Archive for October, 2016

How Painting My House Makes Me a Better Human

Tuesday, October 25th, 2016

How does painting the house make me a better human?

During the three weeks that we are home in October we need to paint the outside of the house. The weather has been ideal for painting; dry, not too windy, not too warm.

We also have music to make, songs to finish. And you can guess what I would rather be doing. But, I am an adult. We start the painting.

Aidan does the big stuff. Spraying the broad sides of the house from a thirty foot ladder. I do the trim. I actually prefer that and I have a really steady hand. My plan is to coalesce song ideas while I paint, using the work as a sort of meditational backdrop.

Breathe, brush, edge.
Words are not coming.
Breathe, brush, edge.
Wasp between my eyes and the brush!
Breathe, brush, edge.
Previous night’s Presidential debate in my head.
Breathe, brush, edge.

At some point I am in the zone there is nothing but paint in a thin perfect line around the door, around the window. Minutes and hours rolls by until I am out of trim and fortunately not out of paint.

There were no lyrics, not even a couplet. No convergence of ideas, no clarity. But the house is painted. (the house is painted!) I take a shower and sit down to work. Not on a song, but a talk I’ll be giving about finding purpose in your passion. It’s something I’ve done before, but I like to change things, keep it fresh. I have been speaking lately about businessy things and it is nice to change gears.

I begin to realize  I’ve had a small, slow simmer of anger just below the surface. It’s kept itself hidden while I was distracted by the beauty of nature and the joy of music. But it’s been there. And now it’s gone.

Today, tomorrow and November 9th. I have no use for anger. I will be needed. I will have a friend who is too tired to do laundry after a chemo treatment. That’s on me, not any government agency. There will be an acquaintance who is alone for a holiday and I need to invite them over for dinner. Me, not some elected official.
I will dance at the weddings of amazing couples and witness the pride of parents whose child has just graduated. Joy will not be legislated. And when someone needs help pushing their car out after a snow storm, that is not on me. Call Aidan.

I will meet folks who have had a hard week of work and need to be taken to a different place in their minds. I need to play my heart and soul out to them. I need to. I need to for them, and for me. So Aidan and I are working on two projects that we believe will let us use music as a tool for making a little corner of the world just a little better.

If the outcome of an election goes your way, or not, I promise you are needed out here in the world. Most of the work of making this place good is on us. Can we carry that weight? My shoulders feel pretty strong. I think it’s from all the painting.

Anatomy of a tour – different sorts of side trips

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016

Anatomy of a tour-  (different) side trips

While the natural wonders we have seen in this tour are almost beyond description, the unnatural wonders inspire so many words.

twinesigntwine

The biggest ball of twine was on my list. We drove to Cawker City Kansas to see it. It is big, it is twine, it is full of controversy. You see, there is another ball of twine in Darwin Minnesota. It is smaller, but is the effort of one man not a group. Someday we shall see it too. To be honest, the compulsion of one man to amass twine is more interesting.

 
There was much to see in Kansas. Yeah, Kansas, who knew. Before this trip my knowledge of Kansas was based entirely on The Wizard of Oz. if there is a real Oz it is certainly in Lucas, KS. Home of The Garden Of Eden, Florence Deebble’s Garden, and the best bathroom I have ever seen.

deeble1We went to Lucas to celebrate Florence Deeble and see the garden of found object and concrete sculptures that she created. She started when she was quite young filling in a small pond recreating favorite places and memorializing people and events. Her home has become a gallery of sorts. The garden of Eden is larger and more well known among connoisseurs of roadside oddities. But for me it was far less appealing.

 

lucas-loo1The town encourages and supports its art and artists. Evident throughout the town but most obviously at the public rest room.It’s building structure looks like the tank of a toilet and the entry walk way from the sidewalk like a seat. Look down to see a blue swirl of a mosaic with the many objects that may have been dropped in.  An additional path appears to be a large roll of unfurling tp. The inside is a series of beautiful mosaics created by local artists using materials from the town folk.

We were treated to a tour by Rosie Cowan. Diminutive in stature but with enormous energy and enthusiasm, Rosie gave us the back story, the details, all the inside poop. Sorry. I had to. You understand. The stories of the people of Lucas KS are in the artwork; a man’s chess set, a woman’s blue China, jewelry, matchbox cars. By the way, Lucas entered a contest for best public loo. They didn’t win but they were number two. Seriously.
teepee wigwam

 

Holbrook AZ is the home of the Wigwam Motel which I have always  called the Teepee Motel. Unbelievable. Wigwam shaped cottages are for rent. We met a couple who was staying there and got to peep inside! There are vintage cars out in front of each Wigwam. Truly magical. Might stay there someday. Still calling it the Tepee  Motel.

I hope you love this stuff half us much as I do. To see much of it you have to leave the beaten path. It’s a bit out there (some of it quite a bit out there) but so often worth the drive.