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01-23-06
 
"Take my love, take my land
Take me where I cannot stand
I don't care, I'm still free
You can't take the sky from me

Take me out to the black
Tell them I ain't comin' back
Burn the land and boil the sea
You can't take the sky from me

There's no place I can be
Since I found Serenity
But you can't take the sky from me... "
 
So I had never seen 'Firefly' until this week. That theme song just gets better and better every damn time I hear it. Damn I wish I'd written that!

Wave On Wave...

“Where is the drug?
Where is the healing?
Where is whatever will ease this pain?
There is nothing I won’t swallow
To stop what’s eating up my brain
And get my feeling back again”

-“Where is The Healing

    Eleanor Mcevoy

 

“It shall take a long-term, keenly processed, whole-world paradigm shift in our consciousness to perceive, acknowledge, and accept that all we see, hear, smell, touch, and taste are but five tiny shells on one small dune on the cosmic beach-head of Everywhere Else.”

BWS

TimeRise

Opus 1

 

“So you want to be more than you are?  Fine.  But be prepared for it to take effort- hard work and self-discovery.  Be ready to spend a lifetime twisting and turning at the puzzle.  And then,  when you’ve finally given up hope,  the answer will be delivered,  and the changes will come.  And the changes will hurt.”

- Fred Burke

 

The point is, for me, while these two statements are not mutually exclusive; I am undergoing each in a long, exhaustive paradigm shifting sense.

And it hurts occasionally.

And it’s exhilarating, freeing, and fun, occasionally.

Mostly it’s just good old-fashioned WORK.

Doin’ the JOB.

09-02-05

 

…Where was I? Oh, I remember. Alone and in a constant state of torment. I awoke at 4am with an ache in my chest that made me afraid to touch my hand to it; for fear of encountering some gaping wound. Ribs shattered, splintered and protruding, the still beating heart the source of pain.

     Melodrama.

     In the unanimously panned ‘Star Trek V: The Final Frontier’, Kirk is confronted by Spock’s renegade Vulcan brother, Sybok, who is, among other things, an empathic healer. He offers to take away Kirk’s pain and Bones is trying to convince him, to which he says:

 

Kirk: Damn it, Bones, you're a doctor. You know that pain and guilt can't be taken away with a wave of a magic wand. They're the things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don't want my pain taken away. I need my pain.

 

     So you see. My closest friends (I can still count them on one hand), know there is no cure for me being who I am. It’s mine, it’s my choice. If this is all I’m being given, then I will cherish it as if it were the most precious of gifts. A beloved possession; my hell, my torment, my pain. You could stare at the artwork I give away for years and not get the barest glimpse of it. And hopefully you will never know the black thoughts that churn in my brackish mind; that haunt me daily, hourly.

     My wit is diseased. Somebody should just put me out of my misery. They still shoot horses, don’t they?

     6am, I fade in and out of sleep and dreams of violence, tenderness, and terror. Nothing makes sense; it’s just like being awake. Just because a thing happens doesn’t mean it should be. “Come on sweet amnesia, you’re needed here tonight.”

Here for a short time( I'm going back to bed)

Memorial Day 2005(last year, not a typo)

 

Even though the trip to Ohio was strange, I had no inkling of what was coming once I got back to Seattle. Bellevue, home, whatever.

Even now, I ache inside, empty, longing and not-rightness tearing my soul apart.

 

What do you do when you care so deeply, when someone who was such a part of your life doesn’t want or need you there anymore? I’m not sure. I care, I love her and her son, but I can see my presence and all it entails to me: faithfulness, loyalty, truth, commitment, monogamy, and above all love; was not going to fix this because, despite what I hoped she was saying, she’s not interested in a working relationship with me. That’s RELATIONSHIP not FRIENDSHIP.

If you know me, and you have the deep unfortune to actually be one of my friends, you know the demands I’ve made on you in the name of friendship. And what I’ve done for you in return. And in some warped, confusing way, I would never make those demands of my romantic life partner. My friends have paid their dues in more ways than just not sleeping with someone else. That’s small potatoes compared to what Dangerman, Cypher,

Logan, D-Man and Yoda; hell, even my boss, have been asked to do for me.

I though just leaving would be the best thing to do. I mean- I make no bones about being an all or nothing type of person- at least when it comes to a relationship. So if I’m not someone she could be faithful to after 3 years, what was the use?

 

Three years of commitment, support, sacrifice, love, care, work and time.

I have yet to even get a cursory apology for the betrayal, the humiliation, the backstabbing deceitfulness and seemingly casual disregard for everything we ever said we meant to each other.

If you’re a woman, tell the person you’re leaving why. And no matter what bullshit story you’ve made up so you can live with yourself, the real reason is always, always the same. They don’t want to sleep with you anymore; they want to sleep with some other guy.

That’s what we want to hear.

 Not a bunch of nonsense about how we can’t relate, how we don’t communicate- they’re the ones cutting off and disconnecting because they can’t face being such a slave to their appetites. So it has to be a failure on everyone’s part.

 

No. I never turned away. I never stopped and I resent not being told the truth in so many words.

I’m still here. I’ll always be here for her. Or the boy.

Use me while you can.

CRY (freedom)

 

If it wasn’t,

Why was it?

The purpose that

The game serves

Is it’s own ends

The key to

The inner  workings of

The soul.

The battleground

Of love and honor

Lies strewn

With the bloodied

Concepts of truth,

Understanding, and

Trust.

The standard bearer

Holds still the

Tattered remains,

Defiant until the

End ~  which

never seems to

Come…

And now,

The waiting.

