/8/new-ideas Tue, 12 Aug 2014 00:05:28 GMT