4th of July, 2018

I descended the staircase that leads to my rooftop where I live in the East Village. I came down early, mainly because I felt uneasy, confused and at quarrels with my old beliefs of “America”, right before the climactic ending of the fireworks’ display. However, right before I came down, a modest launch (but massive at heart) of fireworks was set off from an apartment rooftop on Avenue A, which seemed to have caught everyone’s attention. It was something that definitely resonated with me, perhaps because of its close proximity.  It was local. (I felt like I was in combat for a second.) The people enjoying the Macy’s fireworks from respective neighboring rooftops applauded the show of the local firework’s display. Another local, across the way on the rooftop of a newly built building directly north of me, a woman tipped her glass in the direction of the local launch pad and cheered “Woooooo!!! Yeah!!! I’m Mexican!!!”  

That, her human spirit, seems to have resounded more in my chest than the booming spectacle of fireworks from the east and west, the dozen helicopters hovering above the lower eastside river of Manhattan (where the Macy’s fireworks display takes place), the fire-trucks barreling through the corridors of 14thStreet, and the people’s cheers of awe and spirited appreciation, all happening in that 25-minute timeframe.  

This day, since I came to this country as a young child some 40 years ago, is disturbingly different for me. I wonder if it rings true with every single immigrant who’s found refuge in this country, in his or her sense of American patriotism; and if it is different, how is it so? If the feeling of threat to our American way as we stand today, where the ugly heads of injustice, with its evil masterminds and executors, have pushed their way to make their case, is the supposed new way of “high” America. 

I feel that it is not the case, that this is merely a test of the spirit of humanity. Where there is love, the human spirit will  rise and sing, and where there is hate, “it” too shall fall and die; but at what price? Should my brothers and sisters who’ve safely found their way on this land from across the globe, much like I did, be afraid of being robbed of their dignity and loved ones ?  

I’ve always believed that love conquers all; and I have no reason to doubt my belief now. I pray that I shall be strong whenever I am, and when my brothers and sisters, pushed and tested and that, no matter what, I will always speak my truth and fight for what is right. May God bless America. 

 

Raul S Quines

Copyright © 2018

November 11, 2016

Ladies and gentlemen... 

Today is 11/11, and I am beyond excited!!! To say the very least, I am nervous to be making this announcement!!! This is my first time doing something like this. So, bear with me here. [I know, I'm a late bloomer like that!] But here it is... 

"MESMERIZED", my single song debut as singer-songwriter, IS UP and AVAILABLE NOW!!! For its first 24 hours of being into this world, "Mesmerized" will only be available for download on CDBaby.com. After that, starting tomorrow, it will be available for download and streaming on iTunes, Google Music, Amazon, Spotify, etcetera.  

For easy and direct access to the song, go to my CDBaby album page by clicking on the link below:  

http://cdbaby.com/cd/raulquines 

The audio clip is very short and was not of my choosing. So, you might just have to splurge a whopping buck and twenty-nine cents to get the whole experience! That's half the price of a cup of coffee. Hahhh!!!!!! 

Now, ​I'd love to hear your feedback. Let me know what you think of "Mesmerized'. What do you feel? What does the song remind you of?? Sounds like??? So please, I urge you to write a review at the bottom of my CDBaby page where it says "Reviews". Be the first to review it, and I'll give you a BIG FAT HUG and buy you a full cup of coffee!!!  {~:;  {~:; 

Last and not least, a shout out to Amy Kang for her beautiful Solo Cello playing and to Tim Cramer for his expert engineering work at Maelstrom Music. Thank you so much!!! 

​Hope you enjoy it! 
  
RQ

Standing Up For What Is Right

September 21, 2016

This is what's on my mind today: 

We see, far too often in this country we call The United States of America, the acts of injustice, inhumanity and utter disregard to human life. Precious American lives are taken away, week in and week out for no justifiable reason; in this country called The United States of America! The loved ones who have to deal with the shock and mourn the sudden loss of a fallen brother, sister, son, father, mother, husband, wife, lover and/or co-worker whose life was cut short are the ones who have to suffer and endure the devastation, pain and emptiness for rest of their lives. These are serious matters.  

