a dry spell
For the summer and for the foreseeable short term, out of necessity, I find myself parked in a glorified cabin in the woods. It is ours and for some crazy reason we bought it 15 or so years ago. Who knows why…

Yes, it is true. Here I am --- situated in the forested wilderness in far northern California, waiting and working on the sale of our properties here. This unusual familial assignment requires that I maintain a full time residency, in order to keep the place adequately maintained; flowers watered and lawns mowed, the house properly cleaned, regularly spruced up, thoroughly moused (cats are here too) and so forth. Please don’t misunderstand; it is a pleasant, perhaps even magical place to live and to carry out my solitary, creative work.

Yet, in spite of all of this natural perfection, there is a perpetual, enormous void here, a deep cavernous emptiness that, as an artist, I have always felt. This life in rural “paradise” is certainly not a circumstance of cultural distinction or of particularly inspired thinking or sophisticated ways of living.

i am the asshole at the center of the universe

To be constructive as possible while here, I am attempting to flesh out a book that has been brewing in my brain for nearly all of the 15+ years that we have lived here. It is a story about the quality of this sort of life, a recap of our experiences; a life, which was dominated by an odd interpretation of “art”, a life which introduced me to the abysmal wasteland of public education and it was an existence lived as imaginatively as was possible in the rural most boundaries of the civilized world. The lifestyle brought great happiness as well as inconceivable difficulty into the scope of my existence. It is a California like no other that I have ever known.

our republic is in the hands of a mad man

The art supplies, those precious and essential tools of my profession, have been already shipped or stored away. My studio here has gradually and recently (perhaps, in the past three to five years) been completely occupied by squirrels, who do not make the most ideal studio-mates. They bite, scream and have a tendency to tromp recklessly across wet paintings and seem to possess an uncontrollable compulsion to eat drawings and munch randomly, yet voraciously on sheets of 300 pound, handmade watercolor paper. And I thought I had expensive taste…

Hence I am left to survive with the barest of materials: a few sketchbooks, a collection of nice pens and pencils, several journals, a portable watercolor kit with two brushes, a few cameras and a couple of computers. And I have HBO.

shit goes wrong because there is evil in the world

I must admit it; lately in my solitude, I have indulged in and truly enjoyed a few brilliant morsels of television verbiage and small screen culture over the past few weeks…

Forgive me. In this time where the whole world seems to be desperately seeking reprieve from the horrors of the real world, I crave it madly. The psychological and emotional fuel for my mere existence, for the formation of my future perspective exists basically in the fantasies and dreams of cultural pursuits; I love, love, love the bustling city streets, cranky cab drivers, galleries, engaging conversations, daily newspapers, book signings, beautiful clothes, good restaurants, shops, nervous pace, museums, theater, music, diversity, and simply the fruits of the work of people in general. In short, precious and I long urgently for the splendid qualities of urban civilization.

calling all angels,
calling all angels,
calling all angels
we’re trying
we’re hurting
we’re loving
but we’re not sure why

However, my television, complete with the requisite satellite dish as well as my computers --- they keep me mercifully connected --- and as cliché as that may sound, it is undeniably a vital link in this removed and slightly surreal world of societal scarcity. Yeah, at least I have my tee vee.

calling all angels,
calling all angels,
calling all angels
walk with me through this
don’t leave me alone

My summer job, so to speak is a housekeeping/sitting stint in the wilds… a spell of time to make the most of solitude and reflection; an opportunity for self-examination and for pursuing personal insight, perhaps even reaching a few useful conclusions. It has been quite a strange and sometimes appalling experience, living these past 15 years in the middle of nowhere.

calling all angels,
calling all angels,
calling all angels
we’re crying
we’re calling
but we’re not sure how

You know, I have to wonder, to quote Carrie Bradshaw, what it all means. At least, right now, I am fortunate or perhaps simply destined, to have been given the time and the vast (void) space to do just that.

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