Saturday, May 19, 2018
When's the last time you had a decent conversation with a dog? It's probably been a while. I know, because I've had dogs. Either they're barking at squirrels, people, other dogs, or the mailman, and that gets old fast. All they know is barking.
I have some experience, though, with training dogs. Over the years it's been remarkable, some of the things I've managed with dogs. I've taught them to roll over and play dead, how to bark for their supper, and how to beg for food or whatever folks are willing to give us. One of the best tricks is rolling over and playing dead. Since it gets tiresome having a dog, if they play dead long enough that's a break for you. Barking for their supper's not as good, because they're always hungry and don't know supper from breakfast, so they're always barking. If you can teach your dog to beg for whatever people are willing to give, you can set her at the Walmart entrance and make a decent living. I'd sit there and beg myself but I'm too proud. But imagine the sweet coin!
A few years ago I think I was involved in teaching a dog to talk somewhat. I say "I think," because I've had a bout of something one of my doctors calls memory loss with a side of aphasia. I'm always remembering things that never happened. Including perhaps my doctor even saying that. I'm hoping to join a "Discerning Reality" group, but it's hard to know for sure that the others are really there, wherever it may or may not be. But I have an application in, and hope to hear from them if indeed they exist. For the sake of argument and this post, let's say the dog talked.
OK, we're saying it's true. I remember I taught one of my dogs to say "A little bit of both." Then I might ask her, "Do you want pizza or stew for dinner?" And she'd say, "A little bit of both." I'd rather she had a choice. It seems healthier, pizza or stew. Normally I think of dogs as completely ravenous for whatever you set before them. I've seen dogs eat hardened, decades-old food that's been preserved as a cinder in a campground fire-pit. I remember one that actually looked like a dead rat, till you looked at it up close. Up close it looked like something from a volcano, sort of a cinder, sort of a glossy artifact of the earth's molten core. The dog would pull it out and gnaw at it, never making progress but never complaining either.
How about this question, "Would you rather have this week-old TV dinner or that volcanic cinder, rat-thing? "A little bit of both." OK, I didn't approve of her eating the cinder, so I threw it away and split the TV dinner in two. She ate half of it and assumed the other half was the cinder. Had she truly wanted the cinder, I might've said, "Are you crazy or merely stupid?" Then when she answered, "A little bit of both," we'd be on to something. I'd definitely have to agree!
That dog, she always wanted to go on walks. But my own preference naturally was to tie her to a post and go shopping. Walking, walking, walking. The only reason a dog wants to walk is to find something to bark about. Or something to eat in the neighbor's yard. That used to be OK, but now with hidden cameras and porch-pirates, I'd be totally worried I'd be busted and end up on the news. "Man's dog eats Amazon shipment of premium steaks for dogs." We both go running, I break a leg, the dog breaks two legs, and we end up on a viral video with people laughing and saying, "Serves the bastard and his dog right!" So I would want to walk her only where no one lives. That way if she found something to eat -- and she once found a dead deer, which we both ate for a month -- there's very little shame in it. But having taught her to talk, she didn't overeat. "Do you want to eat some of the deer we found or fast-and-pray?" She'd say, "A little bit of both," so we whet our grinders on the deer for an hour and also prayed the Lord for future dead animals.
Somewhere in the course of time I started slipping in things to confuse her. Dogs, remember, as smart as they are are still not smart. Not like me, who could sit upright all day and tell you what 2 + 2 is. It's 4, duh. Whereas my dog's answer would've been "A little bit of both." 2 + 2 is a little bit of both? I guess so, that's the plus sign but that's not the answer. You have the entire 2 the first one and the entire 2 the other one. So it's 4, not a little bit of both. That's a tangle. I would've hated to get her started on tougher problems, mostly because I don't know math for crap and would've had a hard time criticizing her answer. I can see situations where the answer might be a little bit of both, with her then showing me up.
