A Spring Day
Ink, glue, water and guilt on my hands. It’s been way, way too long, but I have an excuse. Teacher, yes, me, I have an excuse and it’s a real humdinger.
I’ve been busy. Just kidding. That old broken down altered universe just ain’t what it used to be.
I need to share a little secret with you. Not often I get nervous around the heavyweights, but I was. I will be honest because I’m always honest, even when it hurts and everyone knows it’s coming. I got to hang with an idol. I never even knew he was an idol until I was standing on the street watching him walk by. I was early, really early, tragically early. The intention was exploration, but what happened was I got shit on by a bird. I have a history with this little experience.
Austin, 1990. An assignment. The first time it happened. Black shirt, camera strap. By the time the bird and I had finished our “collaboration” I looked like modern art. Keith Herring maybe, but worth far, far less. Walking that damn park looking for the spacing I didn’t understand at the time. I could feel it but not grasp it. I can now, but I understand how rare it is, and I’m okay with that.
Cigarette pack upside down, smacking it into the open hand. They burn slower that way.
“Hey,” I say and it begins.
“It’s beautiful,” he says. “You need another just like it.”
I’m lucky because I know this might not ever happen again, and my job is to slow down and concentrate. Look, remember the details and listen. Ya, listen. A tough thing to do when there is too much going on. Now, then, and tomorrow it will get worse. Am I fatigued because of illness or the fact I’ve been in four times zones in four weeks?
You want to know what keeps me going? You want to know how I can do this? It’s very simple. Imagination and visualization.
Have I ever told you about the dream? No? Okay, maybe I’ll wait a bit longer. A hint? Okay. Here today, gone tomorrow. Chew on that for a while.
He is the real deal. So far above and beyond the call of duty. You enter a kingdom and realize you haven’t even been invited to the party yet. The little dream you have been living is happening in the lobby but above you are eighty floors of visual penthouse. Keys don’t work. You need the correct thumbprint. Odds are I’ll never have it, probably too late, but nobody to blame but the guy punching these keys.
There is method. There is meaning. There is an impact where you defend yourself or not. This is so far beyond X’s and O’s. Testament. Evidence. Witness. History. There is no time for ANYTHING else.
“You need to do __________,” he says.
I could do that, but it would blow apart my life and I can’t have that at the moment.
The prints. The goddamn prints. Oh man, I almost wish I hadn’t seen them. Now what? He wants me, and you, to know. A sly smile because he is holding all the cards and has a 12-gauge under the table. Once you see these things you can’t trump or get out of the way. Something strange happens. I start to burn inside, just a little bit. Then I mentally go somewhere else where I can see having the time and focus to accomplish something similar. At least the dream lives. Spoiled and selfish but maybe that is who I really am?
Now I stare at these photographs. They are memory, history and motivation. I take a few hours here on a Saturday to drift. Paste, glue, print, edit and make. The DNA of what all of us are wanting to do. F^%$ it’s what we are SUPPOSED to do, but yet often times we never get the chance. No reason to complain, just motivation to do more. Oh ya. That’s it.
The calendar holds a date, a flight, a location on the map. A new pin. Never been. The key will be to learn again, anew and not waste a moment.