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Robert Louis Seltman

Known in NYC as RL, and as Dalando among the Wild Goose Community, Robert L. Seltman is a widower in his fifties with two young teens, daughter Kai Maria and son Zen Raphael. Their home is in the hills near Kyoto, Japan, where Robert teaches English as a foreign language to university students.

Born and raised on Long Island as a middle-class Catholic, he moved to Brooklyn to study fine arts at Pratt Institute at 17. Excited in exciting times, 1969 to 1973, Robert flourished in New York City as painter, film maker, and participant in alternative political and cultural escapades.

He married a talented Chinese artist and fashion illustrator, Shirley Rose Pu, soon after graduating and lived in several US towns, including Tampa Florida where he made the film 'The Abortion'. Eventually returning back to NYC, Robert continued experimenting as conceptual artist and art performer, but his true claim to fame was organizing NY art spaces and events.

He made his living in numerable professions from hypnotist to libriarian, life student of everything from life insurance to real estate, rotating between blue and white collar careers for fun and profit, and in the hope of finding a hat that would fit.

Living in New York City in the dynamic eighties, RL initiated several alternative art centers, including Storefront for Art and Architecture, Wednesday at A's, and NoSeNo, designed to encourage experimentation in the arts. Art never made money but it sure was a wonderful way to be poor.

The temporary loss of the use of his legs, after a loft construction accident, inspired his first trip around the world. This including his ancestral homes of Germany and Poland. Traveling eastward via the Trans-Siberian to the Far East, introduced RL to his paradigm shift, Asia.

In keeping with his interest in both art and Buddhism, and to free himself from the luscious but addictive madness of the New York art scene, on returning he again liquidated his assets, and returned to Japan. This time to try his hand at the traditional Japanese pilgrimage of the 88 Temples of Shikoku.

He lived afterwards in a Zen temple in Tokyo, met his second wife Reiko Inokoshi, a beautiful and talented fellow pilgrim, and together they moved to Kyoto to teach and raise a family.
Both achieved Master teaching degrees in English acquisition at the School for International Training while teaching at university.

Both of their children were born in Kyoto. For RL having children was a true 'coming home' and he knew now why he had come to the Orient. The simple yet profound experience of being a father was more extreme than all the pleasures of his excellerating youth. Being a dad remains his quintessential high.

In June 2000, after a dreadful depression, Reiko Inokoshi Seltman died by her own hand. The family continues to live in their home in the suburban hill top community of Hieidaira, Otsu, Japan, with the children attending Kyoto International School and then Marist Brothers.


Robert tries to exercise, diet and dance, while making time among his busy duties as a working single dad for writing, creative computing, and quality time with his kids.

In small ways he feels a sense of progress, as he daily shifts his role among single-parent, teacher, and seeker. Spending spring and summer school breaks travelling and maintaining their home keeps the Seltman family busy. Their priorities are education, health, and friendship. Their goal may simply be to keep on keeping on.

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Robert Louis Seltman

 

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