Anyway, to confuse her, I started slipping in the word "ONLY." Like this, "Do you want to play in the backyard ONLY or do you want to go to the park?" When she said "A little bit of both," I had her in a mental Chinese finger-trap! Ha ha, how smart I am, but devious! I said the backyard ONLY, so there's no little bit of both. It's a logical problem that I can take in at a glance, in a second, and yet one that makes even my head spin. Because the question is couched as an OR question and she was hopelessly trapped! She couldn't say, "The backyard only" or "The park only." Just a little bit of both. That could've given her a brain hemorrhage that second if she had the wherewithal to contemplate it!
As it is, at this distant remove, with me 20 years older and more easily confused -- I fell down the stairs last night because my mind drifted and I forgot where I was -- it's giving me a brain hemorrhage too! Ever had one? There's a pleasant buzz to it, but if you don't take care of right away, you die. The positive side of which is, Everything else you suffer, you escape. But if I could only say "A little bit of both" I'd be insane within the week. Try it. Take the "Little Bit of Both" challenge. Video yourself in the backyard answering everything with "A Little Bit of Both" and post the results. You'll go crazy.
The way it ended, that dog died and I'm worried about her afterlife. I remember asking her at the end if she was going to heaven or hell, and she said, "A little bit of both." OK, bone voyage, don't forget to write if you have anything else to say!
It probably goes without saying -- since many of you know the kind of guy I am -- that I've had lots of girlfriends, and, for that matter, boyfriends. In relationships, I'm always faithful, but sometimes things just don't work out, through no fault of anyone, but never mine.
One particularly ravenous specimen I briefly loved, and virtually gave my reputation for, was a certain Terri Torial. Heard of her? I've never heard of any other, so don't Google her, because I can't guarantee you won't find her. Let me warn you if you find her, she will track you down, and that won't be the end of it. Far from it. As the name suggests, she has a way of glomming on to what's in her path, and you'll be lucky if she doesn't suck you dry.
It's funny sometimes about names, when the names are funny. You could have a Miss Dour, and she'll be perennially in a funk, for example. I actually had a teacher named Miss Crabby. Then she married a Mr. Grouch, so it was a wash. She didn't marry above her station. Then in sixth grade I had a huge crush on a Jeanine Syphilis, but I kept thinking "What kind of name for a girlfriend is Jeanine?"
As for Terri, as the name suggests, she's had an overwhelming covetousness for territory, real estate and beyond. What's for sale, she wanted. What's yours is hers. If it's not for sale, name your price. The price is right, and really truly it is if she has a boyfriend willing to keep her happy. If this guy won't, the next one will!
Anyway, we traveled the country together for a while, and in the years since I've worked like a dog to restore my credit. Like this: I take out a loan for ten thousand bucks. I sit on the money and pay it back the next week. You do that enough -- a ten thousand or a million -- no matter how many bad real estate deals you had with your idiot girlfriend, you get back in their good graces, the creditors.
Among the properties I was personally involved in with Terri, just off the top of my head I'm thinking of northwest territories, southern plantations, oil fields (dry and wet), wheat fields, corn fields, fields ripe for the harvest but we had no tractor, huge swaths of desert, tons of disparate far-flung forests, enormous square footages of miscellaneous nothingvilles, ocean-side properties with and without beaches, farms, small countries, various sinkholes, Klondikes, and land so inaccessible the foot of man has never laid eyes on it and may never. We put a bid on China that time it was up for auction online, but were beat out at the last second by a guy who bid a dollar more.
For a while -- it was in the papers -- Terri even had me helping her buy up cemetery land. Prospective cemeteries and actual ones. You have lots of options. One of her worst ideas -- I'll call it a scam -- was to buy up all the vacant plots, then complain to the seller so persistently -- "This one has no view" or "This one has too good a view" -- that they got sick and died. Then as the main property holder, she had more votes than the rest of board, and we ended up shipping caskets/bodies to the Klondike property. People just can't be bothered these days to care about their deceased loved ones. And true, face it, it's a pain in the ass to have dead relatives. So out of sight, out of mind. For a ten dollar settlement your relatives will agree to anything!
OK, now the cemetery's been cleared, it's divided into lots and sold for big money. You plant a garden in what used to be a cemetery, the food's delicious. Grandma and Grandpa left behind the potency of their heart and soul, the best soil, loamy, so good. It's great for potting flowers, growing radishes, you name it. We had half a warehouse of the soil and actually sold it to another cemetery, whose north side collapsed in a sinkhole. More land for China.
