All art on this planet (with the possible exceptions of paintings by monkeys and elephants, and the songs of whales and dolphins) is about people. What is art, after all, if it is not a reflection of who and what we are?
I am the man from the setting sun who comes from the past to deliver the future.
Every bit of art I do now is done as my own mortality, the end of my own story, is soon to reach the final page. I have lived six decades complete and have begun to live the seventh. I am close to the sunset. But I have wisdom to share from a lifetime of struggle, and reversals, and successes, and joy. And in a dark time when it appears the world could actually be ending, I wish to do the only thing I can to help, provide pictures and stories that might prove useful to you.
So, all art is about people. Even the art with no people in it. That art, at least, has a creator who was most probably a people… or a monkey… or an elephant.. or a… well, you get the idea, don’t you?
Valerie-squirrel scurried through the cat door in the back
of Mazie Haire’s Gingerbread House. Once
inside the house, she searched all around the downstairs for Miss Haire. Not finding her anywhere around the kitchen
cauldron and fireplace, or the sitting room and reading area, or even the
bathroom, the little blond squirrel finally found the witch upstairs, watching
something through the telescope.
“So, you still aren’t practicing your natural skills of
seeing and knowing, I see,” Miss Haire said to the squirrel at the top of the
“Chit Chitter Chit-it-it!” said Valerie-squirrel angrily,
even though she meant to say, “I need help, I’ve been changed into a squirrel!”
“You don’t have to talk like that, you know. Just say it in regular people words.”
“Chit-chitter… do I use regular people words?”
“Just like that, girl.
You have to use the acuity of your own intelligent mind to see through
the fog the spell put on your brain.”
“Well, that’s what a witch calls it, of course. But it is more like a bit of chemistry in
gaseous form, I believe. Did you not
come in contact with a cloud of purple smoke at one point or another?”
“Yes. The Tiki idol
filled Mary’s basement with purple smoke right before Mary, Pidney, and I all
turned into squirrels.”
“Yes, and somehow you were given some sort of powerful
suggestion right before that, I believe.”
“Ideas were placed in your head prior to inhaling the gas, I
believe. Someone talking, or chanting,
or telling a story perhaps.”
“There was… some chanting… yes.”
“So, that was the trick of it.”
“Can you…? Can you
cure me? Or reverse the spell? I don’t want to be a squirrel, Miss Haire.”
“You are not a squirrel, child. You are a rather stupid and completely naked
girl. I can’t cure stupid, but you can.”
“What do you mean?”
“You will continue to think you are a squirrel until you
take control of your own mind and convince yourself that you are not.”
Valerie-squirrel looked down at her own paws and
golden-blond fur. How exactly was that
done? Everything she saw, heard, and
smelled told her that she was really a squirrel. A human girl in her mind, but definitely a
squirrel in all her body parts.
“So, what do I do?”
“Obviously, me telling you that you are not a squirrel is
not enough. So, you are going to have to
go back out there and find for yourself the proof you need to turn yourself
back into a beautiful young lady, and not a silly, naked squirrel.
“Go back… out there?
Where the cat is? And that dog,
“Yes. Go back out
there and find the focus, find the part of your brain that reminds you that are
not what somebody else says you are. Go
out and find the part of Valerie Clarke that is not a squirrel.”
swallowed hard and looked back down the staircase. This was going to be hard.
After three days of Ged’s attempts at teaching, Shu Kwai was still kneeling stark naked in the practice grounds. He refused to accept any clothing he felt he had not earned. Ged quietly shook his head in despair. Junior Aero and Sarah Smith each had a linen robe with the White Spider symbol stitched into it. They also had tabai boots for their feet, cloth footwear with the big toe tied off for climbing and sure footholds. The two of them worked together with their telepathy to absorb the thoughts of their sensei. Shu Kwai would only stubbornly continue to struggle.
“What is it about the inner eye that you can’t get, Shu-sama?” Ged asked.
Aero-sensei, I do not see the pictures in my mind that you suggest. What do they look like to you?”
“I suppose the
problem is that all Psions do not use the same inner eye to focus their power.”
“How do you mean, honored one?”
“I mean, I see molecules. I can read DNA strings with my inner eye. If I have eaten the meat, I can call up the proper shapes and spirals to make the creature. I can focus my power and shift my own DNA molecules in every cell of my body. I don’t know how I know this, or can do this, but the power wells up in me like a cup that fills itself.”
Shu Kwai’s face showed stern concentration. As the boy knelt there, quivering in the cool breeze, he continued trying with all his youthful might.
“Please, Master Ged, let me help,” said Sara, large eyes pooling with liquid sympathy for Shu’s dilemma.
“All right,please, Sara-san.”
“Shu-bozu, it is true that we all see the inner eye in different ways. Mine is like Ged-sensei’s vision. I can see molecules and DNA. I can rearrange the flow of power in the minds of others to effect healing. I have seen into Junior’s mind as well. His is different. He sees circuits and electrical links. He can trace the patterns in a human mind as I can, or in a computer mind, as I cannot.”
“So, what does my mind, my eye, look like?” asked Shu Kwai, looking with puzzled eyes into Sara’s face.
“Can I take a look?”
Sara reached over to Shu with a tender hand and touched his temple. Shu cracked a smile as her beautiful essence flooded into his head.
“Your inner eye sees motion. Flickering motions. Energy paths of movement.”
Shu nodded with his eyes closed. “I see it. It is just like chi.”
“Spirit force, yes,” said Ged, finally realizing where he had gone wrong. “Girl! Come here!” He motioned to a girl attendant who waited beside the practice field for just such an order. “Girl, we need a loose-jointed doll or a puppet. Can you fetch one for me?”
