Poetry – Into The Earth

Reading Time: 2 minutes


I am a man of passion.

I am a man of light.

I am a man of transmission.

I am a man of fight.

I am a man of action.

I am a man of might.

I am a man of conversation.

I am a man of elation.

But it is times of silent reception.

Where I derive power.

I stand here with open hands.

In the darkness of the night

With my feet firmly in the land.

I take off my glasses

So I can’t see the masses.

Rain comes down

Dripping to the ground

Washing away my ego

I am nothing

I am everything

The soil turns to mud.

I sink deeper.

I look through the rain towards the sky.

I sink deeper.

I feel the soft grass and rugged leaves brush my hands.

I sink deeper.

I smell the earth and the purifying scent of sage.

I sink deeper.

I hear the chatter of coyotes and the whistle of hawks.

I sink deeper.

There is darkness.

I am enveloped. I am free.

I am of the earth.

I am in the earth.

The heartbeat is loud. Her warmth is comforting

Roots grow through me. I am torn apart. Holes. Time passes. Contentment, happiness relief. My breath slows to the scale of glacial mountains. My consciousness swings outside of physical constraints. Like being pushed on a swing by an invisible hand. The pendulum swings progressively wider until there is no swing, only cycles. Faster and faster a vortex whirlpool develops. I am the eye.

There is no movement and all movement.

No sound and all sound.

Nothing and everything.

Presence and future-past.

There is humming that reverberates in all of my being like a transformer on an electrical line.

With every exhale there is death and with every inhale there is birth.

What tremendous responsibility until you realize they are all the same. Animals exhale that which plants inhale. Trees exhale that which humans inhale. A spinning top, there is balance. Only the hologram exists. Feeling through others, is this compassion? I feel what they’re going through. I see through your eyes, hear through your ears, and smell through your nose. I understand your mental processes, your emotions. I feel your pain, heartbreaks, love, aspirations, losses, grief, ecstasy, joy, warmth, coldness, anger, rage, softness, gentleness, courage, peace….

So much to absorb. You have to be eaten by the earth to be able to absorb. Ever cell must split to allow experience to permeate fully. Tears fall while I dance with joy. The forward hope of exiting the womb with the finalness of dying and entering back to earth.

I close my eyes but I see.

I dampen my ears but I hear.

It’s so loud. It’s so bright.

Let it go. Let it go. Let it go.

Dissolve and expand. Salt melts into water. Ice melts into ocean. Melt into oblivion; into everything.

You won’t remember when you remember everything.

The spiral encircles outward as images pass by with incomprehensible speed.

This is why they say the universe is expanding.

One after another.

Birth and death.

The odometer keeps ticking.

Calendars keep turning.

Muscles twitch like when in dream state.

Don’t forget to breath.

Momentum and inertia.

Dissolving into unification.

The rain drops turns to river turns to ocean.

Poetry – Clearing Fog

Reading Time: 1 minute


Sitting on the hill

I am this hill

Enveloped in fog

I think I will sleep

In waking there is warmth

My ears hear the morning sun

My pores open with receptivity

Finally the haze begins to clear

Like a stiff winged butterfly after metamorphosis

I am free

The Sublimity Of Poetry

Reading Time: 1 minute


But now I see it is the closest the human language can come to the language of nature and emotion.

Poetry is like an abstract painting of which you project your own subjective experience.

Good poetry causes a resonant familiarity and subtle knowing interwoven with the blood of emotion.

Despite the seeming chaos of abstract painting, ecstatic dance, and abstruse poetry; there is still an art to creating aesthetic composition.

Waves Of Positivity By Expressing The Beauty We See

Reading Time: 1 minute


I believe in giving people authentic genuine compliments/validation. I believe in listening to people and encouraging people to talk about emotions. I am a very curious person and love to hear people’s stories.

Over the years, I have found that compliments I have personally received have been like fuel to a fire of motivation and personal expansion. I want to give others that fuel. I want to inspire others to be confident, to be happy, to be passionate, to be uplifted, to be optimistic, to live life to it’s fullest. I try to see the best in everyone and I want to mirror back the positives. As happiness increases, waves of positivity spread.