Time fails me to tell the full story of how Terri came "this close" from buying the entire state of Texas. I was telling her that I read a good book on Lyndon Johnson. And how the land in Texas was either really good or totally piss poor. She didn't believe me, so she made an offer to the governor, and he came this close to selling the state. We promised to relocate him to the Klondike too, to live out his days counting his money. At the last second, though, he realized how corrupt that'd make him. He was the governor after all, not the president, so he had the sense to back out.
Eventually Terri and I broke up. But anytime there's a FOR SALE sign in the neighborhood I keep a close watch out the window. Or just any old plot of land, really, whether for sale or not. Sooner or later, I'm sure she'll show up at my place again ... or perhaps yours!
P.S. Terri Territorial is not to be confused with another ravenous woman I knew, gifted with similar flair, Kitty Westwardho. Kitty and I never dated. A one-night stand you pay for isn't a date, is it?
Monday, May 14, 2018
I barely know how to tell the story of Reginald. You've heard about him all your life; I can say almost all my life, since I'm older, and even though it seems like he's been around forever, he's still mortal like us all.
Somewhere in the world right this minute someone's in need of Reginald. History's shown that. And he's answered the call over and over. He's may not always be the first on the scene -- that's the province of attention-seekers and the vain -- but sooner rather than later, he comes calling. To soothe ruffled feathers, if that's what it takes, but more generally to act as oil on troubled waters. And more than once he's laid down his life for the world, only to take it up again. He's the first among his peers.
There's been a few times, myself, when I've been in the right place at the right time. It's then I have to pinch myself; 'Am I really here?' Life is sometimes like a dream. I pinch myself, and, yes, I'm really here! That happened at the latest awards ceremony for Reginald. With Izora, The Little Lady, at his side.
It was a grand affair. If you've never been, you really must. The decorations were extensive. Various banners and flags of the grateful nations. I kept pinching myself; that's just my way. I expect good things to come my way and I've never been disappointed. But I'm not always so optimistic that I can take anything for granted. Which I'd also expect to be the outlook of any well-rounded person, and here I'm thinking of Reginald and The Little Lady. They're realistic folk.
Anyway, enough about me. I could go on and on, but... A raft of speakers preceded Reginald, each singing his praises in a higher key. Until he was finally introduced to applause that rang out like the thunder. No one saw it happen, but it must've been right about here that The Little Lady disappeared. I hadn't noticed. All eyes were on Reginald making his way to the podium. What confidence, what a stride; cocks of the walk are only half as grand.
Reginald shared how honored he was for such a grand reception. He took his sweet time to speak of his company, his friends' companies, as well as the various governments and their good administrations paving the way for good. These are essential stepping stones in the work of diplomacy, whether on a grand scale or in the intricate and meticulous dealings that also have to take place. It's all important. Like cogs and gears and things operating smoothly.
As Reginald spoke, I thought what a stunning profile he makes. Others were no doubt studying him too as an example of inspiration. Certainly any naysayers kept it to themselves. As they should, anyone whose heart would be that dark. There couldn't have been anyone that far gone, but these days you never know.
This evening was an evening of evenings, an event to be sure. When the massive piles of awards, ribbons, trophies, and what-not Reginald had accrued over the years would be traded in for "The Simple Star" award. You don't get any simpler than The Simple Star. But equally, you don't get any higher honors than The Simple Star. If it's ever been passed out before in our time, I've never heard of it. The Lord himself had one over his crib, but that's the only precedent I know of. Until Reginald.
The man spoke simply and elegantly of the honor he felt. And how he would continue on, to the extent we would allow. He thanked all the guests for coming. And reserved his last words for The Little Lady, Izora. Every eye scanned the dais to pick her out, but she wasn't there! Reginald himself looked about, a little confused, until a smile played across his face. I nearly snapped a picture but my phone was down to 10% and giving me fits.
Reginald called to Jimmy, an aide at the door, and had him step out and see if he could find The Little Lady. For she had already slipped away and was in the kitchen, supervising and helping the clean-up crew! In her own wonderful way, like always, showing modesty and service going beyond the call of duty. She's seen enough awards given out, to her this was just more of the same. For her, service to the world, that's also her calling.