There is no recourse to a life taken away. One cannot replace life. It is not an equipment or technological device, which one can easily take back to the store and exchange it for something new or refurbished item when it breaks. When the heart stops beating, that is it. A precious human life is irreplaceable! It is not difficult to imagine a scenario of, say, a loved one stepping outside for a few minutes - speaking at the top of his or her lungs as the door closes, "Just gotta grab some milk. I'll be right back!" - and never to return?!?  

This must stop today!!! People of color have been grieving for far too long for their brothers and sisters. This must stop today. The change must start now, before the healing process can begin. Radical changes in the laws and regulations of sales, handling and use of firearms need to be made, that accountability is measured without bias and that justice is served responsibly.  

We have to stand up for what is right!!! We all share this responsibility.


Copyright © 2016

On Being Luckier today

May 17,

It's 3:35am, late Monday night or early Tuesday morning (however the bill fits) in New York City and I'm asked at the second to the last car on the 1 line at 96th Street (heading southbound) by a kind soul in a relatively desperate state (destitute and hungry) if I could spare some change for food. I told him I cannot spare change and offered him the bag that I brought on board, which contained a $16 salad with grilled chicken. He initially refused it, preferring money instead. I told him this is what I can offer to satisfy his hunger, feeling skeptical about what he would do if I gave him a $20 bill.  

Without waiting another minute, he graciously accepted my offer and went straight into the container. He was apparently quite hungry. He also mentioned that he has a wife at the shelter with their 8-month old son. He seemed quite genuine talking about this as he was talking about everything else, which I appreciated. He also asked me again if I can spare a dollar or two, to which I said I cannot (questioning in my head what he might do with the money: perhaps go to a crack house with the funds he's raised or what, but a fifth when the liquor store opens up?!?) I gave him my personal/business card offering my services to him and his family, a thing I learned along the way: "to be of service." 

This man was clearly down on his luck, unable to land a job, for one reason or another. I had no doubt that he had other issues. But who am I to judge, an educated human being with a couple of degrees seemingly put together, but nonetheless an individual with chemical addiction who had, has, and perhaps will continue to carry himself to countless points of no return.  

Deep down inside I had very little uncommon with him. I think this is why we were able to just talk the walk. My interaction with Jesus was a salvation perhaps, if not a reminder of the times that I had been there on many levels; and how grateful I am for the privileges I have today.  

If there is one thing that I've learned on my way home late tonight it is that I am probably no different from him. And if there is one thing certain it is that I am simply luckier than he is today.


Copyright © 2016

Reflection on 9/11

As streams of memories on September 11 are filtering in, some of which are shared by dear friends in New York City and abroad, I feel compelled to share my own reflection on it. In so many ways, 9/11 changed the lives of everyone on this planet, even those who were not born until after the event. For me, the event altered my perception on life in many ways. I learned to ask more questions, always look up, always be a friend, always be of service, always remember to say “I love you” to your loved ones because you never know if and when there will be another opportunity to express it, always speak your truth and lead by example, and the list goes on and on. What 9/11 did for me as well was get me back to writing music again.  Most of my friends and colleagues were not aware that I did not pen a note for a solid seven-year period prior to this day (which we memorialize again today). 
  
So this is a special day for me. When this day came around in the morning fourteen years ago, it got me so twisted and bent inside that I didn’t know what to feel. Then, I couldn’t do anything but cry my eyes out. And then my heart followed. And I wrote, even when it was so painful to relive the atrocities that unfolded before my eyes, before all of our eyes. 
  
Music for Lamentation was expressly written to commemorate those who perished on September 11 of 2001. The piece dared nothing musically challenging in shape, sound or form (especially to my critical music colleagues), but is closest to 'genuinely' bringing to bare my reflection on September 11. Midway thru writing the piece, I came to the realization that I was finally recognizing a significant disconnect in my life; grieving the loss of my father, nearly thirty years after his death. Allowing myself to go through these states of emotional turmoil, mourning and longing did me a lot of good. It mended emotional fissures and helped heal old wounds of my own. 
  
I've said this before and I will say i again: I am indebted to my daughter and Stringendo (Orchestra School of the Hudson Valley) for the immeasurable encouragement that helped me finish the work. See, I never thought that I was capable of finishing it; and so this is why I am so grateful to them. Thank you so much!!!  [There is another significant story about the evolution of the piece, but we don’t need to go there today.] 
  
