311) Puccoon ~ the New Color for 2009

January 3, 2009

Before Coffee: Let's talk change. When we change something, hopefully we evolve. Historically the question has been do we evolve when we change or do we change when we evolve? [¿Which came first, the chicken or the egg?] No matter here & now. One of the enticements of the arts is the ongoing experience and documentation of change. When I look around the house at paintings I did over a period of 30 years, I see change. Hopefully my writing changes over time. ( I know my workshop handouts have changed... now they include pictures, thanks to Bill O'Hanlon's lead in Field-guide to Possibility-land.)

This blog has changed since the beginning and my experience of dialysis has changed tambien. So, you get it that I am saying everything changes and we can think of tha
t change as our own growth or evolution. In systems theory we see change in systems as self referential, autopoietic (upward draft or self generation), and morphogenic (the system's "system-enhancing behavior that allows for growth, creativity, innovation, and change..."*). A change of color may seem like a small-chunk change... but as the originator and creator of these notes in the evolution of my kidney adventure... believe me, a change is needed at this point.

Color is an important detail worth considering... since the work of Joseph Albers thru the work of Olafur Eliasson
(in which I recently participated, as in walking around in the midst of, during the last Dallas trip). There are some aesthetic parameters that I work within in my blogging and they aren't up for grabs. For example (for Cece) I could write in rhyme, or evolve to blogging in Haiku. Or, I could do all sorts of avant garde tricks like I see in other's blogs... at any rate, you, dear reader, get that I am evolving this blog in ways that I choose, seeing the need for change and yet wanting the change to be along a drift that fits my particular interests and evolutionary sensibilities.

So, this new colour: it is a muted dark red (puccoon) unlike my favorite burnt orange and yet related via the trichomatic cones in my retina (oh yeah... I have my coffee now). And yet, it fits with the other base colours in my blog... although I may change some of them too along thru this next phase. I have been reading some about military heraldry over this vacation (my dad's outfit in 1944 @ left), and recognize the possibility of utilizing historic heraldic meanings in colour, as well as the ancient meanings ascribed through various of my favorite native American nations. In heraldry, this dark red can signify bravery, courage, and fearlessness. In dialysis dark red blood goes into the machine for cleansing and it comes back a brighter colour of red... so, this color here can remind one of the purpose for this blog: to share the experiences of life on the dialysis machine. Color change is only one, however noticeable, symbolic notation of change that I anticipate in 2009... so I want to remind myself at each blogging (flogging?) of change; ergo, the dark red; puccoon! And it is resting on a field of light yellow (like xanthic?), signifying intellect, freshness, and joy.

And of course, the turquoise background of this blog has always signified to me good fortune and success,
called by native Americans "Chal-cui-hui-tal" and defined as high like the sky and most valued. BTW, there is no turquoise in heraldic colors. OKAY!

Call to Gladys @ El Milagro to see what time I can come in today... she'll have Ann the
Nurse call me after shift change.

More about change and the tricks it can play on the brains of old cowboys like me: my memories of youth and living with my family (dad is the only one giving feedback now-a-days and that is like a dance of the generations; the yin yang of the vagaries of maleness, so to speak... anyway, that's another story) collide at times with my dad's memories... and be
lieve me, he is always right! So, in my brain of brains, convoluted as it has been with attention deficit disorder, tweeked doors of perception, and living in parallel universes, (etc. etc.), my memories are dis-similar to dad's. I remember him being attached to SHAEF and going into Berlin (in my brain, as 'safety officer') with the patch at the right on his uniform. In my memories, he had one of these patches with a "Berlin" arc tab over it displayed on his WW II memories wall. Now it's not there and he maintains he was never attached to SHAEF. He goes to the closet (yesterday during our visit) and pulls out the AECAD patch and says, "I wore this patch when we went into Berlin, I believe." And the he takes me over to my mom's assembladge tree, points at a cloisonné Allied Airborne pin and says he was part of the First Allied Airborne, and suggested I re-read his book. So, where did the misguided notions in my brain come from? I might say that since they are in my brain and part of my memories, they're like from a parallel universe of my mind (solipsism). But in that case, what to do about Dad's memories?