They nearly had to drag The Little Lady out; that's how reluctant she was to stop her work. But out she finally came, to the greatest ovation. She tossed her apron to Jimmy at the door and made her way to the dais. Reginald lifted her arm, pointing to The Little Lady, as if to say, "Huh? Huh? Am I right? Isn't she the greatest?"
Saturday, May 12, 2018
I used to always hear about going to things stag. One guy. I don't hear that much anymore. Maybe we forgot what a stag is, which would be the root of the idea. The way I remember it, a stag is some kind of deer or super antelope, standing at a river pass, alone, drinking, while the other animals keep a respectful distance, waiting their turn.
With just that definition it's easy to see how they got the phrase "going stag," which often applied to bachelors. Then one would be about to get married and the others had a stag party for him. His last night of complete freedom, hanging out with the other stags, drinking himself sick. Some kind of entertainment. That's when the stags got together, but usually they went to things alone. Not that I'm up on it or in any position to get clinical; I never did research on it.
Do I ever go stag? Afraid so, more times than I like really. Like out to eat, but I don't like the look of it or the feel of it. And that's the way with most stags. They sit in their car with their bag of tacos and eat them as fast as possible. It takes me a little longer because I have to put hot sauce on each one as I go. I was out the other day and another guy I know was also stag. I motioned back and forth between us, two guys doing the same thing, whatever it was, independent, alone, but briefly together and witnesses to the thing. He waved and looked down.
Childhood was better. Like when my mom or grandma would go with me to the doctor's office, or all the kids had to go. Now mom and grandma are gone and I'm old, so I'm at the doctor's stag. The nurses watch me come in. And give me the computer interface to type my info in. Someone they can contact? I have relatives, who no doubt have their thing going on somewhere, ducking in, ducking out. I put the funeral home. They appreciate the business.
Really, it's nearly everything I go stag for. The library, church. I don't go on vacations that much, but I know guys who do. Taking selfies of themselves in front of the the world's largest steam shovel, stag. I personally hate tourist sites: "It's all been done before!" Who cares? I've thought about going to Mt. Rushmore, but I'm iffy. I read the book by John (Fire) Lame Deer and he's dead-set against Mt. Rushmore. And from his perspective it's obvious, we should never have messed up that mountain! So who wants to see that? Especially stag. Although I wouldn't want to go with friends either, because no doubt they've missed Lame Deer's great book and would love seeing it. Guess I'd rather go stag, but I'd rather not go at all.
I hate to make going stag sound pathetic. It's just a fact of life. Most people go stag to the post office regularly. I'm at the post office a few times a week and it's a parade of one-person at a time. The dentist, I'm always stag there. In that case, I'm very breezy about it. I breeze in, greet everyone in a bubbly way. It's sophisticated enough there they've got your basic paperwork taken care of on the computer. There's nothing to it. They get me in, there's room in the chair for one, so stag is the only way to fly.
Wouldn't it be crazy to rent someone to go with you? As in professional daters; I can't remember what that's called. Escorts was what it used to be called. Probably personal assistant now. You go to a massage parlor. They see another stag coming in. And you offer to pay them up front just to go to the zoo with you. Where there might be some captive stags -- the real deal -- looking for a way out. Follow me!
Friday, May 11, 2018
O! how many times I've listened to "The Shrine of St. Cecilia," the song! A bunch of times, so many. I wake up with the tune in mind. I'm out walking the dog and humming the tune or singing. It's inspiring. Musing over how there's trouble everywhere, devastation on a large scale in the area, storm clouds and winds on the march, but the Shrine of St. Cecilia remains standing, inviolate!
I love that song, but sometimes I get it mixed up with a couple other songs I have about St. Theresa of the Roses. So I think I'm singing St. Cecilia and it turns out to be St. Theresa! But they're inspiring too, one by Billy Ward and the Dominos and the other by the DeJohn Sisters. I honestly like about any saint I ever hear of, including St. Charbel of Lebanon and St. Rita of Cascia, who was a recurring character in a series of blog posts I wrote for Paranoia Week in 2014 (links below). I try not to hear about any other saints, because I know I'll like them and life will get complicated.
