Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Oneanta [again!]

                                                               Oneanta Gorge oil on canvas 40x40

 This is a place I keep painting though I`ve only been in it a couple of times. A massive logjam guards the entrance and getting over this difficulty keeps the place relatively elder-free. No matter, I remember enough. What makes the narrow canyon so enthralling is a sense of being inside something womb like. The trail is the stream and it`s deep in places. Wading through the cold water toward a destination you can hear before seeing, creates an atmosphere of mystery and anticipation. Then the walk concludes at a pool with a gushing waterfall. It seems like the Source, the spigot of life. Such beauty!
Here is another;

                                                       Winter Oneanta oil on Yupo 12x9

 Quesadillas have become my Kummerspeck, my grief bacon, the last few days. Last Saturday we had to suddenly euthanize my cat Lincoln. He was ancient, in decline and probably diabetic. We`ve expected this but not so abruptly. But he was in obvious distress and we didn`t want him to suffer.
For the first time in 30 years I am petless and it is an awful, empty sensation. Oddly it`s not so sad, it is depressing. We`ve all experienced this. It is unacceptable.
Death and life, always mutually entwined, no exceptions. Mentally, I get it. I do my best to incorporate this reality into my heart. But the loss hurts like a personal amputation. Some of me is buried in the backyard too.
I need an animal to sleep on my lap. That makes me feel worthy, makes me a better person.

                                                            Lincoln upon Randall two weeks ago

 I`m listening to the sprawling novel Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides on my I-phone. It is rich with history, Greek culture and gender identity matters. The narrator is a hermaphrodite, raised as a girl but male as an adult. I`m getting an education in these timely issues. Not too long ago I mentioned to my mother that gender wasn`t determined at conception, that it happens as the embryo develops while bathed in hormones and enzymes. She was flabbergasted and I wondered if this wasn`t common knowledge? Maybe it isn`t with all of the intolerance toward transgendered people. Even at birth, it`s sometimes unclear and the doctor makes a choice. Often the wrong one. It`s certainly a complex subject but the vitriol the Christian Right is expressing on which bathroom they can use is so discouraging. Who would make such a wrenching decision as gender reassignment if it wasn`t of critical importance? Those religious zealots are so mean spirited! Not happy unless someone is being persecuted! I remember what Salman Rushdie said "Fundamentalism in any religion is always about power, not faith".

 We were sitting by a pond in Stanley Park a few years ago and John remarked he preferred swans to ducks. "They`re more professional".

work for sale in my studio


Libby Fife said...


I am sorry about Lincoln. Losing your friends never gets any easier. And you are right too. It's a tremendous loss on many levels.

I don't get tired of looking at that gorge (or any for that matter). They are a wonder to me. We drove through a portion of the Virgin River gorge not that long ago and the sheer size of the structures surrounding us is more than I can describe. It's like being at the beginning of something and you wonder how on earth anything like that can exist. Both of your renditions are beautiful and mysterious. Peaceful.

I read Middlesex also. The mechanics of gender determination are fascinating (I sure didn't fully know about the subject) and you wonder how often a doctor can get that wrong if they have to decide. You wonder about all of it actually. I like Trans-Sister Radio also by Chris Bohjalian. Transitioning to another gender isn't just about surgery and new clothes. How could you not have compassion for these things that are so complex?

Another good post-thank you.

Gary L. Everest said...

Hi Randall,
So sorry to learn about Lincoln. And yes, we've been there a couple of times, me, a few more with dogs. Never easy is it. We've been without a pet since moving here and we're now in our fourth year. We miss having a cat, but Michele volunteers two days a week at the Humane Society, one of the two, working with cats and kittens newly arrived at the center. It goes a long way in giving her contact with cats which need someone to show them affection.
On a lighter note, the swan photos and John's comment were both priceless. Thanks for ending the post with that. I'm still smiling.
Have a nice weekend and keep up the great work!

E.M. Corsa said...

First of all, I grew up next door to Stanley Park in Massachusetts and it was famous for its swans which chased my dog relentlessly!

Beautiful work - very mysterious, almost luring me inside.

I am so very sorry about your friend Lincoln. I ave never been without a furry friend either. But you know, you did the right thing.

And on the other topic - I am ashamed to be from North Carolina. All I can say is I am not a native and not all of us who live here are so horrid.

Donna Thibodeau said...

So sorry about losing your pet. It is like grieving for a member of your family. Animal or human.

I also read Middlesex. In the 60's I worked in the laboratory and a woman saw her doctor because she could not conceive. He sent us a Barr Body test where the inside cheek tissue was scraped. After staining the scraping showed the person to be male. Later scans found she had internal testicles. She was of large size. She felt to be a woman and was married so the doctor did not tell her. This was an example of sex determination before birth.

I love your blog and save it to savor. Your are is so moody and evicts emotion.

BlueHwyGal said...

I love the power - as well as the delicacy - you portray in your Onteonta series. Rebuffed by it's daunting difficulties, I have never been, so trust your vision and enjoy it through your memory.

Colours by sheri said...

Randall, I love these Oneanta Gorge soothing, just beautiful. I am sorry about your having to let Lincoln go...I'm sure his life was amazing, you were both blessed. I am on a day to day evaluation of my old kitty, "Seven", she is 21 years old..I will miss her in so many ways.

Randall David Tipton said...

Thank you Donna, I`d write you directly if I could. I appreciate you reading my blog! Turns out gender is much more fluid than we realized. Everyone deserves respect and if someone is in transition, let`s just be kind to them. We are all so complex! RT