Art, Things, and FUD

July 20-29, 2022

Dear Family, Friends, and Diary,

Another record of the things we are doing, finishing with a little editorial comment about FUD.done

The big accomplishment has been Marianne finishing her second painting for the upcoming show. (ArtHop, August 4, Fig Tree Gallery). She's happy, and I observe that may be the hardest part of creating abstract art. This particular painting is probably 20 to 30 layers thick, with each layer constituting a painting on its own, but each was not quite right. I liked several of them, but recognized the need for the artist to struggle until she's happy. Congratulations.

The elephant-in-the-room has been receding into the background. There is still physical therapy to keep certain swelling under control, but overall puffiness is gone. Tiredness seems more a function of age than chemo. Hair is twisting back. Styling is just around the corner. Congratulations again.

COVID testingCovid fear is still hanging around, maybe because Fresno still has high positive test results (20%). We generally avoid crowds, but a week ago we had our first indoor dinner guests since the beginning of lock-down, two years ago. Igor and Sue joined us at our big dining room table, giving us a chance to learn a bit about what they've been doing since I worked with him in Rio 40 years ago. We need to get together more and I hope we can transition to bigger indoor gatherings in a month or two. We'll see.


Photo excursions have been limited to a few neighborhood walks. One or two days have NOT been above 100F, so outdoor activities are not recommended.

Most of my flower subjects are pretty tired. Nonetheless, I like them.

dry sun dry pink old red
orange bluish shriveled

World news is filled with FUD, a term I see used in discussions of electric cars. It stands for "Fear, Uncertainty, & Doubt" and implies wrong or misleading reporting created solely to draw attention. More broadly, we need to understand what reporting is true and what is FUD: recession, inflation, climate, war in Ukraine, Covid, Monkey Pox, January 6 insurrection and other crime (and potential punishment.)

It is hard to understand how worried we should be. We are no longer concerned about our jobs, but we do need to worry about how well our savings and investments will serve to cover our needs and wants until the end. And when is that? Uncertainty.

Politically, we are glad to be living in California, but the national fission into far-right and far-left casts doubt on our system. Revelations about the organization of the January 6, 2021 insurrection show American fissures. Survival as the country we thought we knew may be shaky. Doubt.

Can war in Ukraine be limited geographically and in time to months or are we facing a longer, European war? Or, might saber-rattling with China drift to real war, World War III? Fear.

Stay tuned, in case we find any answers.

John and Marianne.