Today, though, we're thinking of St. Cecilia, also famous in song, with several versions of "The Shrine of St. Cecilia" available on YouTube. Her shrine withstands the various disasters that come around, giving hope and moral support to the people who weren't so fortunate. My life might be the pits -- and my house is actually right now undergoing major renovation because it neglected itself and became a shambles -- but as long as I know Cecilia's shrine yet stands, I too can make it through.
But where her shrine is is a thing I'm confused about. I thought it was in South America, since I've always heard about the Five Peruvian Shriners visiting it, having "traversed not far." But according to online sources, it's in Rome. Which is far from Peru, and allowing for continental drift, getting farther all the time. The confusion probably comes more from what is a shrine and what isn't. And whether the various locales in South America where St. Cecilia is honored are shrines per se. Regardless, we would also commend the Five Peruvian Shriners for going all the way to Rome and yet considering that, because of the saint's sanctity, "not far."
Still, the song of the Peruvians -- We Five Peruvians of Peru Are -- gives a great deal of encouragement to a lot of folks, though for me it's a love-hate thing as well. One of my family heritage things, which I wrote of a few years ago as well, involved Peruvians coming to America and being involved in abusing horses by having them kick their enemies to death. This was an immediate threat to me, having not been conceived yet, and not something I can imagine St. Cecila sanctioning. But every people group has their good apples and their bad, and I can't judge the whole crop by a few especially notorious bruises. Still, I'm watching Peru closely, because according to Grandpa, the Peruvians are among the baddest hombres ever to live. He said they have long memories and aren't given to an easy forgiving nature. The fact that it's all out-of-sight now, and a thing of the distant past involving previous generations, makes it tough for me to judge decisively.
Anyway, it's great to have saints; we can agree on that. They show the possibilities of genuine sanctity even in our usual sinful world. They're the cream of the crop, which is beyond dispute. The typical person is mostly good or mostly bad or some other combination. Then there's some that are mostly bad through and through, usually through some fault of their own. Maybe their parents were bad, so they picked it up. Or their parents were good, but they still turned out bad. For the most part I wish bad people would fall off the edge of the earth, or let's say the earth opened up and swallowed them. Followed by reopening and emitting a burp and maybe allowing for one final scream from the victim for good measure. Bad people make me sick. Then there's saints, better than me by far in their intensity of devotion and allowing devotion to characterize them.
Of course we would want to erect a shrine to them, telling the world, "Here's what our actual ideals look like," despite our own inability (generally) to live the same sanctity. I'm forgiven daily and nightly for my many sins, going back to my childhood. I've already seen the judgment room of God, and let me tell you this much, there's no place to hide. There's literally not even one broom closet in the entire Throne Complex to hide in, not one.
Paranoia Week links from 2014 involving St. Rita of Cascia:
1. Paranoia - I Hit Rock Bottom
2. Paranoia - This Dark Is Huge
3. Paranoia - I Know Where You Go
4. Paranoia - What Maniac Arranged All This?
5. Paranoia - One Slip, I'm A Goner
6. Paranoia - The Microscopic Level
7. Paranoia - My Fortunes Change
Sunday, May 6, 2018
Ho, boyd! You’ll never guess what I saw today! In a flighting moment, there it was, The Illusive Purple-Breasted Yellow-Eyed Split-Tailed Swallow, up from the ditch, as big as life! Meaning — purple as in the color of kings! — I’m in for great treasure, a kingly reward, or, since king’s also mete out harsh punishments, maybe I’m just in for it... A bounteous wind lifts the Swallow, but could I swallow a harsh fate?
This lovely bird flies freely, without a thought, but I have to remain grounded and testify of the significance of such a sight. Because you never can tell in these modern times, there’s many a youngster without the lore, know-nothings unfamiliar with the facts of life beyond their own narrow rutting habitat. As I think back, yes, there was a time when I myself, callow and barely cowled, was unfamiliar with basic life facts. Then my nearest of kin stepped in and brought me up to speed.