I think about funerals and how people from far and wide come together and say all the reasons they loved that person. Incidentally, I think it is a shame that the passed person could not hear their praise. That they could not hear the positive thoughts other’s had internally but never expressed.

One of the things that gives me great joy is when people can raise their confidence, their self-respect, their aspirations, their optimism. For people be true to themselves.

Of course there are many false compliments (aka flattery) that veil ulterior motives and that is unfortunate. But I believe sincere and authentic compliments can be distinguished with awareness.

I only give compliments with honesty, authenticity, and integrity.

Here is a great video I found many years ago that’s guaranteed to put a smile on your face…


Quantum Mechanics

Reading Time: 1 minute


What are some of the cool things I think about regarding quantum mechanics? Two things come to mind…

#1 Quantum entanglement – when something has interacted with another and those two things are separated seemingly physically they are still quantumly connected. The quantum example of this is when they split an atom and made one part go in one direction and the other part go the opposite direction in a tunnel. When these two particles are kilometers apart, they changed the spin of one and the other simultaneously changed spin even though they were no longer connected. The physical implications is the proof that we can feel what other people are thinking and feeling at a distance…especially loved ones.

#2 The Double Slit Experiment – simply put…without human observation all potentials exist. But as soon as a human observes or thinks something than a single potential results. Without observation, things exist as waves. With observation, things exist as solid particles. The implications of this means that the human consciousness has a tangled effect on our reality.

Blood, Sweat and Art: Joseph Rastovich’s Metal Sculpture

Reading Time: 3 minutes


Carolyn Henderson

Falling metal, flying shrapnel, punishing heat, blinding light, loud noises — it doesn’t sound like an artist’s studio, but then again, the making of Joseph Rastovich’s art doesn’t fit into a small space. The Kennewick artist, whose primary medium is fabricated sculpture in steel, designs wall art, furniture, and lamps, in addition to significantly sized public art pieces.

He started working with metal when he was 14 years old, after inheriting classic cars from both sides of his family.

“I had to learn metal work to fix these cars, and that quickly transformed into my art career,” Rastovich says. “I had a job as a dishwasher at a jazz and wine club during that time and spent my paychecks solely on metal working tools.”

Ten years later, Rastovich’s studio, which is primarily outside his home (“luckily all my neighbors like me and accommodate my unusual profession”), boasts a plethora of the specialty tools necessary for metalwork: welders, plasma cutters, air compressors, grinders, sheet metal roller, clamps, gantry cranes, vises, sandblasters, an oxyacetylene kit, and forklift among others. These are just the tools. Finding the supplies with which to create is another matter.

“Unlike most artists, when I go to an art supply store, there effectively is nothing I can use,” Rastovich says. “Instead, I source my materials and supplies from industrial stores such as steel yards, welding supply stores, and industrial paint stores.”

The son of two artists — LuAnn Ostergaard, whose box mounted art prints are sold to private and corporate collections nationwide, and Michael Rastovich, an artist of multiple mediums whose resume includes creating a float for the Portland Rose Parade — Rastovich was “unschooled” for much of his educational career, an experience that allowed him to pursue creative endeavors with full focus.

“Curiosity and awe is the foundation of which intelligence is built,” Rastovich says.

“I was free to study philosophy, learn quantum mechanics, create music, look at great art, witness the running of a business, build things, and commune with nature.” The result, for him, is a 21st century Renaissance Man who not only has a passion about everything, but is extremely fit.

“It is a very physical profession,” he explains, one of the reasons he calls himself a metal wrangler, complete with signature cowboy hat, that is, when the situation doesn’t require a hard one.

“Everything is heavy. Before I bought my forklift, half my time was spent just moving steel plate with pry bars, rollers, and blocking.” And while the forklift has made certain aspects of his job easier, it still isn’t . . . easy. Because the work takes place primarily outside, Rastovich finds himself in all types of weather, ranging from 120 degrees to 0 degrees, from full, blazing sun to pouring rain and falling snow.

