December 28th, 2012
December 3rd, 2012
When I awoke this morning my head was filled with strange ideas that were chiding and anxious. I was familiar with the content of the thoughts but slightly surprised to find them so animated and insistent. The basic jist was that I was without worth and whatever attempts I made to inject worth and meaning into my life were without merit. The arguments themselves are baseless fact-free, but there is an emotional truth about them that is impossible to dispute. Somewhere near my core is the idea that I am without worth and merit so these thoughts have fertile soil to root in if allow to set.
I broke out my journal and wrote them down. An open window can quickly clear air a room out and writing down the baseless allegations of my worthlessness always seems to deflate them a bit. And then I turned my attention to the day before me and what I might do. Whenever I feel like I did this morning, I cannot engage directly with it. The argument cannot be won by engaging it directly or countering it with contrary evidence. But what I can do it fold the laundry, make the bed and feed the dogs. I can busy myself with the ordinary routines of the day. There is an old saying that I cannot think my way into right action, but I can act my way into right thinking. Some days it is just harder to remember that.
April 23rd, 2012
April 23rd, 2012
November 8th, 2011
November 1st, 2011
In some ways it feels like I have been here before. Regrouping and reorganizing the details of my life is something I have done several times. But while it looks and feels familiar, I realize that I am in uncharted territory. I am single again and living in a small apartment for the first time in years. My studio will be outside my home for the first time in twenty years and my art career, such as it has been, is in a rebuilding phase, to borrow a sports phrase. It does feel though I am starting over. It feels more like I have stripped away one of my painting panels, removing all indicators of how it appeared previously and leaving only the framework and the support to rebuild upon.
That is a fitting description of how this phase of my life feels right now. I have finished stripping things away. What is left now is to get back to work and see what I might make out of all this.
August 19th, 2011
If I am honest, I have always been an early riser. It is the rare morning I languish in bed much past 7:30 and usually I am awake by 6:30 with or without an alarm. I tend to sleep six or seven hours no matter what so if I want to sleep in that means going to bed later. I stipulated the beginning of this with “if I am honest” because this is one of those little things where I hold an idea of what I like that is contrary to what I actually do. In my head, I am a deviant late sleeper capable spending an entire morning wasted away between the sheets. The reality is that I get out of bed to wake the roosters and I almost immediately set about doing something.
Early morning are times where I can accomplish quite a bit, yet I would recoil if someone said I was a morning person. Morning people are cheerful, interactive, optimistic and just love to talk and they drive me crazy. I wake up very slowly and I relish quiet in the mornings. I let the dogs out, start the coffee and check email as I begin the slow slide into wakefulness. This morning I noticed that ants I am sharing my kitchen with had been up for a while and congregating at a dog food lid I mistakenly left out the night before. I cleaned this up and the found two or three other small things that needed relocating, wiped or arranging. All the while I am turning over in my mind the things I need to do or want to do in the day ahead. I love mornings, but I just don’t want to have to talk about them.
This week has been a delicious mix of productivity and recreant deviancy. I have ambled from activity to activity without any organizing plan or agenda. There were some things I knew I wanted to get done this week and I did them in no particular order. I took the section of fence that was removed to make room for the motorcycle garage and re-purposed the fence boards into a table. I spent a morning in the new studio with Tom clearing out space and building a new painting table. We re-worked a shelving area in the new space and pretty much whipped the studio into a condition I start to work in. While I was there working with Tom, I discovered one dollar tacos.
As I was dragging a piece of lumber I heard Tom say “Now that is a good sound.” I had missed whatever he had heard and said “What sound?” Tom replied “The sound of one dollar tacos.”
There are a lot of migrant workers in Richmond whether people realize it or not and many of them are Hispanic. The new studio is located near two or three construction projects and there are scores of Hispanic workers. The silver trimmed lunch truck of my youth has morphed into the Taco Wagon. We decided to wander down the two blocks to where the lunch trucks had wedged themselves between two buildings so that I could discover the joys of one dollar Tacos.
They are served on small soft burritos with your choice of meat and there is a large selection of toppings to choose from. It was a simple arrangement but I can attest to the joys of one dollar tacos. There was something mildly subversive about eating open faced tacos mid-morning surrounded by people who spoke jovially in a language I understand poorly and knowing that I was standing in what was once the the heart of the Confederacy. Jefferson Davis would be horrified and that thought delights me.