When your eyes are opened, that’s when you can see. As I did that gladsome day when I saw my first Purple-Breasted Yellow-Eyed Split-Tailed Swallow. They filled me in on the significance, which I never fore got till then. But till today I hadn’t seen one in so many years, I haven’t even been thinking of it. Of course sometimes I wish for it, but hoping isn’t happening, till, up it jumps, it dashes, it turns tail and impresses me deeply. You know I’m forever a seeker, seeking omens, checking my Tarot, watching the chakras in spin, and even looking at life cross-eyed — or with one eye closed — I buy reading glasses and immediately take one lens out — I’ve found it the best way to narrow my gaze to truly see. Then it happens and I have to wonder, are Purple-Breasted Yellow-Eyed Split-Tailed Swallows everywhere, but I only see them when they’re definitely out of mind?
Like today! I wasn’t thinking of them, and there it was, jumping up from the ditch, managing to keep its place on the driver’s side, where I could see it so clearly. Indicating 100 percent, the vision was for me! The beauty of this omniscient little creature waiting till just that precise second to bound out, when I was a mere 20 feet from it, is significant beyond anything else that’s happened lately. My heart’s racing, my breath is elevated. I haven’t had my innards tickled so dramatically since my first taste of Mountain Dew, then later when losing my virginity. I’ve seen the promised land in this brief flight of the spirit bird, being gypped thus phar but no more.
Watch for them! They’re always there when a major life change is coming! That’s what I’ve heard. I remember seeing one when I was a kid, without the faintest idea of any of this, and we later moved. So hard, but it led to good things. I was a third grade dropout! True. But when we moved I joined a different third grade. In that case, though, the Purple-Breasted Yellow-Eyed Split-Tailed Swallow sighting was just a few months before.
The next time I saw the Purple-Breasted Yellow-Eyed Split-Tailed Swallow was about the time of puberty, when it’s supposed to start. I was a late bloomer, OK? I’m not ashamed to admit it now, but back then I tried my best to shrink from sight around other boys and girls in the dressing room. O for those days of innocence now! I would’ve proudly strutted my stuff, but till the Swallow reappeared, I felt shame. Then I saw it and POOF! Just that fast, I had the pubic bush like everyone else! Not overnight, folks, the same damned day! My dad was glad, but said to be careful not to catch that tangle in a zipper. Man to man, he said it hurts like hell.
I mentioned losing my virginity. Please understand, my prospects weren’t great. I looked at the girlie magazines they had back then like everyone else. My cousins informed me of the various goings-on down there, I clipped photos, etc. I got in major trouble in 9th grade when I had some of the innocent girlie pictures — back then you didn’t know if they’d experienced a POOF like me; those things couldn’t be shown. I asked my cousins why that was, and the true answer we came up with was, “Must be something wrong with ‘em down there.” Anyway, I had the pictures and this nasty teacher came up behind me and busted me. My mother had to come in the next day and vouch for me, “He’s a growing boy, has a natural curiosity,” etc. The only thing she was mad about was I didn’t tell her about seeing the bird the day before. I never wanted to disappoint her, so her words were a bitter pill to swallow.
Then came the virginity thing a while later; sorry I got ahead of myself. Up popped the Purple-Breasted Yellow-Eyed Split-Tailed Swallow, and that same day I was in the hardware store and told the guy I needed a good screw. He fixed me up with his sister, also. She had one of the local shabby apartments, top floor. The floors were weak, the walls were mildewed, parts of the ceiling were literally hanging down. I looked pretty good to her and she to me. I didn’t tell her what we owed the tryst to — having read the bird’s omen — she just laid back and enjoyed that beautiful minute of paradise, once I became fully aware of the geography of the female physique. It reminded me of the slip n’ slide mat the other kids had, very smooth. My mom wouldn’t let me have one because of her fear of discarded razor blades possibly on the lawn. The rest of my time with Monique was without dreadful consequences, despite the Freudian possibilities of her haven of best becoming life’s worst gaping maw.
Those were such major times, I’ll leave it at that. The other times can be summarized by various moves, job changes, and starting this blog.
