Writing in the Dark,, an apt metaphor for anyone who has ever tried to tap out words on a  backlit screen.  This book, a collection of essays gathered by Max van Manen, shows how "different kinds of human experience may be explored, the methods for investigating phenomena contributing to human experience…the process of inquiry, reflection and writing…a valuable and rich resource".   That is to say, writing is an attempt to reflect what goes on inside us.  Inside us is where "story" occurs.Scott Popjes maintains a busy schedule, writing, producing and editing major theatrical trailers, promos and EPK's and developing and producing TV series and films, such as "The Remarkably 20th Century" and "The Long Ride Home".  Born and raised in suburban New Jersey, this everyman director/editor loves making movies.Ernest Hemingway - The man who ran with the bulls.  His literary sparseness and compression, well-worn and well-earned, captured the attention of critics and public in a volatile age.  In 1952, he received the Pulitzer for The Old Man and the Sea.   In 1954, he received the Nobel Prize for his "powerful style-making mastery of the modern art of narration."  He wrote from life.  Until his life subdued and rescued him.Will Shakespeare - Aka "The bard".  Arguably the best English writer to ever glide pen to page, populist hero as well as aristocratic raconteur, though we wish he had used all women instead of all men to populate his plays.  (Not a prejudice, just a fact.)   His sonnets remain divine.  Rare is the writer who can scribble successfully in one genre, let alone two.  Some postulate this poet and playwright was, in fact, more than one man…or woman.  What would he have done with film, we wonder?Though he produced fewer than 40 paintings, Dutch painter Jan Vermeer is one of the most respected artists of the European tradition. He is known for his serene, luminous interiors populated by one or two figures. Vermeer grew up in Delft, Holland, joined the painters' guild in 1653, and worked as an art dealer to support his wife and 11 children.  In 1672, war with France ruined Holland’s economy and Vermeer's business failed.  Soon after, he died of a stroke at age 42, leaving his family bankrupt.  Vermeer's paintings were largely forgotten for nearly 200 years, until 1858 when a French critic began to write admiringly about his work.  Interest in Vermeer surged again recently with his work exhibited at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.  Contemporary writers have also been inspired by him, including Tracy Chevalier whose novel Girl with a Pearl Earring imagines the life of the girl in Vermeer's painting of the same name. L.Ron Hubbard - Whatever you may think of his other worldly beliefs, the full body of L. Ron Hubbard's work includes more than 5,000 writings and 3,000 tape-recorded lectures, spanning five, highly productive decades.  A humanitarian and adventurer, he  believes, "There are only two tests of a life well lived: Did one do as one intended? And were people glad one lived?"  We add, "And can one write about it, anyhow?"Johannes Vermeer's "Lady Writing a Letter with Her Maid" records a prior chivalrous age where class decorum reigned.  (Oh, well, you can't have everything.)   One of the most talented painters in the Dutch Golden Age, that's the 1600's, Vermeer's work was forgotten for centuries.  The most brilliant artists of any century are probably never discovered, their paintings hidden till ruin, their pages dropping to dust in unfound attics.  We find this oddly comforting.  No martyr of time, this particular masterpiece hangs in the National Gallery of Ireland.  Definitely worth a gaze.Jules Verne - Ode to childhood and the player within us.  Verne was born, aptly, in Nates, France in 1828.  He promptly ran off to become cabin boy on a merchant ship but was caught and sent back to his parents.  Thus constrained, his imagination wandered.  He wrote story after story, became very rich, bought a yacht and resumed his initial intent - to sail around the world.  Or Europe anyhow.   Our favorite remains Twenty Thousand Leagues.
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"Chortens and Golems"

Wooster Projects is happy to present Michael David’s new encaustic paintings, entitled "Chortens and Golems”, showing from October 26th to November 11th at 418 W.15th Street, New York. The artist’s opening night reception is October 26th from 6 to 9 pm.

ChortensChortens are Tibetan Buddhist prayer temples, small, irregular pyramids with stepped sides, poured with decades of paint, layer upon layer organically flowing over the sides. Two to four people may enter at a time. David’s abstract paintings mirror the format and texture of Chortens.

David says, “I did not know of Chortens before I started the new paintings. I was just diagnosed with nerve damage in my legs, with no apparent explanation. I started to read a book by the Dali Lama about Buddhism to quiet my heart and mind. I don't practice Buddhism or any religion but I have found peace in reading about it and the images of Chortens looked very similar to the paintings I was creating. I discovered that wax – the wax I was painting with, the wax that injured my legs -- is the most sacred of materials in Buddhism, where it represents transition, transformation and fragility. Wax is the physical manifestation of compassion.”

Golem“A Golem is completely the opposite, a monster, an Atom bomb, a reckless manmade force. In 18th century Prague, as legend has it, a Rabbi created a Golem by mixing wax, clay and semen, speaking invocations, drawing a figure and then setting it on fire, so the figure would come to life. Ms. Shelley used this legend to create Frankenstein story. The Golem was inanimate and had no soul. It was a Godless creature that proceeded to wipe out the Rabbi’s enemies, and then, by accident, the town’s innocents and then, very nearly the Rabbi himself. Finally, the Rabbi realized that he had been too ambitious, that no man can take God’s work in is own hands and so he destroyed his own creation. But the Golem turned to stone and fell upon the Rabbi, the creation destroying the creator.”

“In this sense, the Golem embodies creative impulse that, in the extreme, can be self-destructive and reckless. In my earliest symbol paintings, I used the Swastika for the Golem. Many Jews in Germany, protecting their own position from Communism, turned a blind eye to Hitler’s rise. Hitler himself is seen as a Golem. Using wax, I paint fallen figures that are coming in and out of existence. These are Golems, metaphors for my own struggle with the act of creation.”