 

10-14-05

 

How many times a day are you absolutely, positively certain about what you want?  Without a shadow of a doubt, no room for negotiation; all or nothing “this is what I want.”

Once, maybe twice a day.

I’m hungry: I want food.

I’m sleepy: I want to go to bed.

Everything else in between is up for grabs.

What do you think you want?

I want people and things to stay, not change, not go away or die, break.

How about that?

But things do change, people do leave, move away, move on; things break, die.

Sometimes not fast enough to suit us.

This is all artifice; there are no permanent structures anymore: I think September 11th showed us the folly of thinking oneself untouchable. Unbreakable. How do you do it?

As an artist I feel much more deeply and immediately EVERYTHING around me. Most days it is just too fucking much, I have to filter, I have to make the world make sense to me- is life like a movie today, or a book?  Is life like a song today?  Is the soundtrack something we can tolerate? A piece of music so sublime it soothes my fragile, shattered psyche.

A famous writer once asked:

 

“Are you aware how much pain there is in the world?”

 

Yes. I believe I do. And I care. And it makes me angry to feel helpless, inadequate, and inconsequential. Is it a life or merely an existence?

How do we make it all count for something?

 

 

Turning you slowly, gently
Drawing the words from your lips
Truth from stone
I am the devil
And I may care

Contrast in our perspectives
Only hands holding
Us forever together apart
Delight in recognition
A cherished name whispered
Over and over
For all the world to know

The sequence of forms
Becoming exercise
Of the inner-ness of being
A dalliance with the mud
Bringing our fruition

Turning myself slowly, deliberate
The words coming from
The place I have not want known
I am an angel
And I don't care

-Sin Titulo
Minor 1997

09-15-005

 

Our Topic Today:

The vomit of the psyche. At present, I seem to be adrift in a sea of it. Confusing but tangible and manageable, if a bit messy. But if you’re smart, you can get it cleaned up with a minimum of fuss and clutter. What do all these random archetypes represent?  What am I trying to tell myself with these confusing actions and misplaced and misspent deeds and gifts?

     One used to hope it would all mean something, lead somewhere, but I think there are too many Suckers at work out there, and what we think are the noblest of our works goes unnoticed; uncared for.

     Can’t sit still, can’t wait for whatever it is, but won’t move forward, either. Full on Hamlet: this is about when everyone’s had just about enough of my shit.

     Thank you so much. In the words of the late Sam Kinison, do me a favor: if you love me- kill me, run me over, shoot me, I’m in HELL---HELL!!!!!

     Except for these brownies. Thank you Del, wherever you are.

Where was I? Oh, yes, IN HELL. Heh heh heh… So, yeah, but I guess I’m choosing to be here; I guess we’ll all just have to wait until I chose to leave.

     So quit pushing, I’ll just push back- HARD!

And you goddamned bet you will not like what happens. Vindictive is still my middle fucking name. Sometimes I wish it would rain forever.

 

     You never know what you’ll see as the zoetrope of life goes whirling by you. Shadows and light. Today I feel like a ray, piercing the darkness around me; but remember, every silver lining has a dark cloud.

 

     The red-haired girl on the bus is two seats up from me on the opposite side, reading; oblivious. The rounded outside of her thigh delicious, tantalizingly in view, clad in faded blue denim, frayed promisingly at the seam. The back of her hand is smooth, strong looking but not worn or overly veiny. Her sweater is my favorite shade of red. I’ve never seen her before in my life, and I’ll probably never see her again. And we all know I won’t as much as say “hi” to her. Ah, the exquisite romantic torments of the artist’s mind.

Say goodnight to the Sandman.

 

 

09-02-05

 

…Where was I? Oh, I remember. Alone and in a constant state of torment. I awoke at 4am with an ache in my chest that made me afraid to touch my hand to it; for fear of encountering some gaping wound. Ribs shattered, splintered and protruding, the still beating heart the source of pain.

     Melodrama.

     In the unanimously panned ‘Star Trek V: The Final Frontier’, Kirk is confronted by Spock’s renegade Vulcan brother, Sybok, who is, among other things, an empathic healer. He offers to take away Kirk’s pain and Bones is trying to convince him, to which he says:

 

Kirk: Damn it, Bones, you're a doctor. You know that pain and guilt can't be taken away with a wave of a magic wand. They're the things we carry with us, the things that make us who we are. If we lose them, we lose ourselves. I don't want my pain taken away. I need my pain.

 

     So you see. My closest friends (I can still count them on one hand), know there is no cure for me being who I am. It’s mine, it’s my choice. If this is all I’m being given, then I will cherish it as if it were the most precious of gifts. A beloved possession; my hell, my torment, my pain. You could stare at the artwork I give away for years and not get the barest glimpse of it. And hopefully you will never know the black thoughts that churn in my brackish mind; that haunt me daily, hourly.

     My wit is diseased. Somebody should just put me out of my misery. They still shoot horses, don’t they?

     6am, I fade in and out of sleep and dreams of violence, tenderness, and terror. Nothing makes sense; it’s just like being awake. Just because a thing happens doesn’t mean it should be. “Come on sweet amnesia, you’re needed here tonight.”

 

 

08-30-05

 

“One owes respect to the living; to the dead one owes only truth.”

-         Voltaire

 

 

Reflections in a darkened eye

Deeper than pools of midnight

When the dragon wings across the sky

And tears the stars from sight

 

The coils of Leviathan

engulf those smaller stars

Cradled as only a mother can

Protecting us from harm

Wiping away fresh tears and scars

 

When shall the light return

And cast the knighted land to day?

