Thursday, March 31, 2011

Three Faces of Love

When I was younger I never really knew what was LOVE.  I knew there must be different kinds of love because, I didn't love my mother as I loved a girlfriend.  Sometime in my thirties I found love had three faces, thanks to Joseph Campbell.


My interpretation of the types

Eros = Lust

Amor = Romantic

Agape = Compassionate, unconditional/ charity

I want to create photographic images to arrange into a triptych with each panel devoted to each type of love.  I have many images and groupings of images in my head.  I now need to draw up some to see them on paper and make the best combinations.  Where did I leave my drawing paper and pencils?

The above images can be found on their original pages:

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Damyon? Call me Dan!

I have always thought that because my mother spelled my name, Damian, incorrectly as Damyon, I was the only one in the world with that spelling.  Wrong.  It wasn't until just recently that I googled Damyon.  There must have been many mothers not knowing how to spell it, or they chose to spell it differently on purpose or my mother started a trend.

Throughout my life my name has been mispronounced even though it is spelled phonetically.  Many people seeing my name automatically know how to pronounce it, wrongly.  They see Damon, Dam E on, Daymon and Damn yon, with a very infrequent Damien with a French accent.  After it is pronounced incorrectly, most times, I decide to not explain how to pronounce my name.  It seemed to be counter productive because, taken as an average over the many years of my life, people just continue to mispronounce it the way they they did the first time.  Just call me Dan.

This whole situation with my name helped form my personality, somewhat schizophrenic.

Friday, March 25, 2011

IA is pronounced YA

The sound made by placing the two letters I and A together should be YA, as the German word for affirmative. I don't know why but many people here in the greater Philadelphia area, pronounce each letter separately and most of the time the letter I as an E.  The same with the word Pennsylvan E A.  What is the basis for this?  Is it the influence of romance language speaking immigrant population that swelled the area in the early 20th century?  I don't speak any languages other than American English and even that I don't use to its full potential.  I did study Russian at Central High School but that is mostly gone from my swiss cheese brain.  (Although, my minds races when I hear people speaking, what sounds like, the Russian language.  I search for phrases I remember, like на завтра or до свидания and to say something in Russian to them as they leave, hoping they will think I understood everything they just spoke.)  For all that I have forgotten, I do remember the Russian language has a letter in its alphabet that is я, pronounced YA.

My grandparents emigrated from eastern Europe and spoke forms of Slovic languages.  At my birth it was decided I would be named for both my grandfathers, Damian and Timofay.  However, my mother didn't know how to spell Damian.  She heard the name pronounced and the IA in the second syllable sounded like a YA,  when ending with the letter N she thought the second syllable should be spelled YON.  So before leaving the hospital she had to give me a name, for legal reasons, so she spelled it phonetically, D A M Y O N.  Now my mother also assigned me a nickname, Dan.  It has been much easier to tell people that my name is Dan than to constantly try to get them to pronounce my name as it should be.  That is problematic, too.  If I only tell people my name is Dan, they sometimes want to be proper and call me Daniel.  At this point, I have to decide whether to tell them that my name is not Daniel but Damyon and explain the whole story starting from my mother using phonetic spelling or just let it roll off my back and ignore it or say, "Call me anything but not late for dinner!"  You couldn't tell it by looking at me but, I have missed few dinners in my life.

What defines an Artist?

Is it enough to have artistic talent or must you produce art to be considered an artist?

To discover your artistic talent you must at least produce some art.  Then follows practice.  Practice approaches perfect.  Without practice only artistic intentions.  Perhaps it is true then, to paraphrase an old proverb: as good intentions, the road to hell is paved with art?


I have been injured several times in my life.  I have experienced pain that I consider extreme.  When visiting a medical professional they would ask me to describe my pain on a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being the most excruciation and 1 being extremely low.  I have a very high threshold of pain.  So when I judge my pain at 3 it maybe an 8 for another.  Pain is relative.  Does that make my pain less than theirs?

My son was diagnosed with a brain tumor at the age of 11.  For almost two years he fought the tumor and never had a good response, never a break.  He died just past his 13th birthday.  My wife stayed with him when he was in CHOP almost constantly.  She witnessed scores of children die in the oncology ward over those two years.  Those children were stoic and compassionate.

