Much has happened in the last year. It’s still gestating, so I’ll keep my own counsel for a while longer. This relative silence is something I’m not known for, but it’s part of who I am, even if it’s not so obvious.
It’s been three years after my last myocardial infarction. Infarction is such a deceptively silly word. In June of ’10, I went back into Seattle to paint another building, a year after having three new stents, and my habitual mind kept telling me that on the last day of the job, I would go to the emergency room. But I didn’t. The job went well. I finished another house, and went back in the city for a third. It was a good summer for me, physically. All is well, except in the habitual mind, that familiar old partner, like a ne’er-do-well relative who won’t leave the business and get gainful employment of his own. I tolerate his participation, since he’s relatively harmless, except when I give him too much attention. Now, for the old news. Later, he said, I went back to Seattle in 2011 and painted another house, flying in from Minneapolis, after driving there from my new home in Asheville, North Carolina.
June 23rd, ’09, I was painting a building in Seattle, and after 8 days of work, 4 hours from finishing, I couldn’t continue, and my friend, Ted, who owns the building I was painting, drove me to the emergency room of the UW Hospital, and I was taken to surgery, where I was operated on by the same Dr. Dean, who operated on me, seven years and five days before, doing the same sort of thing, putting three more stents in the same artery as the one that got three stents in 2002. Now, I have six stents in one artery. The attending physician, David Linker, was also the same as the one who advised me, seven years ago. I have recovered from the operation, better than before, after having my artery unclogged. I can paint houses, and I did, last summer, and I will, again this summer, 2010. I play soccer, able to return to my routines with a greater appreciation of my vulnerability. I guess, when you’re in the heart business, there’s a certain element of risk. Or, it just happens. Eerie Guardless.
I rediscovered a one-man show, called Nothing, taped in 2003. I transferred the tape to disc. By March, ’10, it was being shown on KCWU-TV, the campus station at Central Washington, where I was teaching. It’s now available by clicking on the site on this site.
One friend was impressed by the fifty books plus (At the time. It’s now seventy.) on this site, and I said, “If you write every day for forty years, things happen.” It’s remarkable to see all these writings and paintings together in one place. Things that were sitting in the corner, begging for attention, have gotten it. That gives me a unique sense of freedom.
It’s always time to play, again, in the best sense of the word. Being still in the heart, without purpose, is the highest purpose I know. I recommend that approach to viewing and reading this accumulation of art and writing.
For those who’ve had the same capricious experience as I’ve had, getting things published in the commercial world, I can say what was said to me, “If you’re a diamond merchant – and nobody buys your diamonds – you’re still a diamond merchant.”
I no longer teach at Central Washington. In March of 2011, I moved to Asheville, NC, where I have lived ever since. What a great city! I wanted to move, but I had no idea it would be to this great place. I’ve written severa; things since moving here, and I’m working on more.
Please write any thoughts or comments to: email@example.com