Cog Engaged

Yes, the cog engaged and it will take a bit of oil to get going, elbow grease that is… but the wheel will turn.

I pretty packed my beading supplies, organized into decorative hat boxes.  I’m not going to tape them shut yet.  Even if I don’t move, having things rarely used neatly stored away is a good thing.  Ye gads, I’m quoting Martha?  Sewing supplies are next on my list.

I really want that space… once the seed planted, the idea took root.  If it is to be, it will be… if not there, then somewhere else. 

Art for today? 

Let’s see what’s in my phone… awe… a self portrait in colored pencil expressing how I feel here?  Half hidden, half trapped, yes… the time to exit is drawing near. 

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I look around this place and it is going downhill.  Garbage piled by someone’s back door (told he’s saving cans) in view of my porch and the street, along with broken down lawn furniture – none of it mine – littering what should be MY yard space.  I have my flower beds, that’s it.  Weeds almost as tall as my sunflowers grow in patches by the fence and overgrown grass around the firepit, both the result of lawn care service laziness, compliment the baby maple trees growing in the rain gutters.  Boarded up window across the way, boards hanging off falling apart tilt out windows on other apartments, as ghetto as that gets, it is still better than next door.  The tenant on the other side of me took his air conditioner when he moved out, never put the window back in so now it is just a hole in the wall, easy access for anyone to crawl in.  Management changed the door lock, but left that window as is… I am waiting to see how long it takes, counting down from August 1st.  Every day that passes cements the desire to move.  Anyone or anything could crawl in there, do whatever.  I am not so much worried about humans as the critters… cats, rats, vermin.

Thankfully, the stove is electric because thieves just blew up a vacant house in Youngstown stealing a gas stove.  Utilities must still be on in there as I’ve seen lights on.  If I hear noise over there, I will call the law.
 
It is the little things I don’t like…  if the owners of this place don’t care about keeping it up, I won’t stay long.  I am off lease now, free to go.  So, even if that space I want doesn’t pan out, I will be looking for another place to call home.

Fallen Suns

Golden orbs, fallen suns, dead sons… war settles disputes by killing.

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Photo snapped by cell phone fails to show details.

This was my last completed acrylic painting, pure emotion on canvas board, raw with anquish over my nephew being sent to war.  The year was… oh, I can’t look to see as it is not here… it hangs at Metamorphosis. 

I wrung myself out painting, pouring everything out: grief for the fallen, my fears for our nation’s children and not just my nephew. 

Okay, so I have a hard time picturing the little kids who played tag in my yard, or took my daughter to a dance, as all grown up Army and Navy men, or her half-brother as a big bad Marine.  In my memories, he is still a little boy with a goofy ass grin trying to catch a plastic fish with a toy pole in a kiddie swimming pool.  Every time I turned around, someone else’s child was being sent to Iraq and for what?  Another Vietnam? 

In my anger over war, I stirred up a liquid mix to dry in the color of dried blood and scratched in words, the truth of it all:  war settles disputes by killing. 

I hated it, could not stand to look at it, and turned it to the wall.  Time passed.  I finally framed it and hung it where I could forget about it, as I knew what was on the other side every time I saw it leaning.  Yet, at the same time, I could not toss it out with the trash. 

Then one day, while I was talking on the phone, I glanced at it and whoa… what the hell did I paint? 

It was like seeing it for the first time… with my emotions not so raw.  I saw my nephews face, many faces and other things… started showing it to people who came by and different people saw different things (you really have to look at it in person).  My father can see representations from every war our country has ever fought, points out a revolutionary man sitting at a desk, boys in a fox hole.  He sees things that I don’t see, or didn’t until he showed me. 

It sickens some people. Some vets are drawn to it.  People love it or hate it, with no in-between.

It was my last acrylic painting as I could not paint any more.  I tried, started things that I couldn’t finish, and time dried paints up in the tubes.  My favorite brand of paints, Winsor & Newton’s Finity, was discontinued when they introduced a new line.  I found other means to express myself creatively, took up colored pencils, mosaics, leather tooling, whatever.  I played with watercolours and gouche, but that is on paper, so not the same.

The desire to paint again started coming back ye around the time Fallen Suns was hung on display at Metamorphosis.  Maybe I had to show it?   Maybe I need to sell it, to let it go?  A cool grand was suggested as the price, but I would consider a decent offer.  How much is a set of Winsor & Newton’s new line of paints, an easel, some canvas?  If I could get enough to set myself up with paints again, oh yeah… I would let it go. 

I know I never painted anything like that before and will never be able to paint anything like that again.  I don’t want to ever feel those same raw emotions again. 

If you want to see this painting in person, wander into Metamorphosis at 2 State St, Struthers, Ohio.  Their posted open to the public hours are:  Monday 8 to 10 pm (poetry night),  Thursdays 6:45-8:30 pm and Saturdays 6:30-10 pm (open studio nights).  Artist members have 24 hr access to the shared studio space so there are people there at other times, a private viewing could be arranged if those hours are not good for you. 

Yes, I plug Meta, I plug my art… but I do not sell online.  I just want people to see it.

Thanks for viewing my art!

