Ron Arias (Peru 1963-64) in Front of the Camera


Ron Arias (Peru 1963-64) author of half a dozen books (the last is entitled My Life as a Pencil) and for 22 years a writer at People Magazine retired a year or so ago to Hermosa Beach, California and gave up (at least full time) his writing career and began to throw pots. It’s a true story. Ron is finding his new occupation satisfying as well as fun. Recently cinematographer Matt Hanlon of did 3 hours of videos and produced 5 minutes of Ron at work as a potter. He also relates how Ron made the transition from print to clay. Take a look:


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  • Writing’s been his road and quite a trip it has been until doglegging now he’s spinning with hands on the potter’s wheel where whatever was is no longer that but remains a journey each takes on the famous road he began writing about in his first acclaimed novel

    • “THE ROAD TO TAMAZUNCHALE is one of the first achieved works of Chicano consciousness and spirit–Library Journal. Nominated for the National Book Award, this classic, first published in 1987, tells the story of Don Fausto, a very old man on the verge of death who lives in the barrio of Los Angeles. Rather than resigning himself to death, he embarks on a glorious journey in and out of time, space and consciousness with a cast of companions that includes his teenaged niece, a Peruvian shepherd, a group of mojados, and others. Arias is a prolific writer who has written for the New York Times, the Christian Science Monitor, and People magazine.” (from an internet description of his life as a writer and nothing about his river of life journeys otherwise also not including his and his brother Bob Arias’ history as early days Peace Corps volunteers)

        Coming to our own islands and our own gatekeeping, journeyers who navigate river-of-life journeys and when thrust upon an island struggling to escape can in some future time recall it as the heart-river-gate and they their very own gatekeepers.
        Recall the old Zen story of the person who comes to an obstruction in the center of life’s journey seeing three choices: ONE attempt to force advance, TWO go around, THREE turn back and seek another life highway. This person does what’s commonly called a “zen thing” sitting, meditates, and later starts noticing a new community maybe with tofu trucks, frozen yogurt carts, vegi bars, shops of all kinds, bookstalls, discos that other travelers who “paused” have set-up creating a wholly different and unplanned world before noticing a circus as the OMs would have it meets a lama who sells the mantra “OM PADMOSNISA VIMALE HUM PHAT” — whosoever sees, hears, remembers, or touches this prayer will be purified of negativity and gain freedom from rebirth in lower regions, then beginning to reproduce it on saffron-colored strips and then later with pastels (paper, cloth, plastic, tin, but not leather) and then with more primary colors, also with light printing on a darker field and sells them cheaply at some recitations (of a life so far) making many swell friends including a balloonist who offers a ride up/over (quel surprise!) the initial obstruction. What the choice made was you can think about as to what you’d do because the story that goes from there is one that journeyers might navigate for themselves on their river of life pilgrimages, when in the middle of life they come to an island and their own gatekeeping. Sailing away on your own life voyaging.

        (C) COPYRIGHT Edward Mycue 12 November 2018

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