I hope that by now you have read some of the stories that have come out of Houston. Stories of heroism, and kindness, and selfless service. Stories about people coming together across various lines to help each other, or just to show they care. If you are like me you are feeling rather helpless watching from afar. If only feeling were the same as impact everything would be better by now. If only we were there we could rush to the rescue. Read more
Well, it’s confirmed. Our world has gone insane. Nazi’s are out in the street, Communists are out in the street, and North Korea is playing with nukes. And that’s just the headlines from today. I can’t speak much on nuclear de-escalation. That’s a bit above my pay grade. But I think I can offer a fresh take on Nazis, and hopefully one that points to a more optimistic future.
I have a new favorite hobby – evening skate sessions around the Long Beach Convention Center. It’s nice and easy, lots of open space, and a big fountain throwing up spurts of white noise. It’s the perfect ending to a long day of too much mental processing. Read more
I listened to a lot of Linkin Park today. It felt good. Sad, but good.
I don’t normally care much about celebrity deaths. I miss Steve Irwin and Robin Williams. That’s about it. The news of Chester committing suicide though got to me. So I thought I’d talk about it, and suicide.
I never knew Chester. I saw him once in concert and it was hands down the best concert I’ve been to. He had no clue I existed. Yet, I appreciated his work.
I think that’s a crucial lesson: We minimize the impact our own lives have. The lives we’ve touched. And it’s oftentimes the things we so easily forget about.
This week I was unbelievably lucky – I got two responses thanking me for something. The first was for dealing with a jerk boyfriend years ago. The second was for a close friend telling me how much he envied my transient lifestyle, the one fueled by hardship and layoffs and near financial ruin. It made me realize that our impact, better or worse, extends beyond our view. My impact has expanded beyond my own view, and so has yours.
And so I miss Chester and all of the art he may have produced. We are all poorer for it. But, I think he was poorer as well, as all of us inevitably are, for underestimating the impact he made on people he never met.
My closing thought tonight is, I know you are struggling with something. We all are. It’s part of humanity. Yet, for whatever reason we’re wired to think that our struggles are uniquely our own. That no one else can relate.
That, my friend, is bullshit. In you is art that matters. Live that art, even when it hurts.
I want to end on a positive though. I have some friends, close friends, that struggled with suicide. All I have to say is, I am proud of you, and thank you for staying here with me. If you ever doubt your worth call me up and ask you what you mean to me. I love you all, and leave you with this:
Once you accept that you will die alone life takes on an interesting clarity. The hustle and bustle that preoccupies so many seems to melt away into a blur of tail lights in a slow exposure on some unnamed interstate. What remain in focus though is the more permanent – the buildings, the roads themselves, the city scape against a tumultuous sky.
Tonight was one of those moments of clarity. All around there were first dates, routine family dinners, buddies hanging out, bored waitresses and ignored bussers. Their lights streamed into a meaningless blur. Tonight though I was focused on a building, the most constant and treasured in my life. Tonight I got to have a beer with my brother.
Siblings are an amazing thing – you know them, literally, your entire life. You say and do the most cruel, and at times selfless, things to them. They both threaten and define your standing as you enter a new world. Yet, if anyone messes with them may they enjoy the hell you will bring down upon them.
I am especially fortunate though – my brother and I moved well beyond that sibling rivalry bullshit early in our childhood. Ever since we’ve been back to back. It’s a rare thing to have someone that you know every dirty secret about, and who knows yours, yet all that lies between you are fathoms of mutual respect.
I miss my family. Especially my sisters. But tonight was a really good night. I got to have a beer with my brother. I hope yours was as incredible. And if you have siblings take a sec and give them a hug.
It’s an interesting feeling celebrating Freedom Day in a new city with new friends. Again. Barely here and already I’ve got the atlas open charting my road trip to the next place I’ll call home. I’m not sure yet how soon I will leave, but it’is inevitable. Read more
After several years of tinkering and trials I have finally hit the right combination of technique, surface, and subject to make large-format watercolor on canvas a viable medium. The result in my best piece to date and a good example of the promise this type of painting holds.
For the first time ever landing in Mexico felt like arriving in the States. Perhaps it was the familiar trappings of modernity, or maybe that Spanish was once again the second language (not surprising for the Cancun airport). Either way, what once would have felt like an expedition to the unknown now felt like home. This was the doing of the Island of Colored Glass. Read more
Something has been gnawing at me for awhile, a series of effervescent whisps trying to coalesce into a solid coherent thought. It’s a thread that runs through much of my writing that has needed to be teased out and captured. With luck this post will arrive at that thread pulled out and laid bare. At worst, this will be a failed experiment in sober writing. I ignore Clemens’s advice at my own peril…
Ah, Independence Day has passed us again. Beer, bar-b-que, pools. Maybe the occasional history lesson. For the especially educated, perhaps a reading of the Declarion that started the whole thing. Some of us take a few moments to think about those that aren’t here anymore, whose loss keeps the day going. Others save that for Memorial Day. Still others, it’s family and friends. More power to all of that. After all, it’s all about freedom.