Our Bloodmoon Connection


There had to be a million or so people around the globe watching and photographing the Bloodmoon last night.  I was one of them.  





My friends on Facebook seemed very happy when I posted these.  I wouldn’t be surprised if many of you, the Napkin Kin, also are happy that I posted here. Of course, they, and you, could go to a thousand other better photographers’ websites or social media sites and see much better photos of the moon.  Why did they respond with comments like “Marty: Thank you for capturing this. Now I am happy. I was sad, that I missed it.”?  I think it’s because relationship connections are what it’s about.  Evette, who posted that comment, knows me. She knows I posted this to share with her and my friends. That means something to her. I am not a magazine, I am not a photo agency, I am not removed from her. I am connected.




It’s no different than when a friend of mine gets to go to a special event. If I see photos they took of it or read their description and feelings about the event, I feel connected. I am happy and grateful they shared it with me. I am experiencing it with them and through them.  It’s not the same as just any old photo of the event by a stranger. 




Linda mentioned as we were looking at the moon how many others on the planet were looking at the same thing at the same time.  It’s an amazing thought.  What takes that thought to the land of happy wonder for me is how many of my friends around the globe either saw it or felt connected by seeing my photos of it.




I think we live on a pretty cool orb. I love that we have been blessed to be conscious of it and intelligent enough to explore it, and the universe beyond, together.  Knowing there is friendship and love at that heart of it all gives all that wonder and awareness the greatest meaning and value in my book.


Picking Your Pain – Pain and Suffering #2


I am picking today to be #2 in the Pain and Suffering series.


pick your pain - pain and suffering #2

Pick Your Pain

I pick my scalp.  My father did as well.  My mother and sisters would tell him not to.  My wife and daughters do the same to me on occasion. My response? I don’t stop for long. Why? Because I like picking my scalp. I like picking because I like the little bit of feeling, the pain, attached to it, among other things.

Picking a scab might lead to infection, it might bleed a bit too much. We all get that, but we do it anyway. Why? Because we like it. We like the pain because we know it is controlled. We know the pain won’t kill us (the infection might, yes, but the pain won’t). We know it will only go so deep. It’s the same reason we press a bruise or a sore spot on our body after we have exercised hard. We are testing the pain, seeing how painful it is. And that pain feels good because we know we can relieve the pain easy enough by just stopping.

Choose, Self-inflict, Repeat

Why are we so ready to repeat pain but not pleasure? To me the answer is simple, we don’t have any guilt with pain.  Pleasure can make us feel indulgent, selfish.  But how can you feel indulgent and selfish when you are feeling pain? It isn’t nearly as likely.  

That’s why we have so many quasi-martyrs in the world who love to advertise their suffering.  That’s why the ‘fruits of the spirit’ in the bible include ‘long-suffering’ but not ‘long-pleasuring’. We don’t unleash moral condemnation on pain and suffering, do we.

True Danger

There are times when self-inflicting pain really is dangerous and life threatening though.  Self-loathing and self-hating can lead to inflicting pain that can have permanent and even fatal consequences.  Sometimes to others as well as yourself.  I wish I had the answer as to way we do that.  All I know is it’s way too frequent among those I love.

What are your thoughts on it?


Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman

Quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald, 1896-1940, American author


Pain is the Breaking of a Shell – Pain & Suffering #1


Is is weird to be happy that today is day #1 of my new ‘Pain and Suffering’ series?


Pain is the breaking of a shell


Friends in Pain

Recently I posted the following on my Facebook profile. 

“Recently I have talked to 4 friends in pain over relationships and where they are in life. I don’t like seeing my friends in pain but I love knowing them well enough to know that they can get through it. Pain isn’t forever, even if it feels that way.”

Many people ‘liked’ the post. I went through the list of those who liked it and found six more who I personally have talked to in the past few years about the pain they have suffered in relationships or some other aspect of their life. And those are just the ones I talked to directly. I suspect many who liked it have also gone through a lot of pain, I just don’t know the specifics.  Then again, when I think about it, how many of us haven’t gone through pain in our relationships?