As I try to figure it out... I muse that I may have gotten the patch from SHAEF stuck in my memory from my own collection of Army patches that I collected as a youth. And, BTW, I wish I had kept them... as I look thru the google images of WW II insignia and shoulder patches, I, at one time had most of them in my collection. When I was riding my bike around the area between Ft. Bliss and Beaumont Hospital, circa boy scouts era
[1958-60], I used to visit various cleaners and tailors around the periphery of the bases and ask for "old patches"... another of those collections like my brother's baseball card collection that would probably be worth something now, 50 years later. Uncle Larry was smarter than any of us and kept his baseball cards all these years... but in my family, most of our youthful collections were somehow dispersed to Good Will or thrown out over the years. And, I may have been responsible for some of the purging of "useless trivia" myself, I hate to say.

So, that SHAEF patch I remember was NOT connected to my dad's work and I learned something new and saw his "real" patch (which I don't rememeber at all) and have this opportunity to consider how memories, however real they seem to the beholder... may not be real to other parts of the system they were created in. Makes you wonder how much of any memory is "real" and how much is some sort of social construct. Hmmmmm.

Ann the Nurse calls from El Milagro and invites me to a chair available at noon. I accept. More to this day's post later.

El Milagro: I am about 10 minutes late cause just as I was leaving the house my dad calls to talk about the email he sent about the answer to the black versus blue fields... as follows: "The original SHAEF patch was on a field of black ("heraldic sable"), symbolizing Nazi oppression. In July 1945, the field was changed to blue ("azure") symbolizing a state of peace, the restoration of which was the objective of the World War II allies." He also reports that he may have worn the Berlin patch at some point... just doesn't really remember.

I get here and shake Happy New Year hands with Jason and Joseph the Techs. Ann the Nurse has my chair all ready and she hooks me up and does my nursing eval too... reports my lungs are clear and the rasp is in my esophagus... "phlem"... possibly connected to the GERD... still have to discuss with Dr. Venkatesh soon... today I am coughing up a storm and Rosie the Tech says it isn't allergies... it's the GERD... from her wisdom of brujeria. Last night the regurgitation effect was better. I took several Tums and set up my pillows like a wedge up to the headboard to keep my head up higher than my chest.

I'm listening to Kevin O'Connor's Folkways and reading my Alex Delaware novel. Kevin is playing some new folks like Ben Mallot, Amanda Mora, Warren Hood, beside oldies like The Band, Elyza Gilkysen, and Dixie Chicks... good mix for this morning in the chair. I, however, am only half listening, since this mystery is getting more serious and I must follow closely.

Somewhere in there I put the book down and take a snooze and wake up with Rosie bringing me four of my favorite X-mas hard candies from another patient. I still haven't hit the Walgreens to get any last remaining tubes of them. I go back to reading and read on to the end of my session. So it goes.... Saturday prose.

Notes: In at 78.6 kgs and out at 74.5 kgs (I'm back to my dry weight already, after all the holiday food!)
*Becvar & Becvar, (2003) Family therapy: A systemic integration. New York: Allyn & Bacon, p.68.
Another Note added later: While at my dad's in SA visiting, I heard about Nan Stackhouse's passing last June... and he showed me her obit from the Albuquerque Journal
. Nan was an important, yet obscure mentor for me: I was attracted to her because of her relationship with my mom. When I was a child she stood out as an "artist" and I was fascinated with her whole persona. As an adult, I was fascinated by the stories she told of my mom's college days. Nan maintained that my mom's encouragement was part of her taking the high road and studying art. I visited her sometime in the early 90's up at Cochiti Pueblo and spent a few days there relaxing beneath the purple shadows of the western plateau. I recall a marvelous sunset there... and stories of the past, and visions of the future that would never unfold for me in the way that I imagined then. But, that's another story. Now, looking back, I have sweet memories of Nan Stackhouse, hazy memories of the artworks she had in her house, and a little itch to research her artwork... which remains beyond her passing. Vaya con dios Nan!


Nathan said...


I normally read your blog on my RSS feed reader, but I to go check it in person today, just to see the new color scheme. Very nice. Still readable, which I like.

Good luck in 2009 with your treatments.

Jack Nowicki said...

Nathan ~ as always, thanks for your support and feedback. I appreciate folks who are willing to come out of lurkdom to make comments on blogs. We bloggers do care what people think about our work and their comments and feedback.

Happy New Year and I hope all continues healthy with your situation. JN