“Yes, Ged Aero-dono!” she said in breathless awe.
In minutes the girl had returned with a small wooden marionette from the Akito House, smiling and well-pleased that she had been honored to do this service for the White Spider’s special school. Ged took the doll and gratefully patted her powdered cheek.
“Picture this doll in your mind’s eye, Shu Kwai.” Ged sat the doll on the grass. “Picture it rising to its feet. Make it do something.”
As Shu Kwai concentrated, the doll stood up and bowed to Master Ged. Then it slowly began an undulating dance. The dance got wilder and happier as Shu Kwai began to feel his success. Finally, it ended with a flourish and a bow.
“Clever boy!” said
Ged, feeling warm inside for the first time all day. “Let me give you a robe!”
“No, Sensei. I made only a first step. Give me a loin cover only. I must work harder still.”
“As your teacher, I say you accomplished at least two steps today. You learned to focus the inner eye, and you learned not only from me but from your classmate Sara. That is worth a robe, surely.”
“You are anxious to cover me in cloth, Sensei. If I may choose, I would rather have the tabai boots like Sara and Junior.”
“Very well,” said Ged with a smile. “You are determined to remain a naked barbarian. But I respect you very much as a student, Shu Kwai. Your victories make me proud.”
Today’s Paffooney paffoon cartoon is a puzzler. I have this Rabbit People cartoon scene in my head with no punch line, no dialogue, and basically no idea. It just popped into my head doodle fashion, and then flowed down through my pencil and pen onto paper.
What is boy bunny Benjamin asking or saying to young buck about town Bernhopper Bunny? And what is Bernhopper’s answer?
Maybe like this;
But that’s bathroom humor. We all know the Easter Bunny lays chocolate eggs for Easter, so bunny bathroom humor gets you wondering about about chocolate chip cookies from the Easter Bunny. And that’s just gross.
Maybe it should be more like this;
Now that’s downright bad citizenship advice. Surely we can do better. And does the story have to be about the fireplug?
Okay, gotta squelch the sexual innuendo. When it comes to rabbits, that kind of humor leads to lots more rabbits. I’m not really sure how this comes out. Maybe the story should involve fat Barry Bunny who secretly prefers bananas to carrots. Or maybe it is about beautiful Bingolette Bunny who plays the bongos and writes monumentally horrible love songs in her spare time. I just can’t figure out rabbit humor! It is so frustrating! Maybe you have suggestions in the comments. (Is that a challenge to your creativity? Just a test to see if you really read this junk? Or am I just too lazy to write my own cartoons? I’ll never tell.)
This is actually a writer’s literary site meant to promote novels, and one day possibly earn money from writing instead of simply filling my closets with prose and old manuscripts (along with the wife’s many, many shoes). But since I am also an amateur artist of the irradiated subspecies known as “cartoonist”, I also have many visuals to share. I think in pictures as often as I think in words. So one of the features of this blog is that I tag artwork with a made-up word I coined myself. It allows the curious (or those immune to nightmares) to get an almost instant idea of how afflicted I am with cartoon-ism.
Yes, I tested it out. If you do a picture search on Google using the words “Beyer Paffooney” you get a free gallery of my artwork, the good, the bad, and the ugly. You might even find my picture of Clint Eastwood… but beware, he shoots first if you try to “make his day”. If you are brave… or foolish enough to try it, it should come up something like this;
So, there you have it. A cheap and easy 200-word post from a bad idea that’s still out there working.
Sometimes the only thing you really want out of life is just to get by. You get tired of always having to climb the danged highest mountain. You get tired of trying to swim the danged deepest sea.
Sometimes all you want to do is doodle-bop!… To draw in pen and ink and post your derfiest doofenwacky doodles so you can just make your way through another danged day.
You aim a lot for different, and undeniably original… because no one thinks like you… certainly no one who is real and has a real brain. You are gifted with an “other-ness”, a sing-songy simpering something that makes you want to doodle and do what no man has done before. (Does that sentence exist anywhere else in all of literature? Even if there is some alternate dimension with infinite monkeys typing on infinite typewriters? What’s a typewriter, you say? Danged millennials!)
I really can’t help it, you know. I was a middle school teacher for 24 years. That sort of thing has mental health consequences. And if you wring the sponges in your stupid old brain hard enough and long enough… doodle-bop! comes out.
Turtle boy’s magic iron of irony!!!
And you have to wonder why some of the stuff that is in your stupid old head is even in there. Why is it that sometimes the words “Argyle socks are filled with rocks” are drifting through the vast empty spaces in the logic centers of your brain? There has to be a reason for everything, doesn’t there?
I do believe I have made myself chuckle at least a dozen chuck-tacular times in the chuck-a-tational crafting of this cheddar-cheesy post. But it only really counts if I can make you girlishly giggle or guy-like guffaw with my word-munching and cartoony paffoonies.
The terror-filled cartoon car chase that is life as usual.
You may have noticed that everything is black and white, even though it doesn’t have to be. Good versus evil, hot versus cold, everything can be divided up simplistically… but the really profound part of simplicity is vibrating reverberations of complexity that lie just underneath. Words have meaning, even though they are just a bunch of crooked squiggles marked on a page. (Yes, I know… “or typed on a computer screen”. Danged millennials!)
And so, this is my doodle-bop! Probably not the doodliest or the boppiest doodle-bop! I could have bopped… but there it is. I have made it through another sorta creative post without losing my mind… Honest! I did not lose it. It is merely temporarily misplaced for a moment. It will be back in its proper place tomorrow… probably.