"Music for Lamentation is not merely an elegy that laments those lost; it’s a vessel I call ‘Hope,’ which has no expiration. ‘It’ holds a lot of promise and healing power. It is a story about ‘recovery’ from devastation, ‘optimism’ to look ahead, ‘enduring willingness’ to stride forward and ‘overcoming fear’ in order to persevere. In the wake of the breaking news, global catastrophes, and the 14-year anniversary of September 11, I ask each of you to help raise awareness, recover what might be fractured or an abandoned trust in the fundamental truth of humanity, and instill in the collective conscience of our communities that far greater things are born (than lost) from our human suffering.” 
  
With all my heart, I present to you my 9/11 dedication piece Music for Lamentation as performed by Vivace of Stringendo, under the baton of Jonathan Handman with hope that this musical passage will help those in mourning today. Thank you and have a blessed day!

9/11/2015

Copyright © 2015

where I go

September 4

Copyright © 2015

This Morning

This morning, in my daily walk and jog, I happened upon a church on east 3rd street. The times I've passed by there the doors have been closed and the gates locked. Today, the gates and doors were open. Wide open to the public.  So I walked in through the second set of doors. A beautiful old church made out of masonry, it was hollowed inside. Totally empty, with exception to the tables in the front, pews, alter, religious figures, a number of oscillating fans, two rows of radiators, one on each side between the pews, where the aisles would normally be at other churches.

I sat quietly in the middle with eyes and ears in attention. Other than, the sound of the ventilating fans and the sound coming from the street, it was dead quiet inside. It was also quite warm. I stayed in my seat for only a few minutes before deciding to go. I stood up and scanned the empty room. Just as I was about to turn for the door, I spotted a closed black grand piano in the dimly lit side to the right of the alter. I went to it, knowing that I was probably violating the rules of the sanctuary. Opened the keyboard cover and felt the soft pedal with my left foot.

I played the "aria" to JS Bach's Goldberg Variations. Without a single soul to deaden the reverberation, each note rang for an indefinite length of time, tying over into the next sequence of melodic lines and chord changes. With no foot anywhere near the sustain pedal, everything sustained out of my control, notes and chords piled on top of each other, and to my delight! I feared that someone would walk in and put an end to the trance and religious ecstasy I was in. I made it to the final bar, and finished playing the aria without interruption. I looked up, closed my eyes and said "thank you." I let air out of my mouth, got up and quietly walked towards the door and made my exit.

August 18, 2015  

Copyright © 2015

   

words to a Song

"... Dreaming dreams
I'm mesmerized
You're heart is gold
it sings to me..."

July, 2015

Copyright © 2015


 

a sonnet

Let her dance to the rhythm that she feels 
And sing the songs that resound in her ears; 
She will hum and skip, laugh and twirl, then squeals 
Runs and falls (the wound tender as her tears) 
Let her talk to her imaginary 
Friends and play her ‘monica’s own create; 
She will honk out of the ordinary, 
Smiles and grins with all eyes that cannot hate 
She concerns herself not with yesterday 
Tomorrow is one sleep too far away; 
Now’s today and not once upon a when 
Where time matters minds of old specimen 

Small wonder a child is lover, ‘s master, 
And builder of heart’s moon and brightest star 


[a sonnet for my daughter - when she was three and half years old]

Copyright © 1997

Premiere of Impressões

 HAPPY SPRING!!! I hope that this newsletter finds you in good spirit. {~:;

I'm delighted to report that my choral piece Surrexit was well received at its premiere on Easter Sunday. Bravo to music director Douglas Kostner, the chamber orchestra and the commissioning group Larchmont Avenue Church Chancel Choir!!! 

New York City has one of the best public transportations in the world. The conveniences of having a reliable public transportation system afford most city dwellers to get around the city in a timely fashion with just one swipe of the Metro Card for $2.50. I remember when a slice of Koronet Pizza was the same price as a subway token, $1.00 back in the day - anybody remember that?!?!?! While owning a vehicle brings another mode of transportation in play, the convenience of being able to go in and out of the city presents its counterpart, the inconveniences: parking, becoming part of the alternate-side parking culture circling around the block(s) anywhere from two to, ohhhhh, ten times before finding a spot, receiving parking tickets - never mind dents and scratches - and getting towed by the parking gods. Yes, the headaches! - never the heartaches... which brings me to the next … (paragraph?)