When will there not be spurn

In the words that lovers say?

 

Take care where you travel

Take responsibility for the words you have said

All action is not without consequence

Held in heart, or soul, or head

 

Leviathan

- Minor, 2000

 

  I think the last text entry didn’t make much sense. But for the sake of posterity, I’ll let it stand for now. I wish I had something I felt was weighty, philosophical and poignant to discuss today, but it’s just the same crap as yesterday and the day before.

    I completed an anger management course recently. We dealt with the physical reaction to our anger, but the deeper more psychological come to the fore as you learn to make yourself calmer. And then you have to confront your thought process and belief system.

     If you know me, then you might be aware that, despite whatever I’m putting up with, I still think I’m always right and that my way is the best way.

     Because of the course and other significant changes going on in my life, brain, thought process, etc. I’m learning to slow down, ask questions, listen to different perspectives, and, more importantly, explain myself more than I used to.

     But some wounds run very deep, and every scar is a badge of honor.

     It’s going to be a very busy September. Be safe wherever you are.

 

 

08-22-05

 

Here’s why it’s all breaking down structure wise.

Denial.

I was ignoring all but my own most basic self-preservation instincts. I’d flipped that mental switch on my emotions and became consumed with grief and, in some way, making atonement.

     I figured if I made myself feel bad enough it would be plain to everybody how sorry I was for the way things working out the way they did. But- there really was no one there to notice- and God forbid I open my mouth to draw attention to my misery. Eternally prepared to suffer in my silence.

     Oh, I suppose I could go on about my theories of art, what drives a person like me to create. But, I’ll tell you, all artists are inveterate liars. You could ask me about anyone of my paintings every day for a year and never get the same story twice about what it is.

     This is not my fault. The answers probably differ, but not greatly, and each one would contain a grain of “the big picture”.

     I can look back on my sketchbooks, particularly the earliest ones, and say I drew the majority of that work in order to get laid. Years later I would realize I was going about that all backwards. You have to let your personality develop, nurture it and let your awareness grow. I stunted mine for years on a steady diet of strip clubs, comic books, sci-fi and alcohol.

     But eventually I did begin to LIVE. Much to my shock, I found out I was a far more decent person than I had led myself to believe. I cared about people; I worried incessantly about the health of my family, myself, and those friends close to me. If anyone needed help bad enough to ask me for it, I was there.

     But life goes on, eating up your good deeds along with your misspent ones. Does anyone ever get ahead? It’s dangerous when you start feeling that way, because, as it has been pointed out to me, that’s when the ground falls out from under you.

     I believe in unconditional love. I’ve searched for it all my life and I’ll probably die looking for it still.

 

 

08-09-05

a memoir from the summer of love; 1991

 

08-07-05

 

As an artist, I sometimes find the most obscure and circuitous route to draw or paint whatever I want, while not disappointing my imagined audience, whom supposedly expect a certain degree of material or subject matter from me. There are paintings on this site which are just that.

'Borderlands', while on the surface is a portrait of a centaur or satyr girl is really, for me, a study of trees. The same with 'Three Lanterns'; the 'Raphael' paintings a need to paint ancient architecture or temples, churches.

There is a famous drawing- or series of drawings- by Barry Windsor-Smith called 'Withering', the original features a spectral figure of a skull headed being in a cloak fading into a heavy forest. The second version features just the forest. The third features Dante Rossetti in place of the specter. Each executed just for the sake of drawing some trees.

Don't get me wrong, I love the human figure more than any other subject still. And there are pieces which are all about the subject: witness 'Ariadne', 'Polaris', 'Bowl of Night', the ballet dancer paintings. I swing both ways.

Right now I'm at work on a painting featuring roof tops in Paris. It's my most ambitious piece ever, I think, and it should be done by Christmas time. And I'm already resisting the urge to pop Hellboy or the Shadow in there, up above the city, stalking some elusive prey. I hope the plain, more commercial version will win out. Yay for me. Yay art!

08-01-05

 

Have you ever been hurt?

So bad that it felt like everything you are has been taken away from you?

But we're still here, despite the fact that the life we knew is gone, lost to us forever. Which is not always a bad thing. And all we have now is the future.

I'm the kind of person who struggles with my anger at those kinds of losses; those kind of hurts.

But I know that if I let that anger consume me, I'll lose that future, too. And that's all I have.

I don't know what fabric lies beneath the life we live, but on the other side of our mortal pain, there must be a place of sanctuary.

 

I'm not convinced that God, the Powers that Be, or whatever you subscribe to, I'm not sure they want us to be happy. And I'm paraphrasing C.S. Lewis here, I think they want us to love and be loved. But we are like children, thinking our toys will make us happy and the whole world is our nursery. There's a name for the thing which drives us out of the nursery and into the lives of others, and that something is called suffering.

 

Why do we do all these things to each other? In the end, after all the reasons have died with us, what's the point? I can't help feeling we're all being used. Manipulated. Using each other. That somebody somewhere has set us all up. And they're laughing at us as we fall, taking each other out, one by one....until we're all gone.

 

Anataka suki desu. Itsumo. Itsumademo.

07-30-05

 

What is it that makes a man a man? Is it his origins, the way things start? Or is it something else, something harder to describe? I thought for years that I was only capable of defining myself by my pain, what I had endured, what I could endure which forged me into the sword of spite, insight and torturous logic I wielded. By identifying that pain in others and forming bonds of friendship that way. Flawed, the botched, the bungled.