Out of the 10 I have talked to personally, 6 have gone through or are going through a divorce.  Of the other 4, they either broke up with long term boyfriends or girlfriends or are contemplating doing so, or they were not on good speaking terms with their spouse last I talked to them.  Many of them have other painful issues they are dealing with as well.  Who knows about the others, but I suspect there was a lot of pain in all those ‘likes’.

Imagined Future

I went through a divorce after 20 years of marriage.  It was painful. One of the things that hurt the most was the loss of an imagined future.  Not one I planned in advance, but one I realized was gone once the divorce hit.  People would say,  ’but you will have a new future and who knows, it might be even better.’ I didn’t really want to hear that because at first I couldn’t imagine it was true. 

But it was true.  I am in that new future now and it has many things in it that I could not have imagined back then.  Not all of this future is perfect, of course not. But it is filled with love and value and meaning and support and creativity and purpose.  I am not sure I could ask for much more than that, right?  Could you?

How the Future

How did this future come to pass? Well, eventually I had to allow the past to be on it’s own. I had to say goodbye to it as a constant companion because it didn’t want me looking at a new future. It wanted me to only look at it. The past was a jealous mistress and I had to divorce myself from it as well.  That doesn’t mean I don’t visit the past. I love much of my past. but just as I don’t sleep with my ex anymore, I don’t sleep with my past either.  I have a new wife I sleep with and a new present and future that accompanies her.

What that means is I made room for discovering a new understanding of my life and my future.  If you are willing to do that, you can discover something new and wonderful as well. 


Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman

Quote by Khalil Gibran, 1883-1931, Lebanese born poet



A Drawing of Five Seconds of Her Thinking


A Short Short Story


A Drawing of Five Seconds of Her Thinking



5 seconds in her mind while we were in a church and she was in front of us and I watched her for a while before I made this up

Second One: I am alone, I am still cold, I wish I was married, I wonder if I am getting sick.

Second Two: I don’t think I am sick; it’s just allergies, I need to pay attention & eat better but lunch sounds good maybe a cheeseburger. No, a salad.

Second Three: No, maybe I will skip lunch and fast. I need to pray more so I can lose weight & be happier.  Maybe just 20 pounds.

Second Four: But I am already happy I think because I am saved and that means I am going to not go to hell.  I think I don’t chew well.

Second Five: But if I lose weight I will have to buy new clothes and I am broke.  I am going to close my eyes now just for a little while then I will fell better again maybe.


Drawing and story by Marty Coleman

Model unknown


How to Recognize a Blind Alley – The Art of Research #5


This may boomerang on me, but today it’s #5 in my Research series!


research 5

 True But

I think this is true but incomplete. I think it must be added that it’s not always the alley that is blind, it’s the person in the alley who is.

Blind Alley, Blind Person

A researcher can contribute their own blindness or shortsightedness to the process of going down an investigative alley.  At least I know this holds true in art.  If I am not paying attention to everything around me I can think a place is devoid of creative potential.  But the truth is there is probably a great deal of creative opportunities anywhere, if I am paying attention.  I would think the same is true in research.  Yes, you have something specific you are looking for, but you can not be blind to what else the alley offers.  

Recognize, Then Edit

As you go on your research journey, no matter the field, keep your mind and senses open to what presents itself, even if it’s not completely on topic.  That doesn’t mean you have to grab it and indulge in it. It’s just saying you know what it is that is in front of you and are open to what it might mean.  Recognizing something and deciding to leave it behind is much better than never recognizing it in the first place.

See the rest of the Research series here.  If you are interested in having them as posters or framed prints for your school or company, let me know!


Drawing and commentary by Marty Coleman

Quote by Marston Bates, 1906-1974, American zoologist


“Research is the process of going up alleys to see if they are blind. “