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  1. sandramardene

    On the Road to Krumbo Reservoir: Guardian Juniper, Oldest…

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    On the Road to Krumbo Reservoir: Guardian Juniper, Oldest Living Being on the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge

    That dirt road runs straight at the cliff then falls
    like an unraveling basket to the coulee
    lake, blue eyeball of the yellow day.

    Juniper, ancient of days, grips cliff top,
    roots snaking down basalt columns, tying
    loose stones like little wandering donkeys

    to the wall. You can find dried owl pellets
    under gin-scented branches; broken open, tiny
    vole bones shine clear and somehow holy

    in your hand. You can sit there like a Paiute
    did a hundred, two hundred years ago,
    looking out for Bannock warriors, or maybe

    a lone vision quester—the one who left
    his red handprint on the rock shelf hidden
    right there almost out of sight.

    –Sandy Brown Jensen
    Jan. 13, 2016

  2. sandramardene

    Moon Roses

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      This is the first sketch I did for the Color Your World colored pencil online art class from Toucan Create! It reminded me of the poem, “Moon Roses” by my husband Peter Jensen. The marriage of the two speaks to the soul of the Mysterious Night Vision Field Journal. Moon Roses                        Written after my shock at 9/11 turned into an endless grief  Sometimes, we have to leave the…

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  3. sandramardene

    Male Revenge Fantasy Writ Large

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    Male Revenge Fantasy Writ Large:

    (Click on title tile above to play the gif if you don’t see it.)

    Male Revenge Fantasy Writ Large

    The Daily Create was to make a gif from a “classic” section of a classic spaghetti western. The section was Clint Eastwood riding into town on a mule. Three racially stereotyped Mexican men, members of a local street gang, try to bully him and shoot at his mule’s feet as it turns and runs away from the sharp, explosive sound. The Eastwood character dismounts from the running mule by grabbing hold of a swinging crossbar. As he walks back to encounter the bullies, he passes the coffin maker and says, “Prepare three coffins.” I.e. He is premeditating murder. 

    Uncool. 

     He then returns to the men, and in an act of revenge that must swell every bullied schoolboy’s heart, he shoots not three but four bullies. I understand this is a male revenge fantasy, but I am definitely a person who correlates media saturation of violence with the acting out semi-adult males allow themselves to do with guns in public places. 

     In my neck of the West, the massacre at Umpqua Community College is still freshly with us. I jumped and my heart raced when Eastwood killed the four Hispanics at the end of the clip. The Kip Kinkle school massacre happened here at Thurston High school, and I was at the hospital when the victims started to arrive and the coffin rate started its grim count. The Clackamas Mall shooting happened not long ago near here, and my sister’s nurse colleague was shot. Need I start the current death toll from police shootings of women, blacks, and unarmed civilians? 

    Like many if not most American (women), I have a kind of citizen PTSD. I am not enured to the sound of gunshots. I don’t think the Eastwood character is even remotely cool. I see him for what he is: cynical, amoral, murderous. One review I read called him “mystical."  

     Murderous young men are never "mystical." 

    And that coolness factor is admired only by wannabe gang members and bullied, revenge-driven school boys, many of them older professionals now who grew up on this violent, poisonous pap and haven’t yet mucked out the barns of  their interior worlds. 

     Gun violence is institutionalized in this country by a long history of media saturation, and while I am behind Obama all the way in his efforts to f-Ing finally DO some thing, ANYTHING about it, it still takes you and me examining our own soul’s deepest thinking about how okay it is to continue to endorse media violence. 

     Cuz cold blooded, premeditated murder is never cool.

  4. sandramardene

    Once Upon a Time in the West The photo above on the left is…

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    Once Upon a Time in the West

    The photo above on the left is from the movie “Once Upon a Time in the West” by Sergio Leone. Considered by many to be his opus magnus, in it, the railroad and increasing modernization, i.e. Change with a capital “C” sweep away all vestiges of the so-called “Old West.” Only Jill, the eternal whore according to Leone (the whore is also maiden, mother, and crone; that is, WOMAN) survives.

    All the men with their cruelty, misplaced romanticism, their vicious rapine natures and their twisted so-called humanity get pretty much killed off, thank God. This much mourned “Old West” was about grazing rights, land ownership, the capitalist pigs vs the worker, the Civil War and the dubious influences of the Church.

    The photo on the right was taken a couple of days ago at a place my husband and I hold sacred; it’s the domestic terrorists who have taken over one of the last best places for wildlife in the US–Malheur National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters.

    If there is a woman there to survive the standoff of the coming days, she’s nowhere in evidence, so no Jill to Ammon Bundy’s Jack.

    The themes here are disputes over land ownership, the capitalist pigs vs the worker, disagreements over the interpretation of the Constitution, illegal occupancy of federal property, all given a twist Leone didn’t foresee–the self-styled “militia” leaders are the sons of a rich rancher.

    These domestic terrorists are all grown up sons of survivors of the 1970s, whose values Leone was also conflicted about. These “kids” grew up watching westerns, spaghetti westerns, and western spoofs like “Blazing Saddles.” PLUS they grew up in the REAL West, the one that in spite of Leone’s violent nostalgia, still very much exists.

    My point is that their heads are so full of a mishmash of cultural images from the movies that I suspect they don’t know what is real and what is Miramax. They’ve invented their own sense of what is right and acted on it. And nothing good can come of this as-of-this-writing unexploded powder keg.

    If you want to watch a real life spaghetti western, turn on the news and crank up the sound track of your choice.

