Archive for the ‘Week 22’ Category
Betty, this week’s piece is for you. Nothing– not space, not time… not death– can separate us from our true friends.
The wasp returns, hungover
From night’s adventure, to the vacant
Combs of the home communally
Created – but we’d murdered
Them all – the bodies of
His family, the larvae of
The unborn aborted,
On the deck floor below.
Later, as we burned
The last remains
Of that Maine artist’s work
In the grill
With lighter fluid, paper
That wasp bounced
From beam to beam,
His dream a nightmare
Of intolerance, as he
He will light now,
Nurse his headache,
This is the introduction to a new piece I’m trying out. Let me know what you think…
PART ONE: JUNE
Driving along the deserted stretch of highway, James fidgeted with the dial on the AM radio. Bright yellow stars twinkled in the ebony sky above Route 6 as he drove along, not knowing exactly how this would end up. It seemed like an eternity since he’d left the cold discomfort of home, even though in reality it had only been about eighteen hours. Mama Cass wailed away on the radio, “Dream A Little Dream Of Me,” her words drifting out the window of the beat-up 1960 Ford Fairlane like vapor, evaporating into the night. He pulled the car over when his headlights shone on the sign he had been waiting forever to see. Provincetown – 5 Miles. The radio changed abruptly to Billie Holiday. James turned up the radio and pushed harder on the gas pedal. He was finally home.
It had been less than a day since James left. At 9:00 this morning, James Brewer Finch was a member of Dwight D. Eisenhower High School Class of 1974. Diploma in hand, he walked off the stage toward his car, not bothering to see the end of the ceremony. He looked back once, hoping to see a reason to stay. He couldn’t. Getting into his car, he knew that he would never return to Lockport, New York again. He began the journey that had taken three months to plan, and eighteen years to make.
Driving into Provincetown, James made a right turn onto Commercial Street. It was just past three in the morning. Well, here I am, James thought. Now what am I going to do? Unfortunately, James had only planned to arrive in Provincetown. He hadn’t given much thought to what he would do when he did in fact get there. “What was I expecting, a Tupperware party and the Welcome Wagon lady?” he asked himself. Pulling into a semi-vacant parking lot, James cut the engine and stared off into space for a few minutes. He spotted a pier up the street a bit. He got out of his car, grabbed a Buffalo Bills sweatshirt and headed out toward the pier.
The night air was brisk, and the damp cold of the ocean gave James a chill. The streets seemed deserted, but he kind of expected that, being the middle of the night. Abruptly, he stopped in the middle of the street and looked around. There wasn’t a lot that was different from any other town. Storefronts, awnings, quaint business signs. Was this normal-looking little town really the magical, almost mythical place where all the homosexuals came to be free? He pondered this for a moment before walking toward the distant pier, further from his car.
On the edge of the pier, James sat down and looked out at the expanse of ocean surrounding him. This was a million miles away from where he could have ever pictured himself really going. Just a few short months ago, he was staring at a cache of sleeping pills he had been pilfering from his mother’s prescription bottles; wondering just how many it would take for him to drift off into an eternal dream. A permanent sleep, so he could be free of the thoughts roaming in his mind. Deviant thoughts of other boys, and wanting to do things with them that he had only imagined.
He knew that in order to survive; he would have to break free of the invisible chains that bound him to New York. But where could he go? Then it hit him, like a lightning bolt. He remembered the ferry trip last summer, during the family trip to Plymouth Rock. The Finch family had taken a day trip on the ferry to Provincetown, and James had seen things there he only had heard about. He saw grown men walking down the street, holding each other’s hands. He thought he even saw two men kissing! But he couldn’t really be sure. They were partially hidden by a bush in a park. He had heard that this place was where all the queers went to spend the summer, but seeing it firsthand was something else.
Vividly he remembered walking down Commercial Street last summer, hearing “Love Train” by the O-Jays playing on someone’s passing transistor radio, and thinking that this was the place to be. This is where he could be free to be himself. He chuckled to himself that day. I could never come here. I just couldn’t. I’m not really homosexual. It’s just a phase I’m going through. It will pass.
When it didn’t pass, he started to get worried. The worrying led to stealing the pills. Two or three pills a week, until he had almost seventy of them. It was funny, the night he sat on his bed staring at the little pile of pills, tears streaming down his face, he had completely forgotten about his day in paradise last summer. He picked up four or five pills, and was ready to swallow them when the song changed on his bedroom radio. “Love Train.” Then it hit him.
And here he was. Alone, but free. He remembered a lyric from Janis Joplin, “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.” What else could he lose? His entire life back home was a lie. He wondered if his parents were worried. Hell, he was worried. What if this is a mistake? What if…
It’s not finished. Watercolors. To be continued…
We sometimes get caught up in a space where each thing has to be some great story or serve some highest good or purpose and perhaps it does on some large and grand scale, some scheme some where but sometimes we cant see that in our day – and the point of it is not to start or begin – to raise up or level off somewhere – but to just be – the random and colorful adventure that it is. Each day not trying to define anything, or boast but – buckling up your boots and putting on your hat and sunglasses and hitting the world as the adventerous one. The wanderer who knows that the wise is firm in their roots but bendable in their experience from moment to moment to moment.
treking from your car to your office building even, or the universe of opportunity that lies in great dive bars and coffee shops around the corner, or meditations to be had on lunch breaks in the field, dragonflies to meet and dafodils to dance with. Be The adventerous one, follow your heart – balance the lines of pragmatism and random
Sometimes its dances with weeping willows
Sometimes its sea spray
Sometimes its large gulps of lemonade that leaves sugar crystals on your lips
Sometimes it’s a slow dance with someone you love
Sometimes its heat yoga
Sometimes its garden green
Sometimes its hemp
Sometimes its vodka
Sometimes its cream
Sometimes its iciles
Sometimes its art
Sometimes it’s a musical venue
A coffee house
A brightly lit street
A dark and winding funnel
A skyline that connects you to the world
A familiar boy or girl
Sometimes its Everything
“The Art of Random”
(random photos from my random weekend, in random order)
This week’s submission is an exercise in transforming a portrait photo into line art which can then be digitally colored to look like a cartoon. There are many different approaches for such a task, but I think this tutorial has the best suggestions.
The tutorial above makes a great guideline, especially the steps for changing the photo into line art. While effective, it does leave the image looking a little “dirty”.
Once the lines are established, it’s time to color! I got a little sloppy with this step, but the details are easy to clean up later.
From here, I tidied up my coloring, started playing around with different filters and layer modes, and incorporated the original background with a little twist.
Balloons make Billy happy!
Happy Hurricaning ya’ll!