Saturday, August 29, 2009

Shards of Moon

Where shards of moon spill
Over night dreams gone astray,
Echoes sing your name.

Full Moon on Night Pond
Oil on canvas (3' x 5')

Dedicated to the memory of Senator Teddy Kennedy
"Health Care is a right, not a privilege"

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Art and Organisms:Cat of Arc in the kitchen

Hello everyone, this is Cat of Arc. Yes, I'm still here and very much in possession of Cat's blog and her body. She really doesn't like to give up her blog for me, but I'm the one with the swords.

On the health care thing? Oh, yes, I am still very much working in this dimension to talk to people about what is going on out there, and the general consensus is that everyone is extremely confused and very pissed off. People on all sides of the coin have gone completely bonkers and the vision that is supposed to stand as the fulcrum is being tested with a force stronger than a Cat 5 storm. I can still see the vision however, and plead with you not to give up hope, and to keep talking to people from all sides. Listen to each other! Calling each other names is simply not going to leave room for open communication! And please folks, leave your guns at home, will ya? You may claim that your gun is your second amendment right and that's why you're carrying that semiautomatic weapon on your belt at the town hall meeting. However, you and I both know that you are just trying to intimidate and bully. A gun at a meeting about health care is, simply put, off topic.

Alright now, please take a deep breath and cool down for a bit while we look at some images:

Morning On the Dream Field
Digitally Altered Photo

The Llama's Refuge
Oil on Canvas

Ok, break over. Here's the thing, one of the big concerns I have over the health care system, is how completely inadequate it is to help people learn to actually keep themselves healthy. People don't do it, they just eat what they want to eat even if it will kill them. On NPR there was a radio program on Talk of the Nation a few days ago, on the subject of health care. There was a call in guy who claimed to be a Libertarian. He was strongly of the opinion that before people depend on a government system for their health care, they need to take care of themselves. People need to claim personal responsibility. Although I DO think we need a government health care option (that is a choice and not forced upon one) I actually agree with him about health. I think people should stay healthy, and frankly, I think we've forgotten how because we made the silly mistake of letting the 'free market' determine how we eat. The industry panders to the lazy in us. I also think people should eat local produce because it makes sense to eat food that is grown down the road. However, that makes eating vegetables a very difficult thing to do in the winter when food isn't to be found growing down the road that is covered in 4 feet of snow.

That is, unless you managed to save some of that summer bounty somehow.

Before I moved here to Asheville, I was visiting a friend and we went to see a traveling puppet show that was coming through town. The show had some anti-government messages, one of which I found to be truly delightful, "The Government won't set you free. Chores will set you free!" Now, about having the choice between government health care and private insurance, you bet I want that choice. And I'll sign right up for the public option, and then try hard as heck not to ever use it. To that end, I have taken on the chore of preserving my locally grown organic veggies, grown by my friends at a local CSA (Community Supported Ag), by lactic acid fermention. A process using salt and water, which not only preserves the qualities of the raw vegetables, but it turns out the organisms that congregate as a result of the process are gonna save your life! They eat all the bad stuff inside you and leave you only with good stuff. That way you won't have to be a burden on that government health care system that we are asking for, no, demanding. So in this way, you could say I am 'pro-life', or 'pro-microbe life' otherwise known as 'pro-biotics'. I'm sure you've heard the term? Preserving vegetables in this way, means you don't have to take pro-biotic supplements.

So I came up with the motto "No Vegetable Left Behind", (which I happen to think is terribly original), and now I have got several months worth of dinner breeding in my basement. It was hard work (only because of the sheer amount of veggies), but think how much is saved in money and time down the line! It's an investment in your very near term future! I'm not going to tell you how to do the brining process itself, but will recommend two books at the bottom of this post if you want to learn how to do this incredibly simple and safe and healthy way to preserve raw food, using practices that go way back to Genghis Kahn. Think Sauerkraut, think KimChi. Think easy, healthy, sustainable, and delicious.