Is it the art that defines me? No, that is merely the process through which I am coming to know who I am.

For now I’m just holding that sobbing little boy I was and reassuring him that he is okay, that I love him and everything will be all right. That he can play however he wants and no one can make fun of him. And it doesn’t matter if they do, because they’ll all never know that joy, the absolute pleasure of being your own best friend. I’m trying. Lord knows I’m trying.

In the Great Wrong Place you can see truths you hide from yourself. You can’t hide a lie, can’t deny your nature; you embrace it. And there you’ll learn how to nurture that wounded self and bring it back to whole; the sum of its parts yielding its glorious being.

The movie was right; it’s what a man does that makes him who he is. How he arrives at the means to an end. Is he constantly building something newer, better? Refining a thought process, updating ideas and discarding old destructive paths of thought? How he treats himself, family, strangers. What is important to him?

What could be more important than the welfare of his fellow inhabitants of this planet?

Are you living your best self?

Am I just as full of shit as you?

02-09-05

 

"Time is a gypsy caravan, steals away in the night
To leave you stranded in Dreamland
Distance is a long range filter
Memory a flickering light, left behind in the heartland."
Rush-'Dreamline'

 


I've had quite a harsh dreamscape lately. I think my brain is still processing the new information- additions to the dream language.
There was a dumbwaiter that was being used as a toy box.
A lengthy college lecture given in a huge horse stable.
Sea creatures undergoing a sea-change, frightening, but I could not look away.
The narrative of the dreamscape hasn't become apparent again yet.

Stream of consciousness from the artwalk. A strange time on the artwalk. Everyone seemed to be speaking some thick, Eastern Block language. I'm not wearing nearly enough black. Eliza, the Pirate Queen is in the kitchen, she's got her cat ears on. Is she even 21 yet?
Her conversation is peppered with references to her Mum & Dad.
Grim doin's at Shorty's; you really need a few members of your tribe with you to drink comfortably in here.
Again. I'm not wearing nearly enough black. And this Cosby sweater itches.
The Guinness is disappearing very easily. I am an unapologetic drinker and meat-eater. I've ordered the veal just to piss the vegans off. Eating only vegetables automatically lowers your ranking on the food chain; think about that.
For a minute I think about dying my hair or shaving my head, but it passes. Mmmmmmm...Nasty Nachos.
The carnival decor is alarming. One tries not to get sucked into it.
Right about now I'm wishing for one of those acid flashbacks they always promised us would happen if we ever dropped a tab. ---Please...?
You ever notice the freaks only ever come out to mess with you when you're least equipped to deal with them?
Thank God for these scathing jalapeņos; at least it distracts me from the swill I'm surrounded by.
And though this all I can't help but wonder where the dream will lead tonight.
There are kids in the next booth not old enough to even get the 'Summer of Love' reference he's just made. I can't really begrudge them, everyone's entitled to their own little summer of love; I was only four at the time, anyway.
I think Riff Raff just came in looking for
Columbia
and Magenta.
Easin' on down the road,

 

 

04-10-002

 

On Letting Sleeping Dogs Lie

 

When was the last time you were truly happy? No, really. When did that wave of inescapable, pure, joyful knowledge that you were truly, deliriously happy beyond all your wildest dreams- so much so, that you didn't even care that that state of being is transient and fleeting at best. You just appreciated it for what it was for as long as it lasted. That's what I meant.

Then we wake up.

Be honest, there are times when you wish people wouldn't wake you, wouldn't intrude on your dream with their questions, concerns, and those annoying little day to day, day in day out nigglers that fuck up our perfect reveries.

Why does it work? Because it works.

Why should it happen? Because it happens.

When was the last time someone who wasn't YOU tried to tell you that you were unhappy? Hm? Bit presumptuous of them, don't you think?

Hey, there's some truth to the old adage "you can lead a horse to water...", but if the horse just doesn’t wanna drink, why let it beat you up? Let the dog lie. He'll get his day eventually, and he'll be all the more happy if you helped him by standing back and letting him do on his own time.

 

11-28-001

I cast two shadows- most of the time.
Nothing unusual about that, most people, animals and other inanimate objects do.
One from sun or moonlight, one from man-made or reflected light.
The DIFFERENCE is between things which are INCIDENTAL and things that are ACCIDENTAL.
Can you control which shadow you cast?
Didn't think so.
If you tried, perhaps you could prevent your self from casting an accidental shadow, but who really has that kind of time?
Obviously not everyone, when even airlines can't prevent mere accidents in the wake of world-wide tragedies.
Sometimes you're just gonna cast a shadow. And if you don't think you do it in the dark, you're wrong again. Kind of gives a whole new meaning to the phrase "scared of your own shadow".

This was all going somewhere.
Accidental/Incidental and the fine line between. Many incidents can arise from a single accident. Can a single incident cause many accidents? There's one for your next philosophy exam.
Incidents and accidents both occur because of, or arise from CIRCUMSTANCE. From that you may infer that many of the predicaments we find ourselves in on any given day are, by and large, circumstantial.
Accident or incident, depends on your point of view.
Or whether or not you need to(or want to) blame yourself, or somebody else.

"The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers."
-Henry VI, part II
William Shakespeare

10-05-001
supplemental to
10-02-001


This usually never happens, but I had an after-thought about the last entry and instead of just letting it fly, I think I need to revisit it in this context.

This missive is based on a scrawled note to myself from 1994:

SO- nobody KNOWS anything.
Nobody knows anyone, and nothing matters and what if it did?
Life as we know it means nothing, unless you SHARE it.
Most people, without CONSCIOUSLY knowing it, are living, walking, and talking contradictions. It's not intentional, I realize, because I'm one, too.

