[Landline] Escaping the soft prison
Willie, Sly Stone, Al Cisneros, Robin Williamson, Plantopia, the prophet Elijah, more
Tuesday, May 17, 2022
1. (EVENT AND NON-EVENT)
Apologies for the lack of LANDLINE missives recently! I took a new part-time editing/journalism job with a non-profit local newspaper three weeks ago, and it’s ended up taking more of my time-energy-mindspace than I’d anticipated. All good, though! Adjustments have been made, a new balance is being achieved, and normal Landline service is now resuming. Thank you for your patience. Onward, inward and outward we go…
2. WILLIE ADVISES
3. SPRING MIND CLEANING: A POSSIBLY USEFUL MOUNTAINTOP POSTURE
“Elijah went up to the top of [Mount] Carmel, crouched on the ground, and put his face between his knees. (1 Kings 18:42)”
The prophet Elijah adopts a posture of humility, supplication, and mental absorption. The same prayerful, meditative position—placing one’s head between the knees—appears in rabbinic, Jewish mystical, and Sufi traditions. It corresponds to the fetal position. [Scholar of Jewish mysticism] Gershon Scholem describes this posture as “an attitude of deep self-oblivion.”
4. A RECOMMENDATION
“Change Your Relationship to Nature” is the result of the artist Kevin Hooyman, filmmaker Peter Glantz, and singer Becky Stark working together… Kevin spent over 100 hours illustrating this exquisite image. You can get lost in it for hours, years, or a lifetime. At its center is a woman engulfed by plants and animals. She is becoming a part of them and them a part of her. It must be viewed over time to completely appreciate the depth and care of its hand-drawn imagery. The offset printing was done with close attention to reproducing the stunning color and detail of the original at Black Cat Graphics in Providence, RI.
I have this print on my office wall. After nine years of study, I can confirm that, under certain circumstances, engulfment of the viewer is very possible. Ten bucks! How can that be….
5. THE FOOL, BY ROBIN WILLIAMSON
Robin first began painting in the 1960s when, alongside his groundbreaking musical work [with the Incredible String Band] he began to chart in psychedelic colours his own inner journey. Over the last 15 years Robin has been working professionally as painter as well as musician. He had his first international exhibition in 2013 in the Catalonian town of Olot, renowned for its key role in early 20th century art. Robin is happy to undertake commissions on the following subjects: mystical, magical, psychedelic and sacred, as well as landscapes and lines from his own songs…
There’s a lot of lovely work on Robin’s site, but this one — available for sale! — is my current favorite….
6. THE ONES WHO GOT AWAY
Above: an early draft for the cover of what was intended to be Arthur No. 26, originally scheduled for release in Spring 2007.
This issue was delayed til the fall amidst the publication’s ownership transition; by that point, some of the pieces scheduled for publication were no longer available, and Yoko Ono was no longer the cover subject. A real shame.
My biggest regret of all is we lost our massive salute to Sly and the Family Stone, which had been timed to coincide with the Spring 2007 re-release of the band’s entire catalog. The Seth Man had worked so hard, on an insane deadline, to cover it all with his customary sensitivity, scholarship and enthusiasm. Oh, the loss!
In any event, the Seth Man’s pieces appeared in some form later in the year on Julian Cope’s relentlessly inspirational Head Heritage website. Here they are:
Dance to the Music (1968)
There’s a Riot Goin‘ On (1971)
Small Talk (1974)
7. 7 AND 7 IS
Later this week, Om/Sleep bassist/composer Al Cisneros (pictured above) is issuing Sinai Dub Box (2012-2022), a box set of seven 7-inches compiling his solo dub work from the last decade. These recordings may work well with the posture/attitude of self-oblivion mentioned in item 4 above. Obtain Sinai here:
Finally, a bit of biophiliac-community inspiration via Gloria Knott at This is Tucson:
Last year, Tucson got its first official free plant stand.
Since then, more than 30 stands have sprouted in Southern Arizona — with dozens more throughout the state and beyond.
The stands are part of an organization recently dubbed Free Plant N Garden Stands Foundation. But the roots of the group actually started informally, with plant trades between Dephane Marcelle and her friends Anne Till, Deb Gain-Braley and Silvia Messmer in Mesa. Whenever they had leftover seeds, they'd set them outside of their homes for the community to take.
"All of us get together and swap plants and do a seed exchange, so Anne said, 'I'm gonna do a Facebook page just for my house,'" Marcelle says. "And I said, 'Listen, I think this is gonna be big.'"
The group started putting together dedicated plant stands in front of their homes — coordinated by number and kept organized through the Facebook page, a crucial piece as the group skyrocketed with interest from the community.
Since the inception of the Facebook group in October 2020, it's grown to 14,000 members — more than doubling in the last year. There are now more than 100 stands throughout Arizona.
"I am all about connecting people," Marcelle says. "I want everybody to meet and have great gardening friends right in their community."
By March 2021, stands started popping up around Tucson thanks to plant-loving community members wanting to get involved. Through the free plant stands, people are able to share everything from plants, seeds and cuttings to pots and gardening tools — all for community members to take and trade for free.
Originally starting out as an informal plant exchange between friends and then turning into a massive Facebook group, Free Plant N Garden Stands Foundation more recently became a nonprofit under the Legacy Global umbrella.
The group now hosts stand tours and gardening events to connect stand owners. Marcelle hopes to open a training center in the future to teach kids and families about gardening, growing for wildlife and cooking. She also hopes to secure funding to help maintain the stands and build new ones.
"What's interesting about how this has come naturally together, if you look at our map — every city from the beginning — it's Kingman, Surprise, Buckeye. It wasn't just Phoenix or just Tucson or just Mesa," Marcelle says. "People have really said, 'I want my city to be involved.' I kinda really love that."
I kinda really love that too,
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