Mr. Toad

If you look at the headline, above, you’ll see that I have included an old family crest as a logo: a toad (shall we call him “rampant”?) with the motto “Experientia Docet.” Translated from the Latin, this means “experience teaches”–which is pretty much the lesson of the dharma. Here, too, is what I found out about the toad as a totem. I think you’ll agree that it’s a perfect fit for The Buddha Diaries, and indeed for everything I stand for and practice. I claim the crest from my mother’s side of the family, the Williamses, and it gave me great pleasure to discover all these associations, I wonder why it took me so long?

For my newest book, “Slow Looking,” I used Amazon’s print-on-demand Createspace, with the intention of getting the book out a bit faster and with less commitment to large numbers of books until (I hope!) they’re needed.  It’s a short book, a detailed account of the history and practice of my One Hour/One Painting experience, which has been reliably well received by groups in museums and galleries everywhere, so I think the book could do well in museum and art bookstores.  We have a terrific cover, featuring the image of a painting that has hung in our home for many years, and which is the subject of one of the chapters in the book. The manuscript was returned from the copy-editor a couple of days ago, and I went through the whole document yesterday.  It’s now in the hands of a friend who is experienced in book production and who will certainly do an excellent job from now until publication time.   I’m hoping for a pub. date in November–somewhere around election day!

I am currently working on a series of mini-essays titled, provisionally, “A Serious Conversation with Myself.” A reflection on the approach of old age and on what remains to be done in my life, it is being published in serial form on The Buddha Diaries. I’m thinking of using Createspace again to make a small book of these essays. And having just closed one political blog, “The Rohrabacher Letters,” I have opened another, “Rooting for Dr. Hans.” Mr. Toad keeps occupied.