You don't ever MEAN to confuse folks, but, if you pay attention, you'll find yourself contradicting something you once said, something you once believed in, even someway you thought you felt- almost on a daily basis. We can't help it, the curse of humanity. Everyone has double standards for how the people they know should act and how they themselves should. It's nigh inevitable, and if you claim to know otherwise, I'm here to tell ya Sparky; You're a liar.

If you never explain yourself, you may end up a lot better off, but you'll end up really frustrating the folks around you that are trying to help.
Don't explode without a reason and always explode the minute you have one. All we can do is live.

10-02-001

"Wave on wave of life
Like the great wide ocean's roll
Haunting hands of memory
Pluck silver strands of soul
The damage and the dying done
The clarity of light
Gentle bows and glasses raised
To the charity of night"
-Bruce Cockburn

I've been trying to reclaim some part of myself. That indefinable part. The part that realizes that sometimes even your memories aren't your own.
Those events shared with someone else. Intimate moments. Or even ordinary moments made special by the people or person you happened to share them with.
All those memories, picked over, edited, deleted, and compiled in somebody else's memory banks. How does it make you feel to know this?
That your memory of an event or a person may be colored entirely differently in someone else's mind?
So, in futility, it seems, I attempt to reclaim these things- intangible thoughts. Take something away for myself that no thoughtlessness by any other can ever touch.

Hmmm.
Lots of wool gathering. Can't wait for the next bonfire of the vanities. A hint of rebuke and more than a few regrets. Don't take it personally. I'll try to do the same, deal?
And maybe that's what this art is all about.
Some of it more than others.
Like the ones that sprang whole from my mind, unbidden by some patron's request. Pieces like "Three Lanterns" and "The Veil" still have a sense of mystery, even to me. Where they came from and why, as opposed to "Fellowship of the Rings" or "La Vie Dansante", which people asked me to paint for them. I'm not saying they don't have their own air or magic to them. It's just different because I can point to a source- instead of say, an idea.

PS-
"Sounds like you still have some issues."
Well, yes. I do. But they're MY issues.
"Don't you think that they might be the thing that's holding you back?"
So? I mean, really. Who doesn’t hang on to a few old ghosts and memories and a whole cache of false hopes?
You just can't let them define you. But I imagine they're very much a part of who I think I am.
And if letting them BURN in my mind is the thing halting my evolution, so be it.

"If I can't have a pony, I want a shotgun!"
-John Belushi

So here it is
1:04 am
and the night train is in my ears.
I just finished a painting I'm hoping to post with a whole new batch of images in a few weeks. It came out OKAY but I should have taken more time with it. On the next one, I promise. Where’s the best hotel to stay at in
Bali
, I wonder?
'Til next time, watch your back!

09-24-001

"And isn't it ironic?
Don't 'cha think?"
-Alanis Morrisette

It's official. I am Karma's red-headed step-child. Collective sigh of relief. See? And you thought it was you.
I've started to look for the patterns again, the cycles we move through in our lives, repeating and rearranging different orders, but the same basic events- over and over.
It has to do with how we process low-level broad-spectrum input. Pattern recognition.
I'd like to think that my artistic background helps me pick up on these things as easily as I can. NOT that I always WANT to. It's like when you SEE an optical illusion, once you get the trick, you CAN'T see it any other way. Remember "Finda da Pope inna da pizza"?
There's a certain amount of discipline involved in training yourself to see things as they are, as opposed to most normal folks who only see things as they REMEMBER them to be, do you follow? We get lazy and stop trying to see things the way they are once we've accepted the "normal" point of view. Things Change, remember?
I think that's how we arrive at which people we consider to be the "Great Artists". The ones who've mastered and then proceed to play with how we perceive or recognize those patterns.

"When you create you get a little endorphin buzz. Why do you think Einstein looked like that?" -Robin Williams

And that's part of it. I'm not sure who catches on to this earlier, men or women. Catch me when I'm drunk enough and I'm sure I'd say men, but go figure.
But answer me this; what names spring to mind when we think of great athletes, musicians and artists? Hmm?
It's a man's world, baby, get over yo'self, mama.
Those activities are the sort of things boys start out fairly early developing. We create music, art, sculpt our forms because we are lacking the ability to give birth in a biological way- and most of us guys don't realize until we're 10 or 11 that what we really want to do, what drives us most of all, is the desire to help MAKE babies. All the other stuff is just window dressing.
Yes, Virginia, it's true. Artists just want to get laid. And paid. And when we can do both, its heaven. Pure job SATISFACTION.
The trick is figuring out and being able to realize that those times are fleeting and far between, so make the most of them when they come along and appreciate it, LET THEM HELP YOU GROW and then move on. And hopefully you'll be able to show others down the line that, "Hey, its okay. We all do that sometimes. Here's how I get along..."
And so we open the door and give ourselves another chance to grow.
'Til next time, peace.