Now, though, today — literally within the last 20 minutes — the Purple-Breasted, Yellow-Eyed Split-Tail Swallow jumped up again, one of the closest I’ve ever seen. Meaning....? What DID it mean? I’m 65, in excellent health... Do you suppose — I hate to think about it — that I’m going to die? What else comes next? I don’t know what comes next for me. The other times I saw the birds it was generally for good. But there’s no telling what it could be, except it’ll be something. It could be I’ll be leaving soon, although I’m supposed to live till 85...
But whether 65 or 85, there’s no real difference. I was perfectly content not being present for the first 15 billion years of the Universe, I’ll probably be fine whatever the afterlife is or isn’t. I’ll just enjoy my days here, however many there are. Which might be the message of the bird for me this time. Nothing major happening till I see the off ramp. And there it’ll be, The Purple-Breasted, Yellow-Eyed Split-Tail Swallow, jumping up from the weeds! So enjoy yourself, read, write, listen to music, walk, talk, go half-crazy now and then. Be happy and die with contentment.
Friday, May 4, 2018
What would you think if I turned out to be local graffiti sensation (or to some spoilsports and haters of the arts, scourge) Quick Draw McFiti? What a surprise that’d be!
Interesting question, huh? You’re probably wondering why I asked. No reason, heh heh, just throwing it out there as a rhetorical question to muse on, let’s say. But, really, what would you think? I can well imagine how the run of the mill folks would take it. For the non-artistic among us, I’m sure so many of them would curse my name and feel that I should be brought to justice at long last. Then we'd have the other end of the spectrum, art lovers and fellow artists, who would be either very happy that the mystery was at long last solved or happy the authorities were getting me off the street, out of jealousy, or even because they're sticks in the mud.
It’s the last crowd that makes me sickest, frankly. To be the object of envy, or to put it more charitably, misunderstood in whatever artistic pursuit you choose, then vilified, is no good. It totally brings me down to contemplate that response, but of course everyone knows there’s lots of crumbs in life. Then there's the artsy-fartsies who think art isn't for the various walls around town, but for the museum. To them, I have a few things to say. The cleanliness of a wall is not worth stifling the artistic sensibilities of a person like Quick Draw McFiti -- Let's hear it for him! I’m not sure I can even forgive them, and people who know me always see in me a very forgiving person. I forgave that kid that sprayed "CRANK" on my outhouse.
But let’s set the naysayers aside; it’s dragging down my spirit. It’s the artistic-minded, the lovers of art, those who celebrate the spirit of the artist, that I celebrate. Whoever McFiti is, they may not care about that little detail as much, because they’re not looking to nab him or give him his comeuppance. Their thing, like I said, is to celebrate. You see a blank wall and you’re like, “Yeah, a blank wall.” But you see an artistic tour de force — and Quick Draw’s works are so often described with that term, if I do say so myself — you quickly shake off the doldrums and come alive.
I’m alive today and happy! Happy to see this arms-open-wide piece in the light of day. It looks better than I remember or even expected. For such a quick drawing. You just shake the can and cock it toward the wall and whisper a little prayer for guidance; there’s no UNDO button. It actually might be that detail alone that gives such quick abandon to McFiti’s stuff. Which I thoroughly resonate with. My thinking's precisely the same. Whatever you have in your heart and mind, put it down quickly, then let it be. The truest art simply flows.
Anyway, as to the details of this particular piece: It’s exactly something that’s in my own heart, continually. The prophet appears, like Isaiah or Jeremiah or Elijah*. They’re known for extended prophecies that welled up and overflowed from their heart. But the key to their power was their giving-over to the Spirit. Few edits, little self-consciousness; this was something bigger than themselves, and quicker. Like Quick Draw McFiti! Who has a similar message: The prophet throws his hands up and proclaims, “THOU SHALT.” A great positive message!
I’ve had that very thought in my own heart for a while, and how good it is to see it finally on full display. You don’t know how proud I am, and yet I’m only the conduit for a greater power; if we don’t personify it, we could merely call it The Power of Life! Elan, Energy, Elixir!
Draw on, mysterious Quick Draw McFiti, you’re doing our sad old world a great deal of good.
*Time would fail me to tell of Anna Phanuel.