It is of great importance to find humor in what life deals you; however, it is another thing to find it and keep it, and maintain one's dignity in this particularly unique driving sub-culture. There's a saying, "one has to give it away in order to keep it." Well… it's tough to do so when one has lost it early on or never had it to begin with before even taking responsibility of passing it on to another, whatever "it" may be. Is it humor, wisdom or joy we're generously passing on? Or is it the frustration, rage or token symbol of "the finger" that we're passing on to our fellow human-beings in the other car, say a cabbie who's just cut us off, or the immortals on foot who jump in front of us on the street or on their bikes on our side of the street, traveling in the opposite direction???

On another note - perhaps merely benign, but undoubtedly with good-heart - on "passing it on" is an invitation to a premiere performance of one of my works. Impressões, which means "impressions" in Portuguese, is a suite for unaccompanied solo cello and will be presented by cellist Michael Midlarsky of the Composers Concordance on April 25th, 2013 Thursday at 7pm. Below is more information on the stellar line-up of music makers and dealers of what promises to be a fun-filled concert.
 _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

As Gustav Mahler wrote, "In its beginnings, music was merely chamber music, meant to be listened to in a small space by a small audience." On April 25th at 7pm, Composers Concordance ("enterprising new music organization" -NYTimes) presents an eclectic program of contemporary chamber music premieres. Featured composers include Dave Soldier ("resolutely uninterested in stylistic limits" -NYTimes), Gene Pritsker ("audacious…multitalented" -NYTimes), Dan Cooper ("especially fascinating" -American Record Guide), Evan Hause ("particularly compelling" -NYTimes), Leo Kraft ("beautiful" -NYTimes), Frank J. Oteri ("passionate" -San Francsico Chronicle), and Raul Quines ("highly imaginative" -Sir Georg Solti). Featured performers include flutist Valerie Coleman (of the Grammy-nominated Imani Winds), clarinetist Michiyo Suzuki (of the Grammy-nominated Absolute Ensemble), as well as the intrepid violinists Lynn Bechtold, Mioi Takeda, and Yibin Li, renowned cellist Michael Midlarsky, and the exceptional pianist Dimitri Dover. Don't miss this fun chamber music event, plus a reception, at the Turtle Bay Music School's Richmond Room (244 East 52nd St).

Valerie Coleman - flute
Michiyo Suzuki - clarinet
Lynn Bechtold, Mioi Takeda, and Yibin Li - violin
Michael Midlarsky - cello
Dimitri Dover - piano

Gene Pritsker : Universe Contains Innumerable Elements
Dan Cooper : TBD
Leo Kraft : Brief Encounters
David Sodier : Ultraviolet Railroad
Evan Hause: Piano Trio
Frank J. Oteri : Spurl
Raul Quines : Impressões 

Composers Concordance (http://composersconcordance.com) at the Turtle Bay Music School (http://www.tbms.org): the Richmond Room: 244 East 52nd St, New York, NY at 7pm.
 _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________


Thank you for your time, support and encouragement! I'm looking forward to seeing some of you at the premiere performance.


Cheers!
 
Copyright © 2013
 

Premiere of Surrexit

 GREETINGS! I hope that this newsletter finds you in good spirit. {~:;

There are many exciting things going on this month! For one thing, I have taken on a "day-job" in New York City and am in the midst of transitioning back and searching for a new home in the big apple. I'm not getting too much sleep these days, as I re-acclimate myself to the new work environment and the noise and lifestyle of this mad town. {~:; Despite the sleep deprivation, I find myself revitalized every morning by the buzzing energy around me. On another note, I am reacquainting myself with my music and arts friends and meeting more fellow artists (younger and older) from, what appears to be, an even more diversified community of creators making art and sound in the city; and what a wonderful thing that is! 