09-20-001

"We all live under the same sky
We all will live, we all will die
There is no wrong, there is no right
The circle only has one side..."
-Travis
from "Side"

Is forgiveness a virtue or a fault?
I'm starting to believe that the human soul's capacity for ALL emotions is FINITE. I'm not exactly sure what I mean by that.
Perhaps it's that I think people are prone to let themselves get 'used up'. They get used to things being a certain way and never try to expand those borders or horizons. They only go so far and sputter out and die, they have no guide or map for the territory beyond, so they just stick with the same old avenues and nod vacantly at the other denisions of their blasted wasteland of relationships and figure 'this is it, it's as good as it gets'.
I sincerely hope someone has the good will and mercy to blow me out of my socks if I ever utter any words like that myself.
I will not lie down!
I will not go quietly!
WE can have things the way we want them, you've just got to EVOLVE. And never, ever settle.
If your situation is not what you thought you wanted, be brave, change it. We must all be willing to keep on learning.
If not, you'll probably end up as one of those shambling husks I see when I'm out among the masses. Killing time until someone finally comes along to cover them over with the dirt for their nap.
The ones who AMAZE me are the people who become more ALIVE as they get older. I'd like to imagine those are the folks who 'get it'.
I think it's time to wake up.

09-13-001
GET A GRIP!
I'm not gonna tell ya again!

09-07-001
Things Change.
That's the number one law of this or any other universe.
Oh, there are minions of order in their own little pocket dimensions, where everything runs like clockwork. Everything is in its place and accounted for, where and when they eat, sleep, work, work-out, and love. etc. All on schedule. But I wouldn't want to live there.
I find it funny when the crack in the sky opens just enough to give us a glimpse of those other places where you wouldn't be interested in going.
The gravity of my world is never too oppressive.
I constantly feel given to flight.
My pens and brushes are wings, canvas, boards and paper- sky.
Ah-ha, you say, but what is this "quintessence of dust" without that spark of something greater? Something from beyond? Something divine?
Guard your mind.
Don't try to play with other peoples heads and always protect your own.
REMEMBER- you're never as smart as you think you are or as smart as people tell you you are.
Feed your head. If you want to know something, go out there and study it. All that information is right there- it's up to you what you do or don't do with it, but "I don't have time" is simply unacceptable.
"In time I will collect the world."- from a song by Toad the Wet Sprocket.
I am becoming less bitter, but maybe that's just the cynic in me.
When you cannot control your environment, make damned sure you're not letting IT control YOU. You have to rise above temporal discomforts.
Things are okay, could be better, and could be worse. It all depends on your perspective.
Unlike Norman Mailer, who shed a year on his last wedding day, I AM a free man in
Paris
. Kissed by a rose from a grave. Super Green.
Are our natures issued at birth? Along with our hair and eye color, height, features, fingerprints?
There's an odd phrase- "the myth of fingerprints". No two persons prints are the same, is that the myth, then?
Coincidence is the great munkar. The devil in our details. Unaccountable ignote.
Coincidence?

08-11-001
Hola from
Ohio
's vacation paradise!
I was walking along the shore of beautiful
Lake Erie
yesterday. My friend and I were out on Cedar Point Causeway doing an estimate for a hardwood flooring job, and to kill time I wandered on down to the beach.
Ah! That lake smell!
Anyway, as I strolled along I couldn't help but notice all the other footprints in the sand. All over the place heading in all sorts of directions.
Now, while the great majority of free-thinking Christians might think of a particular bible passage immediately, I have a somewhat more mystical or romantic bent on my perceptions.
You see, my first thought was along the lines of- "What if that was my soul mate’s footprint and THIS is the closest we will ever be in this universe?" Followed secondly by- "What if those are the footprints of (one of) my long lost loves and this is the closest we'll ever be again?"
Much later, while I was enjoying a fine dinner at the Sandbar, it occurred to me that when there is only one set of footprints (instead of two, say); those are usually the times when you were strong enough to walk them alone.
So stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

08-08-001
Do you remember your dreams?
I'm not speaking metaphorically, I don't mean all the things you thought you wanted to do with your life-I mean the dreams you have every night.
Most of the time I do.
The other night, for example, I dreamt of a spinning Wheel of Fortune, the kind you see on the tarot cards. Then a flaming, orange daemon or spirit or SOMETHING in the shape of a dragon tried to take control of my body. But my guardian green dragon drove it away.
Of course, these are the sort of dreams that wake you up at
3am and don't let you go back to sleep. It's almost 2am
as I'm writing this now. Why am I up? I dunno.
I know that I'm tired, I WANT to sleep. But I just don't.
On a spiritual level, I feel alot like the new kid in the shower at the detention center.
Not that things aren't getting better-you can only go up from this vicinity.
I've never felt I like had to be on my guard like this before!
I've never been particularly sensitive to spirits, guides, and angels, what have you. I don't doubt they're there, hell, I've seen ghosts before- I just can't seem to see those benevolent little mysteries, like auras, people are always trying to tell me about.
And I don't necessarily trust the people who say they do see them. Seeing is believing, I guess.
A side note on angels.
In my circle of friends, I believe it is a consensus that none of us would particularly WANT to see an angel, let alone hear what it had to say.
"Shape up! All that 'God' stuff is for real, and boy are you pissing her off!"
Probably.

 

 

08-02-001
"Battle not with monsters,
lest ye become a monster,
and if you gaze into the abyss,
the abyss gazes also into you."
-Nietzsche


These "too much caffeine" jitters are becoming a bitch.
My sleep habits are becoming more and more messed up.
I've been looking into the abyss, again.
Its familiar territory to me and returning to it now and then makes me feel like the prodigal child.
Embracing the darkness. Or does it embrace me?
Pretty sad when it's the only thing reaching back is all I know.
I'm sure I feel it has no small claim on me because of the indiscressions of my youth and the desperation of passion.
How many times have YOU sold YOUR soul?
But then there's some who say that the soul is not yours to give, that it belongs to and serves a higher purpose.
You see, I am lost.
Ever wish upon a star only to realize that you've just pinned your hopes and dreams on a passing airplane?
Oh, well. Better than wishing on somebody else's star.

