Michael Divine

Writings: On Traveling

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Some writings from various travels. Sort of a travelogue: bits and pieces and perspectives on the journeys of an artist.

Kauai and Maui

Returning to Hawaii 14 years later, Violet and I took a boat trip – time was short and the hike itself is long – around the north-western side up along Kalalau where I spent a month camping, being, and letting go 14 years ago in 2000 when I was 24. I’m a different person now yet, not so much as changed. Back then I’d hiked the Kalalau trail at least 8 times – once in only 3 hours. Had nearly had my neck crushed by the ocean, had been poisoned by the water, eaten a goat killed by a fellow […]

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Egypt – Luxor, Giza, Alexandria, and The Great Convergence

We visited Egypt – Luxor, Giza, Cairo, and Alexandria – from Dec 13 – 25 in part to participate in the DoLab’s Great Convergence event at the Great Pyramids in Giza from Dec 20 – 22. Being a colorful and convoluted adventure – from temples to people to camels to travels – I took notes. Here’s a lengthy narrative filled with observations and experiences from that absolutely amazing trip. Enjoy!

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Luxor, Egypt

We arrived into Cairo airport several days ago. An opinionated cab driver navigated us around the outskirts of Cairo and into the noisy evening traffic of giza to the train station where we boarded an overnight train to luxor. The trains aren’t fancy but the bed was nice after the many hours of sitting on the plane.

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The Magic Bus: Twist of Fate

This past summer I painted a bus. It wasn’t just any bus… it was a pretty wild thing – still is. With a kicking sound system, velvet upholstery, embroidery, and multiple levels to it, it’s got some character. I showed up without a plan – just a loose vision. I figured to allow the character of the bus and the project shine through. The bus is named “Twist of Fate” and there is still yet work to be done on it. It was at Burning Man this year and a few other events. It’s mostly around San Diego, so you […]

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The Magic of the Flow

We were on our way to Black Rock City, that visionary oasis in the Nevada desert, riding in this bus that I’d painted over summer. Driving up the 395, forty miles north of Bishop, past the sierra peaks of Mt. Whitney and other big craggy mountains, the road starts to climb up over the pass. At some point the radiator over heated and a crack that had been fixed opened up and we pulled over to the side of the road. Waited a while and this grizzled looking repair guy shows up. He took a look at it and suggested […]

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Conversation on a Train

Not too long ago I boarded a very crowded train on its way to San Diego and sat down next to a young woman of 20 or 21 or so. We started talking. She was on her way to meet with her church group and that they would be going to Haiti to help build houses. I had this mental picture of a continually revolving door through which an army of volunteer workers had passed over the past year. Better to build homes than hand out solar-powered bibles (yes… a group did that). In any case, she asked what I […]

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The Beautiful Juxtapositioning

A number of excursions recently to downtown LA – a place of a thousand flavors- it’s dirt and it’s grime, it’s old art deco buildings and the motifs that sometimes get lost amongst the construction, the plywood, playbills and graffiti. Here, in this foyer, a ceiling of mosque-like moulding leading to pricey lofts extolling the virtues of the thriving Downtown LA art scene. There a bit of an art deco sidewalk, half of it left, beneath a layer of old bubblegum, ten billion foot prints and car soot still shines tiles of red and gold and white and blue, partitioned […]

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On and On and On

On and On and On.This is the last chapter. I promise. Cause we’re back and unpacked. But it was a while in getting here. The last stint of driving – from Sedona to San Diego with a stop in Quartzite to look at rocks in the insane heat went quickly, with us getting home at a reasonable hour. The rental car – that giant Toyota Sequoia we’d been driving – was returned without any issues the next day after a thorough cleaning but we left the Bonnaroo Vendor Vehicle sticker on it by accident. It drove off into the rows […]

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The Colorado Rockies and Some Other Stops

Giant raindrops intermittently pelt our windshield while the sun still streams through the clouds, casting rays of lights through long cracks in the cloud cover revealing a blue sky beyond. We are driving through the western foothills of the Colorado Rockies. From Boulder the highway crested up and over hills into mountains passing Loveland and Vail and various other ski mountains with still snowy peaks and multi-million dollar condos butting up against their feet, occasionally a mine along the river mining gold or copper leaving obscene scars long the hillsides. The aspen and pine intermingling til the pine leaves it […]

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Kentucky Rivers and the Mid-West

Driving through the mid west there isn’t much to look at. curving sloping fields segmented by barbed wire fences and oaks give way to neighborhoods, shops warehouses and billboards advertising Nostalgia-ville with it’s 50’s and 60’s icons – Elvis, I love lucy, Betty Boop and Scooby Doo – a time they hope to remember as simpler and more innocent. It’s never simpler and innocent. Only different. There were wars and torture and drugs and sex and crime and corporations bent on poisoning the populace in exchange for a hard-earned dollar from father knows best. After Nostalgia-ville, Winery billboards pop up, […]

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