Personal Writing

Truth at Sea
By Francis Klaess

March 24, 2017

Truth and honesty are at sea. One concept can not function without the other. In an open transparent world where people associate and work together, the basis for a solid foundation is just that: truth and honesty. Current times find us in a place where one plus one is presented as three – and is backed up by lies. If you say an untruth over and over people will start to believe it. “One plus one is three. One plus one IS three. Believe me. It’s the truth.” Is the recipient gullible, ignorant, or unwilling to face honest facts? Empirical evidence is tossed into the churning whirlpool, spun in the vortex until the listener is rendered dizzy and battered to the point of exhaustion. Not being able to discern dark from light, they will accept any invented point of view, as long as it takes away the pain. Truth and honesty is not always pleasant. Swimming against the prevailing current is hard work.

Requiem: At Sea
By Francis Klaess

February 9, 2017

Notes on the Odyssey of Homer:On course with a sense of sure navigation, storms arrive and blow all in its way toward confusion.Uncertainty brings about a sense of fear. Odysseus made a pact with Poseidon – and his foolishness stole a large portion of his life before he could defeat adversity and reunite with his family.Each dawn, deceit, foolishness, and controversy overpowered the best intentions with a power that equaled the rush of the sea. Darkness fell over the ship and many were lost. Hopelessness became the new normal. The saving grace was that Odysseus became thoughtful and careful. He recognized that the dark tumultuous water was always temporary and a “rosy fingered dawn” would always emerge. While many were singing their own requiem, others knew that with hard work and motivation you could defeat the darkness.

Making is Meaning
By Francis Klaess

January 29, 2017

The early part of the twentieth century brought about a revolution in thinking within the visual arts. Every few years a new way of creating was discovered or invented.Among these ways of thinking was a process of applying marks to a surface that was more or less unconscious in its actions. This was known as “psychic automatism” by which one intends to express verbally, in writing or by any other method, the real functioning of the mind. While it is difficult to paint pure abstractions, a simple place to start is working with what you see and know well. Start with the structure and let the process take over. The final product is still important, but the process now has equal if not more meaning. Making is now part of the meaning.

Slam Dance
By Francis Klaess

January 2, 2017

A popular dance in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s was the perfect activity to accompany punk rock and all its trappings. A youth culture informed by the Reagan years found an establishment hostile to the arts. As with all social and cultural endeavors, the conservative right wing religious leaders had only an interest in control rather than freedom. Punk was about protest, freedom, art, and the ability to self-determination. Punk was about the act of doing, not pontificating from up top.Punk was inclusive never exclusive. Join the club – express yourself and be not judged. When faced with the control-obsessed establishment and its initiation of culture wars the only reaction was rage. Rage in a cathartic expression. Embrace and soak in the sounds of rage and anger and jump into the fray. When you have no role models to inspire you the only alternative is to turn the rage within. Slamdance your anger. Slamdance your rage. Emerge enlightened and ready to do good.

The Chorus
By Francis Klaess

December 1, 2016

We go through our lives thinking and doing. We carry on inner conversations with ourselves discussing how to proceed with this and what to do about that. Other people factor into our conversations along with the thoughts of what they think of what we say and do. The ancient Greeks in their theater invented the device of the chorus. A group of people stealthily viewing and commenting on our lives.This group functions as the physical manifestation of our inner conversations –but with a difference. They have the ability to see ourselves from the outside.From the point of view of our collective consciousness as well as the overbearing weight of societal conventions. A Freudian superego check on our egos and libidos. Our inner conversations are never linear, always freeform and a bit messy. We need our personal chorus to question our motives, guide us in our life endeavors – and if we are lucky, bring us the clarity we seek.