On the production end, my most recently composed piece in 2013, Surrexit ("risen" in Latin), for solo soprano, chorus, brass quintet, percussion and organ is approaching the final stages of rehearsals. It will be premiered by the commissioning group Larchmont Avenue Church Chancel Choir, led by the music director Douglas Kostner, on March 31st, Easter Sunday. Enclosed is a little note about the piece, and further below are the details of the performance event. 

Trusting that the best setting for the music will be born out of the lyricism of the classic Latin verses, Surrexit is the first vocal piece I've written which impelled me to come up with the text first in order to freely get going with the musical material. Outside of the opening instrumental passage, the collage of sounds is shaped mainly by the nature in which the Latin words is generally spoken and, specifically, in the unfolding of the unrestrained rhythm of the text extracted from Psalms 117 (118) and 118 (119). The sounds are presented in blocks and interconnected chunks and chips of material taken from the opening three sections: the "Introduction," timpani ostinato (recurring drumming pattern) and "Antiphona Aria" (song for solo soprano).  Out of these three sections, the thematic elements of the entire piece evolved.

The "Antiphona Aria" is derived from a Gregorian antiphon, a monophonic melody which high Renaissance composer Giovannni Pierluigi da Palestrina paraphrased in his motetVeni Sponsa Christi as well as expanded upon in his imitation-mass of the same title. While antiphons are typically short in length, I chose to exploit the six-note motif and highlight the "sweet" (middle-upper) register of the solo soprano voice to bring to bear the subject of Surrexit's song of praise, the resurrection of Christ.  

 _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

March 31 - Premiere of new choral work Surrexit by the Larchmont Avenue Church Chancel Choir (http://www.lacny.org) at the Larchmont Avenue Church: 60 Forest Park Avenue, Larchmont, NY at 9am and 11am.
 _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________

If you live or plan on coming around the New York metropolitan area this Easter weekend, please do keep the date in mind. ADMISSION is FREE. Larchmont (NY), is a stop on the Metro-North Train and is only a 35-minute ride from Grand Central (http://as0.mta.info/mnr/schedules/sched_form.cfm). Thank you for your time, support and encouragement! I look forward to seeing some of you at the premiere performance.


Cheers!
 
Copyright © 2013
 

New York state of being.

First official day back in NYC. Like I never left. Bumping into old friends up and down Broadway and on the way to Sal & Carmine's for a salty slice, living (temporarily) atop a Chinese take-out joint where my room is filled with odors of everything searing from the fryer. At the corner, the "Hallelujah man" stands and delivers his praise and car horns, cabbies flooring the gas pedal, bus air brakes, garbage trucks and stuttering sirens of the police cars, all sounding their unique sounds in the morning, day and night where all times are filtered into one unending cacophony. Very energizing - very disturbing. I love it - I hate it - I love it - I... look forward to tomorrow... and the smell of decaying fish at the markets in Chinatown, soup dumplings at Joe's Shanghai and lechee ice cream at the Ice Cream Factory. {~:;

I feel like I'm home (again). I love it - and I hate it(!), especially the incessant banging from the steam pipes at night... all phukkin night.

Feb 25, 2013


Copyright © 2013
 

This new year.

GREETINGS! Happy 2013 everyone!!!

This new year marks a number of new beginnings: my latest commission and first time for religious service, a new collaboration in music and dance with a wonderful choreographer/dancer,  and an endeavor at putting together a newsletter, this one here. I suppose that there is no better way of doing it than just to "do it." So here it goes.

This entire month (and most of December) was spent diligently working on my latest commission for SATB chorus, brass quintet, timpani/percussion and organ. I felt that the best setting for the music would come from, or be inspired in part by, the poetics of classic Latin verses. After a dialogue with the commissioning music director, and investing considerable amount of time in research, reading and translating Latin verses, the pool of information was pared down to two sources out of which my material was collected. The Latin text I set music to is derived from Psalms 117 (118) and 118 (119). Some were pulled straight out of the Latin Vulgate, some extracted from English hymnodist Isaac Watts's version 118:4 (117), while others were elaborations or reconstructions of my own. With the critical assistance of a dear friend, a classics professor, as well as the aid of the music director, I hope to have set the text in grammatical order. If there is inconsistency in the content,  it was considered with utmost respect, given the context of the commission's ecclesiastical setting. 