Rastovich sells his smaller work through galleries as well as furniture, gift, and jewelry stores throughout the Pacific Northwest. His larger, public works are installed in parks, schools, business districts and hospitals in the Tri-Cities, Spokane, and Tualatin, OR. He also attends select art festivals, including the Sausalito Art Festival in California and the Bellevue Art Festival, both prestigiously difficult to get into.

“At art festivals, I often admire jewelers because their entire inventory fits in a suitcase,” he observes wryly. “I have had shows where I needed to bring a forklift. But alas! I enjoy the scale and gravity of my work.”

Visual art, he believes, is like a static form of music, and like music, has the ability to bring forth powerful emotions in the viewer, from tears to joy, from quiet contemplation to the impulse to dance. It is his goal that his own art, large pieces or small, bring on a sense of awe and inspiration.

“I create art to provide relief from normalcy.

“What was a bare wall of insignificance becomes a reason to stop and slow down.

“What was empty space becomes a place for inspiration.

“What was a normal average day can be transformed into a power memory, when one encounters art.”



Poetry – I Walk In the Night Amongst Crisp Air And Grape Vines

Reading Time: 1 minute


I walk in the night amongst crisp air and grape vines.

Looking down upon the ground the frosty earth glimmers and reflects the moon as if standing on a fractal of the cosmos.

The still air and the clear sky enable introspection and contemplation.

My moccasin footsteps entrain meditation and solace.

The future is the question and nature is the answer.

Steel Sculpture by Joseph Rastovich Chronicles 100-Year History of Tualatin

Reading Time: 2 minutes


Ginger Moshofsky

“Lazy River,” the second of two art installations commemorating Tualatin’s centennial, was dedicated last Friday, Aug. 22, in Tualatin Commons Park.

Created by Joseph Rastovich, the 20-foot high sculpture has a curved shape to represent the Tualatin River.

When Rastovich found out that Tualatin was looking for a sculpture to celebrate the centennial, he had just one week to put a presentation together. The committee was impressed by his vision and design and commissioned him to create the piece.

Rastovich, 22, was raised in Portland surrounded by art; both of his parents are artists. He was unschooled every other year growing up, meaning he would go to school for one year, then spend a year schooling himself on whatever interested him.

At age 12, Rastovich became fascinated with quantum mechanics and learned everything he could on the subject. He fabricated his first steel sculpture at 14.

Rastovich explains what he loved about unschooling was he didn’t get jaded by learning and by people telling him what he had to learn. Instead, he followed his passions. “Passion is my word,” says Rastovich.

“Lazy River” is made of structural steel plate finished with industrial paint. On the sculpture are 32 icons representing the last 100 years in Tualatin’s history.Tualatin means “lazy river” in the language of the Atfalati, the region’s indigenous Native American people.

The sculpture took nine months to create and weighs about 4,000 pounds. It was installed on Aug. 6.

“My favorite part is forming the steel. I absolutely love organic curves, the organic form, the break from the straight linear world,” said Rastovich. “You can be more inspired than the concrete straight line.”

The sculpture was a gift from the Tualatin Arts Advisory Committee using funds raised through the annual art show and sale, Artsplash, and not by public funds. The committee commissioned two pieces of public art, “Lazy River” and “Dynamic Continuum.”

“Dynamic Continuum,” a bas relief mixed media mosaic, created by Lynn Adamo, was installed in the lobby of the Tualatin Public Library last December.

Buck Braden is the chair of the Tualatin Arts Advisory Committee and himself an established painter and artist. According to Community Services Director Paul Hennon, it was Braden’s leadership that led to the installation of the two art pieces.

“I think it was something unique and different, the ability to do all these little pieces, the icons, which represent Tualatin,” said Braden. “It has a contemporary look. I like the way it fits in.”

— Ginger Moshofsky