  5. sandramardene

    10 Beautiful & Powerful Ways You Can Nurture Your Creativity

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    10 Beautiful & Powerful Ways You Can Nurture Your Creativity

    NOTE: The next Color Your World two week class begins Jan 4, 2016. What makes this class different is the one-on-one daily interaction with an empathetic instructor and with a supportive community of fellow artists. Only $50.00. Click this button to learn more and to register: If you would like to experience a free class, click here: How do you nurture creativity in yourself day by day? Let’s…

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  6. sandramardene

    A Fistful of Sunsets

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    A Fistful of Sunsets :

    Daily Create #tdc1456 was all about capturing sunsets, which I’ve done plenty of–I just ain’t gonna do it today cuz it’s too friggin’ COLD outside, and too sharp and clear for a sunset probably.

    Instead, I used the fun Replay app to make a musical collage of a few sunsets I have known and loved.

  7. sandramardene

    Johnny’s Place Johnny said December would be bad for…

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    Johnny’s Place

    Johnny said December would be bad for produce, after they fired the clown guy. The undertaker had discovered the jewel in the tomatoes; after that, we were all supposed to keep the secret. But was it really the clown guy? The undertaker implied as much to me in that late night meeting we took after all the tomatoes had been searched and made into pasta sauce for the clown guy’s going away party at Johnny’s Place. There just had to be more to the story, and I wondered what Johnny himself was hiding after his dire predictions about the December produce delivery.

    We all relied on it, of course, the produce delivery, I mean.Without it, this place would dry up and blow away in the high desert wind. Could anything be salvaged of situation? The thing is, it was a full moon night the undertaker and I huddled for a smoke in the lee of Johnny’s Place out there in the desert. The night was cold. I could smell snow on the light wind skittering the tumbleweeds in slow motion across the hard pan. I never was much of a smoker, so I remember when I started to cough, how the undertaker clapped me hard between the shoulder blades with his enormous hand.

    I hadn’t been afraid of him before that, but there was something in the clamminess of that hand, something in the way he said, with more of a leer than what you might call genuine concern, “You all right, kid?” that made me think of the clown guy and Johnny’s prediction, and the secret I was keeping, of course, and the way that was choking me up worse than the smoke I thought I was old enough to inhale.

    But his hands were big, I tell you, really, really, big, and he kept slapping me between the shoulders long after I stopped choking, long after the smoke had fallen from my fingers and fizzled out in the cold desert sand.

    Well, Johnny said that the tailor stole the money, but I can’t remember that part of the story. But you know Johnny, he didn’t think the clown guy should have been fired in the first place. The jewel in the tomatoes? You know, that could’ve happened to anyone – why the undertaker? The vicar was there, too, and he could have been the one implicating his personal assistant in a cover-up. The vicar said to me personally that they would never find that strange man with the limp. And I believed him.

    In the end, face it, without the produce delivery, none of us could go on living there. Johnny’s grandmother revealed their true allegiance to the Giordano clan. It was she who said they had to abandon that old house we called Johnny’s Place up there on the high desert plateau. They moved to Blongthorpe Cottage, a tiny stone dwelling seemingly built into the cliff overlooking the coast somewhere north of Cistow Harbor.

    I know you’re wondering about the clown guy – last I heard, he had gone into interior decorating and had gotten badly burned in a fire. As for the undertaker – I know his son secretly married the receptionist, but that was long after Johnny’s Place became a ghost town.

  8. sandramardene

    Tropical Dreaming (On Such a Winter’s Day)

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    Tropical Dreaming (On Such a Winter’s Day)

    NOTE: The next Color Your World two week class begins Jan 4, 2016. What makes this class different is the one-on-one daily interaction with an empathetic instructor and with a supportive community of fellow artists. Only $50.00. Click this button to learn more and to register: If you would like to experience a free class, click here: Tropical Dreaming (On Such A Winter’s Day) By Cheryl Renee Long…

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  9. sandramardene

    Tropical Dreaming

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    NOTE: The next Color Your World two week class begins Jan 4, 2016. What makes this class different is the one-on-one daily interaction with an empathetic instructor and with a supportive community of fellow artists. Only $50.00. Click this button to learn more and to register: If you would like to experience a free class, click here: Tropical Dreaming (On Such A Winter’s Day) By Cheryl Renee Long…

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  10. sandramardene

    Dreaming in the New Year

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    Dreaming in the New Year

    NOTE: The next Color Your World two week class begins Jan 4, 2016. What makes this class different is the one-on-one daily interaction with an empathetic instructor and with a supportive community of fellow artists. Only $50.00. Click this button to learn more and to register:   If you would like to experience a free class, click here: Dreaming in the New Year Cheryl Renee Long MNVJ entry…

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  11. sandramardene

    Dreaming in the New Year

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    Dreaming in the New Year

    Dreaming in the New Year     Cheryl Renee Long MNVJ entry December 27, 2015 Woman In Bubble Bath Dreaming of the New Year She is deeply relaxed, immersed in the turquoise and white bubbles. Her pink curly hair drifts and morphs into a white bird and her dreams slip into an astral journey. She sees and knows her 70th year. It will bring life, color, and abundance. During the holidays, it’s…

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  12. sandramardene

    Cardboard Caravan

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    Cardboard Caravan:

    I videoed these talented young people at Eugene’s Holiday Market and posted the footage on Facebook. The kids found it and contacted me, so I made them an iMovie using all the material on them I had or could find. What I love about this group is the otherworldly sound of the saw violin soaring over all.

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