Tuesday, January 27, 2009

boy on the rocks

For most of his walk through his life on this world, the path was smooth and graded. Sure, there were stumbling stretches of p-rock or brick along the way and he'd always find his way through them; but for the most part, his path was an asphalt cushioned cake-walk with incredible views.
Still, the path always changes though the unseen reason for the journey and his own curiosity continued to lead him on. In time the asphalt gave way to gravel and the gravel gave way to bare earth. The path, now organic, exposed the hidden heart of his wandering; then shortly betrayed his way to white sands that slid below boulders reaching out into the ocean.

At that moment of impasse at the small wall of stone, he sat back in the sands to ponder the change with his head in his hands. There was no going back, he knew that much for sure and not moving forward he knew was surrender. So forward and up over the first boulder he climbed leaving a bit more of bad karma behind.

On top of the rocks still another incredible view spread before him, directing his next steps to come closer to home. The blue water pointed the way but after so long with his feet on the ground the notion of floating ocean was mostly unknown and the unknown, we all know, is something to fear.

Cautious and slow in his way along the precarious path, he walks without shoes, feeling the heat of the stones through the soles of his feet. Land's end at last and the promise of home, only one step more to know the unknown.

That boy on the rocks lives in all of our hearts on a precarious life path of fits and starts. We learn what we can and love when we may yet stand exposed and alone at the end of our day. There's no one to help us and no time to wait, all that remains is our last leap of faith.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

inaugural impressions

Seas of people, a fog of steaming breath, military music, brass horns (lips can get stuck to mouthpieces in that kind of cold), most Senators are old guys, Bill Clinton's hair looks like it's thinning, Bush Senior is wearing his Nanook of the North genuine beaver hat, Bush Junior still has that dumb-ass smirk on his face (I don't think he can help it), Michelle and Laura have to be freezing up there (why didn't they wear coats?), so many flags (were they all made in China?), John Philip Sousa again (I'm as tired of marching music as I am of musicals by Rogers and Hammerstein), Yo-Yo Ma plays with unbridled joy, Barack looks nervous, Chief Justice Roberts lead the oath out of order (is he pissed because Obama didn't back his appointment to the bench?), Color Guards and more military music (AAAAAAAHHHH!!! MAKE IT STOP!!), great hat Aretha. . . and damn girl you sing sooo fine, Cheney's scowling from his wheelchair (poor bastard), Barack has a very genuine smile and he's a lefty, board the chopper George we've all had quite enough, to bad about Teddy but that idiot Kerry's cashing it in for camera face time, the reflecting pool is frozen (thank-you God for the sub-tropics), now that's a tough looking limo and jeeze-louise look at the thickness of the armor on the doors, it's getting dark early up there, Barack and Michelle look like they're having fun (all that waving and jiving with the crowd and he never lets go of her hand), I'll bet Biden's head is frozen where that hair used to be, the little girls look tired (a long day of grown-up's stuff), marching bands, marching bands, marching bands (takes my memory back to high school days), Obama dancing alone to "signed, sealed, delivered" (I guess you need that kind of ego to do that kind of work), Bush Junior back on the ground in Texas (and doesn't he seem hammered?), it's been a long and interesting day but I'm tired so one more video feed and then to bed. . .

Look at that. . . calm, confident, quiet and stately. As if nothing special had happened today. Just like it was designed to be. . .
Good night America and a brighter day tomorrow.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

artman's alphabet - N

side streets

It's been a couple of weeks and hopefully you've been wondering, "why don't he write something?" Well, I've spent the past couple of weeks like I spend the first couple of weeks of every new year. . .
Trying to decide how the hell I'll want to spend the other 50 weeks of the year.

I'm not talking about "resolutions" like quitting smoking or drinking or even over-eating. Frankly, I don't smoke or drink or even over-eat enough to make any of that worthwhile. Besides "resolutions" are Fascist. If you make one, you MUST pull on your metaphysical jackboots and brown shirt and stick to it without compromise or latitude as the days and weeks and months grind on while the universal forces try to trip up your lock-step forward march. If you falter it feels all alone in the world so you join a "support group" of like minded faltering fellows.
"Resolutions"
take up a lot of time and energy for about 6 months until, at the fourth of July bar-b-que, you chow down on a rack of ribs, lay back in a lawn chair, spark up a smoke and enjoy the hell at of your first Bud of the year. Then you get to spend the last 6 months of the year feeling the quilt.

But that's not what I'm talking about. . .
Why worry about what you're NOT GOING TO DO with the year when you could be thinking about what you ARE GOING TO DO. . . Probably.

My process starts like a game of 20 questions. . .
Are you going to need to buy a car this year?
Will you have to find a new apartment?
Is it time to say bye-bye to Key West, move to Miami and get a real job?
Can you break away for a 2 week vacation in California?

. . .and what about new projects?

Do you want to dedicate 8 months to creating and oversized piece for Sculpture Key West?
Or is it wiser to invest the time in establishing a profitable internet business?
Do you feel good about taking the guitar back up on stage?
Or is this the year you finish writing that damned book?

. . .you get the idea.

The next step in my self imposed process is finding answers to the questions. . .

Now, I'm an agreeable kind of guy so this year, with the exception of finding a real job in Miami, the answer to my questions was "yes". But as agreeable as I might be, I'm also not delusional. I know for sure that the sea is not going to part to clear the way for me work uninterrupted toward my goals. "Face it boy", I remind myself, "in this life, sh*t happens".
So I consider my annual affirmations with that world famous "grain of salt" and accept my choices at the end of my 2 week inquisition as direction.
For the next 50 weeks I'll move along, this way or that, focused on the road ahead but always with a sly eye on the side streets I'm sure to discover along the way.

I'm realizing as I write this that my "process" reads a bit like irresponsibility and it probably is. But, it makes for a more interesting trip and promises an harmonious outcome.
Probably. . .

. . .a word from our sponsor - VIDEO

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click th arrow to start video. run time, 1:26

Saturday, January 3, 2009

breathing in the keys

I was thinking. . .
All of us living here in the city at the end of the road call each other "Key West-ers". Of course before we're "Key West-ers" we're "Amer-icans" and, before we're "Amer-icans" we're "Earth-lings".
People from Sweden are "Swed-ish", from China come "Chin-ese", ladies from Spain are Span-iards and those folks in Israel are "Israel-ites".

How, in this most colorful of places to live, did we end up with such an uninspired moniker? "Key West-ers", it's just a bit flat.

Wouldn't it be appropriately colorful to say we were "Key West-icans" or "Key West-ish", "Key West-lings", "Key West-ese or "Key West-ites"?
If it were up to me I'd go for "Key West-ists". It rhymes with "left-ists", is poetic with "pee-tests" and all of us go to dent-ists. . .
But nooo!! We're a community of plain old "Key West-ers". So it goes. . .

While I'm on a community kick, let me turn you on to a "virtual community" of and for "Key West-ers" on-line, called "Key West Wire". It's like the Keys' own FaceBook. You can post photos,videos and blog-isms, musicians and artists and dancers and DJs can plug upcoming events, everyone is welcome and it all FREE.
"Breathing In The Keys"
is my page on "Key West Wire" and a click of the link will take you there.

Other-than-that, (other than that Mrs. Lincoln, how was the play?) it's looking like a great sunny Saturday out there and I'm gonna get my "Key West-ist keys-ter" out in it. See you all around campus.