My pour-over coffee seems like heaven, and I have no real agenda today. Not one that I have to stick to anyway. I would like to head over to the Poconos and try once again to find the little house my grandparents lived in. It was not fancy, but it was surrounded by trees, and there – my grandmother introduced me to paint. Her husband Luther died in 85 and my parents moved her to a facility because a stroke left her without the use of 1/2 her body. She was still strong-minded, and she was pissed. She lost her husband and was moved out of her home against her will. I tried to fight for her independence. I suggested she move in with me. I was living in a small row house in Lambertville, NJ and I wanted to help. It would have been more than I bargained for, I’m sure. My father said he would never come to visit me again if she was living in my house. She abandoned him as a kid by divorcing her alcoholic husband and leaving my Dad to live with him, while she kept his older brother Jimmy. Still something I can not fathom… but she did it. My mother forced a reconciliation for the sake of her kids – and I’m grateful for that, though I’m pretty sure my Dad would have been equally ok leaving her in his past. She took to me, and I took to her. She was creative and fun. She helped me make things. I felt special around her. She died in a nursing home. So did my Dad. I hope I’m fortunate enough to break that cycle. I would rather die in my van – not for a very long time of course. But free. As free as living can be, anyway.
Right now I’m surrounded by things that make me feel safe. They are manageable and in order. Everything I need is at an arms reach and I don’t have to wonder if it will be there tomorrow. It will be. There is no long-term plan in here. There is only me, and my books, and my paint – and my MacBook, which in its modern way keeps me connected to you. It’s nice to know you are there or imagine that you are and that I’m talking to someone other than myself.
I lost my mojo this past year. I know I’m not alone. Covid took a lot, so did our political landscape. It’s nearly impossible to know what’s true anymore, and our gut is not always right. I used to wake up excited to see what the day would bring – to build things. Lately, I wake up tired. Frustrated. Sad. Full of self-loathing and bloated by the after-effects of a little red wine for too many nights in a row. Connection? Perhaps… Still, I manage to get a move on and produce, so it must not be that big of a deal. But it is, because it’s pervasive, and in modern life – nearly impossible to get away from.
My big ass van is going to help me soothe my soul for a bit while I give myself the time and space to focus on growing something small – my mojo. I’ve called myself an Arts Crusader for many years because it is the through-line in all that I do. I’ve been sticking up for the power of art and the importance of play my whole life. I like the way it feels, and I think feeling good is important. I’ve seen the arts shift the landscape of communities all over the world. It’s time to employ them more actively. Not just for my sake, but for the sake of peace and happiness on this planet. Let’s share some color, harmonious and delicious color. Xo