My wife has little compassion for well children who throw tantrums to get toys or food.  The relative pain these children and their parents feel is not even in the same universe as the ill children in the oncology ward.  Yet these well children and their parents fell their pain is unbearable.  In this time of virtual reality, I wish they could feel the pain of the suffering and put their pain in perspective.

Thursday, March 24, 2011


I remember looking into the mirror one morning, and seeing my father staring back.  I realized I was getting older.  Not old, older.  As a child I was always told I resembled my mother.  I had never seen my father in my face, except for my nose. And my eye color.  Now I saw the thinning hair of my father that would look better short rather than the shoulder length of my 20s.  I saw wrinkles starting in the same patterns as on his face and the turkey gobbler beginning to show its jiggle.  My maternal grandfather died at 86 with a full head of hair.  I was beginning to look as my paternal grandfather, totally bald.  I never wanted to look like him or my father.  No telling how your genes will fit.


I was never a boy scout, but did serve as a cub scout den leader for two years, one year for each of my sons.  The one idea that resonated with me was that everyone should do their best.  That has always been part of my work ethic.  If you are going to do a job, do it well, is another.  However, if more than one person is given the same job there may be two different potentials and many of us are always expected to perform better and more than another.  A question of fairness there.

I worked with someone who if assigned a task he didn't like and never wanted to be assigned, would perform the task ineptly and incompletely.  Because of his results, he was never assigned that task again.  I guess he decided that he wasn't going to do the job, so he didn't do it well.  Would he have been a good scout?  He did his best to not ever be assigned that task again, no?  Tragically, within two years of our association at work, he committed suicide over a women.  That was one job he did well.  He was never assigned that job again.  Fair enough.

Monday, March 21, 2011

hindsight is 20/20 cont'd

I get irritated when I am out shopping with my wife and she asks the sales person, "What do other people buy?"  I do a one eighty once I know what other people are doing.  I swim up stream, buck the system, am antiestablishment...  When I think back it may be because I was an outcast as a child.  Once I past my fifth birthday I was overweight.  I was chosen last when it came to neighborhood games.  It was only when there was an odd number of kids to play a game that they knocked on my door to see if I would come out to play.  I was beat up a few times because they could, ridiculed because of my fatness, by total strangers even.  The kids were worse.  I was also smart, which wasn't so valued on the street or in school for that matter.  I think these type incidents made me what I am, consciously different than the pack.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Hindsight is 20/20 cont'd

     Wow, in the last post I said, "just ten years ago".  Do you remember as a young child ten yrs was a lifetime.  One month made a big difference.  I could never be friends with someone two yrs older than myself.  I was always ditching my brother two yrs younger.  Today I work with people forty years younger and treat them as contemporaries.  Biggest problem I have with younger women is their language.  Not familiar with foul mouthed women.  I guess I will get used to it.  That and the tattoos.

Hindsight is 20/20 cont'd

     Just ten years ago I was babbling about some idea I had when a co-worker told me I think too much.  What a kick in the head.  Were other people able to calm their minds without meditating?  Was I different? When I first started to work at my job some thirty years before this incident the very same co-worker called me queer.  Now granted I didn't fit into this environment, I was much more traditionally educated and I didn't enjoy sports or even watching sports and I enjoyed the arts.  I knew he was trying me when he made that declaration because queer was a double entendre.  From that point I was committed to proving that I may be queer/unusual but was able to produce and fit into their environment.  I did but I never fulfilled my life in the arts, as it could have been.  Hindsight is 20/20.

Hindsight is 20/20 cont'd

 I believe if ADD was diagnosable when I was young, I would be within its ranks.  I remember just out of high school explaining to someone how my thoughts worked.  "My brain is like a globe spinning quickly.  When an external speck touches the globe my thoughts are spun off tangentially and I quickly forget of what I spoke just seconds before."   In school I would constantly raise my hand to answer a question or raise a question only to forget the answer or question I so fervently wanted to share with the class.  I guess I have learned to work around my situation using notes, lists and reminders of all kinds.

Hindsight is 20/20

     Today I approach 60 yrs old, quickly.  At forty I remember thinking to myself that I am middle aged with probably forty years of life remaining.  Now I have half that.  It seems as though I have very little time left to fulfill my life.  I need to really get going before I loose more of my sight or hearing or the ability to think straight.