While a friend of a friend dies –
See the connection.
I was in the bush this morning, enjoying one of my favorite activities of summer (or, the whole year), when I got the news that a dear friend of my best fried had died. I got caught up in thinking about the notion of being “plucked off the branch.” I meditated on the prospect of Spirit being that magic life in everything, and, even in Death of body, the magic remains.
That’s the catchphrase that is often used to describe one aspect of the ego that I am representing with visual deconstructions. It is not likely that I will use that terminology in my writings about it, but one never knows. Using “trending” language doesn’t feel right, but I’d be assisted by it’s familiarity. Most likely, I’ll put out some abstract/esoteric wash, and comprehension will be lost. Time will tell.
Most of these historic portraits of men puff them up, and I am breaking them down and rearranging them… looking for new monuments. Communicating my intent will be a struggle, and I’m inclined to reduce the intention and make paintings that are dynamic and beautiful. The studio will be ablaze come the end of this month… will see what comes from the fire.
What do you choose to believe? A lot of people put a whole lot of time into writing about the effects of Mercury in Retrograde. I believe it a little bit, but I certainly don’t do much adjusting to “the situation.” I’ll occasionally use my zodiac sign to explain some particular trait that I possess… or, I’ll blame it for some behavior if it feels like it fits. Plenty of folks have jumped on the enneagram train to help understand themselves and their relationships. Whatever it takes, I say, just be kind to each other, and keep your own side of the street clean.
Blueberries are both wickedly sweet and delicious and supremely “good for you.” That is an anomaly of sorts, and I could not be happier about that. For the last decade, every summer, I go to Golden Bell Farms in Franklin to pick blueberries. I have had euphoric experiences entangled in those bushes, sweating and surrounded by one of God’s most delicious gifts. Two weeks ago, I headed to the farm, only to find them closed (believing that they had already opened for the picking season). In despair, I concluded that they had closed the farm for good. The last two years, they have had difficulty with production due to late freezes and such. I was saddened, but grateful that my memories of glorious experiences there were intact.
Last week, Miss Cheap published a column in the paper that included a promotion of Golden Bell Farms. After an easy phone call, I confirmed that they would be opening at the beginning of July for another season. So, yesterday, the family and I went for another lovely, sweaty harvesting of the magic fruit… and, we left with just over eleven pounds. I believe that the best way to eat them is room temperature, right out of the bag, and that’s what I’ve been doing for two days. They have also gone in some granola and on some vanilla ice cream. They will soon be transferred to the refrigerator, and maybe some to the freezer (only to preserve their “shelf life”). I hope to go back on Wednesday morning for another fresh batch. I highly recommend making your way there… crawl under some branches, and become one in the blueberries’ environment; it is a surreal dreamscape.
We’ve been getting close to finishing our garage transformation, and it, like most construction projects, has had it’s share of setbacks. Yesterday, after two reschedulings, the electrician came to finish his work. We had pendant, one track light, one sconce, and two can lights to install, and several plugs and light switches. Nearly every task was met with an issue or two, and then he left for someone else’s job at one o’clock… not nearly finished. I experienced several varieties of dissatisfaction. I was ready to cut my losses, hire my own electrician, fix the drywall mistakes, and move on from the contractor disaster. There is only so much ineptitude that I can handle with one person. Then, after cooling down, and seeing clearly the “right” action to take, I wrote that contractor (who has been fully paid), and I let him know that we needed him to resolve numerous mistakes.
The photograph posted above was the final breach of the unspoken contract of quality standards. This switch plate is beside the door that goes into the house from the new room… it speaks for itself. It is one of the reasons that I wanted to move on from continued contact with the contractor. He was the one that hired the subs that did this… why would I feel comfortable having him try to remedy this? I have give a couple of second chances, and I am going to trust that this last one will get everything fixed. I am done with him and ready to finish the project.
I am continually amazed at what people are capable of, and wonder how we are still the “dominant” species here.
I’ve been wrestling a bit with the concept and visuals for my show in January. The general notion of having some framework to work within helps point the way as I begin the series in the studio. My inclination was to veer off the path from the recent paintings, and I think I can do that with new techniques while I mine deeper into the imagery that I’ve been drawn to. I’ll seek discomfort in the creative journey during this production run, as I need to grow through stretching boundaries. No telling what will come of it, but the visions are exciting. Today opened the door to focussed playing in the studio with pieces of images that will shift it multiple ways.
We leave for the beach in a week, and it hit me today of my deep need for such a vacation.
I started writing this post about another friend’s social media post about not celebrating freedom as long as we are keeping children in cages, but I can’t really do that. I’m not inclined to be overly political here, and I am certainly not informed enough to espouse wisdom on any of this. Our country is far from perfect. I am wildly grateful for the many freedoms afforded me here. It is challenging in our current political environment to feel ok about the direction the country is headed. I don’t need perfection, but progress is essential, and it’s hard to have faith that that’s happening. But, I am hoping that seeing the flip side of the coin of progress will continue to persuade us to action for betterment.
It was a wonderful day with my side of the family from 11:30-5:20 and my wife’s family from 6-10:00. There’s a lot of love there, and a nearly spotless record of drama… for this, I am grateful.
Happy 4th, y’all… I hope that you appreciate the freedom.
The thirty paintings are slowly progressing, and I’m remaining mostly detached from the results. Meditation is not so much about some qualifiable end game, but about presence and acceptance. There seems to be a fluidity to the state of mind, until the meditative moment when it sinks into the center and mind disappears… until it catches that it’s in that space, and then it moves again. I am operating in a system in the studio, where the fluidity flows, and disappearance into the practice guides everything; no mind.
The work for the January show is problematic, because I am thinking about it… all mind. An answer to that problem arose today when I began to consider the game plan of just starting to make some paintings (or constructions). My longest and largest challenge in the studio is the tendency to play it safe. By this, I mean mostly in technical aspects. I don’t take many chances with mediums or styles. The subject matter of the Civil War is the risk I take. Might I be best off, and the audience too, if I just “let go”…
It’s mind numbing to consider how many top talents there are out there doing magical things in so many various fields. Last night, I watched the Chef’s Table with Nancy Silverton, and it was inspiring. Her obsessive nature is part inspiring, part frightening. I understand the investment, and I’m not sure I’ve got it in me. My family deserves more of my time than that sort of commitment allows. “The Muse” invites me and my shadow self to that level of madness, but I decline the dance. I’m glad there are so many people like Nancy that choose the Muse and give it all… Maybe, I’ll try again some day… who knows?
This blog post marks the start of the second half of this “simple resolution” project. At the end of December of last year, I decided that it would serve my life well to write one blog post every day for 2019. I have no real proof of any benefits, but I’m a stubborn man, and my commitment to this will help me see it through to the end. Honestly, I had hoped that I would learn some things about writing during this challenge… not sure that’s happening. Life gets lived, and as much evaluating as I have been prone to do, I surprise myself by not getting hung up on outcomes. “What comes of this blog” is not near the forefront of my daily thinking. Usually, I sit down at night and quite quickly come up with a topic, and flesh it out on the fly. O.K… so, that’s one way to produce average work. It’s also one way to be authentic, and carefree. Some posts are better than others, of course. I’d be hard pressed to really know, as I don’t go back and read them.
July might see some chances taken here; I’m inclined to veer off the path. This is vague, I know… Intentions are tricky, sometimes they mean nothing, and sometimes, everything. If you have been reading this blog at all, I thank you. It feels self serving, too journal-like… it kinda makes me feel dirty. It would be easy to quit this, but I’m stubborn… would it be easy to shift the style or focus? Being at the halfway mark, it’s a damn good time to evaluate.