I had the wonderful opportunity to spend nearly the last two weeks at a space of retreat conducive of imagining, learning, building and fusing the elements I brought along "in the bag" and the new discoveries I was fortunate to have happened upon during this time-period while working on the piece. I must admit I've never experienced this level of peace and quiet, where my mind was eased to a sedate state and my conscience or creative spirit took over. As a result, I was able to compose an abundant amount of music and draw the final double-bar to a work I've grown quite fond of. 

I am delighted to announce that this piece, which I refer to for the time being as Surrexit, its unofficial (until it becomes official) title in Latin for "risen" will be premiered by the commissioning group Larchmont Avenue Church Chancel Choir, led by the music director Douglas Kostner, on March 31st, Easter Sunday. There will be two services in which the piece will be performed: 9am and 11am.  

Information on concert events and other goings-on slotted so far this season of some of my works can be found on the EVENTS page. Thank you for your time, support and encouragement! I hope to see you at one of the concert events.

 
Cheers!
 
Copyright © 2013
 

Counting my blessings this season



This season, I can count my blessings with more than my two hands and two feet, far more than the single hand by which I can number my losses. For these (blessings), I feel incredibly fortunate; and for everything else - life's muse, challenges and lessons - I am immensely grateful. Learning the genuine meaning of humility has proved to be a blessing in disguise. I've ascertained that humor is the key in life. Doing so (laughing at myself) has brought me to an unfamiliar plain of existence in which a newly found way of being has enabled me to be forgiving and accepting of my flaws. The very essence of this virtue has availed me a new sense of freedom which empowers me to conduct myself more openly with other human-beings. Perhaps this experience is revelatory of what true freedom is. 

I've learned a great deal this year. If I can sum it up, it is about "my renewed value on life" - that I have become more sensitive to everything that's breathing around me (wherever I go), and that the creations of those who once breathed the same composition of gases and vapor that I'm fortunate to steadily breathe in and out today have new meaning. By the slightest motion to discard old and flawed ways of thinking, more head-room has been availed in my determination to be brave and to willingly indulge in living with a more open mind and disposition to truly freely feel.

I sense and trust that I am becoming more in tune, and able to see and listen with my heart and, as a result, able to readily identify the abundance of gifts given me. Allowing myself the chance to continually grow and be an operative receptor, I'm able to comfortably be (outside material thoughts), build a joyous life (because I can), and freely give today (because I am unafraid).  

Happy Holidays!


Raul S Quines

Copyright  2012


On Composing In the Kitchen; as Cooking Is...

Food for the Soul

Spending a lot of time in my kitchen, chopping, mixing, blending and experimenting with flavors, textures and colors in the goods that come out of the oven and from the burners, I do a considerable amount of time composing music there as well. It is a haven for contemplation and creation. Because cooking is my way of being, which I do on a daily basis, a good number of my musical creations are influenced by and, in many ways, are bi-products of the meditative processes I undergo in my kitchen.

In describing the musical components and ideas from which an abundance of notes, rests, symbols and unforeseen chaos have been penned, I have to admit that the collages of sounds I've been happy to have put together are very much like cooking up a stew. For example, Meditation on Eight Sketches for string quartet, comprised of a bunch of musical ideas or, as I like to loosely refer to as, "sketches", share the many components and compositional processes that go into making a complex stew: from gathering the individual ingredients and spices together, to combining them in a big pot (measured, to taste and, for that surprise [pleasant or otherwise], to chance), to patiently letting that pot simmer, stew and reduce to a desired consistency, to adjusting, tweaking and straining, and to more tweaking until it is "done".

With Sketches, my goal was to achieve "balance" with the musical ingredients put on the table - the experimental sounds and musical borrowings from Elgar's Introduction and Allegro for strings (see or listen to I. Static movement on the Music page) and Machaut's ballade Nes que on porroit (II. Ode to Machaut movement), along with the elements that I was able to flesh out at the chopping block in the tempo changes, filtering and tweaking in the subtle alterations and blatant shifts, contrasts in dynamics, colors in orchestration, solo, duet, trio, and tutti, homophonic and polyphonic textures, the distinctions between sound and silence, the ebb and flow from dissonance to consonance, the psychology of tension and release (of tension), and as a result, the imagery that these tensions create for the listener (movements III. Scratch Rhythm and IV. Cantabile also available on the Music page).