TECH & NEXT ?

I blew my phone up, not literally, just blew off everything that could possibly clog up the memory so I could text again.  Clearing all data from email was a dumb idea, as it required setting it back up again.  It did not like my password.  My attempts to make it take it, along with failed steps to recover/change my password (in case I was trying to enter the wrong one) simply resulted in tripping the security features. 

They locked me out, with the promise that I would have the opportunity to answer a secret question if I wait at least 24 hours.  HA!!!  I am right back where I started… so if I keep trying, odds are that I will be locked out AGAIN.  Errr. 

The problem with the password recovery process is that it is NOT phone friendly… if I were sitting at a PC with multiple windows open, click on this one, click back on that… I could get the code AND enter it into the proper box.  That window auto closes, even if I open a new window on the phone, when I go to the alt email site to GET the code.  Bookmarking it let me reopen the right page… but since it was not left open as you can do on a pc, it refused the code.  INVALID.

Of course, I could set up a new email… but that is my fave email addy… it is on my rubber stamp, on all my handmade biz cards, etc.  I use it for all artsy things, blog things, facebook things, etc.  I don’t want to blow it off… OOOOHHHhhhhhh… easy op change, brb… done. 

I have a new email addy!!!

It is the old one with an N in front… Nbarnbees.  I can sharpie marker the change onto cards (not yet… might just remember the old password, got a clue setting up the new one, capital letter required, lol) but in the meanwhile, I can update email addy here and on facebook, etc so I can get notifications again.

Technology sucks… give me a human to fix problems, the machines drive me nuts.

NEXT ?

I ducked under a window awning to avoid raindrops before noticing the address stenciled on the door. 

“Thursay Afternoon” popped into my head, along with a flash picture of myself living there, an apartment no bigger than a motel room with a kitchenette and bath tucked behind a little storefront.  I heard the soft tinkle of bells as someone entered the door, greeted by the heady scent of hand poured candles and soft music, old tunes, CSNY’s Suite Judy Blue Eyes.

    “Will you come see me, Thursdays and Saturdays, what have you got to lose?” 

What if…

Nah, what would I sell?  Handmade things, old junk? 

Every biz on that strip of storefronts ends up relocating to greener pastures where customers actually shop, just shop keepers trying to make a living.  The last of the real stores is moving this month, leaving only the artsy places that are not open every day, like a photographer’s studio with hours by appointment only.  There is not enough foot traffic to substain a brisk business selling anything there. 

So, what am I doing?  Dreaming out loud?

Dreaming out loud ignores realities.  I am not physically capable of doing much of anything, have mobility issues, nerve games, bad days when I make art, use the pencils to take my mind off the pain.  If I could work again, I could make some serious cash with my skills and experience.  I miss the money, but more than that, I miss the work… there is no way in hell I could do that kind of work again, but could I be a shop keeper? 

No… not 8 hours a day and not everyday.  My life runs in slo-mo now.

Little birdy whispers, “The street address is Thursday Afternoon, it wouldn’t have to be open every day.”

Just Thursday afternoons? Handle that okay, add another day?

“Thursdays and Saturdays, what have you got to lose?”

Nothing… I’ve got nothing to lose, done already lost everything – health, home, relationships, driving, etc.  Oh yeah, life slammed me upside a wall, spun on a dime.  Gotta love when insurance sales reps call trying to sell me a policy for “life’s unexpected events” or however they word it.  I just laugh…  those life’s unexpected events just make you re-evaluate your life, what’s important and what’s not.  Then you have to make a choice… roll with it, be happy regardness of whatever, or spend the rest of your days wallowing in misery.  I didn’t come out unscathed as I am physically disabled and I do have a bit of an attitude about some things… I don’t care about the same things anymore, they don’t matter.  I learned to roll with what comes.

In some ways, I am a better person now… I laugh more, feel more at ease with myself and other people, more open and friendly.  I can live a creative life, slo-mo creative, takes me forever to do some things but that does not matter.  Only strangers flash sympathy in their eyes now, but not as often.  Life is not measured by comparing yourself – what you can and can’t do, how you look, stand, whatever – to other people.  So what if I’m crooked? So what on so many things… yes, life is better in many ways.  I see things differently now.

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Okay, so my view of life may be a tad distorted now, if my art offers any indication.  This is a landscape, lol.

But what about that stray thought?  A flash image of seeing myself at Thursday Afternoon?

It won’t hurt to check it out, find out if it is do-able.

It all hinges on do-ability:  the only way I could afford the rent is to live there, too.

That is a big IF with serious odds stacked against it. 

But, it does not hurt to ask… to check into the possibility.  I will let you know if it is do-able after I talk to the landlord.  Maybe it is just a stray thought, a flash idea, a dream out loud, but maybe… just maybe, it’s my next thrill on this ride called life.

To prove I’m not crazy, I will snail mail a small piece of art to the first person who figures out the correct answer to the following question here in the comments… do NOT include your snail mail address with your guess!!! The winner can send that to me later via email.  (This is the internet ya know… there are nuts out here.)  Okay, here’s the question:

What number is equivalent to “Thursday Afternoon” in Nancy’s head?