Saturday, December 31, 2011

happy new year my friends

Wishing you all the very best.
a digital illustration by Art Winstanley
"A New Year in Paradise" © 2008 Arthur A. Winstanley

Sunday, December 25, 2011

christmas in key west

So I went out walking on Christmas Eve.
Mostly to get some evening air but also to see some Christmas lights around town.

I never really know where I'm headed when I wander out on my walks, I sort of just follow my nose and the internal guidance system does the rest.

That particular night, I found my way to BayView Park, which is the place where the official city of Key West Christmas Tree lives, surrounded by a sort of Santa's Village.

While I waited on the corner of Eisenhower Dr. and Truman Ave. for the light to change, a family came up from behind me and stood there also waiting for the light.
They were a family of a Mom and Dad, two small (I guessed maybe 5 or 6 year old) children - a girl and a boy - and their aunt (the Mom's sister).
I wished them a Merry Christmas, the light changed, we crossed the street and all headed into the park.
In the park we went our separate ways. They, to have their family frolic and me, to take a few pictures. I shot around them as best I could as the vibe wasn't right for me to make them the subject.

My subject was Christmas in Key West.
How we celebrate it and the way it looks for a half dozen weeks in a city that never knows snow.

Wandering around town that night, woke the ghost of Christmas past in me.
I relived my mother's butter cookies, how my grandfather lined up bottles of tawny port wine, like so many tin soldiers, under the tree to give as presents and how my own children badgered their mother and I at six o'clock on Christmas morning for permission to tear open their presents

Mine has been a good life. (dare I say, a wonderful life?)
Not without it's bumps and bruises to be sure but getting past the impact of those, is all about attitude and faith and I have plenty of both so, no worries.

The magic of Christmas-time is, at least for a few days, nothing much else matters.
The world seems to be just a little less frenzied, the people around seem to smile a bit more and the mornings (if you keep out of the stores and malls) are just a little more quiet.

The keys to Christmas (no pun intended) are compassion and love. One way or another, the more we give,
the more we receive.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

brass balls

If there's anything I've learned from my [longer than I ever expected it would be] lifetime, it's that there's not a problem this world can throw at you that can't be solved.

All it takes is an optimistic outlook and a pair of brass balls.

Monday, December 19, 2011

o.k, break's over

Between living next door (and I mean right next door) to a construction site for the past six months that, just about the time of my last post, got incredibly loud with beeping backhoes, roofers hammering, screaming circular saws and the incessant drone of a quartet of orbital sanders that sound like a swarm of large bees.

And the painful drain circling demise of the Key West the Newspaper (my bread and butter graphics/art direction contract), it's very confusing "resurrection by popular demand" and then having to re-design the publishing process as, for now, the BluePaper limps along from week to week.
I've been more than just a little distracted and honestly, not the happiest camper in the tent.

So, true to the rule that says "if you don't have anything nice to say (and trust me I didn't), don't say anything at all" I figured it was best to take a break from my normally optimistic blogging. (and believe me, all the pictures I shot during that break were really gray and gloomy - talk about art imitating life)

Anyway, I always had faith that in time,things would sort themselves out. After all, as the saying goes, " when God closes a door, he opens a window". But in this case that window was on the 14th floor and I don't do well with heights so the sorting out took a little longer than I'd wished it would.

Then yesterday I woke up (a good start), got out of bed, stood out on the porch coffee cup in hand, took a look around and thought, "look at where you live, the life you've made for yourself with caring friends and loving family and hey, you still have your health; get your sorry head out of your ass."

It was time to start dosing myself with some comic relief.
Bill Hicks, Jon Stewart, the Republican "Presidential" debates. . .

By the end of the day, the fog of funk lifted and I was back to my "it's all good" self.
Besides, it's almost Christmas and even and though I've been known, at times, to be an irascible son of a bitch,
I'm no Gingrinch.

So enough already; break's over.