Balance: cooking down that stew or distilling that brew to one's desire (with all its perfect imperfections) is not impossible, as is finding that seemingly illusive"happy medium" is not improbable. With patience and the allowance of self to contemplation in one's most welcomed environment, the creative spirit will cook - and the soul will feast!


Raul S Quines

Copyright © 2012

 

[Builder of]Being One’s Own (revised)

January 10, 2012

You can build your environment and design it to your ideal preferences (color, texture, smell, flavor, climate... ad infinitum). Like a bird building its nest, weaving the fibrous elements to its liking and making it a comfortable home for its chicks, you too can customize an environment to your hearts' content, seemingly so. The more you spend time doing and shaping your environment, the more it becomes your way of being, like an actor playing a role (taking on the persona of its character), or a person dressing the part to look the part, to live the part, to the point of convincing its perceiver, and perhaps itself, that the image depicted is that of the person [s]he hopes to have transformed into, a measurable undertaking of one’s guise nonetheless. While there is much gleaming light to such a procedure of transformation or ritual, from dressing up, to becoming and, ultimately, to being, like a master chef putting on [her]his chef-coat or a baseball player putting on [her]his uniform and cleats to be who [s]he is at that moment in the most effective way of being, so too can the false image turn out a murky result for the person depicting who loses sight of [her]his reality or role in society or should forfeit [her]his voice in what [s]he endeavors to [not]do in that stasis of being stuck, lost [and]or mute.

… and the more it becomes your way of doing, so too you become of its [un]being.
 …

If you wish to isolate yourself from society, creating the life of a recluse, then the life of the recluse becomes you. On the other hand, if you wish to beam yourself up and out of the rising walls that may blind you, then the opposite effort will have to be taken, which will then in turn produce its respective result, [brick by brick] one turn at a time.

A bird who’s built to fly does not stay in the comfort of its nest too long because it must fly - so too must [wo]man set [her]his sail, and fearlessly ride that ocean called "life" (which is that part of becoming, and living, and ultimately, of being). Why should [a wo]man, who so chooses to sequester [her]himself, think of itself any differently and in turn expect to have any genuine thought or feeling that [s]he can move about freely?


- Raul S Quines

Copyright © 2011-12


On New Year's Day

 January 2, 2012

On New Year's Day I had the distinct pleasure of meeting and dining with a man whose work I've grown to appreciate and whose way of being I've instantly become an admirer of. To keep it brief and simple, his name is R.R. I like referring to him as Mister R.

Mister R. is not feeling his best these days. As a matter of fact, his health is rapidly deteriorating - all the more reason to smilingly salute his way of being, given his current physical state. He takes it all in stride, one minim and a quaver at a time; a display of gut, surrender, humility and efficiency with his motion. He finesses his way with an infant's smile. And amidst all of which surrounded us in his home, the select company, the bounty of vegan chili, biscuit, guacamole and chips served at the table, and even the white noise of the football game in the background, I had never felt so content and small.


Raul S. Quines


Copyright © 2012

Raul's Periodical Muse

July 24, 2011

The day Amy Winehouse passed away
(at 27...)
So too did my Krups espresso maker
(at twenty-something).



U tebya fyso budyet horosho!
=
"Everything will be alright!"

R.I.P. AW

- Raul S Quines

Copyright © 2011


"Inspiration"

Inspiration: that which we artists (builders of words, sounds, concepts, ideas, lines, shapes and colors) rely on, from one, or another, or otherwise outside divine source, for motivation (because we may lack vision to see it through) and confirmation (because we dare question our own good intent [good? – yes, because we create, not discreate]), need not go too far, ever, because “it”, (inspiration itself) which was born out of our vision and conviction, lives within each of us who builds still. “It” never left, nor will it ever be unfaithful. “It” is eternally integrated in what we continually become and into those things good which we create.

- Raul Salamanca Quines

Copyright © 2007-2011



Other scribblings...


Feel free to check out other articles and poems on my blog site at:

http://raulsdailymuse.posterous.com