Sunday, February 15, 2009

a punk...

I have come home and l'm looking through the window...
I am looking back into a world gone forever. Thinking of a time that
will never return. A book of photographs is looking at me. 25 years
of looking for the right road. Postcards from everywhere. If there
are any answers. I have lost them.
-Robert Frank

I am scrapbooking, a hundred or more paintings, finding
their images and stories. Bear with me...

It started so many years ago now. I was a punk, my head and
body almost transcluscent. It was my first year at college and
l was listening to Joe Cocker. English 101 and we were told to do
a presentation - on anything. I decided l would do a piece on the
homeless, men on the streets. So one morning l borrowed a cheap
plastic camera and headed downtown (calgary) on my "excalibur".
Yes my ten speed was called excalibur, a canadian tire special,
gold in color, and l felt like a knight.

It was was wintery cold, minus something, l bought a styrofoam coffee
and just stood on the street and waited.
Eye contact, cigarettes, l offered him a sip of my coffee. He was short, spoke
with an accent and his name was Meitro. I spent the day with Meitro, we had
bus station sandwiches and we walked and walked. He showed me the bins behind
safeway, lots of broccoli, not so green. He constantly checked telephone and
newspaper slots for spare coin. He showed me where to go and what to do.
Our day together was slow, meandering, and gentle. When l left Meitro that day,
l was filled with such joy, l had survived the round table.


And so it went...My second year of college and l spent it taking pictures of people
on the street. I can't describe the feeliing, l was scared, l had butterflys in my
stomach, l was excited. Those feelings when you know you are truly alive.

I photographed everyone, l was on a binge, l bathed in it. I pimped my smokes
for hints of conversation. I was champagne in a bucket.

I was still a punk, l was still transcluscent, but...

I started to question myself.

Afraid to die alone, afraid to die unloved.
Maybe l needed to care and to be cared.

When we are no longer children, we are already dead.

I have to go climb scaffold for two weeks, till then...
Check A Painter's Room, a sacred celebration.
and passion of earth; The Waxing Moon

Friday, February 06, 2009

the cold cold ground...

Amid a place of stone,
Be secret and exult,
Because of all things known
That is most difficult

The lamb that ate itself to death...
Years ago l spent a winter on a cattle farm in Rolla, bc. I lived in a cabin and
worked on a painting. The farmer and his wife were so gracious and so lovely.
I would help bring in calves when they were born. Frozen white
ground and wind that would rush through you tearing at your flesh as it left.
I remember having to pull a calf out of it's mother. I pulled so hard,
the farmer and l pulled and pulled, l thought l would turn the cow inside out.,

I helped skin a dead calf, used a utility knife. We wrapped the hide around
another motherless calf in hopes the cow would smell her's and let it feed.
I drank beer in the rolla pub and listened to the farmer's sons sing,
sing, their music was like passion - ferocious.

Huge round bales of hay stretched out on the farm, stacked two high.
One day l noticed a lamb eating at the bales, all alone, biting, chewing,
tearing, all day she ate. The next morning l found her, dead. She had eaten
way too much in one spot, in one sitting, and the top bale had fallen on her.
There was beauty on the farm.
You don't die when you live on a farm
you just become part of the earth's mystery and secrets.

when the road's washed out
they pass the bottle around
and wait in the arms
of the cold cold ground
cold cold ground

tom waits