Monday, November 9, 2015

"The Green Stick" by Reg van Cuylenburg

I remember meeting Reg van Cuylenburg in the 1970s in Ojai, California--he was the husband of my friend Margaret Dodd. I knew he was an artist, but I had no real idea about his origins and upbringing in early 20th century Ceylon. 

In this memoir, posthumously published by Margaret's Blue Palm Press, Reg presents a loving picture of his childhood--one that glows with fairytale light. The story is dominated by his grandfather, a true guardian angel; poetic descriptions of the historic family home in Kandy; and the rites of passage that marked his transition from young boy to young man. You will not soon forget the story of the thunderbox. 

The entire volume is illustrated with Reg's photographs of Ceylon's natural beauty, people, and places. I found The Green Stick to be a heartwarming and worthwhile read--a book I would highly recommend to anyone interested in an artfully told memoir and a glimpse of the Ceylon of yesteryear. Available at or directly from Blue Palm Press, PO Box 61255, Santa Barbara, CA 93160 (order form below)

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Hwy. 62 Open Studio Art Tours 2015

Rancho Mesa in Yucca Valley, California has become a neighborhood of artists, and we're happy to be part of it! Bill is showing his photographs at Studio 22 this Saturday and Sunday along with four other great artists--Kathi Klopfenstein (sculptural basketry), Paul Klopfenstein (gourd art), Nichole Vikdal (cystalline pottery) and Deane Locke (watercolors).

Above: "Council of Rocks," copyright 2015 Bill Dahl. This image is part of a new series of photos on exhibit for the first time at the tours this year, taken along Barker Dam Trail in Joshua Tree National Park. The entire series, "Mythic Rockscapes," also appears in a new book of ours by that title--each image is accompanied by a poem.

All our books are available at Studio 22--plus free bookmarks and micro-chapbooks.The books can also be found locally at Rainbow Stew and The Raven Bookshop, and online at

Bill Dahl with part of his photo display at Studio 22--enjoying his best year yet!

Monday, January 5, 2015

New Year's Greeting from Margaret Kay Dodd

Photograph by Margaret Kay Dodd, from Expedition Silk Road,
The Hermitage, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, September 2014

“His people tell of a young Bushman who came upon a rock
pool in the desert. Kneeling to drink, he saw reflected in the
pool a red bird more brilliant than anything he had ever seen
on earth. Determined to hold it in his hand, he sprang up
with his bow, but there was no sign of the red bird in the sere
desert sky. Wandering from place to place, inquiring after the
vanished bird, he strayed farther and farther from his homeland.
Days gathered into months and years, and in this way,
without ever having found what he was seeking, be became
old. He had hunted the land over, and talked to the few who
might have glimpsed the bird as well as the many who had
not, and still his heart could not give up the search. At last,
on the point of turning home, he heard that the red bird had
been seen from the peak of the north mountain, and he took
up his bow and resumed his journey one more time. The
mountain was far away across a desert, and when he reached
the foothills the old hunter was mortally tired. With the end
of his strength, he climbed and climbed into the sky, and
on the peak he lay down upon his back, for he was dying.
One last time he gazed into the distances, hoping to glimpse
the splendid thing in the mountain sky. But the sky was empty,
and he sighed and closed his eyes, wondering if his life had
been in vain, and died with the sun upon his eyelids and a
vision of the bird as he had seen it long ago, reflected in the
bright pool of his childhood. And as he died, a feather of a
burning red drifted down from the great sky, 
coming to rest in his still hand."

Adapted by Peter Matthiessen from Colin Turnbull,
Tradition and Change in African Life, Avon, 1966

Many thanks to my friend, Margaret Kay Dodd, for sending the above new year's greeting and giving 
me permission to post the image along with the poem. Margaret is a photographer, publisher, 
and graphic designer who divides her time between Santa Barbara and the Netherlands.
May we all find peace within. Happy New Year to all!