And now it's time for some more images. The first one below is a picture of a fermenting jar, that I played with in Photoshop, keeping the vegetables as my inspiration. The second is the counter where the magic took place. Cat may get some time to play on her blog soon. I'm just wondering who is going to be the big cheese that will take it upon themselves to organize an 'All Organisms Deserve Health Care' march on Washington? (Said in jest, meant with all my heart.)

March to the Fermenting Pot
Digitally Altered Photo

Fermentation Station
Digitally Altered Photo

Books on fermentation:
Wild Fermentation by Sandor Ellix Katz

Making Sauerkraut by Klaus Kaufmann.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Vision of Cat of Arc

Announcement: The person who normally writes on this blog has had her body possessed by an entity known as Cat of Arc. Usually this entity resides in some other dimension, but occasionally is activated when lies and distortions in the world become so outrageous that something must be said. Cat of Arc is a crusader who has visions and very very lofty ideals. Cat the poet/photographer/artist et al, tried unsuccessfully to keep her off this blog, preferring not to make her blog political, but the entity has usurped it in order to communicate her vision in the broadest way possible.

Without any further ado, meet Cat of Arc, the digitial crusader:

Hello to you all. I thank you for allowing this momentary intrusion unto the sanctity of this sacred space. I promise to state my case, and then to return Cat and her blog to their rightful place in the world of the arts.

At the moment, in this country of the USA, there is a war brewing on the subject of Health Care. You may remember a few posts back, Cat the poet had a dream and posted it in the form of a poem. I gave her that dream, and I am here to translate that dream for you now.

The Bridge

By Catherine Vibert


By Cat of Arc

I stood at the sea,

Looking skyward at bridges,

Unfinished, empty

Translation: The bridges are the attempts made for the last century to initiate universal health care in this country.

No permit issued

To put supports in the sand,

They rusted away

Translation: All attempts made in the past failed.

Sand backfilled the holes,

Somehow this is a good thing,

A new day, fresh start

Translation: Sand is unstable, the fact that it has filled in the places where support once was is good because it shows the world that support is needed. The un-stability of the free market is not fulfilling the needs of the masses. Is there a critical mass to prove the need for support? It may be so…

Strung above me now

An engineering wonder

Has started anew

Translation: A new attempt which includes our capitalist system AND a public option, something that has never been tried. An attempt is being made to include everybody and offer the people choices.

How far must I dig

Beneath the unstable sands

To find bedrock?

Translation: The will to get this done is the bedrock. The lies and distortions are the unstable sands. At the current moment of writing this, I am seeing stronger currents of un-stability, and the bedrock feels farther down than I can sense.

How strong are the strands?

Cars might fall into the sea!

Paralyzing fears

Translation: These are the fears of the masses. They are fears that are being preyed upon by the same capitalist powers that have stopped all the attempts in the past. There is no goodness in what these powers are doing. They are distorting truth and saying outright lies to activate and manipulate the masses that would be fooled into fighting for their cause of greed. It is the purest form of evil and many people are being pulled into this vortex of falsehood.

Before I build it

I kneel down and pray to You,

Help me find the rock!

Translation: YOU, that’s right, YOU, the one whose eyes are passing by these words. I pray to you in the name of all that is good to take this month to become an active thorn in the side of your congress representatives and senators. One crazy visionary can’t do it alone. She needs an army of righteousness by her side.

I see the city

Shining there across the sea,

And now I must build.

Translation: Health Care Reform with a strong public option. Call your representative and your senators and go to your local town hall meeting to declare your support. We can get this done!

Go forth my fellow crusaders, and fight for what is right and good.

See these websites to arm yourselves with the actual facts:

and a purportedly unbiased site:

I appreciate you allowing me this forum to communicate my vision. I will now return this blog to its rightful owner.


(Logo design and artwork by Arthur Vibert)

(Cat the poet/photographer, etc etc, will return soon to resume her normal programming.)