There's a key here, somewhere, that unlocks that maze. A hidden lever that, once tripped, will spill out all those things you think you've lost but you've only just secreted them away from yourself. Why?
As Mark Twain said,
"Sometimes too much drink is barely enough."
He also said, in the dedication to "Following the Equator"-
"Be good and you'll be lonesome."
I must be a fucking angel.

07-30-01
"Just leave me alone and I'll be okay."
This is becoming the mantra I chant to my memory just to get through my day- and most of the night.
Being cursed with an artist's memory is the most torturous part of being me.
"I wish I could draw." If only every person who ever told me that knew what the fuck they were really saying.
Yes! Yes! I want to instantly be able to recall every experience I've ever had in excruciating detail! Everything I've ever seen, that my eyes have followed and my hands have traced, be able to leap into my mind the same as if it were happening now, whenever, without warning. And leaves one curled in a fetal position, sobbing uncontrollably, murmuring "just leave me alone and I'll be okay", over and over until it sounds like gibberish.
Yeah. You want that.
Just be glad I'm me so you don't have to be.

07-23-001
You shouldn't try to take the short-cut to maturity and growth. Don't be tempted to short change yourself and your experiences. Just go through it, whatever it is, whatever you think it is that you can't face.
Too many people attempt to fill up these gaps with "things".
You can't will your negativity into a stone or some crystals, burn it up in a candle or some incense.
True SATISFACTION in learning a life's lesson for me comes from having the courage to go through the fire myself.
Embrace that lesson and you'll find out MORE about who you are. Don't deny your soul and its chance to grow.
In the end, we're all just here for the ride, try, and you might just find out you'll have a good time.
I read once, and I'm paraphrasing here, "If you're going to play the game, you can count on some bad calls, botched plays, lost games and generally being tackled and having the stuffing knocked out of you. But you'll never forget what it's like to have run with the ball".



Chapter Two (Don’t ask what happened to Chapter One; there’s not enough gin in the world to make me regurgitate that!)

The end of 1990 going into '91 saw my first ever great love affair. With something besides a gin bottle,
that is. And the start of a new sketchbook to chronicle the better part of a year of hell I put myself through
because of it.

I fell for this girl named Stacey while I was taking a sabbatical from Eide's. Everyone had gotten
raises but me. Anyway, she clerked at the specialty 'Toye & Gifte Shoppe' I came to work at for a few months,
until the fateful day when we both pretty much quit. She the goth-punk rebel; I the chivalrous albeit
misguided idiot.
So I crawled back to Eide's, confused over my feelings for this girl who,
all together now, guys, "just wants to be friends", and my incredible, yet soon to be short lived luck,
at getting my old job back. Still, anytime Stacey invited me out to do anything with her weird group of socially misfit friends, of course, I went.
If only to feel geeky and left out of their cute little in-jokes. But I digress.
It was on one of these excursions that I was introduced to Tony, Dee and Sheree. Tony was a big
RPG gamer and was currently running a game called 'Cyberpunk', and, gee, would I want to play? No sooner had the invitation left his lips then his room mate Sheree wandered in. Duh, sure, I'd like to play...
I figured the way was clear for me to pursue Sheree, because Tony and Dee were in a committed relationship and even Stacey had told me the next day how much Sheree had liked me. So, after a few gaming sessions and a little flirting- comic book artists wannabees flirt by doing sketches for people- I asked her out. She was about 5'3", long, wavy chestnut brown hair, heart shaped face, fine features. I was smitten. Even more so than with Stacey, because this girl actually seemed attainable.
I remember our first date- burgers at the mall and Mel Gibson's "Hamlet". Later that night I took her to see my friend Ed's band play and we got pelted by Hostess snack cakes they threw from the stage. It was a great time.
Well, we sort of dated for the rest of the month, maybe shorter; meanwhile, sinister forces in the form of our gaming group were at work behind the scenes to ruin our rendezvous.

The short version is that Sheree was also interested in this other guy in the group. A friend of Tony's that treated women like Kleenex. What girl couldn't resist? So I moped around for a month or so, drank myself silly, and generally slacked off at work. This led up to a series of events which ended up in me being asked to remove myself permanently from the warm comics womb of Eide's. Jobless in Pittsburgh is not something you want to be.

In a week or so, after my money ran out, I found myself at a telephone market research company that my friend Brian's mom helped run. It kept me in beer money for most of the summer of '91.
By chance I ran into an old friend from the comic shop who told me that my friend Matt was home from the Navy and there was a party going on at some guy named John's house. John it turned out was the brother of my friend Michael, whom I knew from the gaming group. One of the few not involved in Sheree and my parting ways.
Feeling as optimistic about a reunion with some of the people I'd been avoiding for the last few months, I wander up the hill to the house. And there they all were, sitting around on the front porch, consuming mass quantities of beer, iced tea(the kind you got in cardboard carton's from places like Coulteryan Dairies or even more coveted Fike's), and Gatorade, while they exchanged bullshit stories; John, Des, Tony, Matt, Michael, Mark, Beth, Brian, Jesse, the other Mark- and Sheree.
As it would turn out, some variation of this rotating cast of characters could be found here on a near daily basis. I'd brought my sketchbooks along to pass around; this would save me time from having to tell everyone what I'd been up to and leave me free to drink as much beer as possible. Things went well.
So I started hanging out in
Mount Washington
with this crew. Bonded with beer and bullshit, the occasional joint, music and art. Des and John were all about starting a band that summer and rehearsed constantly in the spacious attic of his grandmother's house.

One day we ran out of beer. Matt and I wandered down to the corner to the beer distributor and convenience store to stock up on liquid provisions. On the way we passed his parent's house where Matt's girlfriend had been trying to track him down. With her was a very pretty blonde girl of indeterminate age who was left to make small talk with me while Matt and his girl went to have a few words in private.

What follows is a recollection of the encounter I wrote down, probably some time in 1993.

"I was looking for love

In wandering eyes

Like a ship trying to fix on a beacon

I learned how to sigh

On the ribbons and wires

It's a habit that's so hard to weaken"

-David Gilmore

'Love On The Air'

 

She was pretty in the way the girls of the WB would be years later, seemingly intelligent beyond my wildest dreams. And she left with Matt's girlfriend before I could get her phone number.

     But that was okay, because she sent it over with Matt the next day. I called her the day after that.

     Yeah, we each thought the other was pretty interesting. Why don't I come over and visit her some day before I went to work? At the time I was working at a market research company at a cake-like 4pm-10pm conducting telephone surveys. Once you convinced people you weren't selling anything, it was pretty easy.

     Anyway, back to Wendy. That was her name- still is as far as I know. She lived in a little, cottage like house a block or two across the tracks from South Hills Junction. She was home alone most days 'cause her folks worked, and her brother, who was just out of the Navy, was out with his friends or unconscious most of the time.

     What can I say? She was charming. Having nothing to talk about, initially, I brought along my sketchbooks to fill in the gaps in our conversation. But, talk we did, at length, about almost everything. I couldn't tell you exactly what we discussed to this day, but it certainly seemed deep and meaningful and full of that underlying tension of two people who found themselves alone and attracted to each other. We sat side by side on her folk's couch and just luxuriated in the company and presence of each other.

     Then I had to go to work. She walked me to the front door and I'm pretty sure she asked me if I wanted to kiss her. Well, duh. What started as a soft, tender and tentative gentle kiss became passionate and full of hunger. I ended up being a little late for work that night.

     So I started going over to see her, some days before work, most nights after work. And we stayed up into the early hours of the morning. I remember one night; we'd been making out rather heavily, and were taking a breather. I can still see her, looking across at me intently, emotion washing over her features; upset about something so obvious neither of us had figured it out.

     I asked her, "Are you in love?"

     Tears came as she nodded, she couldn't even speak so she just pointed at me. As I kissed those tears away I prayed to whatever gods were listening that I'd always be there to do that. It was two weeks before my 25th birthday. Wendy was 17, I think.

     Now. Somewhere in all this whirlwind romance, I lost my virginity. And not to Wendy, as fate would have it. I know, I'm a slut. And all my romances and relationships since this time have been scrambled versions from this template.

     I'd been striking up conversations with Sheree whenever I'd see her around. I'd even walked her home a few times from John's and even kissed her good-night. I tried to let her know she could consider me a friend, if she ever needed one. Especially around the hang-out gang that gathered nightly at John's.

     Well, one drunken, stupid night during a band rehearsal at John's I was flirting with about very girl who was in the attic. Sheree, Jesse, the band's girl drummer who's name escapes me, a neighborhood girl named Rose, and John's cousin's girlfriend- I forget her name, too.

     I was getting nowhere. I think I was getting too drunk for Sheree to continue paying attention to, and when Ryan showed her a little too much unwanted attention, she went home. I went downstairs to wait for a turn at the restroom. Out walked Rose, who walked straight up to me, grabbed my head, and stuck her tongue down my throat. Wow.

     She was what you thought of when people talk of meeting the proverbial farmer's daughter. Long, honey blonde hair, lots of curves, generous to a fault. She lived with her sister, "Bug", a few blocks up the street from John's, just a few doors down from where Sheree was staying.

Anyway, we ended up making out in from of everybody who was left after the jam session, including the other John and Des, who had the biggest crush in the world on her. After a week of sticky nights, reveling in the attention of the local females, I ended up alone with Rose in her apartment. That was all she wrote.

     I wasn't doing much artwork just then, a few character sketches, a painting of one of Ryan's old Cyberpunk characters, but I hadn't even gotten a new sketchbook yet and the last one had been full for over a month.

     After much cajoling, I finally got Wendy to come up and visit with me while I hung out with my reprobate friends on John's front porch. Next, she went with me to the Ryan's-going-into-the-Army party. That was the first night we spent together at my place. Then things started to get strange and strained.

     Wendy started hanging out at John's while I was at work. She played guitar like he did, and when the band's girl drummer got fed up with vying for John's attention and quit the band, it turned out Wendy's brother, Darren, was a drummer, too.

     So, I was walking her home one night and we were having what I had come to privately think of as another one of 'Wendy's bullshit rants', when she drops the bomb.  She just doesn't feel the same way about me anymore. When she kisses me it feels like kissing her brother. Which, in retrospect, I think I was too stunned to accept as a truer statement of friendship than I would ever get from a woman again. But I had cared for the girl, she'd said she loved me, and it still hurt. Even through all that stuff that happened above.

     I asked for all the books and cds I'd lent her and took off so she wouldn't see me cry. Which I didn't actually do until the next day when I was alone in the woods, after my run. The next day I had to take her lingerie back over. She struggled to play me a new song she had written; I sat there, listening to her story about a pretty girl in a sun dress who took a ride with a boy named Jimmy Dean, shell shocked and wondering: was this the way it was always going to be?